The Untamed Find Their Story

Jason Clark writes in his book Surrendered and Untamed:

When I was a kid it was possible for boys to kill evil giants and men to walk on water. When I was a kid it was possible to live inside a whale, a raging fire and a lions den. When I was a kid it was possible to pray for the sick and watch them recover. Shadows could heal, and the dead could be raised. When I was a kid I believed that with God, all impossibilities were possible.

But now Clark, as an adult, finds that this wonder has been turned into “tamed three point sermons.”

Even if one isn’t theistic in their beliefs, most will understand what Clark is writing about. No, it’s more than understanding. They feel it burning within them. We grow up searching for purpose, our story. Grand plans are made and lofty thoughts pondered. Nothing is impossible. The wonder of life and creation is still with us. Then, one day, we wake up in a land that looks nothing like what we imagined.

Reality, some people call it. Life.

These are excuses. And not very good ones.

Sometimes it takes time to find our part in the Story. Everything conspires to put a stop to uncovering what we were meant to be or do. Forces in the world want us to give up, throw in the towel. Every once in awhile there are glimpses of where we should be.

Memories. The sunset. The stars. Children who have yet been trained to give up, forget and not see.

Here’s to never giving up. Being revolutionary. Standing up to the status quo and those who say you cannot or should not, or won’t ever be.

Find your story. Don’t stop until you do. Not ever.

Advertisements
Categories: Books, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Imagination and the Doorway to Reality

Writers often draw us into the worlds and characters that burst from their imaginations.  These “made-up” worlds are reason for some to shun this or that genre because they are imaginary. The truth, though, is that authors aren’t writing imaginary stories. Alister McGrath, in his biography of C.S. Lewis, explains:

Narnia is imaginative, not an imaginary, world. Lewis was quite clear that a distinction had to be drawn between those ideas. The “imaginary” is something that has been falsely imagined, having no counterpart in reality. Lewis regards such an invented reality as opening the way to delusion. The “imaginative” is something produced by the human mind as it tries to respond to something greater than itself…to “communicate more Reality to us.”

Lewis would use his imaginative world to explore serious themes like “origins of evil, nature of faith, and the human desire for God” — not unlike most writers have grand ideas of deep thoughts woven through their narrative.

Quite often their starting point to accomplish this is surprisingly very simple. Narnia started with “an image of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels through a snowy wood.” Tolkien scrawled on a paper, “In a hole in he ground there lived a hobbit,” after the idea popped in his head and he “did not know why” it had. From these humble origins, grand tales came to life.

What lives in your imagination, ready to inspire, entertain and challenge?

Categories: Books, fantasy, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Listen, then Read

Here’s our first installment of Podcast Roundup with selection of fascinating  interviews with authors that will teach you and most likely have you ordering their books:

Daniel Mendelsohn, author of, An Odyssey: A Father, a Son, and an Epic, tells us how ancient works like the The Odyssey “…always somehow feel present and real…[the] kinds of experiences they describe, are the kinds of experiences, in many cases, we have.” In particular, he looks at the father-son relationship in The Odyssey and how we look at — and if we really know — our parents and family members.

Tristan Gooley is the author of several books on the lost art of reading nature. Listen how you can can be more observant in our world, and relearn the skills that will allow you to travel and explore anywhere — no gadgets required.

Self-defense expert Tim Larkin, author of When Violence is the Answer, wants us to know that “sometimes violence is the answer, and that when it is, it’s the only answer.” Unfortunately, not everyone knows the difference between “antisocial aggression and asocial violence” and how to respond to each. A very important message for our time.

 

Categories: Books, What You Can Do | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Air with The Writer’s Lens

J.C.L. Faltot, author of the The Road to Mars, interviewed me for the latest episode of his The Writer’s Lens podcast. Check it out here as we discuss writing, fantasy and the war Among the Shadows.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Genre 101: Historical Fantasy

Among the Shadows is best described as historical fantasy. “What is that?” you ask. Check out Arielle Bailey’s post for the answer:

Intuitive Writing Guide

While I love many subgenres of fantasy, this one is my favorite, because it combines my first genre love (historical fiction) with my great genre love (fantasy).

#25 Historical Fantasy

Historical fantasy can take the form of implying that magic co-exists with us, or can imply that magic used to co-exist and now doesn’t because of some event the story portrays.

