Winning NaNoWriMo 2017

Each with a bottle of ginger beer in hand, my husband and I celebrate another win for us both! My darling husband, this insane maniac filled with humor, deep thinking and weirdness has won this evening, for his 11th of 11 (3 of which he wrote by hand)! And I’ve won my 7th of 8!

We have won. And it feels darn good.

I embarked on a journey of new genre and found my way through on November 22. He tread his way through a new genre and completed less than an hour ago. Together, we kept each other entertained, intrigued and slightly annoyed as we kept interrupting each other to excitedly deal with playlists, uploads and other inspiring acts.

This has been a forever treasured November–our first NaNoWriMo as husband and wife. 2017 will always be full of joyous firsts for us. And now, we look forward to more adventures, more firsts, and many, many more NaNoWriMo wins!

If you’re still writing, KEEP WRITING. You’re so close! You can do this! Matt had 4,000+ words to go as of last night, with a full work day planned today. Yet he did it long before midnight. You can do this, too! Keep going! Keep going! Join us in our win.




Andy Brown: An International Musician with a Heart for Local Music

My piece on jazz guitarist, Andy Brown, is up!



Ten Years

My favorite author, my dad had a favorite hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, by Martin Luther.

“A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

“Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

“And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

“That word above all earthly powers,
no thanks to them, abideth;
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
thru him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
this mortal life also;
the body they may kill;
God’s truth abideth still;
his kingdom is forever.”


It’s been 10 years, Dad, and I still wish I could hug you again, even just once.

Teatime for Writers: Loyd Mint, Cranberry Herbal Review

A vast number of herbal teas by numerous brands cover the shelves of local grocery stores and fill out the aisles at little tea shops in cities like Chicago. Finding the right tea choice can be difficult, especially for newbies, though seasoned tea-drinkers can struggle with finding new options when favorite blends stop circulating.

Some trusted brands offer great varieties in black teas, while their herbal teas or green teas leave the drinker at less than impressed. And for this tea drinker, herbal teas are the hardest to find a decent blend in. I find most herbal and fruit blends too bitter, or too sharp when filled with mint of some  variety.

When I chose the Loyd Herbal tea flavor mint with cranberry and herbs to offer at my wedding celebration this year, I was highly skeptical that I could enjoy a drop of it, but purchased it for the enjoyment of other people.


A few days later, however, I found myself with a stomachache, and nothing but this mint tea and a harsh flavored one that I no longer use. Now was as good a time as any to try this new blend. I put the whistling kettle on, and went about my business of being miserable.

After the whistle blew, I poured the scalding water into the cup and let it steep for the prescribed 5 minutes. Of course, with a sour stomach, I thought I’d perhaps best let it steep longer, so I did. When I lifted the cup to my nose, I was instantly intrigued. This herbal tea doesn’t smell disgusting! When I cautiously tipped the liquid into my mouth for the first sip, I found myself pleasantly surprised. It doesn’t taste disgusting, either!

The blend is just about perfect in this tea. The mint it strong enough to be the dominant flavor, but the cranberry and rose hip combines with the mint subtly, creating a soft, soothing flavor, unlike others that feel harsh and too strong to enjoy.

Since that first cup, I’ve continued drinking this blend, and have, in fact, slightly hoarded it for myself offering the other herbal blend to my husband (since he doesn’t mind it) when his stomach turns sour.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 for Loyd Mint Cranberry Herbal.

A NaNoWriMo Search History, For Your Amusement (and Mine)

As a writer, especially one writing in a new genre, one has to do a lot of research. Quite often, this research is quick, single word searches. Other times, this research involves heavy topics that one must read thoroughly before understanding that one word you were looking for. And today, as I do these types of searches, I laugh over the variety of topics researched. So, for your amusement (and mine), here’s the list of all topics researched this week. (If we tossed in the subjects I’m researching for my husband, you wouldn’t know what I was writing. ;))

  1. bounty hunting license laws for Washington and Idaho
  2. license laws for carrying a weapon across state lines
  3. Prokofiev, Soviet composer biographical information
  4. quotes on paranoia and internet security
  5. DeLorean & gull-wing
  6. the city of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
  7. lyrics for the greatest Christmas carols of all time
  8. what name sounds like apel?
  9. where is Apeldoorn?
  10. Romanian mens’ names
  11. Romanian surnames
  12. great mug sayings
  13. lyrics to specific Christmas carols
  14. stores known for selling Christmas decor
  15. Seattle location for FBI offices
  16. best seafood restaurants in Seattle waterfront

7 Writer’s Quotes

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
—George Orwell


“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
—Robert Benchley


“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf


“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen


“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson


“I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.”
—Richard Ben Cramer


“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block, WD