Saturday, October 30, 2010

I must be crazy ...

Starting on Monday, Nov. 1 I plan to make my second attempt at the annual world-wide phenomenon called National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo. What this means is that I am going to try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I tried NaNo for the first time 3 years ago and wrote 21,000 words. This year I am going to try to write a draft of the t/w/een novel simmering in my brain: Paige Turner, Reluctant Writer. It's about a girl named Paige Turner who does everything she can to avoid becoming a writer like her famous dad.

The NaNo experts say that one way to keep you motivated to plod on throughout the month is to tell everyone you know that you are going to try this; that way, you feel so guilty about the prospect of disappointing everyone that you pull all-nighters, overdose on coffee, etc. etc., all in an effort to grind out those 50,000 words. Well, since I can probably count on one hand the people who regularly read this blog, I can take comfort from the fact that if I fail I'll only disappoint five people. :-)

Anyway, I'll give an update every week as to how I'm doing.

Did I mention I must be crazy? ...

Thursday, October 07, 2010


This week we had the sad experience of finding out that someone we know and admire is no longer on this earth. Pastor Sam Vander Schaaf, formerly of Brockville and lately of Cobourg, died suddenly last week at age 75, after a heart problem.
Sam was guest preacher at Westside (our former church) many times when we were between ministers or our minister was away. Because I was often leading worship or making calls to guest ministers in my role as elder, I got to know Sam and his wife Shirley; they were very wise, kind people and we really admired them. Sam also did a stint as interim pastor at First Christian Reformed Church here in Kingston, so we got to see them a little oftener. I remember having them to our house a couple of times for coffee after a Sunday service; and back in 2004 when Rich and I celebrated our 40th birthdays, we hosted a little party, to which we invited the Vander Schaafs. I remember how thrilled I was to look out the window that evening and see them coming up the driveway. We felt so honoured that they came to share this event with us.
It was a shock to read in last Saturday's Toronto Star that Sam had died. I feel so bad about it. When we send a Christmas card in December we will just be sending it to Shirley -- that's hard to believe. I know Sam is with the Lord now but it is still so sad to think that someone you love and look up to is not here any more.
I (unapologetically) "stole" the above picture from Sam's Facebook page. He was just the kind of senior who would have a Facebook page: very tech-savvy. It's nice to have this picture; I know I will look at it often.