Sunday, November 30, 2008


I’ve done my happy dance and now I am going to go to sleep

–for a week.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Celebrating 40,000 Words!

Only ten thousand words to go!
And my best ten minute word war yet:

How Does One Kill A Sea Witch?

WrimoRadio’s question of the week was, “what were the worst poses you have written this November?” I am sure I could have submitted some doozies but the worst came out last night. I was trying to keep the words flowing but I am stuck on where to go next with the plot. My main character (a crew of five friends which include a air/dream pirate, two warriors, a girl of the forest, and a shy girl that has not had a purpose yet) must defeat a sea witch and I am not sure how one goes about killing sea witches. This particular witch lives in a deep salt water pool below found in a mountain. Any suggestions?

A friend looked up mythical history and learned magical knots tried in speacil rope can thwart a sea witch. Does this trigger any ideas? Help needed there is 1 day, 12 hours, and 4 minutes left to complete nanowrimo and 13,990 words still to be written.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Happy Turkey Day American Friends!

First Time Writing in a Week

I had a great weekend visit with my missions buddy, Selinda. We had a wonderful reunion. Thursday she shared at youth, Friday we rushed around getting ready for a kids ministry Swaziland party to celebrate them giving $1200 in offering (over a year) for food for Swaziland children. Saturday we were snowed in (and the party was cancelled), Sunday was church with the party, and Monday we said good-bye.

During the visit I didn't write and the trend continued through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Getting back to the story just didn't happen…till today. Currently at 29,945 words, I think/hope the full 50k is still possible. There was an encouraging story on the NaNo Q/A or a woman whose computer crashed losing 60,000 words on November 20th. So she just started a new one and is currently at 35k. If she can do win so can I.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Selinda is here...and that is AWESOME.

Now we're going to eat pizza!


Last night shushy rain was falling this morning...

It is a marshmallow world!

I like this part of winter, didn’t so much care for the scrapping off of the car this morning, but I like this part of winter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cat Tales and Other Non-Nano Thoughts

1) I hate my cats. Well not really but this morning there was two different messes of cat sick. The first was found in the hall and the other on the living room carpet. I was sick from the clean up. Kima tried to comfort me by putting her little paws on my leg while I was didn't help.

2) I got a coupon in the mail today for %25 off cat food, which I checked just before going to the store to buy cat food. I thought it was pretty sweet.

3) I was reminded tonight that I really needed to let some things go. I may or may not elaborate on this in the near future.

4) I cause young children to cry. Children’s Christmas musical parts were given out last night and not everyone is happy with Pastor Liz’s choices…and I am okay with that.

5) Sewing didn’t happen today but it should happen tomorrow.

6) Selinda will be here from Thursday night till Sunday. It is going to be great. The time is already filling up very fast.

7) My small group has been doing a study on Galatians called the Irreligious Christ. My head is full of thoughts and things I want to discuss but that will have to wait till after November.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Make It Monday

Tomorrow I am having a sewing morning with a lady in my church. If all goes as planned I'll have most of my Christmas gifts finished or nearly finished. I am not too hopeful; nothing goes as planned in November. Anyone else making Christmas gifts this year?

In NanoWorld:

1) I loved Jo's suggestion about looking into dream analysis. It could lead my story in a whole new direction.

2) A package arrived today from the Office of Letters and Light arrived today. I now have a writers’ group poster, ten nano sticker, and ten beautiful novelist pins just waiting to be given out.

