How George Lucas Stole Christmas

Readers, let me start by first and foremost saying Merry Christmas! Don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season, and have a great Christmas Day! My last post was more Christmas-related than this one, however, so if you are just looking to teem with seasonal cheer, go check it out.

But as for this one, let me get into my biggest poiz - sw 2nt. As the Christmas season rose into full swing, a global phenomenon soared  to unimaginable heights. I am sure, unless you have been living in a box over the last month (and if that is the case, kudos to you for being able to read this post from presumably within your cardboard home), that you know exactly what I am talking about: Star Wars.

Yes, the Force was strong this Christmas season. Stockings were overshadowed by lightsabers. Who needs a wrez- swath when you can have Wookie slippers? Heck, even everybody’s favorite small green alien was competing with big green Christmas trees. “Global phenomenon” does not adequately cover Star Wars’s impact on the end of the year. The new, masked face of Kylo Ren was everywhere.

And all of that being said, here is the point I wanted to make: Star Wars has a huge fan base, and J.J. Abrams could have easily sluffed off a below-par movie that would have still grossed unbelievably well in the box office just because of the “brand” name. That was not the case, however, and that is what impressed me the most. Star Wars was given high critical acz - sw.4claim, and not only did it shatter box office records as expected, but it was a solid movie. It met expectations.

To bring this back to a much smaller scale, we look at Creepers 2 as it approaches its release year.  With my first book came no expectations. It was just me, my story, and zero interest besides anything that I created firsthand.

The sequel is a little different, however. Now there are a considerable amount of people who have read the first book and are expecting big things from the sequel. To all of those people, I say thank you, because those are the ones that are pushing me to make Man’s Worst Enemy the best that it can possibly be. Even now, as I edit the book for the final time before it heads to print, I have you in mind. I certainly don’t have the expectations of Star Wars, but I still will certainly try to make the book as good as I possibly can.

Thanks to all of you, and Merry Christmas!

– Jesse Haynes

 

‘Tis the Season

Readers, how is everybody doing? Good? Fantastic. First and foremost, I want to give an enormous thank you to all of you, for all the support you have showed me throughout 2015. With as much end-of-the-semester crunching as I need to do (not talking about the ab exercise, although I should probably be doing that too), my bloggz-christmasing time has taken a serious hit.  But who cares! You guys deserve something to read, and since I have so many fantastic subscribers, here it is.

But first, if you haven’t already done so, check out my latest YouTube video HERE. It features both  basketball trick shots and the Grant Eastman, so it’s definitely a good time.

And as I’m sure you have probably noticed, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is approaching. It’s that time of year where you don’t z-chirstmasknow whether you should be eating leftover turkey or hanging up
decorative lights. Still, regardless of any indecision this time of year might induce, this is a majestic time of year – probably even my favorite time of year. The NBA season is in full swing, the NFL playoffs draw near, and the fantasy football playoffs draw even nearer than that. People are inexplicably nicer to one another, seemingly compelled by an unwritten rule that Christmas season (it’s funny how one holiday has it’s own “season”) should bring joy and generosity to the world.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is the time of year that gives us a moment to pause, step back, and think about the blessings we have in life. As humans, I feel like it is natural to get absorbed in the rush of life and begin to want what we can’t have, and then even complain to ourselves and others about hochristmas_presents_wrappedw unfair life can be.  The way I see it,is if my biggest problem this week is
if I dropped my fantasy football matchup by 6 points, I’m going to be ok.

So, dear readers, I encourage you to count your blessings as Christmas season nears. This is the ultimate time of consumerism, but keep in mind that a $300 pair of shoes or the latest, smartest phone on the market shouldn’t make you any happier than spending time with friends and family this Christmas, and amongst the hustle and bustle of the end-of-year sales remember that Jesus is the reason for the season, after all.

I’m blessed with health, family, friends, and a sovereign Heavenly Father, just to name a few. What are you blessed with? I hope you get everything on your Christmas list this year, my friends, but I also hope you remember just how fortunate we all are. Maybe even consider doing something nice for someone who is less fortunate. Kindness makes the world go round.

