I started calling myself a writer when I was 12. I hand-wrote my stories on lined paper. I even tried creating my own comic books once I discovered spiral-bound sketch pads.
The point? I loved the act of sub-creation. It’s a love affair that’s had its fits and starts over the last 10 years. The idea of being a novelist looks romantic and beautiful until you actually try to be one. Still, I published a short story in an obscure publication (so obscure I can’t even link to it) back in 2006. I wrote an actual 109,000-word novel in 2010. It’ll never see the light of day (at least, not in its current form), but the experience taught me many valuable lessons.
When you’re married with two kids and bills to pay, that lovely notion of retreating to a room to craft the next American masterpiece wilts like a dead rose. In its place grow thousands of weeds. They will choke you unless you mow them down. That, I’ve learned, is where the real work begins.
Earlier this year, I was approached to help out with a small writer’s forum as a mentor to young teenage writers. After looking at what was involved, I decided to dive in. Therefore, this site is transitioning to an extension of my new role as a mentor. It’ll still by my little effort to participate in the ongoing conversation about stories–how they’re told, and the splinters of light that point the way to the Great Story–just in a different way.
There’s a lot of stuff that I wish I had known about this gig when I was 15 and 16. I’m eager to share what I’ve learned, and I’m eager to learn from them as well.
The following constitutes the site’s former modus operandi
Is this something new? Not really. Movie review blogs are a dime a dozen. Anybody can write a review. What I want to try to do is explore things on a level other than good or bad, rotten or fresh. Those things are important, but I don’t feel like they give us everything.
J.R.R. Tolkien explained to C.S. Lewis that most stories, to some degree or another, carry splinters of light—fragments that point the way to the Great Story. The reviewers I admire do a good job of highlighting those fragments. But, even among the long lists of movies they’ve managed to review, there are a few films I enjoy that they just haven’t written about. That, and there are times when I see things differently than they do.
That’s where this site comes in. This is a chance for me to emulate the kind of thinking I admire about a medium I love. I want to pull up a chair, try and add to the discussion. I want to keep the conversation going.
The content here will consist of reviews as well as essays. The older the film, the less effort I’ll make to keep away from spoilers, so consider yourself warned.
And consider yourself invited. My word on film is not the final word. Far from it. I’ll welcome any and all comments, so long as they’re constructive and fruitful.