Nano Rhino by mpclemens at flickr.com

My rough drafts have slightly better spelling.

What the heck is NaNoWriMo?

I saw that wierd word on a bumper sticker glued to the back of a laptop in a coffee shop a few months back.

It feels embarrassing that as a writer I didn’t know what it was until then.

What is it then?

It’s an acronym that writers added extra letters to, so it became easy to say.

National Novel Writing Month

Apparently lots of authors I have trouble starting a project without a deadline. So worldwide, many authors decide one or two things are going to take place in the month of November:

1. They will complete an entire rough draft of a novel they’ve been thinking about writing but haven’t started. AND/OR…

2. Write 50,000 words towards that project before the month ends.

It’s like No-Shave November, but people have to actually do something.

What’s Been Going on at Author David’s Bulletproof Lab:

This is my first NaNoWriMo, and I’m not doing it because it’s November, I’m doing it to get into the habit of knocking out first drafts in a short time, no matter what.

And the Results?

I have a series idea, and plotted it out so that I could start writing by November. That meant september was a month of research and plot outlining.

With a goal of a finished 60,000 word rough draft by months end I set to work.

Stats:

Week 3 results: 42,639 words written.
Chapters Completed: 23/36

Since one of my weeks was 18,600 words, I am sure I could hit 60,000 if I had to. The truth is, it’s looking like this book might be a bit longer than 60,000 words though. I still have 36% more book to write. Based on an average chapter length of about 1800 words, it looks like I’ll need to write 24,100 words or so to hit my completed rough draft goal. Seeing as I’m developing a habit of working on marketing as well as writing, along with two jobs, it may not be realistic to push for 24,000+ words in a week.

But if I’m anything, it’s unreasonable.

Implications

Since this upcoming book is a series, I may still have to write new characters, plots, and scenes. However, the fact that the character has a history, motivation, and supporting characters, along with a few repeating environments, the pre-book planning process might be a little shorter (4-5 weeks rather than 6-8).

I like to take a break between first draft and revision, so this gives me two weeks to spend a bit more time on marketing and develop some plots for future releases.

The hard part for me is revising. It can be fun when once I start, but I tend to dread it until work really begins. The revising process, and everything leading up to releasing a book, also comes with having to work with other people’s deadlines (editors, beta readers, proofreaders, book cover designers, etc). While I’ve gone through the gauntlet a few times, I’m still looking for an editor that will work within my budget without reducing quality. Someone I can go to over and over. As book sales increase, I’ll probably sink more into having great editors than anything else. To sum up, I can crank out some relatively fast rough drafts in spite of nearly anything, it’s the stuff afterward that needs the most improvement in order to write lots of books and get them out in a decent amount of time. While I still dream of 4 books a year, that dream may not become a reality until the middle or end of next year, with one book – from concept to completion – in a 3 month period being the metric that really shows I’ve got it down.

Pool of Echoes - Book CoverPool of Echoes is out!

Here’s it’s about:

Jordan Mitchfield is heir to a media empire worth billions. He also sees and hears things that aren’t there.

Then someone close puts him in an insane asylum against his will.

When it looks like there is no way out but to take his own life, he is stopped. Is it a vision? Is what he’s seeing actually real? Is it even part of this dimension?

Whatever it is, it opens his cell door and throws him into a dangerous time-travel adventure through his memories.

As he goes deeper into the Pool of Echoes, he is forced to confront everything he has ever known, reconstruct his own mental health, and play a role in something much larger than himself.

If you or anyone you know has ever questioned their own self worth, get on board this life-changing fiction thrill-ride. You will never be the same.

I’ll make an entry on the BOOKS page so it will be easy to find later.

This was my first of ‘hopefully’ many thrillers. I’ve noticed that my favorite stories have a bit of action and conflict in them, and it’s an underserved area for those who like Christian fiction.

 

The Reason for Pool of Echoes

The basic message of the story is: where does your self worth come from?

If it comes from your possessions, your family, your socio-economic background, your friends – these are all things that can change. Even worse, whatever you make as the center of your self worth ends up being a chain, preventing you from a healthy relationship with whatever idol you’ve chosen – even if it’s just an idea.

