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NaBloPoMo

Apparently that’s a thing. Or it used to be. Have the BlogHer people running that show gone silent? If so, I’m hardly one to criticize. I haven’t posted here since January. January! I guess it’s a good thing this blog is titled, “SOMETIMES I Write.” Am I right? 😉

National Blog Posting Month. Like I have time for this! But I miss playing my instruments (the quills and keys) and I ALWAYS have something to say, plus I’m not doing it alone. My dear friend Mary posted about NaBloPoMo on her blog today and a tiny little spark inside my chest flared to life! So here I am! I’m posting every single day for the month of November. I can’t promise I won’t go silent again as we slide into the holiday season, but who knows? Maybe that little flame will become an unstoppable, roaring blaze. Stranger things have happened.

Speaking of Stranger Things…I still haven’t watched Season 2. I hosted a gaggle of teenagers last weekend to watch the whole thing, but I didn’t join them, I just set out food and drinks and slowly backed out of the room. I’m praying for a snow day or two so I can catch up. Speaking of catching up, A LOT has happened since January! Here’s a quick list:

  • I hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner with a friend (Prom fundraiser)
  • I hosted a Steampunk Prom with friends (Max was crowned Prom King)
  • My bookstore closed for good (Lots of mixed feelings about that)
  • I started a new job with a friend’s construction company (Loving it!)
  • Max graduated from High School (Hooray for both of us!)
  • I got a new tattoo! (See pic below)
  • I went to Oklahoma for two weeks in June for summer camp (It was hot)
  • I met a few of my favorite authors (I’m adding to that number on Saturday)
  • I attended Denver Comic Con (No, I didn’t cosplay, but I may have swooned a little)
  • I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary and my 45th birthday (No comment)
  • I attended a funeral and a wedding. (I cried at both)
  • I drank A LOT…Chai, Moscato, Coke Zero, Tea (But not plain water. Gross.)
  • I joined a Brene Brown book club (She’s incredible and so are the five of us!)
  • I lost a few friends and gained a few more (I always gain more than I lose)
  • There’s an ex-girlfriend and a new boyfriend in our family (I adore them both!)

I’m sitting here thinking about what I will share with you over the next 29 days. When my writing is silent and buried for a while, I feel the need to expound on life. Once the words break the surface, it’s a geyser of facts, anecdotes, tips, joys, and pains. I may need to rename my blog. Suggestion? These might work:

  • TMI w/Niki
  • It’s My Blog and I’ll Cry If I Want To
  • The Cussing Christian and other Tales

Or maybe I’ll just stick with what I know, that sometimes I write, and my writing often touches on all of those things.

Want to join us for NaBloPoMo? There are no prizes, just the satisfaction of creating something to fling out into the world. Express yo’self! Speaking of that, here’s MY graduation gift for successfully homeschooling my man-child all the way through:

IMG_5238

That’s what I did and what I’m going to do forever, so I’ll see you back here tomorrow!

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I laugh A LOT. I am lucky to have so many people in my life that make me laugh, and though it took me years, I’m finally secure enough to laugh at myself.

Humor is a beautiful thing! It diffuses angry situations, soothes uncomfortable moments, and it redirects our seriousness when we’re feeling run down, overwhelmed, and annoyed. It lightens the mood and frees us to laugh at the silliness that is life. Laughter is contagious and healing.

I have a few friends who keep pace with me as we volley snark and wit. I share a secret Pinterest board with a friend where we post memes that are funny but not appropriate to share on Facebook lest we offend half our friends lists. I have another friend whose humor is subtle and never fails to make me chuckle. My youngest child is in the pun stage of pre-puberty and he’s clever and hilarious. He warrants his own hashtag on my Twitter and Instagram accounts – #crappetesays.

It was hard to choose just one person who makes me laugh, but I finally did it. The comedic genius…

Jim Gaffigan

He’s been my favorite comedian for years. I love his routines, stalk follow him on Twitter, and even have a Jim Gaffigan Pandora station. I’m a fan.

Why?

He’s likable and disarmingly relatable. He is self-deprecating but not in a sad way, and he reminds me there is humor to be found in the more mundane experiences of life.

He’s a family man. Marriage and parenting hold an endless supply of joke fodder. Kudos to his wife!

He’s a pretty clean comedian. Unlike my secret Pinterest board, I am able to recommend him to ALL of my friends without the caveat of telling them they might want to wait until their kids have left the room before listenin to him.

He’s funny. Obvious, right? If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t have chosen him as someone who makes me laugh!

