My little monster, Julie

Hey everyone! I hope you all have been well. I’ve been dandy, all things considered. Other than working as editor for Where Am I?, I have also started a new blog!

Don’t worry, I’m not leaving Prodigal Daughter. I’m just being a modern Prometheus. [Someone please tell me you’ve read Frankenstein.]

Anyway, I have created a blog which is currently masquerading as a personal journal for a postgrad named Julie. But soon all of that will change. She will begin her journey and the plot will twist! Those who think the blog is real will have a shock as her antagonist suddenly appears, writing blog posts about his own side of the story!

In a matter of moments, the idea for this blog was formed. I wanted to create a dual-sided fiction piece and stretch my creative writing muscles again. A friend graciously accepted my request to be the male voice for the story and thusly we began.

Here in the Seattle of my imagination, a woman named Julie lives, plagued by a reflection of herself which resides in the form of Alex, a well-meaning man who doesn’t seem to realize their similarities are the very things preventing Julie from accepting him.

So, yeah, there is the secret! Feel free to go on over there by clicking here and follow Julie’s blog; the story will begin in the next few weeks. Until then, please enjoy the ramblings of my little monster.

The first draft of Where Am I? is completed!

Hey everyone!

The book I’ve been working on as an editor is now a completed first draft! I am extremely proud of this book, Where Am I?, by Jason Powers.

With Jason’s tales of adventure, you’ll soon be wondering to yourself, “Does his mother know what he has been up to?”

I sure do, every single page I proof.

I can’t wait to share this book with all of you when it is published and ready to purchase! You’re not going to want to miss it.

If you guys have suggestions for publishing companies or tips on the process, please let us know in the comments. Until then, please enjoy this post from Jason about the book.

Jason Powers:

Six months ago I was in Mozambique, working the morning shift at a small hostel and wandering through a sea of robbers and con men in the afternoons. After four days which featured two robbery attempts and a 20-minute standoff with bribe-seeking police officers, I decided to spend less time wandering…

Read more: The first draft of my book, Where Am I?, is done!

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Losing My Ambition

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When I was fifteen I decided I would be a fashion designer. I would do it my whole life and die a happy fashion designer.

When I was seventeen, I started college as an English Education major. I was going to teach high schoolers how to write and I would die a happy English teacher.

When I was nineteen, I graduated with my degree in philosophy, ready for law school. I was going to be a child’s advocate and would die happy serving them.

When I was twenty-one, I quit my well-paying career as a college advisor to travel the world and be a vagabond. It was then my ambition started to slip through my fingers…

And I began to take hold of my own life.

Through my many adventures which took me to Vegas, Iceland, and heavens-knows-where, I realized that being a “lifer” in one profession is not the end-all of life on earth. Although I admire those who have decades of experience in their field — they are brilliant — I do not associate with my society’s obsession of longevity in the workplace.

I understand, historically, that it was normal and expected to have one skill set in one trade and live in the same location for one’s whole life. But at what point did modern, Western society evolve from honoring those who devote their lives to their work to judgmentally demanding everyone choose what they want to do for the rest of their lives right out of high school and stick with it until retirement, lest ye be shunned and ostracized from genteel associations?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Why is that answer always doctor, lawyer, actress, plumber, and not kind, volunteer, a member of a family, dog-lover, a great cook, a good Christian, Muslim, Taoist, etc.? Why are we training our children to believe our identity hinges on how we make money rather than who we are as a person? 

When I let go of society’s demand of my ambition for a career, I realized how misdirected that ambition really was. There are many aspects of my life and how I earn money is only one. 

My newest, scariest adventure: Hip dysplasia

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August 2015: I’m one turn away from the finish line. My shorts are mostly dry at this point; the bike ride had aired them out pretty well. I’m out of breath so I’m walking. People run by me, but I don’t care. A lady runs up beside me.

“We’ve been passing each other for miles. Let’s do this. You’re not walking across the finish line.”

And thusly I run. When we get to the main drag, I tell her to kick it. She runs ahead so she can get her solo photos as she crosses the finish line and I keep running. My limp is pretty bad at this point, but I’m used to it…

I’ve been told since childhood that my joints are hyper mobile and my hips are misaligned. So the limp and the way my hips pop? That was just normal.

March 2015: By this point I had been training for my first triathlon for a couple of months. I had also started taking a self-defense class. While kneeing a pad one night, I felt a muscle on the right side of my pelvis pull.

June 20, 2016: The muscle in my lower back had never seemed to heal, even though I had let it rest through the winter. I finally decided to go to an Orthopaedic doctor in town, thinking I must have torn it.

The doctor came in and tossed my x-ray onto the exam table. He shook my hand and plopped down in the chair across from me. “Do your hips pop?” Thinking he was psychic, I responded, “Yes?”

“Reading your file, I was expecting this to be a case of [insert technical term meaning something wrong with the back muscle], but then I noticed your hip joint.”

Long story short: I have hip dysplasia. In vernacular, my right hip socket is too shallow, which is putting undue stress on the cartilage around my femoral joint, which is basically preventing dislocation at this point. The back pain was because it’s one of the muscles that keeps my hip together. If I don’t fix it, the cartilage will wear out and I’ll have arthritis and need a new hip by the time I’m 40.

Luckily for me, the best in the field of young adult preventative hip surgery is only a few hours away at Washington University in St. Louis. I’ll go there soon and get a second opinion and/or surgery. The procedure will include cutting out my hip socket and rotating it to cover my femoral joint like it is supposed to.

Short-term, this means no more running, breast stroke (which is what I compete with), rock climbing, or anything particularly taxing on my hips. Like triathlons. I started physical therapy immediately and will continue for eight weeks.

Long-term sees potential surgery and being out of the game for awhile for recovery. As I was supposed to get more experience in theatre to improve my chances of getting into grad school next fall, this may ruin everything. If I have surgery soon, I may be able to work in theatre after the holidays. We’ll just have to see.

As it is, I am so grateful and blessed to learn about it now while I’m living with family and near such an amazing orthopaedic clinic. If I had gotten into a summer stock gig, I may have not found out about my hip until it was too late to prevent a hip replacement.

So here’s to my newest and scariest adventure. The future isn’t looking very fun, but I will rise up and run again.

Have a Jesus Day? What?

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While getting off of the phone with a lady the other day, she responded to my farewell with, “Have a Jesus day!” The phrase startled me. Not only was it odd, but it was concerning. What were the implications of having a “Jesus day?”

It could be a great thing, having a Jesus day. I could feed thousands of people or heal the sick and hurting. I could have hundreds of followers and a really tight group of twelve friends.

I could also be ostracized in my own community, have one of my best friends turn me in to the police for a bribe, or be tortured for a crime I didn’t commit.

Do I really want to have a Jesus day?

Jesus had a very hard life. He was doomed to be born into a world that didn’t understand him. He was forced to reckon with sin — His very antithesis. Imagine always being around your antagonist. Draining, much?

Maybe I’m looking at this wrong. Perhaps the lady meant for me to have a “Jesus’ attitude day.” Jesus was never mean or spiteful. Jesus was never negative or rude. He exuded joy and love and confidence regardless of what was happening in the world around Him. His day-to-day life did not affect Him; He affected it.

This world is not our home. Jesus told us it would be against us. But when life gets us down, we can make a choice. We can either react and make carnal decisions or we can follow the example of Jesus.

So if that lady ever tells me to have a Jesus day again, I think I’ll tell her, “Thanks, I will.”

Be a newsie, change the world

IMG_7278 copyI recently went to the Pacific Northwest for my four-year reunion with friends from college.  While in Seattle, we saw the Broadway tour of Newsies. Now, for those who don’t know what the show is about, it is about the New York City newsies strike of 1899. I had not seen the production nor movie so when one of the characters exclaimed that not only had their story been published on the front page, it was above the fold, I laughed my head off to the embarrassment of my friends.

Working at the Register has given me an insider’s perspective on how a newspaper business works, as well as some inside jokes. Like how awesome it to have a story above the fold on the front page. One thing I didn’t know was the history of the newsboys who sold newspapers on street corners. The newsies were often the first people to be affected by rises in newspaper costs, and because of this there were several strikes. The NYC newsies strike was in 1899, there was a strike in Butte, Montana in 1914, and even one in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1920’s.

Although the strikes were because of the rising costs of papers, the newsies strikes also brought attention to the maltreatment of orphans and the conditions of child labor in the cities. Because of these brave children and their outspoken determination, society was changed for the better.

The newspaper business has come a long way since the days of typesetting and darkrooms, but I hope it continues to serve as an outlet to voice concerns and important news. I hope we can all be newsies in some way or another. Either by sharing news or being a voice in the community, we can all take a hint from the newsies and make a change in our world.