Friday, October 30, 2009

The Traditional Airport Post: On the Way to Ohio

Three things worth noting.

1) Apparently it was not a fluke last time I traveled that soldiers in uniform don't have to take their boots off. I saw another guy do it today. The screener looked at his boots, said, "Thank you for your service" and passed him through. Question: Does it make good military sense to have shoes that are so hard to take off? What if you need to take them off all of a sudden? I know what you are thinking: why would a soldier need to take their boots off? Perhaps if they run out of bullets they would like to throw them at the enemy's head. I bet you never thought of that.

2) Some guy pulled a screener aside and said, "I have prostate cancer." The screener said, "In that case you have two choices --" but then I couldn't hear the rest. I didn't know they did that kind of screening at the airport. Nice.

3) I don't know what the lady sitting next to me did, or who would care at 5:21 in the morning, but apparently when she gets home tonight she will take care of whoever is mad by taking the pictures and sending them off to someone's work e-mail. It's all her fault, apparently. And now she is having a bad day. Poor lady.

Okay, kids, time to board. I'm on my way to speak at a retreat in Ohio. I'll be back.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun Works

Saw this on zoecarnate and am shamelessly lifting it for BHR:



I am a big believer in fun theory, as it turns out. This is why when I am loading the dishwasher I pretend it is basketball. I stand about eight feet back and I say, "CAN MIKALATOS GET THIS DISH TO LAND PERFECTLY IN THE BOTTOM RACK? HE SHOOTS! HE -- uh oh." And then after I clean it up I try again! Wheeeeee!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday: Astronaut Jesus


This Jesus doll is made by an Argentinian design company and it's sold out in every color.  Who buys these? 

If you have one of these I expect you to admit it RIGHT NOW.  And to send a picture of where you keep it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why are clouds different colors?


One of the great things about children is that you realize that there are all sorts of questions in life that you've never thought to ask... questions like, "Dad, why are some clouds black and other clouds white?"

I decided that instead of researching this question I would, instead, "Ask The Audience" to give me a final answer for my children.  Please vote in the poll below:

1) Clouds are different colors dependent on the color of their mother and father clouds.

2) God decides whether to make them white, black or something in-between so that they match their surroundings.

3) Evolution. Clouds that are best adapted to their environment are most likely to evade their natural predators, and thus are the most likely to procreate.  That's why purple, yellow and plaid clouds are relatively rare.

4) Optical thickness, either because of quantity or density of water droplets, prevents light from getting through the cloud.

5) If it's about to rain, the cloud is darker, genius.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

Last week Krista and I took the kids to see this movie:



To be honest neither of us were particularly excited to see it, but the kids had the day off school so we took them out that night since they didn't have to get up early the next day. The movie had ratbirds, a talking monkey, a police officer with a pretty major role played by Mr. T and... Bruce Campbell. Crazy. But it was actually a really good movie. I enjoyed it a lot and walked away amazed by how much you can get away with. Once you get the audience to accept the basic premise that a wacky scientist can turn water into food, well, you can get them to accept pretty much anything that comes after that. Yay for pseudo-science! Anyway, if you haven't seen this movie it's worth your time. I was laughing harder than the kids sometimes.

And, in the world of previews, where kids always ask "Dad, can we go see that movie?" I was forced to say NO WAY to Disney's Princess and the Frog. It's too bad because it's nice to see Disney doing some hand drawn animation again, but I just don't want my kids watching a movie where voodoo plays such a big role. Also the trailer simply wasn't funny. Too bad, Disney.

But that's okay, I told them we could go see this instead:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

You know you want to see this


This is the first official picture from next summer's A-Team movie. It looks awesome, right?  Yes, it does.  And do you notice who is playing Hannibal?  It's Liam Neeson.  Nice!  I love it when a plan comes together.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday:Hello Kitty Beer


Stretching the definition of "Wonderful" to the outer limits, please enjoy this crossover between cute kitty and liquified barley.

What do you think?  Is this WRONG or "Oh-so-right"?

P.S. When I can't find anything for Wonderful Wednesday I just type "Japan" into a search engine. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

O Books, Why Must You Torment Me?


This book arrived in my mail box last week...as regular readers of BHR know, Michael Connelly is one of the few authors who forces me to buy books in hard cover because I can't wait for the paperback.

In a twist of cruel fate I realize that if I read this book now I'll fall behind in my seminary class reading.  So this book sits beside my bed, mocking me.  Grr.  It might have to wait for Thanksgiving.

