Sewer Pirates and Writer’s Block

Every now and then, I’ll read or see something that stirs up creativity like one of those old water vortex jugs you used to make as a kid, with ideas swirling in violent circles. For me, this usually boils down to a handful of movies or stories that always make me yearn to create my own. But occasionally, it’s something different.

Take this story from the L.A. Times today, which spins the tale of a buried ship at the World Trade Center, just discovered this week. Damon Lindelof linked to it on his Twitter account with a joke about the Black Rock and Lost, but my mind went different places. Continue reading →

Faith and Speculative Fiction

Science Fiction

There are typically two types of books that I lean towards when populating my reading list: Sci-fi/Fantasy books or books on theology and Christian living. It’s a strange combination, I suppose, but says a lot about the things I ponder, when I’m not thinking about Batman or cheeseburgers. As an aspiring author, these are actually the two types of writing that I’d like to delve into some day, and there is usually a stark separation between the two (although I’ve shared before how I think this should not always be so).

Over the weekend, there were some interesting discussions going on in a few Christian blogs about the absence of speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy/horror, etc.) from the world of Christian publishing. This all seemed to start over at ReveLife with a post about how Science Fiction Goes with the Christian Life, which discusses the myriad of thematic elements that are relevant for Christians in the realm of sci-fi. Personally, I think it raises some good points, especially considering that science fiction’s most powerful ability is to turn the magnifying glass on present culture by way of the future or the seemingly impossible. For reference material, see: Battlestar Galactica, the series. Continue reading →

Books That Rule: The Magicians

The MagiciansThese days, I’m often too busy to do all of the things that I love. Between hanging with the wife, writing, watching awesome TV shows, reading and playing video games, one of these items will unfortunately be forgotten. Since ignoring one of those could end in divorce, right now that particular neglected past time is reading. However, every now and then I do get to read something so I try to make it count. In recent months, I’ve read the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, and I’m currently working through Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson, which is book one of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.

While those books have made their own impressions and are great reads in their own right, one title that I got to read around the end of last year really stuck with me: The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I suppose I’ve been thinking about this one a lot since I recently heard that Grossman is working on a sequel. Continue reading →

Why I Write: The Power of Story in the Human Narrative

Years ago, when I was traveling to different churches and seeking a job as a youth pastor, I ended up at a fairly conservative Baptist church. I don’t mean to pick on that denomination, but while there on my interview, I was put into a bit of a bind by a particular question I was asked in front of a group of parents and students. “Do you think it’s OK to watch rated R movies?”

The reason this question proved to be so awkward was that it’s loaded with assumptions, and implications for the wrong answer. It also is the kind of question that makes people look at Christians all goofy. Continue reading →

Congratulations, Jack: The Lost Finale

Is it possible to be unsure of whether you liked something or not, but still be satisfied by it? Because after sleeping on it, that’s how I’m feeling about the series finale of Lost, complete with its Desmond Ex Machina, sideways purgatory and creepily Evangelion-like conclusion. Despite all the mythology and ambiguity, the show creators have always maintained that this was a character show, and “The End” certainly lent itself to that end. Continue reading →

Stones of Black and White in the Magic Box

A couple of years ago, J.J. Abrams gave an illuminating presentation for TED, where he spoke about a principle in storytelling that is riveting to watch unfold: opening the magic box. Here is a clip of it, if you be having curiosities.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching it, or if you’re just too lazy, the idea behind the magic box is simple. Sir Abrams speaks of how he bought a mystery box at a shop when he was a boy, and how he has never opened it his entire life. Mystery creates imagination, and that is where stories and characters live in their coolest places.

The danger of all of this mystique? What’s inside the box can never be as rad as what your imagination wanted it to be. Perhaps that’s why he’s kept it shut all these years.
Continue reading →

Seven Sons, That Book I’m Writing

Every time someone asks me what my dream job is, I always say a sci-fi/fantasy author. If I could make money writing cheesy books for the rest of my life, I’d be a terribly happy man. The only thing better would be getting paid to play video games, but even that would lose some of its enjoyment after a time. And this is coming from a video game nut.

At the end of last year, I decided to finally try my hand at writing a novel. I’ve had ideas of doing it for the longest time, big ideas that I’ve been keeping in my backpocket until they were developed enough. I decided to finally go for it because I accidentally caught that my word count of blog posts on GamerSushi and SmoothFewFilms combined came out to a total of 250,000. This was with just 2 years of posting. If you’re unaware of just how many words that is, imagine one of the later Harry Potter books, or anything in the Wheel of Time series. That roughly translates to around 800 pages or more of sheer nerdy prose, and I had done it by accident, accumulating volumes of words by posting a few hundred each night. I figured, well, if I can do that, I can do the same thing towards an original story for an entire year and see what happens.

Enter my novel, whose working title at the moment is Seven Sons. Continue reading →

Load more