What I'm Into {a snapshot of November 2014}

What I'm Into {a snapshot of November 2014}

What I'm Into November 2014

What I'm Into November 2014 I won't lie to you: November has been a hard month. It's been hard emotionally and physically, with flares of depression and the flu, and right now I'm just craving rest and looking forward to watching this year pass away to join the rest of my checkered past. (It is only November?)

Still, writing and reading over this month, as has become my habit, reminds me that not all is hard and lost and sad. There are some glimmers.

I hope that you are finding glimmers where you are, too.


the-season-of-the-nativity-confessions-and-practices-of-an-advent-christmas-ephiphany-extremist-21I don't always talk about what I'm currently reading, but I'm making an exception this time around for Sybil MacBeth's lovely book The Season of the Nativity which is new this year. (Lauren Winner recommended it, so of course I had to pick it up at my little bookstore). It's meant to cover the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, and so far I'm finding lots of food for thought within it.




2D274905957270-YesPlease.blocks_desktop_mediumI read Amy Poehler's Yes Please, after it came in at the library. I love Amy, and for that reason I enjoyed reading this book and found many gems of wisdom in it. That said, I often struggle with people who write books because they are famous. It will be bought and read because of who they are, not because the book could stand alone on it's own literary merits. Amy Poehler is not Nora Ephron.




9781400206261_p0_v1_s260x420After reading Fierce Convictions (the new book by Karen Swallow Prior) in an unfinished form, I finally had a chance to read the finished project and review it this month. I loved this book because of my fascination with people of history, Karen's lovely writing, and the magnetism and complexity of Hannah More.





51mU8nZtKPL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_I read what appears to be the final installment of a trio of books about Wildwood, Wildwood Imperium, set near Portland and written by Colin Meloy (of the Decemberists). The book is like a long song, beautifully worded, complex, and riveting, taking you someplace you've not been before. I've enjoyed each of these books, and kept coming back to this one, finishing it all in one long day spent ill in bed. It's written for children, but might be a bit scary for little ones.



I finished season 2 of Sex and the City, in my attempt to understand the '90s and the people who have come out of it.

MV5BMTQ2NTI0MzAyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjQyMDA4MjE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_I finally caught up on Selfie and A-Z. I like the premise of Selfie, a modern retelling of Pygmalion. Even though it's not riveting, I will probably keep watching and see it through. I like finding the little hints of My Fair Lady.

A-Z is delightful and allows me to spend time with the erstwhile "mother" from How I Met Your Mother. I'll keep watching this one, too.

I'm still enjoyed New Girl  and The Mindy Project  and I'm behind on The Big Bang Theory.

Also: where is Parks and Rec?

My roommate and I are now on season 4 of 30 Rock.

I've been busy and haven't sat down to watch a whole movie lately. Anything I should check out?


81OMN6PeZJL._SL1400_Well, Over the Rhine has a new Christmas album out, and it is wonderful. It's called Blood Oranges in the Snow, and every time I hear it, I like it more. There is something in here for everyone, but right now I'm loving "Let It Fall" the best. It always amazes me how these two seem to find and write my heart and set it to music.



Speaking of Over the Rhine, they came to Spokane for the first time in 15 years! I spent a spellbound evening as they performed songs from the Christmas album (which had been released the day before) and most of my favorite songs. The concert was a gift that I can't quite explain, but it filled up something deep within me, something very empty.

I stood up in the front of my church and made promises before God and man. At a gathering before I became a member (along with those who were getting baptized) my pastor asked me what becoming a member meant to me and I told her that it felt like a short engagement, because I know the love is true. Just this week I got a newsletter from church and found a section where each day of the month has a person (or couple) to pray for. My day is December 30th. True love, indeed.

I had a chance to read two Advent pieces for an event at my little bookstore, hosted by my church. I hope that I will never get over the thrill of a hushed crowd, listening, laughing and sighing at my words.


We hosted "Friendsgiving" at our house and over 20 people came. It was special in a way I wasn't expecting.

It was my job to get the tables ready, aren't they pretty?


Depression hit me again, and I survived.

On November 1st, I volunteered to help host a 25-hour write in for NaNoWriMo between the hours of 10pm and 2am (for work). It is possible that I am crazy. Still, it was inspiring. I wrote a little about the experience for work, here.


Follow my passion where, exactly? by Laura Turner for OnFaith

It's about how hard life is, still, even when you're working in your field.

Gather Your Acolytes About You: Advice for Aspiring Writers by Lydia Millet for The Millions

This piece made me laugh out loud. If you are a writer, or love one, it will likely make you laugh, too.

Gate A-4 by Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi was only an hour and a half away this month for a free reading, but many things happened to prevent my going to hear her. Days later, this piece wafted into view and though it doesn't erase my disappointment, it helps.

Those Who Wait – Sarah’s story by Tanya Marlow

This beautiful piece from the perspective of Sarah is the start of a series for Advent. I can't wait for the next installment.

I Was Wrong About You, 2014 by Natalie Trust

A breathtaking, heartbreaking post about loss and love and the difference a year brings. It is a prayer.

Her Medicine Was Kindness by Russ Ramsey on Art House America

Because holidays don't protect us from things being different than we would like (or from serendipity).


My blog turned six this month, on November 3rd. Unlike last year, which was filled with more revelry and excitement. Six was a quiet birthday, forgotten until I got an email from Wordpress, reminding me. I like to think of my blog as a little girl in pigtails, running around in the world. She is dear to my heart, and I'm thankful for those of you who love her as well.

You may also notice that there are a few little changes (hopefully improvements) to my dear little site. Beside each post you'll find an easy link to the guest post series de(tales) and to my series on singleness, etc, Single Minded Mondays.

The Writing page (which is where I keep all of my posts for other sites) is now pretty, and I now have author photos on the home page and the Meet Cara page which actually look like me.

I've added sharelines at the bottom of each post with a short description or snippet of each post for easy sharing, and I've moved my email subscriptions over to Mailchimp so that I have control over how the emails look.

This month, I wrote about my body image, reviewed Karen Swallow Prior's Fierce Convictions, wondered aloud if I have what it takes for marriage, shared some thoughts about the 10 virgins, and depression, and wrote about some of my past love stories, and what we ate (because that is the detail I always remember).

Elsewhere, I shared about what it's like for me to be single on Abby Norman's blog, Accidental Devotional, and wrote a love letter to avocados that ended up being a story of belonging at You Are Here.

In the de(tales) series, I hosted Heather Caliri, writing about her anxiety over her Bible. Carly Gelsinger, writing about meltdowns, parenting and doughnuts. Erin S. Lane, sharing the story behind her tattoo, and Liz Boltz Ranfield with some ruminations on living in her grandma's house, and what's on the windowsill.

I'm getting ready to send out my first newsletter in December. It will feature content that won't be posted anywhere else, and I'd love to send it to you. You can sign up for the newsletter (and blog emails, if you like) here.


Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into (check out the rest over at her site).