The Music of John Williams

I struggle enormously with the fact that children a generation from now may not find the films of my youth relevant any longer. I dread the day that I show a child Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic park or E.T. and watch boredom descend upon them in the viewing. However, I have come to realize that though the images themselves may fail to capture a future child’s mind, there is one common aspect that is attributed to each of the film’s mentioned that will always remain timeless and continually be capable to capture the mind’s of youth and adults alike; the music.

A week ago, my wife and I had the extreme pleasure of sitting in the Gallery of the Devos Performance hall to watch the Grand Rapids Symphony perform the music of John Williams. To say that the music was performed faithfully, wonderfully, and enthusiastically does little to capture the achievement of the performance, but I will elaborate by saying that each time my eyes closed I again became the ten year old kid that simultaneously ached for and feared adventure. Magic exists, and it’s spell is cast by each note played by the wonderful Symphony in this wonderful city.

I will not spoil the show for those who plan to see it in the future, but I will say that both lifelong fans of Williams’ work, or those who could simply use some magic in their lives, will undoubtedly leave the performance feeling like they can fly.

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First Printed Draft!

This is a photograph of my first printed draft of my novel. I did all of my own edits and drafts digitally, so I must admit that holding this physical copy was far more emotionally rewarding that I ever thought it would be.

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I Wrote A Book!

Some time ago a man said to me, “under-promise and over-deliver.” Those were the ¬†words that I constantly heard in my head as I finally began writing my own book.

To summarize as quickly as possible, I have wanted to write a book since I was 9 years old. I still vividly recall the first, less than a page long, short story that I wrote in the third grade. I recall it so vividly because I was certain it would propel me to stardom, never mind that I hadn’t bothered to publish it, write a second draft, edit for grammar etc… My point is, being a shade under 30 years old and having made no more attempts to write a novel since my third grade failure, I decided to knuckle down and write.

Starting January 1st,  2016, I made it my daily mission to put real effort into completing a novel of my own. I did not set out to write the great American novel, nor did I set out to write something famous, I set out to write a book. As of April 28th, 2016 I am happy to say that not only have I written a book, but I have now completed my second draft and will shortly be sending the book off to an editor for review.

I can say confidently that I had no idea how much work would go into writing the first and second draft’s of my novel, but I know damn well that my real work is just beginning. AS I am planning to self-publish the novel in various online platforms, I still have to create and finalize a cover image, secure a copyright, lay the groundwork for a small marketing campaign and so on…

The reason I wrote, and have always wanted to write, a book can be summarized in one word; inspiration. The movies, books, songs, and plays that have populated my imagination since childhood have woven a spell of inspiration in my mind that transcends enjoyment and calls for me to create. It may have taken me 30 years to discover how to respond to the calling, but, as they say, “better late than never.”

Check in through the coming weeks as I unveil my progress in finalizing the book.

On the Coming Chill

The chill in the air is scented heavily with possibility. Each cloud encroaching on the horizon is pregnant with mystery, ready to precipitate wonder and intrigue. While we retreat inside for warmth, let us also retreat inside our minds to find stories we’ve yet to tell.

The sky darkens, and so our lust for discovery illuminates. The leaves fall, that we may fill the empty places with things un-imagined. The moon shines bright and we see a different world. The crow calls, the wolf howls, and we might seek to understand why.

I feel the wind blowing inspiration toward me, and I tremble with the awesome obligation it suggests. I hear the word “create” whispered in the rustling leaves, and I smile at the suggestion. The air is heavy with wet life yet to breathe. Will you give it a voice?

An Allegory of Opportunity

Beginning a new work-place adventure after 6 years in one place can be a terrifying and marvelous prospect. I immediately waxed poetic on the feeling. Below are my thoughts.

The ship I stand upon is opportunity.

The spray of this unknown sea promises thrill, torment, magic and malice alike.

A cold wind blows, doubt. The sun breaks the clouds, hope.

Behind me is not safety, but familiarity. I think I should like to be unfamiliar.

The creaks of the decking whisper the responsibility of adventure and the horizon is mystery incarnate.

Too long has fear kept me moored where it may have hauled an anchor.

Now the sea she calls, and I will answer.

I trust to three things; my hands, love, and a lust for adventure to spurn me on.

Fare well, the setting sun I knew so long – I’d see you rise for me now.

Haul anchor!

*It’s important to note that I have an immense fascination with maritime exploration, hence the obvious and much used metaphor of ship and sea.

Going “Up North” Again

For a birthday retreat, my wife and I were given permission to stay at a family members cabin in the north Michigan woods, a common occurrence for those of the mid-west. However, what made this journey something unique and special was the fact that my wife had not been to this cabin, one she had spent a great deal of time at during her youth, for over 14 years. Marinating on the impart of those years gone by I began to wonder, would her cherished memories line up with the reality of the present day? In other words, can one go “up north” again. Click the video to join us on the journey!