Author ~ Editor ~ Speaker ~ MIsfit
Have you ever felt as if people were looking at you funny? Not just when you deserved it, but all the time? If so, welcome to my world—the world of a cultural and spiritual misfit. I wrote about my life as an outsider in Memoir of a Misfit, and since its release I’ve heard from so many delightful self-described misfits that I’m convinced society is out of step with us. If you’re a misfit, think of this site as a place where you are free to be the person God intends you to be. If you’re not a misfit, join us anyway. We promise not to look at you funny. Oh, and writers, both new and used, are welcome to roam around my site, as are all those publishers and media moguls who have been searching for me all their lives.
Memoir of a Misfit
People have always looked at Ford funny. “As a child,” she writes, “I blamed my family, that odd, five-member cast of cartoon characters that always walked along the sidewalk in single file so that real families could pass by intact.” The older she got, the more often she blamed herself—for the death of three grandparents in six weeks; for harassment from a trusted counselor; for humiliation in a succession of controlling churches; for feeling ignored by God. Dulling the pain, she spent her young adult years in an alcoholic haze. Eventually her friend Eileen, who “always, always puts her verbs at the beginning of a sentence,” ordered her to “give it up. Tell God you’ll never have another drink again.” Ford obeyed, but she continued to feel like a misfit despite a good marriage and professional success as a writer and editor. Then a sudden health crisis jolted her out of constant attempts to meet others’ expectations. During a subsequent retreat, “I found the courage to look at myself and...hear the cry of my own heart.” Ford’s story, though serious, is not dark. Introverted, self-deprecating, perfectionist and depressive, she is Woody Allen pursued by Jesus Christ.
© 2003 Publishers Weekly. Reprinted with permission.
Wait! There's More!
Insights and Perspectives
Like most writers, at least the good ones, I'm pretty much in love with books. You'd think I'd have my fill of them, with all the reading I do when I'm researching a magazine article or a book of my own. But no. In addition to being a judge for several book and publishing awards, I regularly write book reviews.
Dragnet Bio: “Just the facts, ma’am.”
- Associate editor, The Editorial Department
- Independent book editor
- Intention-area editor for iBelieve.com
- Editor of Christian Retailing magazine
- Associate and news editor for Charisma and Ministries Today
- Managing editor of Monmouth Business Talk
- Section and copy editor for The Asbury Park Press
- Author of Memoir of a Misfit and Meditations for Misfits
- Author of more than two dozen additional books, including
- Restless Pilgrim: The Spiritual Journey of Bob Dylan (with Scott Marshall)
- Contributor to Publishers Weekly
- Book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com
- Columnist for Explorefaith.org
- Radio and television guest
- Writing instructor
and We the Purple
- Narrative biography
- Editorial services
- Speaking topics
- Media appearances and mentions
- Published books and editing projects
- Public speaker
Kathleen Norris (the other one)
Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one
at the end of a long day makes that day happier.
who knows a little of
what's going on.
some portion of the world in jeopardy.
and inconvenience of violence.
is made of stories,
not of atoms.
take it away from him. An investment in knowledge
always pays the best interest.
ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere
motive in scribbling at all.
Let God be as original
with other people as
He is with you.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Yes, I see the Church as
the body of Christ. But,oh! How we have
blemished and scarred that body through social neglect
and through fearof being nonconformists.
I'd ever known or ever would know.
every day, even when it is dull and
inconvenient, are undervalued.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
like a body without a soul.
it's safe to be unpopular.
St. Thomas Aquinas
us realize the truth.
every experience of
his life, every quality of
his mind is written large
in his works.
Leslie Marmon Silko
don't have the stories.
as well as bread, places to
play in and pray in, where
nature may heal and cheer
and give strength to body
and soul alike.
moment in childhood
when the door opens
and lets the future in.
Principal Snyder of Sunnydale
liberal thinking that leads to getting
A paranoid is someone
who knows a little of
what's going on.
back and make a brand
new start, anyone can start
from now and make a
William Strunk, Jr.
should contain no unnecessary words,
a paragraph no unnecessary sentences.
why novelists write, but
they have one thing in
common: a need to create
an alternative world.
to say you're hungry.
originality than to
succeed in imitation.
what you feel, because
those who mind don't
matter and those who
matter don't mind.
where no one ever becomes a master.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
of a spiritual experience.
You are a spiritual being
immersed in a human experience.
It is by definition abundant and unending.
the words he wants me to say and
I'll repeat them after him.
Read, every day, something no one else is reading.
Think, every day, something no one else is thinking.
Do, every day, something no one else would be silly
enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be
part of unanimity.
world of his own and his readers
are proud to live in it. A lesser
writer may entice them in for a
moment, but soon he will watch
them filing out.
they are; we see things as
know the answer but wish we didn't.
Logan Pearsall Smith
author isn't what he says,
but what he whispers.
six minutes to live, I'd
type a little faster.
with other people as
He is with you.
and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who
works as an apprentice and studies the master.
Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good,
you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.
When did you first realize you were different from most other people?
I’ve felt like a misfit and been treated like one for as long as I can remember, though it’s only been in recent years that I’ve had the courage to use the word to describe myself. Now I actually revel in my misfit nature, because I’ve accepted it and learned to see the humor in it. But that wasn’t the case in the summer of 1960, when I came home from camp unexpectedly to find that my family had moved without telling me. I’d say that was my first true misfit moment:
How did you come to see your misfit nature as a gift?
By coming to terms with my misfit nature and essentially befriending it, I found not only the freedom to be myself but also the ability to finally thank God for the way He made me.
I want to be clear about one thing—when I talk about misfits, I specifically mean productive misfits, not the Unabomber types. Productive misfits generally live in society but feel out of sync with it.
Describe your spiritual journey, in a nutshell:
After a childhood spent in Baptist and Methodist churches, at 12 I walked away from organized religion, as I called it, and made a royal mess of my life. I was born-again, saved, whatever the going term is, at 22 through a youth ministry and became an active part of a Baptist church.
Several years later I embraced the charismatic renewal in an independent, non-denominational context. I became disenchanted with the lack of solid biblical teaching and the lack of serious reflection (among many, many other things) ...