new book, devil horns, three piece suits

Kind readers,

I’m happy to say that my new book, Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast, is now available in print.

It makes me giddy just saying “my Atheist Republic book.”

Click on the cover below to get your copy.

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As ever, your reviews are extremely important and immensely appreciated. Please help me get to fifty reviews by Festivus! This number of reviews will increase the book’s visibility on Amazon (due to their logarithm doodad thingies). Even a line or two will make a huge difference.

The book has begun getting kind reviews, which goes straight to my heart.

Read The Crusty Sceptic‘s marvelous review on his blog here.

And look: eep!!

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I shared that tweet because I thought his book and mine had a couple of things in common, and it helps, apparently, when you’re promoting a book (or at least trying to promote it), to compare it to a similar book or whatever. He has so many followers that I never imagined he’d even see it, let alone reply anything at all to it! I love his work and I think he’s absolutely terrific, so I was in shock when I saw his tweet appear in my notifications. It was so kind of him to do that.

I’m better at it than I used to be, but I still find promoting my work terribly difficult and exhausting. Fortunately, I have many beautiful supporters, like the one who recently sent me a direct message on Twitter that said, “I believe in you. I REALLY do. You deserve to be read.” I started crying.

Even though I often feel like an idiot for putting my books out there (who the fuck am I, you know? What makes me think I have anything worthwhile to say bla bla bla), I do it anyway, and the encouragement I get keeps growing. So I keep going.

Today, I updated my Goodreads profile for the first time in I can’t remember how long.

As you can see, I’m very serious about what I do.

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Earlier this week, I took promotional photographs of myself.

The first day, I got going too late, but I managed to quickly snap a few neat pictures while the sun was setting.

As I wrote on Twitter, I looked like I was in a nondescript, late 60s neighbourhood on my way to bang Lana Del Rey or something.

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The next day, I got started earlier, but when I went outside, I didn’t last long because it was so cold and windy (my camera lens fogged up when I returned inside).

I was often channeling my inner Tom Waits.

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When I went back inside, I decided to take photos in my work space, which I’d never done, at least not with my good camera. And the light was great, so…

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I had a lot of fun with the red devil horns and green suit. Oh, and the cigar is a Halloween prop.

Unfortunately, I also managed to catch the bug my partner had, a nasty head cold. So this was me yesterday, with Potion the nursemaid:

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I’m starting to feel better, which is fantastic, because I hate taking cold medication.

In other news, I’ll be giving podcast interviews in the coming weeks. I’ll be keeping you updated, in the event you’d like to hear me ramble.

Speaking of which, I am now Miss Old Grumbly in Peachy Fiend‘s hilarious animated series Unicorn and Toast.

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If you want to hear me ranting like a wacky old woman, watch the episode here.

It’ll soon be time for Quietus 2016. I’m looking forward to an intimate gathering (there’s going to be a dozen of us) with wonderful people in a fantastic setting.

That being said, I’m no longer entirely sure I’ll be able to go to MISTI next year, due to issues involving logistics and, frankly, exhaustion. I really don’t know at this point.

Right now, I’ve got my mind on more books, including another Atheist Republic title next summer, possibly.

I’ll be giving another talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa at the start of December.

Welp, that’s all the latest! Thanks for playing 🙂

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

new book coming out soon

Kind readers,

I began the day by crying over my keyboard.

My new book, Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast, will be released by my publisher Atheist Republic on October 1 (or close to that date).

The cover will probably be a bit different than the one I originally designed.

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I can’t fully express my gratitude to Armin Navabi, who asked me last year if I’d publish my next book with Atheist Republic, the organization he founded. Immense gratitude as well to Atheist Republic’s rad editor (and talented author), Casper Rigsby.

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While I’m at it, I’d like to thank the following generous and stupendous persons, without whom I’m quite sure this wouldn’t have happened. After I published There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life, they gave me unknown me a chance and interviewed me, wrote reviews of my book, told people about it…

Sean McGuire (@GodlessPoutine)—the first atheist blogger who said, “I’d love to read your book.”

Godless Spellchecker

Godless Mom

The Intellectual Saviors

Joshua Kelly, author of O, Your God!

The Atheist Pig

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I also want to thank CFI Ottawa and Diane Bruce, who asked me to give a talk and who have been so supportive.

I am deeply grateful to the organizer of the amazing Non-Conference, Spencer Lucas, without whom I wouldn’t have met Armin last summer.

I’m too grateful for words to everyone who read, enjoyed, reviewed, and told others about There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard. You have no idea how much your kindness and encouragement helped me to keep going, keep writing.