In other news, Gene Wolfe's new book has been moved up to March!  Yay!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Trip to Tyndale

At the end of this week I flew out to meet the book team for Imaginary Jesus at Tyndale.  I was picked up at the airport by my driver and he told me that he had another fare to pick up.  I said that was fine with me (as if I had some sort of say -- like to keep the illusion of power), so we zipped over to the international terminal and picked up a guy who had just gotten in from Frankfurt.  He offered me some french fries.  As we talked a bit more he told me that he had been in Frankfurt on business.  I asked his business and he told me that he worked for a publisher and had been at the Frankfurt book fair.  I asked what publisher and he said Tyndale.  Then we all (driver included) had a good laugh because that's why I was in the cab, after all. It turned out that this was actually Doug Knox, the publisher for the section of Tyndale which is printing my book.  So we had a half hour together on the ride home.

That night, Kevin O'Brien from Tyndale's Bible division came over and picked me up and we went back to his house where we talked with his lovely wife about hockey, writing, family, Bibles and cats with too many toes.  We had a good time, and it was super nice of Kevin to drive a half hour each way, twice just so we could hang out.

Then I tried to get a burger at WhiteCastle, but they were only taking people through the drive thru.

The next morning Sharon Leavitt picked me up and we made our way over to the Tyndale office.  I met the book team, which was cool because I feel like we're all already friends, so we were meeting again for the first time.  We went downstairs into "THE STUDIO" to do a little interview for Imaginary Jesus where I answered questions like, "Why do you hate Jane Austin so much?" and "If you had to fight a ninja or a pirate which would you choose?" and also "Can Matt inflate a long skinny balloon without a balloon pump?" (SPOILER: I can't).  These questions were all masterminded by Sarah Atkinson, who was trying to publicly humiliate me in an attempt to keep me from getting a big head because of all the nice endorsements coming in for the book.  It was a clever ploy and it remains to see if it is working. Luckily Nancy Clausen was along to make sure that my answers didn't come across too idiotically (meaning: too much like my real self!  Ha ha.)

Then off to a meeting with the excellent Publicity team (you guys are going to enjoy some of the fun ideas that will be coming your way soon), followed by a lunch from the local pizza place.  Chicago deep dish, of course!  As we ate and then afterward we had an enjoyable conversation that ranged from books, missions, my next project, the gospel, who-in-the-room-speaks-Chinese, how great my wife is, and more.  It was a lot of fun, and I think we all laughed pretty hard.

After that came the big discussion of whether to include a study guide in the back of Imaginary Jesus.  There has been a lot of back and forth on this topic -- whether a series of questions in the back will create a "value added" experience for readers, or whether it will make the story suddenly seem like it was a didactic lesson.  Feel free to leave your opinion on this topic in the comments, but I think we finally came to a resolution.

Then came the tour of Tyndale, which was fun, and I got to meet some more of the amazing staff that works there.  One of the things I was amazed by was the fact that the illustrated Bible I read when I was a kid, they had some of the original art up on the wall.  And then, too soon, it was time to leave.  I know that the Tyndale staff actually have jobs other than hanging out with me, but I would have been glad to spend one more day hanging out.  And I'm glad to say that all the people who have been my e-mail and twitter buddies are even more fun and enjoyable in person.

Last but not least I got in my car headed back for the airport and had a pretty deep spiritual conversation with my driver.  He's going through a rough patch and just starting out in a relationship with Jesus, so we talked about the gospel and what it means to experience God's peace in a broken world and then I had the privilege of praying for him.

WHEW!  So.  I should have a few more details to share about our time together this week and some of the things we decided, plans we made, and things we're kicking around.  There are a lot of fun things coming up in the future.

Thanks to all the Tyndale staff for the amazing hospitality, for your hard work and your friendship.  I hope to get a lot more time together in the future!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What a Church's commitment to international missions reveals...

Here's a quote from page 274 Stephen Neil's excellent A History of Christian Missions, which I'm reading for the class I'm taking in the, uh, history of Christian missions. 

“The missionary enterprise of the Churches is always in a measure the reflection of their vigour, of their wealth, and of that power of conviction which finds its expression in self-sacrifice and a willingness for adventurous service.”

Neil is specifically referring to international mission here.  So.  I'd like to hear your thoughts.  Does the Church's (or church's) commitment to missions reflect the church's:

Vigor?

