10 Reasons I Want My Son To Be Like Bilbo

Dear Lewis,

I love the Lord of the Rings. I mean I truly, honestly, in the nerdiest way possible, love it. The fact that I have to prevent myself from saying, “That’s like the part in Lord of the Rings where…” in every conversation is why your mother doesn’t worry about other women trying to take me home when I go to the bar without her.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read the books. Yet, every time I do, I discover something new, something wonderful, something life changing. It’s a part of who I am. It’s shaped the way I think and the way I view the world.

It’s even shaped the way I parent.

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Wisdom Literature: Put Me in the Zoo

Dear Lewis,

Once upon a time there was a man who was rarely seen without a book in his hands. He loved all kinds of books. Classics, like The Brothers Karamazov. Epic fantasies like the Lord of the Rings. Books by spiritual giants such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and D.L. Moody.

Then, the goblin prince was born. The man who loved books was charged with becoming the goblin prince’s servant, caring for the prince night and day. For months the servant was unable to read the books he loved.

One day, while the man was scrubbing the prince’s dishes he felt a tug at his pants. The prince had brought his servant a present: a hardback book. Although it was small, brightly colored, and written by an unfamiliar author, the servant was grateful for the chance to read again.

So the servant escorted the goblin prince to the royal play mat, and then began reading Put Me in the Zoo, by Robert Lopshire.

The story would change the servant’s life forever.

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Jeff Goins: Share Your Gifts

Dear Lewis,

One thing I love about the Internet is that it makes wisdom so accessible. When you find someone whose words are worth listening to, listen closely:

Our talents and skills are not intended only to be used for our own good. They’re meant to be shared as an offering to the world. A gift in the truest sense of the word. – Jeff Goins*

Wisdom is easy to pinpoint, because all of it has one thing in common: in one way or another, Jesus said it first.

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A Novel Failure

Dear Lewis,

The average novel is approximately 100,000 words. As of tonight I am at 1500 in my current one. That means I’m only about 1% of the way there. But I’ve made it farther than 99% of people ever do.

Ray Bradbury once said you have to write a million words of fiction before you know what you’re doing, before you’re a real author. Total, I’ve penned over 300,000 words of fiction, so I’m over 30% of the way there. My 300,000th word was better than my first, but the first was no less important. The first led to the second, which led to the 300,000th.

That’s putting a positive spin on it. The fact remains: so far, I’ve failed to write a good novel.

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Why You Shouldn’t Trust “God’s Plan”

Dear Lewis,

One of the most important things I can teach you applies both to writing and God’s plans: don’t get too attached to your original idea.

When you get a flash of inspiration for a story, sit and write about the idea for 10 minutes, and watch how the original idea evolves. Then do it again for another 10 minutes, then another, and then another. In a short period of time your original idea, which is still in there somewhere, will be so much bigger, deeper and greater than you first imagined.

My point is your idea of the story is never the whole story.

Especially with God.

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