Monthly Archives: November 2015

NaNoWriMo Final Update 2015


The official NaNoWriMo crest

Total wordage: 43,866. Today’s words: 1155.

I’m 6134 words short of my goal of 50,000.

My average words per day were 1462, a couple hundred shy of the 1667 required to meet the goal, but significantly up from last year’s average of 940 words per day.

I might, if I have the opportunity and the energy, try for some more words tonight.

Or I might not. I’m ready for NaNoWriMo to be over.

What I learned: 1667 words a day is possible. I actually exceeded that number nine times this month. It’s just hard to keep it up 30 days in a row.

I’m glad I spent an advance month writing 30 pages of notes. It only took me so far, though.

I’m looking forward to doing it again next year. Next year I’m going to hit 50,000.

How did you do? Feel free to give your stats in the comments.

Monday Morning Wisdom #26

Monday Morning Wisdom #26

Ravi Shankar

NaNoWriMo Update, Day 29


The official NaNoWriMo crest

Total wordage: 42,711. Today’s words: 1881.

I wrote the words “The End” today–not because I’m finished with this first draft, but because I knew what the epilogue had to be and wrote it today. I’m not really finished with the ending (got stuck), and the middle is a murky, confused mess, but I’ll deal with that later.

Chances are slim that I’ll make it to the desired 50,000 words tomorrow. But I’d really be pleased if I could hit 45,000. Nevertheless, I am 14,499 words past what I wrote last November. That’s progress, right?

From the Creator’s Heart #22

From the Creator’s Heart #22

Bezalel made the ark [of the covenant] of acacia wood–two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. He overlaid it with pure gold, both inside and out, and made a gold molding around it. He cast four gold rings for it and fastened them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold. And he inserted the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.

Ark_of_the_Covenant_19th-century public domainHe made the atonement cover of pure gold–two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. Then he made two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover (Exodus 37:1-7).

NaNoWriMo Update, Day 28


The official NaNoWriMo crest

Total wordage: 40,830 words. Yay, I finally broke 40,000! Today’s words, 1285.

The ending is coming along. The middle is a mess. They tell me that’s typical for a first draft. I’d hate to be atypical.

Twenty Questions

Twenty Questions

Full disclosure: I am borrowing this idea from Nike, who writes a blog I follow, Trying to Find the Key to Wonderland.

To help you get to know me better, I will answer these (sort of) random questions.

Question 1: Do you have any pets?

Yes. They were all chosen by my husband, who is the number one animal lover in our house. We have a female dachshund named Rudi, two cats, Cloud and Zoe, and assorted tropical fish.

My husband, Greg, and I

My husband, Greg, and I

Question 2: Name three things that are physically close to you.

At this very moment, my Bible, a pair of scissors, and a water bottle.

Question 3: Do you drive? If so, have you crashed?

Yes, I drive, and I’ve never had an accident beyond a little fender bender.

Question 4: What does your last text message say?

As of the moment I am writing this, the last text I received was actually a picture of a jar of pepper rings and a bottle of Tabasco sauce, sent by my oldest daughter.

Question 5: How many children do you have?

Five. Three daughters, Carly, Erin, and Katie; and two sons, Matt and Andy.

Question 6: What is your ringtone?

Push It by Salt-n-Pepa

Question 7: Have you ever been to a different country?

Yes. Germany and Austria. My parents were immigrants from Germany, and I have lots of family there.

Question 8: Do you like sushi?

I’ve never tried it. I’m scared it will taste yucky.

Question 9: Where do you buy your groceries?

There are four major local grocery chains within two miles of my house, and I regularly shop at all of them. And Trader Joe’s.

Question 10: Have you ever taken any medication to help you fall asleep faster?

No. I don’t usually have trouble falling asleep.

Question 11: How many siblings do you have?

I have one wonderful brother.

Question 12: Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?

Both. I do most of my writing in my study on the laptop. It’s off limits to everyone else. The desktop computer is in our bedroom, and my husband uses that one, as do my kids when they come by. I use it for before-bed web surfing (a very bad practice, I’m told—it prevents me from going to bed at a reasonable time).

Question 13: How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

Do you really want to go there? I’m going to make you work for it. I was born on the day Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected to his first term as president.

Question 14: Do you wear contacts or glasses?

These days I only wear glasses for reading. I wore glasses from the time I was ten years old. I was very near-sighted and the glasses got thicker and thicker. I wore contact lens on and off starting in my twenties, but I always got tired of them. In my late fifties I had cataract surgery, and my new eyes are capable of nearly 20/20 vision. But I can’t read small print without the reading glasses.

Question 15: Do you color your hair?

No. Do you like my silver highlights? They are totally natural.

Question 16: What is your eye color?


Question 17: Which do you prefer, hamburger or cheeseburger?


Question 18: Can you taste the difference between Pepsi and Coke?

Yes, and I prefer Coke. My favorite beverage is Diet Coke with Lime.

Question 19: Did you go to college?

Yes. I attended Duquesne University, Monmouth College (now Monmouth University), and Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), where I earned my B.A. in music education. I was a voice major and a piano minor. I earned my M.A. in music education at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey).

Question 20: How long have you been writing?

Since elementary school. I wrote a horrible mystery in eighth grade that I circulated among my classmates. When I was a mom-at-home I thought writing would be a good creative outlet for me that might earn a little income for our family, so I worked as a freelancer.

Is there anything about me you’d like to know that I haven’t answered in this article? Please ask in the comments below. If it’s not incriminating, I’ll reply.

NaNoWriMo Update, Day 27


The official NaNoWriMo crest

Total wordage: 39,545. Today’s words: 1250.

The Ten Best Christmas CDs Ever . . . by Andrea R Huelsenbeck  

The Ten Best Christmas CDs Ever . . . by Andrea R Huelsenbeck   

I wrote this post last year for Doing Life Together, but it’s getting to be that time of year again. . .

Doing Life Together

It’s the day after Thanksgiving—let’s put on some Christmas music!

For me, music is an essential element of the season. Whether you’re preparing for Christmas by meditating on the miracle of the birth of the Christ, decorating your house, or choosing the perfect gifts for friends and family, music is a great kick-starter for getting into the Christmas spirit. Here are my personal favorite Christmas CDs:

  1. 41EKY1HR82L._AA160_White Christmas—Bing Crosby. My parents played this when I was a little girl. If you made a movie about my childhood Christmases, this would be the sound track.
  2. Christmas—Mannheim Steamroller.
  3. Christmas Extraordinaire—Mannheim Steamroller.41T6TKVSFPL
  4. A Fresh Aire Christmas—Mannheim Steamroller. Do you see a pattern emerging? Any Christmas CD by Mannheim Steamroller would be wonderful. These just happen to be the three I own.
  5. MI0001062787A Renaissance Christmas—New York’s Ensemble for Early Music. This is available through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (You can get it from their website…

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NaNoWriMo Update, Day 26


The official NaNoWriMo crest

Total wordage: 38,295. Today’s words: only 460, but I really didn’t expect to get a chance to write at all, since we hosted Thanksgiving for three of our kids today. Another blessing to thank God for. Happy Thanksgiving to all the NaNo-ers.

Video of the Week #22

Video of the Week #22