You Bring the Pizza.

Okay, so. Today I’m going to drop a movie recommendation on your desks. It’s not a particularly new movie, so I hope you’ve already seen it.

But if you haven’t you’re missing out, so here it is.

I’ve watched this movie twice now, and it gets more inspirational every time. Even watching the trailer calls out my inner feminist and lets her strut.

The ladies behind it are Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary, and they’re amazing. Take a look.

Also, August 26 (this Saturday) will be Katherine’s 99th birthday, so shoutout for that.

Anyways, like I said, hopefully you’ve already seen this movie, but if you haven’t, well. Time for a movie night, folks. You bring the pizza, I’ll bring the popcorn. It’s on.

Just… ya know… Do yourself a favor and stay out of the YouTube comments. They’ll make you lose brain cells at an accelerated rate, and will most likely make you angry on top of it.

Cobbled Together with a Jesus Sticker.

Buckle your seatbelts, folks, I’m about to go all spiritual.

As a Christ-follower and an artist, I often find myself looking around at the Christian art scene and thinking, “What happened?” Christian art, with a few notable exceptions, seems to have turned into a vast swamp of mediocrity.

And that’s a shame, you know? Here we are, representing the Ultimate Creator, and all we can come up with are passive platitudes and saccharine sentiments. Or worse still, a patchwork of pilfered pieces from secular sources cobbled together with a Jesus sticker slapped on as an afterthought.

Okay, I promise I’ll stop with the obnoxious alliteration now.

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Part of the problem, I think, is the fact that there is a “Christian genre” in every art field. It’s a whole lot easier to gain success there than in the wider world, so “Christian artists” don’t have to work as hard in order to make a place for themselves, making it easy to fall into a sense of smugness and self-satisfaction.

Which as we all know makes for great art.

Most of the Christian artists I respect, in any field, actually stay out of the Christian genre. Some of them, like Adam Young (Owl City), do it quite purposefully.

Two more horns of the dilemma, which are covered quite powerfully in this article from Intellectual Takeout, are the problems of certitude and honesty.

Now, I would like to suggest that the problem of certitude, which in the article is linked to a belief that we need to provide all the answers, as well as a readiness to judge, is at root an issue of honesty all by itself. Yes, we may be certain about the fact that there is a God, and the fact that we all need Him, but who in the world hasn’t felt uncertain about every other aspect of life and faith at some point? Not this girl, that’s for sure. If you’ve never felt uncertain about anything, well… more power to ya, I guess.

Thing is, God isn’t threatened by our uncertainty. He wants us to ask questions. The problems start when we feel like we’re not properly representing Him unless we look perfect all the time.

Balderdash.

Nobody is perfect all the time. Heck, nobody is perfect anytime. If that’s the look you’re going for, you’re just trying to con people, and that’s not something that will endear you to God or humans. Maybe it will endear you to dogs, I don’t know. But since dogs tend to think we’re perfect anyway, why bother to con them?

Anyway, what I’m basically trying to say is this: Christian art should be powerful. If the goal is to glorify the Creator, our creations should reflect His values of honesty, integrity, authenticity, and quality craftsmanship. Take some care, people. This art stuff is important.

Keep Looking.

I was struggling to find something to blog about today, because the last few days have been long on boring work and short on inspiration. I was almost ready to give up and confess that I had nothing, when I ran across this:

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.”

-Steve Jobs

So there you have it, people. Whatever you’re trying to find, just keep looking. Never settle.

Spinning in my Desk Chair.

This has been me for the past couple of weeks, people:

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Because I’ve been holding back some info that I’m rather excited about. I got invited to write a guest post over on The Bard and the Bible, sharing my favorite Shakespeare quotes. I was like:

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And then I was like:

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And then I was like:

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Welp, the finished product was posted yesterday at noon, and then I was like:

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Seriously, folks, I don’t honestly know why, but it was terrifying to see my words on somebody else’s blog. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

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I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I finally see them in PRINT.

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At any rate, here’s the post. Check out the rest of the blog while you’re there, it’s magnificent. Also buy the book, as it is also magnificent.

That’s all for now, folks.

TTFN.

 

 

 

Mountains and Marmots.

Oof. I live in a pretty stunning place. I mean, look at this:

Just a casual snap I took with my phone while hiking with some friends yesterday.

The wildflowers were unbelievable.

Also, the mountain was covered in marmots.