Wealth?

Conviction?

Willingness to sacrifice and serve adventurously?  

Do you agree or disagree and why?  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday: Google Flu Trends


Google has discovered that using aggregated search content, they can estimate real-time flu levels around the world.  So far these estimates have closely mirrored the CDC data when it comes out, quite a bit later.  Check out the google flu site:

United States Flu Activity
Influenza estimate  Google Flu Trends estimate  United States data
United States: Influenza-like illness (ILI) data provided publicly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

In other news, Google will be releasing the Statistical Predictions of What You Are Getting For Christmas tool next month.  Just put in your age, financial strata and geographic location and Google will predict what you'll find under your Christmas tree with 87% accuracy! (NOTE: Does not work for people who don't celebrate Christmas)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dreaming

I had two dreams last night and I thought I would post them here so that you can psycho-analyze me, which is probably more effective and certainly less expensive than seeing a professional.

Dream #1: At the Puppeteers.  I walked into a puppet maker's shop and the puppeteer told me, "Hey, we just got a new puppet in.  It's the Woody Allen puppet."  I laughed and said, "I wouldn't want to put my hand in that."  One of the customers gave me a dirty look, as if I had said something super offensive (I realized in the dream that it certainly wasn't a polite thing to say).  I looked at that customer and said, "C'mon!  Woody Allen would think that was funny.  Would he not?"  Only when I said "would he not" I made it sound also like "Woody Not?"  Then I laughed like crazy at my own joke.  Then the dream ended.

Dream #2: At the Laundromat.  I was on a boat with a bunch of people (I got the feeling I knew them all pretty well) and we were on the way to the laundromat (this laundromat could only be reached by water). As we got closer this guard goat came swimming out toward us, barking like a dog, but our boat's captain shooed it away with gondolier's pole.  I was amazed at the barking goat, which came out on shore, shook its fur out and stood next to another goat on the shore (both had four horns).  Then the guard at the gate opened the wrought iron gate for our boat and we came into the laundromat property.  On the riverbank was an enormous crocodile wearing armor, sunning.  Amazed by this, I looked up at the guard, and next to him stood a dinosaur of some sort, also wearing armor.  It looked like a velociraptor, but with a smaller head... definitely a predator of some sort.  As I looked at it with some alarm I realized it was actually a statue, as was the crocodile.  Then I noticed along the bank an enormous number of triceratops statues, some with different pieces broken off, but many of them intact.  We walked through the laundromat and then ran out to walk through the statuary. After a while Krista realized that she had left a stack of videotapes in the laundromat that she was really worried about, so we ran up to find them (one was our wedding video). We got there and the videos were fine, but we had forgotten to do our laundry.  And that was the end of that dream.

Okay, kids.  Share your dreams, deconstruct mine or leave mean comments about how much weirder your dreams are than mine. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

President Obama is given a very special honor


That's right.  It's Chia Obama.  Only three presidents currently have this honor: Washington, Lincoln and Obama.  When the five members who make up the Chia Committee were asked how they came to this decision, they said, "Let's be honest... only three presidents have had really great hair.  Okay, four if you count Clinton."  But Clinton was thought to be too controversial a choice, so they replaced him with the Statue of Liberty.

Congratulations, President Obama!

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Muppets Take Ramallah


The New York Times ran a fascinating article about the continuing attempts to make a tenable Palestinian version of Sesame Street.  Here's a link.  Sesame Street has been making contextualized versions of their show for a lot of years... including locally produced segments, Muppets unique to their version of the show, and characters interacting with issues and themes that children in that culture may face.  As you can imagine, doing all these things and also sticking to Sesame Street's values of education and tolerance can be complex, especially in war zones and the third world.  In any case, it's an interesting article that is worth your time.

Now, if you're saying, Matt, I am sick of you putting links to articles from the NYT, I want something a little less meaty and a little more based on grown up fans of the muppets discussing trivia, puppeteers, history, comics, et cetera, then say no more.  You should go visit Tough Pigs.  And now I have done my good deed for the day.  I intend to celebrate by refusing to help an old lady cross the street.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

News From My Neighborhood

Return of the Expulsions of Houdini Dog.  No doubt you recall the many times in the past when a clandestine canine visited my yard and made deposits in the hope that my feet, like some sort of podiatric bank tellers, would happen along and then whisk the deposits away to some other, safer location.

