Not long ago I had the exciting opportunity to be interviewed by Lynda Schab from FaithReaders. I had fun answering her questions and sharing more things about my life. In yet another risk-taking move, I'm going to copy and paste my interview here for anyone who would like to know more about me. (If this isn't allowed for any reason then I understand if I must remove it) I'm not trying to be vain or a show off or anything like that. I just want to share this with any interested minds, and also because I like to document almost everything I write as long as I feel it's good enough. (Forgive me for a few mistakes I made)
Personally, I don't know if I even deserved to get this kind of recognition alongside the other great writers, but of course I always expect a lot from myself and sometimes allow perfectionism to drive me batty. I hope that everyone who wants an interview can have one too.
Following the interview, I finally put together an organized list of my written articles in chronological order by category so you can find what you want easier (some overlap categories). Until Faithwriters gives us more options for organizing our work, I feel like this is the best option. There's no need to critique this because it's already finished but if you really want to... I can't stop you. lol Comments are welcome.
(This interview has not been changed in any way. To see the original you can go to the following link: http://www.faithreaders.com/featured-author-archives.php)
Jacob Gibson credits fellow FaithWriters member, Dixie Phillips, for introducing him to FaithWriters.com. Since he joined in December 2007, Jacob has written dozens of articles that he has posted on FaithWriters and in the Free Reprints section for FaithReaders.com. Join interviewer, Lynda Schab, as she talks to Jacob about his faith, his writing, and some challenges he has faced.
LYNDA SCHAB: Start by telling us a little about yourself.
JACOB GIBSON: I was born in Cedar Falls, IA and have lived most of my life in Charles City, IA. We live in the country and have a small pond, three cats, a collie, and three golden red pheasants. My dad is the captain of police in C.C. My mom has enjoyed several years of self-employment with a flexible schedule; she had a registered daycare when I was younger and now a cleaning business. They work very hard and do so much for me, and I'm very proud of them both. My younger brother will be a senior in school this year and he likes the outdoors, driving, and buying new things. He's at least an foot taller than me and we seem to have opposite personalities and interests (he's more extroverted, I'm more introverted; he likes physical work, I like exercising my mind). He's pretty smart and funny.
I was led to Christ at a very young age and have continued to grow closer to Him with His help. I went to an amazing Christian school in Floyd, IA called Lighthouse Academy from 1st-12th grade and graduated with 10 other students - our current record number of graduates! The teachers there were so patient with me and I can't begin to say how much a blessing it was to attend. Right after graduation I started college, and between semesters, I worked at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp for 3 summers as a kitchen assistant, which was also a tremendous blessing.
I think one good word to describe myself is unconventional. I've often felt somewhat different from most people around me and didn't know why until after college graduation when I was officially diagnosed with Asperberg's Syndrome—a mild form of autism. But I'm learning to like myself for who I am and not worry about being just like everyone else. ("God doesn't make junk!" as someone once said.) My case of autism can cause difficulties like forgetting things, thinking a little slower than others, and not always knowing what to say to people. It's much easier for me to write than talk because I have time to organize my thoughts and can see what I'm trying to say. Thankfully, I'm not as bad off as some autistic people and God has truly helped me overcome many struggles over time like shyness, fears, and low self-esteem.
LYNDA: Have you always liked to write? And do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
JACOB: I think it's possible that I've enjoyed writing almost my whole life. When I was younger I would spend hours at my desk drawing and writing stories. I filled up a few notebooks with them. I often copied from the things I saw on TV and video games and stuck them in the stories, sometimes unintentionally. Interestingly, the stories I wrote as a kid are much like the ones I still want to write today, only on a much bigger scale (and with no plagiarism, just inspiration).
For some reason, I usually didn't enjoy writing at school, probably because I had to keep erasing mistakes and rewriting the same things, like with first drafts. But I found a new passion for it after I was taught how to type, because now I can use the computer which is much easier and more effective for organizing my thoughts, as well as editing. It would have taken me much longer to finish this interview if I had to do it with pencil and paper!
LYNDA: That is so true! How did people ever survive without computers? LoL. You have a college degree. What did you go to school for and do you have a "regular job?"
JACOB: I attended NIACC (North Iowa Area Community College) for a two-year degree in general education. Since I didn't know for sure what major I wanted to study and didn't want to regret a bad decision, I just learned a little of everything, which I think worked fairly well. Although I didn't enjoy all of the classes (like history and insurance), some were very fun and eye-opening, like Ethics, Psychology, and Philosophy. When I took the writing classes, I discovered, or perhaps rediscovered, that I loved to write. Now, writing is probably what I want to be my main focus.
I currently have a regular job at a grocery store as a courtesy clerk. I sack groceries, push carts, clean a little, organize shelves, and help customers load groceries in their vehicle if they want. I'm blessed to be surrounded by many friendly workers and customers, and have a very stable job in this economy. (Count your many blessings and see what God has done!)
