Fire Writing: The Hobby of Pyrography (Feat. Josiah Vogel)

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Josiah Vogel has been woodburning for a little over a year after a friend of his gave him a woodburned lion as a gift. Intrigued and wanting to try it out for himself, Vogel bought himself an entry-level woodburner and began practicing small pieces in his free time. His first project was of a small penguin, and after that a wolf. As he continued investing in his hobby, Vogel upgraded his equipment, bought multiple different nibs for his woodburning “pens,” and began selling some of his work to the campus’s residents.

Vogel’s most notable pieces include a portrait of Groot from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and a large 4×3 ft burning of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. He is currently working on a burning of Edmund Leighton’s The Accolade, which has already taken him forty hours.

For information on commissions and pictures of his other pieces, visit Josiah’s Facebook page and watch for his upcoming YouTube page.

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The Dyslexic Superpower: Why Our Uncanny Abilities Aren’t Weaknesses

Third-grade me sat in the back of the class, staring at the scrawled penmanship on wide-ruled paper. More specifically, I was staring at the large, unforgiving red F at the top. Ironically the failing letter grade was the easiest letter to read on the entire page.

My failing spelling grades weren’t just for lack of diligence. Oh, I tried to write legibly, tried to read without stumbling, and tried to pass a spelling class with an acceptable grade—but I struggled with something other kids didn’t: I was dyslexic.

But here’s the thing. Although I struggled with spelling in school, Mom wouldn’t let me believe I was disadvantaged. She determined to share with me the secret of dyslexia: it isn’t so much a disability as it is a superpower.

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Music Video: Mary, Did You Know? (Feat. One Accord)

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I had the wonderful privilege to help my video team film Pensacola Christian College’s first ever music video, featuring the men’s ensemble, One Accord. Late on Halloween night, I clocked into work at 4:30 pm and worked until 11:30 that night with thirty or so wonderful guys, the video team, and some others overseeing the project.

I mainly did go-for tasks such as run to grab Tim Parsons much needed water bottles after hoisting a thirty-or-so-pound Ronin cage, or run with Kim Palmer down the chapel aisle and jumping onto the platform with a tape measure to decide when and where we should focus the camera. But regardless, participating in the filming, makeup, some technical aiding, and other miscellaneous tasks was incredibly interesting and such a fun experience (and I got to run around all official-like carrying a two-way radio like a boss).

The video can be downloaded and the MP3 purchased here.

 


 

Joy of Checkers (Short Story)

The world has forgotten its history and now resides in a rustic shadow of its former glory. But one little girl determines to share her memories no matter what.

This was my second short story for my Advanced Creative Writing class. As I did with the last one, I had to write a literary short story that focused on characters more than plot, but I decided to again defy the expected and wrote a science fiction literary story.

The main characters live in a post-modern world that’s intended to allude to the current political mindset of “forget our history, forget our mistakes.” The government in the story has erased its history, and anyone caught remembering or recording past events are taken into custody.

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The stretch of hemp fibers and rawhide creaked as a lone archer drew back his primitive bow from a crook in the maple tree. The fletching caught the golden hue of sunset dribbling through the trees, every fiber glistening in fire. The archer shifted his weight in the maple, carefully balancing his position in order to follow the deer picking its way through the underbrush, unaware that a stone arrowhead carefully tracked its heart from above.

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Not With My Watch (Short Story)

This was a short story I wrote for my Advanced Creative Writing class. The goal was to write a literary story that focused on characters and description more than plot and action, but still manage to balance all aspects well. While our teacher told me that no one has attempted a science fiction short story for this project, she was in full support of me trying to write a literary sci-fi, referencing Ray Bradbury and George Orwell.

While I ended up sticking more to spiritual and “paranormal” (for lack of a better term) than sci-fi, I feel it’s safe to say that the story content hasn’t been done at PCC’s creative writing classes. The story is inspired from a concept my roommate and I are developing about a guardian angel watching over a young troublemaker throughout her entire life. In the original story, Eitan, the angel, is tasked with guarding her from the moment she’s born, keeps her out of childhood dangers, coaxes her to Christ, protects her from wayward rebellious stages, boyfriend problems, eventual marriage problems, and ultimately sits beside her during stages of cancer and taking her home.

This story focuses mainly on one section of this would-be larger story (and animation if we were ever to go through with our plan). Eitan is a character who’s appeared in several of my short stories (originally a response to Frank Peretti’s exquisite novel This Present Darkness), but as of now, this story takes place at the beginning of the canonical timeline.

Eitan and the other angels in the story appear similar to demons because they once were the same creature, which explains the rams horns while the demons have goat horns. Their ears are sheep-like while the demons are more swine-like. Angels have bronze skin and demons have pale skin.

Not With My Watch


The parkway leading to Highway 27 was mostly abandoned at this time of night. The only vehicles that did pass, tires thundering over bridges and echoing through the underpasses, belonged to those who were returning from a brutally tiresome day’s work, a late taxi from the understaffed and woefully inefficient local airport, or from an unexpectedly long evening of gaiety and frivolousness that parents wouldn’t approve of. Every twenty feet or so the parkway attempted and failed to show off its winning personality by displaying its wide collection of travelers’ trash. Gum spots the size of silver dollars cemented themselves to the shoulder’s asphalt, aluminum beer cans in the shape of pancakes twirled with each pass of an eighteen-wheeler, and the local gangs thought it would be a special kind of genius to graffiti the “55 MPH” speed limit signs. The only signage that successfully avoided wayward teenaged boys was that of the “No Littering” notices. Instead, a shrine of cracked beer bottles was laid at its base.

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Writing Contest: Fruits of the Spirit Daycare

I entered in my Advanced Creative Writing class’s contest this year, which was a 600 word story with the prompt “kindness in action.” Trying to find a way to keep a short story from becoming cliché and cheesy, I decided to pull from my memory of Union Station in Washington and write about a homeless man who spends his days under the arches outside the station. I won first place in my class and received a journal as a prize.

Fruits of the Spirit Daycare

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New film hobbies amongst young people have creative and educational benefits (Editorial)

For my journalism class this semester, we had to write what our teacher called a “packet project.” A packet is a collection of different news stories on one broad topic. I chose my topic to focus on the impact of online videos, which was both fun and challenging. We had to write a feature story, profile, and an editorial, which took us about half a semester.

This is the last of my packet stories. For my editorial I got to interview high school filmmaker Elijah Perry, a founder of Coming in the Clouds Productions, who’s a YouTube friend of mine. Through our common ground of filming, we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit and hope to collaborate with one another in the future.

For my feature story, click here.

For my profile story, click here.


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Perry as his lead role in CITC’s short film, Paladin’s Conquest.

PENSACOLA. Fla. —In the late ’80s, the average cost of a camcorder was about $1,500, according to Videomaker.com. Modern young people, however, have access to video and multimedia content wherever they turn. If a child or teen doesn’t have a smartphone, tablet, GoPro, or camcorder of his own, his parents or friends probably do. With the rise of the digital era, young people are adopting a new hobby to fill their post-school evenings and hot summer afternoons: filmography.

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