I thought that was all over.  But in recent weeks it seems clear that someone has been either helping or attempting to frame our old friend Houdini Dog.  We know this is true because a perfectly straight line of excrement has been appearing in our yard.  What I mean to say is that each pile is in line with the next, as if standing in a queue.  But what is it waiting for?  That is yet to be determined.  The most mysterious part is that, once again, the offending digested materials have been appearing in our back yard... our locked back yard.  Some think that it has been tossed over the fence.  It is a mystery.

Killing Me Softly... With Her Smoke.  There's this lady on the next street over who walks her kids to school every day while smoking a cigarette.  She forces her kids to walk five to ten steps ahead of her so they won't breathe in any smoke.  When we came up on the sidewalk behind her, she freaked out, tried to wave the smoke away and finally decided to walk in the middle of the street, where she wouldn't get her inhalations on anyone.  When I walk home from the school I often see her on the corner, standing there and having a smoke.  When she sees me coming she waves the smoke away and mumbles sorry, sorry.  If I were her I think I would just say, "Please look away... I'm trying to slowly destroy my lungs and it embarrasses me to have people watching."


Mews from My Neighborhood.  Gemma the Cat of Terror has given birth to yet another litter of kittens.  One of the girls who lives at Gemma's house said, "I don't think anyone has ever had The Talk with Gemma."  It's true.  It's hard to deny that they are cute.  I took hold of one for this picture.  Afterward I noted that it looked like I was choking the poor cat, but that could not be farther from the truth.  In fact, here's a second picture showing that the cat is alright.

Kittens In Disguise. And, lastly, in news of the neighborhood weird, Tuesday night at about 9:30 I drove home from seminary to see a man in camouflage carrying something clutched to his chest.  A rifle, I assumed.  Why is a man dressed in military-ish clothing carrying a rifle through our neighborhood, I wondered.  And then, as I drove by, I took a look in the rearview mirror and discovered that his rifle was, in fact, a large black cat.  I don't know what he's planning to do with that cat, but here's my guess: Using his camouflage outfit he sneaks up on his worst enemy.  Then, when his enemy isn't watching, he SPRINGS THE BLACK CAT, who crosses path with the enemy.  Now his enemy has bad luck!  Moowhahahahaaa!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday: Settlers of Catan vs. the Old Testament

Today's Wonderful Wednesday is this fascinating foray into the Christianization (or, okay, it could be the Judaization) of the popular game, Settlers of Catan.  In this version, instead of trying to build your own settlements to win the game, you have to be the one to contribute the most to building the temple in Jerusalem.

Also, you can get the "Kill Anyone Who Lives Where You Are Supposed to Settle With the Power of the Lord" card.






Okay, I made that last part up.

Update: A couple of you have already written me asking where you can buy it. You can buy it right here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Stalking that Elusive Prey -- THE LITERARY AGENT!

You know, there are plenty of great posts out there about finding a literary agent.  And, to be honest, they all say pretty much the same things.  Which leads me to think that YOU PEOPLE OUT THERE IN THE INTERNET AREN'T LISTENING!  And do you know what I do when you aren't listening?  I say it a different way.  So.  Here are some tips on how to find a literary agent said in a way that you've never, never heard before.

It goes like this: You, the hungry young author, are the lion (or lioness).  The literary agent is the tasty gazelle who can sate your hunger.

And now, tips for the predator seeking its prey:

1) Study your prey carefully.  Don't just jump out at them the first chance you get and scream I HAVE A 500,000 WORD FANTASY EPIC ABOUT ELVES PRETENDING TO BE SKINNY HUMAN MODELS!  Be honest... this would startle anyone.  Take your time.  Watch them from the bushes.  Read their blog.  Read their submission guidelines.  Make sure, for instance, that they represent fantasy books.  And if they don't, they're going to get away if you give it a try.  But don't be too disappointed...there are plenty of gazelle on the savannah. 

2) Thin the herd to the most promising prey.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of tasty gazelle out there, and you can't chase a whole herd.  You want to get it down to a list of, say, twenty favorites.  Don't go after the weakest animals in the herd, either, go after your best shots.  Make sure the antelope both reads and represents the type of book you are selling.  Go online and see if they represent other lions you respect.  Make sure they aren't big cheaters (if, for instance, it turns out they are actually hunters disguised as antelope... run away) and they have a good reputation.  You may have to be ruthless to get your list down to twenty.  Then go after them in groups of, let's say, three to five at a time.  Be sure to tell them, "Hey, no offense but you're not the only prey I'm stalking.  No guarantees that you're the one I'm going to catch."  Or something along those lines.