LYNDA: How did you find FaithWriters and what made you stick around?
JACOB: I had actually never heard of FaithWriters until someone told me about it. Our pastor's wife, Dixie Phillips, a very wonderful friend and genuine Christian, recommended I join after I had e-mailed her with her endless questions about publishing and the like, and she said that it could answer some questions and open doors for me. (She was right!) When I first joined in February '08, I only had one article to submit; a poem called Beyond Myself (http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=79185) that I really liked - and still do. Soon after, I had an idea for a short story about the parable of the woman with the two coins and so I followed with that. Then I had another idea for something to write, and another, and another, until now I have written much more than I first thought I would. I've stayed with FW because of the many helpful, friendly critiques I've received and because I enjoy reading others' work. The place is overflowing with godly talent!
LYNDA: I couldn't agree more, Jacob! So what types of books do you like to read?
JACOB: A variety of kinds. I've read some science fiction (Battlefield Earth), a few fantasy (Eragon, Narnia), spiritual growth (The Purpose-Driven Life!), Christian fiction (Left Behind, and Forever by Karen Kingsbury), how-to's (The Idiot's Guide to Getting Published), educational (From Sea to Shining Sea), and more. I try to read books that will help me to be a better person and writer, better understand the world, and learn what makes a good story. I'm considering reading more classic literature like Mark Twain and Charles Dickens, for more ideas and exposure to great minds. I'll have to consume books like food if I want to be the best writer I can. If only I had more time to read all of the books I want!
LYNDA: What types of writing do you enjoy? And has your work been published yet? Are you working towards publication?
JACOB: I'm happy to write almost anything that pops into my head when I least expect it. I've written poems, songs, short stories, fiction, and a couple of skits. I even think some old college essays were fun to write, and even some random ideas like a concept for a movie and an unusual Christian band. Humor is what I seem to write often, so it's one of my favorites. I don't know if any of my work has been published yet (from the FaithReaders Free Reprints), but I'm hoping some of it will be, eventually. I should probably try harder to publish my work; it's just that I'm hard on myself and struggle to make my favorite articles good enough to publish. For most of my life I've had a dream to write and publish a sci-fi book series that would I hope would be exciting, emotional, creative, and thought-provoking. But first I'll need plenty of research and advice, and possibly a coauthor too. Dreaming big is almost the only way I know how to dream so that will require much hard work.
LYNDA: Tell us about your family. Are they supportive of your writing aspirations?
JACOB: No, they're not happy about it. They want me to be a lawyer. Just kidding! They're very supportive and encouraging and try to help me however they can. Mom says they're proud of me.
LYNDA: What are some of your other hobbies or interests?
JACOB: I love drama, especially Christian drama which is a powerful tool for sharing the gospel. It's a lot of fun to become another person for a short time and express yourself in ways you usually don't. I've performed in Christmas and Easter plays at church, acted in a fantastic mime drama of Jesus' life called "Awaken" from Riverside, made two skits for a talent show, competed and placed in drama at Illinois ACE student convention, and recently acted in a church play about pirates called The Great White Pearl (on July 24 & 25).
I love to play piano and have been practicing it for several years. For awhile I was really into video games (a little too much) but now I try not to spend much time with those, although I have some fun memories of old games, occasionally listen to video game music remixes on the internet, and have even played vg music at two piano recitals alongside Christian songs. I enjoy doing almost anything with my friends and family. I'm trying to learn some new skills like drawing better and I'll have to see if that's something I like enough to keep doing. As a kid I loved to draw mazes and build things with legos, especially structures I could roll marbles through. I like to work with my hands and mind and try new things, and there's plenty I want to learn and do before I kick the bucket.
LYNDA: For fun, give your answers to the following:
Favorite music group(s): Newsboys, Tobymac, David Crowder Band, Third Day, and Keith Green, and I also like hymns and music with a great beat and message.
Love or hate amusement parks? I love big roller coasters but hate spinning rides.
Favorite television show(s): I don't watch must TV; I prefer to read books, type on the computer, and watch movies. I sometimes like to watch some kinds of anime (Japanese cartoons) because of their art and emotion, but it's not always easy to find decent shows (because of things like false spiritual beliefs)
Fruit or veggie person? I love fruit.
Favorite color? Hot pink is one of my favorite colors and I don't care who thinks that's weird.
Greatest passion in life: I think my two biggest passions in life are sharing truth and love. I also like creating new ideas and entertaining people.
LYNDA: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
JACOB: To be honest I'm not entirely sure. All I know is God has promised to give me a hope and a future, and I'm trying to trust and obey Him while I do my best to keep writing, reading, learning new things, and growing in Christ. I have always loved the hymn that goes "Many things about tomorrow I don't seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand." He's taken me this far, and I know He won't just leave me stranded. God has an unbelievable, unthinkable plan for every single person alive if they'll trust and follow Him every day. I personally want to make a great impact on the world and accomplish as much as I can for His glory and kingdom before this short life is over (and do it in a way that's really cool!). Thank you very much for your time and this opportunity. God bless.
