The journey of a nerd who loves the Lord

Posts tagged ‘writing’

200th Blog Post – Look Behind and Forward

goalsSalutations!

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, I hit a major milestone on this blog.  With this post, I reach 200 blog posts covering everything from video games, to theology, to personal stories and challenges.

In my first post, I stated that I wished to create this blog to journal my efforts into the areas of fictional writing, specifically, for my webcomic, Wildlight.  Ironically enough, my path took some twists and turns along the way.  A company asked me to run gaming events for the entire northern Utah region, which I did for about a year.  Before, during and after, I dove into deeper studies about theologies, sharing many of my discoveries and thoughts right here.  Eventually, I did manage to write up a number of short, fictional stories.  Though it all, I focused on improving the craft of writing.  I feel that I have made significant progress along those line, and hope you agree with me.

I write primarily for myself.  Aside from practicing writing itself, I also find value in keeping a journal on my thoughts, studies, etc has intrinsic value in and of itself.  I could reach both of those goals with a private Word document or the such.  However, I also hoped by sharing online that someone may also find value in my rough drafts, rants and studies.  Along those lines, I do receive comments on a somewhat regular basis.  While I have no assurance, I do hope that these writings and discussions bless someone out there and bring them closer to God.

goals2This brings us to my 200th post, on the cusp of a new year, which makes it a perfect opportunity to talk about future plans and goals.  I did this last year, with limited success…hopefully, I will do better this year.  So, in no particular order….

First, one of the more popular sections/topics of my blog, RPGTrek, shall continue.  I originally started this as a way to remember details about my exploits through classic RPGs I worked through.  I thought about quitting once I realized that the work involved consumed so much of my free time.  However, my readers surprised me with tons of positive feedback… more than any other writing exercise I have done here.  They have convinced me to make this a permanent, ongoing part of my blogging activities.   I cannot promise that I will keep up the pace that I did last year, where I knocked out an average of a 1,000 word article each and every week.  However, rest assured I shall keep on reporting on the progress of my characters, entertaining you as I go along.

Second, as mentioned in a previous article, I will reduce the amount of theological writings I engage in.  I feel that in our post modern society, people value logical, well thought out arguments less and less.  And, while I do enjoy studying and writing along those lines, I feel that I need to shift my focus into areas which will produce more fruit.  Jesus calls us to be fishers of men… and while the Bible extols the virtues of studying God’s Word and arguing for the faith, we have a higher calling to reach out to others.  I will not quit writing about theology and Bible studies, but simply reduce the amount I do.

wildlight1So, you may wonder, if I plan to reduce my RPGTrek blogging, as well as my theological writings, will I knock out fewer blog entries?  Far from it! (Lord willing).  I plan to fill in the gaps with more fictional writing.  Specifically, I plan to priorities working on Wildlight’s next story.  I last worked on the comic nearly six years ago, so I have a lot of writing to do, and I plan to share a lot of it here, including specific information on backgrounds, organizations, setting, etc.  Admittedly, most of this will bore the average blog reader, but I hope, by sharing some of that here, a few of the fans will help me by sharing opinions, thoughts and even editorial corrections as needed.  (I have made dastardly mistakes in the past, such as changing the names of characters in the middle of the story!)

If any of you would like to see me write about anything else in particular, please feel free to drop me a line.  I penned some of my blog entries in 2014 as a response to requests, questions and comments from my friends and readers.  Regardless, thank you very much for accompanying me through 200 blog entries!

Decisions

Salutations.

I read the comments and emails about ‘A Quick Experiment.’  It seems that many of you are really in favor of the comic format, even if that means taking longer…a LOT longer.

As I may have mentioned in a previous blog entry, I’m currently in a very busy season of my life.  It doesn’t allow too much time for creative anything, at the moment.  However, I’ve been around the block enough times to know that these seasons come and go.  It will only be a matter of time before this time of high responsibility fades, and I find myself with a lot more time for creative works!

In the mean time, I believe I will try my hand at some short stories here on my blog.  They may be one shorts, or perhaps you might seem some recurring characters.  Time will tell!

Meet the Circus, Part 1

Salutations!

Today, I’m working on a group of circus performers that the party will run into.  This will be quite a diverse bunch.  Writing about them is certainly an exercise that gets the creative juices flowing.

The Bradbury Circus

Formed over 50 years ago by the Vesarian, Geman Bradbury, The Bradbury Circus quickly became a hit in any town it visited.  Featuring a mix of showy magic (including lights and sound), amazing beasts that do incredible tricks, and feats of human acrobatics that defy description, people traveled far and wide to see this amazing circus in action.

However, about 10 years ago, Geman passed away.  Leaving no heirs to run the Circus, the role of Ringmaster fell upon his assistant, the mysterious Uzra.  A relatively unknown Tiefling from Chilax, Uzra took the role of Ringmaster like a fish to water.  Some say that the overall tone of the circus has changed since Geman passed away.  However, they circus continues to do extremely well, in fact, even better.  Shows are filled to capacity, even after they raised the price of admittance.

Below is some information on just some of the main performers found at The Bradbury Circus today.

Max FlashThis half Elf was shunned from his hometown, but like many, he found acceptance in the circus.  While many half elves are able to hide one side of their heritage or another, Max’s shorter height with unusually large ears make it harder for him to disguise his bloodline.  He started off in the circus as just one of the helping hands.  However, his ability to perform slight of hand tricks earned him a prominent place on the arcade alley.  When he’s not doing tricks to impress customers in the circus, he can often be found in the local tavern hoodwinking others for a few silver pieces and woo’ing the ladies.

L’Garm – Every circus has a “Strong Man,” and L’Garm fits the bill like no one else.  This massive Half Ogre picks up with one hand what many men cannot do with two.  L’Garm never knew his father or mother, as he was left with a church as a (rather large) baby.  It was quite clear early on that L’Garm was a mixed child.  The church, looking for a quiet way to put him aside before he became too large (and a potential problem), found a perfect solution when The Bradbury Circus passed by.  Originally, Geman didn’t want to take a child onto their traveling caravan.  However, the church convinced him that not only would the child have a home no where else, but that he could help out.  Geman took the boy under his wing and put him to work.  He treated L’Garm well, though Geman was generally too busy to be a true father to the boy.  Despite this, L’Gram was especially moved when Geman passed away.  He became quite reclusive though he still did what was expected of him.  Any attempt by his circus family to get to know him better is promptly ignored.  He seems to only interact with Uzra.

More Coming Soon.

The Difference

In speaking with people regarding entertainment, I noticed that a number of them mention that they do not care for forms which have messages in them.  So many things, hear and watch we read have an agenda attached.  Tired of the pandering, many people have turned to less cerebral media, hoping to avoid those who seek to change their mind on matters of the heart which they already settled on.

So what will make my writings different?

Well, for starters, my agenda is not hidden.  From my pen name, “JCServant”, through the closing remarks on anything I do, I make it crystal clear that I follow the Lord of the Bible and seek to glorify Him through my efforts.  Second, I act independently.  I have no ties with any religious or political organization; outside of those I have created myself, by God’s grace.  Therefore, no man behind the curtain pulls the strings.  Everything you see comes directly from my own mind and heart. This also means I have no political agenda.  I simply want to glorify my Lord.  If my works draw you closer to God, or encourage you to do also glorify God through your talents, than that, of course, makes me quite happy.  However, it is not a pre-requisite for what I do.

Finally, I write from experience, as one who has walked an imperfect walk with God for two decades and still learns something new everyday.  My works will reflect such, rather than be filled with hypotheticals.  Of course my stories will feature fantastic situations, but the people in the stories will be quite realistic.  They will have faith, but they will falter, fail, doubt and question just like any Christian.  The Bible does a very excellent job of showing the ‘saints’ as very real, fallible people, and I intend to follow that pattern.  I believe this approach will show my audience that I respect their intelligence.

So, there is an agenda, but it is not hidden.  If that agenda offends you, then we can agree to disagree and you can stop reading here.  Like any entertainer, I fancy the idea of having hordes of people reading my works.  However, I do what I do in order to glorify God first.  And if that offends every person on the planet to the point where not a single one reads what I have so carefully, and painfully, written — then so be it.

The Purpose

Salutations.

Some people, myself included, believe that the reason behind an action can be just as important as the action itself.  A person who breaks the law in saving a life is treated far differently than one who does so for selfish reasons.  Knowing the destination, or end goal, which I wrote about earlier provides the direction; the purpose provides the drive to get there.  Many projects fall by the wayside because they lost sight of the reason they began that project to begin with.

Simply stated, I wish to glorify God through my best possible effort in this endeavor.  In the 20+ years I have been serving God (stumbling many times along the way), He has been faithful to me.  He has given me life when I was dead in my sins, and given me direction that I may not parish.  That may all sound a bit overly spiritual and cryptic.  Rest assured, I will provide numerous examples and further dissertation through future entries.  Doing so makes for great writing exercises!

It is really that simple.  I have no hidden agenda, or motive.  Any work I distribute will be done so freely as to avoid the very appearance that, perhaps, I write simply for my supper.  I am not part of any larger political or faith based organization, so I have no pressure to slant my message.  However, I have a number of close friends who I share my deepest thoughts and works with to insure that I do not stray from the central message that God lays out in His Word.  Sharing a mutal love for Christ, I depend on them to help keep me focused when I get distracted by those things which might distract and pollute my thoughts from that which God has called me to do.

And that, as they say, is that.  Should you have any questions or thoughts about my purprose (or anything else I’ve written thus far on the blog), please feel free to comment below.  Until next blog, may God bless you!

The Approach

When writing a story, I am often told that it is best to write or plot out the conclusion first.  It’s much easier to plan and write your story when the ending is already done.  That way, you just have to ‘back into it,’ in a manner of speaking.

I remember waiting for the next issue of my favorite comics to come out. Hopefully, people will look forward to my next story in a similar fashion!

I plan on taking a similar approach here.  First, my I lay out my final goal, and then I plan on how to get there.  Being an accountant by day, planning is one of my strong suits.

Ultimately, I would like to be able to write serial, ongoing stories, similiar to comics such as Wildlight.  Of course, I want those to be of the best quality I can possibly produce.  Hopefully, they would be compelling enough to entice readers to come back on a regular basis, eager to find out what happens next!

I realize, however, that writing is not an easy task at all.  To help get my skills to that level calls for a strategic approach to preparation.  I plan on using multiple tools and resources to learn as much as a I can, while practicing by writing a variety of short stories.  Even this blog provides me ample opportunity to hone my admittedly limited talents.  By virtue of age, I have learned the benefits of patience and proper planning.  I shall take advantage of the benefits they provide.

The beginning of a journey

Salutations!

Years ago, I wanted to do a comic.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t write.  My attempts to find a writer were less than successful.  But, I knew that God had laid it on my heart to this work. I knew there had to be a way.  So, I prayed about it, and I remembered another who lacked the words to do what God wanted.  I recalled that God gave Moses the words to speak (through Aaron), when they were needed.ns!

The main character from my webcomic, “Wildlight”

And I knew that if I tried, God could give me words.  I did a crash course in writing, and created Wildlight.  It’s a full comic viewable to this day.

It has been several years since I’ve worked on that comic.  God has taken me on some interesting journies since that time.  Now, I feel a desire to create for His glory once again. However, this vision is slightly different.  I’m thinking about stories with pictures.  Something like a short story or novelette… but with artwork from myself and other, more talented artists, sprinkled throughout.  These could easily be read on the web, tablets or eReader devices.  I’m not sure if there’s a term for such things, just yet.

My strength has never been in writing.  Yet, I have faith that once again, God will give me the words.

One day, I hope to draw more comics, and write more stories, that will glorify Him.  In the mean time, I plan to exercise my writing muscles here, on this blog.  I will share my thoughts, faith, challenges, solutions, inspirations and more.  Feel free to do the same in the comment area.  For those interested, I will be also be sharing previews of my full featured work, which will eventually be hosted and offered to everyone freely at Cyberlight Comics.

Until we meet, may God bless you!