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Care and Feeding of a Retired Archbishop

Posted: Saturday, October 27th, 2012
Abp Wynn Wagner (ret) on a Rhine River boat (Germany, 2012)

Abp Wynn Wagner (ret)
Rhine River boat (Germany, 2012)

Unless you are a public figure (or Mark Raven), I am probably going to be slow to anger. That’s my goal, but I am definitely a work-in-progress.

[WTF]Others don’t take the same tact. I still have 30+ “friends” on Facebook who report they “like” Mitt Romney. That’s down from about 300. I still feel like I have 30+ “friends” who don’t have enough in common to start any kind of conversation. They seem to want to stick around, and I don’t know how.

It’s none of my business who follows me on Facebook. You can “like” whomever and whatever you want. But……

My goal here is to avoid trouble “down the line.” I usually don’t do a flamewar in public (the exception being if you publicly bully somebody). But just so you know–

Books

  • I write spiritual books and gay romance novels. I even have one tarot book. Yes, that’s all over the publishing map. No, I don’t use pen names to keep my romance fiction from intermingling with my liturgical books. Maybe I should, but I don’t.
  • Some authors have separate profiles for their books. It’s a nice division: personal vs shameless promotions. (shrug) Maybe I’m too stupid to do that kind of social parsing, but I have one page where everything gets thrown together like a tossed salad. My two publishers — MysticWays Books (MWB) and Dreamspinner Press — have Facebook pages. MWB has pages for Wynn Wagner Books and Brent: the Heart Reader. Brent gets its own page because it’s an inductee into the Gay Book Hall of Fame, and MWB says that is a huge deal. I don’t run or edit all those pages: just my personal page. The point is that I still get homophobes on Facebook who swear they want to be my “friend.” (scratching head)

Politics

  • My politics is way out on the left where the busses don’t even run. I’m liberal (radical?), and I don’t mind saying so in public.
  • I’ll usually react when my Annoyance Meter goes over about 40% on political matters.

Religion

  • My religion is Old Catholic. That means I like really traditional liturgies and very progressive spiritual teachings. Yes, it’s Catholic. No, it isn’t Roman Catholic. If you’re curious about that, I have some awesome books to suggest!
  • I am a retired archbishop of the Old Catholic Church, and I’m fairly sure that the Church would appreciate my stressing that I don’t speak (or write) for anybody but me.
  • When organized religion crosses what I consider a theocratic line of proper behavior, I will stand up and wag my finger and scream about it as loudly as I can. In many cases, religion (mainly Christian and Muslim) ought to be ashamed of their bullying. It’s fine for them to order their adherents to do such-and-such or believe a certain way. It’s a whole other matter if they want me to do or believe what they preach. And I think it’s almost criminal for a religion to try to insert their dogma into civil law.
  • You don’t have to be Old Catholic for me to pay attention to you. I won’t even suggest you “convert” but will try to get you pointed in the right direction if you ask.
  • I honor your spiritual pathway.
  • I’ll usually react if you cross the line and demand everyone follow your path. Religious firefights get nasty quickly, and I really don’t like it when that happens. [cf., Billy Jack]
  • If you really want a philosophical fight, I will usually try to give you a head start. I have a couple of advanced degrees in philosophy and theology, so I have the home field advantage and I’m not too proud to use it (if push and shove come to play)

 LGBT

  • I’m gay, but I never-ever came “out of the closet.” That would have been dumb because I’ve never been in the closet (except to get fresh clothes each Spring).
  • Since I retired from my day job and from my duties in the Old Catholic Church, I don’t have any kind of tether (or net) to keep me quiet around homophobes.
  • Picking on any LGBTQ person in my earshot usually doesn’t end peacefully. (Just sayin’)

Sports

  • I don’t think it’s a big deal. It isn’t my defining moment, but you hang around me on football, you will probably see me screammg about sports teams (especially American football). In advance… sorry ’bout that.

The Red Line

  • Finally (and this is the real reason for this blog post), I take threats of death and injury seriously. Please don’t do it. The “Unfriend” button is fairly simple to use on Facebook, even for a right-winger or homophobe. I won’t mind if you use that button. I won’t even mind of you decide to block my posts. Promise.