My favorite thing about writing this genre is that you can take the events and people that you love from history and re-imagine them without needing to stick to the boundaries necessary for historical fiction.  [It also has the advantage of not drawing the outrage of historians and history buffs–  a considerable advantage, as you might know if you’ve ever gone up against one or the other in a debate.]  By introducing fantasy elements, the reactions and choices of people would naturally be different, giving you an immense scope for story.

For…

View original post 322 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where are the Smartest Kids in the World?

We all agree education is important; that our kids deserve the best learning; that our teachers should be the best at their job — then we have this tendency to walk away and let our government take the reigns. They roll out one “education program” after another — effectively experimenting on our children every few years — while spending loads of money.

Then we all get angry, argue and complain when we find out our children aren’t measuring up to other nations or aren’t prepared for life.

Amanda Ripley takes on this “twenty-first mystery” of why, in a country that spends untold millions on education, still falls short.  In her essential book, The Smartest Kids in the World (and how they got that way), she dives deep into American education as she follows three students as they attend schools overseas. What is one major difference Ripley finds?

Teaching is treated as a top-tier profession. Teachers are educated and expected to perform accordingly.
Continue reading

Categories: Books, Critical Thinking | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Creating Your Author Brand (Pt. 2): Your Authentic Voice

Katie Phillips Creative Services

It’s my privilege to welcome Lisa to my blog today. I’ve known her for several years now and have watched her journey through difficult circumstances to find her bold, unique voice that is at once compassionate and compelling. Who better to share her story of discovering her authentic voice than this beautiful woman who has fought for it so hard? 

I spent ten years trying to brand myself.

If I wasn’t thinking about my personal brand as a writer, maker, and coach, I was working at digital agencies large and small that specialized in branding, reading up on the subject, teaching on it, and writing about it. For two and a half years I even ran a boutique branding agency that worked exclusively with creative entrepreneurs. I watched dozens of writers, artists, coaches, healers, and the like wrestle deeply with how to “show up” in their marketplace.

By the time…

View original post 1,136 more words

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Create Your Author Brand (Pt. 1)

Katie Phillips Creative Services

Your author brand is nothing more than your authentic story. 

Let’s set aside all the fancy talk of platforms and networking, fonts and social media strategies, logos and websites, brand archetypes and all the “expert advice.” Because none of that matters until you know your story.

You probably think your story is your book. Your words on the page. And you’d be partially correct. But that’s not your whole story. 

Your story is the experiences and struggles that inspired you to write your book. Your story is all the late nights and early mornings typing away while your kids slept. Your story is the hidden wounds you work through with your characters and the message in your heart you’re desperate for people to know.

You’re living your story right now. 

And the story that you’re living is just as important – if not more – than the story you’re telling…

View original post 282 more words

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Eclipses and Cosmic Purpose

Hundreds of moons, planets and other bodies in the Solar System, and  only ours — Earth and the Moon — have perfect solar eclipses.  Astronomers have long noted this strange phenomenon, and the unlikely parameters that cause it. Not only that, but they happen to occur in a time in Earth’s history where they can be observed.  Astronomer John Gribben writes:

Just now the Moon is about 400 times smaller than the Sun, but the Sun is 400 times farther away than the Moon, so that they look the same size on the sky. At the present moment of cosmic time, during an eclipse, the disc of the Moon almost exactly covers the disc of the Sun. In the past the Moon would have looked much bigger and would have completely obscured the Sun during eclipses; in the future, the Moon will look much smaller from Earth and a ring of sunlight will be visible even during an eclipse. Nobody has been able to think of a reason why intelligent beings capable of noticing this oddity should have evolved on Earth just at the time that the coincidence was there to be noticed. It worries me, but most people seem to accept it as just one of those things.

Even if we brush this off as coincidence, as some have tried to do, there is another layer to this. Many of the interconnected factors that allow the eclipse to occur, also allow life to exist on Earth. Continue reading

Categories: Critical Thinking, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Unstoppable Leaders

When you  hear “history book,”  do you turn and run? Are these books the last on your reading list? Is your perception of learning history colored by memorization and repetition often utilized in schools? What if reading history could be every bit as exciting as fiction?

It can be.

There are some masters of narrative history out there writing the true stories that will compel you to turn every page. One of these authors is Candice Millard. Her books on two of the most influential and compelling leaders of the 20th Century — Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt — are gripping reads.

Continue reading

Categories: History | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: