I am working on a collection of essays tentatively entitled "Why I Don't Believe in God...and Why You Shouldn't, Either". (I laughed when I thought of the title--I wouldn't normally use such a provocative title--but I thought it might sell better than, say, "A Rational Defense of Nontheism," so that's my working title.) One of the things I want to do in it is examine various philosophical arguments for God's existence and show why they don't really justify belief in God or even make belief in God rational. I will, of course, have to give definitions of various terms like "belief" and "atheist" and even "God."
Where I'm having trouble are in *structuring* the book and in *beginning* the book. When I say that I am having trouble with the book's structure, I mean this: I am aware that a lot of what I'll write, in its long form, will be too philosophical, too technical, for many people--and too *long* for many people. I've conceived the notion of writing outlines; a short form; and a long form. I have one of the outlines written (the basic epistemic one); and I have another partly written (the basic morality one). I'll probably put them first. But should I include a preliminary section telling people about myself, so that they know I'm nots simply a religion-hating, never-had-a-spiritual-feeling-in-his-life, doesn't-have-anybody-he-cares-about, immoral (or amoral) person? Or should I not include that? Should I begin with definitions of terms, or should I first say something about to whom I'm addressing the book? And should I define terms as I need them (each definition taking a while to give), or should I give a bunch of them first, so that they're out of the way? Those are the sorts of problems I'm having.
I'm working on my atheist/comedy/parenting blog http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/
I'm also polishing up some movie scripts - mostly horror/comedy material.
I'm considering working on a humor book that looks at parenting (not stuff I've covered in the blog).
Currently working on this:
I work on longer things, that I sit on for a while, in google docs, but I also write in a notebook/journal set, and then post them to my deviantart when I approve of them.
I'm working on a huuuuge novel (at least it will be until I stop writing and start editing) and have a scene that I think works but the visual is so stuck in my mind that I don't know if the description will convey the Halloween costume selected by one of the teenagers. Please read this section and let me know what you think he has chosen to wear:
He had found several cardboard boxes, used a knife and tape to make a crucifix shape six feet tall, and cut out holes for his head and hands. The bottom of the curious device was left open for his feet, and the front face was painted with a crude replica of Jesus. Even Duncan was horrified at the tastelessness of Habib’s costume.
“You can’t wear that to the party.”
“Why not? It took hours to make. C’mon, help me get it over my head so you can see the full effect.”
“No way. It’ll offend too many of the girls at the party. Those Christian Union ones will really get their knickers in a twist over this.”
“How many is too many? If I only offend less than fifty percent of the people at the party, would that be acceptable? How about twenty percent?”
“Nope. You wear it, and I’m not going to be there.” Duncan put his hands on his hips in what he imagined was a defiant pose. Habib put his hands on his hips and smiled back like a mirror until Duncan relented. “Well, let’s at least get a photo of you wearing the damned thing.” He picked up the cross-tower of boxes and directed it over Habib’s head. “Wow, that looks hilarious.”
“So, I can wear it and you’ll come with me?”
“No. But I will get a picture. Where’s your Kodak?”
Habib vaguely motioned to a shelf with a hand constrained by cardboard around his wrist. “You’ll have to put a new 126 cartridge in it. [and so on]
I'm working on something that sort of amounts to a manifesto for rationalism which I've titled Faith is a Crime. The basic approach is to counter irrational thinking on an inherent level showing that the ideas and bases thereof fall to pieces even when taken on their own terms. It not only aims its rifle at religion, but faith itself in all its various expressions.
Being that it is the sort of goal which fragments in many directions (since faith itself is a pretty generic thing), I'm trying to do a lot to keep it organized and coherent, so I'd certainly like to bounce it off other people and see what they think.
Hey, I've written a poem. I'll be glad to read other stuff from some peeps. Let me know what you dudes and ladies think...
Order of worlds under sublime command
Cosmic origins asserted by faith
He sculpts all things with omnipotent hand
But why choose infected mud as the clay –
For molding craters cancer and fate?
If He authored the half-life of water
And spun the spiral towards death and decay
Set the tinder for fires and disaster
And chaos reigns – then the dawn of matter
Is an illusion of seamless design
Yet from flawed origins grew sublime power
Skill to shape verse and desire to contrive
The order of words more keen and divine
Molded with finite pen and fallible mind
I'm new here on the Nexus, and glad I found this specific group.
I'm working on novel called "The Holy Family," about a contemporary family and its turn to atheism. It is presently being read by a couple of trusted former colleagues, and once I have their feedback I'll figure out my next steps. It's possible I will publish it under my own nascent imprint--I'm an unemployed publishing professional and have an editorial services company under which I could publish it in both print and electronic formats. Having worked inside several traditional publishers I know all too well how difficult it is to get their attention (and marketing dollars!), as well as how much good stuff gets left by the wayside for various reasons.
But it's a new world out there, and I may as well try to make some hay with it.
I've also just started a new blog, called "AMW's World of Fame, Shame, and Getting in the Game," where I intend to build my "brand" at www.alanmichaelwilt.com.
Not to be too self-serving, but I am available to critique and edit manuscripts--however, there's no way I can offer such services for free, but I am always able to negotiate! You can learn more about that at www.tuckerseven.com.
Does anybody want a copy of my new book, The Little Book of Unholy Questions for review (on Amazon)? If so, message me and I'll send an electronic copy. A review can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Unholy-Questions/product-reviews/...
I feel guilty for not being more involved (okay involved at all) with Atheist Nexus. To answer this thread's original question. Yes, I work on writing all the time. My science fiction story "The Old Equations" from last year was nominated for the SFWA Nebula Award and is currently nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. I have a story coming out next month in Lightspeed Magazine, a story coming out in August in Fireside Magazine, and early next year a humor story of mine will be released in the UFO: Unidentified Funny Objects anthology.
I'm currently working on a novel.
I'll try to be more involved in this forum moving forward. Hope everyone is doing well!