Friday, October 13, 2017

NaNoWriMo is coming up!

       NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming up again! For those that don't remember, in November, a group of people set a goal to each write a book consisting of a minimum of 50,000 words in less than 30 days. There is an online support community with lots of reference materials, as well as just cheer leading in general. You set up a profile and can choose writing buddies, people who have similar writing styles, or are in the same genre as you. It's all super supportive. Last year I did it, and finished my book with about an hour to spare. I then promptly burst into tears because I could not believe I had actually done it. It was awesome. I am now in the middle of editing that book, which is frankly not as much of a hassle as I thought it would be. Much like writing, you just sit down and do it. Of course, I'm not done, so maybe ask me in another month and the answer may be different.

     So for NaNoWriMo this year, I may go back to the piece I originally started. It's not a 50,000 word novel, so I won't "win", but this story has been in my head for so long. I dream about these people. I only stopped writing that book to write my NaNoWriMo book, and I haven't started it up again. I don't think that was supposed to be how that went.

     I said all of that to say this. Last year I started a few days late, then got DYSENTERY half way through. I finished. If you have ever though about writing a book, do this. It's fun. It's hard. It's rewarding. If you just sit down with an idea, any idea, the words will come. Even if you never publish it, YOU WILL HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK!  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What's been going on.....

     They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I think that may also be the road to a fully developed, often updated blog. I can tell you that I often lay in bed at night writing blog posts in my head. Reviewing books, imparting wisdom, making people laugh. In the daylight I end up doing other stuff, or doing nothing, but NOT updating my blog. And it's unfortunate because I really do have a lot to say. I think it is partially fear of offending people, which is ironic, because that is not really a major fear for me in my daily life.
     So. What's been going on. I have been doing a lot of reading. I am a part of the launch team for Jen Hatmaker's new book, Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life. More to follow about that. If you know me, you know I adore Jen and all of her writing, and this book is amazing. Jen gets women. She just gets us. I also read Anna LeBaron's book, The Polygamist's Daughter. Talk about stunning. I had to remind myself frequently that this book was not a work of fiction. Anna was raised in a polygamist family, a cult basically, and tells her story of escape and creating her own life after that difficult beginning. It's so good and so intriguing that I ended up buying it in paperback, and on my Kindle so I could read it at night. My eyes are so impaired that it is difficult to read paper at night. I also read The Sound of Gravel, by Ruth Wariner. This is another polygamist cult memoir. Anna and Ruth are actually first cousins, and Anna's father allegedly had Ruth's father (his brother) killed in a power struggle over the "church". Again, it was difficult to remember that this is a real life, current day story. The love and redemption that comes through, despite the pain in both of the books is amazing, and is a testament to the true power of forgiveness.
     I have also been working on my own writing, revising and editing my one finished piece, and researching for the other. Writing is something I enjoy, but it is harder with my physical limitations. I have found a few tricks on my Chromebook to help, but I still struggle with just wanting to see the words as I type them. I have the voice recognition software, but it is slower than I talk, or the dog will bark, then I spend more time cleaning up mistakes and end up more frustrated. Really I am just making excuses, I think. Writing, or any form of personal expression can be scary.
     So that's what's up with me, or what I am ready and willing to share right now.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I Did It!

In my previous blog post, I explained NaNoWriMo, and my goal of writing a 50,000 word (minimum) novel in 30 days. As many of you know, I did complete it, finishing at about 11:15 pm on November 30th. I really wanted to quit at about 9:00 when I was about 3000 words down , but my family would not let me and I am grateful for that.
What is not exactly common knowledge is that I somehow contracted dysentery the week of Thanksgiving, even earning a visit to the hospital. I haven't been out of the country, and don't know how I got this lovely illness, but let me say it was just as miserable as you can imagine. AND I was at the mall in Metairie when I initially became ill, so that was a delight. I kept thinking about the Civil War and how widely reported dysentery was. Honestly, I don't know how there was a war. Just trying to sit up and type became extremely difficult.
My point is this. In the last few years, by necessity, my bucket list has changed dramatically. But I still have one. And I do want to work at attaining the things on that list. I burst into tears when I finished writing the book , and I didn't expect that. I was emotional when I finished running my 5k a few years ago, that the dr said may have helped save my life. DO THE THINGS.
Thank you to everyone who was so happy for me finishing. I was touched by every comment of congratulations that was left on my post. I am in editing mode, so I still need the good thoughts. I fully plan on submitting it to agents, and continuing to work on my original manuscript that I already had in the works. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 6, 2016


