Category Archives: News

Don’t Comment Here, Comment Out There

It has been considered generally good blogging advice to enable and use comments on posts. On this blog, comments are disabled.

As I prepare my editorial calendar to begin resuming regular updates, I realized I never explained why I have decided this.

The idea of having comment threads on a blog is to create a tiny social network on the author’s site. Someone posts a comment, and they check back to see who responded. You develop a community on your page.

I believe we have plenty of social networks. There are plenty of ways to express yourself, without censor, without publisher, without editor. Networks like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit as social platforms offer link sharing/commentary.  Even better, it is possible to compose your comment or reaction on Medium, Blogger, WordPress.com, Ghost, or one of almost countless free systems where you can begin to tell your story on your own site or blog.

It’s not an original idea, Seth Godin stopped the comments on his blog over 11 years before I did.

In short, I don’t need to host, moderate, and control your commentary. You can make it in the public space, or on your own space. I want to encourage more conversation, not control it.

If you want to get in touch with me directly, you can email me at wordsmith@eternalrevolution.com.  You can email me if you want to make sure I see your new creation.

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

Christian Samurai (and Pirate) Shirts on Amazon, Free Book Promotion

It has been over a year since my last post, as I adjusted to a “regular job” that takes most of my waking hours.

But I have a very brief update today with 2 points of interest:

The Way of The Christian Samurai is Free on Amazon Kindle today through Monday, April 24. Get your copy here!

The Christian Samurai and Christian Pirate shirts that have been out of print for the past 2 years are back, and on Amazon! I think these are the lowest price I’ve ever been able to offer them at.

If you’re thinking of getting one, act fast. Amazon removes the designs in a few weeks if there are no orders.

Christian Samurai Kanji Cross ShirtChristian Samurai Way is Found in Death Shirt

Christian Pirate Disturb Us Lord Shirt

 

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

New Edition of Clean of Heart Available!

After several years of publishing Clean of Heart by Rosemarie Scott, an invaluable book for overcoming habitual sins against purity – put bluntly, pornography and masturbation –  the program is no longer distributed by myself or Eternal Revolution (or the old name that appears on the Revised Edition of the book, R.A.G.E. Media. )

Rosemarie has a new 3rd edition out, published directly by herself with the help of Amazon (Hooray for Distributism/Microcapitalism!)  and it is available today on Amazon with a new, gorgeous cover.

It has been an honor to serve Rosemarie and those her book has helped these past few years; I pray that the good work is continued.

Please also note that our subscription service has changed, so this email may appear unusual. If you are getting this email, it is probably because you bought G.K. Chesterton products, The Way of the Christian Samurai, or Clean of Heart from Eternal Revolution. Or you signed up on my site, which has also changed.

If you’d like to get blog posts sent to you by email, subscribe with the form on the right side of the page!

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

Mea Culpa

The past several months have been full of radical changes here.  Radical,  coming from the same Latin root as the word “root.”  The shift has changed the very basics of my family’s life,  particularly our available time.

This “root”  change has led me too look back over the past seven years of Eternal Revolution and the projects and books I have created.  I realized that my initial goal – to produce useful books and written materials,  has somehow been diluted and even lost along the way.

What stated as a ministry became a business.  Instead of focusing on words and the Word,  I took on more projects with the hope that they would help provide for my family while I wrote.  Eventually,  I was spending more time marketing, making board game pieces,  designing and printing t-shirts,  and the bookkeeping necessary for so many irons in the fire that there was no time to do that which I set out to do.

When God called Abraham out of Ur,  He told Abraham to leave family behind.  Instead,  Abraham took Lot and his family along too.  Much of Abraham’s troubles on his journey were due to the Lot he brought with him; and a great man struggles and fruitlessness has come from my lot.

When we step back from life we call it a spiritual retreat.  In battle,  a retreat is a tactic to regroup and continue the fight later,  limiting your losses.  These past few weeks have been a retreat for me in both senses.  Like Gideon,  when I next charge forth I must do it with reliance on God,  not what I think I need to add to the mission to make it viable.

For that reason,  I have already begun to cast off the extra lot I have taken on,  and this process will continue for a few more months.  The T-shirts have already been marked down by 20%. Also,  the book Clean of Heart by Rosemarie Scott –  a wonderful program for overcoming pornography addiction –  will be moving to another publisher.  There will be some updates in the future as those projects shut down.

As for this blog,  I realized I have made several missteps.  Trying to force myself to write on a regular basis –  a best practice for blogging – has led to less other writing and a quality I was not thrilled with.  I also realized that there are some current events that should be addressed. Finally,  while tying to leave out the Catholic aspects of my faith for the sake of reaching a more general Christian audience has left several important spiritual warfare resources out.  There is a reason that Chesterton called it “The last fighting for of Christianity.”