There is one exception – and that is to put your self worth someplace where it cannot be taken away.

Wanna know where it is? Wanna know? Well I’ll tell you, but I also wanna make a living and share this great story with you, so come on down to the Amazon, where my book file yearns to visit you.

Click here to check out the book and/or download a preview.

Enjoy.

-David

 

Note: If you’re finding out this way rather than through the mailing list, my list server is temporarily down. The matter should be resolved in a day or two.

Recent Developments

October 12, 2014 — Leave a comment

Hello friends,

You may have noticed a lack of posts. Don’t worry, I’m not dead.

If anything, I’m writing – a lot!

Here are some recent developments I’m psyched to share with you.

Pool of Echoes

Pool of Echoes is about to be released. It is now in the process of formatting, proofreading, and some basic marketing preparation.

It is a story that does some things I haven’t seen anywhere else, yet still has familiar elements that fans of science fiction and psychological thrillers are certain to enjoy.

Marketing

In another post, I talked about getting a marketing degree. Unlike many authors who have a phobia of promoting themselves, I intend to be the opposite.

Writing is what I’m really committed to, and when you commit to something, it makes sense to ensure that your activities are as valuable as possible – to yourself and others. To suggest otherwise is to cheapen your time, life, and mission.

Though to be honest, I’m just barely starting to get a handle on what I’m doing.

I may in the future write some posts about the different things I’m doing to promote the books. If you’re interested in spreading the word about what you do, you may find it useful. If not, you’re welcome to skip it.

To synthesize everything I’ve learned into a few short sentences, it’s this: Write what really excites you, then position your work where it is easy to find, and make sure you have a way to remain in contact with people who like what you do. Repeat – the more often you can do this without sacrificing quality, the better.

Working

Austin is a challenging place to live, especially if you’ve started in the city unemployed and without any network in place. I’ve managed to change both of those things, thanks to my faith and the Three Legs of Trust.

As a commitment to my writing career, I’ve decided that not a single month will go by where my expenses exceed my income. Sometimes that means 60+ hours a week between multiple jobs. So be it. Doing this may seem like a tough thing to do, but I’ve managed to pull it off for the last 5 months without too much problems. It also has helped me to earn enough money to release more than one book a year. Great news, as that means I’ll be able to put out enough books to – within a few months/years – drop back to 40 hours/week or less. Like a normal person.

From there, it isn’t unreasonable to expect 2-8 completed works a year, depending on how many worthy ideas I find, and how improved the writing process gets. About 75% or so will be novels while the remaining 25% will likely be screenplays.

Marketing 2.0

Ultimately, the activities that are going to work best will have two big features:

1. It will be effective in earning income and creating more freedom to live well and continue writing indefinitely. (this usually will mean book sales, publishing advances, or screenplay options)

2. It will be enjoyable for both myself and others.

Here are some thoughts on different methods:

Blogging

Ask any how-to book on how to succeed in writing, and you will get the following advice: Start a blog, write 3-5X a week, and guest post to build your audience. Then, after 6 months or so, you’ll have a platform of people who will be interested when you have something to offer.

I’ve noticed that for this to work, it’s best to have something valuable and useful to say, 3-5x a week, and even more for guest posting elsewhere.

For a lot of people, this has worked really well. For me? I just don’t have something incredibly useful to say 3-5X a week, every week.

Plus, this takes time to do, time that could just as easily be spent writing more books – something I know you really want if you’re on this site. Why would I delay giving you what you want in order to do something I’m not naturally good at, when I don’t have much time to spare as it is?

I am interested in blogging on specific things, like a production diaries and a reporting of interesting things I find during the research process. Perhaps as sales improve, freeing up more time, I’ll be able to do more of this.

Audio and Video

Big secret here.

When I write, I’m basically writing down a movie that I’m seeing in my head. At least on good days.

Audio takes very little budget, but works best when you have guests to interview and interface with.

Video, on the other hand, can be done solo or with guests. You can do interviews, short narratives, how-to’s, screen-captures, and other forms of content. While it takes more resources to do well, I believe my mind works in a way best-suited for this type of content. Doing this will likely be just as rewarding as the writing process.

PR, Radio, and TV Interviews

I’m open to them, though I think a publicist would be tremendously helpful if I’m seeking to do this consistently and well.

Blog Tours

Heard they’re not that effective, but willing to try them out.

Series

There’s Emotionally Bulletproof, and another one in the works! I’m really excited about what you’ll get to read in the near future.

Audiobooks

The groundwork is being laid for producing audiobooks of all my works. I don’t have a publicized deadline, but it is super important to me. Audio is one of the best ways for me to read, and I know that a lot of people feel the same way for many different reasons.

Advertising

To see if it works, I’ll do it. It seems to be working for a lot of writers. If it works, I’ll keep doing it. If it doesn’t, I’ll try again later with a different release.

Guest Articles

I want to have more recent posts, even if I don’t post very often, before really leaning into this. The big reason for using this form of promotion is mainly to make friends in the new media and add value to them as much as possible.

Book Signings

They aren’t a great way to leverage your time unless you have a large platform already. If you’re last name is Rowling, or Patterson, or King, or Dekker, then do it. If not, your sales will likely be in the single digits unless you promote hard for 4+ hours on end. This is based on multiple personal experiences. There may be exceptions if you cross-promote with other authors, or create an event with unique appeal. Otherwise, it isn’t a sustainable way to make a living and write, especially if your energy diminishes from being really social – the definition of introversion. With your tank on empty from promoting all day, where is the energy to write more? Add a multi-city tour, and you’ve just added time off work and travel expenses as dual costs that have to be surpassed in order for the event to succeed.

Book Publishing Events and Conferences

Completely new to this, but looking forward to seeing how other authors use these in order to improve their connections and contribute as panelists on specific topics. There is one coming up near the end of the month in my home city.

Compiled Short Stories With a Variety of Genre Authors

Sounds like a lot of fun. I don’t know how to get something like that started, but I think that with the right group of people it could be really great. While I’m not really accustomed to short-form storytelling, I’d push through that knowledge gap in order to participate in the right compilation.

Short Story Submission

Despite searching through Writers’ Market, and some thorough online research, I don’t know a lot of authors doing what I do (best described as Christian-inspired fiction with elements of action, thriller, and sci-fi mixed in), and with the few magazines I have found, it doesn’t look like there’s enough readership and/or financial incentive to justify the work that goes into that type of work so far. Given, if I’m inspired to write a short story, and I later find that such a platform is the best vehicle for it, I’ll gladly put it there to attract readership to my other books and to help the magazine broaden its reader base. Until then, not really feeling it.

If you know of any good Christian Fiction, or Magazines open to the type of work I do, let me know. It would be an honor to contribute to something people love.

That’s all folks!

My next post will likely be about Pool of Echoes being released, so look forward to that. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to sending more great work your way.

By K.reitmeier (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsWhat if your soul was separate from your body?

This is going to fly in the face of the denomination I grew up in at church. That’s okay.

I’m not talking about the immortal soul, or anything like that.

What if your body was a vessel that simply housed your soul, and you could see your soul as equally valuable to everybody else’s? The richest man on earth is worth just as much as you, the only difference is that his vessel – and your ‘vessel’ – are in different places.

If somebody says ‘You’re a great writer.’ Cool, but my vessel is the one that takes pride in being a writer. It’s really my soul trying to speak messages, and it’s guiding my body to write.

Need to run more but don’t feel like it? What if your soul had no emotions about it at all, and simply told your body to go? It’s just guiding your vessel to get the physical form it needs to be healthy.

The more I think about this, the easier it is to switch between the Horse (Vessel) and Rider (Soul) in my mind.

Right now, my soul knows that this idea is worth spreading. It can help you become consciously aware of your life situation, so you can separate your emotions from who you really are.

Every bad (or good) thing anybody has ever said? Doesn’t touch your soul. Your soul is greater and more amazing than any compliment could ever describe.

