For the first time ever, the Daytona 500 was run under the lights in primetime on Monday night, with the sudden potential for attracting new fans and showcasing some of the best racing in the world in the sport’s biggest event.
Instead, NASCAR’s prime time debut will forever be remembered as the night the jet drier exploded after getting slammed by a race car.
I love NASCAR racing, I really do. But last night set the sport back in the wrong direction on so many levels it’s mind-boggling. Who can blame anyone for considering NASCAR to be a backwoods, redneck phenomenon with nothing interesting beyond the crash highlights on SportsCenter when the most memorable moments of the biggest race of the year involved a gigantic fireball, a forklift, and a garden tractor trying to blow away kitty litter and tide detergent as officials desperately tried to clean the track up during a two-hour delay for a freak accident that, in all honesty, should never have happened.
Worse than that, the on-track action barely managed to live up to any standard of good racing. For the most part, the 2012 rules created follow-the-leader racing where drivers never really tried to pass, preferring instead to ride around until the end. As the race neared its end and the racers actually started racing each other, the results invariably ended with a wad of wrecked cars. Very little passing, very little entertainment. And the majority of the blame falls squarely on a rules package that created highly unstable cars, with vestigial regulations dating back twelve years designed for a different car and a different style of racing altogether.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been engrossed—obsessed may be a better word—in completing my entry for the 168 Film Project. The story of how it got made is filled with as much drama as the movie itself.
First, the backstory. I first became enamored with the 168 Project during my visit to Los Angeles in January, 2011. I went to an organizational meeting at Media City Church and sat through a Q&A with Ralph Winter. I’m not sure what I expected to find at this meeting, but what I did find was a group of people who were passionate about their faith AND passionate about the craft of storytelling.
It’s a stark contrast to all the stereotypes one hears in middle America about how evil Hollywood is. Read more
I’m in a Dark Knight mood today, so here’s some of my favorite YouTube vidoes of The Dark Knight. Hit the jump for some YouTube goodness: Read more
For about ten years, I pursued writing with a zeal. But being a Christian, and being involved in a charismatic church where reality wasn’t always as valued as perception, I started feeling like I should be writing Christian fiction. Now, I know Christian fiction gets banged on for being sub-par, much like Christian music. It’s a reputation that got earned in the late ’90s through the early parts the ’00s. I know, because I read a bunch of it. I became a fixture at my local Christian bookstore, and when they weren’t stocking enough new titles, I’d drive an hour away to visit a big-box Christian bookstore (which, ironically, had less books than kitsch). I wanted my writing to reflect Christian values, I wanted people to read my books and realize what a good Christian I was.
I wanted my own glory, not God’s. Read more
Among the many things I first became acquainted with in college was Kat Williams, a
pro-marijuana (among other things) comedian whose Pimp Chronicles DVD is equal parts silliness, social commentary, and a scathing, profanity-laced analysis of the human condition. Williams’ humor works so well because so much of it rings so true regardless of who you are and where you grew up, and he can say things in his stand-up routine that most people wouldn’t dare say in everyday life
During the show, he jokes about one of his friends being so angry that he “hates on bacon.” Now, anyone who’s read my blog in the last week knows by now, I road rage. So even though the whole bit about hating on bacon stepped on my toes, I found it hilarious. Read more
It’s a balmy night in Texas, one of those nights that’s so hot the falling rain evaporates on your clothes. Bugs congregate around any light they can find. A football team, embittered and disgraced, stands on a neglected field in front of a bonfire. Their coach, just one disastrous game in to his fourth job in three years, dumps a shopping bag full of VHS tapes of old games into the fire and declares that the past is gone. The team then burns their tattered, blood-soaked uniforms. As the smoke rises from the team’s symbolic rebirth, the team cheers as the coach declares, “This is your fight. Let’s finish it, let’s finish it.” Read more
I use to joke about having one of those de-motivational posters with a poster of a NASCAR crash and the caption, “Road Rage: The Art of Making Lifelong Enemies During a Fifteen Minute Commute.”
People just don’t get the joke.
Someone once suggested I replace the NASCAR picture with a picture from a traffic jam. Like, for real.
What would be the fun in that? Read more
“I will pour out my Spirit
on every kind of people:
Your sons will prophesy,
also your daughters.
Your old men will dream,
your young men will see visions.”
Joel 2:28 (The Message)
Lately, I’ve been having the strangest dreams. Some of them, I think, would make great stories. A couple of weeks ago I had a dream about a washed-up lawman whose demons cost him his marriage and his job. He has no reason to live until someone kidnaps his young daughter, and then those old lawman instincts kick up and he goes on a hunt for whoever was responsible—along the way, reclaiming his purpose and finding redemption.
Cinematic, eh? Read more
Today, I have an interview with prolific fantasy author R. G. Porter, author of the DARKNESS UNLEASHED and DEMON’S GATE series of paranormal novels, as well as the upcoming GUARDIANS OF NATURE series. Mrs. Porter has hit on a very successful formula and—as evidenced from the sheer number of books she’s written—is making a huge impact on the indie scene.
Without further delay, here is the interview you’ve all been waiting for.
Could you tell us about yourself and your writing?
Well, I’ve lived from the midwest to the far south and now I reside in Texas for the moment. I work fulltime during the week and write whenever I can get the chance. I’ve loved writing for as far back as I can remember. I love the feeling of immersing myself in creating a word, a conflict and seeing the characters resolve their issues. Read more