3) I am a behind on my word. I am planning to write 28,000 words tonight to catch up. I believe that this can and will happen so much that I said 28,028 is my current word count on the nano site. Only because when I do reach that number later tonight, I will not be able to update the site at home due to the non existing internet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Half Way and Excerpt

The words and ideas didn’t flow as well this past week. Placing the main character in crazy conflicts has helped me avoid writing boredom. This past week she has fought a sea witch, talked with a unicorn, watched her home burn to the ground, learned her mother was kidnapped, been lost on a mountain, and abducted but ruthless magic hunting pirates. All of these adventures helped me escape the second week writing blahs and pass the halfway mark. I like watching my word graph fill up:

Excerpt Memoirs of a Dream Rider

I remember my first dream. It was the night everything changed. It was the night everything began. It was the night I lived though a nightmare that continues to haunt my waking thoughts. It was pure fear. The emotion was so raw I could taste it. The intensity of experience still causes my skin to crawl. All I felt was…


Every muscle in my body was tense. The slightest movement and the feline hunters would have sensed me. All thoughts of my mission were gone. I was trapped in a field, separated from friends, completely alone. We had knows that the cougar wraiths had caught the scent of our magic and had begun to stalk us. One wrong move and we would all be dead...

The words of Lorra, my adoptive mother, pounded in my head, “Any trip to the world of dreams in dangerous. Every journey could be deadly. Death in Reams is still death. Remember that Elly. Remember and be careful.” Remember, how could I forget? I had trained to hunt dreams since in was small child. The best of the best dream catchers of the five tribes had drilled the facts and rules into my head, repeated warnings and stressed the realities of Reams. Forgetting was impossible. With a very real wraith two meters away my imminent death was a very possible outcome of this night. There was no way I could possibly forget.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Write or Die Works


Food Friday

The late nights and early mornings that comes with Encounter weekend and the nano challenge has had me consuming more caffeine than usual. To avoid beverage boredom I’ve been branching out in my coffee shop choices this month and not always ordering the same old thing. My traditional Tim’s choice is large apple cinnamon tea with two sugars and my specialty coffee shop favourite has always been a chai latte. I’ve been trying cappuccinos again, mochas, hazelnut coffee (I still dislike coffee unless it’s over powered with sugar and milk, sorry Dad).Tasha has recently introduced me to an absolutely amazing drink –London Fog. It is earl grey tea made with steamed milk and a shot of vanilla. It is so good.

My questions is what is your favourite hot beverage?

Word Count: 22,222

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursdays and Winter Tires

I am thankful for the gift of four new snow tires on my car, which I only discovered yesterday. This is how the story goes.

Wednesday, while passing my office Scott mentioned those were some deep treads. I thought he was talking about the tire marks the youth had left from the day before. Scott said, "no, the winter tires." I was like, "what winter tires?" I was so confused because I had plans to go tomorrow to get tires. He said there were new winter tires on my car. I told him there weren’t winter tires on my car. He said there were so we both went out to check out my wheels. Scott was right my car was wearing a brand new set of winter tires.

Last week I traded vehicles with friends so I would have a van for Encounter. During that time they (and I believe others) had new tires put on my car. I love my church family! And I am so glad Scott said something because I would never of noticed on my own. I could just see me tomorrow trying to buy new winter tires…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

People Putting the "Prod" in Productivity!

Thanks to nanowrimo and the nature of links, I found a possible cure for procrastination called Write or Die*. Quoting the creator, “Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing.” Sounds like it could a useful tool for anyone needing to get a specific word count in a short amount of time from nanoers to college papers. The consequences for failing to write are as follows:
  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself

This could be great during writing sprints or word wars but I am not sure I would be able to handle segments of my writing disappearing. I plan try it out later today.

*This discovery was proudly made period of procrastination.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bring Your Youth Group To Work Day

The kids (though a few are adamant that they aren’t kids) had no school today and I was at the church so I said they could stop by and visit me. I had nothing fancy planned, just hanging out, chatting, munch on food, whatever. I honestly didn’t think many if any would stop by. In the past I’ve invited them to stop by and they never have. I was wrong.

One was here first thing (9am) actually met me at the doors, which was actually very helpful. Two of the guys showed up an hour later. By lunch there were six in my office and at the crowd peak there were 8 plus me. It made for a good but long day. About two hours ago we decided to go to a soccer game at 9pm (It's 7:50 right now), which means most are still here. I feel like Encounter weekend has been extended and all I want is a nap.

