Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thinking of my Gramps

I just realized that its been about a year since we first learned that my Grandpa had cancer. Last Thanksgiving I remember thinking that it could be the last one we would have with him. And surely, it was. He passed away that February.

Years ago on Thanksgiving, we went around the table with everyone saying what they were thankful for. I think it was the first and only time we did that. I remember my Gramp saying, "Just that I'm alive." We all got choked up on that one. I wonder if he could ever have dreamed about when and how he would go.

I'm so glad he isn't in pain anymore, but I'm feeling melancholy for those of us left behind. I can't imagine not spending Thanksgiving with him. I spent every Thanksgiving for years and years with him. He was the constant. He was quiet and spent much of the time watching some sort of sports game that was turned up way too loud, but he was there just the same.

This year I decided to forego Thanksgiving and planned a trip down south to Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland. Part of me just didn't want to be around here doing the same thing, but without him. And sweetly, my aunt and uncle have invited me to their house for Thanksgiving and I'm really looking forward to it. Thanksgiving with a big family sounds just like what the doctor ordered.

Life is always changing, sometimes for the good, sometimes the not so good. I can't believe how the earth keeps spinning, people keep living, even when we are in the midst of our own turmoil. I remember when Grandpa was first gone, I could not believe the audacity that people still did what people do...go to work, be snarky, live...when I was in the midst of personal tragedy. I remember feeling like an alien, transported to some alternate universe. The incessant chatter of others droned on my nerves.

But somehow, I came out on the other side. No matter what you may think when faced with disaster, time somehow does heal all wounds, or lessens the pain at least. Sometimes I just want to live in the pain, remembering, feeling the hurt so as not to forget. Yet the pain eases. Life goes on. More obstacles fall into my path, forcing me to strategize a way around them.

So here's to you, Grandpa. I hope you know how much you are still missed and loved.

Always in my heart...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Help Me Get to Night of Writing Dangerously!!!!

It has long been my dream to become a published author. I am participating in nanowrimo ( next month. Nano is where you write 50,000 words in the month of November. It is a crazy writing frenzy and I'm super excited to participate once again. Last year was my first year. I would love to be able to go to the Night of Writing Dangerously where 250 authors get together for a six hour write a thon! However, I have to raise $350 in donated funds in order to do so! Please help! My fundraising page is located at:

Thank you so much!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trying this Out...Again

Wow, I am a horrible blogger, having not blogged in... who knows how long! I woke up this morning with an overwhelming urge to write. Maybe because my friend Courtney just started blogging again. It then sounded like a good idea that I had forgotten about.  I have not wanted to do so in quite awhile. So much has happened, it is hard to know where to begin.

So tonight's blog finds me overwhelmed, not in the best of health, and tired as hell. I have had to severely reduce some of the things I used to do anything to accomplish. Hopefully it is just temporary though. I'm working full time, taking two courses that are pre-req's for the Bachelor's in Accounting I am now pursuing. My classes are mostly what is overwhelming me (one of which is extremely difficult for me--Stats! Yuck!, and one that I am doing pretty well at--Financial Accounting-Yay!). I was recently diagnosed with a precursor to lupus. I have a 50% higher chance of developing actual lupus because my cholesterol is currently out of control. I'm on medication for life that is supposed to act as a barrier to lupus. Lately, I've had extreme pain in my limbs and have been majorly tired all of the time. Not sure if I'm working on a lupus flare, if it is the medication, or if I have just taken on too much and my body is starting to rebel.

I used to write two different blogs, but have decided to simplify even that. So this is it, people. This blog lives, and Fireside With My Savior will remain extinct. Once caveat, however. I used to separate my blogs...this one for general stuff, writing stuff, etc. The other for my spiritual insights, revelations, rantings...I think I partly did this so that those of my friends who were not Christians wouldn't be freaked out by my Christianly quips. But enough is enough. I am who I am and this blog is going to be about...well, everything...including my faith which is important to me.

I have been a horrible Christian lately too. I haven't been going to church consistently. I dropped out of bible study. I rarely read the bible anymore. And sadly, I have just taken a hiatus from serving until I get my life and act in order again. I've been doing so much that I've totally neglected my relationship with the Lord. And damn do I need Him right now. Can you say damn in the same sentence as the Lord? Oops, I did it again (as sung by Britney). Yes, I am still crazy if you haven't noticed. That is what makes me fun!

Nanowrimo looms next month. For those that don't know, it stands for National Novel Writing Month and the point is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I'm going to participate. I'm not holding myself to that many words, just to writing at least something every day.

My goal in renewing this blog is: a) be healthier by letting off some steam, b) getting myself writing in the hopes of writing something significant that may actually be published!, c) to chronicle my journey to getting back to a better place spiritually (maybe it will help someone in the same situation?), and d) hopefully to entertain or inspire some folk. goes nothing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Find Sierra LaMar

This week has been a wild ride. I’ve worked three ten hour days. I assisted with donkeys for my church’s western series (that is a different story). But most importantly...I became a search member in the search to find missing Morgan Hill teenager, Sierra LaMar. It has affected me more than anything has in a long time.

People tell me I tend to feel things more than most. It kills me when I hear stories of child abuse, animal abuse, domestic violence and other tragedies. The good thing about feeling is that it prompts me into praying. I truly believe in the power of prayer.

About two weeks into Sierra’s disappearance, one day I woke up feeling driven to do something, anything, to help find her. I had been praying she would be found. I began praying harder.

If you know anything about me, it is that I am a Hello Kitty, pretty pens, always wanting to look cute, wanna-be-perfect-hair kind of girl. I carry a Hello Kitty notebook around. I have Hello Kitty rain boots. I buy outfits to go along with my church’s sermon series. Cowgirl boots with pretty flowers as of late. I also have horrible joints and a bad back and am in pain pretty much constantly. BAD pain. Doing anything that requires exertion means the possibility of being in bed for days afterward.

Nevertheless, I felt I HAD to help search. I couldn’t sit around doing nothing but being my prissy self while there was a missing girl out there somewhere in the world begging to be found. I tried to find someone to go with me one Saturday. As you can probably tell I’m kind of a wimp. There were no takers. The following weekend, a friend had agreed to come with me. The evening before she had to cancel. I cried. My husband, realizing how serious I was about this, said he would accompany me the following weekend.

Thus, we found ourselves in Morgan Hill on Saturday, April 14, 2012. As we drove into the town, my heart ached at all of the pink ribbons on every tree going down the main road. Each tree and telephone pole or street light had a “Missing” sign on it and her beautiful face. Maybe it was my imagination, but I felt a pall of sadness over the whole town. It seemed eerily quiet.

After a direction snafu, we finally arrived at Burnett Elementary School, the headquarters for the search campaign. People were coming in and out with muddy boots and yellow emergency vests. There were picture of Sierra and notes to her covering the walls of headquarters.

We went through the signup process and were asked if we wanted to do an easy search---going door to door in an assigned area asking questions and handing out fliers, a medium search--being assigned a medium difficulty terrain area, or a hard search. I, of course, being the overachiever said we would do the hard search. The guy in charge looked at my shoes (pretty silver and purple skecher tone-ups) and said, “Maybe you should start with a medium search. You don’t want to find yourself out there in a place you don’t want to be. You can always do a hard search the next time.” Thank God for this man’s wisdom!

Finally a group of eight strangers became search team 437.We were briefed by a Klass Kids team member and told about the area we would search. We were warned of rattlesnakes, ticks, and other such things.

Before searching, we went to a bug spray station to douse ourselves so as not to become infested with bugs, including my worst nightmare...ticks. My heart fluttered about what we could encounter but I didn’t become overwhelmingly worried like I thought I would be.

We went to our search location only to find that both access points were blocked by tall chain link fences. We returned to headquarters for a new search area as they didn’t want us trespassing on private property to gain access to our area.

For our new search, we became team 510. We were given what looked to be a doable search area. We arrived. What the aerial map hadn’t really shown was a wooded area and creek, not visible due to dense brush. Our terrain had gone from medium to hard. But we did it! We searched and hiked and climbed down rocks to the creek and back up again. We battled red ant hills while swinging golf clubs to look for clues through the brush or to ward off rattlesnakes.

It’s amazing what people throw out in the middle of nowhere. We found traps that perhaps the homeless had set to catch food, homeless camps, children’s toys, and other disturbing items. There is more to this story but I don’t feel it appropriate to elaborate now.

Needless to say, we didn’t find her. But I’m not giving hope...I can’t. I’m trying to get a group together to go up within the next few weekends to search further.

To her family and friends...I am praying so hard for her safe return. Something I read somewhere ( I forget exactly where ) said it right...she is everyone’s little girl now. I won’t stop praying...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Post

Hi! Check out my guest post "Worst Date Ever: Wolf Man" on! Thanks!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I'm Back!

So I've been off the grid for about a week. I'm happy that some still read this (this being my blog) as of yesterday! Thanks for that!

It began last Sunday when I woke up with a killer migraine. I thought it was due to lack of sleep as I'd had a late nap that turned into a major snooze and then couldn't sleep til about 3:30 a.m. Got up early to work at church and my head felt worse and worse. Still had it on Monday. Migraine meds didn't help so I ended up getting a shot of Toradol from my doctor, which tuned it down a bit but it then came back. I did find out though that I should be taking 500 mg of riboflavin aka B2 to prevent them. Of course it is next to impossible to find B2 in anything more than 100mg. Thus, I must take five of them and they are hard to swallow. Enough about that though...

I realized from this migraine, which I may add I get them a couple of times per month...that maybe I need to slow down a bit. I'm always on the go to or from somewhere or planning for the next event whatever it may be. Once my migraine went away (I woke up Tuesday with it not nearly as bad), I decided to take it easy. I went to bed at a decent hour each night and have to say I feel really refreshed! I normally only get four or five hours of sleep but this week I got seven-ish hours per night. I didn't make all of the events or engagements I was supposed to, but I feel more normal than I've felt in...hmm, I don't even know how long.

This morning I had planned to do something that probably would've overexerted me, and I had every intention of doing it anyway, but I woke up with major sciatica and realized there was no way...I'm kind of bummed but maybe I am just supposed to be taking it easy and not overcommitting. Maybe God is telling me that this is a season to just ponder and not necessarily "do". Sometimes I forget prayer is just as important as "doing."

But anyway...

I've had my rest and now I think I need to re-commit to my writing. At least I don't have to get out of bed to do THAT! There is no reason I can't fit an hour into each day to write...whether it be here or my novels or short stories or poems. But I'm going to try to do all of the above without as much pressure. Life is too short to be worrying so much...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

On My First Rejection Letter

Today I received my first short story rejection letter. I knew of someone else that had received theirs on Friday and I had been holding out hope that maybe, just maybe my story had made the cut. I discovered today that the rejection was actually sent to my husband's account (long story). I was discouraged for about five minutes but decided to set my attitude to "I WILL PERSEVERE!"

My friend and I have been working hard finding contests and  honing our writing skills. Yesterday we met up and each wrote a story  in 20ish minutes based on writing prompts and came up with some good stuff.

I have the feeling that this is going to be a long, hard road, but I've wanted to do this since I was in fifth that I think more about it, it was actually third grade. I wrote a story for a children's writing contest about a unicorn. I was obsessed with unicorns. I believe I placed in that contest...can't quite remember. I remember my friend, Reagan, and I writing stories based on our own adventures. The characters were Righteous Reagan and Courageous Christie. Not that I was. Courageous...that is. In 8th grade, we had a pretend 10 year class reunion and were to come dressed up as the profession we hoped to be in ten years from then. I donned a business-y type dress, glasses, had my hair in a bun, writing pad in hand. I was determined I would be a writer. 

But what happened? Something must have crushed my hopes way back when. I can't quite remember what. I just stopped writing. Sure, I would write quite lengthy notes to my best friends which, I might add, usually got me into trouble when discovered by parentals on one side or another. I am usually able to remember pretty much everything that has ever happened in my life from about three years old on. But I can't for the life of me remember why I stopped writing. I wish I hadn't. Perhaps I would be published by now. 

But everything in its own time...well in God's timing. I'm sure there is a reason why I've started again after all this time. I think I'm more confident in my writing than ever before. I have a good friend cheering me on, as well as others who have encouraged me to pursue it. And most importantly, I also have God who guides and directs me, whom I know has a purpose in all of this and in Him I trust 100%. Whatever is meant to be will happen. 

So...onto the next story!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

So Many Options...

So I'm planning on submitting a story to a short-story writing contest and my mind is spinning at the many ways I can go with the stories I'm working on.

Story #1 involves a woman whose husband leaves her out in the middle of nowhere and she is being stalked by someone...or something. But where to go with it? I majorly copped out on the first draft, allowing the main character to be killed. But I actually want her to survive. But what is after her? Part of me wants it to be a crazy psychopathic killer...yet the other part wants her to be stalked by some unusual type of animal or something. And how will she escape? Or will it really be her husband stalking her through the woods? I almost want to write this five different ways!

Story #2 is about a bratty highschooler who is getting into all sorts of trouble, and has her friend's drug overdose heavy on her mind. She is into all sorts of sinful behavior. Will she repent and turn from her sinful ways? Will this be a story with some morals attached or just a fluffy read about her exploits and how she gets out of them?

I am overwhelmed with the freedom I have over these character's lives! Now just have to figure out what to do with them!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Shenanigans

Thought I would give you all a good laugh and tell you about my face plant yesterday. I should give you some background first on a previous incident I had. I'm not the most graceful person in the world, ya know?

