November in a Nutshell



Hello gang!  It’s that time of the month again! The time to wrap up my month in a few choice and witty paragraphs.

However, most of my November was spent in a fog.  The whole family came down with a two-week cold.  You know, the kind where breathing is hit-or-miss, soup is a choking hazard and your skull is clanging like the dwarven smithy’s of Erebor.



BUT – in spite of that fact, some interesting things still happened in November.  Prepare yourselves!


The Hobbit Trilogy


This was my Thanksgiving treat!  I was quite sick at this point so I had plenty of time to go through the Hobbit trilogy with my sweet brother editing out some of the nasty bits.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movies and I think everybody should.  😉



It’s rare for me to get really emotional watching a movie, but I am very deeply invested in these characters and in this story.  My brother had a good time watching me (and occasionally laughing) as I groaned and screamed and cried and squealed through the whole trilogy.


Hardcastle and McCormick


If you haven’t seen this show you are not only missing out on something phenomenal, but one of my personal favorites.  🙂  A witty, snappy and fast-paced show full of action, sarcasm and heart.  Brian Keith was born to play the curmudgeonly modern day Lone Ranger, and the brilliant Daniel Hugh Kelly plays the guy-next-door former con to perfection.


Return to Jupiter


The sequel to Escape to Jupiter, this Australian mini series is so much fun!  The kid on the left is basically a young, heroic version of Gaston (you don’t want to miss out on seeing THAT) and his relationship with Michael (far right) is such a great friendship. This series also features villains who are basically the live action version of McLeach and Joanna from Rescuers Down Under.



Pair the humor with an exciting story line, great characterization and fun concepts and you have a binge ahead of you!

– READ –



I read 18 books in November and exceeded my Goodreads challenge of 180 books for 2018!



Note:  To those who might find that large number depressing, I confess that I count DNFs and skim reads as completed books.




I knew I was not up to NaNoWrimo this year but I DID make the goal that I would try to write a little bit every day, even if it was only a hundred words or 10 minutes.





I wrote maybe . . . 2,000 words in November?  Tops.



By the end of week one in November, I was starting to feel bad and rather than stress about the word goals, I just decided to accept being sick.





Our family went on a road trip!


^ fairly accurate depiction of six Tebo’s in a van ^


We went to the Biltmore Estate and, my goodness, it was beautiful!



Being somewhat obsessed with my own stories, I kept feeling like I was visiting the royal palace of Ambia (the exterior of the Biltmore and its chateau-like grandeur does look a great deal like the way I imagined the palace to look).  The wooded two-mile drive had me thinking of the palace road that Burndee races down as gives chase to the girl fleeing the ball. 😛




While the estate was magnificent, it was very difficult to tour the grounds because of the weather.  It was cold, guys, I mean REALLY, REALLY COLD.

Example:  One of the few places to eat was outdoor in the courtyard.



While Twin and me were blown across the grounds towards the open air food station, we stood in line for several miserable moments until we could procure some sustenance and than hurried to one of the iron tables to gobble down soup and pretzels.

Paper bowls or plates bearing our food were shifting across the table from the force of the wind.  We managed to eat with one hand while bracing dishes with the other.  I believe it’s a new type of feeding program; eat and work it off simultaneously.

Paper napkins were being wafted off our table and across the courtyard willy-nilly (littering against my will!) but the coup de gras was when I attempted to take a bite of my soft pretzel and held it up only to have the salt blown right off.

One minute I was looking at a salty pretzel, the next, salt granules were being scattered to the wind and I was eyeballing an unsalted pretzel.  Of course, I started laughing.  😛

Among the many breathtaking rooms of the estate was a library that reminded me of the library in Beauty and the Beast.  Check out the second story and balcony!



*drags sleeping bag into room and sets up camp* 



I’m salivating, how about you?



Other highlights of the trip.  Amaretto truffles from the gift shop, servants quarters in the attic that reminded me of Professor Digory’s house in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and elevators.

Call me weird, but one of my favorite moments was riding in the estate’s original elevator. There is always that one unexpected moment at a historical spot where the history really sinks in.  Who knows who rode in that elevator, what conversations were had!

It was also one of the smoothest elevators I’ve ever ridden. 😉





Guys, it’s finally heereeeeeeeeeee!!!!  I released the next book in my Tales of Ambia series!!




There were times when I really felt that this would never happen, guys.  It was a long, hard journey but I finally finished!  God has blessed me so much with this release already and I (and my writing) have grown.  I’m so excited to have the next installment finally available!

And, if there’s any questions or confusion about why I’m releasing book 3 ahead of book 2 in The Tales of Ambia series, here is a video explaining why!



You can buy A Royal Masquerade HERE.  Or message me below for signed paperback copies!




I single handedly handled the blog tour for my book release and organized sixteen lovely ladies to launch A Royal Masquerade.  There was a great deal of frenzied work involved, but I think I pulled it off all right.  😛



My favorite post of the tour was my guest post on the lovely Liv Fishers blog; The Spiritual Themes of The Goose Girl.

I also got to guest post (haha, obviously) which was on my list of “Things to Do” for 2018!


– Birthdays –


Allison’s Well celebrated it’s 2nd birthday!


Other than making a mental note that was the width and breadth of that celebration.  😛




I mentioned to you in my October in a Nutshell post that my sister and I are exchanging “subscription boxes.”  We each gave each other a certain amount of money to spend along with a theme and then, at a random point in the month, we “find” a package at the front door with our name on it.



Last month my sister gave me a dragon themed box and this month, I gave her an Africa themed box.



The booty I selected for her:  A basket from Zululand, Fair Trade paper earrings, Rooibos tea, a vintage African map from the 1960s, an old African coin, a African themed journal, and a vintage hankie that was allegedly purchased in Libya by a soldier serving in WW2 and sent back to the gal in their life.

Oh, the wonders of Ebay.




Yeeees, after Thanksgiving I started wrapping presents (before December) and . . . after holding out on the Moana soundtrack through some of the process I switched to Christmas music trying to get into this much-lauded, over-hyped, hysterically-worshiped thing called the holiday mood.

It was worth a shot.



Okay, okay, I’ll come clean.  I’m actually really starting to get in the Christmas mood.




Go ahead, let me have it, you Jolly Elves.  😛  *holds up shield to ward off candy canes and cheer*


Talk To Me, guys!


How was your November?  How was your NaNoWriMo if you participated?  What did you do for Thanksgiving?  Have you dodged the Germ Monster this month?  What do you think of the new design for the my featured blog image and the minty divider / line thingies? Tell me everything!  And don’t forget . . .


Tagged , , ,

6 thoughts on “November in a Nutshell

  1. *adores the Thranduil gif* 😀 <3

    That's so cool you got to go to Biltmore! (But your poor, saltless pretzel!) It's too expensive for my family to go for now, but we went way back when I was…2 years old, I thinj? Obviously, I have no memory of the event :p, but my dad says we got to use the elevator, which wasn't really being used by anyone besides employees at the time, because I was in my stroller and we weren't going to be able that up the stairs, so a nice employee let us use it. I hope someday we'll get to visit again so I can actually remember being there. :p

    1. Isn’t that gif the greatest? Haha!

      Haha – thank you! I hope you get to go again soon!! My family did a LOT of traveling when I was a toddler and I only have the most frustratingly little snippets of memories of all these places! 🙂

  2. Ah, the Biltmore Estate! A favorite movie of mine was filmed there—have you ever seen The Swan with Grace Kelly and Alec Guinness? In the film it serves as a royal estate in a fictional European country, and I must say it does look more like that than anything you’d expect to find in America. It must be impressive in person!

    1. No, I haven’t seen that! How cool! I didn’t realize a movie had been filmed there; what a shame I didn’t know ahead of time! I love reenacting scenes from movies when I’m “on location” with my video camera – it makes for a fun and weird souvenir to take home!

      Oh, yes!! It looks so royal and magical, I can easily imagine it being the estate for a faraway kingdom! Thanks for telling me about The Swan! I’ll have to check that one out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *