Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On the Ancient Art of Characters "Coming to Life"

The power of the below experience has lost none of its potency. I find it as true today as it's ever been.

My fellow writers, enjoy.

The below content was originally posted at my prior blog, Stunk's Stage
on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 at 8:26 am.


By C.J. Stunkard

I know of few greater joys a writer can experience than having a character run away with the script. It’s truly a joy, witnessing a being you’ve essentially created take the idea or thought you have given them and just embrace it, demanding valuable page space to make their point or express themselves. This could take the form of the character doing something unexpected or simply redirecting a conversation. Regardless, the character’s actions alter and change a scene from what one originally expected into something new–something that’s usually more organic (and, thus, more entertaining and engaging); and I love experiencing this. It’s exciting.
I had a character named BRUCE pull this on me last night, while I was working on my latest script. I was intending to have him respond quickly to a person’s ignorant remark, but his correction quickly became an explanation and analysis of something else–it became a true outgrowth of something building up in him that I had not realized, and it was exhilarating to type. I hadn’t expected this to happen, and I assume readers (or viewers, should it come to that) will not either.
I love when this happens, when my little plans for my little characters in my little story turn out to be broader, larger, and deeper than I had intended. Sometimes, I wonder if God gets a similar type of joy from us. I certainly don’t think anything we do “surprises” God; but oftentimes we surprise ourselves, and I wonder if he finds great joy in that, in our discovery of the depth and insight that he has given us, which we had previously never recognized nor thought possible.
This latest script, as I continually reference it, has been really up-and-down. I’ve been horrible at making the time to work on it; but when I have, I’ve always been encouraged (except that first night, when I wrote drivel of the most hackneyed and banal type [but it's good that I did, because my reaction to the dull nature of those initial pages led to something much more interesting] ). I have resigned myself to the idea that I will need a 15-day extension into April to finish, but I’ll do it; and I’m looking forward to all the e-mails I’m going to get saying, “I don’t get this.” (actually, upon a momentary reflection, I’m not looking forward to that at all…maybe I don’t want feedback on this one. =)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Feeling Humbled by a Proverb a Day

Studying Scriptures humbles me, especially when those Scriptures are the words of Christ. Or Proverbs. I am often humbled by the book of Proverbs.  And April’s been a humbling month.

Each day I’ve taken time to read through a single chapter of the book of Proverbs in the ESV, highlighting verses that struck a chord with my soul. Some of these I sent into the Twittersphere. Some I considered throughout the day. My study has been cursory—an initial reading, a few re-readings thereafter, and some reflection when the book was closed. In May, I hope to go through the verses I highlighted, looking for themes. Eventually, I’d like to compare and contrast the words of Proverbs with those of Christ’s teachings in the Gospels, just to see how they align. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Further Thoughts of a Disorganized Writer

Back in March, I shared some neurotic thoughts on my disenchanted writer's life. Tonight, I'm going to share some more.

Not much has changed since that tim, other than further exhaustion. If you're reading this, chances are that you've heard of my recent life updates through some other connective social network like Twitter or Bookface. My wife and I are trying to get several matters in order: finances, insurances, wills, and so forth. On top of this, we are in the midst of a long-desired but whirlwind move into our own residence, after 20 months living with my parents in the house in which I was raised. Oh, and we have our jobs. I don't know how we'd be doing it with kids also. To all parents, I salute you.

And once again, Ive been forced to re-assess my writing pursuits.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

iGods by Craig Detweiler: A Recommendation

by Craig Detweiler
NOTE: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Christians are called to be sober-minded and intentional. The Bible’s writers exhort us to put aside childish ways of thinking and “old practices” of immorality and apathy in pursuit of a life that brings glory to God through all facets of our being—heart, soul, and mind.  This is a high calling, to be sure; but for the Christian who desires Christ’s honor and the Lord’s will above all else, the challenge is welcome.

As are works and books that aid us along our path.

iGods by Craig Detweiler is one such tool. Part philosophical tome, part historical narrative, the book outlines concerns for the mindful person in the digital age, cautioning the reader against pure consumerism regarding the behemoths of the online landscape. This is a warning worth our attention, for the perceived demands of online media (like the very blog your reading, likely linked through a social networking site) tend to be making us less engaged but more entertained, living lives of increased information but diminished experience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The State of Toy Shopping. My latest at

Monday, ran my latest piece on toy punditry and the collecting hobby. Entitled "Thoughts on Modern Toy Shopping", the article looks at the changing landscape of the collecting hobby, lamenting some lost giants while extolling the virtues of online retail. If you're into that sort of thing, check it out below:

Monday, April 21, 2014

5 Things You Must Accept to Thrive in Recovery

I now have the privilege of facilitating a small group for the online ministry organization, x3Church. I have been doing this for nearly 2 months, and I am amazed at God's goodness in the lives of not only the men in my group but in my own life also. Having 4 years of real recovery under my belt, I am reminded of the hardships through which I've passed to enjoy the freedom I do now. I long for that same freedom for the men with whom I interact on this issue. 