So about a month ago, I was leaving for work and realized I'd forgotten my cell near the head of my bed. I tried to reach forward to get it. I had one knee up on the bed, it slipped and thus so did I. I fell ribs first into the corner of my mattress. THEN to top THAT off, I fell backwards against my dresser with my hip and lower back...yes the exact area where I previously had two surgeries. Fun times!

Which brings us to yesterday...

This time I was going to hop up on my bed to relax while watching t.v. The space next to my bed is very limited because of a dresser so I was climbing up from the bottom of the bed...WITH a piece of Casa de Fruta peach pie in one hand. Somehow my foot got caught up on the comforter that was hanging off the end of the bed and I feel literally face first into my bed. Almost like a belly flop. I could've caught myself but that would've meant flying pie and I was not about to give up that pie. I almost went face first into it, however. Narrow miss. I hurt my foot and back but I saved the pie.

And now something completely unrelated...

My hubby went to take out the trash to the communal dumpster, which is located inside a man-made dumpster holder shed looking thingee. The trash was overflowing. He noticed something dark at the front and proceeded to try to push it in with the bag he was holding, thinking it was just some garbage. THEN the thing moved and started to turn around as he was pushing it. He did not waste any time trying to figure out what it was but came inside and told me. I, of course, had to investigate because that is just what I do. As I opened my front door a cute little raccoon face popped over the top of the dumpster. I spied another snout coming out of the bottom of the dumpster area. My hubby had actually been pushing a raccoon into the dumpster! I can't believe they didn't clobber him!

Alas, these are things that would only happen to me and mine...


Monday, February 20, 2012

On Poetry...and Publishing?

Ok, so here I am on a Monday holiday, still in bed, just woke up, pondering...

So here is my dilemma...

I wrote a poem for my Grandpa to be read at his memorial service this past Saturday. My Aunt Wendy read it beautifully as I didn't have the guts to do so. Plus it sounded so much nicer with her lovely English accent. It couldn't have been done any better.

Several family members have asked for a copy of the poem which I am glad to share. My mom thinks I should try to get it published. Part of me wants it out there for people to hear, as I think it may resonate with them in times of sorrow. And if I'm completely honest with myself, I think its really good and I want it out there for the world to see. But part of me wants to keep it private as it is something special written just for my Gramps. I put the only paper copy of it in the box with his ashes to be buried with him. I also don't want it to be critiqued and torn apart; I don't think I could handle that.

I'm entering a writing contest with a deadline of May 1st, so I have some time to figure this out. I think what I really need to do is pray about it. I love the idea of it being out there and honoring my Gramps, but I hate the idea of it becoming commercial like some of the so-called holidays. I'm torn, plain and simple.

I would love to hear your feedback...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

On Life...and Death

It's been a busy weekend, for sure. Saturday was my Gramps' memorial service. There was one at the cemetery here in Monterey and one at Casa De Fruta where he lived. It was great seeing family I hadn't seen in ages, but my heart is heavy today. I finally went into my heritage genealogy site and put his date of death, something I'd been thinking of doing for a couple weeks but couldn't quite bring myself to do until now. It seems so final putting that date in.

I am so unsocial that I always try to avoid family functions, yet when I actually do go to one, I have such a great time. I don't know what my problem is. I've realized there are some family members I would really like to get to know better. And I intend to do it! Beware, family!

Today I met with my writing cohort, Courtney, to discuss goals and contests to enter. She is such a great writer, a true inspiration to me. I keep having "false starts" in my writing. I can write a great intro but I never finish ANYTHING! Courtney has given me the task of writing between 2 to 4 pages by Wednesday when we next meet up. Now I just need to find some inspiration! Maybe I need coffee. I'm determined to start something...TONIGHT! If nothing else, at least I have a blog post to show for it, right?

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Blog (Needs Work)

So I've created this blog mainly to chronicle my journey to becoming a published writer.

My friend and I have challenged each other to a writing plan, and intend to meet up once a week to encourage each other and perhaps to kick each other in the...well you get the picture.

But knowing me, my musings will probably wander to other topics and make for a story in themselves. I recently looked back at old blogs and realized how whacked I was (and maybe still am!).

So the title...

The "cup" is for the fact that I absolutely LOVE coffee. Yum, yum, yum!!!! AND my friend and I will be conducting our weekly get-togethers at a coffee shop. Yay, us!

And the "sensibility"? I've no idea as I really don't have any of that ha! But it sounded good! Maybe I will find some. Who knows?

Anyway, gotta run and look up some more writing contests to enter!