Rejection in dating, business, or the job market? Doesn’t touch your soul. Your soul knows you need success in many different ways, and it’s job is to consciously guide you in the direction you need to go.

Yesterday a tire blew out on my car. At three in the morning. On a dark country road. Despite the rough situation, and the fact that I didn’t have all the necessary tools, my soul was calm. It reminded my body that this situation will soon end, and it will guide me to make sure I change the situation step-by-step. In the end, things worked out very well, and I MacGuyvered the crank I needed to operate the car jack even though the part was missing.

The issue I’ve been having? When you have your soul guide your body to what it wants, you slip out of your soul-mode, and into your body. This subjects you to frustration, disappointment, and the usual manic-depressive roller coaster associated with impatience.

The big solution I’ve been finding is to ask God where He wants my body to go. This allows my soul to enter my body with the right programming.

This is very high-level consciousness. It may even be crap for people who can get by just fine without all the mental jiu-jitsu. However, for neurotic crazy folks like me, it may be helpful.

I’m noticing a lot of parallels in different philosophies that have elements of this higher consciousness. The teachings of Christ and his thoughts on being born again.

The stoic teachings of Seneca, where he says to explore what you fear in order to realize it’s not really all that scary.

The practices of meditation in Buddhism.

Even folks with Multiple Personality Disorder employ a twisted version of this thought process.

It’s all about being aware that we can act outside of the urgent emotions that try to hold us down and make us into slaves.

By ARD (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  Two weeks back, I was watching Worst-Case Scenario with Bear Grylls. Bear’s last show was basically “I’m gonna eat one disgusting bug”, from every rough patch of the earth.

This time, he turned his focus to more commonplace dangers, and one was: Surviving a dog attack.

Little did I know that 5 days later, I would face this same situation.

I was running a new route that connects to the interstate through a broken-down suburban neighborhood. I had ran the same path once already, and didn’t think anything of it.

Halfway to the interstate, two dogs burst from a trash-ridden driveway, snarling and barking.

One was a Pitbull, and he was the nicer one.

First rule: Don’t run.

I slowed down to a walk, and edged further from the driveway. Perhaps the dogs were territorial, and they wouldn’t follow me.

Wrong. They kept a-coming.

Next: Stay Calm.

Everybody knows animals can smell fear. I don’t know the biological reason for that, but simply knowing made things easier. When you have no other choice, becoming calm is easier than you think.

Bear’s further rules: Look for a collar, put obstacles between yourself and the dogs, and try to find a high place to climb up out of their reach.

The collar one is simple: dogs who are used to receiving commands may listen to you. I told them “Heel, Stop, Go.” they responded with such rebuttals as “Woof. Arf. and Grrrrr.” Not good. They wouldn’t know what ‘heel’ means. I don’t even know what ‘heel’ means.

As for obstacles and high places: I’m not a fast runner, and there wasn’t anything to climb on for a quarter mile. The dogs would bite me before I got there. While I saw sharp pieces of wood, glass bottles, and all manner of post-apocalypse weaponry on my way there, suddenly none of it could be found. These rules weren’t going to help.

One dog lunged at me as I continued to move away. I realized that as this dog was going to bite me if I kept doing what I was doing.

Last rule: Shove something down it’s throat so it can’t bite you, and use your arms to appear larger while protecting your neck and groin.I got big. I got mean. And I started yelling at them. Nothing I said back then will be repeated on this blog, but I gave them threats as if I really was going to die and I had to say something terrifying and memorable.

They circled, stunned but not backing down.Finally I made to rush at them whenever they started advancing on me. As soon as I did that, they’d jump back.

This back and forth continued for about 20 seconds before an SUV drove by, horn blaring. That caused the dogs to back off, and me to get away.

The surprising thing about the whole experience

When I got away, I felt really good. I don’t get a rush from many things, but evading a dog attack is now one of those things. Just don’t catch me running back there for a good buzz. Not gonna happen.

