Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Brave

Nichole Nordeman's song has been running through my head the past week or so, a haunting chorus in the back of my conscious mind as I deal with the day-to-day:

The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been

'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
I wanna be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave


I have been struggling for a while now with how to describe how 2008 has been for me. I have been through some really painful and tough spots this year. Without going into detail or breaking any confidences by saying too much, or saying too little and leaving too much open for speculation and misunderstanding, let's just say emotionally it was rough, painful, and not a little scary.

My reaction was typical for me: withdraw, lick my wounds, and live in fear.

I let go of who I was, my self-esteem and confidence were gone, and where I needed to be strong for friends going through some pretty tough stuff (spouse's stroke; divorce; mental illness; grieving deaths; friends moving away), I was an empty shell of myself, withdrawn and fearful, second-guessing every word spoken and written. Sometimes my husband said he was nervous about coming home at night, because he didn't know what he'd find behind the kitchen door.

Interestingly enough, however, I blossomed at work. I was in a nurturing environment where I was appreciated for every little thing I did. I was also able to volunteer at my daughters' dance studio for some small little things, and those too were appreciated.

Climbing out of the emotional pit was a process that continued into the summer. However, the scars remained, some quite raw. I had a lot of things to work through.

We did have some fun this summer, taking a nice family vacation across the state, a quick trip to our home state to visit hubby's extended family, and I had a post-Fourth of July trip to Vegas with my sister.

I still found, however, as fall gave way to winter in the Great Plains, that I continued to second-guess myself based on the lies that had been spoken to my spirit, that had settled in my soul, that were festering and turning into bitterness.

This leads me to my theme for this next year. It has been slipping in and out of my consciousness all week, and until I sat down to write this post, I wasn't really sure of its name. I felt like I was on the cusp of something bigger than myself, that God had in store for me.

Brave.

Not fearful and timid. Brave.

I'm also returning to a Bible passage I've claimed before, particularly when my husband joined the active duty military: Joshua 1: 1-9. Here it is in the Message paraphrase:

Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses' assistant:
"Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I'm giving to the People of Israel. I'm giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon east to the Great River, the Euphrates River—all the Hittite country—and then west to the Great Sea. It's all yours. All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going. And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed. Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take."


The NIV says, "The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

I have no reason to be fearful, or timid, or second-guessing every little thing. I'm being called to be loving and kind as always. Giving of myself and serving Him as always. Those callings haven't changed, and they're now a part of me that I could never erase.

I just need to do them without fear. Because He is with me wherever I go.

Happy 2009, everyone. I'm going to be brave.

Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight

Karen Scalf Linamen's latest book has the best title: Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight. Isn't that wonderful?

Just the title alone invites me to read it.

For whatever reason, the approach of the new year, coupled with the close of the Christmas season, makes me want to get out a fresh new journal and make a list of goals or resolutions for the new year. Plans. Changing things I don't like into things I do.

The subtitle of this book is "52 Amazing Ways to Master the Art of Personal Change." In her introduction, Karen writes, "This book is about learning fifty-two techniques that will empower you to pursue and embrace any change you long to make."

One change a week. I think I can do that.

Summary:

Every woman longs for change in some area of her life. Unfortunately, fear, fatigue, adversity, heartbreak, past failures, and even the choices of other people get in the way and make lasting change seem out of reach. Having been there herself, Karen Linamen knows exactly how to take readers from where they are to where they want to be.

In Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight, she examines 52 powerful actions readers can apply to any change they long to embrace. Her insights apply to career, finances, personal health and fitness, relationships, faith—in fact, every facet of a woman’s life.

Blending laugh-out-loud humor and sage advice, Linamen shows readers the link between dissatisfaction and transformation, how to remodel habits, the little-known truth about procrastination, how to generate the energy they need to pursue the life they desire, how to benefit from options and resources they never dreamed they had, and much, much more!

Author Bio:
Karen Linamen is a popular speaker and the celebrated author of ten books for women, including Due to Rising Energy Costs the Light at the End of the Tunnel Has Been Turned Off and Just Hand Over the Chocolate and No One Will Get Hurt. She has been featured on more than one hundred radio programs, including FamilyLife Today. Publishers Weekly describes her as “funny, forthright and unforgettable.” Linamen lives with her family in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit her website at www.karenlinamen.com.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Foundational Faith Challenge 2008 updated

January 1: I listed this challenge with all good intentions.

