Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel, sell a couple bottles of Doctor Good

Welcome to The Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves Grab'N'Run at the Dirty Shame. It's the first time we've ever done a giveaway or anything and to tell the truth, well, I'm just sorta excited, for more reasons than one. I'd love to give away a used '97 Stratus, but Papa does whatever he can.

Winn Collier has just released his third book, Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus' Provocative Questions, and I want to rejoice with those who rejoice. And I think Winn is rejoicing. And I'd love for you to have a copy. I've done some writing on the topic of questions myself and Winn's book is a wonderful contribution to this exquisite facet of the gem known as Jesus.

Winn sent me a galley to read and this is what I wrote afterwards:
As an editor in Christian publishing, I read a lot of manuscripts every week. Some are handsome, some are plain, as we are. But a few, every once in a while, are good. I’d like to go on public record and say that Holy Curiosity by Winn Collier is good.

E.B. White described that pig-lovin’ spider this way: "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both." One gets that feel when reading Winn’s new book.

I could go on at length about this book, but I won’t. I’m an editor. I’ve got standards to maintain. So, here’s the approach of “where 2 or 3 are gathered” -

Number 1 – What I felt throughout Winn’s book was “spaciousness, room to grow.” In this age and day of books, most of them tell me what to think or not to think, what to feel or not to feel. Winn’s words allowed me room to ponder; such as he practices, he gives to us. There was no rush to get to the point or make sure I “get it” – no, these pages achieved an unforced rhythm. Permission to think/doubt/and wrestle with angels granted.

Number 2 – Winn quotes his wife and sons just as much, if not more, than he quotes Augustine, C.S. Lewis, or Bruner. Let me raise a glass to that modus operandi and declare HERE! HERE! A thread throughout this book is the necessity to keep on going; not a worship of the future, but an awareness of that’s where we’re headed. By paying attention (a form of prayer) to those voices closest to him, Winn demonstrates the ability to be formed by the past but not live there. No, he’s living with Mrs. Collier and their two sons, now, in the present. You may not think much of this point, but I read authors every day who cram quotes from dead folks in their books like teenagers from the 60s in phone booths. It’s kinda impressive at first and then it’s just weird. Thanks, Winn, for resisting that temptation.

Number 3 – A transparency exudes this book. Winn uses words like exude – so hang on. But, it’s a transparency that’s not exhibitionist. Winn doesn’t strip down to the buff, but he does tell us he used to part his hair down the middle and wear pink oxfords. And in the economy of holy curiosity, sometimes that’s enough to satisfy.

O.k. One last word – I was also struck by the belief that this author really loves Jesus. And that is not a slight thing. In fact, it may be the thing.

~~So, here's what we'll do. I'd love to arrange a dart game or something, but this being the onlinusphere, that's a little hard. Between now and Tuesday, Nov. 4th, leave me a short comment about something, I don't care, and on Tuesday, Nov. 4th, I'll download one of those counter-things and draw a random number and well, hell, you know the drill. Some of you know my skills in things like that are sometimes lacking, so I'll get my girlfriend to make sure it all goes down truthful-like. Yes, I know something else is going on Nov. 4th, but since that's essentially a crapshoot, let's rig one up with a beneficial outcome. Deal?

Winn, I'm proud of you, my friend. And I hope you feel honored to be the catalyst for what looks to be the first of many Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves Grab'N'Runs at the Dirty Shame. Your picture goes up on the wall, beside Cher's, and the drinks are on me.


  1. Hmm... The first to leave a comment re: your unexpected give away... This book would be a nice one for my collection though might pass it along as a gift to my pastor who becomes absolutely gleeful when folks pose questions.

    Love the way your blog has meant a variety of things to me, John. Connections with a friend, means of stirring me out of my comfort zone, etc.

  2. Aw heck, now you've gone and done it for good. A giveaway? Dang, no telling what kind of riff-raff you're gonna flush out of the weeds with this fancy idea. Don't mind me, I'll just sit my geriatric butt down here at the end of the bar nursin' my Jack.

  3. Suddenly, after Rich's comment, I feel all riff-raffy inside.

    Lurrrrve to win, so thanks for the chance, and yes--run and get the girlfriend to help you with the old random generator thang.

  4. Heck,'re one of regulars. Here's to ya!

  5. First off, I think I would prefer to be noted as a "Gypsy" if I win...

    On to my "comments:" I always learn a little something about how to improve my writing when I read your posts. (not changing my own "voice" but growth in expressing it) I appreciated how you said that Winn's writing allows you to you space to grow.

    Lastly, Miska (Mrs. Collier) is a woman worth quoting...she has a lot of depth and creativity to her! A person worth knowing...

  6. Wouldn't mind winning this particular book...sounds like a good one!

  7. Gypsys, tramps and thieves? I could use a guidebook.

  8. ...High praise, there, Mister. I'd love to poke around inside this tome.

  9. John, I came here at Mer's suggestion....

    This looks like a book that I'd love to read...

    Please throw my name in the hat.

    (From Georgia)

  10. Shame on you Mr. Dirty, It is a rotten thing that you've done. You have whetted my appetite to munch on a few more morsels from this gallery of queries. If I end up being a loser in this snatch and grab thingee, when and where will other losers like myself be able to purchase said ditty?

  11. winner or not, i really do love this place of yours, john. what you report of your experience in reading of Winn's book ... "spaciousness, room to grow" is precisely what i experience in the reading of your words. remarkable how we not only see but can name those things in another that are also resident in us.

  12. well, heck, everybody's bein' all encouragin' and wordy...I just would like to say I wanna win the book...

    I think you already know I lurve your blog :)...(I'm afraid the longer we hang out here at the Shame the more Gretchen's word hangs out in my vocabulary)

  13. It's okay, Tiffani, I luuurve John's blog, too. And I am by no means trying to get an extra ticket in the hat.