The Wondering Years – A Book Review

The Wondering YearsWhen you’ve spent a good deal of your life absorbing pop culture, it only makes sense that you would filter everything else in your life, including spirituality, through the lens of pop culture. That’s just what Knock McCoy did, as he grew up and began to come to grips with spirituality and with his own Christianity, he took lessons that he had learned from all the pop culture he had been exposed to and used them to try to make sense of things.

McCoy plays to his strengths in “The Wondering Years.” He is a writer and screenwriter and he lets his own sense of humor bleed through. He also uses his gift for screenwriting to bring humor to certain chapters, inserting screenplay excerpts pertaining to the crisis he is describing at the moment in the chapter.

No topic seems to be off limits for McCoy and he isn’t afraid to throw himself under the bus, over and over again. Punches in the face as a child. Admissions testing for a private school. High school athletics. Getting married young. McCoy hits as many topics as he can and through it all, he weaves his way through the various pop culture icons he encountered on his way to growing up.

Reading through the pages of “The Wondering Years” is like watching an old 8MM home movie. There’s a bit of nostalgia, some awkward memories that might rear their ugly heads, and a whole lot of smiling. It’s not a book that I would read over and over again.

McCoy is a gifted and humorous writer. As an introduction to him, this book made me want to explore other things that he has written. If nothing else, this book is entertaining. It isn’t replete with deep theological nuggets or biblical references, but I doubt anyone came looking for that here, and if they did, they’ll be disappointed.

(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Booklook Bloggers. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)

Happy New Year 2014

2013 2014 new yearHappy New Year!  I said yesterday that I’m not one for resolutions, but I definitely like to set goals for myself.  2014 has a lot of potential and I am hoping to realize that potential.  There are things that may finally come to fruition after a long time of waiting.  There are things that I need to finally find resolution for that have seemed unresolved for way too long.  I have my own little punch list of things that I just need to move through and past, so if I’m resolved to do anything, it’s to work my way through that list.

I’ve tried to find rhythm here in the blogosphere, sometimes with a very small amount of success, but mostly to average proportions.  People aren’t flocking to read what I have to say, and that’s fine.  I didn’t start the blog so that I would get popular, I started it so that I had a place to share my thoughts, some of which might be helpful, some of which might just be standard and mundane.

When I originally started my blog a number of years ago, I wanted to come up with a catchy name.  Having had to deal with the aftermath of growing up in a conservative, evangelical church, the idea of confessions of a recovering P.K. (which stands for pastor’s kid to those who might not be familiar with the term) stood out to me.

Since then, I have probably not focused as much on the confessions as the title would indicate.  My hope for 2014 is that I can do just that.  The idea of confessing around what it was like to grow up as the son of a pastor is something that most of the preacher’s kids that I know have had to do in some shape or form.  I am hoping and planning to make that a more integral part of this blog as we move into 2014.

The stories that seem to get the most attention here generally have to do with pop culture.  We are a culture that likes to know what other people are doing, and when they don’t always do it gracefully, we generally take interest in that.  I don’t like to capitalize on people’s mistakes, but my own experience has always been that I would much rather learn from the mistakes of others rather than making those same mistakes myself.  I will continue to search the headlines to find connection points into my own life.

Pop culture has been an important part of my life since high school.  I think it has a lot to do with some of the prohibitions that I had as a kid.  My movie and music collection far exceeds anything that my parents had and I am sure that they would have frowned on movies that I have seen.  I have generally tried to find redemptive value in things rather than pointing out the number of curse words that I hear.  We all have a story to tell, we tell those stories in our own ways, our worldviews bleed through because that’s just who we are.

I hope to dive into some more of this pop culture in 2014.  A friend of mine who has been following the blog had some ideas for me.  As we are both Bob Dylan fans, it has to do with that and I am trying to figure out exactly how to write about it in such a way that even those who are not avid fans of Mr. Zimmerman might still take interest.  I hope that 2014 will open the way to that.

I still have a story to tell about these past few years, primarily with the loss of my parents.  I’m not quite sure how that will take shape, but I know that it tends to come out frequently in my posts.  I think that if I had a specific outlet for it, it might not seem quite as prevalent here.  That’s not to say that it’s unimportant or shouldn’t be mentioned, but if there’s an outlet, it might not come across as whining or complaining, which is what I certainly want to avoid.

Overall, I’m excited to see what 2014 will hold.  No resolutions, but goals and plans nonetheless.  Of course, what’s that saying about the best laid plans?  I’m just going where the road takes me, regardless of the direction that I want it to go.  Thanks for coming along on the ride.  I look forward to the adventure and the journey.  The journey is the formative part, and I’m hoping that it can be formative for us all.