Well That Was NaNoWriMo 2019

Well NaNoWriMo 2019 has come and gone. That was quick! It was just like a dandelion…blooming one day and gone to seed the next. I thought I would have more time to be posting updates about my progress, but then I do tend to overestimate my abilities.

In spite of that, the month did exactly what it was supposed to. It saw me through another reading of the novel I am working to complete. I chopped about 6,000  words most of which were leading the narrative rather than letting the narrative lead. I also began a debate with myself over at least one chapter and its future in the novel….I haven’t decided which side of me wins this fight yet. DO YOU EVER FIGHT WITH YOURSELF LIKE THAT?


I also wrote about five scenes of backstory some of which will (I think) make it into the novel’s final form. Of course they will need to be rewritten. My first drafts are always….well let’s just say not fit for public consumption. My sister would call them “pieces of Drech.”

What I noticed is that as I worked hard to increase my level of writing productivity, my over all productivity level went up. I  started really paying attention to my blog life again. I accomplished a lot more art work than I usually do. My family started a semi regular game night and I got some of the big cleaning projects done  which I had been sitting on for a while. If this keeps up my family is going to want every month to be NaNoWriMo.



The Romans 12 Cycle: Encourager

I sing the summer boys

Home. The clamoring crowds

With strong drink letter

Affirmations that at last

The series is in the bag.



I’ll never say die.

Even when my heroes fall.

I’ll scale the mountains.

I’ll take the skies of midnight

Home in buckets made of clay.



Shovel the neighbor’s 

Drive. Speaking life to the

Winter wind. In the 

Dark journey the truth now brings

A needle’s golden thread.



I call forth the Spring.

A three-strand string binds the shards

Of broken mirrors. 

It makes sense of the damaged homes in

Reality’s tapestry.



I am not a year

Nor a season, month or day

I am but minutes,

An eye for the thread leading

To the finished work, God’s hand.



The Romans 12 Cycle: Teacher


In the lavender

By the lake I write the

Stories. Very few will ever read. Too busy

With the summer sun to learn.


Autumn annotates

The footnotes of falling leaves.

The mountains are my 

Tablet. I write with the ink

Bottled in the midnight skies.wp-image-249808474jpg.jpg

I sip hot coffee

By the fire, a book in hand.

I thread the needle

With my  tinder thoughts in the

Winter land’s cold hard facts.


Speak forth the gentle

Green of reason threaded through

The broken mirrors.

Pieces make sense reflected in

Reality’s tapestry.


I am not the year

Nor a season, month or day.

I am but minutes

Unmasking the threads

To the finished work, God’s hand



The Romans 12 Cycle: Servant

I stir lemonade,

Sigh and wipe my weary brow.

I wax thankful then

As summer solicits for

The seasons’ warrant.

Rake the leaves. I’ll burn

This body to dust, if that

Is what it takes. I’ll

Do it gladly. My heart is

Woven in the mountain skies.

I am winter’s snow.

You will find me in the work.

No matter how dark it

Gets, I will be the finger

Which pulls the thread no one sees.

In Secret Spring’s green

I snip the weak threads. I break

The mirror. I sweep 

The pieces into place. Glimpse

Reality’s tapestry.

I am not the year

Nor a season, month or day.

I am but minutes

Who work the threads leading

To the finished work, God’s hand.

The Romans 12 Cycle: Prophet


A hot summer day,

Once again I read someone

Else’s mail. Sipping

Lemonade as I crochet

Edges of reality.


The leaves fall. As I

Count the dry bones, I breathe forth

The silence of death

Woven from mountains and skies

Which hem in the Beloved.


My breath twines with snow

Yet to come. They rebuke me

For seeing the dark,

But what choice was I given?

The winter is my needle.


Spring’s my thread of green.

New like the shards of broken

Mirrors. Pieces placed

Like manifold wisdom, glimpse

Reality’s tapestry


I am not the year

Nor a season, month or day.

I am but minutes

Who count the threads leading

To the finished work, God’s hand.

NaNoWriMo 2019: I Don’t Believe In Fate Except In…

I am sitting here in my new home office (which is the same as my old home office just with less junk). I have been poring over story details and thinking about my writing process this afternoon.  For those of you who are theologians I am a Wesleyan Armenian not a Calvinist which in layman’s terms just means, if I am asked to choose between the idea of fate and free will I am going to lean towards free will every time. I am not a big believer in the idea that you cannot escape your fate. I am a big believer in the idea that you get to play a part in your destiny.

