#amwriting, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Down Day View

window viewOne of the things I don’t like to tell anyone is that there are some days having auto-immune arthritis means I don’t go anywhere or do much of anything. I know in my higher mind that these are days spent recovering from doing too much the day (or days or weeks) before. Still, it bothers me to have any days like that when there are so many ways to spend my time.

Yesterday was one of those days, so I was glad to see a NaNoBloMo prompt that I could do, even if I didn’t have the hand available to turn it into a blog post at the time. Mary Beth suggested looking out a nearby window, taking a picture, and then writing about what you could see in the picture that you hadn’t noticed while simply looking outside.

This is the view from our living room window across to the Presbyterian Church. It is a view I love, and I was hard-pressed to imagine what I would find that I hadn’t noticed before.

Meanwhile, kathrynzj was coming home with a load of things from our townhouse in the back of her van, and she pulled into the driveway, then backed out again to turn the van around. I took the picture at that moment, having no idea she was back from her errands.

I didn’t type anything yesterday I couldn’t manage on my phone with my left thumb. (I wrote 0 words for my novel.) Today is already better.


#amwriting, Family, Interim Ministry, Ministry, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, The Minister's Wife, Writing

Life is full

Victorian House floor plan I'm adapting for the family in my novel.
Victorian House floor plan I’m adapting for the family in my novel, from this book. Because you can’t describe a life without knowing where the sunlight comes through the windows and how far the bathroom is from the bedroom.

It turns out I am more of a promoter of NaBloPoMo than a participant in it. I have, however, been working on my novel, which is fun, although I do not have enough time for it, not really. Today I plan to spend some time on the novel, some time on a sermon and some time on overdue essays for Lectionary Homiletics, a sermon publication. That’s a full day of writing.

Every day this week has been a full day of living. Among the hats I have worn are Long Distance (College Student and other grown up people) Mama, cook, laundress, furniture duster, Pastor’s wife, Bible study leader, non-profit ministry Director (with it’s sub-categories of technical support, Social media minister, event planner and erstwhile visionary), book editor, novice novelist, floor plan researcher, freelance curriculum/sermon resource writer, colleague, friend, Facebook friend, Words with Friends player, step-mom, stationery supply shopper, cat owner at vet (twice, each with a different cat), leader, reader, pray-er, Stewardship letter writer, pastor myself and wife (minus Pastor’s for the times that isn’t the priority).

That leaves off a few descriptors for things I didn’t get around to doing.

Juggling multiple part-time jobs (Interim Pastor, Director of RevGalBlogPals, writing/editing) requires me to learn compartmentalization, a skill I have both envied and resented in others. This week I spent time on that task by setting up another email just for church and a connected Evernote account that works across devices. That’s my to do list just for church. And the truth is, I really only look at that Evernote in the blocks o time assigned to working at the church. It goes against my nature, but it has to be that way if I’m going to keep to the 20 hours a week for which I am contracted and also have time to do other work and be present to my family.

Oh, and God.

There are a lot of days in this season of life with its delicious if sometimes exhausting fullness when I count on God’s presence more than I invoke it. I think a lot about what God wants for and from me, from RevGalBlogPals, from the church I am serving, even from the church my wife is serving. There is not much downtime in which to regroup, much less to be contemplative, but I can feel the need for it. I made an appointment with my Spiritual Director — much-needed — but I can see the pace is going to continue this way for the foreseeable future.

So, I may not blog every day. But I am writing every day, at least a little, and I feel good about it.

