20 December, 2012
A long time go I wrote a short story about people being hooked up to computers. I shoved it in my "crate of writing" never to be seen again. Then The Matrix came out. A few years ago I wrote a short about Hansel and Gretel. I put off developing it into a full script. Now Hansel and Gretel is coming out in theaters. If you have a great idea for a script, or a novel write it. Don't sit on it. When you sit on something, you are giving another writer an opportunity to take a spot that may have been meant for you. I had another idea for a movie. It was about the reality of dreams. And you know where I'm going with this one Inception. I regret not writing theses stories out and submitting them. They are missed opportunities. Stretch yourself as a writer. When you get an idea and you know it's a great idea, write it. Sit down and do it. Complete it, edit it, revise it, and send it out. At this time I have four completed screenplays (1 horror, 2 sci fi, 1 YA drama), based on topics that haven't been done before (as The Matrix and Inception hadn't been done before). I also have started the outline for a drama based on a topic that hasn't been done before. And I've completed the outline for a reboot of a mix of things from my childhood. I have a YA sci fi novel that hasn't been done before and I'm excited about it. I'm not stuffing it in the "crate of writing", I am actively engaged in writing all of these and submitting these works. December 2012 is the month of submissions for me. It's also the month of editing, and writing for me and I wouldn't have it any other way. God opens doors for us. It's important to be ready when that door opens. You still have time. Let December 2012 be your month. Don't sit on it.
18 December, 2012
God is still in our schools. In these days following the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, people are still shocked, saddened, and grieving-and rightfully so. There is one thing I would like to address. It is the term "You took God out of our schools." That is absolutely not true. See I teach in a public school and I can tell you with 100% certainty that God is still in our schools. I'm also a Christian. Does God stop at the door to my school when I head into work each day? No. He is with me. Always. What about the students that are also Christians? Does God not follow them on to school property? No. He is with them. I hear the students debate and discuss God and Jesus. I hear teachers and staff members pray and comfort one another in Jesus name. I've been on school campuses where students read their bible during a quiet lunch. Stop saying God is not in our schools anymore. Every time a believer steps foot on a school campus God is there. Don't confuse organized religion with who God is. The early believers in the book of Acts didn't have organized religion and yet God and the Holy Spirit were there with them. I may not be able to publicly display the Ten Commandments, or hold open prayer with my students but that doesn't stop me from praying for them, or loving them. If anything it intensifies it. God is very much in our schools.
04 December, 2012
Fiery Furnace I had a chance to go to LA for a screenwriting workshop on December 1st. I prayed about it and bought my plane ticket and paid for the course. Six days before the workshop I got an email it was cancelled. Now I had a plane ticket to LA, but I no longer had a workshop to go to. The same day I got the cancellation I got an email for a Christmas gala/fundraiser on December 2nd at the CBS studio lot. There was no indiction of what person sent me the invitation but I feel like it was God's providence that I got it. I showed up Sunday night with butterflies in my stomach, and dryness of mouth--not sure what to say or who to speak to. The host broke the ice for us. It turned out to be a wonderful evening. I connected with producers, actors, writers, and all manner of Hollywood people. It also happens that they were Christians. They encourage and inspired me and made me feel good about being a sci fi screenwriter. Prior to leaving for Los Angeles I had picked up a wonderful book by DeVon Franklin called "Produced by Faith." I highly recommend it, as it helped me see how I had pushed aside God's calling on me. What does this have to do with a Fiery Furnace? Daniel was forced to go in the Fiery Furnace. He said even if God did not deliver him, he would not worship the gold image of the king. Daniel chose to be obedient to God even though he did not know the outcome. Daniel stayed faithful. I'm choosing to go into the fiery furnace. I know what God has asked of me, and I know what my response should be. I don't know how long it will take for my screenplays to sell, or for me to get a writing assignment. I do know that I trust in God even though I can't see the outcome. You can call it faith. Faith that if I put all my focus and energy into writing for God that He will make a way. I told God I was ready to go into the fiery furnace. I didn't expect the difficulties and challenges that have happened recently that have nothing to do with my writing. I joked (partially) about taking my passport and running away. The heaviness in my heart due to the difficulties and challenges threaten to pull me away from my writing. I'm not a robot. I do have feelings, but I'm learning to do something my former advisor in grad school told me--take all that hurt and emotion and put it into your writing. Use it. She gets me, because she was right. I'm taking time to have my cry when I need to, to be angry (and apologize) when I need to, but I'm also turning off the phone and having some solid writing time. I know there are some people out there that cheered when I went in to the furnace thinking it would break me, and wishing me to fail. Yet I'm standing in the middle of those flames, radiant and unharmed with my Savior near me. Guess what? There's room in the furnace for you.