December 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in December: 

1. Preparing to Query

2.Family time, Traveling, and the Holidays

3. Finishing end-of-year list and preparing for 2017


Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 

  1. Buy 25 Books – 2
  2. Request 25 Books for Review – 2
  3. Dance, Skip, or swing in the rain 25 times – 3
  4. Watch the sunrise or sunset 25 times – 1
  5. Read to, or cook with, children 25 times – 2
  6. Have less than 5 emails in my inbox Saturday night 25 weeks (not in a row) – 4
  7. Go to bed by 10:30 sixty times (not in a row)- 12
  8. Blog by 9:30 a hundred times – 10
  9. Go to Wednesday night church 20 times – 1
  10. Drink coffee or tea while reading or journaling 25 times – 3

Non-Fiction: 1

Fiction: 7

Reviews: 8

Audio Books: 4



Nights gone: 12

New States or Countries: None


December Goals 

1.Write the synopsis, target audience, blurb, genre, and author bio for When Life Hands You Lymes (pretty much be prepared to query): = {YES}
2. Blog by 9:30 Fifteen times = {NO – 11 or 12 times} Answer all comments during the week within 24 hours {YES} and Vlog twice {NO}
3. Read and Review 4 books = {YES – 8}
4. 40 hours of learning = {YES}
5. Eat Paleo 20 days = {YES} Be in bed by 10:30 Fourteen times = {No – 12} 15 Walks = {YES}
6. Quality family time without phone, computer, writing work, etc…. {YES}
7. HIS (non-writing job) hours = {NO}
8.Research for Agents, etc… 15 hours = {YES}
9. Write Year-Long Review = {YES}

What I’ve Been Learning

Oh, the amazingness of being able to learn and grow! I started out the month completely overwhelmed by the querying process. Skip to the other side of a couple dozen hours of researching, coffee, and notes taken with colorful markers and I was still overwhelmed, but at least now I knew what to be overwhelmed about. Really, I’m a bit amazed with all I learned about being a writer during December. The fact that I actually had my query letter completed, polished, and ready to send out by the end of 2016 made me sigh huge sighs of happiness. It was a good lesson in learning how spending dedicated learning time really does help. (Plus having people help. Cause I had a lot of really helpful help.)
I listened to the audio book Killing Lincoln during my long “weekend” at the Creation Museum. History is something I’ve always been interested in, and this book was no exception. Finding out more about what really went on during one of the most important time periods in American history was fascinating. I may or may not have spent an entire mealtime after I got home regaling my family with some of the facts I had learned.
Being away from home over Sunday meant several missed times at church, and, although I really missed my church family, I enjoyed listening to sermons on-line. There are several different churches who’s sermons I listen to semi-regularly, so that is a blessing. I enjoy learning from different people’s perspective and research.
During December I also learned a fair amount about how I deal with different situations in life. It’s good for me to take time to stop and ponder and review and reflect and really pay attention to what I need to work on changing. Like, I totally surprised myself one day by getting extremely frustrated at something that was incredibly simply. That signaled a growth time for me which, so yay.



December was wonderful, but also had some really expected elements to it.

Near the beginning of the month I spent nearly a week in Florida with my grandparents where I played games, talked, went swimming, and spent hours working on the query letter for WLHYL with amusingly cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies playing in the background. Then instead of going home I headed straight to the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum where I spent several fantastic days with my adopted parents and delightedly seeped myself in the ambiance of the Museum. (If y’all haven’t figured out by now, the Creation Museum is one of my most favorite places on earth.)

As always December was the most gameish-month of the year for me with hundreds of rounds of cards, boardgames, and snatching random breaks for family time. I also learned several new games which were So. Much. Fun.

When I was home during the month I made good use of my time by randomly deciding to go through all my stuff and organizing it. Before I left for Florida it was my office and closet, and after I got home from Florida it was my library. It was rewarding knowing I could start out 2017 with a sparkling clean workspace.