What I learned about all survival situations:

Some survival rules won’t apply to your emergency scenario. Most of Bear’s rules didn’t for me. Despite that, I was calm enough to keep the dogs guessing, and that was what needed to happen.

Not every step is going to go according to plan. Sometimes this can hurt you, but if you took the time to prepare, and stay calm, you can handle it better than if you hadn’t prepared at all.

Anyone can Serve

April 22, 2014 — Leave a comment

Confession: For the longest time, I thought I disliked serving people.

The reality was that I love serving people, but hate being imposed upon.

I recently had the pleasure of doing outreach with my church in an assisted living home. After some songs, Bible verses, and a short message, we chatted with the people who lived there. One of them, an obese diabetic in a wheelchair, mentioned that she did Mass in a room down the hall every 2nd Sunday, and said it would be great if we could come.

Years of guilt-tripping has taught me to recognize an imposition so I can escape it before I am asked. So that’s what I did. I was one of the first to leave, and drove out of there a bit faster than I should have.

Imagine her surprise next week when she saw me there!

So I helped with communion, handing out the wine and the bread. Most of the attendees could hardly move, and needed help just getting around.

And the woman who led mass? She has no legs.

I don’t mean she can’t use her legs – below the middle of her thighs are thick, round stumps – then nothing but air.

So this woman cannot move around. She’s stuck in an assisted living home. She’s old and at least 300 lbs – not winning any beauty contests there. Plus, she has no legs.

Despite that, she had one of the most cheerful spirits out of anyone I had ever met.

Possibly it’s because she knows that no matter where she is in life, she can always do something that makes a difference.

If she can, so can you.

splatter question by bessarro at sxc.hu

splatter question by bessarro at sxc.hu

There’s a theme in one of my upcoming stories that means a lot to everyone.

What exactly, is freedom?

For some, freedom means being able to do whatever you want, so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.

For others, freedom means the ability to control every one and every thing.

For others, just being free of past mistakes would be a miracle.

If I were to make a list of things that everyone who was truly free would possess, it would probably start to look like this:

– Not having to work full time at a job you don’t want to go to.

– The ability to travel anywhere in the world, and stay as long as you like.

– To only do things that line up with your passions and your strengths.

– To make friends and throw wicked cool social events.

– Unlimited time to pursue hobbies

– The financial resources to obtain whatever you wanted for yourself and others.

– To build things that last a long time and provide insanely high value to the world around you

These are all desirable things, and people go to different lengths to obtain these things.

The pursuit of this idea has birthed nations, created cities, businesses, and fulfilled the dreams of many people. Failure to obtain this idea often means paying the highest penalty. True advocates of freedom may argue that it is the willingness to risk personal resources, and even your very life, is what guarantees freedom.

What does freedom mean to you? Sound off in the comments!

Noah, film poster taken from wikipedia.orgThis is for those who are thinking of seeing the film ‘Noah’.

It’s also for anyone who watches this film to better understand how true Christians really act and think.

NOTE: Major Spoilers Ahead. If you don’t like the plot told to you before watching a film, then wait till after the movie to read this post.

Without further ado, here it is:

The Good

Creative liberties have to be taken to take a story that takes one minute to read, and turn it into a 2.5 hour long film. Some of it was actually pretty cool.

Let’s be fair here.

How the animals get to the ark – In one part of the movie, Methuselah (played by Anthony Hopkins) gives Noah (Russell Crowe) a seed from the original garden of Eden. Noah plants the seed and it sprouts instantly – into an entire forest! The water spreads out in 5 different directions, forming rivers lined with vegetation.

This gives all the animals on Pangaea a pathway to follow leading to the forest where the ark will be. Pretty smart.

The Incense – This was a cool element that allowed the plot lines between Noah and his family to play out undisturbed by moving animals, and explains how so many animals could board the ark and not trample themselves inside. Personally, the plot would have been improved if they were trapped for 40 days with a bunch of live animals, but the budget – Oh the budget!

