Friday, May 13, 2016

An Open Letter to the Verbally Upset dc Talk Fans

Look, guys.


For just a second here, okay?

What with the build-up and announcement, dc Talk has been all over the web and the airwaves, and I've heard some back and forth about it all, but it wasn't until I was over on the dcTalk personal page that I discovered how many people are shamelessly bashing these men for everything from the object of their announcement, to the supposedly improper handling of said-announcement itself. And...I'm flabbergasted. Appalled would, here, be a better word.

So, honestly:

I get that you're disappointed there is no full length album on the way. I get that a cruise is not the same thing as a world tour, with the same accessibility. I totally understand that you were hoping the band was coming back together for the big times, for truth, and yes indeed it would have been heaven on earth.

But, please. Chill.

Toby and the others have said for years that there are many reasons they haven't done anything as a band since they parted ways oh-so long ago. Can we not be happy for them with this huge opportunity they were presented with and accepted? Can we not love the fact that our favorite trio is able to take this on? After many silent years with brief intermissions of cameo appearances on stage at each other's concerts, and on each other's albums, this. is. HUGE. And exciting.

"This is a give back that we wanted to do -  we wanted it to be intimate and special. More intimate than an arena tour could ever be. It embraces what we are doing and what we did. We are excited about both. Who knows what the future holds." 
~dc Talk to The Christian Post

I adore and respect these guys and their work - soooo much - and I am absolutely ecstatic for them because this really is fantastic news, and they seem so happy and excited, they obviously wanted and expected us to be happy and excited for them and for us too, and why shouldn't we be? There were no promises made leading up to the reveal, and if they'd just been like, "oh, yeah, we're performing as a band on this cruise" we would have demanded more fanfare. Does this post, this opinion, mean that I'm going on the cruise myself? (*moment of uproarious laughter*) Yeaaahhhh, no. Not. I wish, but this is sadly not in my future.

"After 16 years of silence, we are thankful there are still so many passionate fans!
Someone came to us with the idea of Michael, Kevin and I getting together on a cruise and we thought, "That would be fun and it would be intimate, way more intimate than an arena tour could ever be.”
We've said "No" to coming back together so many times, but this time we finally said "YES". It can be so challenging for us to all get together with our families going in different directions, and our own bands, and their families.
We are sorry it is not everything you wanted. We would never want to let any of you down."
~TobyMac's public statement

These guys are obviously really enthusiastic about this happening and what it means for them, and just as obviously hurt that their fans have taken it the wrong way. They are even apologizing and they shouldn't even have to. How petty are we to demand something more of them? So, again: chill. Good grief.

Support them, Jesus Freaks.

Be the die-hard fans you have claimed to be all these years.

Stop giving the rest of us a bad name.

Be proud.

Stand by your band.

Take a minute to be thrilled about what this means for the future.

This is amazing and miraculous news, and there is no room here for your disdain.


Friday, September 4, 2015

oh, hi there

Hey. Hi. Hello there. I'm still alive, remarkably enough. I just...kind of neglected my blog...for like...well, since January.

I plan on making an actual post soon.

Once I actually have something to make an actual post about.


Carry on.



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

40+ Prompts: How Well Do You Know Your Character's Family?

40+ Prompts
How Well Do You Know Your Character's Family?

Whether they're the cold-hearted adversary or your courageous protagonist, your character has a family and their family is their history. (Unless, of course, your character is an orphan or foundling whose family doesn't exist, in which case this exercise is completely pointless for them, and a waste of time for you, so why are you even still reading this?)

Take a few minutes to answer these questions about your character's family tree and learn a lot more about them in the process!

Step 1. Mum and Dad
1. Give full names for both parents:
2. Where was their mother born and what is her happiest childhood memory? Her saddest memory?
3. Growing up, what or who did she hate the most and why?
4. What was her most treasured childhood belonging?
5. Who is her closest friend as an adult?
6. Name one dream of the character's mother:
7. Where was their father born and what was his childhood like? His happiest memory? His saddest?
8. When he was little, what did he want to be?
9. What gave him nightmares as a child?
10. As an adult, who is someone he respects and why?
11. Name one thing the father regrets:
(Now, go back and flip the questions around for the parents—answer the mom's questions from the dad's perspective and vice versa.)
12. Write a paragraph (more, if you like) about how these parents met:

Step 2. Siblings
13. Does your character have siblings? Make a quick list of their names and ages and one thing about each of their personalities:
14. Were their siblings born in the same place as they were? If not, where?
15. Which sibling does your character have the most in common with?
16. Which one irritates them the most?
17. Which one do they spend the most time with (because they want to, or they have to)?

Step 3. Grandparents
18. Choose a pair of your character's grandparents from either side of the family (or answer these questions for both sides, if you wish!). What are they like?
19. What ideals did these grandparents instill in their own children?
20. How was the world different for the grandparents than it is for the character?
21. How have the actions of the grandparents affected the character directly and indirectly?
22. If they were to give one piece of advice to your character, what would it be?

Step 4. And In No Particular Order...
23. Which member of the family (sibling, parent, aunt, etc.) does your character look up to most and why?
24. Which member of the family does the character see as their greatest enemy?
25. Which member of the family, living or dead, does the character most resemble in both appearance and character?
26. What is your character's earliest memory of a family member other than their parents?
27. Which family member(s) support the character? Explain.
28. Your character is upset. To which family member do they turn?
29. Which member of the family makes your character the most uncomfortable and why?
30. If your character could tell one family member anything, who would it be and what would they tell them?
31. What secret does your character's family keep—their skeleton in the closet?
32. Every family has a black sheep somewhere in the line. Who is your character's? How does this person influence the character?
33. Describe the most valuable family heirloom, its history, and its importance:
34. Are there any hereditary illnesses or curses in the family line?
35. Someone somewhere in the family died unexpectedly. How? (Was it heart attack? Shark attack?)
36. What are two things your character longs to do which the family disapproves? Explain the “why” of both sides:
37. If your character was separated from their family permanently, how would they react and how would it change them?
38. Pick five different family members (probably the ones you know best) and have them describe your character in one or two sentences each:
39. Does your character want a family of their own? Explain your answer by how you think their family life has affected these desires:
40. Imagine the character was abandoned/orphaned while still a minor. Who in the family (older sibling, aunt, etc.) would take them in and what would life in that surrogate family be like for the character?

Step 5: Bonus! Using What You Know
Imagine that your character is in a post-apocalyptic world or possibly just lost in the wilderness. (If they are already—congratulate yourself on being sneaky, clever, or lucky.) Pick two family members for the character to have with them as they try to survive. Now answer the following questions:
1. Is there a particular reason you chose these two characters?
2. What familial stresses are caused by this journey or set-up?
3. If your character is injured and needs one person to stay with them while another goes for help. Which family member goes, which one stays, and why? If your character has any say in it, how do they decide who goes and who stays?
4. Which family member might snap/lose it first?
5. If attacked, which family member has the greatest chance in a fight?
6. Your character dies (Don't panic, it's just an exercise.) and the two other family members are left. How do they handle this loss and what do they do next?
7. Have them sit down at a campfire or give a brief funeral ceremony: What do they say about your character? What they hated, and what they loved, and what they'll miss the most?

Now, look back at your answers. How much have you learned about your character? What have you learned about their story? I hope you've enjoyed growing this family tree and that your character and story are richer because of it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Character Bios: The Sponsor & The Friend


Puck Ebrin is a disgraced Air Jump sponsor from Lares whose team won the Crown the year the current Proctor of the UTC came to power. Puck's wife and child died of plague when the medicine that should have been available to them was stolen—a crime Puck was then accused of committing. When scandal connected this theft to Jumpers and cheating, he left the sport and renounced all ties to the winning team. Puck disappeared into obscurity, resurfacing only to sponsor the eleventh-hour team Nim joins.


Annwyl Annod is a decorated Jumper and an avid follower of the sport in all its dirt and glory. She's a streetwise girl from Lares, a planet known more for its stunning vistas and classy vacation homes than its urban aptitude. Eager to share her knowledge of Air Jumping's best-kept secrets—including some things others might be keen to leave in the past—Annwyl takes the younger Nim under her wing, despite the fact that they're on opposing teams. Along the way, this shrewd Jumper teaches Nim a thing or two about 'the world' and 'home'.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Character Profile: Kio (and) "The Edsetera"

  (Kio and Nim)

I said I'd be posting some character bios this past week, posted Nim's and then forgot to ever officially write up ones for my other characters. So, here's a list of short bios for some of the major players. I might, over the course of the month, post some more.

(*note: UTC stands for Universal Treaty Confederation, which is what I'm currently calling the big government running most of these planets, but the name will probably change.)

(Kio's mask)


Kio Mobrique is an Edseter from the Ripple, one of four terraformed planets in the same reach of space as the UTC but not part of the treaty. Kio was rescued at a young age from plague by a stranger's kindness and was later recruited by the governing powers of the Edsetera to find an Air Jumper who would speak on their behalf at the Victory ceremony of the Cup. With lungs badly damaged from his brush with death, Kio wears a respirator mask to help him breathe. Kio is the assistant to Puck Ebrin and becomes personal friends with Nim.

A Note on the Edsetera:

Generations ago, before the creation of the UTC, it was decided by certain scientists and governing powers that they would attempt to terraform seven worlds in their reach of space whose systems could hypothetically support life if some key elements were supplemented or changed. The result was four “successful” terraformed worlds: the Mirror, the Ripple, the Aper, and the Echo.

Soon after, transports were sent to these worlds with colonists whose job it would be to cultivate and inhabit these brand new earths. The colonists faced the hardships of pioneering their way in a brand new, harsh land, as well as disease and illness caused largely by the side affects of the terraform process. Over time however, those colonists who survived began to thrive in their new home—and to change.

They adapted. Like the people of Earth have adapted to thrive from deep in the desert to the tops of mountains, these people's very biology slowly realigned to enable them to survive: Their skin became thicker. They lost bone mass. Their eyes changed shape and color. Their skin turned gray. Their lungs were bigger. Their limbs longer. The colonists had children, and those children had grandchildren, and then great grandchildren.

