New Beginnings (or Slight Alterations)

2015 is here. 2014 has moved on to a better place where its happenings are touched with the rosy, hazy gleam of nostalgia. That means traditionally we look at what we did the past year and evaluate what to do for the next. I was pretty successful at my goal of posting something on my blog every week, although it fluctuated some between every week and every other week. Nonetheless, a decent achievement, given the other things I have going on.

Yet, I realized that I was leaving huge swaths of my areas of interest untouched. Way back, I started writing as a means of finding good in entertainment and using film as a means to better understand truths. For the past year and a half or more, I’ve written almost exclusively about Mormonism and I still will largely, since it plays a significant role in my life and I feel like I can be of use contributing thoughts to that space. However, I hope this year to expand my blogging horizons.

I read and watch a lot of books and movies (arguably obscene amounts, but hey, it’s what I do). As Mormons, we’re supposed to seek out everything that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (don’t ask me why it’s written that way, the two ‘or’s’ have always confused me). I think that this admonition is more complicated than simply avoiding entertainment and things that are inappropriate explicitly and actually requires some thought and effort to process the intent and overall messages and themes from the work itself. While my entertainment choices may differ from yours (I may write more about that later), I hope to provide some insight into thoughtful reflection on the quality and value of books I read and films I watch.

Some hold that quality judgments are inherently subjective, but I respectfully disagree. There’s a difference between commenting on the literary or cinematic merit of something and utterly dismissing the value that that book or film holds. I enjoy a lot of things that are of absolutely dismal quality (Pacific Rim, Speed Racer, The Castle of Otranto would all be examples) and have found value in things that are utter garbage. There is undeniably a subjective element to appreciating art of any sort and that’s important to acknowledge as well. Anyway, I hope to better evaluate my own entertainment choices by writing these reviews and perhaps they will be of value to someone else.

I may also write about some political stuff and current events. Because I’m into that sort of thing as well.

I have a lot of ideas that I’ve jotted down for creative writing projects that remain largely untouched. I hope to write more creatively this year, working on touching up projects that I started long ago, drafting things that are currently cluttering my mind and desktop, exploring ideas and motivations in a different way than I usually do. Perhaps this will be poetry, maybe some short story-style fiction, maybe even revising the novel I drafted a couple of summers ago. Who knows?

That’s a bit about what I’m planning for the next little while. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks for reading and thank you to all of you that have expressed appreciation for what I write, it means a lot. Here’s to things to come. Cheers!

P.S. A little teaser for things that I hope to write: Reviews/Theological musings of Cloud Atlas (book and film) and The Adjustment Bureau, “How I Choose My Entertainment,” and some speculative posts imagining what Heaven is like, what God does all day, what we would/will do as Gods/Goddesses.

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