Your Guide to Hiking the Devil’s Marbleyard (plus some misadventures)

Hey guys, here’s the first post for the new blog. Enjoy!


Welcome to the very first adventure post of this blog. Or, as the case may be, misadventure post.

This week, I got to explore Devil’s Marbleyard about 50 minutes outside of Lynchburg. It’s a gorgeous location, and one heck of a hike. I don’t want you to get the idea from the title that this hike was a total washout, now. It was actually mostly a ton of fun, but with a few, um, hurdles, along the way…


To read the rest head over to the Exploring the Seven Hill blog now.

There shall be your introduction to the man I’m calling “The Boyfriend.” He’ll show up here a lot, I’m sure.

And while you’re there, check out the cool new interactive map under the Hiking tab. It’s going to be a lot cooler once I have a few more pins on it.

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Contra Mundum – Episode 7: Firefighting, EMS, and More!

Hey guys. It’s late, but it’s here.

In episode 7, I interviewed my friend Mica Kluge. I met her last year when she came to my writing club. We’ve always had really good conversations, so I invited her onto the show.

As it turns out, she has had some really interesting experiences as a volunteer firefighter. We talked about how it feels to fight a fire, what it was like to be a 13 year-old firefighting cadet, and her scariest firefighting experience.

Enjoy!

This was a really fun interview to do, and I learned a lot during it. I hope you all enjoyed it just as much.

This is probably the last of these episodes that you’ll see in video format. I’m not a huge fan of the time it takes to edit the videos, and I have a lot more freedom to make it sound really good when I just do the audio side.

Also, WOW, my hair was fluffy in this video. Must have been humid or something that day, sheesh.

Any thoughts on this video? Did you learn something about firefighting? Let me know in the comments below.

My hands hurt

Hello lovely readers. I am happy to report that I am finally done with my classes and projects for this semester. I’m officially a senior in college, but sheesh it was a long haul.

Looking back, it doesn’t look like there actually wasn’t that much to do in my last two weeks of classes. I didn’t have any major video or audio projects to finish. I only had 3 final exams, two of which I could take on my own and open book, and two that I could flunk almost completely and still get an A. So what was it that inspired today’s title?*

The writing.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I had 140 pages of screenwriting to do in the last two weeks. That’s about 10 pages a day. I had two 25-page sitcom episodes (one of which ended up being 30 pages) and two 45-page dramatic TV show episodes to write. Considering how long the one sitcom episode ended up being, I suppose it’s more accurate to say I had 145 pages of screenwriting.

Either way, far too much writing to do in such a short amount of time.

Now understand, screenwriting isn’t like regular writing. The words are more spread out on the page, so it doesn’t take as long to do a full page. Still, 145 pages is a ton. The average feature film is 120 pages.

Honestly, as much as I like screenwriting, I’m a little sick of it right now. In screenwriting, you can’t get into the head of the character. You can only describe what the audience will see and hear, not what the characters are thinking or feeling. And I’m tired of describing things.

I’m going to take a little break from screenwriting for a while, I think. I want to do some storytelling that lets me get deep into the thoughts and emotions of my characters. That’s good news for any of you following my fantasy story, Erya, on Wattpad. You’ll probably be getting some new chapters in the next few weeks.

If you’re interested in seeing some of my writing in action, check out this show pilot that my friends and I made over spring break. It’s called Flicker, and I wrote the screenplay.

I’ll probably do a separate post on Flicker by itself, and I’m planning to have our director appear on my podcast.**

*The other cause of the sore hands is a combination of playing with my new fidget spinner (so addictive) too much, and hiking up some boulders and scuffing my palms up.

**Yes, I know I forgot to upload this past Sunday’s episode. You’ll get a double episode next week in penance. One on Sunday, and one on Wednesday. Stop throwing tomatoes already.

Songs I’m obsessed with right now

I’ve been listening to a lot of music lately. Partly because I just went on a long car trip and I needed it to stay awake. I usually have some song stuck in my head, but right now, I feel like I’m stuffed full.

Which means now you get to hear what I’m thinking.

1. The DreamWorks Bible movie soundtracks

When I was a kid (okay, I was two), DreamWorks struck gold with The Prince of Egypt, which is, in my opinion, the best Moses movie ever made (yes, better than The Ten Commandments). It also has probably the most majestic sounding soundtrack of any animated movie ever. I posted my favorite below. Just try to listen to that without getting chills. Hans Zimmer is a genius. You really should just listen to the whole sound track.

The second movie that DreamWorks made in the same vein was Joseph: King of Dreams. The songs aren’t probably as incredible as the ones in Prince of Egypt, but then Zimmer didn’t do this one. Still, the songs are pretty good, especially since it was the composer, Danny Pelfrey’s, first musical score. Better than I was the song that popped up on my Spotify list that prompted this nostalgic musical journey.

2. Heathens by Twenty One Pilots

I heard this on the radio at some point recently and it’s been stuck in my head. This song is ungodly catchy. The beginning is catchy. The chorus is painfully catchy. The ending is catchy. Worse, it’s still a popular song, so I can’t make it more than a few days before I hear someone else singing it and getting it stuck in my head again.

The last song that was stuck in my head this thoroughly was How Many Kings by Downhere, and that was stuck in my head for literally months.

3 & 4. Money and Fame and Happiness by Needtobreathe

These two kept popping up on the radio, so I added them to my Spotify list. Which was a mistake. Now, they are never out of my head. Money and Fame, in particular is just SO catchy. I don’t even know the whole song, just the chorus. Happiness is the opposite. I know the whole thing, and it’s still stuck in my head.

Most of the time, when I get something stuck in my head, it’s because I don’t know all the words and my brain is trying to figure it out. Obviously, that’s not the case with the DreamWorks soundtracks. For those, I think my brain is just longing for something awe-inspiring and majestic. But maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get at least Heathens and Money and Fame out of my head sometime soon.

I hope so. It’s getting crowded in here.

Sorry, no podcast

I’m sorry about the lack of podcast episode yesterday. My schedule is insanely tight right now, and I still have 45 pages of screenwriting to do by Friday. I was up till 3am last night finishing the last script.

Thankfully, after Friday, I’m basically home free. Oh sure, I have a few finals to study for, but I’m less than worried about any of them. I’m not missing a lot of points in any of the classes I have actual exams in, so could basically flunk most of my finals and still get a A in the classes.

All this to say that I promise you WILL have a podcast episode this weekend.

It’s going to be a fun one about firefighting, so it’s worth the wait.

You will also be getting a regular post on Wednesday. I pre-scheduled it. 🙂