Getting ‘A Godless Fundamentalist’ Published


puplishing

by John Ellis

Getting a book published is not easy, nor should it be. As readers, we assume that the gate-keepers (the publishers) are doing a good job of vetting the manuscripts that eventually are turned into books and then marketed to us. The publishing industry does not owe aspiring authors an ear much less a book deal. Their responsibilities are pointed towards the readers, their employees, and their employers. Because I realize that, I do not underestimate the privilege of having my book read and considered by two publishing houses. It’s rare to get a manuscript before a publication committee. However, my appreciation for the process doesn’t mean that I’m immune to the struggles and discouragements of the whole thing.

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A Godless Fundamentalist: Introduction

abandonded church

by John Ellis

In 1994, Douglas Coupland, the voice of Gen X, published Life after God. A collection of short stories, the book gave voice to the belief that my generation was “the first generation raised without God.”

Beyond just seeing the release of one of Gen X’s seminal works of art, 1994 was notable in my life for seeing me graduate from high school. And while it’s true that the world around me was busy erasing God, the aisle I marched down to receive my diploma led to a platform from which I had been force-fed God for years.

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6th Grade Terrorists (or, What Happens When Heathens Take Control at a Christian School)


goldfish-bowl-small

by John Ellis

Spelling is not a forte of mine. As a writer, red squiggly lines are my friend. Words like “Wednesday,” “indubitably,” and “cornucopia” are beyond my ability to remember how to spell correctly. One word I’ll never misspell, though, is obedience. The spelling of that word was drilled into me via multiple performances at church and school of the Patch the Pirate song titled “Obedience.”

The chorus includes a chant of the word’s spelling –  “O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E” – followed by the lyrics, “obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.” Is the song wrong? No. Was it used as part of a larger program of a Christian version of B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism? Sort of. Enough to be problematic, but not so much as to stray into heresy.

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The Final Post (Maybe) on A Day In His Court


parting is such sweet sorrow

by John Ellis

The time has finally arrived for me to really say goodbye (maybe) to A Day In His Court. It’s been a good run. It’s been a fun run that has also taught me a lot about writing. But I won’t rehash what I’ve already written in A Goodbye to A Day In His Court. Instead, with this final (maybe) post, I want to point you in the direction of where I’m now at.

Over the last couple of months, with the advice and help of friends, past theatre colleagues, and, most importantly, my incredibly supportive and beautiful wife, I’ve been working to restart my dormant theatre career. This revelation, of course, while probably not be a complete revelation to most and will most likely raise more questions than I will answer here in this final (maybe) post on A Day In His Court.

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Happy 13th Birthday to My Daughter


infinity 13th bday post

by John Ellis

Thirteen years ago, on this day, our daughter was born. The day before Infinity was born, Greenville, SC suffered a severe ice storm, and most of the community was without power. The hospital let us stay until power had been restored to our apartment.

I’ll never forgot strapping the car seat containing this tiny, new person with curious eyes that were far more alert than I thought a newborn’s eyes should be into the backseat of our car. We were responsible for her, and, in that moment, I realized how little control I had over the world around me. Sure, I could manage my own driving, making sure my hands were at ten-and-two, looking both ways before venturing into intersections, constantly checking my mirrors and blind spots, and driving just below the speed limit. The other drivers, though, were all incompetent idiots that day, and it’s a wonder I didn’t have a heart attack or stroke as I desperately strove to get our precious package safely home.

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Alarm Clocks, Skinned Knees, and My Mom’s Magic


band-aid-on-knee

by John Ellis

My mom possessed some sort of secret magic. Through some sort of wizardry, she made herself indispensable to me when I was a child. At the time, I believed myself to be fierce and independent. Preparing to battle invading commie armies, daydreaming about outwitting kidnappers, and plotting ways to capture dangerous wild animals, I didn’t need my mother I would scoff to myself. Only babies and wimps need their mom.

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