Finding God in Ordinary Time has been out for almost three weeks now. It truly is a dream come true. When I sat down in the cafeteria of St. Monica in Berwyn to sign books after my first event, I opened the cover, picked up my blue ballpoint pen, and thought, “This is my life now!” I have wanted to have a book in the world since before I could spell, and now it’s out there.
Where will it go? I’ve been delighted to see the Facebook posts of friends and former students around the country receiving their books in the mail. And my (modest) book tour will soon be bringing me to Arlington, VA, Wernersville PA, and even Morgantown WV, where I will have the pleasure of placing signed copies in the hands of people I meet out there.
But it’s “out there” in another way as well. Thanks in large part to the creative hustle of Ben Tanzer, (whom I’ve been calling my Marketing Guy but who might be more accurately be called my Champion), news of the book has reached niches I didn’t even know existed–places that are not part of the “Catholic world.”
It has always been my hope that Finding God would connect with people who didn’t already speak the language of faith. And that’s what I’m hearing from people like my friend George Allen, who had this to say:
Marketed astutely at least in part towards those “skeptical or weary of religion”–which is to say, right at devout agnostics just like yours truly!–the book is a brief-but-powerful series of essays about how the presence of the “divine” (including however those of us often compelled to put that word in quotes might define it) can be located and appreciated in everyday moments and challenges.
I am so grateful for George’s affirmation. But this latest round of publicity is reaching the eyeballs (and eardrums) of people who do not already know and love me. How will they respond? I may never know–though presumably book sales will tell.
Here are some of the intriguing places that word of my book has gone:
The Rumpus. This online magazine describes itself as ” a place where people come to be themselves through their writing, to tell their stories or speak their minds in the most artful and authentic way they know how.” They invited me to contribute an article to their weekly “What to Read When” feature, and on 10/5 published my “What to Read When You’ve Lost Your Spiritual Flashlight,” a curated list of books they call “a go-to list for refreshing, down-to-earth, spot-on spiritual reading.” This was so much fun to write, and it may give you some ideas for what to read next!
Hypertext Magazine. This “social justice teaching and publishing non-profit” invited me to contribute to their “One Question” feature, whereby an author gets to answer one question of his or her own choosing. Check out my answer to this question: Your stories are all from real life; which one are you most anxious about having “out there?”
This Podcast Will Change Your Life. Recorded live via Skype, my one-hour, unedited conversation with Ben Tanzer ranges all over the place, from how I organized my chapters to the current state of immigration in our country, all under the umbrella of “The Power of Stories.”
Spiritual Directors International. This vibrant association of more than six thousand individuals on six continents representing more than fifty spiritual traditions graciously accepted one of my chapters as a guest blog post. It’s the chapter where I get most explicit about the Ignatian grounding of my book: Finding God on the Oncology Floor.
Lancaster County Woman. Freelance writer Susan Beam interviewed me for a feature in the Health and Wellness section of this magazine, in anticipation of the weekend retreat that I am giving later this month, called Healing Encounters: A Retreat for Everyone in the Company of Contemporary and Biblical Women.
Speaking of which, it is not too late to sign up for that retreat, held October 19-21 at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in beautiful Wernersville, PA. We’ll be praying with all sorts of stories and leaning in to our own healing encounters. You can find out more and register here!
Thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word, within communities of faith and well beyond them. I appreciate all forwards, comments, and shares–anything that gets the algorithms of search engine optimization whirring!
Oh wait, speaking of computer algorithms, this cracks me up . . . in mid-September, Amazon named Finding God in Ordinary Time its “#1 New Release in Religious Humor.” I’m sorry; what?!? While I do describe the writing as “surprisingly funny,” this is no book of Jesus knock-knock jokes, people. Let’s hope it’s true what they say: there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
May your ordinary days be extraordinarily blessed . . . and touched with a bit of divine humor!