Once the book is out, I will be letting everyone know!

This is the first time I’ll be getting PR assistance from a publisher, and it’s so overwhelming, I’m so utterly grateful for this that it makes me dizzy. I’ve worked very hard for a long time. Last year, I basically started over from scratch after almost a decade of writing religious/mystical books, and leaving religion behind… I started writing books from a secular/humanist/atheist perspective.

I’m exhausted. But I’ll be getting help from Atheist Republic—lovers of freedom and intellectual integrity should support their invaluable work, incidentally—and I’m excited about my list of upcoming books.

There is a great deal of joy in my life, and I’ll continue to write about it, to share it, to spread it around.

Oh, and my Unicorn and Toast character, Old Miss Grumbly, will be a regular character in season two of Peachy Fiend‘s animated series! See the very first episode here. The episode in which Old Miss Grumbly first appears will air around October 16. Stay tuned 🙂

Here I am, wearing my awesome Unicorn and Toast t-shirt (by Reasonist Ink):

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So much excitement. I’m definitely going to need a nap this afternoon, especially since I had insomnia this week, not to mention my recent hives problem.

But first, I’m going to get some celebratory toys:

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I hope you’re all having a beautiful weekend.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

fresh new start, fresh new space

Kind readers,

so I began the year by redesigning my work space. It needed an upgrade to suit my current needs better.

I’ll be writing about fresh starts in Atheist Tiki Hour and The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy; a fresh space was required. It was imperative.

I headed for IKEA.

I’m always unsure when I make big changes like this, but I have to say that once it was done, I was ecstatically happy I’d gone ahead with it. I felt as though I’d lost excess baggage; my work space felt a thousand pounds lighter, and it was a lot more cheerful.

Also, it was way more functional. And my desk setup is much more ergonomic.

The new setup emphasized that there’s more to my life than work. I’m not my work; I matter too. In addition, the internet no longer dominates my life. My existence has a great deal more balance.

I replaced my computer desk and writing desk with a smaller computer desk, and I added a nice comfy chair where I’ll write, relax, think, rest. I lost some storage areas, but I gained a lot more than I lost with this reorganization. I still had plenty of room for books and my journal collection near the comfy chair, I shuffled a few pieces around, I cleaned and sorted my cupboard and the drawers where I keep office supplies… It took me almost two weeks to get it all done, but boy, I was happy with the results!

I’ll be taking new photos of my refuge soon, with my good camera, but in the meantime here are some snaps I took with my smart phone:

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I love my toys. Here’s a new girlfriend, exquisite candy doll Sweet Style Jade.

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And look what my awesome friend, versatile author and badass skateboarder Carl D. Smith, is going to send me! What a guy 🙂

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I’d been wanting one of those Pee-wee dolls so much. Wee!

The rest of winter and spring will be all about writing Tiki Hour and Unrepentant Tomboy. I’m keeping outside commitments to a minimum because I just can’t do it anymore. It wipes me out.

I will be seeing Professor Coyne at the end of February when he gives his talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa, though! Very exciting.

Otherwise, my days are tranquil, and I’m most grateful for this. Life hasn’t been this peaceful for me in a long time. I’m nurturing and safeguarding this tranquility. I’ve been more forceful about respecting my boundaries and establishing my priorities.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

my CFI talk

Kind readers,

when I gave my talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa last October, it was videotaped by the kind fellows at Atheism TV, and the video is now available. There was a problem with the sound, and since I speak softly, that’s not good, but the entire video has been captioned. There are many moments when you can hear me fairly well…

Here I am in action for you. I normally don’t do Q&As, so if you’ve ever wanted to see me stammering like hell doing one of these, now’s your big chance 😉

I ramble, I laugh, I wave my hands around.

In other news, life is ultra quiet. I’ve been wanting and needing to have it that way. I’m working on my books. I’m staying close to home. I’m grateful for autumn and the hint of winter we’ve been feeling in the air.

In other other news, I’ve begun collecting Wacky Packages trading cards.

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Booyah! This is very much in the vein of Unrepentant Tomboy.

I also got this Wacky Packages eraser. Hee.

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Oh, and I’m writing Tiki Hour with this fabulous pen here:

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So, there you go… Your latest dose of apostasy and fun.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

let’s pretend

Kind readers,

I’ve been puttering quietly these days. Things had been pretty intense since last May, and I think I ran out of steam finally. But I’ll be getting back to work on Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast before the month is over!

I gave a talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa last month, and it went very well. As usual, I was tense and stressed out before I began speaking, and very relieved after it was over.

Before the talk:

“Help.”

Here’s a picture Diane (the branch manager of CFI Ottawa) took of me after my talk. I was wearing a CFI cap, and I’d had a nice complimentary glass of rum. I was glowing 😉

Many people came to talk with me that evening, and they told me very kind, encouraging words. Diane told me that everyone had been “enraptured” by my talk, which, goodness, was most uplifting. One of those who were there (Joan), had this to say: “the messages were thought-provoking and the speaker has a beautiful gift for telling her life stories…”

So yes, it went well 🙂

I thought I’d speak at Skepticamp 15 next month, and had begun discussing this with the organizers, but then I decided against it. The conference focuses more around the topics of skepticism, critical thinking, and science, as opposed to secular humanism, and I felt awkward… Also, I felt exhausted. Drained and reclusive. But, the merch table will have copies of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard, and I’ll be attending the conference. I’m looking forward to all the interesting presentations.

I should be on Life After God at some point, but I’m not sure when. There was a matter of conflicting schedules, Ryan was ill, I had my talk… I’ll let you know if/when it happens.

Autumn is here. Best time of the year. Today, I wore my new green sweater. I love that thing.

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In other fun news, I’ve begun learning to play the ukulele. Here’s my uke! It’s happy!

I can play Yellow Submarine, You Are My Sunshine, the Banana Boat song, Don’t Worry Be Happy, and I’m currently mastering The Chipmunk Song (me, I want a hula hoop…).

More gloriously joyful news:

I’m still collecting toys like a big carefree kid. I recently fell in love with Ever After High dolls. So beautiful, with a 70s vibe to them… I can’t resist them.

Here’s my lovely Blondie Lockes with her Three Bears Lolita dress (it has small bowls of porridge on it <3):

I could stare at this doll for hours. I have three different versions of her, and she’s got a number of friends with her on that shelf now.

I’ll be sharing new photos of my refuge soon.

Rubber Clown Car’s latest album, Let’s Pretend, is my current “on repeat while driving” CD. It’s fan-freaking-tastic. It’s gritty and rock and roll, yet also smooth like the best 80s New Wave, and fun and poignant at the same time. How can you lose with songs like “Vampire Polo Hat”, “Laser Tattoo Removal”, and “My Kinda Weird”? And let’s not forget how beautiful and evocative the cover is (click on it to get your own copy!). It fully captures the spirit of the album. And that photo really speaks to me, I must say.

Let’s see, what else… How about a photo of my cat, Potion?

I think I’ll be going to Chapters tomorrow to get myself a holiday sweater wearing Monchhichi.

Tralala!

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

today’s secret word is…

Kind readers,

next week, I’ll be interviewed by Ryan Bell for his podcast Life After God! I’m honored and excited.

A few days later, I’ll be giving my talk at the Center For Inquiry in Ottawa.

*breathing in a bag*

A kind person at CFI, Pat, created this wonderful banner:

I’m grateful to everyone at CFI for this opportunity (especially Diane Bruce), and I’ll be doing my best to give an interesting and inspiring talk! If you’re in the area and would like to hear me speak, do drop by. I’ll be signing copies of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard as well.

In other news, I finally got around to cosplaying Pee-wee Herman last week. Naturally, I took some photos. Here are a few of them for your amusement 🙂

I have more secret words in store, and I plan to write a series of blog posts that will center around each of them.

I’ll have to take new photos of my office soon too—I’ve been moving a few things around to accommodate my ever growing collection of toys!

I got this on eBay yesterday… It was one of my very favorite toys when I was a kid. A picnic basket! Bears! What’s not to love?

And I’ll be making room for this sweet and delicious looking ode to cake and fun come Festivus!

It pushes all of my happy buttons. I adore those Lalaloopsy toys… The big dolls, the Littles, the Minis, the Tinies, the houses… I can’t get enough of the darn things.

And today, I learned that Shopkins is about to release little dolls. Be still my beating heart.

Food-themed little dolls—yes please!

For some reason, I enjoy cosplaying Pee-wee. Imagine that! 😉

I do plan on cosplaying Professor Snape again this fall (hopefully). I ordered a wig that has the messy, curly, flouncy style he had in Deathly Hallows 2, and I’ll be wearing this on top of my head:

The photos will capture the essence of my upcoming book of essays, Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human. They’ll celebrate the dignity and majesty of being human, simply human. I will be bringing the wig, crown and robes with me to Leviosa, along with my Pee-wee outfit, and my Silverheart costume.

There’s so much in store for 2016! Join me for the wild ride.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

interviews and news, news, news

Kind readers,

a week after the Non-Conference, I was waylaid by a rather nasty stomach virus. I wasn’t too surprised (well, sort of), considering I’d been juggling a number of things and feeling exhausted.

