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.

athcvrmd

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.

ARcitizen

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

Mike Gorman

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):

lppeachyshirt1

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:

labbitkckr

I hope you’re all having a beautiful weekend.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

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2016: the year ahead

Kind readers,

2016 is here!

2015 was good, and this year will be good also. I’m easy to please.

So, what’s going on?

Earlier this week, I had another fun-filled chat with Sean McGuire, a.k.a. GodlessPoutine on Twitter. He’s begun a smooth, merry new podcast, Share a Slice with Sean.

Click on the image below to listen to the episode:

slicewseantikiep

I love chatting with Sean, and we’ll be doing this again in the near future.

Now then… 2016.

Due to exhaustion and the low Canadian dollar, I’ve decided that I won’t be going to Leviosa in Las Vegas this summer. I’ve thought a lot about the trip and everything it would involve these past few weeks, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just too much. Last year, I felt certain I could do this, but as the months went by and July 2016 crept closer, I started to realize that my growing ambivalence meant that hey, maybe I didn’t want to do this after all. And maybe this was okay.

I was torn, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, and it’s never easy for me to ignore the inner voice that says I’m not doing enough, but the time had come to give my needs precedence. Although there were many good reasons to go to the convention, the reasons not to go were increasing for me.

I started thinking about what I really want… What I prefer… About what makes me happy. And healthy. Self-respect and self-acceptance are concepts I have truly begun to embrace—at last.

These large conventions and long journeys are no longer in the cards for me, I’d say. Each time I thought about the convention, my anxiety levels kept rising, so much so that I was having trouble sleeping at night. In the past, I would have pushed myself anyway, I would have spread myself thin (usually to the point of illness), but I’m no longer willing to do this.

I also won’t be going to the Non-Conference. The mere notion of driving on the 401 through Toronto again, the very idea of an even longer, more draining journey… I’m afraid not.

I do want to have my Quietus meetup this autumn, though; that will be possible. And I will be going to MISTI-Con 2017. I love going to New Hampshire—it’s a nice, tranquil drive, it’s not too far away—and MISTI is a smaller gathering that takes place in a now quite familiar, beloved location. That, I will most happily do.

The time has come for me to treat myself with a bit more consideration and tenderness. I was exhausted when I went to MISTI last year; I found it almost impossible to sleep during the convention, the weather was windy and cold, and I was more worn out than at any previous conventions I’d attended in New Hampshire. If I rest more this year, in 2017 I’ll have a much better convention.

So this year, I’ll be staying close to my home base. I’ll write. I’ll play my ukulele.

This year, I’ll be working on Atheist Tiki Hour: Your Guide to a Secular Blast, The Rollicking Adventures of an Unrepentant Tomboy (the first in a series of fun, silly, and uplifting diary style books), and Severus Snape and the Art of Being Human (essays written from a secular humanist perspective; a very personal book). And, with any luck, I might even be able to write the first draft of the second book in my Outlaw series before the year is over!

I feel good about all of my decisions, and about my projects. Last year at this time, I was going through my second bout of shingles in six years, so yeah… I’ve got to slow down and take better care of myself.

On the whole, I’ve been feeling much less stressed.

In other news, my dear friend Carl has released a terrific new issue of his high quality, innovative comic, Be Careful What You Wish For.

BWYWF2

Go here to get your own copy: Big Cartel

And I recently acquired a beautiful octopus necklace made by a talented friend of mine.

octopusnl

Go here to take a look at all her gorgeous, finely-crafted jewelry: Laurel Moon

I’ve got new photos of my personal hideaway for you, too! Right here.

That’s it for now… Time to putter quietly. Winter arrived suddenly and brutally here in southern Quebec, and boy, that’s been tiring as heck. We’re supposed to have an early spring, though… I for one hope so!

I also hope you’ll all have a wonderful year. I wish you every good thing under the sun and thank you, as ever, for your affection, friendship, and support 🙂

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

book reviews and therapeutic toy collecting

Kind readers,

it’s been fantastically hot and humid here. Whew. Around 107º today. Fortunately, the weather will be more comfortable in the days to come.

The Non-Conference is only about three weeks away!! *breathing in a bag*

More people have been sharing very kind words about Hula Girl, such as author Joshua Kelley. I was so happy he enjoyed the book.

A new edition of his book will be available in December, and I’m really looking forward to adding it to my library.

More kind words from wonderful people. I’m tremendously grateful when people share things like this! Thank you so, so much, everyone.

Hula Girl now has an “editorial reviews” section on Amazon! Deep gratitude to Sean McGuire (@GodlessPoutine, My Secret Atheist Blog), Stephen Knight (The Godless Spellchecker podcast), and Joshua Kelly for such generous support. I’ll never forget their kindness, and enthusiasm for my work.

Sean also has a podcast now!

In other news, I’ve been devoting more time to self-care lately. More so than I have in a long time. It was time 😉 In all seriousness, it’s been good for me. If I have too much going on at once, I either break down or melt down, and one of the things I need most is a fair amount of tranquility. I need to be by myself a lot. I’ve so often tried to split myself into a thousand pieces, especially in the past (whatever I did, it was never good enough, it was never enough), and these days, I refuse to do that. I can’t cope with an overloaded schedule, too much activity. Taking care of my home (which is my refuge), writing, seeing a loved one now and then… That’s it. That’s what I can handle and remain healthy and serene. One or two conventions a year, that’s the extent of how regularly I’m able to attend social events like that. I enjoy them greatly, but then, I’m absolutely wiped out. These days, I’ve been reminding myself that I’ve managed to get shingles twice so far, and I’m only forty-six.

