Archives For support

I’m happy to announce that I’ve just released a brand new eBook, Casita 106 at the Red Pines (also available in print). It’s the story of a married couple, Jack and Veronica Hartman, and their fateful weekend trip to Sedona, Arizona. What they have planned is a getaway to reconnect after a stressful season in their relationship; what happens is something else entirely.

  

Click the following to go to Amazon: Casita 106 at the Red Pines. The eBook is available for $2.99; print is $4.99. If you’re interested, and can commit to leaving an honest review on Amazon, please contact me by clicking here to request a review copy. I would be happy to send you one. I sure appreciate your support as I launch this new chapter in my life!
Blessings,

Chad

For the uninitiated, the practice of “hackintoshing” involves installing Apple’s Mac OS X onto unsupported hardware (i.e. non-Apple branded equipment, otherwise known as “PCs”).

I’ve heard the deeper you delve into hackintoshing, the more it dawns on you that it’s very much akin to writing.

What do I mean?

1) It’s not for the faint of heart. Seriously–this is no regular install. It is a process fraught with trial and error, and altogether too easily bungled. Just when you think you have all your ducks in a row, things take an unexpected turn.

2) When those unexpected turns happen, it’s back to the drawing board. Which in the case of hackintoshing means starting over; similarly for writing, it means junking months–or perhaps years–of work, when the story isn’t working. Or when it goes to an unforeseen place (because it needs to) that’s better than what we planned.

3) Despite the best laid plans, things will go awry. Despite having all the tools in place, sometimes we just need to walk away–move onto something new. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

4) Other times, persistence pays. Just when we’re about ready to pull the plug, that A-ha! moment arrives. And things fall into place. This is just as true of writing as it is of hackintoshing.

5) When inspiration is lacking, we are often driven to the furthest corners of the Internet in search of that one right thing that makes the difference. Just as there are thousands of different makes and models of PCs, there are all manner of guides for the hackintosher. Likewise with writing, what inspires you may not inspire me. But you’ll know it when you see it. And it will make all the difference.

I know the title indicates five similarities, but I would be derelict without adding another:

6) As with writing, hackintoshing isn’t done in a vacuum. Oh, certainly on the surface both appear to be be solo activities, but nothing is further from the truth: we stand on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before us, gleaning their wisdom, inspired by their example. We press on because our forebears pressed on. We know we can because they could, and did.

Just as those who come after us will be inspired by our example.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14, ESV).

Talk about your writing failures, and success, in the comments, please. How have you had to restart? What did it feel like when that breakthrough came?

A note on this post: This is not a technology blog, and as such it’s not my purpose to encourage hackintoshing. My purpose was simply to take two difficult, though seemingly disparate, things, and show the similarities. The general principles here apply across the broad spectrum we call “life.” We can do hard things, but we’re never really doing them alone.

'depression' photo (c) 2008, Rupert Ganzer - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

So. I’ve mentioned that I have a piece in a book called Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression. Yeah, it surprises me, too. Thing is, if you met me, you’d probably think “he seems like a pretty happy guy.”

The truth is: I get by.

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So, this past weekend, Jon Acuff hosted his first ever Quitter Conference (based on his book of the same name). Aside from having a serious case of “Quitter envy,” my weekend was a pretty good one. In fact, I drowned said envy (wherein I compare my beginning to some more successful soul’s middle) the watching of films.

'Steve Carrell, Get Smart' photo (c) 2007, TV Squad Julia - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

On Friday evening, my wife and I had our first date night in sometime, and saw the new Steve Carrell movie, Crazy, Stupid, Love. From the trailers, it appeared to be “yet another romantic comedy,” of which men, if you’re married (or soon to be married), you are contractually obligated to see a certain number of. (This number to be determined by your spouse/significant other).

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>Dream!photo © 2008 Melody Campbell | more info (via: Wylio)

This isn’t my dream. I fell into it somewhere along the way. Oh, I know how it happened, but it’s not what I always wanted to do. Not by a long shot. Fifty years from now, who’s going to remember “that time” I fixed their computer? I didn’t set out to be a tech, to be so enamored of gizmos, but that’s how it worked out. I imagine any number of things would’ve “worked out” had I gone in a different direction. But I didn’t.

So, yes, I’m good with computers. But my field is transitioning away from support into something else, and I fear I’ll be left behind, a relic of a bygone era. Yet, I’m not sure investing in further training would be the right thing for me, as–thankful as I am to have a well-paying job–it’s not what I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I’m struggling to find the significance in it. Yet, to remain has its appeal: a retirement package. And it finances the life I share with my family.

As Jon Acuff has so aptly said, I need to fall in like with a job I don’t love. But this is really a good place to be. There is great potential for meaningful interactions, potential to impact lives with the grace of God.

Maybe it’s a condition brought on by middle age, or perhaps even by the Lord, but I’m trying to find my place in the world. Trying, and floundering a bit. Sure, I have a platform with this blog, but my content is–as my name (“RandomlyChad”) suggests–somewhat random. I’ve been advised to find a focus, search out the posts that I’ve most enjoyed writing, and expend my efforts there. Or as Jackie Chan, as Mr. Han, said in The Karate Kid, “Your focus needs more focus.”

I’m not sure my mind works that way. What I lack in focus, I gain in freedom. I’m free to write about whatever I want. Now his may keep my readership small, but it may be a sacrifice worth making. And coupled with the fact that I do indeed have a day job, I’m not dependent on my writing for income. There’s freedom in that, too: I’m free to say what I want without fear of repercussion. As Acuff has also said, I’m free to “stay dangerous.” I’m not writing for anyone so much as me.

Sure, I’ve guest posted on other blogs, tailored my voice to another’s format, but it’s still my voice. (I’ve learned–the slow, hard way–that there’s no leveling up here: one has to put in the work to earn the trust). Interestingly, my reach seems to be growing organically. And you know what they say: slow and steady wins the race. As much this slowness used to bother me, I appreciate it now; as an introverted soul, it’s much better for me this way. I can adjust to the success as it comes.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever be a “Quitter” in the Acuffian sense, but I have a job that supports my art, and that art in turn brings some support to my life. It explains, illuminates, illustrates, that life. And I’m both blessed, and content, to be in that place.

Thank-you for reading!

What supports your art, and indeed, your life?