My Hoo-erdom Hashed-Out and Explored in a Q&A

hooer cover final

It’s been an odd couple of months, wherein I have found myself interviewed several times, and via surprising venues. First Tom McDonald got me yapping about prayer.

And then America got me going on and on about blogging (which generated tweets from Catholic people who actively hate me in humbling ways I hadn’t then-imagined).

I had totally forgotten, but around the same time, Patheos’ Book Club asked me to discuss why I Don’t Want to be a Hoo-er, if I can help it, which surprised me.

And I must have been feeling particularly energetic because if I do say so, the interview seems uncharacteristically spunky:

Your chapters run the gamut, from light-hearted commentary on baseball to really serious material on suffering. What makes both topics belong in a book like this?

This is basically the scope of my life: religion, politics, baseball, suffering … that’s really all I’ve got, and the first three all carry within them a thread of the fourth. Nobody gets out of life without suffering—it’s the great leveler to which a King is as vulnerable as a commoner—and the source of our suffering is the thing we love, the thing that captures our interest and kindles our everlasting allegiance.

Who has inspired you personally in your thinking, your writing, and your faith and the ways these work together?

My parents were both very smart people who never had the opportunity to become educated; they spent their whole lives in manual labor where their gifts were, like lightning, rarely seen but frightening when encountered. A grease monkey who could quote from Roberts Rules of Order and a waitress with a facility for languages and five-dollar words? People never knew what to do with them, and so even though they could be very social at work, they were also bitter loners who could talk “at” but not “with.” They discouraged any sort of dreaming in their children, because the world had nothing to offer dreams. In an odd way, they shaped my writing. If no one was going to talk to me, I learned to talk to myself—and in a very satisfying way!—through writing.

Both of those answers are excerpted, and there is more here. Check out the last question. I’d be very interested in your comments as to what you think of my idea to put together a second collection focused entirely on LGBTQ issues?


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