!! Happy New Year 2021 !!

It is presently 10:25 pm in my neck of the cold dark woods on December 31, 2020. I know some have already rang in the new year but we are still a little while away. While there are no loud festivities going on here, except the fireworks going off down the street, we are preparing to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome in 2021 in our own special way. Tomorrow I will make the traditional southern New Year’s Day meal of black eyed peas and cabbage with sausage and cornbread along with a rich and creamy cheesecake and Champagne Mimosas. We love our little traditions, superstitions as some have said, but we know that God holds the future in His hands so we aren’t counting on my culinary talents to set the tone for the year. From our home to yours, blessings and peace for this brand new year. May it be your best yet.

The Second Chances Gang.

Where Have You Been?

Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Well, I have been busy writing as a freelancer and ghostwriter independently and on UpWork.com (formerly oDesk.com) as well as writing and publishing my books on Createspace.com and Amazon.com

I’m always happy to consider freelance jobs, but when I’m not on an assignment I enjoy working on my own books.


The cover of my first novel.

One Perfect Now is my first novel published on Amazon.com and available through CreateSpace.com as well.


My first memoir, She Left a Legacy of Love, is about my mom’s last year and the diary and writings she left behind, as well as anecdotes from her 7 daughters. It too is available on Amazon.com and at Createspace.com

And the book that started it all, Shelby’s Doption Story…

300 dpi for cover shelbys doption story photo 2 001 - Copy.jpg

This book was previously published by Christ Inspired Books, but they closed their doors in 2005 I think and I republished it through Createspace.com and Amazon.com in 2014. It was my first published book.


Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo!!!!

Okay my people, I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month again in November.

National Novel Writing Month begins the first of November, which just happens to be my birthday. I decided to cross “complete novel” off my bucket list a couple of years ago and my novel, One Perfect Now was the result.  I was thrilled to accomplish this because I had started and scrapped many novels before. My incentive was NaNoWriMo standards, which are; write from November 1st till the November 30th with a goal of 50k words.

I think it would be fun to try something new so I will be taking suggestions for topics for the new novel. Now you might be wondering “what’s in it for me”? Other than being sweet, how about a character named after you? Or maybe a mention in the book about a cause of your choice? A free copy? I am happily taking suggestions now. No idea is too weird or too tame, but no erotica or horror please because I don’t support or write those genres. Thanks y’all- i look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with. Peace

If You Are Going to Build a Mud Hole Don’t Be Surpised When You Get Dirty

It is one thing to slip into the mud when you find yourself in a storm where the wind is howling and the dirt is being whipped up around you and the rain is pouring down. Life gets dirty sometimes and anywhere you step you’ll find yourself in the middle of a mud hole. Maybe that’s why God’s Word tells us in ***Ephesians 6:13 to equip ourselves and then when we have done all we can, to stand. Having done all we can, stand in faith. Sometimes standing is hard. You want to fight because even though it hurts, you’re still doing SOMETHING. But standing on faith is something bigger. Way bigger. And more helpful. It just happens to be harder.

It is another thing entirely however to find a weak spot and begin digging in the dirt until you have a hole, then grabbing a hose and filling that hole with water , or bitterness , or resentment, or hate until you have made a right fine mess of a mud hole and then jumping head first into it. Then, you ought to know full well you’re going to get dirty, muddy, and covered in it, all of it; the hate and bitterness and the rest. Sure, eventually that mud and hate can be washed off but don’t be surprised at the effort of it. And don’t be surprised when you find it under your fingernails and in your ears and other hidden spots that aren’t easy to reach. That stuff goes everywhere and lingers till you purposefully seek it out and wash it good with some strong cleanser like God’s Word and forgiveness.

***Ephesians 6:10-18The Message (MSG)
A Fight to the Finish
10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Well, I am Finished with the Deer…Sort of.

I had hoped to finish this project in no more than ten days and it has been almost a month.

I had hoped to post a progress report every few days and it has been two weeks since my last update.

I wanted to give this as a gift to my husband but honestly, I don’t even think I will display it.

I am a little disappointed, can you tell?

Here’s why…

                   dc6ad9a4-69e7-42e3-820b-b89899c2392a c25d8e9a-c0d2-4050-8f1d-9de1faf4a2b8 09d7709b-e94d-412e-ac70-f0c8a1e2e2b0

This did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I am finished with it because there is nothing that I can think of that will make it better and the longer I try, the more frustrated I become.

Sort of like the other problems I encounter in my life aside from art, ya know, parenting, marriage, relationships with friends and family… the hard stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, my marriage is solid and I don’t have a beef with any of my family or friends that I’m aware of at the present, but I have had them and I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not the only one.

It seems sometimes the harder we try to get things to change, to “tweak it”, or to make something better because it isn’t exactly the way we want it, the more frustrated the whole thing becomes. There has to be a time to step back and say, “I have done all that I can” and then walk away. That may be a short walk for an even shorter amount of time, but sometimes, in my opinion, walking away is the most kind and wise thing you can do for yourself or the other person, or the situation.

So, even though it isn’t exactly the way I wanted it to end up, I have to be finished and walk away. I WILL try this again because I don’t want to feel as if I have failed at this. I will take what I learned from this project into the next and make the adjustments that it is just too late to make this time.

Hopefully if you have followed me thus far you have learned a little something from this journey; I know I have. Hopefully you will feel free to comment and leave whatever feedback about the project or the messages or whatever you like.

As always,

peace and love to you all.


Andora Henson, TheWritingMommy

When Will I Ever Be Enough?

I am a little frustrated this evening about a conversation I had with someone that I trust and whose respect I thought I had. The topic? Me.

Let me first say that I work hard. Often times, I will admit, I work harder than I need to because I am a perfectionist and at times, a control freak.I know these things and am working to correct them, but as yet, I still struggle with this.

I am a career mom. I work hard taking care of my family and helping out in the community. Beyond this, I also homeschool my special needs daughter, I am a published author and a freelance writer, and am beginning to consider my art as something that I may part with for the right price.

Granted I do not earn a mint with any of these but then, that is not my goal at this time. My first priority is to honor God in all I say and do. Then to care for my family, and finally to use the gifts I have been given to be a blessing. That being said, it really irks me that anyone, especially someone who knows me, would say that because I don’t work outside the home that I have no influence in The Kingdom, that I have no accountability, and that I am thus isolated.

My job as a mom is the hardest of all, especially now because my youngest two are girls and are 16 and 17 years old. That is a full time job in itself right there. There is great accountability in parenting, more in being a wife and partner in our home, but even if there weren’t accountability in those jobs, I have accountability to my freelance clients by the way of deadlines, customer satisfaction, and the fact that if they are not satisfied with the work, I won’t get paid or at the very least, I won’t get repeat clients.

Finally, I have more influence as a prayer warrior to people I may never see face to face than I do in my any other way. I receive many prayer requests from all over the world and all over the U.S. I am a part of a couple of prayer groups and have been for a while so now I just seem to get requests out of the blue for which I do indeed pray, as well as the prayer requests I get from friends, relatives, and my community members.

And as far as isolating, well I can only say that that has less to do with my working from home than my personality which has always been more reserved. I enjoy gathering with a community of people that I trust, but I NEED my alone time to recharge my creative batteries.

So, now that my hurt feelings are soothed and I have searched my heart and mind to find whether or not there is any validity to the arguments presented to me I can move forward.

Still, I have to stay open to opinion, criticism, and  comments that I may not agree with because in my lines of work feedback is very important. So what is yours? How do you stand on the whole “work from home” question? Do any of you work from home? How do you handle the inevitable criticisms, or the calls asking for favors constantly since “you don’t work so you have more time than me”? I would love your input.

Till next time peace and love,


Moving On…well, sort of

Sunday evening and I am just now checking in on the progress, or lack thereof, of Mr. Deer Head. He is quite imperfect much to my chagrin, but I think I have the neck and nose right finally. Here is what he looks like right now-

IMG_1998           IMG_1999

I beefed up the neck and added some bulk to the nose. Before he looked like a prize-fighter whose nose had been broken one too many times. There are still many imperfections and since I am the creator of this handsome lad, there will likely always be imperfections, but I’m learning to be okay with it. My next step is the final layer of paper mache before the painting begins. I had hoped to be finished by now but my daughter turned 17 this week and we had birthday goings on all week it seems. Our youngest turns 16 in August so I will be finishing this before then for sure. Sorry there isn’t more progress to offer, however, since I am here I’ll tell you what the Deer Head has me thinking about lately…

Things aren’t always what they seem: I was up in the wee hours due to insomnia and the bad habit of drinking like a gallon of water before I go to bed, and as I added another layer to this handsome guy I realized that by the time I’m finished with him, no one will know exactly what is inside of him.

Some people think of a wire armature or a balloon when they think of paper mache. Others may have another idea of what is inside and may not imagine that this guy is full of empty soda bottles, Styrofoam cups, discarded newspaper, and bits of glue from bottles that were almost empty or dry, but the point is, we all think about things from our own perspective based on what we have been taught, have seen, have had a personal history with.

It is sort of the same with people, ya know? We see people based more on our understanding than their journey. I mean, When most people look at me now, they don’t see the broken young woman that I was a mere 25 or 30 years ago. They don’t see homeless, hungry, promiscuous, or abused, but I have been all of those things. No one who meets me these days sees me as vibrant and healthy and strong, but I was all of those things too and all of those are in there, if only as memories. I’m happy to say that I have been redeemed and saved from the person I was as a child and a youth, and sad to say that as my health has declined so has my energy and abilities, but that doesn’t mean those things didn’t help shape me.

Maybe that is why I like crafting so much; I get to use things that have been used up and discarded in a way that makes them beautiful and valuable again.

God did that for me when I received Jesus as my savior. I felt used up, worthless, and without value but through His love and grace He changed me. I know I have value now. I know I have worth. He uses cracked pot and broken vessels to do good things and I know because He has used me in many ways. I’m thankful. I’m blessed. And I love these early morning talks I get to have with my Savior and Redeemer, especially when He uses something like a bunch of paper and glue to teach me about myself, and other people, and His love.

So, hopefully, I will figure out how to apply these lessons more readily in my life because while my Creator is perfect, I am still, much like my deer, a work in progress.

Till next time, peace to you all. And love.



And the Journey Continues…

So, when last we met I was in the beginning stages of a paper mache deer head made from recycled material.

As I said previously, my husband is an avid hunter so I asked his opinion about the state of the project. “Wellllll,” he began, ” the neck is a little thin.”

I agreed.

cups for trachea

As you can see, I  used a Styrofoam cup cut in half. It actually had a better affect than I expected. I had hoped to create a thicker neck as my husband recommended but this shape looked like a trachea after it was papered as you will see in the final pictures on this blog.

Next, I needed to add the horns at this point. I decided to use pieces of wiring we had left from our last building project.


I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish this feat so I did what I always do when I have no idea how to do something… I just started experimenting till I felt it was right..

making horns our of wire                                                         8cddf94c-3625-4091-bce7-86d854b00c17


I have been adding layers of paper mache since these were attached and it is getting very near to the stage where I begin to “finesse” the shape.

Here is where we stand today…

deer with antlers after several layers                               deer w horns                                    deer w horns 2

I’ll be adding several more layers to give this handsome beast extra strength. Right now there is still a little looseness in the antlers and the muzzle is still a little flimsy. I expect over the next three days I should get between 15 and 20 layers on since I have a fan dedicated to drying constantly.

I’ll post more after these are dried and I have began adding the final paper sculpting.

Till then be well,