November 2013 (Facebook compilation)

November 2

Brought home two shy bengals this week.

Hid the whole first day, enjoyed the couch while we were gone the second day, and lasted on the couch today until the kids came out.

I think we call that progress.
The brownish gray one is Tiger. The ruddier one is Garnet.

Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
November 4

5:42 am: /end 30-minute mild theological rant about [mumblemumble].

Jay: I’m off to shower. I don’t have any answers.

Me: I don’t expect answers; that wasn’t the point. I just don’t want us avoiding the questions because of that.

~ ~ ~

Four days into ?#?NaNoWriMo?.

Passed 25,000 words (due to a lot of hours from Jay over a long weekend. About 25% of the way through my story and enjoying a speed of ~ 1200 words/hour, due to the month of planning that led up to November.

My first (and maybe second/third) NaNo, this was the time I wanted to quit: before the end of the first week.

I was making my 1,667-word/day minimum each time, but I wasn’t sure I could maintain the pace and wanted to quit before I failed.

Sticking it out each time proved something to ME.

Noveling is WORK, it is worth it, and it is worthy work I am capable of.

Consider what you are doing– what you spend your hours on– as practice. Practice what you want to perfect.

Be encouraged: now isn’t forever, and it might help us toward the future we’re wishing for.


November 7

So, those new Bengals I mentioned? They don’t “meow.”

They “Mama” and “menow?” And “Ohwaow.”

The difference these last couple nights has been the being up an hour or two, so they (the cats) don’t startle me awake wondering who’s calling for me.

Just at night up til now, but Garnet seems to be transitioning into “I deserve more of you, desirable person,” and will come just close enough for me to touch he before throwing himself onto his back just out of reach.

I totally don’t play along: if he wants my attention he has to come to me: I won’t trail after him.

I am continually amazed how solidly muscular he is.

His interaction is v. unsophisticated– like the boy who throws mud on the playground and feels love when you throw mud back.

Pushes really hard against my hand, so simple petting/stroking seems to be under proportionate. So I scratch or rub harder, and he leans harder and I keep going, “You’re a cat, right? Are you sure you like this?”

Garnet has officially integrated with the household. This is so awesome for me. Tonight he joined us on the couch for bedtime reading.

Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
November 10

In awe of the amazing range and dexterity of hands: from wrestling goats to cradling eggs, from forcing a shovel through deep snow to touching a baby’s cheek.

All with the same hands.
I’m so, *so* thankful.

~ ~ ~

Link: Every Mother’s Dilemma

~ ~ ~

I spent three hours making a dent in the fresh snowfall in my driveway (8 or 9 inches overnight).

I was just about at the place where the worst (stuff that would become an ice-rock when the temp drops again) was just about managed when the man working with the old truck and plow drove across the road and started clearing my driveway for me.

In five minutes he did everything I’d calculated the minimums on, and more.

The right tools make a difference. I’m so glad and thankful he shared with me. *Such* an encouragement on what could have been a (more) exhausting day.


November 11

Feedback from my latest beta [reading Lindorm King] was squee-inducing yesterday. I love it when people *get* my story:

“So, I had a bit of time on mine hands, took a look and then was thoroughly hooked. Meaning I read all 344 pages last evening.

I totally adore your women characters. They are strong, but not in the way that “Now I do stuff like the boyz” that so often gets mistaken for strength. I’m fascinated by how they struggle and try to cope with the roles their restrictive society cast for them.

Also, I wanted to hit Tykone over the head frequently for all his subconscious sexism. Very good job on that one, maybe one day a guy reads it and has a d’oh-moment.”

[This last, in particular, was an awesome affirmation to specify on her own: it was an experiment on my part, since I wasn’t sure it would even be recognized as sexism since it’s so “normal”.

She also had some very useful structural feedback that was very meaningful. Moving back to revision after NaNo is going to be a blast!

~ ~ ~

Soooo a “family emergency” kept me from writing-time all but two days in the last week. Maybe 3500 words since last Monday.

