When I began this blog, I assumed that if any number of people read this blog, my actual identity would eventually come out publicly. Of course, I’ve been blogging all along — some 4½ years and almost 3,000 posts ago — under the pseudonym of “Brother Maynard.” When I began blogging here, I said that “the names are being withheld to protect the innocent and show grace toward the guilty.” I thought after the first year that I would announce myself, but on the advice of a few friends, I never have. But maybe I’m no longer feeling gracious.
Several unexpected things have transpired since that first blog post, chief among them the number of people who eventually began reading here. I did not anticipate the new friendships I would make through these contacts, nor the depth of meaning that some of these have come to have. And I also did not expect that this far down the line my identity would still be, more or less, unknown or that my pseudonym would become in many ways bigger and grander than I am. Although, of course, that was never a great stretch.
On my Facebook page, I gave Brother Maynard the face of Sean Connery rather than that of Eric Idle as I did on the “Who is Brother Maynard?” page on this blog. Since then, my real image has appeared here and elsewhere around the Internet… but it’s not like I get stopped in the street or stalked by paparazzi or anything. Perhaps if I looked more like Sean Connery and less like the real me.
As time went on, I established a certain “trigger” which would cause me to reveal my identity online in these pages: publishing. Still, when I self-published my first book, That You Might Believe: Praying Advent with the Gospel of John, I published it under my Pseudonym, but displayed the copyright in the book under my own name. Either nobody noticed, or nobody said anything. Same as when I registered the domain name for this site… I registered it under my own name and did not select the privacy options. I wondered how long it would be before someone did a ‘whois’ search to find out, but again, either nobody noticed, or nobody said anything. As a result, I’ve been somewhat reticent to say anything more overtly. After all, people have said such nice things about me when they don’t know who I am.
As of this week though, a book I edited together with Len Hjalmarson will be shipping from Allelon Publishing and Resonate. And yes, it’s true… the book that Len has mentioned on his blog is now available on Amazon.com. I threw together a site which we have up at fresh-refresh.com and, you guessed it, it’s got my real name splattered on it. So I guess the cat’s out of the bag now. The guy who writes the current blog looks a lot like the guy who writes this other blog. So I guess that’s it… another emerging/missional mystery solved. Think anyone will notice?
Stay tuned for more information on the new book as well as a few other tidbits I can say now that there’s no secret identity that I need to don in the nearest telephone booth.