     For the month of November, I have been and will be participating in NaNoWriMo, which is a program set up to challenge you to write a novel in one month. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writer's Month.
It;s mainly a way to hold yourself accountable, and also to cheer on other writers who are trying to reach the same goal. It has already been a great experience, and has shown me that if I just sit down and put the time in, the words come to me.
     The only apparent downside is that I think I am using all of words in my work, because when I try to talk, I sound like an idiot. I keep flubbing my words, and switching them around. But for every piece of great literature, a price must be paid. Har, har. So, until December.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review:A Mile Wide, by Brandon Hatmaker

     Being a huge fan of Jen Hatmaker and her writing, and essentially the entire Hatmaker family, I was more than excited to hear what the topic of her husband Brandon's newest book was going to be. The title says it all. "A Mile Wide:Trading Shallow Beliefs For A Deeper Faith". As a fairly established Christian, I am comfortable recognizing that we can always search for a deeper relationship. I just wasn't clear how to go about doing that. Hatmaker gives you clear, concise, and BIBLICAL ways to grow your faith.
     The part that resonated with me the most is that there are 3 communities in which the believer will interact and hopefully serve. Your faith community (church), your missional community (get one!), and your secular community (where you live). The bottom line is that if you are living on target, and seeking a deeper faith, these 3 communities will overlap in some way. You have to be the same person in all these communities, and that is a person choosing God's love, and showing that to others. 
     Hatmaker's book is written from the heart, and you feel it. He truly wants to grow God's kingdom in a relevant way. It's not often that you interact with a tattoo covered biker preacher, but when you do, he will probably have some very valid words of wisdom to share with you. Just like this book.

New Stuff

     Hi all! I can't tell you how many blog post I have written in my head, then I come TO my blog only to learn that they did not make the transmission to the page. Ah, technology, letting me down once more. Then again, I probably don't want all of the things that go through my head making themselves known without my knowledge. 
     So, something new that I have been involved with lately has been book launching. Basically you participate in social media groups, talk about the book, if you are lucky there are live events, or giveaways. All of this is to promote a new book. Some authors and /or publishers send out Advanced Reader Copies for you to read and review. I love this!! So every now and then I will be reviewing some books here, mostly because I find myself sharing what I am reading anyway. I have one that I want to do right away, but I want to do it in a separate post. 
      In other news, health has been ok. Kids have been ok. The hubby is fine. Politics suck, but the Indians are in the World Series which makes my mother happy. Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Disasters and such.....

     So we've had massive flooding here in Louisiana. It has been tragic, with many, many homes lost, quite a few deaths, and just a huge mess that will take a lot of time and money to clean up. On top of this, we had major flooding back in March, and some of the same areas were affected resulting in homes that were just rebuilt being flooded again. It takes a lot of strength, physical, mental and emotional to get through this, but they don't come tougher than those Cajuns. 
     We were fortunate, and are high and dry. We have donated supplies, and Ray made several trips to a nearby flooded area to help clean out the home of a couple in their 90's. I am not telling of our actions to brag, but to make a point. Every time I think I have come to terms with my vision limits, something else rears it's head. Before Ray and I were married, there were some tornadoes that flattened a city in WAY South Louisiana. We went with a group of volunteers from the fire department to help the local department. We cleared trees off houses, cleared access to streets, just a lot of hard dirty work. We loved it. In 2004, when Hurricane Ivan hit Florida, with the help of our church we loaded up the bed of our truck with cases of water, ice chests, cleaning stuff, and just drove into the middle of the aftermath. We drove into a flattened neighborhood and started serving people. Now we have had a few natural disasters around us, and I can't do that anymore. I can't be in the thick of things. I know that I can help in other ways, and I do try to be satisfied with that, but sometimes I want to stomp my feet and say it's not fair. 
     I hope to always have a servant's heart, just sometimes I'd like to have the options that I used to have. I guess we always want what don't have anymore.