Category Archives: Writing

Christian Examines Faith Through Darth Vader, Foul Language

Do you like strange religious writing? The kind without cliches? That hits pressure points you didn’t know you had, sometimes popping joints back into alignment, other times throwing your back out? How about religious writing that’s NSFW, i.e., tosses around a few swear words for effect?

The Cynic Testifies is a blog of mine. It chronicles the thoughts and experiences of the last person I ever expected to become a Jesus Freak:



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Spackle Media Launches Skrib Magazine

Spackle Media today launched Skrib Magazine, a writing website geared towards freelance writers, publishing professionals, and lovers of all things scribed. It focuses on the art and profession of writing, balancing on its many splayed hands the silver platters of industry news one-offs, protracted confessions on the writing life, interviews with established authors, and just what it means to craft a passage that taps the heart of author and reader.

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My Writing Influences

A selection.

My mother, bon vivant and grammarian. She reveled in beauty and words — the sound of them, their subtle meanings. She had a larger working vocabulary than most people I knew while growing up, and her enunciation was informed by her long-ago training as an opera singer. When she spoke, the words came out of her mouth clear, distinct, richly formed. “Ain’t” was not allowed in our house. My mother made a point of making me aware of the English language, treated it as something precious, a treasure trove of intellectual and emotional expression. Her journals, many now lost or at least missing, are filled with poetic musings, diary entries, shopping lists, reviews of radio shows, consternation about her personal relationships, and whatever else might have come to her mind each morning, a cigarette in her left hand, a pen in her right, and a cup of coffee cooling on the dining room table. Her example led me to start journaling by the time I was 10.

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Those of you for whom English is a second language, I have a tip for you. Actually, this is for everyone, since most people haven’t heard it:


Let me explain. You know how English has all those rules and regulations about grammar and punctuation? Well, they were all made to be broken, bent, scraped, remixed, reengineered, and built back up any way you see fit. It’s just like music.

In music, you toot on a horn, and it sounds like crap. And then you start learning the proper fingerings. You practice scales over and over – and over again. You study theory. You master every rule, every regulation. You embrace every school of thought, from the streets to the top of the ivory tower.

And then you throw it all away and make your own damn rules.

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Writing is Music. Music is Writing.

“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” – Jimi Hendrix

At first there was only vibration.

And before the written word, there was the voice.

Words and sounds were one. Sound arose from instinct, emotion, and exigency. Our ancient yelps and cries, our sighing and our laughter: these sounds were our literature.

It was the last time in human history when word and deed were, by definition, always in harmony with one another.

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