Fighting for His Young Life

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I am so ashamed. I have been having meltdowns over this insane week we’ve had – Mama’s truck broken down, then mine, then Hallie’s, very sick dog to vet, viruses on my computer, so that has to go to Geek Squad for several days, so I cannot work, I cannot write, etc., and about 5 other things went wrong this week. You know how when it rains, it pours?  Well, being busy having my pity party, I go on FaceBook to hopefully find something funny or beautiful or a deep quote to put it all in perspective.

I found perspective.

I found this precious little boy fighting for his life. Cancer. Very rare and aggressive. Stage 4. Just started chemo. Doesn’t look good.

I started to cry, begging God to forgive me. How can I cry for me and my family’s issues when this child is fighting to live, this mom and dad is having to watch their baby go through chemo and what comes with it? I cannot begin to imagine what this struggle and heartache must be like for anyone.

Then I started to pray for this sweet boy, his family, the health professionals associated with Lucas.

That’s his name. Lucas. Lucas Jones.

Then I started to pray for every child fighting to live. No child should have to go through this. No family should. Nobody should.

I found a Facebook page started on behalf of Lucas and his family so we could all keep up with their journey. 

I also noticed they set up a Go Fund Me account to help with medical expenses. I’ve never had the privilege of meeting these fine people but God placed it on my heart to help.

You can help in a myriad of ways:

1.  By reading their story and following along with them on their journey. Like/follow their FB page https://www.facebook.com/LoveforLuki

2. Check out their Go Fund Me campaign. A donation of just $5 can do so much to help. https://www.gofundme.com/Zewg7v64

3. Go to any Medic Blood Center and donate blood in Lucas’ name and he will get credit for it. Or donate for anyone. There are so many people who can benefit from your donation.

4. Last but definitely not least, pray. Please pray for Lucas, his family, the medics that are all assisting, and for every child/every person who has to go through something like this.

Thank you!!  And may God bless you.

Fell Off the Face of the Earth

fallingNo, I didn’t. Though, I’m sure some of you probably thought I had. I’ve been so consumed lately with work and then Spring Break vacation and family time, I’ve not put much focus toward writing nor blogging. However, that’s all about to change. Yes, I’m gearing up for facing sleepless nights and early mornings once again. No more sleeping in till 5 or 6 am. I’ll still be putting forth my 46+ hours of work per week, adequate time for family and then all the extras will come in within those hours while the rest of the world sleeps, and I’ll be missing those precious hours of dreaming, though they’ll still be precious, as I’ll be appointing that energy to writing daily and blogging at least once a week.

And if you haven’t figured out how crazy I am yet…

Camp NaNoWriMo, Here I come!

Yes, indeedy, I’ve lost my mind, taking the plunge of investing up to 50,000 words and finally finishing my novel (book 1) during the month of April. I’m not entirely sure it will be 50,000 words that I type during the month, as I’m half finished with book 1 already. Mostly, needing to reorganize, then finish. Certain parts need to be transferred to books 2 and 3. So, that’s my main objective for April – finishing book 1.  Then May will be spent revising, editing, proofing, polishing, employing my beta readers, querying agents/publishers, and finding representation/ publication. A little crazy?  Yes. Impossible? Never. I have reached 50,000 words before during a NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, so I know I can do it. Plus, it does become a bit easier once you get in the habit of getting up at 2am or 4am every morning to get in your 1,500 to 2,000 words per day.

If you are a writer and love a challenge, I encourage you to join in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s free and it’s most helpful if you need a kick in the pants to motivate you to get your rear in the chair and write a book or finish something you started. Wanna learn more about it? Check this out.

When you work from home and have a family, you set a crazy schedule that best works for you.

Here’s my schedule now:

M-F

Up, fix coffee, get ready for the day 6-7

Work 7-8

Fix breakfast and lunch for the kiddo 8-830

Work 830-430 (while walking 2 dogs every hour, it seems)

Prepare and sit down to supper 430-5 or 6-630 (depending on day)

Family time (depending on how much homework and studying Mini-me has) 5-8 or 630-9 or 10

Get ready for bed – anytime between 8 and 10, depending on what’s going on that particular day

Sometimes, it varies, though. Sometimes, I start at 4 or 5am, depending on what else I have going on that day. And if I have to be out at appointments on a particular day, I’ll spend part of Saturday morning getting the rest of my work hours. Plus, getting in a smidge of writing time on some of those mornings or evenings. Sound crazy? I rather like it, myself. It’s not that hard working in your pajamas or a t-shirt and shorts, and for clients you actually like, doing work you actually like. Plus, it’s nice setting your own schedule.

My new schedule, starting April 1, will look more like this:

M-F

Up, coffee will be ready (on auto) 4am

Write quietly (in office or livingroom) 4-6

Get ready for day 6-7

Then, everything else, and making sure I get to bed NLT 8pm, and hoping Hallie can make it to bed by then, as well

 

I’m gonna be a tired Mama-jama.  Of course, if there are appointments anywhere that day, I’ll be getting up at 2am to fit it all in, as well as getting up super early on Saturday morning. I’ve done it before.  This is not just my schedule for April but will my schedule for May, as well, since I will need to fix all the details and polish the book the month following Camp Nano. Half-way dreading it and half-way super excited to dig in!!  Are you coming to camp? Will you be joining a cabin? Look me up if you like and shoot me a message.  To message me inside the camp, I think I’m Carol-Blake or Carol_Blake. This may be my last opt-in for the cabin-mates. A couple of times, it was really great, because a couple of the bunk mates made good conversation and I made new friends (that are still friends in and out of camp) but most of the camps, the cabin was pretty quiet. Not sure that I’ll be making much conversation in April, either. We’ll see.  And good luck to you, whether you join us at camp, or not.

What are you doing in April? Got any big goals planned?  Been thinkin’ about you guys! And been missing y’all.

Chat soon! Smooches!  xoxo

-Carol

Truth in her eyes

ghostgirl

In the breath just before dawn

The hushed air as the world sleeps

Upon her cheek a golden tear fell

The smallest glimmer in a dark cold place

 

Knowing she has to face the sun

And she’ll walk and dance and play

She’ll wear a mask to cover her madness

But she cannot hide her eyes

 

It’s all right there

 

Thank you, Jesus

My second thank you letter in my 365 Thank You Letters project.

_____

My dear, sweet, loving Jesus,

jesus

How very special you are to me! I can never thank you enough for always being close by, guiding me, along with our Father’s help. Thank y’all for the employment of God’s many angels, for all our many blessings and most of all, for saving me from my sins so that I can be with you and my family in heaven one day, hopefully far, far from now. No offense. I surely will be so very happy to see you again. I just want to be around on the earth for a while so I can spend more time with my two favorite girls, witness my daughter graduate high school, then college, then her marrying the right guy, my playing ‘Nonnie’ (otherwise known as grandma) to my grandbabe(s), witness my mom turning a happy and healthy 110+, and witness so many more blessings.

Thank you for showing up at all the right times when I needed you most. I know that was you. I felt you sit on the edge of my bed and soothe the pain in my soul. You lulled me to sleep that night. Thank you for getting me out of all those bad decisions and almost bad decisions, for loving me in spite of my many weaknesses and stupidity and anger and meanness. Thank you for your forgiveness and for going to our Father on my behalf.

jesus2

When I think of what all you went through for me (for all of us), I can’t help but cry, sweet Jesus. To go through so much torture, cruelty and torment, it physically hurts my heart and body. I wish it could have gone a different way. I wish you could have saved us from our sins without going through such pain and suffering. But you did do it. And you did it for us. Because you love us. Because you’re strong and brave and your love has more courage, strength and power than any physical abuse you could have ever experienced. I know you are healed and feel no physical pain now, but my heart still aches when I think of those six hours you spent on the cross and the torture leading up to that.

Please forgive me for my sins. Please wash me as white as snow. Wash those sins away and renew me in you, sweet Brother. I belong to you and to our Father and I always will. Please help me to be more like you, fill me with your love and compassion and friendship and kindness so that I, too, can spread that love and goodness like you did and still do. Help me to be courageous and strong in spirit. Help me to have confidence so that I can do whatever it is you and our Father wish for me to do. And fill me with your strongest faith, Jesus. You are my truest hero and I will never love anyone as much as I so deeply and truly love you!!! Thank God and YOU for your beautiful soul!!

Love forever and ever till the end of time (if there is such a thing),

Carol

 

Images courtesy of http://www.akiane.com/ and photobucket.com

Living the Adventure to Completion

boots

Buried deep within the caves

The recesses of my mind

Taken there by worn tired weathered leather

And antique sheets wrapped with twine

bookandtwine

 

Past the echoes and whispers

Through the dark twisted figures

Evermore deeper still toward the dark

Torment and fear churn and shiver

darkscary

 

Not turning to whence I came

Facing the struggle and climb

Promise beckoning me adventure on

Completing the trek is mine

the end

 

365 Thank You Letters – Day One

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(WARNING:  A couple of expletives are in this post, so beware… – I’m just bein’ real, people)

Call me crazy. I had an idea last night and thought oh, what a lovely idea to thank different people throughout my life who have helped me in some way (whether directly or indirectly), and post a thank you on my blog, so maybe they’ll see it, maybe they won’t, but I’m putting the energy and positive vibes out there so the thank you is out in the universe. And, if nothing else, it might help you to accept some things that are seemingly negative that have transpired in your life and maybe this will help you see it in a different light, because I believe everything does happen for a reason. I mean, of course, I cannot make sense out of a lot of things, which I won’t even bring up, because I don’t want to get depressed, nor get you down, so…

On with it.  Day One of my 365 Thank You Letters (via blog).

By the way, this is in no certain order of importance. One person is not more important than another, except everyone knows Mama and Hallie are my number 2 people in life.

_____

Dear Sweet Beloved Heavenly Father (some of you may know him as God),

Hi. It’s me again. I’m sure you know me well from the many times per day I chat it up with you. I can imagine your eyes rolling from the many times I bug you about some of the stupidest, unimportant things I talk about. Or maybe you gently smile, just being happy to hear from me. I’m sure you’re not always happy, because you know this girl can go off and I always seem to direct my anger at you. Sorry about that. Again. Really, really sorry. You know I have anger issues. I’m trying to work on it. But it doesn’t take much sometimes to set me off. You don’t deserve the stuff I say. Again, sorry. Please forgive me. I’ll try to improve.

sadpup

I also want to thank you again. For everything. Yes, even the bad stuff. Maybe it seems like bad stuff at the time but sometimes, even years later, it turns out to be a good thing. Like the break up with him, and him, and him, and all those hims. Thank. You. God!!  I am sooooo blessed not to be with those guys anymore. Thank you for the friends I no longer have, too, because I realized what crappy friends they were. Self-serving, never encouraging, never supportive – just neglectful, selfish, angrier people than me. And that’s saying something. So thank you for even the bad stuff.

It seems when something negative is going on, my mind plays tricks on me and for some reason, I think everything is shit in my life, like all I have is bad, bad, bad, and I can’t focus on anything good. I’m really sorry about that. It’s only when I’m angry or depressed but I know my mind is being tricked, because it’s simply untrue. I have more good in my life than bad. I can’t say it’s always been that way (my life was pretty crappy before Hallie was born), but I certainly feel my life is better now than it ever was before. I have so many blessings, I cannot even count them all. No, we don’t have a ton of money and can’t afford to buy a newer car, but I can afford to put food on the table, clothes on our backs and our cars are running.That’s what’s important. And more importantly, we have each other. My girls and I are close, best friends, hang out often with each other and laugh and dance and sing and have such a great time together, we have homes, we have land, we have furbabies, we are healthy, have jobs and a good school, Hallie has a couple of sweet, good quality friends who care about her, and it doesn’t have to get better than that.

joy

I won’t take up much of your time. I know there are peeps out there who need you more than I do right now. And I know you can do everything and be everywhere at once, but honestly, I’ll cut you a break and let you tend to more important events that need your strong attention. And with that, I’d like to pray for all those lost souls who desperately need you. They are full of hate, anger, piss and venom and there’s probably nothing anyone can say to give them peace. You know they struggle. You know the reasons. I know you love them. Be there for them, Father. Help them. Ease their pain and suffering. Give them comfort. Help their hearts feel love and joy and to know laughter and happiness. And hope and faith. Let them know there is hope. Let your angels whisper in their ears like they do in mine. I used to be that lost soul, Father, as you well remember. I know we are all weak. We all fall. And I pray we all come back to you before all our hope is lost.

praying

Thank you for listening to me ramblin’ and for loving us and taking such good care of us and for your forgiveness, for the good stuff, the bad and the ugly, because it all helps build our character. I mean, I’m still here, even after I didn’t want to be here anymore. I am. And again, I ask you to use me as you have before. Use me however you wish. I belong to you forever. Even when sometimes I may not act like it, because I get pissed off for 20 minutes or an hour. I always come back, stumbling over my stupidity, but I come back. Thank you for having me, for never turning your back, even though sometimes I accused you of doing just that. I realize, at times, you have to feel a million miles away. I do know you have good reasons. I’m sure part of it is to test my faith. Wow, you’re really good at that. Seems I’m tested daily. Well, some weeks are better than others. Thank you for the good weeks. And I guess thanks for the bad ones, too, because they make me grow in different ways, building strength. I’m still here, so maybe I’m doing something right.

Anywho, I’ll close for now. You go help those peeps who need your shoulder, your ear, your gentle but firm hand. And most of all, your love.

kisses

I love you, Daddy. Thank you for always being the true Daddy I needed.

Love always and forever,

Carol

Finding that Monday Mojo

coffee yes

Who needs some motivation for the week?  Monday is a good day for that, no? We can call it Monday Motivation or Motivation Monday or Finding your Monday Mojo. Kind o’ like our Thankful Thursday when I actually do it.

So, what are y’all working on right now? I know most of us here are creatives – artists/writers/poets/knitters/chefs/photographers, etc. What’s your big action plan for the week?

list

(In all fairness, this is not quite MY to do list. I write YA mostly, so mine is more like “3. almost kiss; 4. send someone to prison in an alternate dimension” and the rest is pretty close to right.)

I was actually going to work on my YA fantasy series and have a bit, but crazy inspiration grabbed a hold of me yesterday and I started a work of nonfiction (AGAIN!) – sort of a book of inspiration for creative types.

As an artist, do you feel you are constantly fighting resistance?  I know I am. I mean, even as I was working on the new book yesterday, I felt it was a form of resistance. As writers, we always get a new brilliant idea for a story or we have a dream and get up at 2am to jot it down and then we work on it feverishly, but those are all forms of resistance, right? It pulls us away from what we’re supposed to be focused on – our main wip (work-in-progress or work-in-potential or work-in-pain). Does that happen to you, too? I don’t want to let a wild hair of inspiration escape me, so I have to write it down but then I continue this writing frenzy on that same thing and push my main one off to the side. Again. It seems I always let something come in between me and my main work.

self

What is this fear I have? I do not understand why I cannot reach some middle ground of self-acceptance and believe that I’m good enough, that I’m enough, period. I do actually realize we each hold our own amount of brilliance – genius, even. We each are allotted a deep well of invention and talent. We need to own it. We each have our own voice, our own stories to share that no one else has or that no one can tell it the way we can. We have our own special sauce. I know this. I know how important it is for us to share our words and ideas and stories with the world. But it always happens. I get close to the end and I start overthinking. I get overwhelmed and scared and stop working on my love. Actually, I tend to overthink everything. It’s my strongest weakness. ESPECIALLY when it comes to my writing.

Well, yeah, if I’m gonna be honest, pretty much everything. I overthink it all.

How can we overcome this? How can we fight the resistance? How can be believe that we are enough? That we are good enough?

I don’t know about you, but I ask myself stuff all the time. They say if you talk to yourself, you’re crazy. Well, then ya might as well commit me, because I talk to myself, I converse with my imaginary friends (characters in my stories), I question myself, I answer myself. I laugh at myself. I must be pretty weird, huh? Actually, I can come up with some pretty amazing answers to my own questions at times.

Self-talk, I think, is a great tool, if we use it as a tool and quit worrying if we’re crazy or not. We can come up with great solutions to our problems, other people’s problems, the crisis we are in the midst of with our characters. I mean, who needs therapy when you have yourself?! And your imaginary friends?! Ok, maybe it does sound a little wacky, but who cares.

I know you do it, too. I know you read your stuff out loud as if someone is sitting there listening to you. But it’s just you. You and your wine and your words and your box of Kleenex, because what you wrote is so freakin’ amazing, it made you cry. I hear ya, man. I feel ya. I do it, too.

crying

But I have a challenge for you. If we read our own stuff and see that it’s so dang good, gosh-darn-it, then we need to actually finish the story, or at least that first book in the series of the story. And be able to reach that finish line for Book 1 or __________ (whatever you’re working on) and be able to scream from the rooftops, “I finished it!!!!”  “Yea, me!!  I did it!!!”  Can you imagine how good that feels?!

Okay, so (1) we can be accountable to each other and check in once in a while and see how we’re each doing, making sure we are actually making progress, (2) we can try to focus, like yeah, go ahead and spend an hour or two jotting enough info down about that wild hair of an idea or dream for a book or story and then get back to our main work, and (3) believe in ourselves that we are great, we got this, we are good enough and we deserve, NO, we OWE it to ourselves and the world to share our stories with those out there who will be better for having read our words!

I mean, honestly, how did your life change with certain books you’ve read?! Honestly?! Wonderful, amazing stories, right?! Your life would be so empty without some of these stories that have fueled your inspiration and imagination! We will be among those greats. All we have to do is finish and get it out there. I’m game if you are. What say you?

What’s your plan?