“You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don’t have that kind of feeling for what it is you’re doing, you’ll stop at the first giant hurdle.” George Lucas
It’s been one of those weeks…I mean months. You ever feel like no matter which way you turn something is standing there ready to clobber you “Fight Club” style? It’s been one of those months for me.
It’s been two months since I posted an article for my local Examiner column and a month since my last national article. What’s the reason? I’ve been working on my edits for my novel-in-progress and finishing up work on my MFA but more than that I’ve felt like I have been out of juice when it comes to the religion & politics column. I haven’t had enough love to throw myself over the hurdles or crumble the brick walls. It’s a temporary thing and my goal is to be back at it before April rolls around. I’m putting ideas and plans together for the articles I will write when the mood strikes. My category manager wants me to focus on doing more “evergreen” content (content that is always fresh for those searching that topic) and I think that will be a good place to pick it back up. I have a bunch of ideas but until I feel the need, I’m happily letting time pass. Whether that is good or bad for the column, we’ll find out.
In the meantime, it’s been fun focusing more on pop culture stuff here on the blog. While I don’t get paid to post here, I have enjoyed watching the blog readership grow tremendously over the past months. The growth rate has been 218% since November. I’ve loved the posts I written and evidentially many of you have been drawn to them as well. It’s nice to know that when you are doing something you love that others find it amusing too. Thanks for reading.
Please feel free to post your suggestions, comments, or ideas here for what you’d like to see more of. I’d love to hear from.
Part 1 of my series of articles – “Youth & Religion” posted today. Part 2 which begins an in-depth interview with an Agnostic Atheist and Catholic seminary student who is studying to be a priest will begin tomorrow. Part 3 which concludes the interview with the two will post on Friday. I’ve been working on this interview for about a month and I’m glad it’s finally coming out. I think the insight both of the interviews give is enlightening about just how unified we actually are. That’s all I will hint at. It’s something I hope people find both informative and engaging.
Click here to read \”Youth & Religion Part 1: Who are the Millennials?
I’m working on a series of articles on the U.S. Separation of Church & State which will use the PBS series “God in America” as the basis for it’s source material. I am only a third of the way through the series and so far the importance of the wall of separation couldn’t be clearer from our beginning.
I read a Reuters story about the mounting pressure the French public school system is facing from Muslims that includes not teaching about the Holocaust, the Crusades and evolution. It’s a sign of what’s to come here in the US. For those who question the challenges the ACLU bring up about the separation, you’ll want to read the Examiner article (linked below) I wrote on the French situation and how it affects us.
I am convinced that there is no greater right in this country that the freedom of religion and the principle of the separation of church and state and how that protects us from undue influences. Click below to read my article and let me know what you think.
Click here for a link to my article on this subject
Examiner.com has selected my column to go national. I will be the new National Religion & Politics Examiner for the website. It’s a huge honor for me to cover the national scene with regards to religion and politics. It will also mean an increase in readership for my column since it will be on a national level and not just on the local portal. I will have more details when my first national column is posted (probably next week). I will still be covering some local issues for the Inland Empire but I’m excited for this new national column to get me greater exposure. Thanks to all of you who have faithfully been reading the column. I really appreciate the support.
Click here for a link to my current column
Here’s the thing – this week’s selection isn’t necessarily the most “manly” selection I could come up with but the truth is that I can’t seem to get Sara Bareilles’s haunting sound out of my head. The truth is that I’ve been obsessing over her music for the past couple of weeks now so I think it begs acknowledgment.
Sure you may know Sara Bareilles from the peppy and sickening sappy “Love Song” from it’s heyday in the summer of 2008 (I still can’t stand that song) but do you know any of her more acoustic work? I heard her cover of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” on an itune radio station and immediately had to check her out. When she’s not doing something upbeat and kitschy, her voice is crisp, pure and haunting. It’s the type of music once made popular on the Album Alternative stations (101.9 in LA) that were moderately popular in the 90s and now long gone. I guess I still have a serious thing for the chill’n at the coffee house sound that just doesn’t seem to be popular anymore.
Check out “Gravity,” “Between the Lines,” “In Your Eyes,” and her great jazzy cover of Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” (she has a ton of cover songs on youtube.com that are worth checking out). These songs best representation her smoldering coffee house sound. As a writer, I think her lyrics are smart and effective because they work on multiple levels. The way she sings both “Gravity” and “In Your Eyes” give the songs a lingering spiritual quality. The lyric “Leave unsaid unspoken” from her song “Between the Lines” sounds like a great title of a literary novel.
I’ve found her music great for writing when I need something melodically simple in my ears asI search for the words to type. I’d encourage you to check her out. Let me know what you think. Again, she’s not the most masculine selection but her music has been addictive and so she is this week’s obsession.
“Obsession of the Week” (OTW) posts talk about some pop culture reference that has infiltrated my head for the week. I use obsession because aren’t we’re all little obsessive and fanatical about the things we like so much to the point that we saturate ourselves in it so much that we make ourselves sick of it only to move on to something else.
Originally Posted 8/23/10
I’m working on a short story assignment today. I’ve actually been working on two different stories (down from four – yikes) for this assignment. I don’t think this one will make it to submission so I’m sharing the opening paragraph from “No Two the Same” because really it’s the only thing I’m in love with from it. Let me know what you think.
They say not two fingerprints are the same. Each one is uniquely different. The same could be said for relationships. Each relationship we have with someone else is exclusively between just the two of us involved. Good or bad – it is a connection that one else will ever understand. People can observe a relationship from the outside but they can never understand it completely because they don’t live in it. They can judge but no two people quite understand a person the same way. What I see in you no one else can see. They don’t see with my eyes, my heart or my history. My connection to you is uniquely mine. Our relationship is unmatched, unduplicated and our own.
Post your comments below. Thanks for reading.