Holy guacamole! Noggin Squall has been live on the world wide web for over a year! Honestly, I’m a little surprised. I have the unfortunate tendency to dream up cool ideas, then abandon them rather quickly, and then regret that project’s indefinite hiatus and/or death six months later. But not here! I’m still blogging strong (ish) since May 24, 2016.
When I started this blog, it had no clear focus. On the About page, I describe the blog as “my attempt at reflecting on my integrated, scatter-brained self on the Internet.” It was what spawned both name and the tag line- “More chaotic than a brain storm.” Noggin Squall has been nothing more than my creative experiment. For a year it has been my place to throw stuff against the wall and see what stuck. I’ve enjoyed it, and having the relative accountability of a blog has kept me writing. I think my writing has sharpened significantly since my first post. I learned very quickly that Noggin Squall was just as much about my own self-discovery and pilgrimage as it was about blogging. And I hope that shows and will continue to show.
Within this experiment have been several smaller experiments that yielded varying results. I’ve really enjoyed writing Minor Spoilers, and yet they don’t draw the same attention as my more self-reflective pieces. The Life and Times of Jacobs Travlers was my first endeavor into serial fiction writing, and damn, I was surprised at how challenging keeping up such a project would be. I was quite naive about the planning and forethought required in writing a continuous narrative from one month to the next. There have been moments when I’ve been a touch more political than I had expected, and there have been posts that you all loved when I thought I spewing nonsense. It has been a fun way to sharpen my writing skills, and my written voice. For being part of this process, I thank you all.
However, the blog has very quickly become more than a mere splattering of random thoughts and mental rabbit trails. My first series, Why Christians Should Write Genre Fiction, started bringing a focus to the blog. Or perhaps a fulcrum is a more appropriate image. Or in the interest of keeping with the storm imagery of Noggin Squall, I have begun to recognize the eye of the storm.
The eye at the center of all my mental wind and debris is the role of the imagination in engaging the spiritual life. For my part, this is largely reflected in my love for narrative as it plays out in a host of nerdy mediums. Frankly, being a geek and being a person of faith feels like inseparable pieces of myself. It reminds me of a soft-serve ice cream cone that is twisted chocolate-vanilla. Have you ever watched a younger kiddo try to lick away one flavor first? It can’t be done.
This feels like a revelation, friends. With the discarding of my cerebral veil (at least in part), I am very excited for the future. Here is some glimpses of what is blowing our way.
- The blog is about to undergo some aesthetic changes in the coming weeks. Some renovations, or a facelift, if you will. Along with this, you can expect some revisions to my “About” pages.
- I’ll be expanding my social media presence. As of now, you can find me on Twitter. But soon you will be able to track me down on Facebook and Tumblr. Both platforms will be additional avenues for you to keep up with the blog, but even better, we will be able to converse and share with each other. You can see what I’m excited about, and share with me what you’re excited about.
- The Life and Times of Jacob Travlers will no longer be featured. It is a story that I will keep crafting and writing, but I’ve decided the blog is not the place for it at this time. I will be sure to let you all know when and where my fiction shows up.
- The pseudo-syllabus for Imagination as Resistance will be revised and edited. I fear I wrote that from a place of greater frustration and anger than maybe was helpful. I stand by the concern and mission of that series, but I’m sure I could articulate it in a more dialectical fashion.
- Finally, I am in the midst of writing a book. I actually have an outline. The book is turning out to largely be about identity, and the experience of growing up a nerd and a preacher’s kid amidst the evangelical youth subculture at the turn of the millennium. As I scrounge up the courage to share those wounds and reflections, I’m sure I’ll post some chapter samples. The goal is to have a completed manuscript come September.
I can’t thank you all enough for being my faithful and/or casual readers. I hope a little piece of me resonates with a little piece of you. I pray that this summer, you all find time to read good books, take long walks, and drink cool beer.
As always, peace be with you.