The Struggle for Answers – Noah prays, looking up to the sky, but hears no answer. The director, who is an atheist, may have had a separate agenda in mind here, but he also connected to the life experience and struggle of all Christians who want to follow God and long for concrete answers from on high. This is an element of the Christian struggle that most Christian films sugarcoat over and/or ignore. The storyline of Ham, the lonely son in need of a wife, compounds the struggle.

Ila – Despite how many Christians may despise my saying this, Emma Watson (known for playing Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter franchise) really stole the show. This is a new character not mentioned by name in the Genesis story of Noah, though the Bible does mention Noah’s sons having wives. This is a creative liberty that made the story bearable in places that otherwise would not have been.

Remember the part about Noah’s sons having wives? This brings us to-

The Bad

Wives – In the genesis story, Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth had wives.

In the film, only Shem is coupled with Ila, who remains barren as an unnecessary plot point.

The story of Ham being frustrated was brilliant on one level – it connected with the struggle we all have to put faith in God even when it seems He’s not meeting our needs. On the other hand, it tells viewers that God doesn’t care about our needs even when the fate of humanity is at stake.

Consider these points:

Genesis 6:18 KJV – “But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.”

Maybe that was just a typo, is there mention of there being wives for all his sons anywhere else?

Oh, yeah:

Genesis 7:7 KJV – “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark…”

But how many wives, exactly?

Genesis 7:13 KJV – “In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark.”

I could quote more, but I’d just be a bully about it at that point.

Anti-Human Agenda – In this story, Noah is led to believe that all human beings are wicked so they ALL need to be destroyed – even him and his family. Noah even goes to the point of saying that if Ila, who becomes pregnant on the ark, has a daughter, he will kill her. For a moment, it even seemed like Noah was going to turn into a slasher film. This anti-human agenda is only negated when Ila tells Noah, who decides to spare her child, that ‘God chose him BECAUSE he wouldn’t go through with it.’

What?!

So God chose to get rid of the wicked because they disobeyed God, and then chooses Noah to get rid of humanity, only for Noah to fail (disobey) because God wanted him to disobey? Did I miss something?

It says here that:

Genesis 7:5 KJV – “And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.”

That doesn’t sound like disobeying to me. Perhaps God wants us to do all He asks of us? Just maybe?

and –

Genesis 9:1 KJV – “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

Doesn’t sound anti-human to me. How will this impact people who never read the Bible? How will young people think of themselves? As parasites, or beings who have been blessed and made in God’s image?

The false debate between environmentalism and subduing the earth - Tubal Cain, the descendant of Cain (the first murderer), is the bad guy of the story. His crimes include the traditional bad guy crimes: Murder, Destruction, and Slavery. But they also extend to far worse crimes. Such as “the Paleo diet, Mining, and Wanting to Subdue the Earth”.

While Noah wanted to care for the plants, avoid meat-eating, and pursue justice. All noble pursuits, but skewed out of context when you consider the film’s message as a whole.

Simply put, subduing the earth is not the same as destroying it.

Genesis 1:26 KJV “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.

Genesis 1: 28 KJV “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful ,and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

These sound a lot like the words Tubal-Cain uttered over and over again. While it is very much like a devil to quote scripture in promoting a selfish philosophy, Tubal-Cain’s character ignored the ‘Replenish the earth’ command, making the whole debate false. After all, how can mankind be fruitful and multiply while replenishing the earth, if they are meant to be completely destroyed? But that would mess up Darren Aronofsky’s storyline, wouldn’t it?

And about meat – and this is coming from a (mostly) vegan:

Genesis 9:3-4 KJV – “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”

So, stay kosher and you’re good. Everything else is a matter of personal conviction and health reasons.

Noah was kind of a dick in the movie – especially to people who weren’t his family

In the film, Noah is asked about the Ark, and Noah tells Tubal-Cain “Nobody’s getting on that boat, because you’re all wicked.” (paraphrasing here).

Yet Noah in the Bible was quite different.

2 Peter 2:5 KJV – And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;”

Noah is described here as a preacher of righteousness. A preacher to whom? Who else but everybody on earth who isn’t himself?

How would people unfamiliar with Christianity, or who had a bad experience with Christians, view this film? They would believe that Christians want to keep salvation and truth away from people. When in truth, Noah preached to many people, but the only ones who listened were his family.

