“The Color of Soul” – J.C.L. Faltot

In addition to the science fiction I spend my time writing, I do short stories too. And this is one of them: The Color of Soul.

It’s been almost four years from the time I published this little tale. One that involves two brothers, a game, and a revelation of how the world can look through the eyes of someone who has seen the better parts of creation.

If you’d like something to pass the time (and maybe shed a tear or two) then I’d encourage to give this oldie-but-goodie a go. That is, of course, provided that you have a Kindle on hand.

The Writer’s Lens – Response Episode: “Is The Lord of the Rings a ‘Racist’ Story?”

The Lord of the Rings is a fantasy tale that has inspired millions. Its story of good versus evil transcends generations. And it uses rather unconventional forms to do it: with fictional beings like hobbits, dwarves, and elves.

But there are men and women in this fantasy too. And orcs. And goblins. And trees that talk and walk. And…racism? Wait…what?

Last month, I came across an article that caught my attention. A fellow science fiction writer was being interviewed for a podcast and when the topic of Tolkien’s classic came up, the author went on to say that the Lord of the Rings has “hard to miss” themes of racism throughout. Considering how I’d never heard this claim before, I did some research and found that there have been others who have felt the same way (not a lot, but they are out there if you look). So I did what any social media personality with a platform would do: I did an episode detailing what I thought of this accusation.

Because this is a serious thing to say. Not just because The Lord of the Rings has birthed an entire genre or because it made millions at the box office – it’s because of the nature of the claim. It touches deeply on sacred grounds. And if tossed around flippantly, we run the risk of being short-sighted on what could be considered “racist” and what is not.

So, is Tolkien’s work racist? Enclosed in this episode are my thoughts on that matter as well as why I felt the need to address it.

The full episode can be found here.

The “Pens of Steel” Group Discussion Special: Competing in the Sea of Voices

The Internet is a sea of voices and narratives.

In part 2 of this group discussion special, the Pens continue the dialogue on “what is a digital voice” – while transitioning into another frequently asked question: how do we compete with so many other messages? Should we be focused on beating other voices? Or should we just focus on our own message?

Clockwise from top to bottom: Josh “J.C.L.” Faltot, Brian Del Turco, Willie Scott, and Brent Mclaughlin – The “Pens of Steel”

Jump back in with Part 2 and just in case you missed Part 1, you’re in luck – you can click here to check it out and get back up to speed.

And for more info on the rest of the group, here are some links below:

Brian Del Turco, owner / operator of LifeVoiceQuest

Website: http://www.lifevoicequest.com/

Podcast: http://www.jesussmart.com/

 

Willie Scott, co-founder of Better Than Blended and T.K.I. Publishing

Website: https://betterthanblended.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/betterthanblended/?hl=en

 

Brent Mclaughlin, writer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brent.mclaughlin

The “Pens of Steel” Group Discussion Special: What Is A Digital Voice? PART 1

Welcome to the Rise of Digital Voices!

In case you didn’t already know, the Internet is FILLED with competing messages. Thanks to the onset of social media platforms, more people than ever have the ability to share their unique voice with the rest of the world. And in doing so, can create online communities where similar minds (and interests) can congregate. To share ideas. To share insights. To share individual stories.

This is the Age of Digital Voices – a time when the gatekeepers of information have been usurped by the end user.

From left to right clockwise: Josh “J.C.L.” Faltot, Brian Del Turco, Willie Scott, and Brent Mclaughlin – The “Pens of Steel”

In this very special episode of The Writer’s Lens, I sit down with three other creative voices: Brian Del Turco of Jesus Smart: The Podcast and owner/operator of LifeVoiceQuest; Willie Scott co-founder of Better Than Blended and TKI Publishing; and Brent Mclaughlin, aspiring writer. These three gentlemen make up our Cleveland creative group otherwise known as the “Pens of Steel” and for the first time, we are recording our conversation concerning this growing phenomenon of the social media landscape.

This will be the first of a three-part discussion on the topic so stay tuned for more to follow in the coming weeks.

And for more info on my fellow conversationalists, here are some links below:

Brian Del Turco

Website: http://www.lifevoicequest.com/

Podcast: http://www.jesussmart.com/

 

Willie Scott

Website: https://betterthanblended.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/betterthanblended/?hl=en

 

Brent Mclaughlin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brent.mclaughlin

 

Source: Podcast Link Here

The Writer’s Lens – E45: The Affirmation of Finished Work

What does it do for us when we finish what we start? If you’re the type of person that struggles with unfinished projects, then maybe you are in need of a morale boost. Or a gentle reminder of what you feel strongly about. Something to kick-start the juices and make it to the finish line.

Or perhaps on an even deeper level, maybe your unique message just isn’t clear yet.

Episode 45: The Affirmation of Finished Work

In my case, finishing a book is what I aim to do. Not an easy task; not something one does in a weekend. For writing a book can feel like running a marathon. But here’s something to remember: we aren’t alone in our pursuits.

In this episode, I talk in depth about the things we can learn about ourselves as we work through our passion projects. And how there’s a unique voice each of us can cultivate by bringing that message to completion.

Website: www.jclfaltot.com

Facebook: J.C.L. Faltot

Instagram: The Writer’s Lens

Interviews with Brian Del Turco, The Voice of “Jesus Smart: The Podcast”

Welcome to the #NarrativeWars.

