The Reading Mediums

old-machines-1232583Several years ago, when I bought my Kindle, I felt like I was betraying the book publishing industry. Maybe I was. I got over it quick, though, because I love the convenience of reading a digital book. Now I read books on my iPad mini either through the Kindle app or through the public library’s ebook website which is powered by Overdrive.

So now, in this first quarter of the twenty-first century, flying cars are not common, but electronic books are.

At first, there was terror in the streets with cries of “Ebooks are going to kill the print book!” but what has happened is ebooks are just one more way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, and ebook. Don’t panic.

And, these days, we don’t even read our books. We listen to them. I have listened to more books this year than read any. Audible.com  is the Amazon of audio book selection (in fact, I think it’s part of Amazon somehow). My local public library also has a nice audio book collection I use to listen to books to and from work.

So, this is the break down of the medium of books I read: audio books in my car, ebooks while I sit in bed before I go to sleep and traditional print books at the coffee shop.

Find my latest book on Amazon: Christ Simply, A Chronological Self-Guided Study through the Life of Christ.

The Reading Mediums

Why I’m Not Watching “The Walking Dead” Anymore

the_walking_dead_title_cardI didn’t get into the AMC network show The Walking Dead until its fourth season.

Dog sitting for some friends, I binge-watched over a weekend and got hooked. The next season would start in a few weeks, and I couldn’t wait.

For the next couple of years I watched TWD faithfully. Then I got rid of cable.

I planned to watch it on Netflix. Then I realized Netflix only carries past seasons of the show. The current season will be on Netflix after its initial run on AMC. Well, with all the hub-bub over the arrival of Negan, a major bad guy from The Walking Dead comic books upon which the show is derived, ratings were at an all time high.

But, surprisingly, I didn’t care. And I still don’t.

I may or may not watch the current season when it’s on Netflix. I’ve given up on the show. Here’s why:

  • I got rid of cable.  As I said, I got rid of cable and subscribed to Netflix and Hulu. Not only are they cheaper, they have more variety than even hundreds of channels that show the same thing over and over. I’ve discovered a whole set of new tv series on Netflix and Hulu.
  • Tired of the Violence. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t gross out at the bashing in of the skull of a “walker.” I always ask: “Wonder how they did that?” But it seems like each season, the writers of the show try to find an even more gruesome way for someone to die by the hands of walkers. Yawn. Moving on.
  • Lack of hope. This is the main reason I will probably not rush to watch TWD anymore. The show is in its seventh season and there’s no sign of a cure for becoming a zombie. While the show is still on a rating’s high, I understand not wrapping up the story, but after a while, the lack of hope the characters go though wears me down. I don’t know if the comics ever offered any kind of radical change that would wrap up the story, but the television show is surely not going to be done as long as the ratings are good.

And so, I have moved on to other shows like American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful, Timeless, and others. When I get a chance to watch the latest season of TWD, I’ll see how I feel. Right now, I’m not missing it.

Post Script:
Oh, and by the way, getting rid of cable is the best thing I’ve done in a while. Netflix and Hulu (and even Amazon Prime) have more a selection, and I can watch whenever I want. Cable, even with all those channels, had the same thing over and over.

No regrets. I highly recommend it.

Find my latest book on Amazon: Christ Simply, A Chronological Self-Guided Study through the Life of Christ.

Why I’m Not Watching “The Walking Dead” Anymore

What I’m Reading …

file-nov-15-8-01-35-pmI have been a fan of Connie Willis for a long time. Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog are two of her books I love. I just finished rereading Doomsday Book for the upteenth time. This is  unusually, because only a few books have been written that I read more than once, let alone several times. I just got a copy of her new book from the library. It’s called Crosstalk. Here’s the blurb:

“Science fiction icon Connie Willis brilliantly mixes a speculative plot, the wit of Nora Ephron, and the comedic flair of P. G. Wodehouse in Crosstalk—a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.”

Hope it’s good.

Find my latest book on Amazon: Christ Simply, A Chronological Self-Guided Study through the Life of Christ.

What I’m Reading …

Christ Simply: Who is this book for?

gospel-reading-1167792“Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

I’ve heard of the KISS principle for years, and I used it as my guide for creating my new book, Christ Simply.

Let’s go back to the beginning: I grew up in church. I attended a Christian university. I took courses in the Bible. I’ve worked for two Christian publishers. I’ve been on staff of a small church and a “mega-church.”

