This morning I signed a contract with CASCADE Books, a division of Wipf and Stock Publishers, for the publication of Grace Sticks: The Bumper Sticker Gospel for Restless Souls. Grace Sticks is both light-hearted spiritual memoir and unsystematic theological travel guide for other restless souls seeking more direction, more truth and more life. Along the way I’ll invite readers to consider how something as seemingly frivolous as the bumper stickers they attach to their cars or entertain in traffic are themselves spiritual aspirations of sorts that point to One who is The Way, The Truth and The Life. (Just think the adventuresome spirit of a Jack Kerouac meets a bit of the free-wheeling conversationalism of a Rob Bell, meets a young woman’s irreverent sense of humor.)
For those of you unfamiliar with Cascade Books, here is a description taken from their website: they specialize in “new books that combine academic rigor with broad appeal and readability.” “Encompassing all the major areas of theology and religion, Cascade Books has published such major authors as Stanley Hauerwas, Jürgen Moltmann, John Milbank, John Howard Yoder, Margaret Miles, and Walter Brueggemann.”
Now is when I’m told by more seasoned authors the real pain begins, so I’m especially grateful to be undertaking the editorial process with the good and capable people of Wipf and Stock, especially my newfound editor, Rodney Clapp.
Writing a book is one of the most impractical things a person can ever do. It rarely pays the bills, usually involves a lot of sweat and tears, and can often result in one’s name being dragged through the mud for what one did or didn’t say.
Writing- and ministry, for that matter- is not what this girl once envisioned as a future when, at the tender age of 14, she awkwardly posed for the “Most Likely To Succeed” award in her eighth-grade class yearbook. She was tall and lanky, wore braces and barrettes, and stood next to the smartest kid in her eighth-grade class. The boy who shared this dubious honor in adolescent geekiness went on to become a plastic surgeon. She was going to become a lawyer or a television anchorwoman. She went on to do, as it’s turning out, a host of impractical things that made her restless soul sing. (Ain’t life grand?)
On that note, here’s this week’s mental health break, with the hope that you, too, may do what you love and what makes your soul sing- whether it’s tummy tucks and nose jobs or writing books that a few people will read. The addition of the orchestra in this version of “The Logical Song,” by the 80’s band, Supertramp, performed only three years ago by Roger Hodgson and accompaniests, is especially endearing: