Hard to believe it’s already December!

How I spent my November

Yup, I’ve decided I am a winner on my own terms.
(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

I usually spend November working on a new book for NaNoWriMo. I spend thirty days trying to make sure that I write at least 1667 words per day to make sure I have hit a writing goal of 50,000 words by the end of the month. This year, because I knew I would be swamped at work, I did something different. I was already working on a project, so I used NaNoWriMo to finish it. I also took notes for a new project. I didn’t bother to count words. I focused solely on getting a clean edit ready to send to my editor and giving her the time she needed to edit it.

It was actually a relief to not have the usual word count stress on me. One thing I have learned after the last few years is that my tolerance for stress is not what it used to be. I think a lot of it has to do with the work-related stress I dealt with some years ago. I find that I just need to do things at my own pace. And that’s okay.

So am I a NaNoWriMo winner? Not officially, but in my own eyes I am. And that’s all that matters.

The season for giving

A person wearing jeans and white nail polish holds coins and a note that says "Make a change" in their hands.
This season (and every season) we should give when we can to help others in need. (Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash)

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that this is the time of year when I always donate the proceeds from the sales of my books to charity. It’s the same this year. In fact, all year, whenever I could, I have been donating part of the sales of my books to charity.

If you would like to support a charity but aren’t sure which to support, here are a few that

  • World Central Kitchen – WCK is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises around the world.
  • Feeding America – the largest hunger relief organization in the US, Feeding America’s mission to advance change in the US by ensuring equitable access to nutritious food for all in partnership with food banks, policymakers, supporters, and the communities they serve.
  • Invictus Games – Prince Harry’s global initiative to support servicemen and women around the globe with life-changing injuries through sports.
  • Reading Is Fundamental – a non-profit organisation focused on helping children in the US with attaining essential literacy skills
  • Mighty Writers – a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization that teaches children to write as well as distributing food and other essentials to families in need.
  • Covenant House – an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping young people who are dealing with homelessness.
  • UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – the UN’s official arm for helping refugees around the world
  • Alliance for Hope – an international non-profit organisation focused on helping survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children.

There are so many global and local organizations to support. These are just a few. Wherever you live, wherever you are, find local organizations to support to help those in need. There are so many people struggling this year and who will still need help next year. Leave your privilege at the door and focus on how you can help them.

Getting in the spirit of the season

Listening to this was the beginning of the Christmas season in the Golden household. This was my dad’s favorite Christmas album.

When I was a kid, the holiday season always started with two things – the light show at John Wanamaker’s (now Macy’s) in Philadelphia and my dad playing Nat King Cole’s Christmas album. To help you all get in the mood, here’s a link to the album.

Whatever you celebrate, I wish you a happy holiday season. I’ll be spending Christmas in Sweden (and NOT Sicily as planned due to not finding good flights, etc) but I’m sure the Swede and I will have a wonderful holiday season together.

Happy holidays to all of you,

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