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Showing posts from November, 2008

NaNoWriMo Results 2008

final validated word count: 50,297

It is over!

hope springs eternal

Yesterday, I was convinced I would never finish my NaNoWriMo novel. I was ready to throw in the towel again, just as before.

I talked to my friend Valerie and she told me she was also stuck and was not sure she would finish.

Then tonight I got an idea and added more, including a hair color disaster for my main character.

Poor gal, but because of that idea I broke 37,000 tonight.

Hope springs eternal.

have you ever?

Have you ever... (from Stephanie!)

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the beach)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (…

My Mother's Wish

Welcome to the blog tour of the new book My Mother's Wish: An American Christmas Carol by Jerry Camery-Hoggatt.

From the publisher:
A grandfather’s song turns a diner into hallowed ground, like a church. A contrary girl with a gypsy heart feels the tug of home. A mother, far away, confronts impossible expectations. And a truck driver named Jedidah keeps his foot on the gas to sweep you into an unforgettable story of belonging and grace.

Readers looking for a meaningful, powerful read on a winter’s evening or with the family will love the rich 1960s nostalgia captured in the Midwest of Jedidiah’s and Ellee’s story; the peace found when family strife boils over, and the gentle reminders of the influence and effect every life has on another.

My Mother’s Wish is an unforgettable, powerful tale that ends on a memorable Christmastime note, but will be cherished and reread year-round for its bold message of grand hopes, impossible expectations, and the gift of grace that comes in between.

My …

NaNoWriMo update

I hit the 22,000 word mark today, thanks to a retreat I went on with the local National Writing Project affiliate. It was held in the house owned by my friend, where her husband has his office. It's sort of a "guest house" for them too, as well as office space. It's really a neat old house.

I sat in the dining room and wrote. And wrote. And wrote! I wrote 7000 words today, and that does not count the book review that I wrote and the others I started!

It was a fun day, where I got to touch base with the writer and former teacher buried deep inside me. She was actually still there, sort of in a frozen stasis mode.

Christian Fiction Advent Challenge

Coming soon...

Book Review: A Cup of Comfort for Military Families

Cross-posted on Wives of Faith

A Cup of Comfort for Military Families: Stories that Celebrate Heroism on the Home Front
is a collection of essays edited by Colleen Sell.

As other "Cup of Comfort" books, this anthology is a collection of inspiring and thought-provoking and heartwarming stories, in this volume focusing on the military.

As a military spouse, some of them were harder to read than others, but all of them warmed my heart and brought me joy and comfort, and yes, even a few tears.

I was impressed by the range of services represented, as well as the range of experiences shared (veterans, current servicemembers, family, and friends of military personnel).

I was also excited to learn that a gal I took an online writing course with (taught by The Writer Mama) was published in this anthology! Her essay "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pans" brought tears to my eyes.

I think this book would make a great Christmas gift for a fellow military spouse or parent of a servicemem…

Fall into Reading Wrap-Up

It is always nice when I can declare a reading challenge completed, especially for me. I tend to make grandiose reading plans and then not finish.

Here is my original post , and here are all my books with the reviews linked:

1. Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt
2. Faking Grace by Tamera Leigh
3. A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell
4. Dangerous Heart by Tracey Bateman

5. Moon Over Tokyo by Siri Mitchell
6. Sunset by Karen Kingsbury

7. The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
8. Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America by Stephen G. Bloom

Thanks to Katrina of Callapidder Days for a great challenge idea and a lot of fun reading!

Suspicious Minds

Suspicious Minds is the second in the Squeaky Clean series by Christy Barritt. You might remember I participated in a blog tour for the book here, but I did not receive my copy until much later (what can I say, media mail is slow!). I finally got around to reading the book this weekend, and what a good one it is!

Gabby St. Claire is a great and spunky heroine. I really like her. She has grown up since Hazardous Duty, and yet she still has her tendency to get into trouble.

It was a good "squeaky clean" mystery. I recommend it.

And with this post, I finish my Fall Reading Challenge.

Title Trakk Blog Tour

Welcome to the 1st ever Blog Tour!

This week we're chatting about:

The Fantastic Fall Giveaway Contest!

Just in time for the holidays, you could win over $335 worth of books, cds and dvds!