And speaking of marmots, here’s the resident poet I keep telling you about:

The back of him, anyway. He’s a bit faster than me. Also, he’s not a marmot.

 

One last thing: Exciting news coming tomorrow! Or today, if you’re following me on Twitter. Exciting for me, anyways. Stay tuned.

No Isolation.

Another first Wednesday of the month, another #WordsOnWednesday post for Bittersweet Adventures to replace my usual Thursday post.

Today we were encouraged to share our favorite writing quote. Well, mine just happens to be this one, from the ever-wonderful F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

This quote is inspiring to me, because it reminds me of the importance of writing stories, whether true or fictional. When done right, storytelling contains thoughts, feelings, and experiences that every human understands and relates to. It also reminds me that THOSE are the types of stories that I want to write. I want to be able to tell stories that make people jump out of their seats and shout “YES!” in the middle of public spaces. I want to tell stories that make people chuckle in half-embarrassed collusion. I want to tell stories that make people cry.

I want to help people see that they’re not isolated from anyone. That they belong.

My Lookout.

Well, people, this is going to be a VERY short blog post, as this is my last day of a quick trip to the ocean with family. Here’s a picture I nabbed this morning from my writer’s lookout, a little bench halfway up the cliff:

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Anyways, not sure whether that’s inspiring or just braggy,  but I’ve sure been enjoying it.

TTFN.

 

Tips from Other People, Part 6.

You know what, people? I’ve never written a story with an actual antagonist. I’m not sure why exactly, since I love a good villain as much as the next person.

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Maybe it’s because I tend to be more interested in the complex problems that arise through lack of communication, or different definitions of love, rather than good guy/bad guy interactions. I’m not sure. It’s an interesting thing to consider, for sure, and may help me get closer to knowing what kind of story I really want to write.

But for now, we’re going to talk about baddies. Or rather, we’re going to read a post I found on Now Novel (a fabulous blog, and one I’m continually learning from) about how to make a convincing one. They start with a bullet list:

1. Give an antagonist unsavoury goals like Sauron or Lord Voldemort
2. Make your antagonist’s backstory believable
3. Make your antagonist’s misdeeds require decisive action
4. Show how your antagonist outwits opponents
5. Reveal the power an antagonist has over other characters
6. Don’t make overcoming your antagonist too easy
7. Read antagonist examples for description inspiration

And then proceed to elaborate on each point.

Hmmm… this has me wanting to write some nasty characters now. Time to spice it up.

 

Even the Geniuses.

Allllrighty folks. Here’s the post that I wanted to share with you last week, if it hadn’t been for my crummy internet.

Essentially, it’s two things that I love:

You know what these are?

That first one is a sample of (as far as we can tell) Shakespeare’s handwriting. The second one is Jane Austen’s.

You know why I love them (apart from the fact that they’re just beautiful, duh)?

Look at how much they both scribbled out. If they’d had computers, they would have worn out the backspace key by now.

If you can’t be encouraged by that, well I just can’t help you.

Introducing the Resident Poet.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time (or just indulged in one enormous binge-read), you will have probably bumped into a post or two where I mention my resident poet. For clarification, he is my brother. He writes fantastic poems, contrasting with my terrible ones.

Today, I figured it would be fun to introduce him to you all, and what better way to introduce a resident poet than by sharing one of his poems? I asked him if I could share it first, of course, and he selected a few that he isn’t planning on publishing any time soon. To my surprise, the list included one of my absolute favorites. It’s called…

Mind’s-Eye-Hawaii
by Seth Bridges

Arriving blindly
At your mind’s-eye Hawaii
To find houses shedding paint and
Rain clouds over a heaving plain
Is a let-down.

You could turn back now
And go the way the wind blows,
Listen to rain and radio
All the way back to the been there,

Or maybe make the best of it…

Find a reason to stay.
Shelter under a tree
Or a boat on the beach,
Brush back the damp
Hair from your forehead,
Watch the wind
Carry down

A brown eagle
To the slated sand,
Shy of the glare
Of perfect summer.
The soft color of another season
Brings them out.

Later, when windows
Deepen to violet,
Peeling paint and
Sparkle of rain
On a tide sheet
Are reason enough
To be here.

There. Isn’t that nice? I told you he was good.

Also, I hope this is inspiring enough to make up for the fact that I couldn’t post anything on Tuesday. The downside to living in a forest is that sometimes the internet is crummy.

TTFN.