3) Query them politely.  It should sound something like this: "If I were to chase after you, would you run so fast that I would have dust in my mouth, or do you think I would have a chance to capture you with my sharp, sharp claws?"  You will be surprised at how honestly the gazelle will reply to such a polite inquiry.

4) Give them your best work.  Gazelles and antelope are embarrassed to be caught by slow-running predators.  If an antelope is going to go down, it doesn't want to go out like a punk.  It wants it to be a glorious fight, like this, "I didn't want to represent Matt Mikalatos, but his query was so well written... and the stunning prose of his sample chapters slowed me down because I wanted to look at it in awe.  And then, well, I tried to escape but it was too late. I felt his sharp little teeth on my neck and I knew... I was going to be his agent."

5) Don't give up.  As the old saying goes, it's the hard working lioness who captures the antelope and is ushered into the presence of many publishers.  Or something like that.

6) Use other, more successful predators to set it up for you.  There's no shame in using a larger predator to get your dirty work done.  Let's say, for instance, that you are a hyena and you happen to be close friends with a great big lion.  There's no harm in asking the lion, "Hey, could you introduce me around and maybe catch some prey and just hold onto it for a while so I can talk to it?"  For me, as a matter of fact, an established author who I knew from a seminary class offered to let me use his name to approach a few agents who were "out of my league."  And it worked!

7) Make yourself look good... be a professional.  While agents may be the big prize around the campfire, the fact is that it's helpful to show off your hunting skills.  Maybe you've been published in a national magazine, or a famous blog, or a little startup magazine that pays professional rates. If you can show that you can make money of some sort as a writer, all the better.  Sometimes you have to kill a few monkeys, rabbits and mice before you move up to the antelope.  And sometimes a few professional magazine articles could get you moved to the front of the "promising predators" file.

8) Remember that the hippopotamus kills more people each year than the lion.  I think the meaning of this statement will be clear to all of you given the context of this post.

9) Stop annoying the antelope with all your jibber-jabber.  A predator must be patient.  It's bad form to keep saying over and over to the antelope, "What do you think?  Am I going to catch you?  Do you see how fast I run?  Can you tell I'm a sleek and svelte lioness?"  If you haven't heard from the antelope in six weeks or so just drop it a line that says, "I just wanted to make sure you knew that I was chasing after you, that's all.  Love, the Lion."

10) Yes, yes, you may savor a victory roar.  When a lion successfully captures an antelope, it is perfectly acceptable to roar all about it on your blog, via twitter, or in personal phone calls to everyone you know. Or you can drop it in casual conversation around the water hole.  Be sure to say "my agent" all the time.  You deserve it, you beautiful animal, you.

And that concludes today's ten tips for catching an antelope.  Feel free to leave your comments and questions in this post.  For bonus points to make sure you were paying attention, feel free to explain point eight at length.

FINAL NOTE TO THE ANTELOPE: I know you might think this simple how-to guide is a little creepy.  But let's be honest, you want to get caught.  And this just might work.  Please be patient with queries and proposals in the next few weeks that use a predator metaphor.  

Monday, October 05, 2009

Home!


I'm home from a great time speaking at the St. Cloud State Fall Getaway.  Which means that this morning I got to hang out with baby M!

Friday, October 02, 2009

First John and the St. Cloud Fall Getaway

I'm hanging out with the kids from St. Cloud State University this weekend, and we're going through First John all weekend.  Tonight was chapter one and the first six verses of chapter 2, where we talked about Jesus' offer to destroy our status quo and bring us into a revolutionary life of eternal fellowship with him.  A good time was had by all.

Afterward the worship guy got up and that horrible screeching tone that sometimes accompanies guitars and microphones being too close to one another went off.

Worship Guy: That's just my way of saying 'thank you' to you, Matt.

Me: Thanks for the feedback.

AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!  And that's what the poor St. Cloud kids are in for all weekend.

You can be praying for the talks if you're the praying type:  Tomorrow morning we'll be talking about transformation in our community relationships, tomorrow afternoon I'll meet with the leadership students to talk about leadership as a Christ follower and Sunday morning I'll be teaching on the great commission and being agents of worldwide revolution!