No one really knew what to make of this people, this new breed of human that was developing. People ceased looking on the colonists as ordinary people like themselves. They were 'aliens', as mysterious and dangerous a race as any unknown out in the wide, wild universe. Soon they came to be called the Etcetera. The other. The rest. The added 'something similar' that was not quite the same.

Because of this, the Edseter worlds were not adopted into the UTC when it was created, and this left them open to attack from pirating spacecraft. They were the very outcasts of society. Only one world, the Aper, has succeeded in joining the UTC and at great cost to the little planet, which is still considered somehow less than its sister planets, inhabiting a sort of No Man's Land between the Edseter worlds and the rest of the UTC.

In the time leading up to Air Jump, the Edseter have been contriving ways to receive the recognition and protection of the UTC and their attention now falls the the Air Jump races and the Crown as a means of letting their story be told.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What is 'Air Jumping'? & Character Profile: Nim

Nim Sequanna is the main character (MC in novel lingo) of my NaNo, Air Jumper. Nim is tall and slim. Her hair is a dark brown, about to the length of her shoulders, with red hues in the highlights. Pale skin. Bright eyes that are green in color.

Nim loves Air Jumping almost more than anything else. To her it is life and breath. It gives her a special connection to her mother—a Jumper who died in a racing accident when Nim was small. Her love for the sport is so great that she is willing to abandon her family to pursue the fame and glory that a championship can bring her—something she believes her mother was wrong for refraining.

Her father Jurard and younger brother Arcus live with her on the rainy UTC planet Charybdis. Her father is primarily against Nim's fascination and aptitude with the sport that stole away his wife, even though Hester Sequanna was the one to instill that love in both of her children. Arcus is his sister's number one fan and constantly works with her to convince their father that she knows what she's doing—whether or not that's actually true.

Despite education and a zeal for knowledge, Nim quickly figures out just how naive she is before she even makes it offworld. By the time she realizes she's not ready for the challenges ahead of her, it's too late to go back.

What is 'Air Jumping'?

Avoiding the details of all the different obstacles, rules, course sets, team types, politics, etc. that I've been feverishly figuring out, here's the basic info on this sci-fi sport:

At its very base form, Air Jumping is parkour. It is a sport, or a discipline, primarily engaging the upper body of its participants, relying on arm strength and agility in jumping and leaping.

The idea of each course is to simulate different obstacles that the participants must out-maneuver in order to reach their goal. These obstacles might be stationary or mobile, creating impressive challenges each Jumper overcomes. A good Jumper is any individual with stamina, agility, strength, composure, and speed—and most commentators on the sport will agree that these traits should come in that order of importance. Any Jumper can be fast and able but wear out within a few obstacles, and a calm Jumper can lose sight of the bigger goal when time is of the essence. Every Jumper approaches the sport uniquely and studies have shown there are a variety of pros and cons to each technique.

Air Jumping was developed slowly over the years from its original urban art form until it reached its current height in popularity. From the street level 'free jumping', to the streamlined racing recognized by modern spectators, Air Jumping is a sport which branches through dozens of planets and multiple systems.

NaNoWriMo 2014~ the Week Before

 (Why is it I do my most blogging when my writing energies are most spent on something else?)

Quick reminder of what NaNoWriMo is:
NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month”. It's a (now worldwide) challenge to write one 50k word novel, beginning to end, in 30 days. In other words: one month of pure. blind. panic.

As weird and shocking and hard as that all might sound, the oddest part might be that this is my sixth year participating...and I won the challenge the last five times. In fact, I decided it wasn't challenging enough and last year pushed my wordcount goal to 70k—I finished with a couple thousand to spare.

This year I'd considered pushing my wordcount goal to an outrageous 100k (3,334 per day), but I'm going to settle for the 50 and just do my best—when writing roughly 2k daily—to make every word count so that when midnight comes on November 30th I've got something I'm really proud of. Well, that's the idea at least. ;)

The main reason that I've opted for fewer words again is because I'm writing in a genre I've never worked in before: Science Fiction. I've done a couple short stories that were sci-fi, but didn't really need to do a lot of worldbuilding or technical work for them, so I'm very new to the genre. Besides, novels are a whole other beast than friendly little shorts. I don't read a lot of sci-fi either, so I don't even know much about the typical formats and styles.

My main challenge is worldbuilding because in this story, instead of having a country or two for my characters to toddle about in, I have a confederation of over sixty planets. Now, I'm not going to develop all of these planets of course, but I'll need a good dozen of them to grow into characters of their own if this story is going to work.

And that brings me to the novel itself: I'm calling it Air Jumper. (*audience oohs and aahs appreciatively*)

Air Jumper is the story of Nim Sequanna, a young Jumper who puts everything her family owns on the line to compete in the sport she loves—the only way to return home now is to win it all. Hurled into a world of cheating athletes and dirty politicians, Nim befriends a mutant outcast looking to save his people and a disgraced businessman searching for redemption as they race against saboteurs and killers to claim the crown.

So that's the plan for this November. Over the next couple days, I'm going to try posting some character bios and such as I prepare for a race of my own. See you at the finish line!