I enjoy discovering new bands and musicians—new to me, anyway. It’s always a special moment when I hear a song for the first time and go, “Wow. Wish I’d already known about these guys.” Last year, it was Ray LaMontagne and Dead Confederate. Last week, it was The Civil Wars and Doug Burr. In the process of Googling their backgrounds and influences, I stumbled upon the following quote by Mr. Burr (singer/songwriter).

"Christian music is really a term created by the Christian Contemporary Music industry that basically means the stuff they'll put out and play on Christian radio stations. And what that industry does is try to sell an anesthetized version of life. Safe music is really their only priority. And is therefore irrelevant. I just don't think that's what the good Lord had in mind for art. I think it serves a much greater purpose than that. I view writing like a photographer. And sometimes you have to write like a war photographer shoots the war—and it gets ugly. So I consider myself a Christian who makes music.”

That got me thinking about my writing—not that I would consider it "art" (yet). I've blogged before about how often I receive quizzical looks bordering on disdain when I tell friends and co-workers that my preferred genre is "speculative fiction" (sci-fi, fantasy, horror). Since I’m a Christ-following Jr. High English teacher, they think I should be writing inspirational stories for young adults: Chicken Soup for the Teen-Angst Soul or something similar. Maybe I will someday in the distant future, but for now I appreciate the freedom to write about darkness and light, as well as everything else in between.
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