#amwriting, Knit Without Ceasing, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo

2241 (NaNoWriMo bullet points + Knitting)

  • I’ve written 2241 words! 1063 this morning.
  • At that rate I’ll get to 50,000 on January 6, 2015. Ah, well.
  • Early morning is a great time for writing except for the fact that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and wake up with stiff hands. Adjustments may be required.
  • This morning I realized that if I want to write about a family, and that family lives in a house, I need to have a clearer sense of the floor plan of the house. I decided to save that research and contemplation for later, but it actually matters where and how these people live, so it can’t wait much longer if I am to have a hope of upping the daily word rate.
  • I’ll admit I didn’t write (or blog, for that matter, NaBloPoMo) yesterday. Sunday really needs to be a writing Sabbath for me, because by the time church is over, I don’t have much in the way of words.
  • Some of the most fun-sounding NaNoWriMo meetups in my area are on Sundays, which makes sense for people who work at other jobs Monday through Friday.
  • I did finish knitting a Christmas present. On an unrelated note, I have been knitting like a boss all through 2014, and some of my NaBloPoMo will likely be pictures and descriptions of Finished Objects.
  • This is my day off, and kathrynzj’s, too, but it’s more chore day than Sabbath. We’re blessed to have churches that don’t expect much, if anything, of us after worship, so although we start it late, the rest of Sunday really is Sabbath time around here.
  • This morning she found some unopened boxes, so they await me on the dining room table. We’ve only been here six weeks, and we are definitely still unpacking.

    Most recent (non Christmas present) finished object - I have been knitting baby blankets like mad this year.
    Most recent (non Christmas present) finished object – I have been knitting baby blankets like mad this year. More to come!
#amwriting, NaNoWriMo

Official Start Date (NaNoWriMo)

Here we go!
Here we go!

Today is the day. I did not wake up especially early. It’s dark here! I’m counting on Fall Back tonight to be of help in early writing as the month unfolds.

I’m working through the “jump start” 1000 words I wrote to take to my writing group this past week and moving on beyond there. Today also holds the finish (or the start and finish) of a sermon and some liturgical writing, so it’s all writing all the time around here.

I’m starting on the laptop, although I have a brand new Moleskine, sharp #2 pencils and a package of the those Staedtler pens available should writing block ensue. I’m drinking Starbucks Veranda in my wedding picture mug, so I feel I am surrounded by love and encouragement. At least one other person on the mug is doing NaNoWriMo and another is doing NaBloPoMo – which I guess I am doing, too, although I expect my blog posts to be as much about WriMo as anything else.

How is it with you?

#amwriting, NaNoWriMo, Reflectionary


Book cover

I’m blessed to be in a writing group with some other clergywomen, and also blessed that we don’t have to write about church things in order to share them with each other. They had some great basic advice about things I should consider as I am plotting and planning my novel for NaNoWriMo.

  1. Structure – I have an outline and a length goal for each section.
  2. Characters – Admittedly I have a few sketched out faintly, but it would be smart to get more specific.
  3. Point of view – I wrote a short sample (about 1000 words) to share with the group, and they helped me see where the point of view seemed to shift from the 1st person narrator to a more omniscient voice.
  4. Audience – Is it Neil Gaiman fans, middle-aged adoptees, or UCC church ladies? On the NaNoWriMo site, I chose the category “literary novel,” because I would hope anything I write would fall into the literary category. 🙂

One of the things they recommend at NaNoWriMo is creating a book cover. I sort of love mine, pictured here. The other thing they recommend is making a contribution, which I also did.

Some NaNoWriMo participants stay up late on October 31 and start writing at midnight, but I am far more likely to get up early-ish on Saturday instead. The 1000 words I have are a running start, but I can already see that one detail is simply a placeholder and will likely not make it to the second draft.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, I hope you’ll leave a comment. When are you planning to start?

#amwriting, NaNoWriMo

Things we hesitate to say out loud (NaNoWriMo)

NaNoWriMo participantI never know whether it’s better to say these things out loud, because if I fail to complete the task I’m describing, what then? (See many long ago blog posts about life-changing commitments to diet and exercise, for instance.) But since I decided to put the button in my sidebar, here goes. This year I’m participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I’ve never done it before. I’m actually going to work on a novel. It will either be amazing or disheartening, spectacular or a squib. We’ll see.