Beginnings & Endings: New Book, Collaborative Journalism Series, and Saying Goodbye to 'Natural Wonderers' Blog

Time to dust off the old blog here and offer a few updates. 

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First off — for those of you who don't know — I'm writing a second book! ParentShift: A Guide to Raising Children Without Timeouts, Reward Charts & Other Old-Fashioned Gimmicks is a joint effort between me and my parenting gurus/friends, Linda and Ty Hatfield, of Parenting from the Heart. (Linda is a former elementary school teacher; Ty a former juvenile police officer.) Seven years ago I took a parenting seminar from them that completely changed my life; now, I'm getting to bring that seminar — and all of the Hatfields' incredible knowledge — to book form. We've been working very hard on ParentShift for the last year and a half, and we hope to have it in your hands next fall. 

As a side note, I'll soon be appearing in a PBS NewsHour/Facebook-produced series about unpopular opinions called "Let me Explain." I'll be giving my (highly unpopular!) views on timeouts and other punishments. (That's a picture from the day of the filming, above.) 

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Secondly, for the past five months, I've had the pleasure of being the project manager for the first series by the newly minted Long Beach Media Collaborative — the product of a journalism experiment initiated by the Long Beach Community Foundation last year. Backed by funding from the Knight Foundation, reporters and editors from the Press-Telegram, Long Beach Post. Grunion Gazette and Long Beach Business Journal have joined forces (for the first time ever!) to produce a series of stories exploring the city's "digital divide." The series, called Strengthening the Signal, grew out of a Census statistic showing that 16% of Long Beach residents still do not have access to the Internet at their homes. The series starts today, Oct. 24, and you can read all the stories as they come out across all platforms and at longbeachmc.org.

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Third, my company Brown Paper Press, just celebrated its third year! (Yay!) Our latest book, The Inheritance of Shame: A Memoir (about the six years the author spent in what amounted to a gay-conversion cult) continues to receive really heartfelt, touching reviews. It's not an easy read, especially for those with sensitive stomachs, but professional reviewers, as well as those leaving reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, use words like "deeply moving," "brave" and "unforgettable." So proud of the author, Peter Gajdics, who is as passionate as he is kind. I love working with him and am so lucky to have found him.

Although we don't have a new book coming out this fall or spring, we do try to be somewhat active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so please do come find me @BrownPaperPress if you'd like to stay in touch with what the press is up to.

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And, finally (and a bit wistfully), I must let you know that I'll be archiving my blog, Natural Wonderers (previously known as Relax, It's Just God). I took a hiatus a year ago, to work on ParentShift, and thought I might be ready to return by now. But after a, ahem, come-to-Jesus with my editor and friend Dale McGowan over at Patheos, I realized it was time to hang up my secular-parenting gloves and make room for other things. I'm still quite passionate about secular parenting — in fact, I recently was interviewed by Fatherly for a story on talking to kids about God, which should be coming out soon — but I do think five years of blogging gave me a chance to say most of what I wanted to get out there. So. That's that.

Thank you all, again, for all your support.