Friday, June 26, 2015

The Definition

I was thinking a little about the art of writing and really was wondering at what makes a writer a writer. It's not the ideas; everyone has ideas. Everyone likely even has one good idea that could be a best seller or block buster or whatever. Honestly, I think anyone's pet dog could write scripts for some of the block busters hitting the big screen lately. So what is it? What makes a writer a writer if not their ideas? I think it has to be the passion for the idea, the driving need to see the idea through to completion, to believe that the idea is something worth sharing and sticking with until it's whole and polished. That's the part that makes writing work. But it's the passion that makes it worthwhile work.

I believe that's what makes a writer a writer.

John, a writer in the making.

Friday, February 20, 2015


The more of life that I experience, the more I value courage. I don't mean fire fighter type courage, or the kind of courage it takes for a soldier to take up arms in the defence of his countrymen, although I do not want to belittle that courage either! I'm talking about the kinds of courage that make us do things we're not used to, to take risks in faith and actively receive the gifts that God gives us. I fully believe that God works in our lives, providing opportunities and ways for us to improve. The catch is that we need to have the courage to say 'this IS a gift from God, and although I think there could be problems, I don't see the bigger picture. He does and I need to trust that this is what I must do.' Courage, I think, is faith put into action; the best kind of faith.

I would be remiss without quoting C.S. Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”

I think that sums it up quite nicely.

I don't usually include testimony, but I truly believe that so far 2015 has seen a bounty of gifts and these things deserve praise and exclamation. There is some significant work that needs to be done on our ageing house and I was having trouble figuring out how to pay for it all. The solution arose that we could use equity in our home when we renewed our mortgage. The timing was perfect as our mortgage was due for renewal; we wouldn't suffer any penalties for renewing early. This catch: our payments would increase, no small thing when our budget was tight to begin with. But we went with it, saying 'things will work out'.

Almost out of the blue I was offered a different job (I'd given the company a resume four months previous and had forgotten about it) with a large pay increase, more than covering the extra costs of the new mortgage. It's a great opportunity, a great company and a great place to advance my career. the Catch: it's way across town far from bus stops and we would have to find another car. I took the job saying 'things will work out.'

I found an excellent car last night, a 2008 VW with extremely low KM; it's almost new and so long as the financing comes through, we will probably buy it. The payments are within what I think we can afford and there will probably be a 90 day no payment option that we can take advantage of, just enough time for me to get past my probation period with the new job.

I'm very excited to see what is in store for us next, I can't believe that this is the end of our blessings and all I really want is the courage to take these gifts given us and make good use of them. I realize I'm posting this in a public forum, and that it might be seen as less than helpful in terms of advice, so I will leave with what I think I have learned.

Do not be wary of gifts. Do not be wary or cynical. If it appears to be good and wholesome, it is an opportunity heaven sent. Do not find the small faults that might lead to excuses, these gifts ARE free, even if they don't look like it now, God will not present you with an opportunity only to withdraw all support later to see you fail, He wants you to succeed. That our mortal comprehension can't see past the now shouldn't let us influence the decision in the least. Be courageous, be bold and live the life God desires for you. Receive His gifts in confidence, knowing that his bounty will continue and that success is all but assured if you should only accept.

John, The Writer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mockingjay: How to properly preform a revolution or revolt.

I saw the latest hunger games this past weekend. We'd watched the first two and I had been really impressed with Catching Fire. Great plot, great characters and you could really see how the whole series of events was designed to make Katniss into a 'hero'. Mockingjay: Part 1 continued with a lot of the good character development that we'd come to expect and plot wise it did several other things really well. I really liked how Katniss wasn't forced into being a soldier; just because she survived the games doesn't really qualify her for real combat, she has no experience on a battlefield. I'm sure in the last of the series, that will change but such is life and Hollywood.

What bothered me most was the way the common men and women went about revolting. In both cases the emphasis was on sacrifice instead of a tactical goal and preserving life. While sacrifice is both noble and inspiring on screen, it doesn't make sense in warfare when simple alternatives present themselves. While I can understand that these are simple people, it makes perfect sense for District 13 to have agents planted to help organize efforts. And to supply them. The Dam sabotage scene is a great example.

Let's say that the bombs make sense since they need explosives for their work. Let's say District 13 is taking a hands off approach to helping. Let's just assume that. The people came in mass because they knew most of them would be human shields that wouldn't make it out of there alive. I have no idea what kinds of firearms those white mask guys are packing, but the bullets seemed to be stopped by a human body. Now if it were me and I had an ounce of self preservation, I'd have rigged up some kind of shield, medieval siege engine style. I think that makes sense, right? Stop half those bullets and save a ton of lives. Now if District 13 had supplied them with even small amounts of fire power, then everyone's getting out alive, right? I mean, those poor guys walked pretty much right up to the spillways in the fog before anyone said boo. Rockets launched from under cover would have done pretty much the same thing as their bombs in a box. I saw the District 13 weapons depot, those guys HAVE rockets.

Anyway, it was a very dramatic scene. People dying for their freedom etc, but I couldn't help but wonder if properly led why the Capitol wouldn't have fallen years ago when they seem to be falling now to a bunch of ticked off peasants with death wishes.