That said when it comes to the writing process, as I put pen to paper it feels more like I am just uncovering a story that is already written, not creating something new. The story is new to me, but I feel like it has been floating around  in the spirit realm somewhere just waiting for someone to stumble upon it and give it form. I almost feel fated to write this thing….and so you see my problem.

Does anyone else feel this way as they put their own pens to their own pieces of paper? I anxiously await your input.

NaNoWriMo 2019 & The Writing On the Wall

My mentor wrote to me after my last blog post and commented that it sounded from my recent writings like I was discovering writing as a spiritual practice. I think that is an accurate assessment of how things are changing in me.

My initial philosophy of writing was, “writing is a vehicle by which you communicate to others what you think.”

When I started blogging I realized that was a fairly self-centered way of writing. Blogging taught me about the nature of writing and reading in the midst of a community, and how important it was not just to say what I thought, but to listen to the voices of others as I mixed my voice into the community. This second philosophy of writing was, “writing is a vehicle by which you participate in community.”

That second stage philosophy has turned out just to be an oasis to stop at in a much longer journey. I have come to the place where writing is a method by which I begin to wonder what God is doing in the deeper space between the words. It is becoming an exercise by which I  am trying to contextualize  motives and mysteries…the heart of the world, my own heart and in the deepest iteration of the work ,the very heart of God. “Writing is a spiritual practice in which you discover God.”

Our church has recently developed a manifesto. We have published it on place cards for every member of the church to have at home, and we have created giant pieces of art to hang on our walls so that people can read our purpose as they walk around the church. I call it “The writing on the wall.”

I have come to understand that “The writing on the wall” is God’s specific marching orders for us as a church. As I am part of the church these marching orders apply to me. It is necessary that I discover what my position in the church is so that I may understand what part I will have in carrying out these marching orders. Writing  this novel now is contextualizing what my role will be in the future as a member of this church, as a soldier in God’s army and as a citizen of that heavenly domain to which we all hope to attain. It is so much bigger than the novel, and it is the novel all at the same time.

Sounds like a spiritual practice to me and man it is more than I bargained for.


NaNoWriMo 2019 & My “Oh! So Tired”

I planned well for this year’s NaNoWriMo. I created a detailed list of goals to tackle. I began months ago working on building my writing and reading  stamina so that I could handle three hours a day of reading and writing. I even thoughtfully restructured my schedule between work and home so that I would be able to manage the  new writing regimen.

What I did not plan on was the level of weariness I was going to come into this season carrying. I am tired not so much physically but emotionally. While I now have the working space to plan in a longer nap every day, I am realizing that this is not just about getting the physical rest my body craves. There is a work to do in the midst of all the writing and reading.That work has to do with facing some emotional issues and coming to terms with them. I have to let some things go to gain peace. I have to change my expectations regarding certain things to come, and I have to allow some people to walk away as I realize I cannot fill their expectations of our relationship. I have to give up what I cannot control and embrace what I can control. Honestly, the list of things I can control is turning out to be rather small.

I think part of NaNoWriMo this year may be about far more than just writing the next great American novel. I think it is about something far closer to home. I am beginning to feel like God planned all this in advance so that I would be able to come to terms with  the monumental changes which have taken place in my life over the last 2 years. Strangely, until the beginning of this month I was not even really aware that I was having a struggle with these changes. Fancy that.


NaNoWriMo 2019 Day 2 On Day 3


Life sometimes feels like a dance competition to me. If that is so, then NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  is a quick step in the middle of a much longer bit of movement.

I have come to this challenge in years past unprepared and extremely unintentional. Usually I  have given up by about Nov. 4th. So getting past tomorrow is goal number 1 this year.

In years past I said, “Let’s just try this and see what happens”. Of course the old addage held true: “If you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.”

This year I am approaching the work with a plan. It actually started exactly a year ago, with a word from the Lord about some changes that I had to make with how I spend my time. The changes seemed a little extreme to me, but with a year of prayer and consideration under my belt I know they are worth making.

The confirmations about this restructuring have been many, but a fellow blogger, John Eli helped me see that the time is now for this work to be done.

This is the month I will launch into the finish of my book Pork Chops With the Sentinels of Azatan. I know…I know… this month is supposed to be about writing a new work, The truth is I already have two new books in draft form and the outlines of four more in the hopper. I don’t need new material right now. What I need to do is finish something. So that is what I am going to do. Maybe it is not the traditional path that NaNoWriMo prescribes, but it is the plan that God has ordained and confirmed at least five ways from Sunday!

So the writing goes on! Updates soon.