I give talks to audiences large & small. My speaking style is my writing style is my in-real-life style. The talks are equal parts illuminating and entertaining. My approach is light but not lightweight – I’ve read a ton (probably 11 tons if we’re talking literally) of books but lean toward personal, practical insights.
How to be a Charm School Dropout
My fundamentalist childhood included not only missionary camp and conspiracy theories but also Christian Charm School, where we girls learned that Jesus cared about our hairstyle and pretty much just wanted us to be quiet. This talk goes through the lessons we’re taught as fundamentalists (whether at Jesus-branded charm school or elsewhere) and how to undo them.
Sneak peeks in The Best Time I Went to Christian Charm School and What I Learned When I Dropped Out of Charm School.
Bonus material: Post-fundamentalist bingo cards and Charm School Dropout merit badges for attendees.
How I Rewired My Brain with Poetry
Based on a forthcoming essay, this talk explains how (and why) I rewired my brain with the poetry. I had to spend just as much time filling my brain with good things as I’d spent memorizing all that scripture and awaiting judgment.
Bonus material: Adorable postcard-sized brain-rewiring handout to keep with you in case you start to worry that you might be going to hell while waiting in line for donuts or whatever.
Sitting in the Dark & What Comes After
Growing up an earnest, evangelical fundamentalist, I wanted nothing more than to please Jesus. I eventually saw that man-made, God-themed blueprint of compliance for what it was: a limited view. So I un-converted myself. Like, all the way. I didn’t want to let go of the beliefs but hang onto the patterns — become a judgmental atheist, for example, or a dogmatic yogi.
Based on the field notes in my board game-style guide to losing your religion, this talk shows the highs and lows of leaving certainty (and everything else you’ve ever known) behind.
Bonus material: Post-fundamentalist bingo cards and a board game-style guide to losing your religion handout.
If you’d like to schedule a talk, please do get in touch at
susangrayblue at gmail dot com