scribbled revisions

I love words. I'm learning to use them.

Why I stopped reading the news

Let’s get one thing clear: I am an information junkie.

  • I love social media and enjoy seeing what’s being posted and who is talking about what (sometimes chiming in to the conversation as well).
  • I focused my undergrad degree on journalism and political science, which required me to stay on top of current news and familiarize myself with past news.
  • I work in the field of corporate communications, which sees me listening in on what’s going on the company and how the public are talking about their needs, then creating an intersection between their needs and our products and services. To help accommodate these different areas, I would begin each day by going to a selection of nearly a dozen different news sites to see what was going on in the world at the moment, then monitoring developments throughout the day.

Then I started to get tired. Very, very tired. Read the rest of this entry »

How yoga impacts storytelling.

I am a passionate advocate for yoga. Not just for the physical benefits, but also for how it promotes mental and emotional wellness. I practice it because I have a very busy mind that constantly looks back and looks forward; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it gains too much momentum, it becomes exhausting.

Yoga helps calm my ever-busy mind, reels me back from dwelling on the past and makes future worries seem a just bit more off in the distance. I can take inventory of what’s around me, express gratitude and refocus my perspective. And when I’m there in that present moment, I can listenYoga 2

Read the rest of this entry »

What I observed about storytelling during a Backstreet Boys concert.

028Yes, I just admitted that. Backstreet was back (alright!) in Vancouver last night, and I was singing along to nearly every song. I was admittedly a bit secretive about attending, but once I was there, I had no choice but to sing (sing, croak, whatever it was my vocal cords attempted to do) – and I had a lot of fun.

While I did watch the boy band (“boys” who are now pushing 40) recap their wide catalogue of Top 40 singles and get down (and move it all around) to the original choreography, I spent most of the night looking around at the audience – mostly made up of millenials like myself along with many middle-aged women (my wife even saw one of her college professors busting it to “Larger Than Life”). Nearly everyone was singing, swaying and smiling to every line of factory-produced cheesiness in the songs. Read the rest of this entry »

Book review: When We Were On Fire

When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over

When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over

Having grown up in the evangelical world, gone through youth groups, rallies and missions trips – and with my personal faith journey changing and evolving still to this day – I was eager to dive into When We Were On Fire, a memoir of an “evangelical survivor.”

After the first couple chapters, I was worried this would just be overtly critical and cynical without offering any real critique. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find it much more on the “show” side than “tell,” taking the reader through the author’s journey through evangelical obsession, gradual disillusion, spiritual exhaustion and eventual depression, and then slowly reconstructing her faith and her relationship with the faith community. Read the rest of this entry »

Book review: Less Than Zero

Book

Less Than Zero (Vintage Contemporaries)

I hated this book, and I gave it five stars on Goodreads.

Less Than Zero, the debut novel from Bret Easton Ellis, is probably one of the most hopeless, lifeless, plotless stories I have ever read. It’s about a group of rich kids in LA wasting their lives away on drugs, crime and excess. There’s no remorse, no development, no consequences. No one to root for. No one to be redeemed. No judgement or message from the author. No feeling of hope or even a hint of resolution at the end.

And that’s where the horror kicks in: none of the characters seem to care at all. They have nothing to live for, nothing to aim for. Read the rest of this entry »

The first impulse comes from emotion.

“I think the first impulse comes from some deep emotion. It may be anger, it may be some sort of excitement. I recognize in the real world around me something that triggers such an emotion, and then the emotion seems to cast up pictures in my mind that lead me towards a story.”

~John Hershey

 

Why I’m rooting for Steve McQueen at the Oscars.

One of the most important part of a story is if it sticks with me after a reading or viewing. Whether it moved me to tears, brought a smile to my face or just made me incredibly uncomfortable, the “after” effect is what I really look for.

Steve McQueen’s films definitely have the latter effect on me. Hunger and Shame are two of the most uncomfortable movies I’ve ever seen. They drew me into the world of characters so different from me, but McQueen’s refusal to look away or sugar-coat their realities created an incredibly human experience – and I could not shake those brutal realities even after the credits started to roll. Beyond that, the film’s questions were left unanswered at the end, leaving it open to the viewer’s interpretation. Read the rest of this entry »

2013: A year of immersion.

I could sum up 2013 in a number of ways: Switched careers; travelled the Pacific coast; published my second book; learned I was going to become a father [!].

Another way would be this: I read. I read a lot. Read the rest of this entry »

Book review: Push

Push: A Novel

Brutal, ugly, horrific. Eloquent, beautiful, inspiring. Those are the conflicting emotions conjured up while reading this novel. Sapphire’s thoughtful and innovative prose brings Precious Jones – an illiterate 16-year-old with two children from her father – to life, draws you into her tragic world and carries you through her journey of making her life her own for the first time.

Here’s the premise: “Relentless, remorseless, and inspirational, this “horrific, hope-filled story” (Newsday) is certain to haunt a generation of readers. Precious Jones, 16 years old and pregnant by her father with her second child, meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption.”

Similar to Hubert Selby Jr.’s Requiem for a Dream, Push ignores conventional grammar and spelling rules so as to give the reader a first-hand account of Harlem life through the eyes of Precious. This approach is extremely effective, and I highly recommend this novel. The story is grim and real, but incredibly hopeful. Certainly not for the faint-hearted, but a powerful testimony to the life-changing power of language.

News flash: Book release!

Last November, I received an email from two friends: Dave Lukas and Andrew Zahn.

“What if . . .

- What if three guys that never met in person collaborated?
- What if they all found something they were mutually passionate about and felt compelled to share with others?
- What if they wrote together online and created something hilarious . . . or poignant . . . or terrible . . . or amazing . . . or devastating? Or none of those things. Or all of them.
- What if we talked more about what it might or might not be?”
There was a catch: We had never met in person, and had no idea if we could even work together. Still, we gave it a whirl. Nearly a year later, we’re proud to present the fruit of our labor:

Man Speak Final

Man Speak is a sometimes-serious/sometimes-funny discussion of what it means to be a man today – written by three guys in three different time zones, all at three very different stages of life. It truly was an honor collaborating with these guys and am very proud of our work. We put in many, may hours of Google hangouts, writing assignments, revisions and subsequent meetings, and I hope you enjoy the resulting conversations.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 853 other followers