What is so magical about midnight?

Why do we stay up until the middle of the night… merely to stay up to the middle of the night?

Why does the world go insane because the year increments by one?

Why does it matter that the second hand ticks that one time? Why is it special? Why is that one minute passing so vitally important?

What is magical about standing on the moon? Or seeing light broken by little globules of H2O? Or looking into the eyes of the child you love? Or reading a story of joy and heartache?

What is … magic, in this sense?

These things are the definitionΒ of magic. The joy you get from a rarity, from the beauty of a thing which is special simply because it is unique. When the year passes… when 365 days end their time… when the last second runs out… we look and see an enigma of time: it goes on. We see a marker which God wrote into the heavens with incomprehensible exploding giants of power, ticked out in our daily lives, yet again, just as always before, and yet so unique.

No year is the same.

New opportunities. Old lessons learned. New hopes. Old victories. New challenges. Old failures. New adventures. Old memories. Each year brings change. No year is the same for each person, and no year is repeated.

Take this one.

Live it for God. Choose to grasp it and step on. No matter how low you’ve gone this year, this next you can rise again. Do it.

Super Share Saturday Serendipity (with a Surprise!)

Learnable: The Way Learning Should Be
Learnable: The Way Learning Should Be

Greetings!

Well I have a lot to share with you today, and one thing in particular that is simply awesome and exciting. I hope you all will be as excited about it as I am.

At long last, essence mapping has gone public!

My very first course on essence mapping is live and for sale at learnable.com!

* dances about in joy and glee *

So what does that mean? I am pretty sure a lot of you don’t even know what essence mapping is, or why you would care. And especially why a course you have to actually pay for would even be worth hearing about.

Or why you should even keep on reading!

Well, hopefully you have a reason to keep on reading… I have something to tell you! πŸ˜›

Essence Mapping is a system of artistic communication. It enables creative artists, whether they be designers or writers or anything else, to write down, and thus communicate, pure artistic expression without ambiguity.

Using this system, you can capture the perfect essence of a moment, an emotion, a thought, an impression, and communicate it to someone else, and define it for yourself. And you can do it without having to get any kind of software or anything like that. You can even scribble it out on paper if you want.

In the past, essence mapping has been known as enigmatic and confusing. Difficult to learn. But no more. It has been completely revamped and reexplained from the foundation up, and this course that just went live, teaches it all to you!

Imagine: in one week, you can be able to describe anything you want to describe. Even so-called indescribable things!

One week, five lessons, just for you.

So check out the course, share it, subscribe, tell everyone about it! πŸ™‚

https://learnable.com/courses/essence-mapping-for-beginners-helping-you-imagine-and-communicate-your-ideas-75

And if you still aren’t sure you want to click that link (come on… it isn’t that hard… click it!), check out this video of me giving more details about why essence mapping is just so cool:

[youtube=ο»Ώο»Ώο»Ώwww.youtube.com/watch?v=dCJNBerc5Fs]

Got it? Good. Now go click the link. And then click the Subscribe button. Not that hard. πŸ˜‰

Here is is again for good measure.

And now here are a few other videos that I have found either awesome, or super helpful.

An awesome short film using music as the main action sequence. Brilliant cinematography, acting, and music of course:

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlVbEclPj4c]

Two videos by the Gracie brothers, showing you just one of the strategies of teaching that they use, making them world renowned as some of the best instructors ever, on anything.

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1E6Kh4Xep0]

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqKGvsKNK8]

And then, a music video with one of the best renditions I have ever heard of Hans Zimmer’s song He’s a Pirate, for Pirates of the Caribbean:

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGuBYvURSZw]

Have fun! πŸ˜€

Serendipitous Super Share Saturday

Hey everyone!

For those of you who aren’t subjected to my flooding torrent of shared content that streams through my various social sharing venues, I share a lot of stuff. Lots. Of course, not everyone will be interested in everything I share, and not everything I share is valuable to everyone. But some things that come through I don’t want anyone to miss, they are that good.

