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Category: Society & Culture

The Writer’s Lens is hosted by author, Josh “J.C.L.” Faltot and discusses publication, passion, opportunity, failure, and what it’s like to view the world through the guise of a writer.

November 18, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - E15: Is Writing a Spiritual Journey?

Just like the title implies, could writing be considered a spiritual venture?

Recently, I heard that exact phrase from an individual I tend to admire. And thus, I wanted to delve deeper into what that might mean. In this episode, I look at why we might consider that to be true. And what modern science might have to say about it. What happens to our minds when we write and where inspiration might ultimately be coming from.

What do you think? 



November 15, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - E14: Creatives and Their Priorities

It's easy to get lost in the woods. If you feel determined to succeed at something, you may find yourself making compromises you never thought you would: breaking appointments with friends to work on your craft, forsaking time with your kids or spouse, or spending money on anything and everything to get something done. 

As of late, I've felt convicted to do a reassessment of my own priorities. And how I've been managing them. Am I doing right by myself? By others? In this episode, I talk about how I try to align my priorities properly. And hopefully share some insight into how we can feel accomplished while still making our way up the mountain. Because as we all know, the top of the mountain isn't the end of the story: it's only the start of something new all over again. 


November 14, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - E13: Dinosaurs… Wait, What?

I promised I would. Now, here it is: an entire episode dedicated to one of my favorite childhood pastimes: dinosaurs. I wasn't sure if I could tie in dinosaurs to the creative process; or storytelling - or anything related to this podcast, but with this episode, I certainly give it my best shot. 

Enjoy (and hopefully you learn something new about dinosaurs in the process). 

November 7, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - Review: Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Another review. And this time it's not a television show. In this episode, I tackle the story and plot of the Red Rising Trilogy, as written by author Pierce Brown. 

A dystopian society existing several hundreds of years in the future, Red Rising follows Darrow - a lowly worker on Mars who finds out his entire existence and life of servitude is a lie, as the people who live on the surface are wining and dining and living great lives; all within the Society's "Color Hierarchy". 

Aside from giving my review, I talk about the nature of relationships in big war stories like this one. I also touch on the nature of first-person versus third-person narrative as well as how one might view a book like this 20 years from now. 

Lastly, I hope to interview Mr. Brown at some point in the near future (The challenge made. The challenge accepted). 

November 5, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - E12: How Story Affects Us - Part 2

Finally finishing up part 2 of storytelling and its purpose. This episode looks at the last 2 parts of storytelling as it is defined by our good friend, Webster, wherein story is often used to develop cultural values as well as morals.

Often a society's culture and its morals can intertwine. Where the culture is affected by its morals. Or its morals tend to be shaped by the culture that's created. 

And how does storytelling come into play here? Do stories play a role in establishing either of these? I would say the overwhelming answer to that question is yes

As such, I take - an albeit brief - look into story as it pertains to our culture and morals.  

October 31, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - Review: Stranger Things, Season 2

It's Halloween night. Yes, I am doing a series on creativity and the writing process. And yes, I do interviews with other creative folks. But, I'm thinking that I can do reviews once in a while too (this is a creatively-based podcast, after all). 

So keeping that spirit in mind, I decided to do a quick episode on my thoughts / opinions / impressions of the latest season of "Stranger Things" on Netflix. Complete with SPOILERS. You have been warned.... 

What did the rest of you think? Check it out..."mouth-breather." 


October 25, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - Interview 05: Brent McLaughlin, On the Importance of Journaling, Part 2

"Our memories aren't perfect."

Part 2 of my interview with fellow scribe, Brent McLaughlin, takes us down the rabbit hole of what can be truly beneficial in keeping a personal journal. As I stated in Part 1, Brent is the zen master when it comes to reflection and seeing growth in his life.

And in this section, Brent and I talk about the life-giving aspect of journaling. How our frustrations can help us gain insight into who we are. And how common themes tend to shape us. Kudos to my brother-in-arms for sharing some personal things with the Internet world in hope to encourage others.


October 25, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - Interview 05: Brent McLaughlin, On the Importance of Journaling, Part 1

My next guest comes as a two-parter. Brent McLaughlin, a fellow scribe, friend and co-founder of a local writer's group in Northeast Ohio, shares his insights on journaling and why sometimes journaling can be overlooked in a person's life. Not just for the creative in us, but anybody.

One of the things I've always admired about Brent is his purpose-driven lifestyle. Everything he does is with purpose. With direction. And with passion. Doing so with one eye on the future and the other on the past; careful and mindful of what he's learned and what's he's currently learning.

Having overcome several personal obstacles, Brent shares some insights he's had while keeping a personal journal for the past five years. Side note: I can't even keep one for a month!

Anyway, I'm excited to share part one of my interview with him. 

Part 2 to follow.

October 21, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - E11: Interview Decompression, aka Cool Things I’ve Learned

Fantasy, entrepreneurialism, and returning from war with a desire to touch the next generation. 

I've been doing interviews for the past month (all of which have been astounding) and instead of just letting them linger out in social media land, I felt compelled to do a bit of decompression on what I've been learning. So, in this episode, I tackle some of my favorite takeaways from my last three interviews: 

Darrick Dean, author of Among the Shadows

Daniel Luketic, entrepreneur

Dr. Robert Snyder, author of What is a Veteran, Anyway? 

Oh, and I even say "by golly" at least once. A phrase I hope to cut out of my vocabulary as soon as humanly possible. 

October 13, 2017

The Writer’s Lens - Interview 04: Dr. Robert Snyder, “What is a Veteran, Anyway?”

"What is a Veteran, Anyway?"

Dr. Robert Snyder is a professor, army veteran of 15 years, and author of the children's book, "What is a Veteran, Anyway?" Dr. Snyder served in the Iraq War in 2003 and during his time there, he came up with the idea for a children's book on what it meant to be a veteran; in hopes of addressing the many questions children might have when one of their parents have to leave and serve overseas. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Snyder at a "Meet the Authors" event in Pennsylvania, and after some conversation and learning about one another, I asked Dr. Snyder if he'd be willing to share some of his personal story on how and why he wanted to write a children's book.

In addition to that, Dr. Snyder is a traditionally published author - unlike many of the self-published authors I run into - so I was curious also to get his take on the process and how things have been going thus far (and by all accounts, very well!). Here you can catch the video portion of the interview where we discuss these items among other things related to his time serving in Iraq.

For more on Dr. Snyder and his books, you can visit his webpage at www.robertsnyderbooks.com or like his page on Facebook and Instagram.