Over the next few weeks and months,  there will be more tearing down and rebuilding.  The blog will be restructured after the four methods of fighting the Eternal Revolution,  as written in the book I finished this spring.  The website format will change as the ministry simplifies itself again.  There will be some updates about sales and final chances to get products that are being discontinued,  and hopefully soon new articles will be posted and books published (and re-published) to encourage and support all of us fighting the war we call the Christian life.

Pray for Revolution.

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

Eternal Revolution eBook FREE on Amazon

It is finally available!

The Eternal Revolution is now available on Amazon.com. And to celebrate, for today and tomorrow, the book is free for the Kindle!

Get your copy of The Eternal Revolution today!

Remember, even if you don’t have a Kindle, the software for Kindle is free for iOS, PC, Mac, and Android.

Please tell anyone you know who might be interested. When you get a chance, please write a review on Amazon or or on Goodreads for the book.

Physical Dead-Tree Copy Coming Soon

I expect to have the traditional, physical copy in July, after layout and printing are completed.

Why Free?

This is a “soft launch” – I won’t begin promoting the book until the physical edition is ready. Having the book go free for a couple days helps it not get lost in the sea of products on Amazon, and if I am going to give it away for a limited time, I’d like to make sure those of you who are following the blog are the first to get in on it.

Besides, I’m confident that you will want to share the book with others, and your recommendation will be worth much more than just asking you for a few dollars now.

So don’t delay: Get your copy, read it, and tell everyone you know!

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

The Saga of Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype

With the nostalgia of cleaning out old products (see my immediately prior posts about clearance Chesterton quote shirts) I thought it might be a good idea to revisit one of the most successful, most trying, and ultimately most distracting products I ever produced: Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype.

I still get emails asking about the game, and it is in fact sold out everywhere. I have not even seen used copies surface, and we have made and produced around 1,000 copies of the game.

It began with a joke, over a 100 years ago. G.K. Chesterton, of whom I write about and from whom I get a great deal of inspiration, created a game called Gype with his friend H.G. Wells. Chesterton writes in his Autobiography:

“I also remember that it was  we [Wells and GKC] who invented the well-known and widespread national game of Gype.  All sorts of variations and complications were invented in connection with Gype. There was Land Gype and Water Gype.  I myself cut out and coloured pieces of cardboard of mysterious and significant shapes, the instruments of Table Gype; a game for the little ones.  It was even duly settled what disease threatened the over-assiduous player; he tended to suffer from Gype’s Ear.  My friends and I introduced allusions to the fashionable sport in our articles; Bentley successfully passed one through the Daily News and I through some other paper. Everything was in order and going forward; except the game itself, which has not yet been invented.”

That is all there is; to date none of these references seem to have been located.

My brother Chris and I, in much more recent history, have been playing at making games since we were kids. As we got older, we discovered the hobby board game market. Euros, designer games, whatever you call them, we are into board games. Not the mass-produced junk like Monopoly and Life, but the kind of games that start with Settlers of Catan and wind you through titles like Thunderstone, Alien Frontiers, and Empire Builder. You will find my posts and BoardGameGeek.com.

So on a whim, and frustrated by modern and vague theories of “gype,” in a flash of inspiration we came up with the concept of Chinese Checkers, a chess board, and dice as pieces as a possible modern take on the game that was never invented. Simply get from one side of the board to the other, but with constantly changing rules of movement that are as random as the roll of a die.

Since it was not exactly what Chesterton had made, since he really did not make the game at all, we called it Uncle Chestnut’s Table Gype. Uncle Chestnut was a nickname some local children had for GKC, and I had recently written a book about Chesterton for children using that nickname

 

Custom dice are expensive to produce, but our first 50 sets were done with industrial strength stickers and blank dice. Eventually we realized we could woodburn with a branding iron the images on the faces of a wooden cube, and use Rit dye as a safe – but unpredictable and limited – coloring agent. With the heat press I used to make shirts, we produced the board and the bag in house.

This is where the joke catches up to us. We submitted the game to the Mensa Mind Games competition in 2011. At this point we were using a hand iron, and if I recall it took us about 2 hours to make less than a dozen games. Rather, it took us that long just to stamp the dice. According to my shipping records, the games arrived on the very last day submissions were being accepted, and in a few weeks – Palm Sunday, 2011 – we got word from witnesses that Table Gype was one of the top 5 games of the year, and a recipient of the Mensa Select award.