So here I am this Saturday, regaling you with the reiterated reminiscence of my ravagings of the online readership. In other words, here are a few of my favorite shares from this week. πŸ™‚

Continue reading “Serendipitous Super Share Saturday”

A Review of Stephen Lawhead's Skin Map

 

The Skin Map
The Skin Map

 

When I got The Skin Map from Booksneeze (at no charge, no obligations, very awesome), I really had no idea what to expect. I had already read a few of Stephen Lawhead‘s books, and I knew that he had a diverse range of style. So I dug in with no preconceived notions about what it would be like.

And I loved it.

His mastery of the art of description is beyond belief (I had to stop several times to jump up and down because I loved his style so much, seriously). His level of attention to details like period mindset and speech is a delight to behold (especially for die-hard background-first novelists like me).

My only quibble was that he doesn’t end the first book as a stand-alone. He makes you need to read the next one to continue the story arc properly. And that isn’t out yet, which is maddening.

And for those of you who are worried about inappropriate content (I was a bit, since his Song of Albion trilogy had some), don’t be. It is completely clean. Utterly. I couldn’t have been more pleased on that score (and promptly gave it to my little siblings to share).

5 out of 5 stars, very recommended.

A Party and a Very Special Announcement!

Hey there everyone!

* Is very excited *

A year ago, on September 20th of 2009, I started a forum on a whim. I did it mainly because I was lazy and wanted one centralized location on which to discuss my stories and world with my few fantasy friends. So I guess it was sort of ego-centric too (except I wanted to hear about their stories too, but whatever).

I invented a name more or less off the top of my head, threw together a forum, grabbed a theme off the internet, cobbled together some neat sounding names, and let my friends know. There were maybe 6 or so of us, but we liked it.

More than I expected. They loved it, and started telling everyone about it. I thought that was cool, so I told more of my friends about it too, posting on the different forums I am a part of, and etcetera.

And so people started to flood in. And they all loved it!

That was a shock to me. I mean, managing forums and communities is work, and I was kind of busy (I did, after all, start it because I was lazy and trying to save time, never mind about that…). But it was also kind of cool.

I mean, really cool.

There were these brilliant people all working together and talking and making friends and posting awesome stuff and in general being a model community. Very awesome. I loved my people (I still do, too). So I started improving the forums, adding mods and hacks and bbcodes and a logo and a website and a blog and a domain name and whatnot. All the stuff a real community ought to have. It was fun. πŸ™‚

Well, it has been a year, and it is well over a hundred members strong, and I have a core team of dedicated Moderators and Marcher Lords and Honor Roll Members and Editors and etceteras. I also have an inner circle of lovely people who have joined together with me to take Holy Worlds to its extreme limits for the glory of God.

We have great plans.

And so that is why we are all very excited about October 21st. Why?

Because that is a year, a month, and a day since the founding. And we are going to celebrate by having a massive party on the forums. And you are invited. πŸ˜€

We want to break the record for the most number of users online at once (it is 30 right now, so this is going to be fun). We are going to invade the chat room (yep, we got one of those too in there). We are going to have contests and surprises and presents for everyone.

And…

…

We are going to officially open the Holy Worlds Sci-Fi Forum!

Yes, we are expanding to include a sci-fi forum just for all you space-heads out there (well, me too, ’cause I like sci-fi too).

So if you are a member of HW, make sure you come at or around noon (EST) on the 21st of this month to www.holyworlds.org. And see if you can bring a friend! We will have admins standing by to activate new accounts, so if you got a friend who loves Christian fantasy or sci-fi, tell them to come and register. We would love to have them! This is a great time to tell people about us.

See you all then!

You Gotta Read This Article

I love to write. I write for my blogs, I write on my books, I write on forums, I write as much as I can find time to write. I also love to write for other people.Β And recently I just wrote a guest post that I really don’t want you all to miss out on. I have been planning to write it for this blog for months now, but when The Armchair Theologian[http://musingsofanarmchairtheologian.blogspot.com/] asked me to write a post for him, I decided to let him have it, since he was asking for something along its lines.