Word Count: I was wrong about yesterday's word count guess. I hope to be to 17,000 before bed tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

WrimoRadio Week Two!

I love WrimoRadio, which I said yesterday. So I had to share with everyone that the next addition of WrimoRadio is up. I found this week’s podcast a huge support because it reminded me that I am not alone in this journey. The New Yorker Nanos the second week is horrible. I don’t want to write any more but I have come to for and I am going to overcome the week two slump.

Of the helpful hints the one that has worked for me so far is writing for ten minutes then resting for ten. Any other suggestions on how to keep the words coming?

Word Count: haven’t started writing today but hope to be at 16,000 before bedtime.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Noveling Thus Far

The first week of nanowrimo was everything I had hoped it would be. Words flowed and my word count graph grew. More than that last Saturday I connected with area writers at the first every Wolfville write-in with plans to get together two more times. Two editions of WrimoRaido, the official nanowrio podcast, were released. I love WrimoRadio. It is a great way to procrastinate and yet still feel productive. Also enjoyed two author pep talks (Jonathan Stroud and Philip Pullman) that showed up in my inbox. I was impressed with the list of pep talk authors this year. I’ve read books by four of the eight.
The actual story is going better than I expected. I was able to write more that the daily minimum most days. New characters I had not expected have joined the adventure, including a mountain race currently called cobins. They are neither goblin or dwarfs yet similar to both and may by the end of the novel be pyroelves. These developments made the story telling both interesting and unexpected.

This coming week will be interesting. The honeymoon of daily writing has past; I have slipped into the second week slump. This might due to the lack of sleep from Encounter weekend. Sleep depravation causes temporary dumbness. I have been staring at my story since 6:00pm (its 11:30 right now) and have only written 300 words.
Word Count: 15, 023

Home From Encounter

We went, we encountered, we drove back home. It was a good a good ‘booster.’ Similar to past years with some changes. It was my first time in the new chapel. That place is huge and beautiful (very beautiful) and huge. I am thankful for the speaker whose messages have inspired the direction for the next few youth groups. The music was good. I learned some new songs. The kids that had gone last year said they wanted Atlantic.

For me, the best part was the drive home. My van had one of those long talks that starts with a simple question and leads to so much more. There were sharing about real struggles, honest look at my high school experience, open thoughts on a wide range of topics and I got to share my passion for cross-cultural ministry very candidly. It was a great road trip. Everyone else has been dropped off at home and my bed is calling.

Word Count: there was no time to write today, a very sad thing.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Food Friday: A Redwall Kitchen or a Meal of Pies

I love the connection between life and food in books. Many of my favourite stories use food to indicate goodness or the lack of food as hardness. As a child my family read Heidi together; I had a romantic notion that eating bread and goat cheese was the best thing in the world. The same thing happened when I reread The Hobbit. Bilbo was always going on about his longings for hard boiled eggs. So much so that I cooked one…and I don’t like eggs.

Monday, friends volunteered to help me prepare for the first children’s Christmas musical practice. They came early to organize hole-punch pages and create 20 music books. They were a blessing but the action I appreciated the most was the mom, knowing I would be able to cook till after the practice brought me supper. There was a some shepherd’s pie turnip'n tater'n beetroot pie and apple pie…yum!

Turns out I am not the only one who likes to experience the food from my stories. My friend was explained there were two main dishes because the turnip'n tater'n beetroot piewas a new experiment. The shepherd’s pie was just in case it didn’t turn out. Their son was reading the Redwall books and this was a dish the forest creatures ate. It was very good. Those mice know their food. For more yummy forest dishes check Redwall Kitchen.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I just had a rough moment, one that took all my inner resolve to stop tears from falling. It lowered my self esteem and made me feel like this week was a waste. I was discouraged but tried to think of some good from the week. And slowly it came to me all the happiness of this week. There has been more good this week then the temporary pain of this moment. So I am thankful for the joys of this week which have been...