This film basically teaches that Christians are holier-than-thou assholes who want you dead, which is contrary to the entire Christian message.

Golems, fallen angels, oh my - A major plot point involves Watchers, who (in the film) are basically Angels (Seraphim) who wanted to help humans. God said ‘no’, they said ‘yes’, and as they went down to earth, God cursed them with disfigured stone bodies. They helped all humans, Cain’s people started killing them, and it isn’t until Noah recruits them that they begin to help build the ark.

Story wise, this reduces amount of screen time spent actually building the ark, and creates some pretty cool action scenes when it starts raining.

Here’s the problem: Fallen angels = Demons.

And in the movie, when these golems ‘die’, they go right back up to heaven – what?!

So we have demons helping Noah build the ark, killing people (Which Noah cites as a reason he himself should die), then they go to heaven again AFTER disobeying God. Yipee!

Now in the book of Enoch, which is a controversial book some cultures include in the Bible, fallen angels really do go down to heaven to help people. They are called Nephilim, and they help the Bad Guys!

This film takes the Nephilim concept, combines it with the mythological Golem creature, and twists the characters into opponent-allys who sacrifice themselves to save a man absolutely determined to kill himself and his family. Well played, unnecessary characters.

For those who say its just a movie…

People make movies for many reasons, not always in this order:

  1. To impose their beliefs upon others
  2. To make emotionally charged messages to influence others
  3. To create conversation pieces.
  4. To entertain.
  5. To make money

Noah will succeed in all of these points, but some of the messages might not be for the best. This is unavoidable due to how many hands get involved in a project with this much money behind it – the agendas, screenplay rewrites, directorial decisions, and producers egos and more. Nothing will be perfect, but we need to try.

But maybe I am being mean and sarcastic here.

As a wanna-be screenwriter, I hold no personal blame on any individual involved. To suck up a little, every producer, director, and actor are great all the time, and they really should hire me for a bazillion dollars.

But David, I’d like to see you try to make Noah entertaining:

How the story could have been made way better without straying from the bible at all?

Antidiluvian Society and Culture – What made the first Conan movie so much better than all the others? Every set piece, every prop, every piece of clothing – they all had symbolism specific to their cultures. You could feel that even though you’re only seeing a fraction of this big world, this really is a big world, filled with things you’ll marvel at but not have time to understand. Perhaps there was a great city that disappeared after the flood? Some historians may take up argument with me, but why can’t this city be Atlantis 1.0?

Pre-flood technologies – Everything the pre-flood people may have made has been lost to us. They could have made anything. We know the people were smart, and were ‘exceedingly great in their wickedness’ (to paraphrase), they could have had any sort of technology. Futuristic, Medieval, Roman-age, Steampunk, Genetic modification, crossbreeding of animals, etc. How about Dinosaurs? Most films that throw in a Veloceraptor or two tend to do well.

Giants – Genesis 6:4 KJV says:

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

That was in the Bible, and nothing was done with it in the movie.

Book of enoch elements - but done in a way that doesn’t violate the content in the rest of the Biblical account of Noah or the spirit of Christianity.

Animals with no fear of humans: It says this in the post-flood account of Genesis:

Genesis 9:2 KJV “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all hte fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.”

You mean there wasn’t fear of humans in animals before? Imagine a film crossed between the cultural depth of the Original Conan, the relative epic-ness and (relative) biblical accuracy of The Ten Commandments, and the Otherworldly awesomeness of the aggressive creatures in Avatar, and you’ve got yourself a strong story world.

Adjust the ‘No Wives’ plotline – In the end, Ham and Japheth should have gotten wives, even if it happened at the last minute.

Noah as Teacher –  imagine Noah preaching to people who mock him, laugh at him, and beat him. This makes Noah’s triumph more satisfying in the eyes of the audience, and makes them less sympathetic for Tubal-Cain and his ilk.

Cinematography, make the earth straight up and down – no axis. Have a layer of water surrounding the sky as well as having water in the sea. This creates a reflecting, translucent, crystaline effect to most of the scenes involving sky.

