Water in the Basement

This weak winter brings much trouble into Alaniz HQ.  I was aware of a water problem in our basement.  I have been aware of it for 2 years.  It has been getting progressively worse.  After an all night rain I dreaded opening the basement door to see how big the puddle was.  But I endured it.  I have shoes right on the bottom step to walk through the standing water.  I have put all our stuff on shelves and bricks to get it above sea level.  I have managed my life around the problem with surprising patience.

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Nanowrimo 2018 Update Two

Twelve days in and I sit at 6,255 words.  I am only 2,000 words off my mark.  With a conference in Chicago, that ain’t bad.  The rest of the month I have no trips planned.  I should be able to buckle down and tell this story.

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Chapter One - Nanowrimo 2018

We are 5 days deep into Nanowrimo. I am 6500 words into my new novel. If you want to follow along, you can see daily updates on or Here is the first chapter before editors and grammar.

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Every November across the globe thousands of people take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  During the month, writers furiously scribble down 2,000 words per day in order to complete the 50,000 words needed to cross the finish line.  It’s a crazy exercise that is good fun to any who have ever wanted to tell a long form narrative.  There is no editing, no looking back.  Just sprinting forward creating worlds on the fly.  It is a difficult challenge that many start and few complete.


This November, I am partnering with my publishing company, Hidden Hollows Publishing, to bring a novel into existence in front of a live audience. 

Every day there will be updates on word counts, excerpts from the story, and even audience voting on the book’s title and cover.  You will be able to watch a world breathed into existence.

If you enjoy my writing, if you are a patron of the arts, if you like watching things come to life, if you are a writer yourself and want to see a story go from first draft to publication, then join us this November as we bring a novel to life. 

There will be updates everyday over at and  So like or follow these pages.  Kickoff is November 1st.  The novel is going to be my first foray into fantasy.  It is gonna be quite the ride, and I look forward to taking it with you.

Food for the Soul - Oct 2018


1) “Making Sense of God” by Tim Keller.  This is a book that has been very helpful for my soul.  This is not a book giving proofs for God.  This book is a step before that.  This is asking whether the thought of God is completely stupid in our modern times.  Hasn’t science destroyed any thought of God?  Is there any room for faith in the mind of a true thinker?  The book is honest, well researched, accessible, and flirting with brilliance.  It is a must read for anyone who lives under the barrage of anti-faith rhetoric.  It has reminded me that the simplistic assumptions made by condescending talk show hosts are neither enlightened nor true. 


1) The Painted Desert by Andrew Osenga.  I have enjoyed the music of Andrew Osenga for two decades now.  His new album is truly beautiful.  There are songs of longing, of love, of faith.  My favorite song might be “Worry,” a song that dwells between my words of faith and thoughts of fear.  I also love the song “Cary,” a song about the fatherless becoming a father and the difficulty therein.  “Still Waters” is a favorite as well.  The song takes me to the edge of a lake in the woods, and I am looking for Him there.  And I desperately need to find Him there.  “Restore to me the joy of my salvation.”


1) The Dream.  This is a podcast all about Multi Level Marketing (MLM).  Also known as pyramids schemes.  Also known as network marketing.  Also known as pimping out every relationship you have to make a few bucks.  I have watched these companies target the church and our kindness, targeting the poor and their hope for a better life, targeting women and their social tendencies.  This podcast is revealing, saddening, enraging.  There are four episodes available right now.  One thing that has been truly revealing is how these MLMs targeted women after WW2.  It may even be argued that initially, there was some empowering aspects to women as leaders.  But any initial good eventually gets squeezed out as they become more advanced/predatory.

NOTE: This podcast is not a Christian podcast.  It cusses once in a while.