Category: Story

SPOILERS: 10 Things “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Did Very Right

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Seriously, stop. I loved watching this movie. Maybe in an hour, maybe in a day, maybe in a month one of the cynics and critics will rationally convince me to dislike it. All I know is I enjoyed it. Before […]

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Don’t Like Someone? See What They’re Like in Act Two

Tonight I saw a great performance of Julius Caesar at Atlanta’s Shakespeare Tavern, which never fails to impress me with quality acting, great direction, and original humor and interpretations. This was the first Shakespeare play I ever read (gotten out of a No Fear Shakespeare copy while at an Olive Garden restaurant). It was wonderful […]

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Make Good Memories Like It’s Your Job

The future is uncertain, but what is done well is done well. I’ll always have the Christmases with my grandparents, the movie nights with my father, the books read with my mother, the balls thrown to my dog, and the days preparing for the stage with my high school theatre pals. I’ll always have that […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown Finale: A Look Back on the Song of Ice and Fire

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* The Night King is dead. Cersei is defeated. The new tyrant Daenerys has been stopped. And our boy Jon and his boy Tormund and their good boy Ghost have ridden off into the sunset of the true North. […]

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Interview the Interviewers

Sometimes you can get the most interesting stories when you ask storytellers to talk about themselves. Today I interviewed a journalist who has been covering the blockchain industry for years and years (typically he interviews my company not the other way around), and in a crowded field of interviews I found this one to be one […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E4 “The Last of the Starks” – Funerals, Debts, Lovers, and Treason

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* What is the right way to respond to the deaths of others? Should you be more loyal to your family or to your lover? And what explains the power of treason as an idea? The latest Game of Thrones episode […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E3 “The Long Night” – War, Past Mistakes, and Noble Deaths

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* Do our past mistakes work out for the best? What is the right way to die? And how can reading too many /r/gameofthrones Reddit threads make you less virtuous? This last week brought an epic episode of Game of Thrones that resolved some […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E2 “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” – Titles, Evil, Memory, and Your Last Night on Earth

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* What is the nature of titles? What really drives evil? And is memory really what makes us human? This week, as the Night King’s army approaches Winterfell, our heroes somehow find time for some of their most reflective moments […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E1 “Winterfell” – Free Riders, Obligations, Disclosure, and Leadership

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* We’re excited to be back podcasting on the philosophical themes of Game of Thrones, and the first episode of this final season brought great story and good food for thought. As Jon, Daenerys, and their allies prepare for the […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown Returns! A Look Forward Into the Show’s New Season

Game of Thrones season 8 is almost here, which means conversation about the themes, characters, and plots of the show is about to come to a water cooler near you. Go ahead, geek out! I’m looking forward to being a fan and enjoying the story, too. But I also don’t want to miss this opportunity to talk […]

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Never Stop Leaving Home

“Someday I’m finally gonna let go  ‘Cause I know there’s a better way  I wanna know what’s over that rainbow  I’m gonna get out of here someday” – Steve Earle, “Someday”  Most of us think of “leaving home” as a rite of passage. When we turn 18, we kick off the dust of our hometowns and […]

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Remember To Put Yourself In the Right Story Stage

“Shouldn’t I be better at this?” If you’re like me, this is a question you ask a lot when you try new skills or uncommonly-used skills. You wonder if you’re as far along as you should be, and if a person of your age/progress/talents should be having as many struggles. A great challenge (and a […]

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The Adventure of Enterprise Software: Salesforce, Mascots, and the Heroic Customer

Is your software cumbersome and complicated? Does it require months of training to use and years of experience to master? Make the challenges into an adventure. Salesforce does. If you’re not a sales or marketing person, you should know that Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management software. Being #1 doesn’t mean it’s the easiest to use […]

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“Dungeons and Dragons” and the Three Universal Elements of Great Games

Every month or so some friends and I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons, a role-playing game which turns out to be as complicated as modern finance, a religious text, and an assemble-it-yourself furniture order. With a large variety of spells, abilities, gear, character types, etc, this game requires trained narrators and decent-sized player handbooks of 300+ […]

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Inspiration Is Like Manna

Despite writing daily for over a year now (minus one missed day), I still hardly ever plan out posts more than a few days in advance. More often than not, I find my daily writing idea late at night when I lay down in bed to type out a post. You’d think I’d be a […]

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Victory Against Evil Is Never Final

I was talking with some church friends last night about the frustrating cycle of history found in the Biblical stories. People turn to violence and injustice and fall to violence and injustice again and again, cycle after cycle. It’s really depressing. If you look more broadly, you can find the same cycle of failure and […]

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The World is a Theme Park

Who doesn’t love theme parks? Disney’s Magic Kingdom gives us the lands of “yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” EPCOT takes us around the world. Universal Studios takes us into the movies, from Harry Potter to The Mummy. We’re even more fascinated by fictional theme parks like Jurassic Park (dinosaurs!) and Westworld (become a cowboy!). As we cross from one part of a […]

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Every Good Plot Has Conflicts

What would life be like if you were aware of being in a story? For some time now I’ve been fascinated by the idea of the monomyth popularized by thinkers like Joseph Campbell, C.S. Lewis, and (more recently) Jordan Peterson. One way of understanding a piece of what they have said is that all humans […]

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Book Notes: “Sabriel” Resurrects the Hero’s Journey for a Story About Life and Death

It seems that so many fantasy stories center on the relationship between death and life – and the various ways in which it can go wrong. From Tolkien’s Numenoreans to Rowling’s Deatheaters, the villains in many stories become villains because they refuse to acknowledge death as a part of life. In fantasy and in reality, […]

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This Job Is Going To Be Legendary: How Archetypes Keep Showing Up In Work

No normal kid has ever wanted to be a marketer. I certainly didn’t. I grew up reading legends and stories of monarchs, knights, adventurers, and wizards. If you’re anything like me and many kids, these were *our* ideal roles. It’s why many of us spent time playing them out. And yet here we are. Instead of becoming heroes in […]

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You’re Not the Only Person On a Quest

Quest, n. “a long or arduous search for something.” If, like me, you feel like you’re on a quest in your life, it’s very easy to treat other people as background characters at best and obstacles to be overcome at best. After all, a quest is “a long, arduous search for something.” If your search […]

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Why You Should Know Some Stories By Heart

“Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why.” – Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers  I’m one of those people who love re-watching favorite movies and re-reading favorite stories. Just this weekend I re-watched Saving Private Ryan as well as (on […]

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