Push forward.

– Jesse Haynes

The Freedom to Write

I hope all is well, dear readers, because this is a very special day. It was one of those days where I woke up this morning feeling blessed z - vetto be a novelist, blessed to have amazing fans like you all, and blessed to be able to pursue whatever, ridiculous, mind-numbingly outlandish idea that courses into my head and I decide to turn into a novel.

Seriously, life couldn’t be better. I have a great family. My friends are impossible to beat. God is constantly providing me with any provision I could need and giving me things I don’t deserve.  I even have  a great dog, although he’s on my list after trying to pull a fast one on me this morning (just email me if you want the whole story). I have amazing scholarships allowing me to go to a top-50 private university for an exceptional rate. My “job” is getting paid for doing what I have dreamed of doing my whole life. How insainocrazily cool is that? I am a fiction novelist – a professional liar – and I want to continue this until the day that I die. And then there are the side-jobs: The Tulsa World, substitute teaching, the eBay business. I couldn’t imagine a better life.

But the real question is this: have I done anything to deserve what I have? Have I accomplished enough that I should walk around like the world owes me? Did I earn this blessed life? Have I achieved enough to be qualified?

The answer to all of those questions, dear readers, is no. I have done NOTHING to earn any of the blessings of my life. Nada. Zilch. Zero. In fact, it has nothing to do at with what I have done, but instead everything to do with the sacrifices made by countless brave men and women. You see, today is November 11th (unless, of course, you are among that unimaginably small percent of the American population that doesn’t check my blog EVERY day of the year and you are reading this late), and that means today is Veterans Day! This is a day dedicated to the heroes of our country – the people that make what I do possible. No matter how many novel-worthy ideas I have, or how many friends I can make, or what dream university I want to attend, none of that would matter one tiny little bit if it wasn’t for the heroic men and women fighting for the freedom of this country.

So Veterans, this one’s to you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I mean it. I know that I am blessed, but more importantly, I know that I am blessed because of the daily sacrifices that each and every one of you make. You are the people who make living this life possible, and I am eternally grateful for all that you do. May God protect you as you strive to keep this country grand.

Readers, no matter what day of the year it is, if you see a veteran, please shake their hand. Give them a hug. Tell them they are appreciated. They sacrifice so much for us that we can never repay them, but we can at least show them we love them.

Thanks to all.

– Jesse Haynes

The Cost of a Dollar

I have a great idea! I’m going to take two completely separate ideas and mash them together in an attempt to give them some sort of cohesion and make a point. AKA this is my Greek philosopher impersonation.

So anyway, happy November! One month left and then we will be changing to another calendrical year. How exciting! With November comes three things that I care about: the NBA season starts to gain momentum, it is epilepsy awareness month… and Thanksgiving. As much as I’d like to blog about LeBron, I’m going to write about the latter of the two.

And now I’m going to talk about rap. Love it or hate it, rap is a very expressive form of art. I will be the first to admit that I don’t like many rappers, and I definitely don’t like explicit rap, but lately I listened to a song that really got me thkendrick-lamar-press-2015-black-and-white-billboard-650inking. The song is by Kendrick Lamar, entitled “How Much a Dollar Costs.” The point of the song is Kendrick, who is a rich and influential rapper, encounters a homeless man begging him for a dollar. Kendrick, who has a religious background, acts contrary to how he knows he should (even when the beggar asks if Kendrick has recently “opened up Exodus 14”, which offers a lesson on humility). He continually asks himself “how much a dollar cost” throughout the song, pondering the true value of money. When confronted with the beggar he becomes angry, claiming, “Crumbs and pennies, I need all of mine,” and that “Every nickel is mine to keep.” Basically, Kendrick completely snaps on the poor beggar.

