donovanmneal

Archive for February, 2014|Monthly archive page

Why the worst critic of the Son of God movie will be the church.

In Controversy is Christian, My two cents and Christian Opinion on February 28, 2014 at 4:14 am

Today we see the release of the movie “The Son of God”.  This movie has already been released on cable and available on DVD for several months now.  I’m grateful that that originators of this movie had the vision, courage and resources to bring to life a theatrical depiction of the life of Christ.

My biggest concerns for this movie is that (and you can mark my words on this) someone from the body of Christ is going to say this movie is not biblically accurate.  In other words, Christians are essentially going to throw rotten tomatoes at their own movie.

How do I know this?  Because one believer did this in my personal discussion with them.  They pointed out various ‘flaws’ in the movie. When this person and I discussed the Bible mini series and the particular section that dealt with Jesus’s life this was some of the commentary. Keep in mind this is a quote.

“Jesus calling Peter out of the boat instead of Peter asking Jesus if he can come out. Just ONE example. It’s not scriptural and that makes it a lie. It’s wrong no matter who produced it.”

This beloved person in my humble opinion threw the baby out with the bathwater.  To use a biblical phrase,  “Ye…strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”.

Here is a movie that affirms the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, his atoning death on the cross for the sins of humanity, his miracles, angels and demons, his resurrection.  It affirms the triune nature of God. Yet despite all this.

“Its not scriptural.”

Bam.  There it is.  The Christian form of saying it was inspected by inspector 12 and given the rejection stamp.

This is what I see in every form of entertainment where a Christian attempts to influence.  For some it is simply not “godly” enough, it can be music (Christian rock and roll, Christian rap) for some these things are oxymoron’s.  Christian fiction?  How can fiction be Christian some say.

When I read comments like this I often wonder is this the type of Christian who believes that the only viable version of the Bible to read is the KJV.

I’m telling you that one of the criticism of this movie is that it’s not accurate enough for some believers.  Watch for this too especially with the upcoming Noah movie where we have even less source material to go on.

Here’s a quote from the Press Enterprise, that makes my point.  “…no major film about Jesus had been made after “Passion” because of the difficulty of making religious films that can sell millions of tickets.

“Finding a script that is written sensitively and that doesn’t offend certain groups, and that is not going to be wildly costly, is not easy to do,” she said.

Upcoming Hollywood films on Noah and Moses already are running into problems with Christians who say the movies are not faithful enough to the Bible, she said.”

The creators are trying to take a book that is over a millennia old, and make it relevant to today’s audience that keeps the spirit of the text.  They are trying to do that in two hours when some of us Christians won’t even take the same amount of time to sit and read the Bible for that long over the course of a week.

I have yet to see ANY movie which fully captures the book from which it is based on.  But some in the body have such high standards it can actually discourage other members of the body of creating anything.  And thus we get to the root of the problem.  We have not because we ask not.  We eat our own.  It’s true.  I hate to say it but its true.

How about we evaluate it using one of the standards the Jesus gave us. “ye shall know a tree by its fruit.” What is the fruit of the thing?  What does it produce?  Do people actually want to go and read the Bible more?  to see if those things are so? Does it open up discussion about Christ?  Does someone actually get saved from being exposed to the movie?  Do people repent?  I think when you get those kinds of results you really have to rethink how you see Christian entertainment.  Its kind of funny as I think about.  Jesus told stories called parables.  And everyone didn’t always get him either…go figure.

 

D

By the way the word is spreading about my novel and more 5 star reviews are pouring in.  Check out my website here to learn more about what some are calling, “speculative fiction at its finest.”

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Godzilla: Go strong or go home.

In Misc on February 26, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Yesterday was the debut of the 2nd trailer for the of the new 2014 Godzilla movie.

Now to say that I want this movie to be great and succeed is an understatement.  I grew up as a kid where in our area during the summer months our local WXYZ TV would play at 4pm for one week (monster week) a monster movie, and typically Godzilla was right up there.

I have fond memories of Ultraman kicking butt, and Gamera almost getting his arm chopped off.

I was at the theaters as a kid when Godzilla was fighting Megalon, and Jet Jaguar did his funky karate moves and grew into a giant wannabe of Ultraman.  I was stoked as a kid.  I loved that stuff.

And over the years I watched my rubberized monsters turn into Power Rangers, and Pokémon and a host of other derivatives.  It wasn’t till Cloverfield came out that I felt that someone had finally done the monster genre justice.  (Thank God for J. J. Abrams, he actually gets this kinda stuff.) The Sony version of Godzilla, the huge mega hyped monstrosity that it was.  (No pun intended) simply did not cut it.

So here we are today.  On the cusp of another attempt to get Godzilla the props he deserves.  I like the trailer.  Men jumping out of a plane to land on Godzilla?  Oh that was bad booty. (i.e. awesome) But this latest trailer gives me hope.  I see another monster.  Yes my sentimental heart leaped that perhaps my eyes did indeed glimpse what could only be the sweetness of Rodan.

So here’s to hoping that they get the big lizard right.  I like the look so far.  They’ve got the roar right…but he better have his fiery breath or its just not the Big G I’m sorry.

So here’s to the comeback of Godzilla.  Go strong of go home.

D

Author Interview with L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

In Author Interviews on February 21, 2014 at 1:00 am

! Rachel Griffin Cover

 

Today I want to take the time to welcome L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright.

“L. J”. as I like to call her is the author of  the YA fantasy: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. She is also the author of the Prospero’s Daughter series: Prospero Lost, Prospero In Hell, and Prospero Regained.  She has published numerous articles on Japanese animation and appears in several short story anthologies, including Best Of Dreams Of Decadence, No Longer Dreams, Coliseum Morpheuon, Bad-Ass Faeries Anthologies (where she is also an assistant editor) and the Science Fiction Book Club’s Don’t Open This Book.

Thanks for allowing my followers to get to know you some L.J.  So lets get into it!

1.      So tell us about your book.  Why did you write it and who is it targeted towards?

The Unexpected Enlightenment series is targeted at older teens, but is currently being read and enjoyed by people of nearly every age.

I decided to write this series because I fell in love with the idea for it, which was made up by a friend. I thought if I and my husband and our friend loved the idea so much, perhaps others would love it as well.

The series starts out much like Harry Potter. It concerns Rachel Griffin, a little British girl who attends Roanoke Academy for the Sorcerous Arts, a school of magic in New York’s Hudson Highlands. She starts out as many children at schools of magic, concerned about fighting villains, fitting in, and making friends.

However, there is something else going on in her life. She lives in a world like ours except there is no notion of Monotheism—no God, no Jews, Christians, or Muslims. As the story continues, Rachel begins to discover that these things. Apparently, they once existed in her world, but all trace has been removed by magic.

As the story continues, Rachel fights evil, learns magic, struggles with friendships and star-crossed romance, but she also begins to learn about God, angels, Jesus, Heaven, the Bible and many other things that are part of the true wonder of the world.

2.      What were some of the biggest challenges in writing the book?

The biggest struggles so far have been outside the book. Perhaps, when we are working on something important, we find ourselves facing unexpected odds. This one project has been fraught with more heartache and less support than anything else I have ever written.

If it were not for my love of the idea, and the delight my early readers took in the story—including a 15 year old girl in Alaska who read the first book eight times!—I very well might have given up.

IMG_81733.      What advice would you give new novelists?

Don’t give up!

Actually, as someone who waited 17 years for my first novel to finally be published I have two pieces of advice: Don’t give up and Don’t settle for less than the best you can do.

Take a look at your craft. Identify where you are weak. Do what you can…writing exercises, writing classes, whatever it takes, to strengthen those weaknesses. Don’t let yourself do less than your best.

I also strongly recommend the book Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, and the related Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. Whenever I get stuck, I go back to these two books.

4.      Tell us about your journey of faith.  How did you become a Christian?

I have always been a Christian. But we all grow closer to God as we journey. As a child, attending church youth group and camp really helped cement me on the way. Since then, it has been a steady process of progress and plateaus. Times when I grow closer to God and can really feel his presence, and times when I flounder and get sucked into worldly thoughts.

Yet He is always waiting when I look up again, always ready to catch us!

