Chuck Holmes Has Stories to Tell

“God’s presence affects everything in my life, but—beyond whatever talent God gave me—it’s difficult to narrow anything down to a single facet of life, e.g., creativity. Some things that I write—”Views of the Cross,” or “King of the World” for instance—are overtly religious. More of them have a religious component, sometimes nearly hidden. I don’t know that any of them are totally without something that comes from my faith.”

Clear, humorous, factual, interesting, engaging. Those descriptions came to mind as I got to know Chuck Holmes. But those aren’t quite enough. 

In the best of ways, Chuck truly is a vendor or words (as Augustine and Malcolm Muggeridge described themselves.) Chuck says he has made his living “putting one word after another for more than 50 years.”

I’m grateful that Chuck took the time to put some words together for this interview… Continue reading “Chuck Holmes Has Stories to Tell”

When Christy Writes

“Shakespeare was totally correct when he said ‘to thine own self be true.’  Don’t change yourself to be viewed as cool. You can’t keep it up because it’s not who you are.”

I’m all in on anyone who lists her job titles as, “…writer, chauffeur, maid and short order cook. My paying job is a Media Para-pro at a middle school (pray hard for me).”

Christy Breedlove is all these things and more. She’s an especially good writer, with the gift of making you feel you know her from the very first word. In this interview, Christy shares about her two novels, goats, and how being normal is so overated. Continue reading “When Christy Writes”

Harry Mantong’s Song of Joy

“And it was even more special because I would be serving God. I was bringing the things that I like and spreading joy. I felt blessed and joyful because every time I sang, people appreciated it  and then they felt something from it. And then, to be able to work with the other singers and musicians from Kenya, US and Indonesia was special.”

From his earliest memories of singing in a children’s choir to forming the award-winning Palu Children Choir, Harry Mantong has spread joy around the world.

I first met Harry on a crowded elevator at an event in Indonesia. Even among strangers in an elevator, Harry’s natural charisma stood out. It wasn’t a complete surprise to find out later that this same man was a featured performer at the event.

Below the transcription of the interview is an audio of one of Harry’s songs. Be sure to check it out! Continue reading “Harry Mantong’s Song of Joy”

Charles de Andrade and the Scribblers Christian Writers’ Club

“One of the most unique experiences I’ve had with Scribblers is the fact that this is one of these things in my life where, as I see it developing, it brings me joy. I feel like my energies, my talents are being used to create something that reflects… greater glory for God.”

Once upon a time a group of writers formed a club…

And they called it the Scribblers Christian Writers’ Club.

Serving in equal measures encourager and spark plug, Charles de Andrade has helped organize several Scribblers’ chapters, all of which meet once a month.

Beyond providing encouragement to authors, Scribblers’ members share costs for marketing expenses like exhibit booths, graphic designers, web designers, etc. Scribblers’ meetings are also frequently visited by industry experts who share their knowledge of publishing and printing.

In this interview, Charles talks about his writing career, how and why he formed Scribblers, and the joy and driving force of stewardship in his life.

Continue reading “Charles de Andrade and the Scribblers Christian Writers’ Club”

Frannie Watson Finds Her Voice

“For people like me that have always struggled, maybe there’s a story that’s been burning in their heart for a long time. You just need to sit down and write it, and then ask God to show you who to get help from. Don’t ever push away what God has put in your heart to do. You’ve got to do it. He shows you. Believe him for showing you the right path to go down.”

Author of several books, Frannie Watson was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, where she still resides with her husband, Doug, and dog, Sally.

In this interview, Frannie shares about suspense and mystery, her writing process, and overcoming a potentially debilitating learning disability.

Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): You’ve worked in education, corporations and manufacturing, and you’ve served with a mission group in France. What drew you to writing, and when did you know you had an interest in it?

Frannie: I never really thought about writing because I have a brain disability in language arts.  Continue reading “Frannie Watson Finds Her Voice”

Living History with Julie & Rick Clarke

“We would encourage younger readers to learn from history so we can understand how to work together today.  Also, don’t hide your light under a bushel, but let it shine.

Perhaps the best way to know history is to relive it, which is what authors Julie and Rick Clarke have done and written about…

Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): You live, love and write history. Which came first: doing reenactments or writing your book?

Julie and Rick: The reenactments came first. We had to follow the steps of the ancestors before we had enough information to write a book.

JWC: Your book is Pauline D’Alvigny Campbell, Civil War Nurse, Her Life and Times of War in Atlanta. What was the catalyst for writing a book about Pauline? Continue reading “Living History with Julie & Rick Clarke”

Life, Laughter and Marlene

“The truth is, I love to listen to people.  People are so entertaining, especially when they don’t mean to be.  I love the cadence of the talk and the relationship in the works between people. I love to hear them reminisce and tell stories of their youth. I just love to talk to and listen to people. That is really my inspiration.”

Marlene Ratledge Buchanan is a southern humorist. She draws from a deep well of experience and has a keen eye for observation. Like all truly good humorists, Marlene subtlety sews wisdom with a smile. That rare gift comes through in this interview…

Wall Coaching (JWC): Tell us about your book, Life is Hard, Soften it With Laughter. What brought it about and what was your goal in writing it?

Buchanan: I have worked for over 34 years in high school as an art teacher and a counselor.  I rarely got a phone call that was good news.  I found that when you are talking to parents and kids alike, you need to break that hard shell of anger, grief, fear, whatever it is troubling the person.  Humor does that. If I could get a little smile or a giggle out of the person who was so miserable, I knew I could help.

That is my goal–make life a little softer. Life is Hard. We need to do what we can to make our lives happier and easier.  A giggle or two can do that for you. Continue reading “Life, Laughter and Marlene”

Dave Bainbridge’s Continuous Creativity

“Great art can awaken something within us that we have maybe forgotten or ignored and give us a different perspective on life. As a Christian it is natural for me to express something of that faith within my music. Sometimes it is in the form of words and themes that resonate with me, and at other times it is just enjoying that connection and relationship with a God whom I believe loves us more that we can understand.”

photo credit: Martin Reijman

Something of Dave Bainbridge’s creative persona is infused into everything he does – and he does a lot.

Founding member of the Celtic, progressive-folk-rock band, Iona, leader of Celestial Fire, keyboardist with Strawbs,  guitarist/keys player with Lifesigns, member of occasional guitar band GB3, solo artist, and half of the Dave Bainbridge and Sally Minnear duo.

Continue reading “Dave Bainbridge’s Continuous Creativity”

Jeff Ali’s Musical Tapestries

“I prefer to give the listener a chance to really get into a certain space before throwing something new at them. Maybe now more than ever people need music that doesn’t interrupt them with something new every few bars, that gives their minds a chance to stretch for themselves.”

Jeff Ali reached out to me after watching a video of an ambient music piece performed by Bill Vencil and me at Chords of Orion. He forwarded a link to some of his work. I was immediately hooked and curious to learn more about him.

Based in Los Angeles, CA, Jeff composes music for film, theater and advertising, and often performs live. He scores music for movies and live production. His movie credits include Letting Go (2006), Assassins’ Code (2011) and Dreamers (2010).

Jeff describes himself as a “live-loop ambient artist, multi-instrumentalist who works with creatives across several mediums weaving a tapestry of sound and music into the fabric of each unique creation I participate in.”

I recently caught up with him as he was finishing sound design for a live musical. He was gracious in taking time to share his thoughts on composing, performing, and finding his voice as a creative.

Visit Jeff at bandcampIMDB, facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): Are there differences between scoring for film and scoring for live production? If so, what are those differences? Continue reading “Jeff Ali’s Musical Tapestries”

Brett Monk and Mount Hideaway Mysteries

“We’re living in an amazing time for visual storytellers. The digital cameras and the post-production software can do things that just a few years ago would have cost millions. Because we don’t have huge crews or large salaries for the cast and crew (most of us are volunteering or are working WAY below our usual rates) we have to rely on creativity and ingenuity to make the show engaging and professional.”

Brett Monk has been a radio, TV and film professional for over 30 years. He is the director and showrunner for the Mount Hideaway series on Amazon. He has acted, directed, and crewed in hundreds of productions over the years. He also planted a non-denominational church where he served as Senior Pastor for 10 years. In addition to his film activities, he co-owns a successful real estate business. Brett lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, and goldendoodle.

Continue reading “Brett Monk and Mount Hideaway Mysteries”