One of my favorite chapters in the bible is Genesis chapter 15, you can read this short account that has God and Abram in it by clicking here. If you are unfamiliar with the story, I strongly encourage you to read it before going on any further in this post.

I love this story because it is one of many drop-the-mic moments for God. That said, this moment in particular has a bit more nuance and deserves some context building. However, before I do that, I want to lay the foundation for an aspect of God’s character that this…


Course correction shapes future outcomes.

Reflection is about course correction, course correction has to do with both thinking about the actions that produced good outcomes and the actions that produced negative outcomes. Consistently reflecting on your behavior is critically important to the sustained growth of relationships.

Separate yourself from the emotions.

Purposeful reflection allows you to exist outside of the moments that produced good or bad outcomes. This is important because it allows you to separate yourself from the emotions you were experiencing in those moments, whether they be positive or negative emotions.

Take, for example, when you experience laughter with your partner, or with someone that you care about…


The Origin Story

I get this question often: why did you create the UNJRNL? People are usually surprised by my answer I am a writer by trade. I am literally employed to do copy writing and narrative design work. I do freelance writing and I also write fiction. It’s safe to say that writing is one of my passions but one of the greatest challenges that I’ve ever experienced is keeping a consistent journal. The main reason it’s been so challenging for me is because I’ve always approached journaling in the wrong way.

Good journaling shouldn’t be pretty.

Journaling is something that tends to happen at the…


Routine is more powerful than motivation.

People and their patterns have largely remained the same for thousands of years. We are creatures of compulsion and the best way to get over simply acting on our desires is to build good habits.

Motivation is good but it isn’t useful.

Positive habit forming is critical to a happy life characterized by consistency. Habits do an amazing job of replacing motivation. Motivation is all about our desire for a certain outcome; it’s driven by passion and emotion. Habits, on the other hand, are driven by duty, routine, and obligation.

We have all had days when we don’t feel like working, exercising, or making healthy food choices…


4 Netflix Productions That Do It Right

I’ve reached the age where I will do one of two things in response to a remake of stories that I grew up on. The first response is generally the more common response that is tainted by nostalgia and is ridiculously presumptuous “This reboot is going to be trash!” Or “Why would you ruin a classic?” Or “Hollywood is lazy, why can’t they be original anymore!” What those of us who engage in this type of kvetching fail to realize is that there are only about seven unique plot types that storytellers use to successfully captivate audiences:

  • Overcoming the Monster


Shaping What It Means to Be Human Through Comic Books

I’m reading a lot of comic books right now and for the most part they’ve all been great. This year I am going to take a new step in my writing career and attempt to write comics myself. I have always had a philosophy about the evolution of literacy that posits that literacy is evolving in ways that people a hundred years ago would have never conceived.The medium of comic books as means of storytelling in my opinion has and will always be on the bleeding edge of this evolution.

Back when I taught middle school I had some students…


Shout to the For All Nerds Show for creating the #ComicsICopped hashtag and shout out to Black Cat Comics in Milpitas CA for lacing me with some of the dopest books that I have read in a while. The suggestions that come from DJ Benhameen are always solid choices and the “Comics I Copped” segment that he does on the show has put me on to titles like Invincible, The Wicked and The Divine and most recently: Bitter Root.

I am not usually a fan of horror books AT ALL but Bitter Root has changed that for me. The creative…


E-pets at the Intersection of Personal Data and Future Tech

Via theverge.com

I just finished the second story in The Verge’s Better Worlds series “Online Reunion,” and it was a huge departure from the first story that I read, in the best ways. If you are following the series, I can offer one piece of advice, read the short story prior to listening to or watching the accompanying adaptation.

Writer Leigh Alexander has craftily woven together a fictional narrative that thrusts readers into an unnerving personal journey of an ambitious journalist. …


Via theverge.com

The Verge kicked off its new story project “Better Worlds” a couple of days ago by dropping the first in a series of ten short stories that envision a future where technology is used to shape a better world. Modern science fiction stories have become synonymous with dystopian futures wherein plot lines are largely concerned with making protagonists suffer… a lot. This is not that; these stories are supposed to be a breath of fresh air amidst the pollution of the nuclear fallout that is modern science fiction.


Sometimes it makes sense to judge a comic book by its cover. Image comics makes it so easy to do that, in the best way, because of their Image Firsts initiative. Image Firsts are reissues of series number ones that sell for a dollar in comic book stores. I’ve fallen in love with quite a few long running series after picking up their first issues from my local comic book shop Black Cat Comics. (shout out to the Black Cat gang Mark, Francie, Anthony, and Al!) Invincible, Kill or Be Killed, and Descender to name a few.

Recently I picked…

R. A. Ingram

Maker. Author of 13 and Some Change. Editor of BLERD Takes. Black dad and writer in the Bay Area. Lover of breakfast and Black superheroes.

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