December 28: I humbly admit that I did not even finish one of these books this year. This was not a good year for me to read nonfiction, period. I guess these books will remain on the Mt. TBR for 2009!

Sorry, Leann :)


My good friend Leann, who totally rocks my socks, is hosting a great--and DOable--reading challenge this year.

Some of my choices are books I've begun but not finished, but THIS IS THE YEAR for finishing them!



1. You Matter More Than You Think by Dr. Leslie Parrott
2. Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore
3. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
4. Big Girls Don't Whine by Jan Silvious

Paperback Challenge Wrap-Up 2008

When I went to do this wrap-up, I realized this blog has been deleted! I don't know what happened with this one at all.

Regardless, I never finished this challenge either. Some of these books made it to my 2009 list, however.

I finished 6 of the 12, and read half of two more.


12 Books in 12 Months:

1. The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out
by Neta Jackson
2. Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg
3. Getting Into Character by Brandilyn Collins
4. Generation NeXt Marriage by Tricia Goyer (begun)
5. Mother of Prevention by Lori Copeland
6. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (begun)
7. Burnt Toast by Teri Hatcher
8. And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander
9. Just Jane by Nancy Moser
10. How Nancy Drew Saved My Life by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
11. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
12. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

TBR Challenge Wrap-Up 2008

I did not finish this challenge this year. I was all over the place in my reading, and joining a new reviewing site really threw me in terms of finishing reading challenges. Hopefully 2009 will be a better year for finishing the TBRs!
Overall result: 8/12 + 1 alternate = 9/12


Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Just Jane by Nancy Moser
The Book of Dead Birds by Gayle Brandeis
The Secret of Us by Roxanne Henke
Moving is Murder: A Mom Zone Mystery by Sara Rosett
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
Gone with the Groom by Janice Thompson
The Garden Angel by Mindy Friddle
Speak to my Heart by Stacy Hawkins Adams
Burnt Toast by Teri Hatcher


ALTERNATES:
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
Eating the Cheshire Cat by Helen Ellis
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
The Truth of the Matter by Robb Forman Dew
Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods
Color of the Soul & Freedom of the Soul by Tracey Bateman
The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What's in store for 2009?

I am sitting in the house fighting off a huge headache and listening to Chaplain Hubby vacuum upstairs. It's eerily quiet, as my family members left this morning: Mom for home, Sis & BIL for South Dakota and more Christmas cheer.

I feel the huge need for alone time and goal setting, as 2009 looms ever nearer. I am a resolution girl, and no, I don't really keep all of them 100% of the time. But setting goals is always a good thing.

I enjoy reading challenges, but I don't think I'll join as many this year. I will do the TBR 2009 challenge, as well as the Jewish lit challenge. Beyond that, I'm not sure. I have boxes of unread books in my home, and this will be the year to whittle that collection down. PBS and Bookmooch members will likely benefit from that process, as will the local swap shelves and the library. I am thinking of going on another book-buying fast. I have gift cards for Borders and Barnes & Noble that I received for Christmas, and my plan is to purchase two books I still need for my book club.

I have plans to write more this year as well. I honestly don't have a plan, but I want to seek publication in 2009. I have been so encouraged by reading writers' blogs this year!

More later...DD #1 wants online.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Jewish Literature Challenge







4 books about Judaism or written by Jewish authors.

Challenge runs from Dec. 21, 2008 - April 27, 2009

Here is my list:

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Suite française by Irène Némirovsky
Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn (I read one other book in this series last year!)

Alternate selections (in case I can't finish the above books, or decide differently):

The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak
The Hidden Life of Otto Frank by Carol Ann Lee (Dad gave me his copy)
The Family Fortune by Laurie Horowitz

Monday, December 22, 2008

Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts

Are you on the prowl for a nice gift here at the last minute? With just days before Christmas, you might be.




Might I suggest a delightful little book entitled A SCRAPBOOK OF CHRISTMAS FIRSTS. This book is coauthored by six women, and you can learn more about it at this website.

This book is really structured like a scrapbook. It's a carefully organized and designed hodgepodge of heartwarming anecodotes, recipes, and fun traditions.

Christian Women Online Magazine also interviewed Terra Hangen, and you can read that interview here.

This is a nice little book, cute-sized but not too small, with lovely illustrations and layout and quotations and Scripture and fun.


Thanks to Kathy Carlton Willis for letting me know about this book.



Merry Christmas from the Fresh-Brewed Writer!



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quills and Promises

I posted last week about Amber Miller's second novel Quills and Promises, published by Heartsong.

I hadn't finished the novel yet by the time that post was due, but I did finish this week and it was delightful!

I enjoyed it very much. The setting is the French and Indian war, pre-American Revolution. The historical details are good, the characters' struggles are universal and not dated, and the characters themselves are well-rounded for this being a shorter novel (and only 170 pages).

I haven't read too many Heartsong books, so I cannot say if this is a typical example of the line or not. But I can recommend Amber Miller, a fellow ACFW member, as an author to read. She has several books in the lineup at Heartsong for 2009 as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TBR Challenge 2009


My list of books I really need to or want to read and/or finish:

1. The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper (OSC Book Club)
2. Waiting by Ha Jin (OSC Book Club)
3. Channeling Mark Twain by Carol Muske Dukes (OSC Book Club)

4. Knit Two by Kate Jacobs
5. Espresso Shot by Cleo Coyle
6. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok (also a Jewish Lit Challenge choice)
7. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire (holdover from 2008)
---8. Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire (holdover from 2008)---Nope. Couldn't get into it, so I give up.
9. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
10. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
11. Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
12. Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter

ALTERNATES:

Suite française by Irène Némirovsky
The Hidden Life of Otto Frank by Carol Ann Lee
Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg
Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs
Big Girls Don't Whine by Jan Silvious

Where Do I Go?

My review is at the bottom of this post. :-)


This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Where Do I Go?


Thomas Nelson (December 9, 2008)


by


Neta Jackson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books. In addition to writing several books about Christian community, the Jacksons have coauthored numerous books with expert resource people on a variety of topics from racial reconciliation to medical ethics to ministry to kids in gangs.

Dave and Neta live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years they were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. They are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.

They're trying something new! Not just new for them, but something completely new in Christian fiction: “Parallel novels,” two stories taking place in the same time frame, same neighborhood, involving some of the same characters living through their own dramas and crises but interacting with and affecting one another … just the way it happens in real life.

It’s something that only a husband and wife writing team could pull off. While Neta has Where Do I Go?, her husband Dave has written Harry Bentley's Second Chance.



ABOUT THE BOOK

A story of seeking-and finding-God's will in unlikely places.

Gabrielle Fairbanks has nearly lost touch with the carefree, spirited young woman she was when she married her husband fifteen years ago. But when the couple moves to Chicago to accommodate Philip's business ambitions, Gabby finds the chance to make herself useful. It's there she meets the women of Manna House Women's Shelter; they need a Program Director-and she has a degree in social work. She's in her element, feeling God's call on her life at last, even though Philip doesn't like the changes he sees in her. But things get rough when Philip gives Gabby an ultimatum: quit her job at the shelter or risk divorce and losing custody of their sons. Gabby must take refuge, as in the song they sing at Sunday night worship: "Where do I go when there's no one else to turn to? . . . I go to the Rock I know that's able, I go to the Rock."

Romantic Times Book Reviews says, “Exquisite characters coupled with God's mercy and love emanate from each page.”

Publisher's Weekly adds, “Jackson's Yada Yada series has sold half a million copies, and this new offshoot series ... promises the same.... The book's dramatic ending ... leav[es] readers eager for the next installment in the series.”

To read the Prologue and first Chapter of Where Do I Go?, go HERE

Pattie's Review:

OK, for all you "Friends" fans, you'll remember what a "freezer book" is. It is in the third season and you can read it here.

I started reading this book, and about halfway through I thought I could see where it was going. I didn't actually put it in the freezer (we didn't have room), but I did set it aside for two days. I couldn't bear to see what was going to happen.

While my dire prediction to myself didn't exactly come true (this is the brilliant Neta Jackson's book, after all, thank goodness!), Gabby is certainly left in a few predicaments. Yes, the book ends with a lot of loose ends left dangling. I forgot that she did that with the Yada Yada series too; I read that series after the first six were all available, so I went from one to the other with no thought of waiting till the next one was published.

So, I have a wonderful book with a terrific character, Gabby. She's left with a song on her lips and a newfound faith, and her life in shambles.

And I have to wait for nine more months until the next book.

If you want to read this book, I highly recommend it.

Just leave room in the freezer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Engaging Father Christmas

Robin Jones Gunn is my long-time, all-time, very most favorite Christian author! I still count the Glenbrooke series as my favorite series ever.

Yes, I'm gushing. Yes, I admit it! No, this is not a paid endorsement . . . nevertheless, I must gush! I so thoroughly enjoyed Engaging Father Christmas! What a delightful story!

I'm still bummed my local Christian bookstore doesn't have the first one, Finding Father Christmas. Never fear, you can read this one without that one and still love it!

I am absolutely thrilled to offer a giveaway of this book. Miriam Parker from Hachette Books graciously offered to send one lucky FreshBrewedWriter blog winner a copy of Engaging Father Christmas. To enter, please leave a comment and a way I can reach you, BY SATURDAY. I'll choose the winner over the weekend.
(US Addresses only, please.)

You can also buy a copy here.

And now, CFBA presents...





This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



Engaging Father Christmas



FaithWords (October 30, 2008)



by



Robin Jones Gunn



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Robin grew up in Orange County, California and has lived in all kinds of interesting places, including Reno and Hawai’i.

She and her husband currently live near Portland, Oregon and have been married for 30 years. They spent their first 22 years of marriage working together in youth ministry, and enjoying life with their son and daughter who are now both grown.

As a frequent speaker at local and international events, one of Robin’s favorite topics is how God is the Relentless Lover and we are His first love. She delights in telling stories of how God uses fiction to change lives.

Robin is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter Award, the Sherwood E. Wirt Award and is a Gold Medallion Finalist. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and the Board of Directors for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet...maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Engaging Father Christmas, go HERE

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

When the Soul Mends


When I first began to read When the Soul Mends, I was intrigued. How did Hannah, an Old Order Amish woman, work as a nurse? Why was she living "fancy"? What was her "disgrace"?What were these events that kept being alluded to? Why? Who? What?

Then I got frustrated. Perhaps a book not as well-written would not bother me so much. I decided I needed to read the others in the series to really understand what was going on, to know what the events leading up to this book were. Thankfully, my local library had them, so I went to get them and dive in.

I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed this Sisters of the Quilt trilogy. Thought-provoking, educational without being didactic, characters who are wonderful . . . they are terrific!

While it is possible to read book 3 on its own, I highly recommend reading books 1 and 2 first.

I think fans of Beverly Lewis's Amish books will like Cindy Woodsmall's Sisters of the Quilt series.

Publisher's Summary: After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.
Having fled in disgrace two years earlier, she finally has found a satisfying role in the Englischer world, as well as love with Martin Palmer, a man with whom she can safely entrust her heart. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancé Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, unexpected truths surface about the events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life—and perhaps to her first love?

This intriguing final novel in the Sisters of the Quilt series is richly textured with authentic details drawn from the author’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.

Edited to add: I am donating my copy of this book to my library, so that many other readers can read all three of the Sisters of the Quilt series.

Quills and Promises by Amber Miller


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Quills And Promises

Barbour Publishing, Inc (May 28, 2008)

by

Amber Miller



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hi, I'm Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my 30's, married the love of my life in July 2007, and live in beautiful Colorado just east of the Front Range of the Rockies, but I love to travel and visit new places. Ultimately, my dream is to own horses and live in a one-level rancher or log cabin nestled in the foothills of the mountains. For now, I will remain where I am and do what I love—design web sites and write.

Amber's very first book, Promises, Promises, released in February 2008. It's a historical fiction set in Delaware during the Colonial period and the Great Awakening. The other 2 books in the series are this current one, Quills And Promises (July 2008) and Deceptive Promises (December 2008). In 2009, they will be repackaged for a state set entitled Delaware Brides. She has also sold another series set in historical Michigan during the Industrial Revolution. The 3 books in that series will begin releasing in May 2009 and will be repackaged in 2010 as Michigan Brides.


