Archive - May, 2012

Les Miserables – Coming to Theaters

A feature film of Les Miserables is due in theaters at Christmas time later this year. Stars Russell Crowe and others.  The trailer is available.

For only $9.99, you can listen to this fantastic story on 3 CDs.


Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff

David Murray reviews Stephen Altrogge’s new e-book, Create: Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Stuff. David comes up with several takeaways, including:

1. Don’t wait until you have a totally original idea or totally perfect idea.
2. Creativity is a muscle that gets stronger with use.
3. Creative work requires faithfulness, diligence, and persistence.
4. Create for the glory of God and the good of others and you’ll be personally rewarded too.

See David’s post for the others, and for his other thoughts.

Interview with Terry Whalin on Book Publishing – Part I

I previously reviewed Terry’s excellent book, Book Proposals That $ell. Today, I’m delighted to post part 1 of an interview with Terry about the non-fiction book publishing process. We’ll conclude this interview next week.

How did you get your start in the publishing world, and how long have you been in the industry?

I began publishing stories when I was in high school in my student newspaper. I also interned on the local newspaper in my small Indiana town and wrote stories. Then I majored in journalism at one of the top schools in the U.S. (Indiana University). Graduating from college, I left my writing for ten years when I was in linguistics and Bible translation with Wycliffe Bible Translators. I returned to my writing and began to write for many different magazines. It’s a course that I recommend to other writers: practice your craft in the print magazine world and gain exposure and experience. Many writers don’t understand you can gain many more readers in the print world of magazines than in books. My first book was published in 1992. It was a little children’s book called When I Grow Up, I Can Go Anywhere for Jesus (David C. Cook). Since then I’ve written more than 60 books for many different publishers and my work has appeared in more than 50 publications. You can see more of the details here. I’ve been in publishing over 25 years.

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The Christian Man Conference

This August 10-11, 2012 event looks solid:

HT: WePreachChrist

Justin Taylor Interviews John Piper and Jason Meyer

They talk transition at Bethlehem, and church pastoral transition in general:

HT: Collin Hansen

R.C. Sproul on Suffering and the Christian Life

Great classic video from R.C. Sproul:

Book Proposals That Sell

I just posted an Amazon review of this fantastic book:

Who would buy a house that wasn’t built according to a carefully drafted plan — a set of blueprints? Yet MOST aspiring non-fiction authors rush to write a full manuscript without first doing the hard work of drawing up “a set of blueprints”: a proposal. But here’s the truth: 90% of non-fiction books are sold from a book proposal (not from a manuscript!). Writing a proposal won’t just dramatically increase your chances of getting a book contract. It will help you write a better book. (That was certainly my own experience in writing Thriving at College. My proposal literally become my daily guide in writing the book.)

In Book Proposals That $ell, experienced author and editor Terry Whalin walks you through the proposal process step-by-step, even giving you a sample proposal at the end of the book. It also includes an excellent 20-page appendix from Michael Hyatt called “Writing a Winning Book Proposal.”

Beyond the mechanics of the proposal process, Whalin gives readers an inside look into the publishing world–explaining how editors think, and how publishing houses make decisions. Trust me, fellow writers, you want to know how the decision-makers go about choosing which books to publish. Book Proposals That $ell will give folks like you and me a “leg up” on the difficult process of taking an idea and turning it into a published book.

Future post: I’ll be publishing an interview with Terry Whalin in the coming days.

Eugene Sledge – With The Old Breed

In honor of Memorial Day, I’m reposting and updating a review my wife wrote of a great war memoir that we both loved, the 1981 classic With The Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge. This book has been reprinted numerous times over the last 30 years, and was one of the key documents used for Ken Burns’ excellent 2007 documentary The War (aired on PBS) and HBO’s 2010 mini-series The Pacific. Sledge’s story is an absolutely gripping account.

Eugene B. Sledge enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 3, 1942 although he was a freshman at Marion Military Institute. He explains that he quit college because he was “prompted by a deep feeling of uneasiness that the war might end” before he could get overseas. But his parents wanted him to become a military officer, so he compromised by signing up for the V-12 new officer training program. That put him in a comfortable classroom in Georgia Tech, with boring teachers, detached from the war. At the end of the first semester, Sledge was one of ninety men (half the detachment) to intentionally flunk out of school in order to be allowed to enter the Marine Corps as enlisted men. That was how strongly they wanted to serve on the battlefield.

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Working for God’s Praise

A great post by Hugh Whelchel on having the appropriate goal and motivation in our work–the desire to receive praise from God for the faithful stewardship of the talents, gifts and opportunities he entrusts to us. Whelchel also debunks two common cultural myths:

By age 28, many face what’s called a “quarter-life crisis,” thanks to the two great lies our culture promotes among children in school, students in college, and professionals in the business world. The first great lie is, “If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want to be.” It is often sold as the American Dream, expressed in sayings such as, “In America, anyone can grow up to be President.”

The second great lie is like the first one, yet possibly even more damaging: “You can be the best in the world. If you try hard enough, you could be the next Zuckerberg.”

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Fake Love, Fake War: Internet Porn and Video Games

Excellent article by Russell Moore addressing the reality that a generation of young men are increasingly addicted to video games and porn:

There’s a key difference between porn and gaming. Pornography can’t be consumed in moderation because it is, by definition, immoral. A video game can be a harmless diversion along the lines of a low-stakes athletic competition. But the compulsive form of gaming shares a key element with porn: both are meant to simulate something, something for which men long.

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