the Ragamuffin DVD Winner is…

Missy Vaterlaus!

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Congratulations Missy. I hope you enjoy the movie

{Review} Ragamuffin movie & a DVD giveaway!

I remember the first time I heard a Rich Mullins song.Ragamuffin Or at least the first time I really HEARD a Rich Mullins song. I was driving home from work listening to our local Christian radio station and I heard Creed, based on the Apostles Creed.

I believe in God the Father almighty
Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ
His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried

And I believe what I believe
Is what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not
The invention of any man

The lyrics struck such a cord with me that I rushed out to buy the cassette tape. It didn’t take long before I wore out the tape and had to buy the CD. Rich’s music had a significant impact on my, and I am so grateful that I was able to see him in concert before his death.

When I saw that there would be a movie based on his life and his ministry I couldn’t wait to see it. I was eager to learn more about the man behind the music. This past year as I’ve talked with friends that were able to attend some of the preview screenings of the movie, so many of them talked about the movie being “dark”. Living just outside of Cincinnati, I have friends that attended the same Bible college as Rich and it was clear that the darker side of Rich’s story wasn’t news to them. His struggles weren’t exactly a secret.

But for me, his struggles just made him REAL… not dark. Yes, the movie shows us that he struggled with darkness and depression. But through it all, he sought after the heart of God. He messed up. He made some bad choices.  But he kept seeking God.

I found the movie to be well done and well written. Michael Koch was wonderful as Rich. It’s a challenge to adjust to seeing someone else as Rich Mullins, but when he sings and plays you have a hard time believing that it isn’t Rich at the keyboards. I’m not sure why they choose to portray Rich as an unkempt man 100% of the time. Yes, he was a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy that lived life barefoot when ever possible, but the movie makes it look like he didn’t own a hairbrush. Curious. (To me at least.) But irrelevant to the fact that movie is beautiful story of a man that lived his life fully in search of God, and how the emotional scars he earned along the way made him into the man that created the inspirational music that we all know and love.

Be sure to pick up a copy for yourself and a friend!

http://ragamuffinthemovie.com/buy/

And enter to win a free DVD copy of the movie for yourself!

Enter by leaving a comment. Earn a second entry by sharing on Facebook, and posting again to let me know that you did!

Giveaway ends Friday, July 18th at midnight.

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

{Review} Writing Fiction, by Sharon Watson

Who agrees to review a writing curriculum in the final weeks of her child’s high school graduation? This silly blonde of course!

Why?Writing Fiction

Because it’s about writing fiction! Isn’t that wonderful?

Plus, it’s written by a dear woman that I’ve had the pleasure to work with for the past couple of years. How could I resist?

Writing Fiction [In High School]: Bringing Your Stories to Life!

  • A two-semester course for English credit
  • No prerequisites needed
  • 13 fact-filled chapters, approximately 300 pages
  • Practical lessons and approximately 100 interesting assignments
  • One of only a few fiction texts uniquely designed for high school teens
  • Written to the student in a conversational tone
  • Hundreds of age-appropriate fiction examples from classics to recent novels
  • Optional manuscript track for teens who have already written a story

Not surprisingly, we didn’t get too far into the curriculum before the whirlwind of graduation came down upon us. But, we delved in far enough for me to share how much we loved it!

Here are my top reasons why:

First, Sharon does a great job of laying the foundation for writing before jumping in too deep. With lots of great examples, students are exposed to important concepts such as the important hook in the first sentence, where story ideas come from, and the characters’  point of view. While some students may be chomping at the bit to start writing novels, the curriculum starts at a slow pace with a strong foundation.

Second, the curriculum is flexible. Designed to be used with a group for a full year, it is easily adaptable for different situations. Some lessons are shorter than others meaning that some students or groups may be able to move quickly at different points if desired. There are multiple writing actives, including the manuscript track, for students who want to dig in even deeper.

Third, the supplemental materials and resources are fun for students and easily accessible for mom. From writing their own life story as a fairy tale, to watching The Princess Bride or Sense and Sensibility. Sharon utilizes stories that many students are already familiar with to teach them story structure and theme. By analyzing movies and other materials that they already enjoy, students are more open to the critique process as they work through their own stories.

Fourth… Ooops! I really was only going to give you my top three, since the curriculum has taught us the importance of ‘threes’. But I couldn’t help pointing out… the price! For less than $40 you have a full year’s writing curriculum. For high school curriculum, this is a bargain!

Will this curriculum be perfect for you and your student?

Maybe. I should point out that what I saw as a positive, some families may consider a negative. I LOVED the flexibility of how the lessons and activities were set-up, allowing you to move at the pace of your student and your group. But I know that some families desire a structured lesson plan, with a daily checklist of what to do next. You will not find a daily lesson plan in this curriculum. But to be clear, writing doesn’t work that way.

One of the first things Sharon shares in the book is that every writer’s process is different. And to pull a quote she includes in the student book, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.” –Somerset Maugham, author of Of Human Bondage

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