An Interview with Bedlam Magazine’s Cory Copeland

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There have been some great new publications coming out online in the past few months or so. I now read the news consistently (thanks Vox.com). But my newest favorite publication is Bedlam Magazine, an online blog-style magazine that writes about faith, culture and people. I love the honest articles on faith and social issues that are focused on asking questions and honest discussion, not on dictated “answers”. Today, I’m interviewing Cory Copeland, the Editor-in-Chief of Bedlam.

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Cory Copeland

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Alright! I’m Cory Copeland, an author and husband and father living in Little Rock, Arkansas with my wife Bri. I’m the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Bedlam Magazine (BedlamMag.com) and we’re aiming to cause a commotion.

You helped to co-found Bedlam Magazine. What moved or inspired you to found it, and why is Bedlam unique from other online magazines?
My partners (Jayson Schmidt and Cassi Clerget) and I were growing complacent with a lot of the content we were seeing online in the Christian community. A lot of it seemed very safe and uninspired. So we decided to create a place where anyone could come and learn and share about anything. Rape culture, drugs, sex, abuse, everything is up for debate at Bedlam and we aim to do that with compassion and grace. We want to cause a commotion but we never try to incite or anger anyone. We’re about family and supporting one another. I think that sets Bedlam apart from a lot of other sites who also focus on faith and culture.

photo 3What is your favorite part about your role as editor-in-chief of Bedlam? Are there any challenges as editor that you didn’t anticipate before starting?
My favorite part is building this family and community around Bedlam with the writers and editors and street team and readers. Every day feels like one big family reunion (albeit online) and there’s a sense of camaraderie and safety that comes with that.

Your writing background before Bedlam?
I started writing online in late 2011 and was able to build a small readership through my ramblings on God, Life, and Love. From there, I built relationships with the people I work with now. I’ve published three books. One is my story of confusing infatuation with love in my first marriage, the second was a novel, and my latest is a devotional that was released last year.

Favorite or most important topics that you write about?
I have a passion for relationships. I’ve made so many mistakes in my romantic life and caused (and felt) so much pain, that I almost see it as my responsibility to allow others to learn from my mistakes and hopefully avoid all the heartache I’ve been through.
I also feel it’s necessary to discuss issues like depression and addiction, things I personally deal with every single day. People need to know they’re not alone in those struggles, and I enjoy being someone they can relate to and talk to.

If you could sit down and have a long conversation over coffee with one person, who would it be?
I don’t drink coffee, so may I have a hot chocolate instead? haha
I would have to say Jack Kerouac. His writing is what made me want to be a writer and he was so insane with the words that I want to understand that. I want to learn from him and try to understand what it means to be that good of a writer.

A Guide to Agatha Christie’s Poirot

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, I promised over the weekend that I’d be posting a roundup of my favorite Poirot episodes. If you’ve never seen Poirot, but like a good mystery, then you’re in for a treat. This 13-season series ran for years on television, starting in 1989. They filmed all of Agatha Christie’s stories that focused on Poirot as the main detective (there were a lot!). David Suchet and Hugh Fraser played Poirot and Hastings, and the series has received multiple awards.

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I watched it for years while in high school, when I first discovered Agatha Christie’s work. I’m actually proud to say that I’ve read the majority of the works she wrote under her own name, which number over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. David Suchet does a phenomenal job playing Poirot – in all honesty, I don’t think I could ever see him as anyone else, or even without the mustaches!
Whether you’ve seen Poirot before and want to rewatch some episodes, or have never been introduced, I’ve created a Top 5 list (in no particular order) of my favorite episodes. I watch them on Amazon Instant Video – I have Amazon Prime, and many of the seasons are available for free with Prime. I’m not sure whether Poirot is on Netflix (I stopped my subscription a while back!), so do make sure to check there if you subscribe to it! All links go to Amazon.

via ITV

1. The Adventure of the Cheap Flat

This mystery is why you should be afraid of cheap bargain flats on Craigslist… Seriously though, missing naval plans, the Italian Mafia, and mysterious flats are three very good reasons why you should start with this mystery. Plus, it’ll give you an introduction to the complexity of Christie’s mysteries before we get into the full-blown murder cases.
Free on Amazon Prime – Season 2, Episode 8

via ITV
via ITV

2. Murder on the Links

Much of the time, Poirot is away on vacation when he runs into a murder – such as in this case, where a rich man is killed on a golf course (among other murders, abductions and possible blackmail). In terms of surprising endings, this is probably one of the best. You’ll want to save a bit of time to watch this one, since it’s almost two hours long, and I promise that you won’t want to stop halfway through.

Free on Amazon Prime – Season 6, Episode 2

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3. Sad Cypress

I almost didn’t include this one because I wanted to include How Does Your Garden Grow? or The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but of the three, this has a better storyline. I generally group these three together under the category of wealthy-old-lady-murders, but the continuing story stands out among the rest. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why, because then I would be telling you the ending! Definitely make sure to see this one.
Not free with Prime (I think I watched it on Youtube originally, but it has since been taken down).