Who makes you laugh?

Want to see who makes my fellow challengers laugh? Check out their posts:

donhillson.wordpress.com

free2b2much.blogspot.com

countyroadchronicles.wordpress.com

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My friends Trevor, Chris, and Allen invited me to guest blog over at Sacred Margins today. I wrote about making a difference in my post, Greeting Cards and Bubbles.

“The guys” as I affectionately call them, are not only some of Benny’s best friends, but a talented band of brothers with a gift for exploring themes of faith. Their Sacred Margins site was born out of walking through life together and long talks about rest, space, and the desire to explore the deep connections between spirituality and technology. I am so honored they invited me to be part of the discussion!

I need to apologize to my friend Don. Not only because I never finished his 30 day drawing challenge, but because I’m not going to. I’ve had to give myself permission to move on. It was a great challenge – he rocked it out – but me? Not so much.

I did learn that I can draw more than stick figures. I also learned that drawing is work for me, and not the fun kind. Give me a lump of clay and I’ll be content to make whatever you want me to, but my brain does not see pictures on a flat surface in a way that is easily reproducible for me. I’m going to stick to word art for a while.

I have enough challenging things in my life now to take on any more. For instance, I decided not to join my many friends taking the NANOWRIMO challenge this month, but I am working on my time travel novel. That is fun for me, and there’s no pressure to have it completed by a certain day. I definitely work better on a deadline, but this is play, not work. It’s still challenging, but in a good way.

Have you read my story yet? The one published in Time Traveling Coffers? It’s not too late to get it at a discounted rate.

https://www.createspace.com/4021532

(Save 25% by using coupon code 9HW5GHYR when you order by 11/31/12)

I’m also trying to write our end of the year letter to our SEVENS family and friends without making it sound like a Christmas letter. It would be much easier if I had been writing quarterly letters like I had planned to do. I’m lucky they’re a forgiving bunch and they love me.

Be honest. How do you feel about Christmas letters?

Love them? Dread them? Hate them?

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I write fiction.

Now there’s a phrase I didn’t think would ever pass my lips. I’ve dreamed about writing a bestselling novel, but what writer hasn’t? I even went as far as outlining a novel at a workshop I attended a few years ago, but it was only to appease the speaker. I filed it under “writing misc.” and forgot about it. I have spent the past few years whining about not having enough time to blog, and working on piddly projects here and there. Until a few months ago.

I know this lady in my writer’s group who is always sharing opportunities for contests, anthologies, conferences, and such. She’s a writer/editor and probably submits more than anyone else I know. One day she cornered me and asked when I was going to write a story for her. With a polite smile, I kindly told her that I don’t write fiction. We chatted for a few minutes and I finally admitted that the time travel anthology she was working on intrigued me, and I did have an idea for a short story based on something that has puzzled me most of my life. I shared my idea and she said, “Write that!” So I did. Sort of. A few weeks after the deadline, I found out my story was accepted. I went to work on my edits and resubmitted my story. I was thrilled when it was also chosen as the 2nd story in the book!

From the intro:

What makes this collection unique is that an object must directly or indirectly be responsible for the [time travel] journey. The approach taken by all twelve writers is both as different and as diverse as the authors themselves. Several are from other countries. Several are brand new. Several are already published…it is family friendly. The editor wanted parents to be comfortable allowing their child or teenager to read these stories without fear of offensive language or sexual content. That being said, sit back and enjoy a trip through time via odd devices. It will be well worth the journey.

Time Traveling Coffers (WolfSinger Publications) released last week just in time for Mile Hi Con here in Denver. Last Sunday I joined my editor, publisher, and a few of my fellow authors in a reading, panel discussion, and book signing. We had a small but gracious audience and I received lots of encouragement and advice. I couldn’t cram all the story details into my limited 6,000 word count for the anthology, so I saved  a lot of it for the novel I’m writing. I hope others love my idea as much as I do.

Now that you know the story behind the story, here’s how you can buy it!

Print Edition is priced at $12.95
Ebook is priced at $5.99

Here is the link for Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Traveling-Coffers-Dana-Bell/dp/1936099373/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350073188&sr=8-1&keywords=Time+Traveling+Coffers

 

Smashwords offers all available e-book formats.

(Save 50% by using coupon code WB94A when you order by 10/31/12)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/243987

 

This is the link for create space:

(Save 25% by using coupon code 9HW5GHYR when you order by 11/31/12)

https://www.createspace.com/4021532

 

I also have limited e-book copies I can offer for anyone who would like to read and review the book on their blog. Email me if you’re interested.

