This is the book I’ve been working on.
It’ll be done by the end of next week. Then, a little proofreading, a little editing, and I’ll be sending it to my editor at Atheist Republic.
With any luck, they won’t think it’s garbage. If they don’t, this will be the first time I get major PR assistance from a publisher.
Which will be very nice, jeez, because I am one tired monkey.
Atheist Tiki Hour will be my second secular/atheist/humanist book, and I’m extremely happy about that.
My first two books of essays about Professor Snape, Bring Forth the Best Robes: A Spiritual Understanding of Severus Snape (2008) and The Flawed Master: Lessons Professor Snape Taught Me (2009), were intensely religious books, though written from a mystical, Eastern Orthodox perspective. The third one, entitled The Severus Snape Paradigm: Outcast, Rebel, Hero (2012), was even more mystical; I wrote that one after I left Orthodoxy. And then I wrote Blessed: How to Be a Joyful Mystic (2013). People who think I don’t know anything about religion can feel quite free to read those titles and draw their own conclusions.
It would take around two more years for me to free myself from religion, supernaturalism, and metaphysics altogether, at which point I wrote There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life (2015).
This book was my victory. A celebration of the freedom that came after a lifetime of struggle.
In Atheist Tiki Hour, I share stories that aren’t in There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard, and I write about things like post-traumatic stress disorder and the deep impact this had on my experiences with religion.
I write about how my relation with the Christian god and his various denominations was an abusive relationship that had its roots in my traumatic personal history. I don’t pull any punches in Atheist Tiki Hour: religion was my abuser.
But you know, I don’t wish I could go back in time and change things, because it would be pointless. That’s how it happened, and all the wishing in the world won’t alter the past. I prefer to see my experiences as useful—when I write about this stuff, I know precisely what I’m talking about, and sharing it has helped others going through similar things and enlightened others who’ve no idea what it’s like.
At any rate, I’m too busy being grateful for where I am at this point in my life. I’m too busy enjoying life to wish my past had been somehow different.
Sometimes you hear people say, “If I’d been told this or that, if I’d been confronted, if I’d been exposed to the evidence, I would’ve walked away sooner”—no, you wouldn’t have. You would’ve stuck to your guns.
We only walk away when we’re good and ready. And even then, we drag our heels for a while.
But that’s okay, you know?
I spent years and years mercilessly berating myself, and I’m so over that.
Anyway, I’m also phenomenally grateful to everyone who encouraged me while I worked on my latest book. I went through so many transformations this past decade, and the past few years in particular, oboy… Some of it put me through the wringer like you wouldn’t believe. The support I’ve received means a great deal.