The way the wheel works

Ferris Wheel in Ybor, December 2012

I took this picture almost four years ago. There was a little pop up carnival across from The Bricks and I was mesmerized by the whimsy. I’m sitting here in August of 2016 at a point in my life where a plan I’ve spent the last four years on has been de-railed. And I thought of the song Wheel by John Mayer. And this picture.

My life is turning back around on itself. In some of the new things I’m pursuing my writing, reviewing books, and general blogging has popped back up as an outlet for an aspect of my personality I’ve spent the better part of the last four years suppressing. And now we’re back. I’m waving to my 2011 and 2012 self as I re-read some of those old entries. And I’m waving at myself now as I plan the next few weeks of blog entries. I hope you’ll join me as I review what I’ve been reading and other topics of interest. I will likely be very rusty. But I promise to show up and write.



The Love of History

My favorite subject in school was History. My senior year during an afternoon of taking notes about the Holocaust my teacher let loose the following anecdote and it further cemented her as my favorite teacher and History as my favorite thing to study.

She paused in the midst of her notes and said something to the effect of, “You know everyone talks about how awesome Winston Churchill was. And he was a great man. But he also smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish. And when he found out that Hitler was dead and they were going to be able to claim victory over Germany, Churchill got in his car, drove over (some bridge between wherever he was commanding and the enemy line), pissed on enemy soil, got back in his car and went back to HQ.” Continue reading “The Love of History”

Just What I Needed

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

  I really love me some Ira Glass. This American Life is one of the coolest things that Pam ever introduced me to. I love hearing the stories (in some cases watching them) and Ira’s voice is so unique I feel like it’s quite the experience.

  Yesterday I was wasting time, procrastinating in the blog post I was trying to write. This week I’ve sort of felt like I was in a slump with the writing. Just lagging on motivation to write even though I’ve had the week planned out for awhile now. Then I find this video.

  I’m a big fan of typography. So I watch it and I’m annoyed  floored frustrated challenged. That’s it, challenged. Ira Glass is telling me that I might be terrible, but it’s okay because I have plenty of time to practice. It reminded me of this list that I copied into the front of my journal. Continue reading “Just What I Needed”

Not a Review

Not a Review

In 2003, Donald Miller gave us BLUE LIKE JAZZ: non-religious thoughts on Christian spirituality. As the book gained momentum, the process of turning it into a screenplay began. However, in 2010, the film was put on hold indefinitely due to a lack of funding. Fortunately, the people spoke. A campaign was launched called Save Blue Like Jazz. In less than 30 days, $345,992 was raised, effectively putting BLUE LIKE JAZZ THE MOVIE into production. It takes more than one person to tell a good story… in this case it took 4495.

Tuesday, September 30th at 3 pm I was at Enzian Theatre to see a rough cut screening of Blue Like Jazz The Movie. My friend Lauren was gracious enough to ride along in my air-condition-less car as we trekked across the state and braved a pretty evil looking storm.

When we arrived I felt like I was walking into hipster haven. The theatre is set in the middle of Winter Park (somewhere I’d like to live at some point). It was a fairly small crowd. Cameron Strang and Jamie Tworkowski, the founders of RELEVANT magazine and To Write Love on Her Arms respectively, were there. Steve Taylor and Don Miller introduced the movie and made us promise not to write any reviews about the movie yet.

So, I can’t write a review. And I don’t know when the movie is supposed to be released. But I do know this: when it does come out I’m going to drag each and every one of you to see it. Because I was part of that 4,495 people who believed in the story and who believed in the movie. I believe that sometimes we lose sight of where our stories are going and what role God plays in our story. I believe that sometimes all it takes is someone reminding you of the correct perspective.

If you haven’t read it, or it’s been awhile, grab a copy of Blue Like Jazz and then grab A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. The latter is one of those books that forces a change of perspective upon you.


When I was small I made a conscious decision not to fear the dark. We lived in the middle of nowhere. Nighttime in Balm redefines darkness. Nevertheless, as we would walk into the dark house I would lead the way, trusting my knowledge of the house to lead me to my room. I do remember a nervous feeling as I looked inot the darkness around me, not knowing what it might be concealing. But in an act of defiance I would square my shoulders and march. Monsters had nothing on me. I knew where the light switch was.

As I’ve grown older what I knew as monsters have moved from my imagination, out from under my bed, out of my closet. They’ve taken up residence in my heart in the form of doubt. They’ve slowly taken up residence in my relationships, my belief system, and my confidence.

I had a pretty bad car accident a few years ago. It took me a few weeks to drive again. And though years have passed I often experience a seizing up as I’m driving. I see my Jeep flipping in the ditch along the Interstate. Or fear my brakes will fail.

I returned to university last fall. In the two weeks leading up to school I found myself almost paralyzed in anticipation of failure. Words have been a longtime friend of mine, yet I feared when put to the test they would fly away like so many birds.

Continue reading “Monsters”

Banned Books Week

Turns out I don’t like blogging on Mondays. This week you’ll get posts Tuesday through Saturday and they’re going to be a bit eclectic (which is a bit normal, right?)

By the way it’s


I read about this a little bit last week when I read the phrase being thrown around some book blogs I follow. ALA’s website (click on the picture) has a whole section devoted year round to explaining Banned Books Week and the importance of fighting Censorship.

  The parts I found most interesting were the lists of books that have been suggested for ban. You can look back at pretty much any time period to see what books have been censored and why. The Harry Potter series, unsurprisingly, tops the list for most of the early 2000s. The Banned Classic Literature section is interesting, as well, and shines some light on why the public high school system still forces kids to read outdated red-scare literature. Continue reading “Banned Books Week”

TCON and why I love accronyms

There once was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb and he almost deserved it.

Yesterday I talked a little bit about my favourite book in The Chronicles of Narnia and fantasy. Today, I wanted to share more with you about a couple series that really made me the reader that I am today.

I’ve come across several people who credit the Harry Potter series with teaching them a love for reading. As I’ve talked about on here before I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t love books. I was familiar with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe very early in my life. But only that one. We had a VHS copy of an animated version of the story and I spent a lot of time in my childhood watching that movie. Then one Sunday morning at church this little girl sitting next to me had this book called The Magician’s Nephew. The cover looked intriguing to me so I asked her about it. She told me it was like TLTWaTW but from before it. I think this was the first time I heard about there being series of books. It sort of freaked me out. I knew the story-line of Aslan and the four Pevensies so well it threw me that there could be MORE to the story. So I asked my mom about them. It must have been close to Christmas/My Birthday because I received the whole set in a box pretty soon after. And then I read them. Continue reading “TCON and why I love accronyms”