Showing posts from January, 2012

Blog fever

I am feverishly writing blog entries, having started a new blog (number 9) and being reenergized by the need to please my reading public.
My blog site tells me how many pageviews each blog has, gives me a graph of viewing activity over time, and tells me how the viewers found my blog (what site they entered from). My Feedjit tells me where some of the viewers are from, geographically.

Although I didn't start writing blogs to build a readership, I find that knowing that my readers are "out there" is very stimulating. When I teach, I can see the students right in front of me, which produces a strong motivation to say something worth listening to. Writing in my blogs is similar, when I realize that someone will want to read what I've written.

So this morning is Blog Fever morning, here in Prague. Please check out my new blog,

for some pictures and information on felting, if you have any interest!

Imaginary Jesus

I downloaded a free ebook on Amazon last week. It looked like it might be cute. Well.

More than cute, I'd say. Jarda and I are reading it aloud, one chapter at a time. It starts with a fistfight between Jesus and Peter, the apostle, in a hip Portland coffee house. So far we have had some pretty good discussions about the tone (zippy-quick and semi-serious) and setting (cool Portland, where our daughter used to live--we visited and liked it very much).

Here's the Amazon description:

Imaginary Jesus is an hilarious, fast-paced, not-quite-fictional story that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before. When Matt Mikalatos realizes that his longtime buddy in the robe and sandals isn’t the real Jesus at all, but an imaginary one, he embarks on a mission to find the real thing. On his wild ride through time, space, and Portland, Oregon, he encounters hundreds of other Imaginary Jesuses determined to stand in his way (like Legalistic Jesus, Perpetually Angry Jesus, and Magic 8 B…
Sometimes you have a project that just doesn't come together easily. Our book in progress, 21st CenturyChristianity, is such a project.

During our 2012 planning meetings, Jarda and I decided to finish the book this year. We first envisioned this book in 2008, and wrote about half of it before realizing that it was not the book we really wanted to write. We put it aside while working on 21st Century Jobs, the book we published in 2009.

I think that the problem with 21st Century Christianity is that the topic is too vast, yet too limited at the same time. We can't come up with a narrative that will lead us into the book. The drafts so far have had these less-than-successful qualities:

1. too factual, too dry, and so data-driven that the book will be outdated by the time we publish it.

2. too opinionated, ending up as a diatribe that doesn't even interest us, let alone anyone else.

3. too general and sweeping, covering centuries of complex history in a few paragraphs, disto…