Changing “Stories”

My new URL for my blog feed is now at a Facebook Page address instead of my personal account. To join, please use this address instead:

It was the right thing to do. While it looks like I have less followers than I did before, I get a whole bunch more analysis than I did before in terms of how many people my posts reach. On paper (or on web site) it looks like I have a whole bunch less followers than I did, because it’s counting how many people are joining the page instead of all my personal followers, but in the cost/benefit analysis, it pays off in spades. Now I have a true picture of how many people are following my writing instead of looking at my own feed. It scared the hell out of me at first, because I was all like, “I only have 75 followers now?” And then I realized that it was taking my followers based on how many people were subscribed to the page instead of me and I felt all better. 🙂

If you haven’t had a chance to like my page so that it appears in your own Facebook feed, please do. It would be fun to actually build a community (obscure inside joke that goes all the way back to Con Law with Jill and Lindsay) based on my writing and how people respond to it, as well as using the page itself for Fanagan interaction. If you’re interested, I also have Fanagan t-shirts on CafePress. Let me know if you want one in the comments- for some reason, CafePress is being a little bitch and not loading correctly at the moment.

My favorite thing that I’ve made is a yellow messenger back that says “F*ck Comic Sans” in Comic Sans to be hipster ironic. Yes, I just said that.

It would rock my world if my international fans sign up, because I love that I am often more popular in Great Britain than I am here in the US. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Doctor Who fan and connected by an umbilical cord to the BBC, but who knows? I also have a big following in Australia, which is one of my favorite things on earth because I figure a country made from convicts is my kind of audience.

There’s so much I want to do with my Facebook Page. I want it to start the dialogue about so many things. I’m interested in politics, religion, movies, books (especially books), food, theology… you name it, and I probably have something to say about it. Plus, I’m not interested in what I think nearly as much as I am interested in what you think. The page is specifically designed for us to gather, because as I have said before, this is just as much your web site as it is mine. The comments mean so much more to me than my own writing sometimes, because I cannot always believe that God can hear my prayers and thoughts, but I can hang my hat on the fact that you do.

Religion is a spectrum, and I waffle all the time as to whether God is really there, and I would not be a good human being or pastor if I didn’t admit that up front. What rescues my faith week after week is going to church and FEELING the presence as we all gather together, and that something HAPPENS in the Eucharist. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, it is an ablution that I do not get anywhere else…. plus the feeling that every week, I am forgiven for the darkness that resides inside me, and I know that I am being brought into the light, one prayer and one piece of bread at the same time.

In terms of laughing at the Eucharist, I always go back to Bless Me, Ultima by Isabel Allende. The main character, a boy child, is Catholic. Catholics believe in an idea called transubstantiation, which is the idea that when you put the bread in your mouth, it literally becomes the body of Christ…. and the little boy wonders what to do when Christ gets stuck to the roof of his mouth. The first time I read that line, I nearly fell off the couch laughing.

In the UCC, we take communion metaphorically in remembrance of Jesus, but it is no less powerful. The only thing I don’t like is that there is not a kneeling rail. There is something comforting about it, even though I cannot put my finger on what it is. I know for sure that when my faith in God wavers (wafers?), it is the Eucharist that brings me back around, because even if I am not particularly faithful that week, I can show up and do the ritual. The ritual is the cleansing part of the service that makes me realize just how much the presence of God is in the room…. a never-ending loop that waffles (Leggo my Eggo, bitch).

I want people to take this journey with me, to open the dialogue between everyone from atheists to evangelicals. If I am called to be Christ in the world (like all Christians are), my job is to bridge gaps, not create them. With every Amazon gift certificate I’ve been given (it was my birthday on Sept. 10th), I have bought books that I will need as I walk my path of faith. This week it was some of the works of William Barclay, a Glaswegian professor of Biblical criticism that literally feeds my soul. Best. Presbyterian. Ever. I’ve also gotten copies of everything Nadia Bolz-Weber has written, except for her newest one- Salvation on the Small Screen?

In terms of the Barclay books, I accidentally ordered Vol. II instead of Volume I with, I think, Matthew. I just have to hope that if there is a passage on Matthew in the Revised Common Lectionary that it’s toward the back. 🙂 I also made it a point of ordering both volumes of John, because here’s the skinny on that. Mark, Matthew, and Luke are called the “synoptik” gospels, a Greek word meaning “seen together.” They are all taken from a source document that theologians call “Q.” John is a completely different animal, the only one called the gnostic gospel. It’s not necessarily  harder to understand, but since it stands alone, it meant more to me to have those two first.

By the time I finished buying those, I had about three dollars left, which I spent on the second book in a series that Meg recommended to me called The Soulkeepers Series, by an author named G. P. Ching. I haven’t finished the first one yet, but it is so interesting that I definitely want to know what happens. No spoilers. I hate that. Anyway, it’s science fiction, which I love as long as it starts in reality and delves deeper into the supernatural. Any book that starts out in fantasy is one where I have trouble keeping everyone’s names straight. My favorite science fiction writer is Michael Chrichton, and I am pissed off that he’s dead. In fact, I am angry that a lot of people are dead and stupid people live. For instance, I would do just about anything to bring David Halberstam and Christopher Hitchens back. You’d think I wouldn’t love Hitchens, but I do. I have been addicted to him since I started reading Vanity Fair. Speaking of Vanity Fair, there will never be another writer like Dominic Dunne, the diarist that covered the criminal trials of the “rich and the very, very rich.” I would trade him for both Donald Trump and Sarah Palin put together, but don’t tell them I said that. It just seems rude.

So, I hope I am making a play to sound interesting enough to follow. We shall see. I love “all y’all” and want to see us grow beyond me talking about myself… because I’m hilarious AND tired of hearing my own voice at the same time.

Welcome to “Stories.” We’ll leave the light on for ya.


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