Brian Del Turco is a fellow creative in Cleveland and is the voice of Jesus Smart: The Podcast as well as the owner / operator of LifeVoice Quest. He is passionate about emerging voices – those looking to broadcast and share their message with others – and I’ve been fortunate to dialogue with Brian about this topic. For we live in the digital age and we are surrounded by hundreds of incoming messages, all vying for our attention.

That being said, how do we sort through them?

How do we know what is true?

How do we know what is not true?

Brian and I begin our discussion on the #NarrativeWars in part 1 below.

034: Take the Red Pill — Wake Up to the Narrative Wars with Joshua C. Faltot! 

In part 2 of our conversation, Brian and I dive deeper into the concept of #Worldviews and what they mean to each of us.

On my podcast, The Writer’s Lens, I take a look at things through the lens of a writer. I believe human beings tell stories to help them interpret their world. To make sense of things. To exchange information and share experiences.

This can ultimately shape our individual worldviews. The conclusions we make; the stories we believe; the ways we think the world ought to be.

For this second half, Brian and I discuss in greater length how we are not only in the midst of a #NarrativeWar, but a battle of competing #Worldviews too.

039: War of the Worldviews with Joshua C. Faltot

Brian is a commentator on society and culture with great and helpful insights who can also be found on SubstanceTV’s podcast at SubstanceTV.org.

The Writer’s Lens – Episode 44: The Anxiety of Unfinished Work

Anxiety plagues more people today than ever, it seems. We live in a fast-paced society with ever advancing technology. And as complex and impressive as our brains are, we can only take so much.

That’s why the need to be focused and free of distraction is imperative – not just as a creative but as anyone who wants to be productive. In that way, we can work at our best. At our utmost capacity, which sounds like a simple thing to do. Actually executing it though? That’s another battle entirely.

This is the first half of a two-part discussion on anxiety. And how anxiety affects our creative pursuits.

Websitewww.jclfaltot.com

Books: here

Source: The Writer’s Lens – Episode 44: The Anxiety of Unfinished Work

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 08: Brian Del Turco, Owner / Operator of LifeVoiceQuest – PART 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my conversation with Brian Del Turco, the voice of Jesus Smart: the Podcast, one-half the voice of SubstanceTV, and owner of LifeVoiceQuest Publishing.

Brian is a believer in emerging voices. He has a high interest in helping people find their voice in publishing, developing their own platforms and digging deeper into the #Narrative and #Content wars. Both of which are areas of major interest for me as well.

You can find more of that in our first conversation.

In the second half of our dialogue, Brian and I go deeper. This time we talk about how creative pursuits can foster not only our personal lives, but our relationships too. How we must guard our time wisely. And the importance of communicating our messages clearly; as a clear message commands presence.

For more on Brian, you can check him out at the links below:

LifeVoiceQuest website: http://www.lifevoicequest.com/

Jesus Smart: The Podcast: http://www.jesussmart.com/

SubstanceTV: https://www.substancetv.org/

Source: The Writer’s Lens – Interview 08: Brian Del Turco, Owner / Operator of LifeVoiceQuest – PART 2

The Writer’s Lens – BONUS: Netflix Wants Its Viewers To Dictate Endings…Is That Good?

I ran across an article recently with an “interesting” announcement. The ever-growing entertainment giant, Netflix, has decided to give creative license to its viewers. In other words, Netflix will allow its viewers to control the endings of their favorite shows.

How this is going to be done has yet to be released, but even so, I have my thoughts on this sort of thing. And I’m not overly optimistic. So, in this bonus episode for this week, I give my thoughts on what I think this shift in entertainment may mean for Netflix and its audience.

Here’s the article I’m discussing in this episode.

Source: The Writer’s Lens – BONUS: Netflix Wants Its Viewers To Dictate Endings…Is That Good?

The Writer’s Lens – Interview 08: Brian Del Turco, Owner / Operator at LifeVoiceQuest – PART 1

Brian Del Turco is a fellow creative based in Cleveland who has a heart for emerging voices. His company, LifeVoiceQuest, works with aspiring authors who are looking to find their voice and project that voice into the world – a world that is constantly filling up with more and more voices by the moment.

It’s no secret by now that the Internet is filled with competing voices. And within those voices are content creators and big narratives. So it’s easy to think we will lose ourselves in the midst of that storm. If we intend to fight with every cultural hot button or social movement, we’ll get discouraged quickly. Then lose our voice altogether. 

In this discussion, Brian and I begin dialogue on the topic of #VoiceWars. What that might look like. How we have to be our own best advocates (especially when looking to make a dent in the marketplace of ideas). And why it’s imperative to not let ourselves get lost in the vacuum. We need accountability. Even us crazy authors who work in solitude need a team, or at the very least, a group that can be our champions when we move forward.

For more on Brian, you can check out the links to his work below.

LifeVoiceQuest website: http://www.lifevoicequest.com/

Jesus Smart: The Podcast: http://www.jesussmart.com/

SubstanceTV: https://www.substancetv.org/

Enjoy part 1 of our discussion and like, share, comment and subscribe to stay up to date!

Source: The Writer’s Lens – Interview 08: Brian Del Turco, Owner / Operator at LifeVoiceQuest – PART 1