Saturday, November 28, 2009

an amish family christmas by beth wiseman, kathleen fuller, and barbara cameron

An Amish Family Christmas is comprised of three intertwining novellas that take place in Paradise, Pennsylvania.

A Miracle for Miriam: Seth shattered Miriam’s confidence when they were 14. Five years later, he returns to their Old Order Amish community with a renewed faith in God. He is intrigued by Miriam, but she doesn’t know if she can trust him again.

A Choice to Forgive: Lydia (Miriam’s sister) has been widowed for two years. When her husband’s brother Daniel—who was Miriam’s first love—unexpectedly returns to Paradise, Lydia fears her attraction to Daniel will dishonor her husband’s memory. When she learns of the  secret Daniel and her husband had been harboring, she must choose whether to forgive either of them.

One Child: Sarah & David lost the baby she was carrying one year ago. When a young Englisch couple is stranded at their house, the wife goes into labor. Sarah and David will have to rely on their faith and each other to save the young family.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Of the three stories, One Child was my favorite, though all were well written and entertaining. Each novella can be read in one sitting, making this a great book to pick up on a snowy evening. Also included are several authentic Amish recipes that I’m anxious to try! 

I received a free copy of this book for review from Thomas Nelson.

Friday, November 27, 2009

month of insanity, day twenty-seven

I win!!!!!!!!!!

At 9:38 p.m., my phone rang. When I hung up a few minutes later, I looked down at my word count and saw that it said 50,008. I immediately called Stubes. Then I sat down to wrap up my novel. At 10:45, I uploaded a scrambled version to the NaNoWriMo website, and this is what I saw:

The official NaNo word count is 50,718.


Tonight, I plan to sleep well.

Monday, November 23, 2009

month of insanity, day twenty-three



I've discovered that 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. is my optimal writing time. I can crank out words like nobody's business during that two hour time period. Unfortunately, I also require sleep, but I'm not getting too much of that during the week.

I just looked at the word count meter on the left side of my blog. I'm more than 75% of the way there. That's so crazy!

I'd planned to cover a year in my novel. At 38,613 words, I've covered about two months. I know how the book is going to end, but I may have to change the time frame for that ending.

Tomorrow, I'm headed to conference one-act. I'm not sure when we'll be back, as we have to travel two hours to the competition, so my writing time may be cut short. For the first time since day two, I need to churn out less than the daily 1,667 to stay caught up, so I'm optimistic that I can stay on track.

When I realized I'd crossed the 38,333 mark, I started clapping and cheering (NaNoWriMo brings out strange things in me). I abruptly stopped when I remembered my neighbors, who last night pounded on the adjoining wall to silence Val's singing--at 9:30 p.m.!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

month of insanity, day seventeen

Things I've learned in the last seventeen days:
  • Watching my word count meter go up on the NaNoWriMo website is addicting. I have to fight the compulsion to update my word count every five minutes.
  • My dishes won't magically do themselves. Yet I continue to hope they will.
  • Most of my television viewing is extraneous. When I have to decide between watching a TV show or writing, I almost always pick writing ... and I don't miss the TV. I am keeping up with four shows (NCIS, Bones, Fringe, and V), but I'm taping most of them and watching them at odd hours.
  • Facebook is never more attractive than when you're supposed to be doing something else.
  • I really like listening to country music while I write.
  • I actually can function on four or five hours of sleep ... but I don't like to!
  • NaNoWriMo and dieting don't go hand-in-hand. It takes so much less time to grab fast food or a snack than it does to make a healthy meal.
  • When I'm really focused, I can bang out 1,000 words in an hour. The problem is that I'm rarely focused.
  • Fruit snacks are great brain food.
  • I may be the writer, but sometimes I feel like I have little control over my characters. A new one will suddenly appear, one will make a decision I disagree with, another will refuse to die for pages and pages. Writing is an odd exercise.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

month of insanity, day fourteen

By now, you all know that I'm writing a novel. In a month. The title of my Word document is "Insanity," which has absolutely nothing to do with the plot and everything to do with my mental state when I decided to do this!

