Pages of Awesome

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Team Writers


Breaking Dawn just came out. Cue screaming fan girls. I'm not a Twilight fan by any stretch of the word and no, I am not at all about to write a post about the Twilight novels. But Team Jacob, Team Edward makes for a good title.
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Team Writers.
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I sat down after a month or so to finally respond to an email from my friend Scott Appleton. You may know him from his Sword of the Dragon series (Swords of the Six, Offspring, etc). His friendly off hand comment about my novel Chains of Hethra got me thinking: I need to write--I need to write now.
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Had anyone else mentioned the book, I likely would have cringed at my lack of writing and moved on. But not Scott. Not a fellow writer.
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Something about other writers is all around encouraging. Professional or amateur there is a certain camaraderie that stirs me, and I hope them as well, on. Their encouragement is such a great kindler of stories. Why?
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Because someone else is creating new worlds and minds and meeting old and new friends in strange places. They know the pleasure and the pain of storytelling. They know--and they want you to write with them.
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Keep your friends close and your writers closer. You never know when you'll need their words.
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Like that pic, you might be the next Inklings.
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To the end,
Nathan

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where Did My Life Go? - Band



The school year came to a close that year and my one month summer vacation begun. I dug out my pen and hoped to goodness I could write. But one thought clung to my mind: marching band season was about to begin.
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The first week of July opens with pre-camp. And this is where I have been ever since.
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I wasn't a rookie this year so I had an extra couple days off. But when the fateful afternoon came, i was more than ready for it.
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Our show this year was entitled "Dash". And as paradoxyl as it may sound, our marching band peformed a show about a marathon. Races, as we all know, are metaphors for life, and ours was one of the best.
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Band camp was a smoldering hot 3 weeks of sweat and blood on the school practice feild. 8 in the morning until 9 at night we worked our butts off mastering the music and mastering our drill. Visual block after visual block honed our marching technique and sectionals fine tuned our musicianship. I never even thought to realize how difficult an activity marching band was until I joined last year.
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Not only is the act of marching a challenge unto itself, doing so in time, in row, in line, while playing music and doing so for ten minutes at a time at a fast pace is more than rigorous. Then we have to memorize our music and memorize the drill. Then we make it good.
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As fun as getting better is, our bodies can only take so much at a time. So we take a break from the dash and eat, play cards, throw giant dodgeballs at each other, and occasionally save the world from zombies....keep that on the down low.
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So many adventures and fun times, it would take a million blog posts to recount.
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School rolls around in the fall and we feel like we never left. Now on top of band comes school and life--but we forget it all at practice. Compeition season races to greet us. Time to put on a show.
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One performance after another, better and better. The little band that could. We, the band everyone had written off because of a loss in seniority and numbers, toppled giants and forced tears from the audience's eyes. Grand Champions, Reserve Grand Champions, Reserve Grand Champions. Every expectation suceeded, every dream surpassed.
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The final performance came too soon. With tears in my eyes, I played the last few notes. I could not have had a better season, and it could not have ended happier.
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Next year, my class becomes seniors, taking the torch of leading our organization. Not sure if I'm ready for it yet. But I can say that I am excited. Winter and Spring has brought my cue to write, but when Summer trumpets back.....know this:
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I am a Dixie Heights Marching Colonel.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beside the Fence - Poem


So I haven't written a word in a long time....and as a writer, this is nothing short of starvation.

Sure, I've penned a million essays for school, a poem for English class, or a clever joke to pass the time. But when was the last time I sat down and crafted something I could be proud of? Something I could sign my name on with pride?

Well, last night I sat down and tried to do just that. This, my friends, was the product.

Enjoy! If you have any thoughts on the poem, fire 'em at me!


Beside the Fence
Nathan R Petrie

I walked beside the fence that night.
The bright moon played its brilliant light.
The wind sung gently through the leaves,
As autumn made its fluid flight.

The fence ran long across a yard,
Of grass, so green, so brown, so far.
Rough posts forced stiff into the ground,
By growers skilled with feilds to guard.
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I scrutinized the fence, so fair.
And wondered if I might cross there.

A sudden urge pulled me to chase.
A cracking twig did make me race.
The wind blew frigid on my ears,
And cut the warmth right from my face.

