Late Night in Nashville

Sitting in the lobby of the Doubletree, where I finally found internet access, answering questions on my online courses and skulking around the internet, while downloading the new iphone update. There’s a wedding reception wrapping up and about a dozen people wobbling past me in nice dresses and tuxedos. Next to me is another laptop user who is doing something that makes his computer sing “Yahoo!” every 5-10 seconds and he is not turning it off. OMG….

Today was very informative. That’s the best word I can use. If you’ve followed by Twitter updates, here are the details. I never sleep well the first night in a hotel. It didn’t help that every time the heat came on it was preceded by a very loud clunking sound. So I did wake up in time to attend the early bird sessions. The one of interest was a beginners Photoshop course. I knew most of the tools, but it was still good to finally HEAR someone explain it rather than just self-learn it from a book. I won a DVD of the instructors on some more advanced techniques! 🙂 I also found out he was having a more advanced course that afternoon. I had wanted to attend the “behind the scenes” tour of the main sessions, but I felt this Photoshop workshop would be more practical. Definitely learned some cool techniques. It makes me want to get the creative juices flowing and create some cool “Christian-esque” graphical art to put up in my house. (Yah right…)

The main sessions have been, well different. Last night they had three mini-speakers followed by a Q&A that we could text to. Problem was they got to about 2 questions each speaker because the facilitator kept asking their own questions. Actually, overall the speakers have been a bit odd to me. One guy can only speak in one tone: dramatic…and did I mention he ended by disco dancing? I did get one thing out of it though…I’m now a member of the Slow Club.

The rest of the group I came with wanted to watch the Tech/OU game, but I wanted to go to the session again, so I did. I’m really glad, too. Unknown to me at the time, I got to hear the manager of the Human Genome Project talk about how he reconciled science with faith…his journey from atheism to Christianity. The. Head. Guy. Of. The. Human. Genome. Project. He spoke. He’s a Christian! OMG! I’m kinda wigging out! His talk lost a lot of the crowd, I’m not going to lie (maybe part of it was the football game coming on). And really, I don’t like to get caught up in the evolution/Genesis/creation/faith argument. Cuz really it shouldn’t be an argument. It’s a non-essential; the questions will be answered when we see God’s face in heaven. For him, the reconciliation was important. And he laid out evidence that evolution is occurring and is a tool being used by God. That Genesis isn’t a framework of 7 literal days. Okay fine. Bottom line: science and faith don’t have to clash; they can flow together. We can figure a little bit out of how God did things, and doing so does not challenge His position as God.

Tomorrow’s a lighter day. Walking around the vendors; one seminar. Football game is in town so it is going to be car-azy around here. Good night from Nashville.

Late Night in Nashville

November is NaNoWriMo

This month is National Novel Writing Month. Funny enough, I found out about it in my Macworld magazine (they were reviewing some novel writing software). The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel by December. Any time I hear or read about people writing, I always think about my project “Lord or the Ring”. I started it some 4-5 years ago, now, and never finished it. In short: take the premise of Lord of the Rings and apply it to a modern-day spiritual warfare story. Not completely creative, but let me tell you the context.

When I started with the idea, I was working with the student ministry under Jack McCarty. We had come off a successful “movie” series called The Pontrix, one of my first major video projects. Wanting to top it, I started writing a script for a Lord of the Rings spoof, because they were coming out in theaters then. But as I wrote the story in script format, the characters weren’t coming out like I wanted. So I decided to write it as a story. When I hit writer’s block, I was up to 103 pages. That’s 8 1/2 x 11, mind you. At some points, I really felt like I wasn’t writing it. It was so interesting to see how my characters were coming about and the choices they were making, as if alive. But then, as I said, I hit a wall. I had pitched the video idea to the staff and was turned down due to inadequate resources. That blow took away any creativity and 4 years later, the cursor is still blinking in the place I left it.

And now here we are, National Novel Writing Month. What do you think? Should I give it another shot? To be honest, I’m not sure who my audience is here…though I know 3-4 regular readers. One of the magazine’s suggests is to post the story on a blog as it is written. Would you be interested in reading it? I mean, yeah, it has some corny moments meant for teens, but I don’t think it is that bad for a complete amateur writer, and I had a couple editors helping me along at the time. Not sure about the filming prospects anymore…the whole LOTR has worn off, but it could still be a fun read.
So the poll is out! You are my friends/family and I need your opinion! Should I try to finish it? Post the chapters on my blog in scheduled releases?

November is NaNoWriMo

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)

What a day this nation woke up to this morning. I’m excited and anxious for our president-elect to begin the tough process of repairing our economy and our status around the world, among other things. President-Elect Obama’s speech was one of the best I have ever heard. The emotion was evident and substituted any words that could be said about the moment.

Some other thoughts: I’m surprised the Arkansas lottery passed as many times as it has been defeated. Perhaps the wording was specific enough and the cause noble enough this time. Texas and Missouri were both prepared to lose $30 million in revenue, I heard. So at least the money being spent will be in our state now. And perhaps the money given to students will increase retention and bring our state up on college graduates.

I’m torn about the adoption ban. Sure, I believe a child should be in a positive environment, but perhaps it really should have been a case-by-case basis. The point of the law is to prevent homosexuals from fostering and adopting, but I have a bad feeling about all the red tape and bureaucracy fostering and adoptive parents will have to endure.

I’m am completely shocked that Lightle won the criminal court position. She simply advertised better because there is no way her 3-months on the environmental court (aka the “dog barking” court) matches Finkelstein’s 20 years of defending and prosecuting criminal cases. I’m sure he’s in a WTF state this morning. Her connection to Gov. Beebe, which led to her appointment, really paid off.

In national news, surprisingly the ban on gay marriage in California is on the road to passing, though it is still close. Colorado rejected the “life at fertilization” law, which is probably best because of all the legal trouble that would have started. Several states were added to the list of those who ban gay marriage. And a few states will still allow abortions.

Thankfully, the Senate did not get its filibuster-proof majority. I was really concerned about this. I think it would have taken away some checks-and-balances that need to be in place. And even though I don’t think Obama is as left as people make him out (he’s not a socialist, people), he also needs healthy debate when he wants legislation passed.

So it’s time to unite and see what happens. It is a good thing to remember that the hot topic issues of evangelicals and conservatives aren’t really decided by the president. Yes, he has influence with his supreme court appointments and veto power, but so far the federal government has left it to the states to decide gay and abortion rules…as evidenced by how many of these issues were on the ballot across the nation. And if he does pick a Justice, the court will remain in its 5-4 status. So no extreme change there.

If you voted, good job! Now, no matter our differences, we can coexist peacefully as a free nation of united individuals! Go America! Yes we did!

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion)