Recurring nightmare and Recent events

Just a mere two months ago, I was at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. On opening day the lunchtime speaker shared her family’s experience of losing their home to the Waldo Canyon fire. The 2013 conference was themed “Rising from the Ashes” in dedication to all that had happened to our community and with a vow that we would regrow together. The recount, beautifully written and presented, was a tearfest. Every local writer in the large ballroom had been affected in some way. Many, like me, had been displaced. A few lost homes, many opened their homes, some were actively involved in direct support to firefighting and everyone knew someone that fell into every category along the way.

The room contained about the same number of attendees as the number of houses lost and was dead silent. Her account was moving and informative, both relating to shared experience and revealing unique circumstances. The out-of-state visitors had many sincere questions and true compassion. The recollection stirred up raw sensations buried within me.

For about a month, I’ve been dreading the first anniversary, June 23.

The thought of seeing archived media coverage has been unnerving. Images of houses burning, beautiful National Forest destroyed, sirens, smoke plumes, the nighttime lava-like glow, the constant reel of news briefs, the smell and taste of smoke day after day, the orangey color when the sun pushes through the haze that shrouds the city, the sound of aircrafts delivering hope for containment are most but not all of the memories that have shaken my senses and quickened my heartbeat.

The surreality of a living nightmare.

Our city was preparing to face those feelings head on, celebrate the successes and continue to heal. I was bracing myself for the onslaught of images and searching for the comfort zones where tragedy meets community. Where friendships grow stronger and values solidify.

We were evacuated from our home and thankfully were able to return to a house and neighborhood fully intact. But 18,247 acres burned, 346 homes were destroyed, 32,000 residents were evacuated, and it was dubbed the most expensive fire in Colorado state history with insurance claims totaling more than $352.6 million.

Two days ago, well before our community has found peace, another fire has attacked our city.

It’s day 3 of the Black Forest fire. The latest news briefing stated 15,700 acres burned, 38,000 people evacuated, 360 homes destroyed and counting, no containment and two people have been found dead.

While it’s the most threatening fire right now, it’s not the only one in our state.

And the nightmare continues.


Question the value

Understand that quantity is not the same

Accept that patience might be required

Listen to your heart

Invest yourself

Trust your instincts

Yearn for excellence



-the state or character of being positive.

There are several definitions of the word positive. Here’s the one that most intrigues me:

-having a value greater than zero.

When I think about positivity, I see ‘anti-gravity’. If a person lets something drop, zero effort is required on their part — gravity will take over. However, if a person wants to keep something from dropping or actually raise something — effort must kick in.

Positivity is more difficult to achieve than negativity. If someone is ‘down’ their presence goes down, ‘hanging the head’ and ‘dragging the feet’. Frowns happen when the corners of the mouth turn down. And expressions represent the very same, ‘letting the ball drop’, ‘slipping through the cracks’ and ‘spiraling downward’.

Positivity challenges gravity. A smile happens when the corners of the mouth go up. To achieve a positive stance someone must keep their ‘chin up’, ‘spirits lifted’, ‘rise above’, ‘pick up their step’, or ‘lift their mood’. True effort is required to ‘raise the bar’, ‘aim high’, and ‘shoot for the moon’.

Positivity is hard work. And can be even tougher when naysayers try to ‘suck the life force out’ of it.

Positivity is contagious. But …you have to catch it.

The next time you’re trying to maintain a positive outlook and wondering why it always feels like you’re fighting an uphill battle — it’s because you are.

Good news. You are not alone. I love the saying:

surround self

Go do that!



Noise & Optimism

N – Noise

I’m trying to calm all the noise in my head. I have a LOT of random thoughts about my future and what I need to do to accomplish specific goals. I’ve been checking off the list, bit by tiny bit. When so much is swirling around I remind myself to just keep moving forward, give myself little successes along the way. And yes…doing dishes, prepping food, and doing laundry counts!!! Even though those are sidenotes to what’s really keeping my mind charged right now….it’s still about organizing the mind ‘clutter’…good stuff but totally cluttered and bucking for attention. I’m slowly and effectively gaining control of the volume…..

O – Optimism

The glass is always full. If for nothing else, it holds air.


Karma – Love – Meow

I’m terribly behind on my A to Z. I spent the weekend at the best writer’s conference EVER. Pikes Peak Writers Conference — amazing. After a couple of prep days, then into four full consecutive conference days followed by one day of organizing all the new information and calming a swirling brain… I am back and vow to get on track with my A to Z. And this is how it’s going to happen… in chunks!

Here’s the high points of letter inspiration K thru M:

K – Karma
You do something good for someone and something good will come back to you. Ahhh… Karma. It’s all about the good, right? Until someone pisses you off then you want Karma to get them.

L – Love

love 17

M – Meow
(Kristina this is for you 🙂 )

Tips from my cat:

1. Be social
Widen your circle, get to know your neighbors.

2. Make time for play
Dogs are good for pouncing practice. Humans will think you’re cute.

3. Stay clean
Impressions count, no one wants to sit with the stinky cat.

4. Keep sharp
Take time to hone your claws, you will need them from time to time.

5. Cough it up
Don’t hold on to anything that upsets you.

6. Life is short
Enjoy each life like it could be your last.

7. Get face time
Take time to meet eye-to-eye with the ones you love.

8. Speak up
A quiet cat is a lonely cat, let ’em know how you feel.

9. Give back
Always share your finds, at least a portion of them.

10. Nap
Rest up because you never know when you’ll be left outside all day.



You are your own best judge.

You know whether you are doing what you should be doing.

You know whether the effort you are giving is going to give you the results you desire.

You decide when to jump wholeheartedly into your passion.




‘H’ = Happiness! 😉

“Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.” — Palmer Sondreal

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.” — James Openheim

“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The secret to happiness is to put the burden of proof on unhappiness.” — Robert Brault

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on detour.” — Author Unknown

happiness 5 — Marcus Aurelius


shake my
head and laugh
when I see the smiles
but hear the words that do not match
the blind leads the blind



Fantastic First

Liebster award 

Fantastic! My First blogging award!

Yay! Thank you Tales From Tedium for nominating me for the Liebster Award. A German award dating back to 2010 (just a babe 🙂 )…specifically awarded to blogs with less than 200 followers. Liebster means ‘dearest’ in German….awww so sweet. I am honored. Baby steps!

Now to accept my award (which I gladly do)… I must tell you:

11 random facts about me:

  1. I can raise each of my eyebrows individually.
  2. I am a fan of wine and chocolate.
  3. I am writing a Contemporary Young Adult novel.
  4. I have mostly brown eyes that occasionally turn green, cause unknown.
  5. I am organized.
  6. I have two dogs and one cat.
  7. I like all kinds of olives.
  8. I have a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, but now work as a writer.
  9. I am crafty.
  10. I am a happy person.
  11. I love to read.

My nominator Tales From Tedium gave me 11 questions to answer:

1. If you had to pick a final meal what would you choose?
Wine and chocolate…such a bizarre thought, not sure I’d have an appetite.

2. If you could only have one book of fiction to read forever, which would it be?
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust — Guinness World Record holder for longest novel at 4,211 pages and cross my fingers that it is good 🙂

3.Where do you most want to visit and why?
Changes all the time — today, Jerusalem because a friend just got back from an amazing trip and it sounds great.

4. What is the best thing about blogging?
Engaging in another form of writing and meeting other bloggers.

5. Why did you choose to take part in the A to Z challenge?
My blog needed attention and it sounded like a lot of fun (which it has been).

6. Have you preplanned any posts, Q or X or Z perhaps?
Nope…but thank you for the idea/reminder!

7. When did you last enjoy live music, who played?
New Year’s Eve 2012 on Times Square! Various artists.

8. Who influences you?
My family. All decisions are based on what’s good for us all first and foremost.

9. Which three words best describe you?
Balanced, funny, creative

10.What makes you happy?
A lot…being surrounded by inspiring people, being productive, having choices…

11. How long did you take to choose you 11 nominations?
Not sure, this whole post has taken a good couple of hours. But I learned some formatting things I didn’t know before…so time well spent!

To my Liebster Nominees, I have chosen you from Blogging A to Z Challenge 2013 because each day I take time to look at at least 3 blogs and I have been lucky enough to stumble upon your blog and found it interesting and enjoyable. I look forward to getting to know you!

Shall you decide to accept this award, here are your qualifiers:

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who gave you the award and link back to their site
  • Post 11 random facts about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions posed to you
  • Nominate 11 new bloggers for this FANTASTIC award (only requirement: must have fewer than 200 followers)
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions that would help you get to know them

11 questions to my nominees:
1. What is the best thing about blogging?
2. What is one major thing you’d like to accomplish this year?
3. What is your biggest obstacle, right now?
4. Why did you choose to take part in the A to Z challenge?
5. Have you preplanned any posts, Q or X or Z perhaps?
6. What is the current buzzword?
7. What word did you overuse today?
8. What song is stuck in your head?
9. What was the last TV show you watched?
10.What is your favorite accessory?
11. Which three words best describe you?

And the nominees:

Blog on!