Banned by Wikipedia

Posted: Tuesday, April 24th, 2012


This is a note from my publisher, Mystic Ways Books —

We have been officially banned from Wikipedia. They say it is forever. Our crime: updating the bibliography on the bio page of one of our authors. If you want information about our books, Wikipedia is not the place to look. We had a quick meeting and decided to shake the dust off our sandals and not even respond to this arbitrary action on the part of a factless website.

As usual, they are accepting the news with a lot more grace than I would.

BRENT is here

Posted: Monday, April 16th, 2012

Brent the Heart ReaderShameless plug.

Brent: the Heart Reader is available. It’s about a tarot reader who was adopted into a hateful and homophobic family. The story is how he works through the hatred and how he meets the love of his life. One chapter closes, and the next opens into a wonderful dawn.

The book is brash and tender at the same time.

It is available as hardback, paperback, and e-book.

Genre: M/M, romance, gay, adult (explicit)

Tarot for the Author

Posted: Saturday, March 31st, 2012

by Wynn Wagner

I use tarot and have for decades, and I’m rarely far from my deck. If you see Wynn, you can assume he has two things handy: insulin and tarot.

Some folks are surprised to hear that a retired archbishop would be around tarot. They’re an awesome set of images for meditation. The primary cards are a kind of trip through spiritual development. The 0th (“zeroth”) card is call The Fool, and those primary cards are The Fool’s journey through life. It’s less mystical and demonic and more archetypal … at least to me.

The other thing I do with tarot is get around writers block. I write books, and every author I’ve ever known talks about those dry spells where all the creative juices are dry. I cut my deck of tarot cards and look at the first card. This random image is full of images to jolt my imagination back to life.  One card shows a guy on a boat full of swords. He’s collected all his stuff, and he’s making a run for it. Where? I have no idea, but I think about what my characters might be doing if they were in such a frame of mind.

The author pretending to do a tarot reading.

My latest book is BRENT: THE HEART READER, and it’s about a young tarot reader. He does divination for fun and profit. That’s something that I’ve never personally done. Again, I don’t consider it demonic. It’s just not something I ever did or ever wanted to do.

Brent has always had a talent, which he doesn’t even try to explain. Somebody gave him a tarot deck with he was barely older than a toddler, and he’s always been able to tell stories based on the pretty pictures. It wasn’t until later that people started noticing that Brent’s stories are dead-on accurate about what the universe wants a person to do.

Is he an empath? A fortune-teller? Brent is really clear about his own attitude: he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care to go looking for what’s behind his ability.

Like I said, I’ve been around tarot for decades, and I’ve gazed into each of those cardboard rectangles for hours or days at a time. If you ask me what I see in a tarot card, I can tell you. If you want me to cross that invisible line and peer into some kind of prognostication about a person or thing or event, I’m a complete idiot. If you want me to do a reading, all I can do is shrug. You don’t want me to do that.

So, that was something of a problem with BRENT. I brought all my tarot experience to the word processor, but I wasn’t sure that what I had to say would ring true to a real tarot reader. Fortunately, I have cavalry: my husband, Rick Wagner, does readings (rarely, but he can do them). Our friend Mariah Prosper (Rick’s tarot teacher) is more of a tarot guru. I gave really early copies of BRENT to both.

Believe it or not, neither Rick nor Mariah had huge issues with anything I had to say about a tarot card. They didn’t quarrel with what I said about the relationship of cards.

They might have been rolling their eyes behind my back… pointing… giggling. They kept it to themselves, and they said all of the tarot in Brent is reasonable.

(wiping brow)

And yes, I got writer’s block a few times while I was putting together the book. Naturally I used WSWBWT (Wynn’s Supreme Writer’s Block Whack-it Thingy… my pick-a-card trick). The really cool thing is that I saw some really cool facets to characters (especially Nick and Kaela) based on the archetypes I saw in my deck of tarot. They were facets that I wouldn’t have noticed without WSWBWT.

Photography by John Selig.

Brent: The Heart Reader is published by Mystic Ways Books.