As I write this, I'm at 12,967 words--just over a quarter of the way there. However, this is the 14th of November, so I should be approaching 25,000 words! I have managed to write every day except yesterday, when I didn't get home until midnight (and then I stayed up writing until 1:30, so I wrote during my day, even if it wasn't technically still Friday). I definitely need to kick it up a notch!

I've set a goal for myself today--to reach 19,000 words. Considering my average is just under 1,000 words per day, I'll really have to focus if I'm going to write 6,000!

Honestly, I'm beginning to doubt if I can make it to 50,000. I'd been planning to have a writing blitz during Thanksgiving weekend, but that weekend it quickly filling up, and it's looking like I won't have too much time to write then. (It's all good stuff--especially the bridesmaid dress fitting!!!--but I'll have to readjust my writing timeline.)

Two things keep me pressing ahead, in spite of my doubts: 1) I really want to be able to say I did it! 2) A printing company will print a free proof copy of any NaNoWriMo winner's book. I would love to hold a copy of my novel in my hands--even if I'm the only person who will ever read it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

my continuing countrification

For a limited time, Amazon is offering a free mp3 download of a song by a CMA nominee. The promotion runs through November 22, and there are hundreds of songs to choose from. I know. I spent far too long previewing songs last night! Of course, it helped that I knew that I should be writing, thus making listening to 30-second clips of songs I'd never heard of before that much more appealing!

When I saw the offer, my first thought was that I should get "that song about the guy who cheats and gets hit by a bus." I soon learned that it's "Best Days of Your Life" by Kellie Pickler, and as Ms. Pickler was evidently not nominated for a CMA award, her songs were ineligible.

After much listening (with only a small bit of writing intermixed), I narrowed it down to "Waiting on a Woman" by Brad Paisley, "Start a Band" by Brad Paisley & Keith Urban, and "I Told You So" by Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis. I finally decided to wait ... and after having "I Told You So" run through my head all day, I just downloaded it.

Here's the thing: All three of my "top" songs are country country. And I love 'em! What's happened to me???

Get your claim code and free song here!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

month of insanity, day three

It's day three, and I'm still in it, but I'm struggling.

Yesterday, I basically started over. I kept what I had already written, but I totally changed the way the story was headed.

Today, I had great intentions. In the nearly six hours since I left work, I ...
  • got a haircut
  • ate supper
  • watched NCIS with Val
  • sang through all of my Singing Christmas Tree songs ... some more than once
  • downloaded a free mp3 album from Amazon
  • watched the first half of V (I quit watching in order to write ... funny!)
  • drank approximately four cups of coffee
  • played a Straight No Chaser video for Blendy
  • previewed a bunch of songs on Amazon and iTunes
  • drank a root beer
  • blogged
  • wrote a grand total of 130 words
Hmmm ... I'll probably be up late because of the coffee, so maybe my creative juices will kick in soon!

christmas can-can

In case you were too lazy to click over to the Straight No Chaser website to watch the Christmas Can-Can video the other day, here it is. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

month of insanity, day one

NaNoWriMo began today. I started at 12:01 a.m., and I wrote 787 words before I went to bed. At this point, I think my novel is headed towards being really, really terrible. But the point isn't to write a good novel! (I didn't know what I was going to write until I actually started writing. I'm now questioning the wisdom of going with that idea, but I've already started, so I'm sticking with it!)

I left for church at 10:15 a.m. and didn't get back home until 6:30 p.m. Since then, I've written about 300 words and procrastinated a lot!

Here's my official Day 1 picture, complete with the items that will help me survive this journey:
  • laptop (which has Facebook pulled up. Facebook is the procrastinator's dream/nightmare!)
  • candle (for ambiance)
  • liquid refreshment (in this case, lemonade ... but I've already consumed way too much pop!)
  • Burt's Bees (there's actually a second one on the other side of the laptop. Can't risk having dry lips!)
  • cell phone (to keep in touch with Blendy, who is also attempting to write a novel.)
  • headphones (way more comfortable than ear buds ... and they make me look so cool!)
  • comfy pajamas ('cause what girl wants to be uncomfortable while torturing herself?)
You can keep up with my progress by checking my official NaNoWriMo page. Wish me luck!