Seven months in – A reflective look ahead

I’m not certain what I was expecting when I began this “blog every day” journey. It was inspired by my friend, Jamison, who felt a challenge to create “something” every day of 2015. This blog had been sitting idle and it pushed me to move ahead and simply write.

I’m now in my seventh month of this journey, and I have no desire to take a day off. Disciplines, when done well, are supposed to be liberating. I can honestly say this has been wonderful for me. “Fiction Tuesday,” which I’d really love to see become a “thing 1,” has been the most fun I’ve had writing in a long while. It’ been wonderful to see the “likes” arrive in my inbox after a segment of Welcome to the Valleys is posted, and to experience some positive interaction with readers. I’m by no means exploding in statistical growth, but folks seem to enjoy reading those posts, especially. It’s appreciated.

What blows me away, however, are the number people who have deemed to follow this blog. I’ve never been one to concentrate on my social network “following.” Often times, I find that preoccupation rather creepy. On WordPress, however, this “follow” feature feels fundamentally different. I try, after all, to write things which pour out a bit of my soul for the public to see. For someone to want to “follow” as I write these musings is truly humbling. 137 may not seem like a huge number to many folks, but it’s certain more than I ever expected to show interest. All I can say is, “Thanks. I hope I’ve encouraged you think, to dream, and to ponder both life and our relationship to it.” I am a pastor, so I also hope I’ve been a good representation of my savior for folks. I have no idea if the folks who read Painfully Hopeful are Christian, Atheists, Buddhists, or Muslims – but I do hope everyone sees something of the love of Jesus here.

The next few months will be interesting for me, as a writer. Let me lay out some rough ideas.


We will certainly continue our travels with Jeremy as he moves through The Valleys. This story fascinates me, and it’s gratifying to see the characters develop so well as it progresses 2. A part of me would like to write more, but that would break the rhythm I’ve created over the last several months and I’d had to disrupt it.

##Geeky Things

I will probably write several more posts about Using Scrivener, and perhaps a screencast or two which will accompany them. With any luck I’ll be able to demonstrate a Scrivener iOS app in use before the year is out, though it looks like it’s unlikely (again).

As Summer winds down I’ll be concentrating more and more on ABCNJ’s Annual Session, so I’ll probably bet getting a bit “geeky” about event-tech musings. August and September are all but consumed by this annual event, reflected upon it’s massive impact helps me to ride it’s crashing wave.

I’ve mused a bit about InDesign a bit in the past, and this Summer I’ll be using it to put two books together for print. As this is an entirely new workflow for me look for a post or two in August.


It’s no secret I’ve fallen in love with Lightroom since I first began using it in January. I’ll be using this summer to play with creating different “looks” for some of my photos, hoping to create a style which says something about my peculiar “eye.” In all likelihood, I’ll begin these experiments in July. Most of these will probably look little more than “weird,” but I’ll have fun and will enjoy sharing them in this space.

I have a “comics” section on this blog which has not been attended to in some time. I’ve been itching to get back into releasing comics, and I think I’ll start again some time in the fall. I want to script out a few before jumping back in.

Pastoral Things

I’ve been at Central for 12 years, which is no mean feat in a small church like ours. We’ve been through a lot. I’m not the same person who arrived here 12 years ago, and this is the same church. After completing our transition process last year things have really taken off, and some folks are coming to us for advice about navigating a process similar to ours. I’ll be musing on our experience moving forward.

I’m reading some fantastic books at present which shed a lot of light on the language pastors and churches use to defend “their territory.” I’m a lover of history, and how it impacts our lives without our awareness. As I wrestle with some historic realities I’ll use this space to meditate a bit.

Again, thank you so much for being part of this journey. I hope the next few month, and perhaps beyond, will be rewarding for us all!

  1. Deep down, we all want to be trend-setters. 
  2. Well, except for Jeremy, I think he’s a bit dull at the moment. All my attempts to spice him up have been actively resisted by him. I’m hoping this is because he’s got some bombshells to drop later on. 

One thought

  1. I find plenty to think about during this journey with Jeremy. Thank you for this story.

    Sent from my iPad

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