Now, we suddenly had a product. There was a flurry of activity that I involved speaking with the games buyer for Barnes & Noble as well as a lot of other retailers, and the glaring problem that producing these games as we were was just not feasible. Positive reviews from Tom Vasel and others fueled interest in our little game. Table Gype was nominated for a Golden Geek award, and made Games Magazine’s top 100 games for 2011.

One of the most common questions we got was about pronunciation. I assume Chesterton and Wells used the Scottish pronunciation, which sound like “jip” – the root of that word, as it turns out, since gype means to joke or fool. To avoid spelling confusion, we pronounced the game with a hard “g” and rhymed it with hype.

Our solution to producing the game was to get a drill-press mounted branding iron, which you can see in use in our Kickstarter video. The rig worked well, and while time-consuming it was less expensive than plastic dice, more environmentally friendly, and a whole lot faster than the old method.

While our home-made aesthetics resounded well with some gamers, retailers did not like our packaging. There were others who strongly disliked the look and feel; our comment cards from the Mensa Mind Games event were pretty much split down the middle between getting highest marks for aesthetics (often citing that cloth and wood felt so much better than plastic and cardboard) and the lowest marks for it feeling “cheap.”

After 9 months of frenzied selling, a poorly planned but very rewarding trip to Gen Con Indy (we did not sell much, but made some really good friendships), sales bottomed out in early 2012. Marketing a single game is not a winning proposition, and the entire time I had been making games and promoting Gype, nothing was getting written or done with the rest of Eternal Revolution. There was really no crossover to promoting books inspired by Chesterton, or Chesterton apparel and a board game. Hobby gaming is its own niche world.

The last of the games sold in 2013, and while I have had some interest from publishers, there are no plans in the immediate future to produce Table Gype again. It has been a hard (and fun) lesson in chasing exciting projects that are outside of your calling. Chris and I did consider getting into full-blown game publishing, but it was clear it was not our path in life at this time. Shortly after the roller coaster ride of Gype, Chris began studies at seminary. I’m getting back to the core mission that I started Eternal Revolution to do.

There are a lot of good things we can do with our lives, but not all of them are the things God wants us to do with them. Table Gype must have had its purpose, even if only to teach that lesson. It was an adventure, but not a financially successful one.

If you are interested in Table Gype, any news will be announced on the BoardGameGeek.com entry for the game. The rules are posted there as well. You can also play the game for free online at BoardGameArena.com.

 

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

Way of the Christian Samurai on Kindle Lending Library

If you have a Kindle device and an Amazon Prime membership, you can now borrow The Way of the Christian Samurai for free for a month!

Check it out here on Amazon.

You can also get I Hate Christmas! and the Microcapitalist Manifesto from the lending library as well.

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.

Dying Light and the Eternal Revolution

This site and this company were not always called Eternal Revolution. For quite a while, t-shirts, books, and the occasional multimedia product were distributed through my efforts under the name R.A.G.E. Media, at DyingLight.com.

I still get traffic from searches for items from the old company – probably in part because the old company name and url are on books that are out there in circulation.

Yet another product is in the works using the popular “Dying Light” title. It’s definitely catchy. But I was surprised by how many did not get the reference to “dying light,” despite it being a popular theme in numerous movies, TV shows, books, and so on.

Both the name R.A.G.E. Media (standing for Rebellious Affirmation of Greater Existence) and the url DyingLight.com were references to the poem “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” which features the refrain, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

What better way to experience a poem than to hear the author read it:

You can also read the full text here at Poets.org.

Having a name like R.A.G.E. for a company got me a lot of questioning comments and questions. “Why so angry?” was a common theme of inquiry.

There are things in our existence that are worth our anger and our rage. While Dylan Thomas’ poem was about death, and not going quietly into “that good night,” I – as many others before me – used a good vs evil interpretation of the phrase. Raging against the apparent dying of Christ’s light in the world and the looming threat of a not-so-good darkness.

Anger, after all, was exhibited by our Lord when He turned out the merchants and money lenders in the temple, an event recorded in all four Gospels. Was that not validation of rage at evil?

However, in time and with the help of a friend the company was renamed, this time for a chapter from G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, “The Eternal Revolution.” The name change reflected a more significant shift from focusing on raging at the apparent fading of the light in the world, to dealing with the more personal war of each soul to partake in the kingdom of heaven.

Rage, anger, and cursing the darkness have their place in time, as all things do. But the constant fight to turn ourselves to God – an ongoing re- volution – is a far more perennial endeavor. The mission of Eternal Revolution is still to equip Christians for spiritual combat, but the focus is far more introspective.

So if you have come here via DyingLight.com, welcome. We’re still resisting the darkness here at Eternal Revolution. Come join us, and pray for revolution.

Paul Nowak is a husband and father of 7, who also happens to be a writer and author. He has written The Way of the Christian Samurai among other books.