Less CGI (keep it with the animals, but the snake thing, come on!).

These are just some of the many ideas I would consider to make an awesome Noah story without straying far from the Biblical account.

To sum up

Overall, a Noah movie that paints humans as bad, has conflicting philosophies, and paints a negative picture of Christians – has every right to exist, from a free speech perspective. However, it may not do a world of good for people as a whole.

Did this review help? Are there any elements you wish were different about the Noah movie? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

 

Mynephew1 by Copo on sxc.huSome things are too awesome not to share.

This is the first of a (hopefully) many-part series that will send some goodwill towards anybody who’s doing really cool stuff.

Blackbeard V. Al Capone

No, it’s not a supreme court case, though I’d watch that.

This is the epic rap battles of history. When I told a friend about this, he slapped his own face in shock “You’ve just now found out about this!”

Maybe I’m not the only one.

Disclaimer: it is PG-13, I’d say, mainly because of language. But incredibly hilarious for anyone who knows basic info about historical figures.

My only complaint? They use too many fictional characters in their other ones.

-1 for legitimacy.

An Injection of Heavy Metal

I mostly gave up heavy metal because the lyrics were too depressing to dwell on over a long time. Occasionally I’ll get my fix through ‘metal’ versions of non-metal songs.

The chef in that kitchen is Eric Calderone. Aside from being a great shredding guitarist, he seems to have a cool sense of humor. If he put a collection on Spotify, his stuff would probably get spread around like the flu in early spring.

 

What about you guys? Any awesome stuff you’ve seen on the net?

In case this even needs to be said, anything worse than an R rating will disappear. I appreciate freedom of speech, but this website is run by a dictator with boundaries (me), and I won’t have any of that.

Momentum

March 28, 2014 — Leave a comment

The worst place you can be… is stuck.

There is something terrifying about not being able to go anywhere.

Unemployed.

Paralyzed.

The cartoonish definitions of Hell, (and even Heaven) – seem pretty unattractive from this perspective.

Can you imagine being on a cloud, being able to do nothing but play a harp – Watching your loved ones screw up, get into car wrecks, choose the wrong partners, and eat another Nachos Bell Grande? Oh COME ON!

That stuck feeling is captured so well in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner:

Day after day

Day after day

Nor Sun, Nor Wind, Nor Motion

As Idle as a Painted Ship

Upon a Painted Ocean

If you have time to check out this podcast with Jon Acuff, I recommend doing so, and his book: Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters (which is an affiliate link)

It’s all about the father of Momentum – STARTING!

If you’re planning on starting a business it’s great, but even if you’re not, there’s still a reason you’re here.

For me, it’s writing – I enjoy that more than anything (except maybe travel).

I could choose to not write any book UNLESS another world-shifting idea comes along like Emotionally Bulletproof. But if I did that, my skills at writing would get so rusty that when that next idea came around, I wouldn’t be able to share it in the best way possible. So, in the meantime, I’ll write a lot to keep momentum going, and a lot of it will be entertainment focused.

For you it may be writing, or something completely different.

If years have gone by without you taking that first step, it’s time to put together a plan that works this part of your desires into your life. Even if you don’t know exactly what it is, you still have an idea of some things that you LIKE to do, but aren’t doing.

I’m not asking you to stop everything. Just find a way to put in even 15 minutes a day into it. It’s less about how much that 15 minutes will do for you, and more about how the action itself gets you moving.

Then you’re no longer unstuck, you’re going forward. Even if all you do is walk, walking consistently can take you to many places if you do it long enough. And you have to leave the house to find a bike, and you may need to ride a bike to find a bus…

You know the drill.

When you build momentum, you are better at Getting the Job Done, which is 1/3 of what you need to be 100% trustworthy.

Stay strong, compañeros.

-D

P.S. The school of greatness podcast is a great thing to listen to while driving (until I have audiobooks, Buahahaha). I’ve even done some work for Lewis Howes, and really like the direction he’s going with his platform.