All posts by Brad Whittington

Feint Claymore Bombshell Crux

Q: What do those four words have in common?
A: They’re all names of chapters in The Reluctant Saint.

For the Jake and Berf books, I toyed with the idea of providing little clues to the chapters, like in Winnie-the-Pooh:

CHAPTER VI
In Which
Eeyore Has a Birthday
and Gets Two Presents

Or like in Alice in Wonderland:

III. A CAUCUS-RACE AND A LONG TALE
IV. THE RABBIT SENDS IN A LITTLE BILL
V. ADVICE FROM A CATERPILLAR

But in the end, I abandoned the idea. However, as I wrote The Reluctant Saint, I named the chapters to make things easier to find in Scrivener.

I didn’t intend to use them in the final product, but they grew on me. Ultimately, I decided to use chapter titles, but not the ones I had created during the first draft.

Instead, I chose a single word for each chapter (except for one). It wasn’t as easy as you might think. I enlisted the aid of The Number One Son, The Woman, and the folks from Novel in Progress who made it to Austin Java after our meeting.

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I give you the list below. The words were chosen carefully, honing in on words that offered multiple relevant meanings as often as possible. Read this list and you’ll know everything about the novel before it comes out. 😉

Day 1: Thursday
Chapter One: Quandary
Chapter Two: Epiphany
Day 2: Friday
Chapter Three: Oasis
Chapter Four: Mirage
Chapter Five: Apprehension
Chapter Six: Wingnuts
Day 3: Saturday
Chapter Seven: Speculation
Chapter Eight: Stymie
Chapter Nine: Rout
Day 4: Sunday
Chapter Ten: Karma
Chapter Eleven: Legacy
Day 5: Monday
Chapter Twelve: Pursuit
Chapter Thirteen: Gauntlet
Chapter Fourteen: Bivouac
Chapter Fifteen: Compound
Chapter Sixteen: Tête-À-Tête
Chapter Seventeen: Succor
Chapter Eighteen: Fisticuffs
Day 6: Tuesday
Chapter Nineteen: Feint
Chapter Twenty: Claymore
Chapter Twenty-One: Bombshell
Chapter Twenty-Two: Crux
Day 7: Wednesday
Chapter Twenty-Three: Hiatus
Chapter Twenty-Four: Launch
Chapter Twenty-Five: Standoff
Chapter Twenty-Six: Sally
Day 8: Thursday
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Portland
Day 9: Friday
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Dragon
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Tattoo
Chapter Thirty: Nadir
Day 10: Saturday
Chapter Thirty-One: Materiel
Chapter Thirty-Two: Cabin Fever
Chapter Thirty-Three: Gambit
Chapter Thirty-Four: Quietus
Day 11: Sunday
Chapter Thirty-Five: Admission
Day 12: Monday
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Discharge
Chapter Thirty-Eight: Haystack

 

The Reluctant Saint: Cover Contest

Cover contest redux: How bout that passport.

If you wondered how much I listen, I like Cover B better, but Cover A won the vote.

One last question: What do you think of the passport in this version?

TRSGreenPassportFinalCoverContest

Brian Wootan has created two outstanding covers for The Reluctant Saint. Now somebody has to choose which one goes on the book, Cover A with the passport or Cover B without the passport. Vote in the comments.

TRSCoverContestB TRSCoverContestA

The Reluctant Saint: Straight From the Heart

This link is the soundtrack of this story. Let it play in the background as you read.

“You know I’ll never go, as long as I know it’s straight from the heart.”

Another late night on the deck writing. Why do I do it?

I can’t lie. I can’t stop myself. I write because there’s something I have to explain. To relive. To discover. To be quite frank, it’s a compulsion. I might be sick, but don’t tell anyone. It’s our secret.

I grew up an outsider. Maybe you can relate. I think you can. I wrote about it for years in obscurity, twenty years or more, and then by chance or fate or providence I got published and discovered that I wasn’t the only one. I found my tribe. I found you. It was a beautiful moment, one that I treasure to this day.

These days when I’m out here on the deck fighting my way through another story, it’s not just my story I’m searching for. It’s our story. It might take many forms, but in the end it’s the old story. Banished from the garden. Looking for a way back in. The big story. The only story.

Sometimes I write strange stories. Goofy stories, Let’s face it. I’m a goofy guy. But underneath it’s always the same old story. The love that changes everything. Because when it comes down to it, the bottom line is always love.

Over forty years ago I met The Woman. Anyone who meets her immediately realizes she is the queen to my court jester. Sure, I’m a fun guy to be around at a dinner party, but when life comes down to the real stuff, The Woman is the one you will call. That’s just a fact.

I strongly suspect that many of you fall into that category. The ones people can count on when things get rough. The tribe of The Woman. And I’m sure there are others out there like me. those who feel it just as much but aren’t much use in the clinch. Here’s the funny thing. All of us, the jesters of the heart and the royalty of the heart, we’re all spiritual ragamuffins, cognizant of our frailty, all sharing a longing for a transcendent love, a longing that gives us hope that such a thing exists.

There remains these three things: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

As my third favorite Canadian said (the first two are Bruce Cockburn and Robertson Davies, the order changing according to my mood):

It’s all for one, and all for love.

Three years after we met, I made this vow to The Woman in the presence of witnesses. We have made it this far through no fault or virtue of my own, but by the grace of God. I must confess that almost four decades later she is still my true love, and as recently as tonight I told her how happy I am and how lucky I feel that we still share our fortunate lives together. Let the one you hold be the one you need.

On April Fool’s Day 2016, Wunderfool Press will release The Reluctant Saint, the sequel to Endless Vacation. It features Hensley Fletcher, the vagabond brother from Endless Vacation. A bohemian, a rapscallion, but one who suspects that there is something greater out there for him, one who fights for the possibility. It’s an unlikely story of redemption.

You might like it. I’ll be offering a sneak peak to the insiders in a future newsletter. To get the inside scoop, sign up on the form on the right column of the website.

In other news, I might have failed to mention that Wunderfool Press released a collection of satire articles I wrote for The Wittenburg Door twenty years ago. It’s released in Kindle ebook form, which you can read on a Kindle or on your computer or tablet or smartphone with the Kindle app. For those in the tribe of The Woman, I have marked the Woman-Approved selections.

Build Your Own Religion and other bad ideas from The Door

One other thing for your consideration. Amazon reviews are the lifeblood of an indie author. If you enjoy my attempts to explore the big story, please take a few moments to write a review for a book. A sentence or two is plenty and I will be greatly appreciative.

Dash off a quick review!

And if you’re ever in Austin, ping me. We can do lunch or dinner and I’ll do the thing I do best.

The Wunderfool Menagerie: Chaparral

When the weather is inclement, and I call 104° F inclement, I write in my office next to a floor-to-ceiling window looking out on the front lawn. Occasionally representatives  of the local fauna. Several times a chaparral, aka roadrunner, has strutted down the sidewalk that runs past the window, but none of them have been as obliging as this little chappie.

Berf and Jake Stories

OS-Cover-Post Feature

Berford Oswald Wiggins follows a Code. That’s why he’s about to marry the wrong woman. Again. When Berf finds himself accidentally engaged to Amelia for the third time, he leaps from the frying pan of Austin and absconds to the Payne ranch in Bolero, Texas. (read more)

 

 

SV-Cover-Post Feature

 

Berford Oswald Wiggins vows to take his best friend on a killer vacation. And a Wiggins always keeps his word. Berf loves Jake like a brother, but not like a brother-in-law. After all, he wouldn’t wish his sister on anyone, least of all Jake. When Berf’s warning falls on deaf ears, he falls back on The Code and serves as Jake’s best man. (read more)

The Fred Books

WtF-Cover-793x1200Mark Cloud has his doubts. He’s not sure if he’ll ever feel at home in Fred, Texas. He’s not sure that he can work up the nerve to declare his love to the girl of his dreams. He’s not sure he will survive another ride with Darnell Ray, Terror of the Back Roads. And he’s not really sure he buys the whole God thing. Which is an uncomfortable position for the son of a Baptist preacher. (read more)

 

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Mark Cloud is back in Fred, Texas but Fred is not the same and neither is Mark. He begins to ask troublesome questions. What would Jesus do if he was a teenage boy in a hick town? (read more)

 

 

 

PfF-Cover-Post Feature

 

It’s been a bad weekend. Mark Cloud’s dreams of romantic bliss have been cruelly obliterated, and his friendship with the local moonshiner has drawn unwelcome attention from the local Pharisee, Deacon Fry. (read more)

 

 

 

 

EfF-Cover-433x649

 

Mark Cloud escapes Fred, Texas, to relish the anonymity of college, new friends and the possibility of romance. But a series of catastrophes forces him home, where everything has changed in the one place where nothing changes. (read more)

 

 

The Fletcher Brothers

Do you believe in second chances? Even when you don’t deserve it?

Hensley will gladly offer any number of chances to a prodigal, but the only thing that matters is how many chances Chrystal, the one woman he should have never left behind, will grant to him. (read more)

 

When his Uncle Rex dies in Mexico, Special Agent Dave Fletcher is shocked.

When he learns that Rex changed his will at the last minute to give his entire estate to Masie, a woman Dave has never met, he is suspicious.

But when he discovers that Masie was the first on the scene to find the body, he buys a ticket to Cancun to learn the truth. (read more)

Build Your Own Religion and other bad ideas from The Door

Kindle

“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” -That Italian guy who wrote about hell and other stuff

  • Need pointers on building your own religion? It’s easier than falling down a staircase in the dark with the Wunderfool’s simple multiple-choice quiz.
  • Wondering how to deal with the those people who knock on your door on Saturday morning? The Wunderfool can fix that.
  • Ever wonder what the Bible might sound like if written by Twentieth-Century authors? Look no further.

