Tag Archives: nerd

Weekend Report: Michigan Statewide Youth Convention

Eric Anderson (left) and I representing Nerd Chapel at the Michigan Statewide Youth Convention.

My friend/co-author Eric Anderson, founder of Nerd Chapel, tabled at a convention last weekend, though it wasn’t a comic-con. No, it was the Michigan Statewide Youth Convention in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Eric got a table there to promote Nerd Chapel, part of which was selling our devotional, 42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom. He asked to attend to help him out. I was only able to make it Saturday (the event ran from Friday to Sunday), but Saturday was when most of the action happened.

It took me a little longer than I expected to arrive (closer to two hours instead of 90 minutes), but that gave me extra time to listen to the audiobook of That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis, which I’d been meaning to read for a while. I arrived at the Radisson Hotel in downtown, and after fighting with way too many one-way streets (and I thought downtown Fort Wayne had too many), I barely stepped out of my car before an older black woman came up to me begging me to give her money for gas so she could get back to Gary, Indiana, going on about loving Jesus and thanking Him like a southern Baptist. Against my better judgment, I gave her some money. She said she’d pay me back through the mail the following Monday, so I wrote my address on one of my bookmarks and gave it to her. Honestly, I feel like I got suckered. I’m going soft.

Anyway, I walked inside and connected with Eric. Since it was lunchtime, we explored the area looking for a place to eat. We had a short time because he was holding a session at 2pm about using your passions missionally. We tried Subway, but the line was too long. Then we walked a few blocks to a local McDonald’s.

I watched the table for a bit while Eric was downstairs for the session. He asked me to join him a little later because he wanted me to talk a bit about the work I’d done as a Christian in the publishing industry. I mostly stood to the side while Eric did most of the talking, which is a switch for us, usually. I spoke about meeting a young would-be writer at Gen-Con a few years ago at my table and talking with him for almost 45 minutes. Then a bit later he gave me the floor to talk about working in the publishing industry. Eric closed the session with a Q&A. First, he asked if anyone had any serious questions, of which there were few, and then he opened it up to “nerd” questions, of which there were many. A few students even specifically asked me questions about writing. I spent a half-hour talking with several students about comics, Star Wars, and anime afterward.

The rest of the afternoon was relatively quiet. I spoke with some of the people from the other ministries around us. Eric and I had dinner at the fancy bar and grill in the hotel (courtesy of the convention). When the main session was about to start at 7pm, lots of students and youth leaders came to us wanting to learn more about Nerd Chapel or buy books. They said they loved what we were doing and that they’d never heard of ministries like this. Eric and I were encouraged to hear that.

It was once again quiet during the main session. Eric ran lights during it, while I stayed outside the auditorium to watch the table and do some writing. Then for about 30 minutes afterward at 9pm, I was talking with people and selling books. I even met a teenage girl who was once part of a nerd ministry/club/Facebook group with us. She had pink hair to boot.

With that, I joined Eric downstairs in the game room where teens could play video games—include Nintendo 64(!)—and board games. I brought my copies of Star Wars: Epic Duels and Sentinels of the Multiverse. As you’d expect, Epic Duels was a big hit. I played with several teen boys who’d seen me earlier in the day at Eric’s session. We geeked out and had a great time. One of their mothers watched for a few minutes, knowing her son would probably want the game. He did. I told him, “Good luck. The game usually sells for a hundred dollars now.” He seemed determined, though.

I departed for home after that.

All in all, it was a good weekend. Eric and I sold many books and made ourselves known to more people.

Here’s Eric’s blog about the weekend.

This weekend I attend Hall of Heroes Comic-Con in Elkhart, Indiana, though not as a vendor.

NEW BOOK: ’42: Discovering Faith Through Fandom’

Remember when I said I’d write two blogs in one week to make up for not writing? Yeah, that didn’t happen. In the words of the 10th Doctor, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”

But I have a good reason for my unintended hiatus: I’ve been working on two new books! The first of which is now available on Amazon!

Presenting…

Artwork by Ruth Pike.
Artwork by Ruth Pike.

This little book is a devotional for geeks and nerds. It uses the stories, hobbies, and other interests nerds and geeks love to illustrate theological Truth.

Here’s the back cover copy:

Don’t Panic!

Despite what many churchgoers say, God doesn’t think Dungeons & Dragons is “Satan’s game” or that cosplay is childish. In fact, God has imprinted Himself into nerd culture. Yes, all your favorite stories and games point to the LORD Himself. You may doubt, but you know your nerdy hobbies are more than just escapism. They resound with you for a reason. Perhaps you’re not sure why, but they do. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there are profound truths to be mined from those tales.

Join us on a 42-day journey of discovery. Why 42? A famous “Guide” would have you believe that’s “the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.” The trouble is you have to know “the Question.” Maybe that question for you is, “How many days will it take me to learn the Truth?” Or maybe you already know the true “Answer” but want to deepen your faith. Either way, this book is for you! We promise it’ll be fun and challenging. You may never look at your favorite stories, characters, and/or hobbies the same again.

Don’t forget your towel!

It was co-authored by myself and my friend Eric Anderson, the founder of Nerd Chapel. We each took turns writing the 500-800 word devotions for each day. We both bring our unique voices and styles to the book. We mine Truth from things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, G.I.Joe, and even a strange scientific discovery about water crystals!

As I said, the book is available on Amazon for $7.99. Get your copy today!

The Lost Digression: King of the Nerds Audition

Back in 2013, a friend told me that the show King of the Nerds was accepting video auditions for the second season, so he suggested I enter. I put together what I thought was a great video, but when I tried to post it, I learned I’d missed the submission deadline. So, this video has been stashed away on my hard drive since then and only recently did I remember it. I decided I’d post it just for the heck of it. Enjoy!

What’d you think? Could I have gotten on the show?

Please subscribe, comment, and share!

NaPoWriMo, Days 25 & 26: ‘Ballad of a Broken Heart’ and ‘Triumph of the Nerds’

I used yesterday’s prompt but not today’s. Yesterday, I had to write a ballad. I’ve never done that before, and honestly, I was disappointed with my first effort. Feel free to disagree with me, though. Then read my rather silly poem for today. Enjoy!

Day 25:
Ballad of a Broken Heart
By Nathan Marchand

I was foolish and young
When that Cupid’s arrow first stung.
Never knew a girl
Who could throw my heart for a whirl.

She promised loyalty
And I saw her as royalty.
Beautiful as a dove.
I could not help but fall in love.

But I lied to myself,
And she was shrewd like a dark elf.
She perceived how I felt,
And then left my heart with a welt.

This was my first heartbreak.
I still have the same searing ache.
My heart was torn in twain.
How can I ever trust again?

Day 26:
Triumph of the Nerds
By Nathan Marchand

I am a nerd.
Or haven’t you heard
The name you called me an insult
Became my badge of honor as an adult?

I created your favorite TV shows.
Your video games? Wrote the code for those.
You probably read a book I wrote,
And I created the smartphone you use as a remote.

You were king because you played a sport,
But your reign has been short.
The kids at whom your insults were hurled,
In the end, it was them who shaped the world.