The homeless man then quickly pulls a 180 on Kendrick, making a statement about how people should treat one another. He reveals that in face he is actually God in disguise, alluding to another parable of the Bible. He answers, “You’re lookin’ at the Messiah, the son of Jehovah, the higher power, The choir that spoke the word, the Holy Spirit, the nerve of Nazareth, and I’ll tell you just how much a dollar cost: The price of having a spot in Heaven. Embrace your loss, I am God.”

So the point of the song is that earthly wealth is never more important the eternal salvation, and people should always be thankful for what they have and willing to share if they have enough. Kendrick demonstrates that the figurative cost of a dollar can be much more expensive than the actual value of the dollar, and it is a very impactful song.

So, all of that being said, let me conclude: As Thanksgiving approaches, a time to express our gratitude for the things we have in our life, pay special attention to how blessed we truly are. Remember the priorities in your life and why they are important to you. Feel free to leave commentary/feedback on my post below. Keep pressing on, my friends.

– Jesse Haynes

Life Update

Howdy, readers! What is up? (Feel free to actually comment responses below… I know I have people reading this, but nobody ever comments.)

I have been super busy, and I’m writing because I need a break from the studious studying I have been doing lately just to vent for a minute about my relentlessly busy life.

So here we go: lately, I haven’t been able to catch much of a break, staying b20151025_173052usy twenty-four/seven courtesy of editing my book and side hustles (substitute teaching, Tulsa World writing,  etc.). It’s  like my professorss don’t realize I’m trying to market a book and take the book industry by story, right? Ha, I guess I can’t complain, I have had a lot of help and learned a lot. Sleep/recreation is overrated anyways, right? Several people have looked at Creepers 2 for me, so S/O to you guys. You know who you are.

I have completed two midterms, and I managed to work a picture of me and Creepers into one of them (see above), so that was a success in my eyes. Yee-haw.

And now is the time when I take all of my problems and poetically tie it to a piece of life advice, right? Nope. I got nothing. But I do have some good news, at least! Here it goes. School visits are picking back up! I have several planned in the next couple of months, so that is something I’m super excited about.  Nothing is more rewarding than getting to meet and talk to the awesome students who have read my book across the state. I love that, and I am very excited about doing the visits very soon.

I hope everyone has a great week. Hopefully a new vlog will be coming soon! Keep your head up and press forward.

– Jesse Haynes

 

Interlude: Sharing a contest

Readers! How are all of you doing?

I know this is not a usual post, but I want to take a minute to share this contest I am participating in with all of you.  It is the 19th Free “Dear Lucky Agent” Contest from Writer’s Digest. I know several of you guys have emailed me about (or even let me read) the manuscripts you have written, and this contest is exclusively for the Young Adult manuscripts (I’m submitting Alpha and Special). If you have a YA  manuscript, seriously, go check this out! It is free and totally worth your time. If you win and I don’t, though, we are totally splitting the prize. (I’m joking. Don’t worry. I love you all.) Just click on my hyperlink text above to read all about it. Good luck!

 

Hope you all are having a great week. Keep pushing forward!

– Jesse Haynes

Unlikely Success

I hope all is well, my dear readers,  and hopefully all of you got the newsletter I sent out yesterday. If you didn’t, we can easily fix that. Just enter your email into the “subscribe” box and you will be added to my mailing list. Sweet deal, right?

So anyways, let me get to the blogging part of this post. Have you ever been faced with some sort of confrontation that looked like odds of success were improbably, slim, or even nonexistent?  Maybe you are facing one of those situations right now even, I don’t know. If you have ever gone up against any kind of challenge like I just described, then I’m sure you know just how enormous the mountains of a challenge can feel when you are standing at their foot.

All of that being said, today I am writing about training my dog.