Back in the day a magazine arose to answer these and other pressing questions. It has been called, by some, the Mad Magazine for Evangelicals. Okay, by a few. All right, by one guy, maybe.

During the 90s, Mr. Whittington submitted over a dozen pieces to a magazine known variously as The Wittenberg Door or The Door or That Magazine I Told You About. Foolishly, the editors chose to publish half of them. Two decades later, in a fit of delirium, Mr. Whittington released the whole lot upon an unsuspecting public.

For a modest price (void where prohibited by law or common sense) you can peruse the result. (Packaged by hilarity quotient. Some settlement may occur during reading.)

What Would Jesus Drink

Kindle
iBooks
Paperback


What would Jesus drink? As every new generation arrives at the age of majority, the question is asked again. For the sincere follower of Jesus, the answer is not as easy to find as one might expect.

Was Jesus really the miraculous bartender by creating wine at a wedding, as some have said? Did Jesus really drink wine at the Last Supper? Was the wine in the Bible really grape juice? Is drinking wine, beer or liquor a sin, or just a personal preference? Should a Christian abstain anyway, even if it’s not a sin?

I decided to dig deeper, to find every verse in the Bible that touched on this topic, and figure it out. I set aside any sermons I might have heard, any personal history, any personal preference, and began a search for the truth, committed to following it wherever it might lead.

This book is a quick-read, a chronicle of that search and my conclusions. For those who also want to take the time to dig deeper, at the end of the book I include a list of all 247 verses in the Bible that refer to wine and strong drink so you can easily read them for yourself and go read them in context like I did. I also include a bibliography of other books on the topic, most of which disagree with my conclusions.

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Here’s what some of the folks who have read it said about it:

I can’t give Brad enough credit for all his hard work on finding the truth within this touchy subject matter. His research has been painstaking, and I’d encourage everyone to explore his work. –J. Wilson, Brewvana.WordPress.com, Author of Diary of a Part-Time Monk

The expert of all experts, Brad Whittington, a conservative Christian oenophile has made an astoundingly exhaustive study of every alcohol reference in Scripture. –A.J. Jacobs, AJJAcobs.com, Author of The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and My Life as an Experiment

This comprehensive survey of the Biblical teaching on alcohol use is a must-have resource. Top notch. Distribute widely please. –Michael Spencer, InternetMonk.com, Author of Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality

Thorough, balanced and fair, this small book will serve as a reference for Christians who want to know exactly what the Bible says about wine and strong drink. By organizing and analyzing every scriptural mention of the topic, Brad Whittington equips and encourages believers to go beyond contemporary cultural influences to draw Biblically based conclusions. Highly recommended. -Kathy Tyers, Author of The Annotated Firebird, Shivering World and other novels

Brad Whittington sheds the bonds of legalism and enlightens his readers, not with his own thoughts, but with the scripture. Let’s all raise a glass in good conscience and celebrate one of God’s most misunderstood blessings! -Bryon Turner, founder of CTBeerTrail.net and HomeBrewBeer.net

It’s amazing to me how often Christians form their convictions about alcohol based on culture, family history, or in reaction to someone else’s position. Brad Whittington gets his conviction from somewhere else: a staggeringly thorough study of every verse in the Bible that mentions alcohol. His book is a must read for teetotalers and frat boys alike. – Noel Heikkinen, JustNoel.com, Pastor, Riverview Church

Very enlightening research with timely and balanced information concerning the way in which a Christian should handle the issue of alcohol use. On-target concerning this issue. –Matt Layton, OnceInAGreatWhile.BlogSpot.com

This is an article that you and all of your Christian friends should read. –Theological Persiflage, PersiflageThis.BlogSpot.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
    • Sobering Statistics
    • Mixed Messages
    • Digging Deeper
  2. Culture or Scripture?
    • Reading with an Agenda
    • Getting Down To It
  3. Analysis of Scriptural References to Alcohol
    • Summary of References to Wine in Scripture
    • Positive References to Wine in Scripture
    • Neutral References to Wine in Scripture
    • Negative References to Wine in Scripture
    • The Weaker Brother
    • Analysis of Scripture: Conclusions
  4. The Example of Jesus
    • Was It Really Wine?
    • What Happened at the Wedding at Cana?
    • Was Jesus a Drunkard?
    • What About the Lord’s Supper?
    • The Example of Jesus: Conclusion
  5. Alcohol and the Conservative Christian Sub-culture
    • Church History
    • But Things Are Different Now
    • Other Social Problems
  6. The Law of Love
    • The Alcoholic
    • Abstaining for the Sake of Others
    • The Pharisee
  7. Alcohol and the Bible: conclusion
  8. Postscript