But I had never read through the life of Christ in chronological order.

Through osmosis, I  had put together the order of the life of Christ through the sermons, Sunday school lessons and personal Bible study I’ve done my whole life. But I had never read the story of Jesus Christ from birth through ascension.

So I did a little research and found several charts and articles on the web, and I spent a year and a half putting together my own parallel of the four gospels on my computer. Now, I didn’t do anything new. I know it’s been done a million times before.  But it was my own work.

What would mean more: a table you bought at Wal-Mart or a table you built with your bare hands?

That’s the idea behind this book. It has a simple structure: each page has an event from the life of Christ, and the reader is encouraged to keep his or her own journal of thoughts and  prayers. I have no commentary, just a few notes to help lead the reader. I kept it simple so the person reading it would not feel overwhelmed.

By encouraging the readers to do a little online research of their own, by suggesting they keep a journal as they go through the book, by asking them to look up where Galilee is on a New Testament map instead of just showing them, Christ Simply would bring forth a more meaningful end result the readers built with their own hands.

So, the next question is, who is Christ Simply for?

  • A new Christian. A person of any age who has just accepted Christ into their life may be interested in learning about the earthly life of their new Lord.
  • A young person who wants to know more. This book is put together in such a way, that a young person–or anyone–can customize their study in a way that works best for his or her learning style.
  • A non-believer. Even if a person does not believe Jesus is the Son of God, or even if that person believes Jesus Christ never even existed, this book can lead them through the historical documents–the four gospels–to give a complete picture for academic purposes. What they do with that information is up to them.
  • A veteran Christian. This would be the category I fall into. After reading through the life of Christ in chronological order, it renewed my love for the Son of God and made him more real to me.

518m-ne32cl__sx331_bo1204203200_Simple is better. Christ Simply, used in the correct way, can lay a foundation for further study of the life of Christ. It is my hope anyone who comes across this book will draw closer to our Lord.

Christ Simply is available both in print and for Kindle from Amazon.com.

Christ Simply: Who is this book for?

Christ Simply: A Chronological Self-Guided Study of the Life of Christ

518m-ne32cl__sx331_bo1204203200_My new book is now available on Amazon. If you or anyone you know wants to read through the life of Christ in chronological order, this book is an excellent guide.

This book would make an excellent gift for a new Christian or a young person who has just been baptized.

Christ Simply guides the reader through the life of Christ using the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The five parts of the life of Christ covered in this book:

  • Jesus as a boy
  • Jesus begins his ministry
  • Jesus and his ministry in Galilee
  • Jesus and his ministry in Judea
  • The final week of Jesus and beyond.

The book is laid out simply and can be customized for a small group study. The person reading it can choose to keep a journal and answers questions.

The book is available in print or for Kindle.

Everyone is invited … this book is for anyone who has wanted to read through the life of Christ in chronological order. Anyone who wants to journal his or her thoughts reading through the life of Christ. Anyone who has wanted to be introduced to Jesus Christ for the first time. The invitation is always open.

Christ Simply: A Chronological Self-Guided Study of the Life of Christ

What are the most important scenes in a novel?

theatre-1459597To overcome feeling overwhelmed by finishing your novel, a writer might want to keep these writing principles in mind:

  • She doesn’t have to write chronologically.
  • She can write her most important scenes first and then fill in the blanks.

Now, if she has planned your novel with some kind of outline, then these principles become even easier.

So the question is, what are the most important scenes in a novel?

This doesn’t mean some scenes are less necessary than others. In the final draft, all the scenes should be necessary and move the story along. A post from C.S. Lakin’s blog called The First Ten Scenes You Need to Plot for your Novel offers a list of scenes on which the writer should focus.

I concentrated on finishing these scenes and now I am writing the final draft of the “in-between” stuff. If you get stuck in your writing, jump ahead work on the The Midpoint scene. This is the scene, roughly 50% of the way through your story, where the character asks whether or not she wants to continue. She questions who she is. She decides to go on, or maybe decides to take a different tactic. Then write backwards from that scene, or write forwards.

Here is what the writer should remember: if she gets stuck writing the novel chronologically, she can jump around and write one of the scenes listed in Lakin’s article.

There’s no rule against doing that.

What are the most important scenes in a novel?