Saturday, October 22, 2005
Finished my article on religious diversity in Indianapolis for NUVO. It was one of the more challenging assignments I've had. A lot of searching for different sorts of congregations (and trying to make sure I didn't leave out anything, knowing that I was going to have to leave out a lot), mapping and calculating distances and driving directions, as well as a ton of phone calls and background research. I had expected it to be hard to reach the mosque people (it wasn't), since I know many mosques are understaffed, or not staffed at all, except by a handful of volunteers. I didn't expect it to be difficult to reach the pastors and priests, and it was. I guess they are as overscheduled as the imams are!

At any rate, the job reminded me again of one of the main reasons I love being a writer -- the opportunity to learn. One of the things we wanted to do with the article was give a sentence or two about each denomination/religion to explain the most basic concepts or how it differed from other Protestant denominations. Let me tell you, I now know more about the history and theology of Protestantism in America than probably 95% of the American population. I've long thought that the main benefit of school is that you are given deadlines to complete research/learning. Without those deadlines, it is so easy to put things off. Journalism gives you the same sorts of deadlines, which is great for those of us who are inveterate procrastinators. (like me...)

Of course, it feels great when you've handed in your work and no longer have that deadline looming over you. Deadlines do have their downsides, but at least they get us off our duffs. Now if I could only get a fiction deadline to work towards...
Oh, yes, Pamela, deadlines are great motivators. I find they force me to organize, to move forward, when otherwise I might get stalled over some detail or other. I never have problems working, but sometimes I have difficulty spending too much time REworking!

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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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