It's then the snow began to fall.
The gorgeous blankets smothered all.
They froze the feet and burned the hands,
Yet I pressed on in spite of all.

I ran that night beside the fence,
And I've been running ever since.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Poetry Popping in Places

Hey Blogger-verse! Long time no see right? Ah, such is life.

I just hopped on today to mention that my poem "Give Me a Sword" has been reposted on another blog! If you wanna read it again you could always check it out on my blog, or you could be really awesome and spam the other blog with comments.

Now....wait for it....wait for it...

THE LINK

Any readers out there? How's life?

To the end,

Nathan

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Agape - Part Two: The Outsiders

God is love. God is holy, God is jealous, God is faithful, God sacrificed his life.


God adopted the chosen into his family--the righteous children, the followers of Christ, the lovers.


However, those who are called to love often do not fulfill that calling. Christians today are often the opposite of love, raising themselves as "godly" and throwing others to the floor as Godforsaken dirt.


In the words of James, these things ought not be so.


Chrisitans are asked to be imitators of God. We're commanded to strive to live as Christ lived. Why? Because this is the life that best glorifies God. And because a live lived in obedience, is a life filled with joy. At the center of this obedience and imitation is love.


God created because he loved. He delivered Noah because he loved. He came to the earth because he loved. And he died because he loved. Every action we ever praised God for happened because of his incredible love. Love for righteousness, love for people. If God is so centered around love, and we are called to live as he lived, what does this mean for our life?


We're called to be lovers.


We've talked about or love for God. We should be willing to die for him--he died for us. Our death should physical and spiritual, laying down our lives and carrying his painful cross to follow him. We talked about how worthy he is of this, and how undeserving we are of his sacrifice. We're all undeserving, and God loved us anyway.


We are to imitate God. And that means loving the world just as he did. Dying for it.


I've been thinking a lot about this lately. That God loved us while we were still sinners. You've heard the verse. "In that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." But do we understand the meaning of this? Jesus died for those who hated him. For people who didn't want him to die for them, but he still did.


We need this love and passion for the lost. Millions are dying. And they're going to spend eternity separated from God.


But we know this--the world is dying, yeah yeah yeah. But it's not just the world. It's your school, it's your coworkers, it's your street, and, for some of you, it's your family.


Christ was heartbroken. Why aren't we?


Pray for this brokenness. Be willing to lay down your life for the lost to see Christ. This is meant literally but in other ways as well. Lay down your desires, lay down your time, lay down your resources. Be willing to give everything to serve the lost and bring them into the kingdom.


Because really, you're sacrificing little and gaining so much. When you die, and you're millions of years into heaven, you aren't going to look back on earth and think, "Man...I wish I had played more video games." Your heart will be shattered on judgment day, wishing you had spent more time on the streets, in your friends' lives, showing the love of Christ.


You'll wish you laid down your life.


Let’s chat,

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To the end,

Nathan

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Agape Times Three - Part One: The Maker


Hello internet! I've been busy getting a job (Kroger's is awesome), wrapping up the second trimester of school, and once again losing half of my novel to technology malfunction (sad face). But I promised a series on my thoughts on love and so....LET IT BE! (pun intended)

Love is the driving force behind all actions. We wake up in the morning because there is something that we love, we eat because we love our bodies, our routines, our plans. We make friends because we love them, or how they make us feel, and every creative thing we do directly results from a source or an object of love.

But true love, as it was intended to be felt, can only be understood by understanding the one Being with the inherant nature to love.

God. The Lover.

God is love. Therefore to understand love, we study the character of God.

What we find, is much different from the mushy-gooshy nature of the modern day portrayal of love.

What things do we know about God? He is holy, he is jealous, he is faithful, he is gracious, etc. He was willing to die.

God is holy. He is perfect, just. He is set a part, infinitely higher and seperated from other things. He is sinless and seperate.

In this perfect, holy nature God is so set a part that he cannot bear the sight of anything stained by darkness. And yet, he ventured into this world to chase the one he loved.

God is jealous. His one love played the harlot with suitors, giving everything to them, and his heart burned. His love rejected him and ran after others, and he couldn't stand it.

God is faithful. Though his love rejected him, sinned against him, cheated on him, stole his things, destroyed his gifts, he still loved her. He still blessed her. He still loved her.

God died for his love. Though she hated him, though she mocked him, though she dragged his name through the mud time and time again God chased after her and ultimately laid down his life to rescue her from unknown captors. The romance of Good Friday. The meaning of love.

Jesus Christ fell in love with humanity. But they could not love him back as they were dead in their sins. They couldn't love him back. It wasn't possible. They couldn't understand His love nor could they understand love period. Their minds were dead, and their hearts even more so.

But, things had been set in motion by His father. And His father knew that the only way to free them of their broken minds and dead bodies was for someone that lived to die. Christ was the only one truly alive. He was not dead in sin. He knew no sin. He loved and was love.

And so Christ bore the cross for the sake of his bride. To woo her to himself he laid down his very own life.

Is this not astounding? We are that bride. We were unfaithful, we were dirty, we were rotten. And God gave everything for our love. Were we deserving of it? Not by any means. People, Christians even, have this idea that God loves us because we are so lovable. But this simply isn't true.

God doesn't love us because we're beautiful, special, or somehow deserving of his love. How could he? We aren't. We're ugly, totally unworthy, and hate him in our nature. He loves us, because it is his nature to love. Agape--unconditional love.

After all, that is why we exist. To love, and be loved.

God's magnificent example of love is a challenge and, I think, a message to us all. We should strive to love God and to love others just as he loved us. Unconditionally, radically, sacrificially.

God died to prove his love. We should be willing to die for our love of him.

The difference is that He is worthy and deserving of our love. But do we love Him?

Let's chat.

To the end,
Nathan

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Catalyst - When the Novel Stalls....


While writing this post, much of the HTML was lost. Please for give the extremely bumpy nature while I work on fixing it.

Most of the time I think of myself as pretty special. Somehow better than most people, and by most people I surely mean the me of the past. I've got talent, I've got potential, and I've got all of it racing with a head start.

But really, when we get down to the meat and grit of things, I'm just like every other aspiring novelist. And there's thousands of them. I'm nothing special.

My novel stalls.

It gets stuck. It refuses to work with me. Characters change their minds. And the plot refuses to thicken.

And it happens often.

As a writer, I think two things are paramount to completed a good novel. These are more than technical skill and more than magical creativity. Before any work can be done, every writer must be inspired and for that work to ever be completed, he must be encouraged.

In writing circles, even on this blog, we talk a lot about inspiration. Where do our ideas come from? What stirs our mind to seek out and pen new worlds and new people, never before imagined? But I think we often forget what keeps the inspiration going when the novel inevitably stalls.

The encouragement. The catalyst.

I've whined a lot about my novel sitting at a stand still. (Wait...sitting at a stand still? haha) I run out of plot ideas. And before long, without actually

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Song for the Overlooked - New Year!

Well howdy ya'll! I'm from Kentucky! Don't worry, I brought me shoes with me for the special occasion!

It's officially year two-thousand, eleven in the year of our Lord! WOOHOO!

We had a rocking awesome party at my house to celebrate where we sang a song that I'll let you all listen to shortly but first....time to wrap up stories from last year.

I finished my short story, originally entitled The Outside which I changed and will likely change again. Check out the blog post on it here. And, for those of you interested, I'll be posting the story to this blog fairly soon.

The Chains of Hethra Update: I've been blocked on this story for quite some time, having no idea what to write in the middle portion of the book. I've come to a decision about what to write, outlined several new scenes, etc. I'm confident that I can have this story written by the end of the coming summer if not before. All that is left for me to do is sit down and write it, and I'm going to need to some help getting back into this story...been so long.

I got an Xbox for Christmas along with Modern Warfare 2. For those interested....gamer tag is KeeneyeNP.

I had several posts planned for Christmas, etc, but never got around to writing them. If any are interested, I'd consider throwing some of 'em up here.

I'll have a book review up soon as well as some other things. The New Year calls for a renewal of blog posts right? And I hope you all continue reading!

And now, please enjoy this lovely song about a part of society that is often overlooked. It's a great song to help us keep our focus in the coming new year. Enjoy! And when you're done, tell me about your holiday traditions. Christmas, New Years, whatever! I wanna know! Leave a comment below!



To the end,
Nathan
"Stand tall now and proclaim what you have seen, speak in whispered roars..."