Fortunately, I managed to have a lovely time with Sean McGuire earlier that day! If you’d like to hear the interview—episode 7 of My Secret Atheist Podcast—click on the image below:

It was a blast, chatting with Sean (@GodlessPoutine on Twitter), who’s a wonderful interviewer. We talked about all sorts of things, such as whether or not I really do have a hula girl on my dashboard, and he asked me about my upcoming book. He even concluded the episode with terrifically cheesy Tiki music, and needless to say, this went straight to my heart. Cocktails in Space for the win!

My next podcast interview will take place this week: I’ll be on Ryan Bell’s Life After God.

And, it’s official: I’ll be speaking at the Center for Inquiry in Ottawa on the evening of October 4th.

In other magnificent news, There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard is now on the Book Club forum at Atheist Republic:

I’m extremely grateful to Armin Navabi for his kindness and support. Speaking of Armin, he recently asked me to “consider publishing [your] next book with Atheist Republic!” After I recovered from my minor heart attack, I sent him a few questions, and in his reply, he told me that he was “very excited about this book” (Atheist Tiki Hour), and he put me in touch with the person who’s in charge of his publication team. I was quite overwhelmed and in a daze… I could have wept.

This will be the first time I have a promotional team. It boggles my mind. By publishing with them I’ll be contributing to Armin’s important work, which is yet another reason I immediately agreed to have the Atheist Republic logo on the cover of my book.

So, well, unless the book is terrible (which I’m hoping is probably somewhat unlikely), Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast will be published with Atheist Republic. And I will be drinking champagne when this happens. I’m devoting the coming months to the book; I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year.

In other news, I submitted two fifty minute lectures (I may have gone out of my mind) for Leviosa, and both have been accepted. See you in Las Vegas next summer, eh?

Leviosa lecture #1—”From Professor Snape to Kristopher Silverheart: An Exploration of Genderqueerness and Bi-Romantic Asexuality in Original Fiction”

In this presentation, Logospilgrim will discuss how Professor Snape was a source of inspiration for her character Kristopher Silverheart, the relentlessly driven protagonist in her Outlaw series. She will talk about Silverheart’s genderqueerness and delve into the deeply sensual, asexual relationship between Kristopher and her mysterious partner, Heaven. Logospilgrim will also share how writing this story helped her understand and celebrate her own asexual, bi-romantic, and genderqueer identity.

Leviosa lecture #2—”No Redemption Required: Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human”

In this presentation, Logospilgrim will argue that Professor Snape doesn’t need to be “redeemed” from anything, certainly not in the sense of having to “be delivered from sin or spiritual death.” Drawing from her own life changes and operating from a secular humanist perspective, she’ll demonstrate how Snape’s example was the source of a another transformative personal discovery: it’s all right to be human. Not “just” human, but human, period. No superhuman qualities are necessary.

Remember: drinking and Pee-wee Herman cosplay at Frankie’s Tiki Room, too. So come to Leviosa!

Let’s see, what else… Ah yes, I’ve registered for MISTI-Con 2017.

Also, I need to add some nice, kitschy tropical ties to my collection. Call me the Joyful Tiki Atheist 😉

And of course, I’m still happily collecting toys.

For someone who doesn’t cook much, I absolutely can’t resist food related toys!

Okay. Time to gad about and rest a bit.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

summertime fun

Kind readers,

we’re having a heatwave over here in southern Quebec… I’ve been feeling sleepy all weekend.

Almost only one month left until the Non-Conference. This is going to be an excellent event, I just know it. So many people I can’t wait to meet. I’ll have a table with fifty copies of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard on hand, which should be more than enough, I imagine.

The support my book has received continues to leave me at a loss for words. People have had very kind words for my recent appearance on the Godless Spellchecker podcast, and my guest blog post on My Secret Atheist Blog.

I could share more! It’s all been profoundly encouraging. To all who’ve had uplifting words for me, and who’ve been reading Hula Girl and sharing their impressions with others: I truly can’t thank you enough ♥

I’ll be giving talks at the Center For Inquiry this autumn, in Ottawa and Toronto. It’s with immense joy that I can now say I’m a card carrying member:

The notion that I’ll be giving said talks makes my heart race a little, but I’ll be okay, I’m sure. I hope!

I’ll be doing some fun cosplaying in the very near future to thank everyone for their kindness… Here’s a clue.

Get ready for joyful silliness.

In the meantime, here are some treats for you.

Happiness is chocolate ice cream mugs and scented candy-shaped pens, don’t you think? 🙂

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor