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The Book

I like to describe Relax, It's Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You're Not Religious (March 2015) as the secular equivalent of a godsend for parents unsure about how to address religion with their kids.

      The Blog

      My blog, Natural Wonderers, is hosted on the Patheos faith network and offers stories, news, information and advice on raising curious, compassionate and religiously literate children in nonreligious families.

        The Business

        In 2014, I co-founded a small press in Long Beach, Calif. The mission of Brown Paper Press is to engage readers on topics of contemporary culture through quality writing and thoughtful design.


          Launch party for RELAX, IT'S JUST GOD •  March 28: 5 PM - 7 PM  •  Apostrophe Books •  5229 E. Second St. •  Long Beach, CA •  For more information, email info@brownpaperpress.com

          Lecture for CFI's Feed Your Brain series •  May 3: 11 AM •  Center for Inquiry •  4773 Hollywood Blvd. •  Hollywood, CA •  Click here for details

            Contact Me

            Twitter: @WendyRussell
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            Email: wendythomasrussell@gmail.com
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            Brown Paper Press: brownpaperpress.com
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                      Relax, It’s Just a Book Trailer (The Joke That Never Gets Old) By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 27, 2015
                      Relax, It's Just a Book Trailer (The Joke That Never Gets Old)
                      Book trailers? Seriously? They are BOOKS, people. LIKE, AS IN, FOR READING. In other news, here’s the trailer for my new book. :-) I had the stomach flu that day, so was feeling my very best, as you can imagine. That’s why I’m so goddamn serious. (“You can stand anything for 10 seconds!” I kept telling myself, à la the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. “Then you just start on a new 10 seconds!” And you know what? It kinda worked.) Anyway, hopefully you enjoy it. Please share it around if you’re so inclined.   O Read more – ‘Relax, It’s Just a Book Trailer (The Joke That Never Gets Old)’.
                      Launch Party Set for ‘Relax, It’s Just God’ By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 25, 2015
                      Launch Party Set for 'Relax, It's Just God'
                      They say launching a book is like having a baby. They are wrong about that. Because blood, that’s why. And pain. And your mom pacing anxiously outside the door to the maternity ward because the nurses had been SO RIDICULOUSLY CONFIDENT that yours was going to be a brief labor — so confident they even talked you into letting the goddamn epidural run out, rather than refilling the bag — and now it’s been 30 minutes (THIRTY FREAKING MINUTES!) and no adult has come out of the room yet, and no baby has cried, and your mom is going to have a full-on panic attack if […] Read more – ‘Launch Party Set for ‘Relax, It’s Just God’’.
                      I’m Glad I Came Out as an Atheist — Just Not on Salon By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 21, 2015
                      I'm Glad I Came Out as an Atheist — Just Not on Salon
                      I wrote a piece for AlterNet a couple of days ago titled 4 Reasons I’m Glad I Came Out as an Atheist, which has gotten a lot of positive attention and, I’m told, will be re-published in the next edition of Freethought Today, a newspaper (an actual newspaper, printed on, like, actual paper — talking about freethinking!) put out by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “Also-ran” mention goes to Salon, which picked up the AlterNet story (as they often do) but then managed to cheapen the entire thing by tweeting it under a grossly misleading headline: “Being an atheist […] Read more – ‘I’m Glad I Came Out as an Atheist — Just Not on Salon’.
                      Recounting a Tale of Abuse and Murder By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 5, 2015
                      Recounting a Tale of Abuse and Murder
                      So the Dateline NBC segment about the murder-for-hire of Lynn Schockner  airs tomorrow night at 9 PM PST (should you go in for that sort of thing.) I wrote a heck of a lot of stories for the Long Beach Press-Telegram about the murder back in the mid-00’s (??), but this was my favorite — written after all the trials had concluded. Lynn and her young son, Charlie, had been abused for years by Lynn’s husband/Charlie’s dad Manfred Schockner — the criminal “mastermind” behind the whole deal. (Although there was little mastery involved in this particular crime.) Jurors were never […] Read more – ‘Recounting a Tale of Abuse and Murder’.
                      NewsHour Picks Up Holiday Cheat Sheet By Wendy Thomas Russell | March 5, 2015
                      My Holiday Cheatsheet for Nonreligious Parents is gaining a wider audience, having been picked up recently by the PBS NewsHour website. (Have I mentioned how much I love working with those guys?!) First, they ran my piece on Ash Wednesday and Lent. Then, this week, they ran my piece on Purim. You may have noticed they are a bit more conservative in their word usage; whereas it was originally called: “Quick! What the Hell is Purim?,” The NewsHour changed it to “Quick! What the Heck is Purim?” Oh, PBS. You are so PG. But who’s complaining? Read more – ‘NewsHour Picks Up Holiday Cheat Sheet’.
                      That Time I Wasn’t Hung Up On By a Radio Host By Wendy Thomas Russell | February 10, 2015
                      The first time I was interviewed for a radio station was 15 years ago. The BBC called me to talk about a political convention I had been covering. I was so nervous and exhausted from a long day. And they threw a question at me that I wasn’t prepared to answer. I don’t remember what I said, but I was apparently just terrible because the host thanked me for my time about seven seconds into the interview and then hung up on me. Nothing more humbling than being hung up on by the BBC, people. Anyway, this morning, I was interviewed again — this […] Read more – ‘That Time I Wasn’t Hung Up On By a Radio Host’.
                      ‘Science Stories’ Column Garners Response by Jezebel By Wendy Thomas Russell | February 6, 2015
                      Jezebel, the deliciously snarky feminist blog, today wrote a response to my PBS NewsHour column (“Skip the fairy tales, and tell your daughter science bedtime stories.”) The Jezebel response (“Should You Ditch FairyTales and Teach Your Daughter Science Instead?”) was great. Mostly. The writer certainly agreed with the notion that we should be giving our daughters more exposure to science and mathematics, but then said: “Where I disagree with Russell is on the idea that you have to ‘skip the fairytales.’ I think you can cultivate a spirit of independence in young girls without totally ditching fairytales, […] Read more – ‘‘Science Stories’ Column Garners Response by Jezebel’.
                      ‘Science Stories’ on the NewsHour By Wendy Thomas Russell | January 29, 2015
                      After the rather surprising (and surprisingly controversial) success of my last parenting column for the PBS NewsHour’s website — which garnered more than 700,000 page views and and was featured briefly at the tail end of the TV broadcast (!!) — the NewsHour has been kind enough to publish another of my columns. This one is about the joys of watching Charlie give Maxine a true and abiding appreciation for science, the kind I never had myself as a child. I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s the link. Read more – ‘‘Science Stories’ on the NewsHour’.

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