Lord, Save us from your Followers


Hey if you're in Portland looking for something to do tonight, you should go check out Lord, Save Us From Your Followers at the Fox Tower theatre. If you go to the 7 o'clock showing, Dan Merchant, the filmmaker and star of the movie will be around for the Q and A time. It should be a blast and I wish I could get out there! If you go, tell Dan that Mikalatos sent you.

The Traditional Airport Post: SECURITYYYYYYYYYY!

The longest lines at PDX that I've ever seen this morning, and as you might expect the beleaguered security people are hard at work and, yes, friendly!

Here are two things I saw while waiting in line:

1) An old lady! She hasn't flown in a long time. She didn't know that her liquids had to be in a quart sized bag so she put them in a GALLON sized bag! The security man tells her that she will have to pick her favorites and put them in a quart sized bag and toss, give away or drink the rest! She is dismayed! She is staring at her gallon sized bag of toiletries! Her lotions! Her gels! Her pastes! It is a hard life.

2) A soldier in the military! He is wearing his desert camos! People come up to him and thank him for serving. I also am thankful. He is a living weapon, that much is clear. The security man sees that the soldier had large, impressive, undoubtedly deadly boots on. Keep those on! he tells the soldier. No need to send them through the X-ray like the flip-flops of the man in front of you. After all, we know already that you are dangerous. Please walk right through. And this the soldier did, because he is accustomed to taking orders! A feeling of safety settles over the crowd!

MORAL: Terrorists will never get their shampoo onto a flight, unless they dress as soldiers and hide it in their boots.

THE END

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Your Inner Weird Meets Your Book Proposal

I've got a guest post up today over at Rachelle Gardner's excellent blog, CBA Ramblings.  If you're a writer or want to be a writer, you should be reading Rachelle's blog regularly. My post over there is about how I learned to start writing what I love rather than what I thought other people wanted to see and how that, paradoxically, eventually got me an agent and got me published.  As a bonus feature for anybody stopping by the Burning Hearts Revolution today, I thought I'd give a concrete example of how "Embracing my Inner Weird" changed not only my book, but also my book proposal.

The difference is clearest when we look at the book's premise.  While many sections (the author bio, my platform, the audience) stayed mostly the same, the premise of the book changed pretty radically, despite having essentially the same theme.  Here's the premise as it appeared in my first proposal:

If I come across a bunch of people sitting outside my church selling doves and changing money, I know I should make a whip out of ropes and turn their tables over and yell at them.  But what is the most Christ-like action when buying my lunch at McDonald's?  Should I buy a Filet-O-Fish sandwich?  Should I turn a milkshake into wine?  I spend my life guessing what Jesus would do instead of living like him.  Is there a way I can get to know the real Jesus instead of inventing my own?  Imaginary Jesus will help identify places in our lives where we've adopted a false Jesus for our own convenience, and talk about real, practical ways to connect with the living, breathing Christ.

The man who eventually became my agent (Wes Yoder of Ambassador Literary), as I shared in my post on Rachelle's blog, told me to take another shot at it, but emphasizing the story-telling stuff and minimizing what he called the "Sunday School lessons."  That weekend I feverishly wrote about six chapters of "Imaginary Jesus Reimagined" and sent them off to Wes.  He got back to me right away, and here was the new and improved premise we used to describe the book once I finished writing it (now that it was fiction instead of non-fiction, I needed to finish the book, not just outline it):

Sitting in a coffee shop with Jesus, Matt Mikalatos realizes that the pleasant, robed man across the table is not the real Jesus at all.  During Matt’s attempt to destroy the imposter and find the real Jesus, Imaginary Jesus escapes.  Now the Lamb is on the lam and Matt is on a quest to find the living, breathing Christ.  With the help of the apostle Peter, a talking donkey and the mysterious Motorcycle Guy, he chases Jesus across the city of Portland, determined to exorcise his imaginary friend.  A fast-paced, hilarious novel, Imaginary Jesus explores what it means to be in relationship with a physically absent but relationally present Jesus. 


As you can see, that's a pretty drastically different book... although the title and "living, breathing Christ" made it into both.  I like that phrase pretty well.

Next Tuesday I'll post some thoughts about getting an agent.  For those of you who are in the process of looking for an agent now, I think you'll find it helpful... there are a lot of things I did that you can do just as easily.


I'd be glad to answer other questions you might have about writing, book proposals, finding an agent, Jesus, butterflies, the average speed of an African swallow or anything else that interests you.  You can leave a comment here or send me a note at matt.mikalatos (at) gmail.com.

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