Tag Archives: novel


So, remember that one time when I was geeking out about The Hobbit movie coming out?  Well, brace yourselves for another full-blown book-to-movie geekfest, because my favorite novel of all time, “The Hunger Games”, is coming to the big screen, and while I was wary at first, all of the news that has recently been released about it has me thinking the odds may be in this movie’s favor after all.

First, I found out about the casting.  Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss?  Cool.  Donald Sutherland as President Snow?  Perfect.  Woody Harrelson as Haymitch?  SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

Then, this picture of Jennifer Lawrence in character:

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

But that’s not all.  Today, I learned that Danny Elfman is writing the score, and Suzanne Collins herself, creator and author of The Hunger Games Trilogy, is writing the screenplay.

This movie is shaping up to be absolutely fantastic, almost too good to be true.  I find that little cynical part of myself thinking of the “real or not real?” montage in Mockingjay, but the fanboy in me replies with a confident “REAL!” and gets back to screaming excitedly.  March 23, 2012 cannot get here fast enough.



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Interview with the Newton Part 2: Questions from Tek

I finally watched that Daniel Ingram interview (which was splendid, by the way), so now my subconscious seems to be content to sit in the corner humming the new Coldplay single and let me write in peace.  Hooray!  Now if I can just stay away from Hyperbole and a Half for more than fifteen minutes at a time…

Anyway, since I answered all those stellar questions from my friend Adam Swensen in yesterday’s post, I’m finishing off our little interview today with some equally inspired queries from the broniest of bronies, Tekaramity!  Let’s do this!

1. What do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your life? Yes, “God’s plan” is an answer, but I’m looking for a certain specificity. Have you established yet any goals you’ll be looking to reach long-term? Do you know yet what approaches, tools, talents, and allies you’ll need to reach those goals?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a best-selling author.  I still have a book bound in cardboard that I dictated to my mom when I was three years old.  It featured a brave knight and a princess and a baby named Penelrocker, and at the end I told her to write “look for more adventures of the prince and princess coming soon!”.  Sadly, that series was discontinued, but I held tightly to my love for  storytelling and my desire to be a famous writer.  As I matured, however, I realized that becoming famous is never an end, it’s a means,and if I were to gain all the fame in the world and use it as a means to make myself feel good then I would have utterly wasted my life.  In God’s hands, however, fame becomes such a powerful tool for influencing the culture, and as I caught the vision of how He could use me if I were both a best-selling author and a sold-out, fully-surrendered Christian I knew that that was what I wanted to pursue.  In many ways, I’d like to live a life much like that of John Green, a successful author who leverages his fame to, in his words, “decrease worldsuck and increase awesome”.  I want to proclaim the gospel, help the hurting, challenge the apathetic, and encourage the disheartened, and I want to use my passion for writing to do it.  I want to reach the world in big ways, and the only way I can do it is through perseverance, dedication, the support of my friends and family, and the power of my God.

2. Why do you write this blog? Put simply, why do you believe what you say matters to your reading audience? This isn’t a confrontational question, mind you, nor is it an assault on your writing or mindset therein. This is simply opening a venue that allows you to explain the blog’s purpose and the dedication driving it.

This is a question with which I’ve been wrestling for some time.  I started this blog as a place to post samples of my writing, and it’s slowly evolved over time into the eclectic mixture of posts that it is today.  Lately, I’ve really lost track of what exactly I’m trying to do here, and my writing has suffered as a result.  I’ve been overcritical, like if there’s any chance that someone might not like what I’m writing then it’s not good enough, and I end up spending hours writing stuff I don’t even like.  Finally, I sat down and thought about it for a while, and I realized that I’ve lost sight of why I started writing this blog.  I don’t write to impress anyone or to garner a lot of views or to become some kind of Internet celebrity.  I write to practice, I write to stretch myself creatively, and I write in the hopes that, by sharing my life and my experiences with others, I can bring them some measure of the encouragement or inspiration or laughter or guidance that God has given me.  This blog’s purpose is to brighten the day and nourish the soul of anyone who happens to stumble across it, and the best way that I know of to do that is to be myself and love God with all of my heart, and to let that come out in every post I write.

3. Suppose there exists someone you’ve personally known for quite a while (preferably much of your time alive) whose contributions into your life you really ought to acknowledge verbally more often. Acknowledge that individual, describe what that person has done for you, and explain what you hope you can do to return the investment. Be bold.

