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  • My son J. is a pretty smart kid. He’s great at math, reading, telling time and he learned to ride his bike on the second push. But being six years-old he is prone to misunderstand things here and there, especially when it comes to his seat work. He’s always good for a kid story.

    Last week he brought home the following paper:

    add-a-car-to-the-train

     

    Hilarious right? He did exactly what was asked. He added a car to the train. I didn’t even say anything to him. I just snapped the picture and shared it on Twitter and Facebook as soon as I could.

    A funny little kindergarten misunderstanding, right? I didn’t think he would ever outdo that one.

    Then today he hands me the following paper:

    add-box-cars-to-train

    Though there are a couple of regular cars drawn in I was thrilled to see the little box cars in the upper-right corner. I realized that these instructions said “box cars” rather than just “cars” and assumed he had read the instructions, understood and followed them. That meant that the first paper’s instructions were to blame. I could put my son back into the genius category that every proud parent is sure their child belongs.

    Then J. explains what I’m looking at.

    “That was the hardest one,” he says quite exasperated. “It was hard to fit them all in ’cause I had to draw six cars and six boxes.”

    desk

    I read that sitting all day is bad for you. I do a lot of sitting in my line of (no) work so I rigged up my existing desk to be a Standing Desk to see how I liked it.

    [click to continue…]

    They considered this take a failure… but the messups are my favorite part!

    depressed-period-on-social-media

    Vizify was a online profile service that took info from Twitter. The service is closing soon having been purchased by Yahoo and I was asked to archive my profile. I figured ‘what the heck’.

    Vizify tracks what you tweet about most. My #1 keyword was KIDS but I was interested to see what other words were prominent. After clicking I saw a bit more than the topics I tweeted about. I got to see a representative timeline of my bout with depression.

    The most obvious is the large gap between October 2012 and mid-May of 2013. That was the worst of it when I wasn’t even able to get out of bed. I also noticed two other little drop-outs (though they’re not as stark as the big one) between Q3 and Q4 of 2012, then a gap between Q1 and Q2 (a smaller one).

    Those purple dots say a lot more than Visify intended. I’m glad to see the dots on the right side. There’s a lot more tweets about my kids and my trial run with putting out regular videos on YouTube.

    Were Vizify to continue there they would be adding a few very large and dark purple dots to the PODCAST and EPISODE and SHOW lines because I’m happy to announce that Nobody’s Listening podcast is returning. You can find more about that over at podcast.nlcast.com.

    Thanks for reading.

    (Click to make the pic bigger)

    I Need Beta Readers!

    March 21, 2014 · 0 comments

    beta-reader

    From Wikipedia: “A Beta Reader is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements before the story is released for public consumption.”

    I need a few (4-7) families with a kid or kids (8-12) who would be interested in reading Bad Hero and taking notes.

    Naturally parents are encouraged to read the book as well and feedback is encouraged and welcome.

    The children need to be between 8 and 12 years old. They must be able to read the book without assistance, and (the most important part) take notes while reading and possibly complete a questionnaire after.

    I’ll be looking for feedback on things like plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability.

    Bad Hero is easier to read than Harry Potter but a little more complex than Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

    Email james@nlcast.com
    Subject: Bad Hero Preview
    Include how your family qualifies.
    I will follow up with specifics once we’re ready.

    I’ll post again when the slots are filled. Thanks!

    **UPDATE**

    The slots are filled. Thanks!

    bh-header

    Hello gentle readers. I realize that I have not added anything to the site since mid February. I have been distracted by a new obsession lately. That obsession is writing. The past several months I’ve written Bible Stuff articles and let out some inner stuff about Depression and the patterns of Church Culture, but now I’m on to brighter and possibly more productive expressions.

    I have written a 36,400 word novel for pre-teens (8-12, it’s called Middle Grade) called Bad Hero[click to continue…]

    why-im-defensive-about-my-depression

    Most of the time when I write about Depression I do so hoping that it will help someone who is going through a place I have been. Other times it is to come alongside people who are in recovery and just share experiences. Today my article is for me. I need to write this. I’ve needed to do something with this subject since the day I reached out to a pastor in my area and was absolutely floored (and crushed) by his response.

    Why I’m Writing This

    Jenn and I were in the market for a new place to do church. I searched the internet for a local place that we might be able to heal in. I was a pastor who had stepped down due to complications with depression, anxiety and bi-polarism and needed a church that could accept who I was and what I and my family were still going through. I emailed this pastor a brief overview of our story and what we were dealing with. I wanted to see if he would accept us. We’re going to go through the reply he sent me.

    I do not wish to single out this pastor. I see him as a type of person rather than a particular one. He has come to represent all of those in the church who feel the same way as this man, but haven’t had the platform to share it. They say when you see one roach that there are hundreds more behind the walls. In the same way I operate daily believing that most people in the church view depression, it’s cause and cure as this man does. This is my attempt to answer their condemnations one-by-one. We’ll see how it goes. [click to continue…]

    The Difference Between Being Depressed and Having Depression

    Most people don’t realize that there is a difference between being depressed and having depression. I know this because when people find out that I have struggled with depression they often ask, “What were you depressed about?” or have suggest a simple remedy: “You should get out of the house more!”. I don’t blame the people. We only have one word for depression after all. Thankfully the dictionary reminds us that the same word can mean two different things:

    de•pres•sion

    : a state of feeling sad

    : a serious medical condition in which the person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.

    Most people don’t realize there are two definitions for depression. I hope this post helps to change that. Maybe this will become a place to which the depressed can refer friends and relatives who don’t seem to understand what depressed people are going through. [click to continue…]

    mmd-ep13-I-Think-It-Will-Be

    My daughter made my day today by believing in me. This episode we’re celebrating the following moments that made my day: My son did his English paper correctly, Having to get rid of a Facebook friend because of the Suggested Friends that were being presented, Had a good friend respond very well to the news that we were coming to visit, Guest-hosting on It’s Just Us podcast, Singing “Sail” with the kids and wife, I dropped my son J into a trashcan to retrieve my keys, Guest hosted the Westside of Mars podcast, Got an email from a depressed teen that I really related to, My family enjoyed the Valentine’s stuff I got for them, I wrote out the story of how my wife and I met, I found Microsoft Office CD’s I’d been missing for months, Read the first chapter edits from my editor Lauren.

    Plus your MMD moments! Send in some more to mmdcast@gmail.com.

    Mentioned on the Show:

    Follow James on Twitter: @nlcast

    Like us on Facebook

    Review us on iTunes!

     

    Play

    Our Love Story

    February 14, 2014 · 4 comments

    Okay, so it’s Valentine’s Day so I’ll do this:

    Jenn and I met after a youth group activity in Saint Simon’s Island at a McDonalds.

    I wasn’t even supposed to have gone to the event. The people I was going with left me but my sister and her friends gave me a ride. I’m sitting with them at McDonalds wearing a light blue Fernandina Beach fishing cap with the front flipped up and I see this girl. My first thought, “That is the cutest girl I have ever seen.” Not fine (they say “hot” now)… cute. Cute as all get out. Like the standard of what cute is measured by. A strong cuteness. It was better than “fine” it was real. I had to talk to her.

    I never would have except that she was in line to get food and happened to be with a friend of mine. I went up and started talking to Shannon, or whatever her name was, and soon enough I had met Jennifer. [click to continue…]