Prior to beginning the gig, I had written an article that was rejected for publication, but I see its content emerge in our group regularly, so I thought I would post it here rather than leave it in the rejection bin. Hopefully, you feel the same. 

Any day is a good day to begin a recovery journey. Here's some realities you'll face on the path. 

When you are entrenched in porn addiction and climbing your way to recovery; every day feels like survival. I’ve been there, and it hurts. They did not say it would be easy, but they never told us it would be so hard.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

More with Stronghold and Intentional Warriors

James Cordrey, whose work with Intentional Warriors I highlighted on Wednesday, has offered a second piece on our interview about Stronghold and fighting or purity! Please give it a read!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In God's Image : Recovery Ministry : Intentional Warriors

In God’s Image: “Subcreators in a Created World”
A new series from 3LCpublishing

Below are interview questions I sent to James Cordrey, founder of and author of the book of the same name. James and I have been corresponding for months, and each of us has read the other's book and reacted to it. We have connected as men of God, brothers in Christ, and fellow soldiers in the war against lust, not only in our hearts but also in the body of believers. 

James was kind of enough to be the first participant in the "In God's Image" series, through which I hope to highlight fellow believers whose creative energies are resulting in kingdom work. The hopefully ongoing feature will allow our brothers and sisters in Christ to share details about the ministries or projects which they have founded, created, or built for our Father’s glory.

I am very glad to be sharing James' responses with you, and I hope you will take time to visit his site.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Interview and Book Review at Intentional Warriors

James Cordrey, editor of Intentional Warriors (and author of the book of the same name) was kind enough to run a story not only reviewing Stronghold but also interviewing me about my own recovery journey.

Please take a look at Intentional Warriors to read James' Thoughts

On Wednesday, I'll be running an interview with him about his work with Intentional Warriors. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Latest Article At x3Church

I wrote this article for the Pastors Blog at xXxChurch, for whom I currently facilitate a Thursday night small group for recovery from pornography addiction. The piece is much more harsh than I intended, but I think that the message and content are worth a taking a jab.

Author's Note: By "Comedy" in this instance, I am referring to "a story that ends in triumph and joy" as opposed to a "Tragedy", which obviously does not.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Budding Romance

Several weeks ago, I received feedback on my second novel, To Retreat From Romance

I knew that I would have some mixed responses, but I did not expect them to be as varied as they were. While some folks loved one subplot, others thought it unmotivated (or non-existent). Whereas one reader found certain elements to be a great part of the story, another loathed them. Different attitudes informed diametrically opposed responses regarding not only the content but the tone as well.  I was reminded of my review of Real Men Don’t Text and felt that perhaps I was guilty of all the things I previously critiqued.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pursuit of Wisdom

During the month of April, I am reading (and re-reading) a single Proverb from the Scriptures each day, then writing a verse or short passage from each chapter that I want to dedicate to memory at some point in the future.

I’m amazed at how much value is not only in each Proverb itself but also the short stanzas that make each chapter. The content is devastatingly convicting, so much so that last week I told my mother, “nothing makes me feel more foolish than engaging the wisdom of the ancients”, and I meant it.   

Friday, April 4, 2014

Another Article Elsewhere...Well, Kinda. More Kre-o

So, when I was writing my recent pieces on Hasbro's Kre-O toy line (here and here), I also asked my editor to forward interview questions to the line's brand team. My editor at is a good dude: he said he'd do it; he did it; and lo and behold, they responded. I put together the intro, and bada-bing, another article in the mix.

I'll be honest, I'm hoping this is the first of many future written interviews I can re-post at 3LC. Asking useful questions is a good skill to add to my portfolio, and I think developing it will prove valuable as I continue pursuing writing in various formats.

Have any interest toys, or any interest in toys in which I have interest, the below article might be worth a read:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How to Get Rid of Stuff and Why

I recently had the following article published on The piece briefly explores the idea of a "purge"--an intentional sale of excess collectible/hoarded items that no longer fit one's life situation. Like I say in the piece, I have a great deal of experience in this area, and I was very glad to finally be able to write about it.