ABOUT THE BOOK

-- Separated from Madison when he leaves to fight the French and Indians, Elanna Hanssen must choose between her heart and her head, especially when Madison's integrity is questioned. --

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not until thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Innocence paired with wisdom beyond her years. With these traits, Elanna Hanssen unwittingly captures the attentions of Major Madison Scott. Her honest desire to understand the war fascinates him, and he resolves to get to know this perspicacious young lady better. When his military duty separates them, they begin a correspondence, cautiously baring their hearts to each other. Elanna has never known emotions like this before, but she is drawn to the integrity she sees in her major. Wh a local news reporter questions the major's credentials and activities, however, will she allow her heart or her head to rule? Can true love grow over such distance and around such obstacles?

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Quills And Promises, go HERE.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Christmas Blog Tour for Hands of Hope

Give the gift of life this Christmas!

Hands of Hope, a charity of Women Helping Women A World Away, is announcing that their Holiday Gift Cards are available for purchase. These cards provide food,income and water for impoverished women and children in Zambia, Uganda, andSouthern Sudan. They can be purchased on the Hands of Hope website

www.handsofhopeonline.org

for $15.00, $30.00 and $50.00. Purchasing these cards will provide goats, chickens or wells to help change lives.

What could be a more meaningful gift for holiday giving for family, friends, and customer appreciation?

Hands of Hope helps mobilize communities to respond to the needs of women and childrenaround the world. With an ever-expanding support base in the Chicago area, Hands of Hope works to raise community awareness regarding poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa and its relevance globally.

We are confident in the integrity of the channels we have established so that contributions provide the highest possible impact for the most critical needs.

A Chicken Card will purchase a gift of twelve chicks and be given to an impoverished family in Africa. As the flock multiplies, a struggling family will be given the hope to survive. Your gift will help those in need for generations to come.

A Goat Card represents an actual goat being purchased for a needy family. Beyond providing much needed milk, a few goats can quickly become a herd, providing sustenance and additional income that can make the difference between whether a child goes to school or not.

A Well Card will go toward funding a well in the Western Province of Zambia. Statistics show that nearly half of all people in developing countries suffer from health related problems caused by unsafe water. In addition, African women and children spend several hours every day collecting water.

Links: http://www.handsofhopeonline.org

The cards: http://www.handsofhopeonline.org/goat.asp

Purchase cards: http://www.handsofhopeonline.org/goat.asp#purchase

How HOH got their start: http://www.handsofhopeonline.org/history.asp

Current Projects: http://www.handsofhopeonline.org/ourwork.asp

Contact at Hands of Hope: VickyWauterlek, Hands of Hope
VWAU@aol.com, 847-381-7367

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What I learned in November 2008

My fifth time attempting National Novel Writing Month ended with a win for me. This was a hard-earned victory.

Here are some of the things I learned in the month of November:

  • When inspired, I can write a lot in a short amount of time. A LOT! As in thousands of words in one day.
  • When not inspired, it's torture to crank out even 500 words.
  • When word warring with friends, if I'm winning, I am happy and encouraging to myself and others.
  • When word warring and not winning, I'm crabby, depressed, and convinced I will fail.
  • Apparently that sort of competition does not motivate me well.
  • I am also apparently a sore loser, which is not a pleasant thing to learn about oneself, and less pleasant to admit.
  • I am harder on myself than I should be.
  • Balance is hard! I let a lot of things go to get this goal accomplished. Namely, my Bible study. That is also an unpleasant fact, and difficult to be honest about, but hey, I'll be honest. I skipped Bible reading to write. I let papers and stuff pile up and take over my desk, in order to write. I sacrificed a lot of reading time, to write instead.
  • If I am going to keep writing, I am going to have to find some kind of balance. I don't know how and I don't know what I will have to give up to make that happen.
  • Chocolate and coffee make me happy. They can also string me out.
  • Getting "go Pattie" shoutouts really motivated me.

So, there they are, the pleasant and not-so-pleasant truths about Pattie.

Christian Fiction Advent 2

Christian Bookworm Reviews Advent Calendar
Here's the code to the main page. :-)
and here is the link to Lena Nelson Dooley, Heartsong author extraordinaire!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent Day 1

Click here to go to the Christian Fiction ADVENTure!