5.      Who are some of your favorite authors and or books to read?

I love Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy. I find it to be such a great companion to the Bible, illuminating it and helping me understand more in the Bible each time I read it.

I love Tolkien, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain, and Roger Zelazny’s Nine Princes of Amber. I am also a big fan of Harry Potter and Harry Dresden—I particularly like the hints of Christian presence in Jim Butcher’s Dresden series.

6.      Now that you’ve written the book what other projects if any are you working on?

Currently, the first book, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, has been published. The second book, The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel, is finished and will soon go to press. I am currently writing the third book, Rachel and the Technicolor Dreamlands.

I really enjoy writing this series and am glad I have a great deal more to do.

7.      When did you start writing?

I wrote my first chapter of my first novel at the age of twelve. I have been writing, on and off, ever since. My first published series, The Prospero’s Daughter series, was started in 1992, and was finally published by Tor in 2009. (This first series is a sequel to Shakespeare’s Tempest set in the modern world. It is a sort of Shakespeare meets Dante story.)

8.      Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I try not to write with a message, but rather to pray and let whatever message the Divine Muse might wish to share with readers reach the page. I hope that the books can bring a sense of wonder and joy to those who read them, as well as make them think about how they see life and the world—and, ultimately, to help them grow closer to God.

9.      Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know if I do. I try to write with a sense of wonder…if romances are about love and mysteries are about curiosity,  then my books are about wonder…about seeing the beauty of the world beyond what we often recognize. But they are also stories of action and humor and romance.

10.  How did you come up with the title?

The title for the first book came to me as I contemplated how my character changed. In the original setting in which I was introduced to the idea, I did not realize it was a Christian story…hence the Unexpected Enlightenment.  The title for the third book came to me in a dream.  Friends and family members liked it, so I decided to stick with it.

11.  Ok so do you have any advice for other writers?

I have a weekly column called Wright’s Writing Corner (Wright is my husband’s name.) It has regular posts on the art of writing as well as guests posts and posts on the state of the market. You can see it here:

http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/category/wwc/

I want to thank you L.J. for spending time with us today, is there anything else to add before we go?

Enjoy the wonder. God loves you!

When not writing, L.J. switches to her secret identity as wife and stay-home mom in Centreville, VA, where she lives with her dashing husband, author John C. Wright, and their four darling children, Orville, Ping-Ping Eve, Roland Wilbur, and Justinian Oberon.

 

Her website is: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/

Her blog is at: http://arhyalon.livejournal.com/

On Twitter: @lampwright4

You can read the first four chapters of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin for free: http://www.ljagilamplighter.com/chapter-one-the-treacherous-art-of-making-friends/

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Unexpected-Enlightenment-Rachel-Griffin/dp/1937051870

 

Show Me the Money–What’s the Skinny on Author Earnings?

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2014 at 10:39 pm

An excellent piece on what it really takes if you want to be successful in the writing industry. Well thought our piece.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Via Flickr Creative commons, courtesy of Tax Credits. Via Flickr Creative commons, courtesy of Tax Credits.

My degree is in Political Science with an emphasis on Political Economy. To earn this degree, I had to study a lot of statistics *UGH* and to be blunt? I agree with Mark Twain, “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Surveys and statistics are a science: number of participants, number of questions, phrasing of the questions, nature of the sample group, geography, etc.

Yada, yada, yada.

But somewhere in the numbers is some truth, which is why I asked one of our WANA instructors, Jami Gold, to do this guest post for me (and yes, she will be presenting at WANACon).

Sure we love to write, but I assume all of us are asking the BIG questions: Is there MONEY in writing? How do we make a GOOD living as writers? Money seems to be the taboo and we don’t want…

View original post 2,557 more words

Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by John T. Molloy

In Uncategorized on February 15, 2014 at 6:30 am

Great article, great information for US Christian singles to read, male or female. Lots of insight here.

The Third Heaven is free today! See the second books debut trailer!

In My novel: The Third Heaven: The Rise of Fallen Stars, On Marketing, Uncategorized on February 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm

announcement-PICTURE

I want to thank everyone for helping make my novel a success.  It’s getting into the hands of readers and people are enjoying the read.  Reviews are good, and people are being entertained, which is the point!