-nanowrimo, it is really fun for me
-friends that allow me to write at their place (and use their internet)
-people coming to the nano write-in I organized
-time crafting with friends
-leadership support
-time with God
-tech smart friends
-good books
-yummy meals with friends
-the O'Connors (and the van they are letting me take to Encounter)
-the Van Meekerens and all the help getting ready for practice

And I am thankful for God's grace

Word Count: 12,034

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Facebook Badges

I’ve been asked to put a facebook button/badge on the church website that would link to the church’s facebook group. After a few different google searches the only information I gained was on personal badges.

Is this request possible and if so how do I make it happen?

Word Count: 10,171

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cat Tales

With the US election finally here I feel like I should enter the arenas of politics and say something deep or witty. I tried to come up with something and can’t. All creative energy has been given to the novel. At this moment Elly, the main character has just had a narrow escape from a battle with a sea witch only to have eight spears shoved in her face. I am now working on a solution to this new problem. So I leave you with this. It is short and it made me giggle:

Word Count: 8,111

Monday, November 03, 2008


I always seem miss major blog milestones (significant post, birthdays, high hits, etc...). October 31st was my 500th post. I didn’t even notice till three posts later, c’est la vie. We can celebrate now:

Today is my 505th post… It’s a palindrome.

Happy Milestone Bowl of Stew(art)

Word Count: 6,226

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reader Participation

During last year’s nanowrimo experience, Bowl of Stew(art) readers made suggestions and later voted to decided the main character’s band’s name. It was an intense battle between Viridian and Now and Till Sunday. If you gave a suggestion or voted thank you; it was greatly appreciated. I am to call upon your assistance again. Over the next days and weeks I’ll be posting different story aspects that have me stumped. For some I will be looking for ideas. Other questions will be decided by a poll.

Today’s Reader Involvment:

What are some of your most interesting, bizarre, or frightening dreams?

Much of the novel is set in a dream world where the characters experience different dreamlike realities. I am looking for bits of dreams and/or nightmare to adapt and insert into my characters adventures.

Word Count: 4,013

Saturday, November 01, 2008

And So It Begins…

Nanowrimo has begun.

Last night I sent an alarm clock so that the typing could began right at midnight. Worn out from the trunk or treat I only managed to get 163 words on to paper (aka word.doc) before my mind demanded sleep. Each one was a struggle. The capturing the essence of the story I’ve been building in my mind was a great challenge than I thought.

As I sailed away to never neverland vicious plot bunnies attacked with the wicked idea that my outline was unusable and impractical. If I had of listened to these doubts I would have erased those precious 163. I think I would have started if I had not of had this amazing conversation with my dad this morning. Instead he helped me fight off the evil plot bunnies and kept going with my story writing this morning.

This afternoon I went to Just Us CafĂ© for the first ever Wolfville Write-In where I was joined by three other wonderful woman for two hours of writing, tea, and chatting bliss. I am as excited to learn the outcome of their stories as I am to finish mine. We also had one word war, where everyone writes as much as they can in a give time limit. Ours was for ten minutes with the best word count earning chocolate. It really helps the word count and the ideas to flow. I didn’t win but was impressed to have managed over 300 words in that short time. Yay for word wars! It was a good time had by all…and there was London Fog, my new favourite drink beating out the long cherished chai latte, I had two.

Word Count: 2,101 (necessary daily quota to win is 1,667)

Oh Happy Day!

Happy 33rd Anniversary Mom and Dad!
I did a very dad-ish thing to celebrate this afternoon. I took a drive on a road that I didn’t know where it went to a place I’d never been till it lead some place I knew because it’s the Valley and eventually you can get almost any where in a roundabout sort of way.

I am glad that you are together and not just because it means that Leeanne and I exist.

I love you both!