Saturday, October 24, 2015

Avast ye, Fall!

A while back, I started getting fairly heavily involved in Youtube as research for the novel that I'm currently working on. There's a character who is a young gay youtuber and I wanted to get to know a lot about the community, the terminology, etc. To get the voice right. Writing a teenager without falling back on stereotypes is hard enough, but to write one who is a part of a specific community, a community that is so visible, is even tougher.  So, I dove in, head first, finding all the gay male vloggers (people who share their daily or weekly lives as their content rather than prank videos or video gaming videos) who are within the age range of the character I was writing. I paid attention for the last two years, going with them on their ups and downs, their coming out triumphs and fiascoes, their relationships beginning and ending. Now that the book is just about to go into second draft, though, the research phase is over. That's left me with an odd dilemma. Now that I don't have to keep up with the vlogs anymore, I could just unsubscribe and walk away. Only, I am finding that very hard to do. Over the last two years, I've gotten very attached to a lot of these people who are sharing their lives via the internet. You've seen them pop up in more than one entry here if you've been a reader for any length of time. I had no idea that when it came time to begin the ending of this particular project (as bizarre a phrase as that is) that it would feel this difficult to disconnect.
Don't worry, though; even though it would certainly help sales of my books, you have my solemn vow that I will never start a youtube channel. Sure John Green gets away with it, but have you seen how ridiculously photogenic that man is? Trust me...I am very aware that I am not.
My students and I just finished reading Moby Dick cover to cover together. That novel is excellent. Every time I read it (and this is, I think, the fourth time), I am swept away. Even the cetology chapters are incredible to me. I love seeing student's faces, too, when we get to those last few chapters. Ahab's fashioning of the devil's harpoon, Fedallah's prophecy and the twisted Greek-tragedy-esque way it comes true, and Ahab's final "From Hell's heart, I stabbeth thee!..." This time, though, it was Queequeg who really caught my attention. The tattoos, and that one little passage about who made them and what they mean. My imagination was more than a bit sparked.
That, of course, led me to buy Nathaniel Philbrick's excellent book, In The Heart Of The Sea
Only about halfway done with it at the moment, but it is truly fantastic. Philbrick has compiled all sorts of tiny detailed facts about whaling, whalers, the culture of Nantucket at the time, etc. All of this is filtered through the experiences of Thomas Nickerson, one of the Essex's cabin boys during her final voyage (which is a good strategy for a nonfic book so jam-packed with facts--put a human face on it and it instantly becomes more readable).
Of course, many of you are also screaming at the screen, "Hey, isn't there also a movie coming out soon based on that book?" There is. In December, the Ron Howard film will hit theaters. Here's the trailer:

It looks good, though I can already tell, just from what I've read in the book so far, that there has been some...artistic license, shall we say...taken. Still, I'm going to see it (if it comes anywhere near here, which is always a crap shoot).
So that's October. This year is passing much faster than any year I can recall up until now.
Toying with the idea of going to 2016 Saints and Sinners fest in New O. I'll keep you updated on that.

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


Is the Bible the accurate word God or are the opinions of men the absolute truth?

According to the average of May 2005, May 2006, May 2002 Gallup Polls state that 40% of protestants and 45% of other Christians believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally. If that is a fact, then at least 55% who claim to be Christians do not believe the Bible is God's accurate word.

If those claiming to be Christian do not trust the Bible, then who or what do they trust? They are left with the opinions of men.

JOHN MacArthur Quote:
In Acts 2:38, Peter appears to link forgiveness of sins to baptism. But there are several plausible interpretations of this verse that do not connect forgiveness of sin with baptism. It is possible to translate the Greek preposition eis—”because of,” or “on the basis of,” instead of “for.” It is used in that sense in Matthew 3:11; 12:41; and Luke 11:32.

There is not one English translation of the the Bible that translates "for" of Acts 2:38 as "because of" or "on the basis of".

Max Lucado Quote:

3) “What of the ones who die before they have a chance? What if I entrust my soul to Christ and before I can tell anyone or arrange to be baptized, a swarm of killer bees attacks me and I die?”
The answer to this question is found in the character of God. Would a God of love reject an honest heart? No way. Would a God of mercy and kindness condemn any seeking soul? Absolutely not. Having called you and died for you would he cast you away because of a curious sequence of events? Inconceivable. Is it possible for an unbaptized believer to be saved? Yes, definitely. Should every believer be baptized? Yes, definitely.

Jesus Quote:

Mark 16:15-16 ...preach the gospel to ever creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)

Realizing that 55% of those who claim to be Christian do not believe the Bible is God's word, it is no shock that men reject the clear teaching of Scripture.

Belief and water baptism are essential to salvation regardless of man-made doctrine.

Men are not baptized in water because they are already saved. Water baptism is in order to be saved.

What could more illogical, than to believe the Bible is not the accurate word of God, and then believe without question, preachers, priests, Bible commentaries, church creed books and other extra-Biblical writings?