As it just so happens, someone like that really does exist, and his name is Pastor Derek Max.  Pastor Derek, I first came under your leadership as a cripplingly insecure Junior Higher.  I had almost no friends and even less confidence, but you saw that there was more to me, and you gave me the encouragement I needed to open up and overcome my shyness.  As I grew as a person and as a Christian you took time out of your life to study the Bible with me, to take me out to lunch and talk about life, to push me to reach for more.  Even when I couldn’t make it to youth group for two years in a row because of other responsibilities, you made it your mission to include me in your life.  I remember one year when I didn’t want to come to Fall Retreat.  You called me up at home and asked me why not, and you wouldn’t take any of my weak excuses.  That weekend turned out to be one of the most important of my high school years.  You gave me opportunities to use my gifts to serve the youth group, and you worked alongside me as I wrote and taught and offered me advice on how I could be better.  Your love and guidance have been fundamental in making me the man I am today, and I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you for it.  So let me say it now: thank you, Pastor Derek, for showing the love of Christ to a loner and helping him to become a leader.  I know that the only way I could adequately return your investment is to pay it forward, to invest myself in the lives of hurting youth and give to them the same gift of friendship that you’ve given so abundantly and selflessly to me.

4. Why is Photo Finish so amazing!? (I want lots of mature analysis on this one!)

One ridiculous accent + one pair of fantastic sunglasses + several quotable catchphrases + epic personal background music that follows her around everywhere = best secondary character of all time (sorry, Luna fans).
In layman’s terms, she has… DE MAGICKS!

And now, it’s time for me to sleep.  After all, tomorrow I have the thing at the place, and I don’t want to be late.  Thanks for the great questions, Tek and Adam!  I GO!

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BFS: 2011

Every year around January, the folks down at NaNoWriMo start up a forum called BFS.  It means Big, Fun, and Scary, and it’s full of posts from people who have always wanted to try something but never gotten around to it.  This year, they’ve decided it’s time to get around to it.  Whether you want to tackle one thing or a dozen, and whether it’s something big, fun, scary, or most often a combination of all three, making a BFS list is a great way to take stock of what you’d like to try this year.  In the spirit of the New Year, and to kick off one of my big, fun, scary new projects, I’m posting my BFS: 2011 list as my first official PostADay 2011 post.

1. Do PostADay 2011.  As you may have already guessed by it’s subtle title, PostADay 2011 is a challenge from WordPress to post every single day for the rest of the year on your blog.  Challenge accepted, WordPress.  I’m still working on a tentative schedule for what I’ll post when, but right now it’s looking like a vlog on Monday, song of the week on Wednesday, a more serious post (ala Jon Acuff’s Serious Wednesdays at Stuff Christians Like.  Great blog, check it out) on Friday, and some shorter and/or more lighthearted material to fill in the gaps.  This leads me to my next project…

2. Become a Vlogger.  For those of you who don’t know (or don’t care, but you’ve probably stopped reading by now anyway), a vlog is like a blog, only it’s a video.  That means that once a week this year, probably on Mondays for the most part, I’ll post a video to YouTube with a link on my blog.  These videos will be, for the most part, just me talking about things that I find interesting, funny, challenging, important, or that I otherwise want to talk about.  I’m excited to give it a try, even if all I really accomplish is boosting my creativity, because everyone knows that you can’t have too much creativity.

3. Write a Script in April (and another book in November).  If you’ve been around my blog at all, ever, you’ve probably heard all about the wonder that is NaNoWriMo.  In fact, if you weren’t zoning out when you read the first paragraph of this post you’ve at least heard the name.  NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November – a challenge which I’ve conquered twice.  Yes, I plan to do that again this year, but even more new and exciting is my first official run at Script Frenzy, NaNo’s sister program, which challenges writers to create a hundred pages of script in April.  I tried to co-write with my brother, Andrew, last year, but I learned very quickly that I’m an awful co-writer.  I dropped out and let him finish the script (which he did splendidly), but this year I’m going to try it for real with a solo effort.  I don’t know a lot of the details yet, but it’s going to be a movie based off of a near-future thriller idea that my Dad gave me about a government specialist who tracks down and brings in high-priority criminals.  The working title is “Apprehension”, and I couldn’t be more pumped for April to show up so that I can get it out on paper.