Fortunately I was far enough ahead from earlier “uninterrupted” work that I’m still past 31,000.

I ran into a local fellow NaNo-er, and while we were exchanging stats I gave the obligatory, “Real people are more important than imaginary people” line.

“Yes,” she agreed. “But sometimes the imaginary people keep us sane for the real people.”

I’m so thankful for writer-friends. Nobody understands that (big) part of me as well as they.


November 12

Well, I tried to so the nice thing. I made these beautiful loaves. Three, actually. One for the kids– they’re gluten bread– and an extra to take over, in case the home owner wasn’t the driver– then I would just be, ya know, 3 years late on the friendly neighbor thing.

Didn’t work. frown emoticon
Driver must be hired.

Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
November 13
All the kids slept under my (loft) bed last night. Now I’ve still got the curtains drawn, no illuminated clocks, and the kids are whispering super-soft in their spot. I wonder how long this can last…
~ ~ ~
For writers, tone is a tricky thing to get right. It’s also one of the most important things to get right. And like most writers, sometimes I get tone right and sometimes I get tone wrong. As a Christian, I work especially hard to make my writing as irenic and…
November 18

I don’t know if this is confidence… Or codependency. :}

KWHL Alaska's Rock's photo.
November 19
“Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the hurt is not to be accepted as normal and natural but is an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humanness.” ? Walter Brueggemann

I sweet-talked Natasha to kindly fetch my kindle, since I’m on the couch and my hands are full.

She turned it on, and I can only pity you all that I didn’t think to snap a picture while she tried to read.

“I don’t get ANY of this,” she said, handing it over.

I began to read it aloud, imagining that might help, and recognized once again how important context is to understanding.

From *The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem* by Nathaniel Branden (recommended):

Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
~ ~ ~

E learned how to make boiled eggs today.

Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
November 20

I need to reiterate how much I love (need) spoilers.

Person of Interest had a huge (as in, Somebody dies) episode last night, and it was a relief to read about it in the morning-after discussions rather than experience it first-hand.

So for you non-spoiler POI fans, stay out of the discussions till you’ve seen the episode.

~ ~ ~

THIS is why writing– especially noveling– is my go-to.

Flow is the mental state of a person when he is completely immersed in one activity or event—a moment in which all of his energy is focused on one thing so that he is oblivious to the world around …
November 21

Yay! over 1600 words on… not-my-novel.

Heh. It’s an outline for a talk I’m calling “Personality and Purpose.” A discussion of how type and tendencies can help us find direction and purpose in our lives.

I’m giving the talk at a women’s study group tomorrow night, 7pm at Lily of the Valley Church, in case anyone is interested in coming.

November 22

(Image shared by Carolyn on her Facebook)

Carolyn Mahlen's photo.
~ ~ ~
Because this question comes up every holiday season, I thought I’d help everyone out with a handy chart.
November 23
Identity is what we have that is uniquely ours. After my mental illness diagnosis, my identity changed. Or so I thought.
November 23

Current word count: 45,698

I am so thankful for the generous people who will juggle my kids so I can write.

Brian Lotze: Juggling three isn’t too bad, but four requires throwing them higher and using a different pattern, they really don’t like the change in heights and then when you mess up and drop one, you never hear the end of it. 🙂

I’m probably 10k up b/c of people who specifically said, “I’ll do this so you can write.”

When ppl encourage me in what I value– that feels like love.


November 24

What is a mental disorder diagnosis? What do mental health professionals use to determine one? Should you know your diagnosis?

This is why I needed my own.

Amy Jane Helmericks's photo.
November 26

The pickings at Wyn have been a bit slim this month. Becky wrote a blog post explaining why.

After 9-ish months of anticipation, I added a new baby girl to my family. My fourth child and third girl, Providence, was born on November 8th. This was my first baby in the Netherlands (the others were born in the US), my first home birth…
I began to finally understand myself and see past the debilitating effects of my ADHD diagnosis to solutions I could manage.

NaNo *win*
Broke 50K.

Now to breathe and finish.

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