After I retired in July 2017, several friends urged me to write a book. I can’t, I told them. My attention span ends at 1200 words—the average length of my sermons. So I can’t write a book.
Well, no one actually writes a book, I was told. You write a chapter, then another, and soon you have a book.
And that got me thinking: If that’s the case, I already have those chapters.
So two years ago I published my first book, Let Love Arise. It’s a collection of 40 short essays first published in the Good News Paper over a period of 20 years.
The first printing sold out within a month. The second and third printing also sold out. Three hundred copies total. It was the best selling book in Shepherdstown in 2019. In fact, it outsold the Bible. Although it must be said: The Bible has never sold well in Shepherdstown!
Still, it got me thinking: Maybe my book could replace the Gideon Bible in motels and hotels across America.
Imagine guests reclining on their bed, opening the nightstand drawer, expecting Gideon’s Bible but finding Let Love Arise. Imagine how curious they would be. Imagine them falling asleep, smiling, with my soothing book on their chest.
No hell beneath them, above them only sky.
Well, why not? So I imagined it. I figured Gideon’s Bible had had a good run but had worn out its welcome. My book would replace it.
It didn’t. It hasn’t. It won’t.
But I haven’t given up. Maybe my new book—80 Dispatches from the Devil’s Domain—will do the trick.
What do you think?
Okay, maybe leave Gideon’s Bible in the drawer and just add mine. Let’s give people a bedtime choice. After all, when a priest asked Voltaire on his death bed to renounce the Devil, he replied: This is no time to be making enemies.
My book gives people a chance to cover all bases.
Anyway, for now you won’t find my new book at the Holiday Inn, the Comfort Inn, or the Red Roof Inn. The official launch and signing event is Sunday, June 13, but you can order in advance from Four Seasons Books or wherever fine books are sold.
Be sure to send a copy to your friends. Ol’ Scratch would be happy.
After all, this is no time to be making enemies.
Rocky Raccoon by the Beatles
See Paula’s photo “Redbud Sunset” on the home page. Posted May 9.