So I finished it up and handed it over. And I must say it looks nice with the image he picked for it. So go check it out and let him know what you think.

What are you still doing here? Go on, read it.

Okay, maybe you want to know what it is about before you open it up in another tab and peruse its life-changing contents?

Sure, why not? Here is a snippet:

β€œI just want to find out if I can do it on my own.”

β€œI want to get out of all these rules and limits and live on my own.”

β€œI don’t want to be dependent on other people.”

β€œI can do it.”

β€œI need to live on my own.”

All of the above are statements that I hear pretty often from teenagers approaching their ‘mature’ years of 18-25 or so. Honestly, I hear them all too often for my taste. This is because they are representative of an attitude of independence that is fundamentally in opposition with God.

Yes, I know, I am pretty bold sometimes. But you willΒ have to read it to see if I am right or not. πŸ™‚

Well, that’s all for this Saturday Serendipity post!

God bless.

What Do You Want Me To Write? :D

The book
Image by Dave Heuts via Flickr

Hey everyone!

I am planning to write a book (well, several books). I have a few topics for non-fiction books, and I have well over 20 concepts for novels in various stages of development, in both fantasy and sci-fi genres. I know roughly what my writing plans are for the fiction end of things will be…

But I am also planning to write a non-fiction book and publish it. It will be along the lines of what I am writing here in this blog: advocating outside-the-box, logical, Biblical lexicology and hermeneutics. I will take a set of concepts that I have expounded on here, and expand on them, examining all the different facets, and answering objections, and present them in a book form.

And, knowing me, it won’t be dry theology either. Be prepared for lots of humor, drama, and probably short stories illustrating points (you can’t keep me from writing fiction even when I am writing non-fiction). πŸ˜‰

And also expect to have a hand in helping me bring it to fruition. This is a community project as much as a Jay Lauser project. I want you, my loyal friends, to help me in every stage of this creation. From picking a topic, to figuring out what to include, to helping present counter-points, to giving feedback, to editing, and of course to get all of that you will be getting insider reports on my progress and reading my stuff before anyone else in the world. Happy yet?

So First Things First. What topic would you most like me to publish a book on? Ask your friends, look at the state of the world, at what our generation most needs to hear, look back at my old posts, and think about what we have talked about, and let me know what you think I should present as my debut non-fiction work.

I can’t wait to hear what y’all say. πŸ™‚

(Oh, if you don’t want to comment below, you can email me at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com.)

Cute Daddy

And here is your weekend video from me. πŸ™‚

This is a nice illustration of why cribs are … err … less than optimum for raising children in, for the most part. This guy doesn’t know what to do with fussy-sleepy babies, but at least he has the heart. πŸ˜€

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrXw-7_kSd0]

What do you think he should have done?

An Excited Announcement!

Hello all!

I am very excited about this movie project. I have seen a lot of projects fail. They lose steam, lose team members, lose momentum. And no wonder: starting projects and keeping them going to the end is a very very hard thing to do. But this project, well, it just smells of success. And I am salivating just thinking about what is happening.

We have had a great initial boom of people jumping on board and doing things to make it happen, and that is exciting. You can’t get off the ground without that.

But we have also had continued, and accelerating, growth! More and more people are hearing about this project and getting excited about it. That means there is something here that is drawing them in. People are telling other people who are telling other people who are telling yet more people about what we are doing and wanting to do. And those people are climbing on the wagon and asking how they can help.

That is what makes a project succeed.

We have lots of people, all with a common vision and passion to make this dream happen. And it will, if God gives us the strength and the blessing to carry on.

And so here I am to clarify that vision, and to explain what we see the goals of this project to be.

This movie will have dynamic characters driving a strong plot in a creative arena. It will draw inspiration from classics like The Matrix, Star Wars, and Tron, without copying or spoofing them. It will be a powerful musical, calculated to stir your soul and be like nothing you have seen before. It will have diverse action scenes, high, personal stakes, and intriguing special effects. It will appeal to the vast niche of sci-fi fans, programmers and non-programmers alike. It will bring into the Independent Christian Film community a kind of cinema that has been hitherto lacking: the true sci-fi epic.

