Back Again!

“There is,” we have been reading at Morning Prayer this week, “a time to speak and a time to keep silent.” May was my time to keep silent as blogger underwent major revisions and my web site disappeared. All those issues – BP’s gulf war, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s foolish attempt to impose order on an inherently disorderly church, two trips to Portland, Maine, the flow of asparagus from the garden – uncommented on, leaving the world without benefit of my wisdom. But now my son-in-law in California has put my site together again and I’m back in business.

Where to begin? Where were we?

Well, this web site is first and foremost about my writing, so let me bring you up to date:

1) American to the Backbone, the Life and Times of James W. C. Pennington, is in the hands of the publisher (Pegasus Books USA) after well over three years of work and is due to appear to an eagerly waiting public in the early summer of 2011. Meanwhile, I will tantalize you from time to time with intriguing references.

2) The Vestry Handbook, my first published work, still racking up sales of 3-4,000 a year after almost twenty years,, is due for a third edition and that work is underway. Do you know that the second edition, published in the year 2000, makes no reference to web sites, cell phones, or Facebook? That’s why we need a third edition. I have used Facebook to solicit suggestions for changes and have had some good responses. More would be welcome.

3) Welcome to Christianity. Years ago I was asked to write Welcome to the Episcopal Church and Welcome to Sunday. They also rack up gratifying sales annually. The series now includes, by other authors, Welcome to Spirituality, Welcome to the Bible, and others. I have proposed that we go back and begin at the beginning with Welcome to Christianity and I await word from Church Publishing’s Publications Committee. Meanwhile, I’ve begun writing anyway. I’ve been wanting to write this book for years and will do so whether anyone wants it or not.

4) The Beowulf Trilogy. Having written the first ever sequel to Beowulf, Beyond Beowulf, I have been working on a “paraquel.” It’s not a sequel but a parallel to Beyond Beowulf from the viewpoint of Wiglaf’s wife. This would be grouped with my own translation of Beowulf to make the Trilogy. I’m two-thirds done but have been preoccupied with Pennington and unable to figure out how to end it in a way that prevents any further sequels or paraquels. It would also be very motivating if an impatient public were to besiege my new publisher with demands for the whole enchilada.

That’s probably enough for now. There are authors out there who assemble teams of writers to put their thoughts into words, but first you have to make the money to pay them by publishing a blockbuster and I’m not into blockbusters.

Besides, there’s the weekly sermon to worry about – and that may show up on my new blog before much longer. Stay tuned!

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