Sponsored by our friends at:

The Grand Prize Winner will receive:


Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark
Rachel's Secret by BJ Hoff
Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond
White Soul by Brandt Dodson
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka
Finding Marie by Susan Paige Davis
The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian
A Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George
Evidence for Faith 101 by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz


Wake Up! Wake Up! by Everyday Sunday
Rock What You Got by Superchick
Sunday by Tree63
Houston We Are Go by Newsboys (Live CD/DVD)
Nothing Left To Lose by Mat Kearney
I Am Free Worship Collection
Salvation Station by Newworldson
Not Without Love by Jimmy Needham
Pages by Shane & Shane
Colors and Sounds by Article One


Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America is a nonfiction book by Stephen Bloom. Bloom is a professor of journalism at the University of Iowa, and he writes the story of Postville, Iowa, where a Lubavitcher (Hasidic) community settled and operated the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant.

I first heard about this book when a woman from our local university told me about it. She was trying to recruit book clubs to read the book, as Dr. Bloom was coming to speak at the university in October. I contacted the head of our book club, and it was our October read.

It was quite thrilling to hear the author speak about his work, and sad to hear how painful it has been since the publication of the book.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a dichotomy of cultures.

Out of Her Hands

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Out Of Her Hands

Tyndale House Publishers (September 22, 2008)


Megan DiMaria


I was born and raised in New York State and have since lived in Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey, and now I live in Colorado. My husband and I have three delightful, adult children and an old Jack Russell Terrier named
Belle who seems to find her way into my novels. My resume will tell you I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a degree in Communications, and after graduation I worked as a radio and television reporter, freelance writer, editor and marketing professional.

I'm a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and am assistant director of Words For The Journey, Rocky Mountain Region.

But what's most important to know about me is that I am a follower of Jesus, wife, mother, friend, reader and writer.

Life’s a journey, enjoy the adventures!


In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Re…

You are loved.

For years, Helzberg Jewelers have given out little red buttons with white letters that say "You are Loved."

Today, I give you a little You Tube from Josh Groban. You are loved.

For my friends who need some encouragement. I love this song!

Redeem the time

This morning: 7913

(The NaNoWriMo site doesn't always keep up with these little feeds to the fun little widgets...)

I need to get to 10,003 today, according to No Plot, No Problem's little chart on page 50.

That means 2100 words today.

Good thing I have a 2.5-hour block this afternoon. Of course, my to-do list is pretty long also, so who knows if I'll get it all done. I can also write by hand at the dance studio later, which might not be a bad idea after all...then just transcribe it later when I get stuck. (I don't want to take Sheba my Laptop out in the rain, esp. since I don't have a good laptop case!)

It's been an interesting exercise, writing every day. I had hoped to get ahead so I could take a weekend off in 2 weeks for a family get-together, or even take Thanksgiving off. But the daily discipline of writing has been good for me. Even if my story is all over the board. Which is probably okay, too. It's all about the word count, baby!

UPDATE: I finished thi…

Me Myself and I AM

This uniquely designed book is unlike any book Multnomah's ever published! Open this book to any page and take a new look at you, where you’ve been on your spiritual journey, and where you’re going. Out loud, in private, in order, or backwards all the way, this book of questions will have you laughing, praying, thinking, and maybe asking a question or two yourself. It’s a creative and revealing way to get to know God—and you—better than ever. So go ahead. Grab a pen. And get ready to get real.


A new experience of God comes one question at a time in this fun and provocative journal. Made up entirely of insightful, profound, and occasionally ridiculous questions, Me, Myself, and I AM invites you to open to any page, open yourself to God, and be the author of your own story.

Questions range from spiritually intriguing—
You overhear God talking about you. What do hear him saying?

to thought-provoking—
You are on a long car trip with a close friend who is not a Christian and the con…

Free Starbucks Just for Voting

Starbucks has announced that you can get a free cup of brewed coffee on Tuesday JUST FOR VOTING.

Wear your "I VOTED" sticker. Or if you're like me and already voted via absentee ballot (or if you are like some of my other friends and voted early), just go in and tell them so. They will believe you. I have it on good authority it's on the honor system.

But even if you hate coffee, vote anyway. It's one of the "perks" (pun intended) of being an American.

NaNoWriMo 2008

and . . . here we go.

The fifth time's the charm, especially since I have a laptop this year! Plus, I put it out there for the entire world to see, on video, so I can't flake out...