Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I've been inspired, with all due humility, to write a modest introduction to the Bible, and I need your help to do the project justice. Only a week remains before the deadline!

[UPDATE: launch page is at http://tr.im/biblical]

If you aren't going to watch my angelic inspiration, just know that some guy has run off tens of thousands of copies of Origin of Species with a 50,000 word "Special Introduction" trotting out the religious point of view and blackening Darwin's name, and will be handing them out for free at college campuses on the 150th anniversary of Darwin's original publication - that'd be next week, Thursday the 19th.

This notion of treacherous literary parasitism is inspired, and I strongly feel that there should be a similar option available to those of us with more rational views.

Also, there's a devastating Romanian chick involved.

Although the reference length is an excellent fit for NaNoWriMo, I'm aiming a little lower. The plan is for a different publication model - I'm not intending to run off any bibles containing my preface (although I'd certainly be delighted if somebody else did), but if this can be formatted to be easily printable in any hotel's business center, then people could fold them up and stick them inside the front covers of those bibles that bugger named Gideon's leavin' all over the place, which would be almost as good.

Libraries present similar opportunities, as a more meaningful exercise for the wags who move Bibles to the fiction section under "G" ("J" for the better educated ones).

My secondary thesis is that religious people know best how to write for religious audiences. Accordingly, I've tried to structure and style this in a way that matches the original (making allowances for dramatically reduced length), and I'm hoping to receive lots of joyful email from people who have seen the light as a result.

However, time is running short, and I'm falling way behind. I've just drafted the introduction, but the remaining tasks (in rapidly decreasing order of probability that I'll get to them) include:
  1. proof-reading
  2. basic fact-checking - no need to go overboard, per secondary thesis above I'm aiming for a similar level of selective quoting, misinterpretation, and outright balderdash as the reference work, although I think I've come up way short
  3. reformatting into a multi-column, small-font, single-page sheet (ideally with numbered chapters and verses) for printing
  4. a website name at least as saccharine as "livingwaters" - my placeholder probably doesn't qualify
  5. an actual website - I haven't looked at the livingwaters website, but drawing close inspiration from it would be great (secondary thesis again)
  6. video - pro or con - worthy of the original inspiration of this project
Your help with any of the above would be wonderful. If you can pass on this Good News to others, that'd be even better.

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