My brother and I used to have a heard of dairy goats. I bowed out of the business several years ago and we sold most of the goats. This December my brother sold the remaining few goats, which meant that our livestock guard dog, Medallion, was now out of a job. My brother generously gave her to the person who bought some of the goats. Although I hadn’t been to the goat barn for a while, I visited so I could say good-bye to Medallion, because even though she was a work dog, she was also a very friendly, big, teddybear-ish type animal. During the eight years we had her I spent hundreds of hours up in the goat barn with her hanging around.

How was y’alls December? I’d be delighted to hear about it!



November 2016 in Review

What I Focused on in November: 

1. Moving over to WordPress, Giveaway, Etc….

2. Lots of busy days with my non-writing job

3. Thanksgiving and wonderful family time


Birthday Challenge and Dream List Update 

  1. Request 25 Books for Review – 3
  2. Vlog 25 Times – 2
  3. Dance, Skip, or swing in the rain 25 times – 2
  4. Color 25 pictures – 2
  5. Have less than 5 emails in my inbox Saturday night 25 weeks (not in a row) – 4
  6. Move over to WordPress {Completed November, 2016}
  7. Host a contest or giveaway on Noveltea {Completed November, 2016}
  8. Go to bed by 10:30 sixty times (not in a row) – 15
  9. Blog by 9:30 a hundred times – 15
  10. Go to Wednesday night church 20 times – 2
  11. Drink coffee or tea while reading or journaling 25 times – 4

Dream List: 



Non-Fiction: 2

Fiction: 5

Reviews: 6

Audio Books: 4



Nights gone: 0

New States or Countries: None


November Goals 

1. Blog by 9:30 fifteen times {YES}
2. Write weekly and daily goals and track them {3 out of 4 weeks}
3. Do well with my two weeks of busyness with my non-writing job {YES}
4. Write WLHYLs synopsis, target audience, blurb, genre, and author bio {NO}
5. 50 hours of learning {YES}
6. Get to bed by 10:30 fifteen times, Eat Paleo 25 days, and take at least 12 walks/runs {YES}
7. Catch up on all the books-to-review I currently have {NO – 3 out of 4}
8. Move over to WordPress and host a giveaway to celebrate {YES}

What I’ve Been Learning

WordPress was one of those big learning curves I continued working on learning this month. It was overwhelming, fun, totally over my head, confusing, interesting, and something I want to spend more time on in the future. All in all I’m glad I decided to design the site myself instead of paying someone to do it, cause this way I get the experience, and won’t feel so helpless in the future if I want something changed.

I also learned some things about myself which is always helpful. For instance I really need to figure out how to change the expectations I have for little ol’ me. 🙂

After reading a work of Biblical fiction that took place during the Exodus, I decided to re-read that portion of the Bible and have been enjoying the experience a lot. I like it how the combined efforts of God’s inspired Word, and the research and imagination of the author of the Biblical fiction made the world from thousands of years ago come so alive.

I only read two nonfiction books this month (craziness), but both of them had a lot of good information. The first one, especially, was a slow read for me because I had to let all the information really soak in.


November! Where do I even start? This month was seriously full of cooking and baking, so that was fun. There’s nothing like whipping up twenty pounds of mashed potatoes, or using a double boiler to melt dozens of pounds of chocolate (not at once!), or cooking huge pots of chili. I throughly enjoy cooking and had fun listening to audio books, Christmas music, and sermons as I worked by myself for hours at a time.

My oldest sister and her husband and their seven (soon to be eight!) children visited for nearly five days over Thanksgiving. My other older siblings came in too, although not for quite that long. We had a delightful time with lots of cooking and baking together, reading stories, playing games, and making memories. One night my brother-in-law gathered a group of us and we hopped in the van and went Geocaching until it was too dark to see any more. (A splendid way for the little kids to expend some energy before bed time.)

I also randomly decided on Thanksgiving to go do a 5k that my sister had told me about the night before. That sister, plus my brother and his wife and their little girl went too, so it was a lot of fun. I’ve been walking since my half marathon, but not long distances, and practically no running, and the 5k made me really want to get back in the swing of running again.

My cute little rat, Autumn, died on Thanksgiving, so that Saturday we went and picked out two darling little bunnies. I’ve been keeping my office windows closed so they don’t freeze to death, and the payoff is well worth it. The bunnies are adorably wonderful.


How did y’alls November go?