LYNDA: It's truly been a pleasure to talk to you, Jacob. Much success to you as you continue on your journey, both as a Christian and a writer.
>> Stuff I forgot to mention... One of my favorite things to do is browse bookstores and electronic stores in the mall. I like to challenge myself in all areas of life. I like the History and Discovery channel. My favorite comic strips include Garfield, Dilbert, Foxtrot, Zits, Pickles, and Frazz. I also like Relient K, ApologetiX (christian parody band), some Coldplay, and dance music.
LIST OF MY FAITHWRITERS ARTICLES, MY FAVORITES IN BOLD,
UPDATED ON 9-3-11 (I've taken down some articles I'm no longer satisfied with but saved them on my computer along with the critiques. I may bring some back if I want to improve them. If you want to see them I can show you by email)
Whispers of Love Hidden Message of Creation Question Everything Echoes of Mercy
The Unsung Writer: a poem or something like that Always and Never, You are Always the Same
Telikos Dunamis kai Agapo (Ultimate Power and Love)
Ode to Winter in Iowa
Admiration of God's Pink Creations*
Remembrance of a Disliked Man
The Whirlwind Inside
The Art and Power of Poetry A Desperate Prayer of Repentance The Music of Heaven The Devil is a Moron
A Modern Psalm of Truth
The Real Winner Best of Bible Sports: Jonah (3 parts) Agape Bridge Solomon Goes Back in Time (the lost document) Jesus, Save me from the Legion! Farewell Uriah, My Love An Enlightening trip to the "Art" Museum
-----HUMOR----- (good grief)
Nature: Teen Guys in the Wild Best of Bible Sports: Jonah (3 parts)
Jake-ofsky's Experimental Idee fixe Dissonance Fantastico*
A Fun Little Song (N0 Subl1m1nal M3ssag3s)
Wonderfully Worthless? Inventions (Don't Call Now) Solomon Goes Back in Time (the lost document)
10 Good Reasons why you shouldn't give your life to Christ
Unpopular Solutions for the U.S. Economy*
Jake-ofsky's Triple Song Lampoon (my apologies)* A Fresh Batch of Home-made jokes (Bible, Chuck Norris, Quotes)
Actual Phobias! Some real, some not A Helpful Smile in almost Every Aisle (+ telephone callback messages)
Ode to Winter in Iowa
Another Fun Little Song (+ the greatest song ever!)*
Comedy Routine Concepts (5: Commercials and such, Fun at work, Logic vs. Absurdity, There goes my approval Rating, and You can has double cheeseburger with bacon)**
God, the Part-time Comedian
Jake-ofsky's Rap: my life in a nutshell (sort of)
Smarty Pants Wisdom (Solomon I am not) The Random Machine, or proof that I am totally crazy
Revenge of Dr. Random: This Too Shall Blow Up
Let it Shine! (flashlight dance) The Storyteller's Book of Randomness (lesson in consistent living) Idea for wild new christian band Ventriliquist Act: Truth and Opinions Blessed Be His Name Fighting the Darkness (blacklight skit)
Mystery of the Walking Fossils (college english paper) Plunging through the Darkness (college philosophy paper)
In Defense of Turning off your TV (college speech paper)
Stand Firm on His promises!
Think on These Things (thoughts on right thinking) Logical Thoughts on God, Science, Religion, and More
Our Facebook Ministry: What we like, Who we're like
Wild Rollercoaster of Life
Live and Love (parody of Live and Learn from Sonic Adventure 2)
Power Tools (or God's toolbox) Join the Rebelution!
One Man's Lament (first draft)* What an Amazing God! (or six days of wonder) Open Your Eyes (parody of Open Your Heart from Sonic Adventure)
Blind Man Running (first draft)
Fantasy Real Forever
Before I Go
Remember, Remember His Perfect Love
Bet Your Life on It!
Get Up! God Save America
Wonder What it's Like
A Martyr's Farewell* Dr. Revitalizer (parody of Move Your Dead Bones)
The Insane Quartet (6 parts)*** Legend of the Yoshisaurus Rex (14 episodes)
LotYR episode previews and summaries Fox Dreams
1. The Gift of Time (over 20 more chapters on my computer still being worked on)
Agape Bridge (a movie with an unconventional look at the gospel)
* Removed for lack of desired quality.
** I removed the comedy routine concepts since they were kind of dumb in places (and very dumb in others).
*** I left two parts of the Insane Quartet but took the rest down because though I felt it was funny it was quite long, both in wordiness and plot, and a lot to dig through for the message at the end.
>>Most of my work could be classified as ABN: anything but normal. But no matter how odd or unconventional my writing is I always want it to bring glory to God in one way or another.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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