The more I’ve been committed to low-commotion levels, the more peaceful and relaxed I’ve been feeling. This past month has been particularly good. I’ve been honoring who I am. I’ve had to learn to respect my own humanity (if you’ve read Hula Girl, you’ll probably better understand why this has been a life-long struggle for me).

All of this is giving me much food for thought as I begin to write Atheist Tiki Hour! That book will truly be a celebration of life.

Speaking of celebration, I’ll be doing some happy Pee-wee cosplay soon. My suit has arrived, and it’s terrific. I’m still waiting for the white shoes. The cosplay photos will inspire relevant, inspirational blogging as well; you’ll see what I mean…

Tomorrow: there will be corn dogs and fries for lunch (at a cabane à patates frites, the best possible place for such delicacies), I’ll acquire a Mr. Potato Head, a tea set, and I’ll write.

Toy collecting has been a vital part of my healing from religion, actually. I will be writing about this in more detail.

This is the tea set I’ve got my eyes on (they’re holding it for me at Mrs Tiggy Winkle’s, one of my very favorite happy places): a tin cupcake tea set! How could one go wrong?

And this is on its way to me. Here’s the thing: I love eggs. I’ve always had a thing for eggs. I don’t know why, there just so happy! And delicious. Next spring, I plan to celebrate Eggster.

Note: the chicks peep when you press down on them.

Recently, I played Candy Land with one of my dolls (I adored that game when I was a kid), and it was even more fun than I’d anticipated. I was surprised by how much fun I was having. Plain, silly, frivolous fun. I felt bad when the doll lost the first game, but she won the second, so it was all good.

I hope with all my heart that you’re all having a beautiful summer!

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

portraits and reviews

Kind readers,

the other day, I took some new author photos… Including ink photos.

My name is Logospilgrim, and I write books 😉 Also, I love ties and tattoos.

“Personne n’a de comptes à me rendre,

et je n’ai de comptes à rendre à personne.”

~ Capitaine Albator

Allow me to share some recent reviews of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard:

I’m extremely grateful for all the kind words people have shared about the book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, everyone! I couldn’t do it without you.

Today, Sean McGuire, a.k.a. @GodlessPoutine, posted a wonderful review of Hula Girl on his blog, My Secret Atheist Blog. I couldn’t help but gasp when I saw the link on my Twitter feed this morning.

To read the review, please go here: http://www.mysecretatheistblog.com/2015/06/theres-hula-girl-on-my-dashboard-how-i.html

Thank you so much, Sean, for your kindness and support. It means more than I can say.

Many more interesting and exciting things to come this summer! So much so I think I need to rest right now 😉

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor

MISTI-Con, Silverheart and Heaven, Hula Girl, Tiki

Kind readers,

well, MISTI-Con 2015 is over, and what a wonderful convention it was! I was pretty exhausted that weekend, and I’m still recovering I think, but nevertheless I’m already looking forward to MISTI-Con 2017.

Here’s the table where I did my book signing… That’s beautiful lake Winnipesaukee behind the tent.

And here I was, dressed in my stunning Kristopher Silverheart costume, with dear fellow author C.A. Allen who was cosplaying Silverheart’s beloved companion, Heaven. We were rehearsing our Costuming Showcase kiss.

Theirs is a passionate love story. A story about freedom and hope. About mavericks and outcasts who battle against religious oppression.

Here you can see the costume in more detail. My friend Nezumi is an extraordinary seamstress.

Not long before I gave my lecture (which went well, I’m told)…

In other news, There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard is now available on Nook, as well as iTunes and Kobo. Kindle should be next soon, I hope! You can also get the e-Book here.

And here are more kind words about Hula Girl, courtesy of Tweet Ones!

Thank you so much, Letha and Sean! Sean will be writing a review of Hula Girl on My Secret Atheist Blog soon. And I’m about to write a guest post for him—it’s very exciting, and it’s an honor 🙂 I’ll be touching on issues around atheism and gender identity.

And Godless Mom is looking forward to reading Hula Girl too! This gave me so much joy.

If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, please feel free to share a few words about it on Amazon! And if the book helped you or encouraged you, please tell your friends—it would mean a lot. This is how more people will find out about Hula Girl—I’m small fry—and what it contains may encourage them too.

Right now, I’ve got my sights set on The Non-Conference in August. I can’t wait to attend this event! And I’ll have a table there, too. Also, I’ll be spending June and July working on my next book, Atheist Tiki Hour.

I’ve got the appropriate beverage mugs all ready to go:

Again, deep gratitude to all who are supporting and encouraging me. Many people have been telling me how much There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life has touched, inspired, and comforted them, and this gives me the strength to keep writing, to keep sharing my heart and experiences, to reach out to those who have been wounded by religious dogma and who are looking for another worldview and way of life. Once, I thought I was alone; I want them to know they’re not alone.

Atheist Tiki Hour will be about life beyond religion.

It’s good.

Your devoted
Logospilgrim, the quiet professor