But beyond that, it will reach out to the vast number of people in the world who are struggling with laziness and addictions in a new, creative, and dramatic way. It will inspire, animate, and empower its viewers. It will thrill your soul without defiling it with crude or untasteful content that you regret having watched. It will be a movie that will make you think, and make you enjoy doing it.

We intend this movie to show in festivals across the States, as well as internationally (possibly). We will release it online as a free download for a limited time with limited content, but we will subsequently release it for sale as a DVD and as a paid download from various venues. And that paid release will include many exclusive bonus features for your enjoyment.

To accomplish this, we have divided the project into several parts, each of which has its own unique goals that we will focus on, and which you can help with.

First we are going to work with our awesome (and constantly growing) volunteer team to get the story ready for marketing to investors.

We will finish the story development. That will include writing and finishing the script and lyrics, as well as creating concept music, art, and storyboards. We will also prepare and plan for convincing people to invest in our project. That includes solidifying our identity branding, developing promotional media, planning our marketing plans, and creating our plans for the final distribution of the movie. We will also be looking for people who are willing to make the movie itself, and finding out how much they need to be compensated.

We will then, from what we have learned from the above activities, settle on a target goal for our budget.

With that completed, we will launch into our second stage of the project: fund-raising.

We will setup a Kickstarter project for our target amount, with a dedicated deadline for us to raise the money. We will do door-to-door campaigns, bake sales, car washes, and we will work with schools, churches, and groups across the States (and across the world) to find investors willing to get us on our feet and going with their donations. If they pay us in hand (which is what we prefer), we will put that money into the Kickstarter project, keeping meticulous record of all our investors.

We will not ask or receive loans or grants of any kind. These go against our principles as a group, based on Biblical standards of conduct. God has the money, and He will provide for us if this is His will for us to succeed. This is His project.

If, in the unlikely event that we ‘fail’ to raise the money in time, the money given directly to Kickstarter will not change hands, and the money donated to us in hand will be returned to the original investors or donated to a reputable charity. We will then not continue with the project, believing that it was not God’s will for us to do it at this time.

I believe, however, that this is God’s will, and that He will give us the people, the strength, and the funds we need to carry it out. He has already blessed us tremendously: beyond my wildest expectations, and beyond my furthest dreams. I believe that He will continue to do so, as we pray and rely on Him to sustain and bless us.

So what exactly needs to be done right now?

We need to research our eventual distribution venues and mediums, such as DVD sales and distributors, festivals, and download sites, to discern what their rules are and what we need to do to get into as many of the best of them as we can.

We need to decide on the final length of our movie based on those discoveries, and finish the script and songs. Right now our options range from 15-35 minutes or so. Though some have wanted to make it into a feature film, that doesn’t really fit into our goals at the moment, at least so far as I can tell. But that might lie in our future, if everything turns out alright.

We need to develop our marketing platform. That means designing and producing promotional materials and brands such as logos, banners, slogans, business cards, pamphlets, fliers, posters, blog badges, desktop wallpapers, facebook fan page, twitter stream, newsletter, youtube channel, blog posts, press releases, and everything else that can be wildly imagined.

And above all, we need you. We need people to continue to come on board and dedicate parts of their lives to this project, helping out in any way they can, stretching beyond their comfort zones, doing things beyond people’s expectations, and just all around buckling down to hard work. We need people to spread the word, think outside the box, and draw others in. We need you to climb on board with this great opportunity to do something big.

So connect with us! Email us at debugger@sir-emeth.com, or me personally at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com, or my right-hand girl in this project, Katie Daniels, at daniels.katie@gmail.com. Join our forum at http://debugger.freephpbb3.com. Comment below, tweet us back, send us a private message. Let others know about us: ‘Like’ us, Tweet us, ‘Digg’ us, post us, and all around go nuts about what we are doing!

Thank you so much for your kind attention and for taking the time to read this exciting announcement. You are awesome!

With joy and peace and trust in Christ,

Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes

Soli Deo Gloria!