To celebrate, for the next three days–Sunday Feb 9th- Tuesday Feb 11th 2014.  You can get the novel for free.  Yes absolutely freaking free, exclusively on Amazon.  If you don’t have a kindle that’s OK download it to your PC or smartphone which can read it via Amazon’s kindle app.

098948050X.main samller imageI want to thank everyone,because as of today the novel is #23 in Christian Fantasy and is moving towards the top!

I’ve already started working on the second novel in the series, and expect to giving people a peek at the prologue and the first two chapters as the year progresses.

In the mean time enjoy the new 2014 debut trailer for the second book tentatively entitled “The Birth of God”

Enjoy…oh and don’t forget to pick up your free copy of the novel here!

And after you finish reading leave reviews on Amazon!  Authors love reviews!

D

Inspiration Tuesday: Duel of the Fates

In It's Inspiration Tuesday!, On writing on February 4, 2014 at 3:22 pm

There are few things that would stand as an adversary to a writer as the enemy known as writer’s block.  The towering wall of inability to muster words to advance ones story.  The sheer frustration of being caught between two opinions, to find oneself standing in the proverbial desert looking across dunes of words that all look the same.  Directionless in your journey.  Observing nothing, but sand that silently echoes over more sand.  Nothing.

dunesBut then you move. Lumbering, walking forward looking for any sign of direction, any hope that might advance you in your prose.  It is then that you realize that war that rages within you.  A war to produce meaningful prose.  A war to combat fatigue, and procrastination.  To move ever forward in a relentless march towards your goal.

Never stopping, plodding along basking in swelter as your head pounds refusing to be quieted by all the Tylenol in existence.

You are dueling the fates.

Wrestling with the Darth Mauls that every writer who wields a pen or PC must contend.  Lost in the silent battle that is as ferocious as the sword saber slashing of any Jedi.

You — are dueling the fates.

Steadfastly you pound the keys swiping at any mirage that would serve as beacon towards your goal.

It is then that you discover and draw power and inspiration: you smash through the door and vault across the borders of silent muse.  To land steadfast ready to run towards the sanctuary of an oasis of prose.

You bask in the stream of consciousness that invigorates you and from which you draw strength. You savor every succulent syllabic strung sentence that smoothly rolls from off your pen.   Your muse has awakened.  Yet you are not fooled.  Although an oasis has found you but for a moment.  You look over the horizon of desert that you must still cross.  A desert that at whose end will yield to you a promised land of a first draft.

You are a writer–and you are dueling the fates.

D

Resource Monday: Go A.P.E. yourself

In Great Resources, Its resource Monday!, On Marketing, On writing on February 3, 2014 at 10:49 am

ape

 I read quite a bit.  Most of my reading consists of books that are informational, educational self help in nature.  I read more fiction as a youth but much less now.  (I’m working to remedy that!)

I want to recommend for today’s post a book that will give a tremendous hand to those either just starting out or even those who perhaps need a refresher after having published a book that is not doing as well as you might like.

APE: author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to publish a book by Kawasaki, Welch

This book covers the following areas

Why write a book

The self-publishing revolution

Tools for writers

How to write, finance, and edit your book

How to avoid that self published look

How book distribution works

How to convert your files

How to sell books directly

And it goes on and on.

On and on it goes.  This book to me is THE reference book for any beginning indie writer period.

One of the things I loved about the book was he also provided you what his method was for using the concepts he write about to get his book in your hands.  Its one thing to talk about how to its another to share with fellow readers the exact map YOU used to achieve your success.

The book is full of helpful links to the sources mentioned.  It is simple and I think a quick read. The author uses a very conversational tone, and it has a wonderful interactive table of contents that allows the reader to quickly navigate to any relevant section that is most useful to you.

I’ve read countless books about writing, editing, layout and design, publishing and marketing.

This book above all I’ve read provides the most comprehensive road map on the self-publishing process I have ever read.  It’s a must.  As someone who has now published my first novel.  If you asked me which book would you recommend for new authorpreneurs—this book hands down is the clear winner.  I wish I had this book when I started out, but I’m very glad I have it now.

Five stars.

 

D