4. Enter the ABNA Contest in 2012.  Okay, okay, so this is technically not taking place in 2011, but the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest is a big deal, and if I’m going to enter it in January next year I’ll need to do all of the work this year.  Basically, the ABNA Contest is an invitation for first-time novelists to send in their books to be judged by a panel of experts.  One winner in each of two categories is selected for a two book deal with Penguin and a $15,000 advance, so you can imagine that I’d really like to win.  I’ll be entering this year’s NaNo, “Kill Me”, but I need to do some major editing first.  Definitely big, definitely fun, definitely scary, and potentially life-changing.

5. Come Back to Moody in the Fall.  You may notice that this item is a little out of place.  All of the others focus on my efforts to further myself as a writer/blogger, but this entry is about being a college student.  I’ll tell you why: mostly because I like my lists to finish in nice, round numbers like three and five, but also because this is going to be a big project.  I need to find a job and work at it like a maniac to make enough money to come back to school next semester, so that’s the big and scary part, and since I love being at Moody and I imagine that the security of a job is nice, I suppose this goal fits on the BFS list just as much as the others.

So that’s what the highlights 0f 2011 look like for me.  I’m eager to see how things go as I work toward my goals, and I’m curious: what sort of big, fun, scary things do you want to take a whack at this year?  Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you tomorrow with my second official PostADay… um, post.  I need to find a less clunky way to word that.


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NaNoWriMo 2010 Begins!

It’s blue.  It used to be grey, and now it’s blue.  That little box in the upper right hand corner of the NaNoWriMo website stared at me day in and day out last month, grey and dead, stuck at 0.  “NaNoWriMo has yet to begin” it sighed, and I sighed, too, because I wished it weren’t true.

Well, now it’s not.  The update button is yellow again, and that 0 can become any number I want it to be!  The world is my pogo stick!  What to write first?  I don’t know yet, but I have to start writing soon or I’ll burst.  NaNoWriMo is officially nine hours old in the Central Time Zone, and I’m still getting over that fresh new update button.  Imagine how giddy I’ll be when I finally get to click it.  Passers by will probably mistake me for a Twilight fan.  Note to self: make sure there are no passers by when you click the button.

That being said, I wanted to post my synopsis and cover art for this year’s NaNoNovel today in honor of the beginning of NaNoWriMo, and I’ll keep you posted as my word count climbs this month.  Onward to 50,000!

Here’s the cover, the synopsis is below it:

Cover art for my NaNoNovel this year


“I’m here to give you your life back. How would you like to be immortal?”
When Tran Martin first heard those words, he was pinned beneath his ATV fighting a dozen gashes and broken bones to stay alive. The mysterious young woman offered him a miracle he couldn’t pass up, even if her one condition was a killer – literally. “Each day you must convince a different person to kill you. If you succeed, you’ll wake up in your bed the next morning and live another day. If you fail, you’ll die – and stay that way.” At the time it seemed like a great offer. Three months after he died for the first time, however, Tran isn’t so sure. He’s made a lot of enemies in ninety days, and one of them has finally discovered his secret…


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NaNoWriMo 2010: Let It Begin!

It’s fall once again, and I can feel the unbearable joy of the year’s most fantastic three months in the bright blue sky, the fresh, cool breeze, and the irresistible urge to write a book.  That’s right, friends, in just one short month NaNoWriMo will be upon us!  If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, check out their website to learn about this month of full-on gloriousness.  Words cannot do justice to the excitement I’ve been trying to suppress all day as I’ve waited and checked and waited and checked again and checked again without waiting and distracted myself from my bright and glorious anticipation of the website relaunch.  Only a few hours ago, the site came back online, and I’ve been there sporadically ever since updating my profile, scoping out the forums, and learning about two wonderful new opportunities to enhance my noveling rapture: NaNoUniversity and Sponsorship.

NaNoUniversity is nearly irrevocable proof that God is with me in my frenzied writing adventure (that and Hebrews 3:15).  It’s a brand new program from NaNoWriMo specifically for college students.  They offer loads of free resources to help studious young people just like me reach our goal of 50,000 words in one month.  They even have plenty of useful NaNo Club-starting items available for download and distribution, and a forum of their own where I can ask around hopefully for some fellow Moody WriMos.

Perhaps even more exciting, however, is my discovery of NaNoWriMo sponsorship.  It’s just like sponsoring a charity runner, except instead of giving money to a good cause to motivate someone to cause themselves extreme discomfort and go somewhere that they don’t really need to go as quickly as possible, you’re giving money toward several inspirational and educational writing programs in order to motivate someone (me) to produce a work of creativity and art.  If you’re interested in giving ten dollars to the Office of Letters and Light to help them keep their wonderful programs wonderful, drop by my donation page.  Even if you, like me, don’t have ten dollars to just give away, I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I go all out to write a God-honoring, intriguing, original novel (or at least the rough draft that will become such a novel) in 30 days.  Thank you for your support, and if you, too, are a WriMo this year leave me a comment with your username so that we can be writing buddies!  God bless you, and may your October be just as wondrously anticipation-packed as mine.


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Legend of the Dreamseers: Commencement

As promised, and barely on time, here is an excerpt from the first chapter of my book, Legend of the Dreamseers:  “Commencement”!  Hope you enjoy it, and please leave a few comments below letting me know what you liked/hated about it and how I could make it better.  Thanks, everyone!  God bless!


Reuel closed his eyes, taking in the excited chatter of nearly one thousand young men and women.  All of the words blended together, the mixture of high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow sounds filled the auditorium with a warm, expectant buzz.  Students from every background and culture sat in the curved metal benches arranged around the stage or milled in the aisles in between, all discussing the ceremony in which they were about to take part.  And, despite their different origins and races, everyone was discussing it in the same language.

Reuel smiled, feeling the vastness and the importance of the role he had been chosen to play.  He, along with all of the other students in the room, was to be a herald of a new era, brought about by a triumph of modern thinking: a global common language.  The way of life for millions would be changed for the better, and he was on the forefront of that change.

Suddenly, a wave of silence overtook the students, starting in the back and leaving nothing in its wake but the purposeful click of shoes on the granite floor.  Reuel returned from his thoughts just in time to see a short, sharply dressed man stride past.  There was nothing remarkable about the man’s features, but the confidence of his step, the gentle hint of a grin on his lips, and the visionary fire in his eyes earned the respect and adoration of everyone in the room.  This was their hero, the man who started it all – Daisen Rennishau.

The feverish anticipation of a thousand young hearts swelled in the thrilled silence that accompanied Daisen’s ascent to the stage. From the moment that he turned to face the crowd he fixed them with his gaze and never stopped.  He looked into each face for just an instant, his brilliant green eyes connecting with their own, and in that instant all the passion of his heart poured into theirs until it overflowed, leaving a brilliant smile on each student’s face long after the moment had passed.

Slowly, Daisen leaned forward, grasping the podium firmly with both of his hands, and began to speak.  “My friends,” he exclaimed, smiling warmly.  Reuel smiled, too, taking in the richness of Daisen’s voice.  “It is hard to believe that it has been four years since we first met.  So much has happened since then!  We lived together, worked together, dreamed together for so long, and now our dream will finally be realized.  No longer are we citizens of the north or the south, the clouds or the earth or the sea.  No longer are we separated by the customs, traditions and languages of our peoples.” Daisen’s voice had already reached an incredible fervor, bold and soaring, and now each word rose higher until they filled the entire room with a tangible passion.  “Today, my brothers and sisters, we are citizens together of one world, our world, brought together by one language, one passion: peace and unity for all!”

Reuel sprang to his feet in an instant, applauding.  He stood with his friends all around the auditorium as they cheered together for Daisen and for the future and for peace and joy and unity.  They clapped out of admiration, caught up in the vision of a better world, and Daisen stood on the stage, eyes raised to the heavens, encouraging them with his smile.


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A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

I finished reading my book today!  I know that sounds like an odd statement, but it’s the first step in a bigger journey: editing.  I’ve still got a daunting amount of work left to do, but it’s exciting to have all of these ideas bouncing around in my head waiting to come flying out.  Backstories, plot lines, characters waiting to be changed, improved and explored.  Of course, there are challenges, too.  I mean, is there a reasonable explanation out there for why there would be four instances of the same person in the world?  But I’m excited to see where the story takes me in the coming months… here’s hoping it turns out well.

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