“Finish the damn book” means, among other things, taking the long view, reducing a complex process to a simple question. When writing a novel, the author is the only limiting factor. If you didn’t finish the book today, you can finish it tomorrow. Or the day after that. As long as it gets done. Just finish the damn book.

Right now I have to approach life the same way. There are a lot of moving pieces at the moment. It helps to have confidence that I can accomplish everything I need to, that I am not in a race against time. If today was wasted, I’ll just have to make sure tomorrow isn’t. If tomorrow isn’t all I wanted it to be, I’ll have another day after that.

I can be patient when I’m writing a novel because I know I’ve done it three times before. But I would have never have written any of them if I hadn’t already believed it.


Mental Gymnastics

If other people are happy and successful, it’s because I haven’t worked hard enough and should panic because I’m falling behind.

If I’m happy and successful, it’s because I got lucky and I should feel guilty for having it so good.

My brain is amazing.

From the margins

We heard many young believers say that in some circumstances they are reluctant to admit they are Christians. They don’t fear being unpopular, but they feel that raising the Christian flag would actually undermine their ability to connect with people and to maintain credibility with them.

UnChrisitian by Dave Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons

Can I get a hell yes?

[“hell yes” = contextually valid translation of “amen”]

Benefits of moving home

There is a treadmill right next to where I’ve set up my computer. I have no excuses. It’s incredible.

It’s not just that I was being lazy living on my own. I’m so out of shape that I’d look like a total moron jogging at my current pace outside. I wouldn’t have been able to bear the shame.

Also, the silly custom mixes I make for the car make pretty decent workout music. Win all around.

The Fear of God

Sterling Bailey has a big smile that expands when you ask him about starting in UGA’s season opener against Clemson.

He perks up — his back a little bit straighter, his voice a little more commanding.

It’ll be the first time the soft-spoken defensive end has seen significant action in a football game since 2010 — his senior year of high school.

And what’ll be running through his head as he lines up in Death Valley on Aug. 31?

“Jesus, help me,” Bailey said with a laugh last week.

— Marc Weiszer, “UGA DE Bailey preparing for first starting role since high school

Yeah, that sounds about right to me.

So a MacGuffin survives a nuclear blast in a refrigerator . . .

The first thing I noted about Fast 6, on Facebook, was that it was the only action movie I had ever seen that had an Asian team member who did not, in fact, know kung fu (or some other martial art).

The other thing I noticed (I was already aware of the 36-mile runway scene going in) was how ridiculously stupid the “MacGuffin” was. The movie was about getting Letty back; that was the whole core of the movie. Yet for whatever reason the writers felt they needed to give bad guy Owen Shaw something Really Serious and Evil that he was trying to obtain.

Maybe this was necessary, in order to get The Rock and Gina Carano involved in the first place. Fine. But instead of some made-up technobable weapon (“the Nightshade device” or something equally feeble), why couldn’t they have just gone with good old-fashioned weapons-grade plutonium? Why do we need to keep coming up with new hacker-ish weapons for every new action movie? If you’re going to hack something, you don’t need a special weapon to do it; that’s the whole point. If your bad guys want to steal something, just have them steal nuclear weapons, just like they did in the ’80s. It’s okay. Everyone knows what a nuke does, and it saves us two minutes of inane exposition that isn’t really related to the plot in the first place.


Fleeting Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Hey, what’s up.


Nah, just reading some fiction. It’s Neil Gaiman’s latest.

shows cover


Yeah, well, it’s not nearly as long or dense as American Gods or Neverwhere. I mean, look at this thing. It’s three-quarters of an inch thick, max, and that’s counting the hard cover.


I dunno. If I hadn’t gotten mine as a gift I probably would have waited until it came out in paperback to buy it. If you really have to read it, try borrowing a copy.


That’s a tricky question. It’s actually a lot like The Graveyard Book in terms of tone and content, but it’s got some [air quotes] “adult content” and it frequently comments on the nature of adulthood, so it’s definitely not a kids book. In terms of tone it’s darker than Anansi Boys but not as dark as American Gods. The thematic stuff — the commentary on childhood vs. adulthood — is pretty blatant, more so than any of his other works that I’ve read. It’s not distracting, just more prominent.


Oh yeah. it’s a real short read. You could knock it out in a sitting if you wanted to; I read it in two days. But there’s a lot of story packed in there. Definitely worth the time.


Well, I enjoyed the film version of Cloud Atlas, and, as usual, suspected that the book might be even better, so that’s up next. Yeah, yeah, I’ll definitely let you know what I thought of it. See you around. Peace.