 

I didn’t get to do this in the book, so special thanks to:

Dana Bell for asking me to write outside of my box, and accepting my first story.

Benny Nowell and Karen Stonecypher for thinking through the plot with me and being my head cheerleaders.

Paula Moldenhauer, Kordee Rose, and Don Hillson for their invaluable critiques of my SFD, asking me the hard questions, and keeping me encouraged and on track.

Will Rees, and Max, Zoe, and Pete Nowell. I was glad my kids were as excited about my story as I was. 🙂

 

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My writer’s group sponsored a devotional writing contest this summer. The deadline was midnight on July 31st. With moderate hope, I hit the send button at 11:50 something. I am thrilled to announce that Tuesday night I was awarded 1st place and a NOOK Color! I was shocked! I had no clue what my chances were, but I knew that I was up against some pretty fabulous people. I am so glad that I decided to submit even at the last-minute.

My friend Jason recently told a story about truth God had spoken to him during a bike ride with his daughter. I was deeply moved and asked permission to use his story for my devo.

Jason, many thanks to you for permission and more importantly, your inspiration. Your sharing of how God is moving in your life inspired me and rippled out to inspire others.

A Father’s Voice

“I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” Psalm 16:8, NLT

It was nine-year old Jocelyn’s first bike ride with her daddy. Jason followed her down the trail, watching and coaching from behind, occasionally shouting encouragement, “You’re doing great honey! See? I knew you could do it!”

“Thanks Dad,” her smiling voice floated over her shoulder as she pedaled ahead.

Settling into a comfortable rhythm, Jason was soon lost in the peacefulness of the ride and the surrounding beauty. He startled when Jocelyn cried out, “Dad! Dad”! He watched as she wobbled, the confidence she had minutes before replaced with uncertainty and fear.

“Jocelyn, what’s wrong?”

“Uh…I’m okay. I’m okay,” she mumbled as she regained control.

“No sweetie, what’s wrong? You seem really afraid.”

“I’m fine now. I just needed to know you were still there. I needed to hear your voice.”

The Lord spoke clearly to Jason in that moment, “That is it. That’s what I want you to hold on to; what you need to cultivate in your relationship with me. Listen for my voice and know that I never leave you. I delight in that posture of your heart.”

Jocelyn was fine; it was Jason’s turn to wobble a bit as he wept.

Thank you, Father, for the gift of your voice and presence. You give us the confidence to keep moving forward. Thank you for never leaving us. Amen. 

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I have adamantly described myself as a nonfiction writer, but back in May, a friend challenged me to branch out and write (and submit) my first short story ever. I am honored that it was chosen to be published in a Science Fiction/Fantasy anthology due out this October. My story is titled The Locket and will appear as the second of twelve stories in the book Time Traveling Coffers edited by Dana Bell. It is being published by micro-press, WolfSinger Publications. I’ll post a link when the website for the book is up and running.

I had so much fun getting to know my characters and developing the story that I got a little carried away and had trouble cutting it back to the required word count of 6,000 words. Though the short story is completed, I am now working on the full length novel which will have a different title.

 

 

This is a time travel story about Remi, an eighteen year old girl who with the help of a locket, learns the truth about her unique heritage.

My name is Nikalas Nowell, and I write fiction. 🙂

Stop by and celebrate with my other friends taking the drawing challenge:

Don at Expatriatism

Zoe at Welcome to Zoe’s World

Max at The Hero Chronicles

Freebie at Free To Be Too Much

Girl at GirlyGeeky

 

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I did it! I mean WE did it!

My friend Don and I took this challenge together and we both managed to write every day this month. I’d like to think we’ve created new habits and formed new neuro-pathways in our brains that will spur us on to seeing the world from writer’s eyes, compelling us to share our visions with our readers. Not that we’re all about the numbers game, but both of our readerships have increased with our consistency. Fluke? I think not.

There is such satisfaction in seeing this challenge through because I’m not a great finisher. I’m a great starter, but I quickly lose interest and find the next thing to start. For instance, I have a new challenge for November. It’s a weekly challenge rather than a daily one, and I’ll announce it here tomorrow. Gotta keep the momentum going, but for today, I feel a sense of accomplishment and I’m going to bask in that for a while.

Go visit Don’s blog and read his rebuttal (not really) to my 2011 De-cluttering Challenge, and congratulate him on seeing the post-a-day challenge through to the end. I know there were many days that neither of us had the time or energy to blog, but we pushed through anyway.

 

 

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