That was a joke. I do that quite often (or at least attempt to, sometimes they just aren’t funny). Anyways, today I want to brag for a moment on myself and a group of my friends. Being the first year Flagof college, and the social butterfly that I am (another joke), I signed up for co-ed flag football to have something to do and maybe make some new friends. The team I joined was not the most, um, likely team to succeed, I would say. The vast majority of the teams in our league are composed of male ex-football high school players and girls that are on other university sport squads (track, softball, soccer, etc.). Our team, eh… not so much. We do have some athletes, but the amount of prior football experience is limited, at best.  Nevertheless, with a lot of practice, a lot of scheming, and a considerable amount of luck, my team is playing in the semifinals tonight – one of the last four teams standing. Although we started out 0-2 (I missed the first two games with my ankle injury, but that probably didn’t make a huge difference) we have since strung together a winning streak that we are all very proud of. Nobody believed in us but ourselfs, and from that doubt stemmed unlikely success.

What can you take from this story, readers? Let me explain, if you haven’t already figured it out. When you are facing adversity – problems that look like there is no way on God’s green earth that they can be solved – don’t give up hope. Anything is possible, take a strategic approach in attacking them. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, my friends. Work hard, pray harder, and keep pressing forward one step at a time, and then you can handle any problem thrown at you, too!

Have a good week, dear readers.

– Jesse Haynes

 

Creepers 2 and EncycloMedia

I have been waiting for this day to arrive, and it is finally here! Creepers 2 is coming and getting more real every day. I can feel it.

But not only can I feel it – we can see it, too. The cover has arrived ladies and gentlemen, and here it is…Haynes_revision (1)

Let the speculation begin! I’m so proud of this book and I can’t wait for all of you to read it. It still has a ton of the creepersy (totally a word) action of the first book, but it also delves a lot more into the characters’ development. It is two chapters longer than the first book, and these chapters introduce a subplot, and all the chapters work to build up to an enormous, larger-than-life climax so crazy that it had to have come from the mind of a 17-year-old (at the time). I hope you all are as excited as me!

Also, on one more note, I will be speaking as a guest author at the 2015 OTA EncycloMedia Conference at the Cox Communications Center in OKC on October 6th and 7th. This is a fantastic conference of nearly 3,000 at which I was blessed to have the opportunity to speak at last year. I am so thankful to be going back, and I have some special things planned. It is going to be an enormous opportunity again, and I would appreciate any prayers any of y’all wanna send my way! Thanks! And get excited for Man’s Worst Enemy!

– Jesse Haynes

On the Clock

Guys, how are you? Don’t answer that, I really don’t care. Not trying to be rude, of course, but I am also typing this post with a very limited amount of time. Sixteen minutes to be precise. So that being said, I hope you all enjoy my raw, pure emotion and thoughts that I Jesse 030eam blogging, along with my certain typos that will ensue. You want to know why I’m being so rushed? I would love to tell you, but I just don’t have the time. It’s tragic stuff, really.

But anyways, here is what TU got me thinking about what it takes to be successful: I’m not gonna lie, there are a lot of egg-heads in my classes. The extremely smart people that would be happy as a lark if they were to be locked up all day in a dark room with a book or a computer or something of a similar manner. Know the type? Those people are fairly common around this campus.

That being said, for the first time in my life, I’m not among the smartest in all of my classes. Or the most intelligent, rather. (I think being smart is different than being intelligent, but that is a story for a later day when I am not operating on such a limited schedule.) Nevertheless, I find that I am succeeding in class anyway, even in the classes that are graded on a curve, because of something else: reasoning. I might not be an egg head, but I am logical enough to use other various gifts to my benefit: people skills, my ability to write, hard work and constant studying, etc. It is for this reason that I have (to this point) been successful in college.

Dear readers, what I ‘m trying to get at is that you don’t always have to be the best at what you do to succeed. Whether you want to be an athlete, a teacher, a nuclear physicist, a mafia leader, or a professional dog-walker, you can accomplish big things if you learn how to compensate your talents for the areas you lack. If you want to play in the NBA, hard work can replace  a lack of athleticism (to a point, at least).

So as you go out to brave another week, my dear readers, keep this in mind. No matter what you are striving to do, you don’t have to “fit into the system” that leads to success, but rather be unique, and let that lead you to your goals. Don’t try to fit into the system – change it!

– Jesse Haynes