via ITV 

4. The ABC Murders

A murderer who writes letters to Poirot, giving clues about the next murder. Each victim’s name begins with the next letter in the alphabet… Is there a motive? (Clue: there’s always a motive.) This is a classic Christie story, and together with Murder on the Orient Express, one of her most famous. This is a feature-length episode, so make sure to start it when you have enough time to watch it all the way through – I promise, you won’t want to stop!
Free on Amazon Prime – Season 4, Episode 1

via ITV

5. Murder on the Orient Express

This is one of Christie’s most famous novels, inspired by the Lindbergh kidnapping in 1932. As much as I love David Suchet, the ’74 film adaptation with Albert Finney as Poirot is my favorite film adaptation of this novel. This is an Agatha Christie specialty – she traps all the suspects on a train with Poirot, and gives them all (seemingly) rock-solid alibis. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s one of my favorite concluding scenes from any of her works. This, and the solution to the mystery, are probably why this remains a quintessential Christie story.
The Suchet film is not free with Prime, and the Finney film is not available on Amazon Instant Video. However, you can probably find a copy at your local library, or buy the DVD on Amazon.

via ITV
via ITV

EXTRA: The Theft of the Royal Ruby

This gem (pun not intentional) was originally titled The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. Christie wrote several short stories about Christmastime mysteries, and this is one of them. Runaway lovers, kids who try to fake a murder, and the infamous pudding. I loved this remake of it as well – keep your eye out for the snarky Egyptian prince at the conclusion (my favorite part of the episode).
Free with Amazon Prime  – Season 3, Episode 9

I hope you enjoyed this guide to my favorite Poirot episodes! Have you watched Poirot? If so, what is your favorite episode?

p.s. I am not being compensated for linking to Amazon Prime, I promise. I just love the fact that they stream Poirot for free.

Monday Inspiration {16}

Happy Monday, my friends! I’m excited about today for several reasons, one of them being that this is the first day I haven’t had class/school/homework/finals since January. I finished my finals on Friday, and am now at home for a week to recover from the semester and spend some quality time with my family (and my cat).

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See? How could I not want to spend time with her?

It’s been ages since I’ve done an inspiration post, so my browser’s bookmarks are a bit backlogged. So, here are a few nerdy/artsy things to brighten up your Monday.

1. Of Hobbits and Angels via Bedlam MagazineThis makes my nerdy Tolkien geek come out, which is a good thing. Also, Bedlam is an amazing publication, so you might want to keep an eye on them. 

2. A Couple of Anonymous Students Sneak Into a Classroom Every Week… via The Meta PictureThe artwork that these students create with dollar-store chalk is phenomenal. Plus, anonymous artists (I’m looking at YOU, Banksy) are really the new celebrity-artist figures these days. 

3. Raspberry Chia Jam via A House in the HillsAnything that’s made with raspberries is probably going to end up on this post series at some point, but I love the combination of raspberries and chia here. Bonus: Sarah’s photography is gorgeous. 

4. Sherlock Unisex Tank Top by Alpha-Tone via Society 6I probably haven’t posted that much about my Sherlock addiction, but trust me, everyone who knows me in real life knows (or should know) about it. And the design/quote on this tank top makes me happy.

5. Crossrail Reveals Best Finds Made While Tunneling Under London via International Business TimesDo you want to see pictures of ancient skulls and bowling balls? Of course you do. Also, snarky chamberpots are the best, so you should check out this photo essay/article. 

Goals – 20 before 20 Update

newcamera1-12 One of the things I did this year was to create a 20 before 20 list at the beginning of the new year. Now that the semester is almost over, and I really need to I don’t need to find things to do to procrastinate on finals, I thought I’d post an update on it.

What is a 20 before 20 list? It’s basically a list of goals, or bucket list items that you want to complete before you turn a certain age. A few years ago, I did an 18 before 18 list, and failed miserably, so I wanted to try again this year. Especially since this fall, I’ll turn the big 2-0, and the number sounds really epic when you say 20 before 20. Yes, I totally do things because their names sound cool.

Please don’t take me somewhere where the drinks have creative or fancy names, or else I (or you) might have a problem.

Anyways – moving on from that.

2013-08-26_0007 1. Head to Politics & Prose in DC (still haven’t gone!)
2. Explore a city I’ve never been to. Happening later this month!
3. Find an internship. Done – so excited to start!
4. Touch up on/learn another language. I took a French class this semester, and loved it/was so bad at it that I’m taking another one next semester. I don’t think I’ll ever be fluent, but hey, it’s fun, and I enjoy taking classes with amazing professors, so there. 
5. Break my nonfiction trend and experiment with creative fiction Took a creative writing class this semester, and loved it so much that I’m doing a creative writing special topics tutorial next semester. See a trend here?
6. Go to _____________.
7. Publish something. My Spain travel narrative was published in my school’s nonfiction journal.
8. Post more often on this blog. In progress, but I’ve tried to be somewhat weekly over the past month or so. 
9. Read & watch a performance of a Shakespeare play I haven’t read.
10. Do something incredibly spontaneous.
11. Meet another online friend in person.
12. Explore a few local hiking spots in DC.
13. Shoot a fashion portrait session.
14. Roadtrip somewhere with friends. Later this month! 🙂
15. Do something brave.
16. Go internet-free for a weekend (or two).
17. Visit the rest of the Smithsonian museums
18. Write more letters.
19. Binge-watch Sherlock or Elementary for a weekend. Obsessively. This is on the books for the summer. Totally. 
20. Take an unnecessary class for fun. I took a class in Atlantic World Slavery this semester that wasn’t required, but was really interesting, and about as fun/sobering as learning about slavery can get. 

So, I’ve finished 5/20. 4/20 are planned or in progress. For almost one-half of the year, I think that’s pretty successful, don’t you?

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If this post inspires you to create a similar list, send me the link via the comments! I’d love to check it out!