Au­thor turns Sun­day bulletin into Chris­tian com­edy book

Maryland Independent - - Community -

Dan Bren­nan, of La Plata, re­cently pub­lished, “Is God Pok­ing Me?” a comedic col­lec­tion of short col­umns orig­i­nally writ­ten for a church Sun­day bulletin. The book is avail­able as an e-book at Ama­ A print ver­sion is avail­able di­rectly from the au­thor by email­ing dan@danscom­ or call­ing 301-9340334.

Q: How long have you been writ­ing, and how did you get started?

A: As a 10-year-old in Ne­wark, New Jersey, I re­mem­ber spend­ing my days in the lo­cal li­brary. I loved to read, and writ­ing just seemed like the nat­u­ral next step. I did some part time chores to be able to earn enough money to buy a Smith Corona por­ta­ble type­writer and sto­ries and po­ems just started pour­ing out of that lit­tle de­vice. I’ve al­ways en­joyed writ­ing, and when I be­gan work­ing as the of­fice ad­min­is­tra­tor for a lo­cal church (Peace Lutheran in Wal­dorf), I found my­self with an op­por­tu­nity to put my love of writ­ing to work shar­ing “ob­ser­va­tions” with the mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion. Q: What in­spires you to write? A: Life. It’s re­ally that sim­ple. Each day brings a wide as­sort­ment of ex­pe­ri­ences and events. Some­times those are mo­men­tous, but more of­ten they are rou­tine and quickly for­got­ten. For me, each of those ex­pe­ri­ences rep­re­sents an op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve the way we be­have as hu­mans. I see hu­mor in al­most ev­ery situation, and I see the hand of God in most of them as well. Life is an end­less source of ma­te­rial.

Q: Do you con­sider writ­ing to be a ca­reer?

A: No, I haven’t made it a ca­reer, but I rarely miss an op­por­tu­nity to write and share my ob­ser­va­tions in my sec­ond ca­reer as a Chris­tian co­me­dian.

Q: What kind of writ­ing process do you use?

A: I like to record or jot down ideas as they oc­cur to me. I keep a voice recorder and a pa­per and pen handy for just that pur­pose. I do most of my writ­ing early in the morn­ing, draw­ing on those ideas and flesh­ing them out un­til a col­umn is fin­ished. Morn­ings are, for me, a fresh start, and the time when my cre­ative side is most ac­tive.

Q: How did you pub­lish your book?

A: I chose to self-pub­lish my book. “Is God Pok­ing Me” is a col­lec­tion of weekly “ob­ser­va­tions” that I’ve writ­ten over the past few years. I wanted to make them avail­able to the pub­lic and to other churches who might find them use­ful.

Q: Who are some of your fa­vorite au­thors?

A: Al­though my writ­ing cur­rently tends to­wards the hu­mor­ous, I was in­spired to write ini­tially by Edgar Allen Poe. His com­mand of lan­guage and his abil­ity to cre­ate in­cred­i­ble vi­su­als in your mind by weav­ing words to­gether is un­sur­passed. I am also a fan of Dave Barry, who is a mas­ter of hu­mor. I try to use the best of both when craft­ing a piece.

Q: What are you work­ing on now?

A: I’m work­ing on a sec­ond vol­ume of my “ob­ser­va­tions” se­ries right now, and hope to have that pub­lished within the next six months or so.

Q: What do you want read­ers to know about you?

A: I’m mar­ried, have two chil­dren, sev­eral grand­chil­dren, and more on the way. I en­joy stand-up com­edy when I have the chance. I have per­formed over the years with the Port To­bacco Play­ers, al­though for some rea­son I’m not get­ting those lead­ing male roles any longer. I con­sider laugh­ter God’s gift to all of us.

Share an ex­cerpt from your book:

Hum­bug: I have it on good au­thor­ity that Ebenezer Scrooge has for many years been the vic­tim of un­sub­stan­ti­ated ru­mors that he de­spised Christ­mas. All be­cause he was one day heard to scream loudly in the pri­vacy of his own count­ing house, “HUM­BUG!” What was not re­ported was the some­what softer sound of a “squish” as he dropped his foot onto the scam­per­ing in­sect. Yes, the Hum­bug is a rare species of bee­tle from the rain forests of South Amer­ica. But that didn’t mat­ter. A dis­grun­tled clerk named Cratchit leaked the story to the lo­cal press. It was picked up by a writer of some re­pute, and the rest, as they say, is his­tory…. I think Je­sus would have sat down with Ebenezer and had a long talk be­fore pro­nounc­ing him a cur­mud­geon. Je­sus would have wanted all the facts be­fore pre­sum­ing to draw a con­clu­sion. And it’s prob­a­bly good ad­vice for the rest of us as well.

Lit­er­ary lights Q&As will ap­pear pe­ri­od­i­cally in the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent. Sug­ges­tions for lo­cal au­thors to spot­light should be sent to Sara Newman at snew­man@somd­ or com­mu­nity@somd­


Lit­er­ary lights An oc­ca­sional ar­ti­cle on lo­cal writ­ers

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