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Poetry Friday ~ Exemplary & Sadness

7 Sep

Hi, everyone!

 

I’m back from my two weeks in Japan and I must say I miss it already. The Japanese people are remarkable. From the moment we arrived at Narita International Airport we felt welcomed. The airport, train station, restaurant and hotel employees as well as passers by went out of there way to help us with any issue, sometimes before we even got the chance to ask for help.

 

Although the country is packed with people everything ran smoothly. The trains and buses were always on time, restaurants were never too full, the streets were clean although there were no garbage cans––anywhere. We learned to carry a plastic bag in our backpacks to store garbage while out and about. On escalators everyone stood on the left, so that if anyone wanted to walk up the steps they could come up the right side. People formed lines and walk down on the left side of a stairway and up on the right side, so that no one is ever in the way or in danger of colliding with someone else. People entered the trains in an orderly fashion and if the train was extra full the conductor would come over and assist by pushing the people in tight with his gloved hands, like you would push down the clothes in an overstuffed suitcase before just barely getting that zipper closed.

 

Cab, Uber and bus drivers thanked us for allowing them to drive us around. We never saw a fight or an argument anywhere. Although drinking alcohol is allowed at anytime we never saw a single drunk walking the streets. There was no yelling or cussing. Everyone seemed so kind and courteous to one another, it was surreal at times.

 

I fell in love with Japanese fashion. Well, the women’s fashion style. The men mostly wore black suits and white shirts. In the train station during the morning work rush you’d see a sea of white shirts and black pants. Even the school age boys wore black pants and white shirts. The women were another story. First, we had to ask ourselves if there were any ugly Japanese women? If there were, they must have stayed indoors the entire time we were there. The Japanese women we saw were beautiful and refined. Their style was feminine, colorful and elegant in an understated way. Honestly, I felt a bit self-conscious walking around in my jeans, T-shirt and sneakers. And why didn’t they sweat? Our first couple of days in Japan the temperature was in the upper nineties. My niece, who lives there, told us it was a record high. The moment I walked out of the airport beads of sweat began to form over my upper lip and it wasn’t long before we were all covered in perspiration. Yet, I never saw a Japanese woman dripping in sweat. They walked by in their regal way, looking immaculate in their perfect outfits without a hair out of place and dry as powder.

 

I don’t think the word “elderly” applies to the seventy and eighty-something year olds in Japan. Not when they zipped by you on their bicycles. When we visited the shrines in Kyoto we climbed 500+ steps up a mountain. As I struggled up the last twenty-something steps, a group of men and women clearly in their seventies or eighties zoomed right past me to the top. To say I was shocked is an understatement. Seeing the vitality of their older generation was a testament to their healthy lifestyle.

 

After a week of living among these people, my brother and I came up with a theory. They’re not from here. They’re an elite race of aliens from another planet or dimension chosen to live on Earth to show us mere humans how we should live. They are here to lead by example. How could these perfect beings be human? Human beings are not perfect. We make mistakes, we get angry and yell sometimes, we get tired and we sweat!

Torii Gates-Japan-Poetry_Friday-Tanka-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Japanese-Vashti Q

Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

You may not believe

but they do walk among us

these perfect beings

from birth to birth they go with

no proper place for sorrow

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Check out my Instagram for more pictures. (Click on photo)

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Torii Gates (Kyoto, Japan)

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Exemplary and Sadness are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

UPDATE: Hurricane Irma – 2017

8 Sep

UPDATE: I wanted to let everyone know that my family and I are safe. We went through a frightening experience and we have a lot of cleaning up, repairing and restoring to do, but that’s okay. Things could have been much worse. And the important thing is that we made it out safely.

Hurricane Irma’s eye was threatening to barrel across the center of  south Florida. That would have been catastrophic. Instead, as she neared us she veered toward the West, so we received horrible bands carrying 100+ miles per hour wind gusts, but not a direct hit. South Florida dodged another bullet. There are some structural damage, lots of trees pulled out of the ground, large tree branches that acted like missiles, the water in some areas will be tainted for a while, but so far I have not heard of any loss of life. We’ll have to wait and see what the news tells us in the next few days. 

I think Florida did a great job preparing for this storm. I believe at least 90% of Florida residents took hurricane Irma seriously. My family and I certainly did. We have some work ahead of us, but we all made it out safely and that’s what’s important.

I want to thank everyone for being so kind. Thanks for sending all the positive vibes, well wishes and prayers––they worked! I am touched by everyone’s concern for my family and my well-being.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! You guys are the best! I will end it here before I get too mushy.


Hello my friends! I’m sure many of you have already heard of Hurricane Irma. I live in south Florida (USA) and unfortunately we’re in the path of this powerful storm. My family and I are doing everything we can to prepare ourselves for the impact. We’re hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.

My number one priority right now is to protect my family and my home. There’s a lot to do. We began preparing the day before yesterday and we still have a lot to do.  I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back online between preparing, impact and aftermath of this significant storm.

I just wanted to inform you of what’s going on. I didn’t want to leave you hanging while I went MIA. Please keep Florida in your prayers and send good vibes our way. Thank you.

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Hurricane Irma is 350 miles wide. The Florida peninsula is about 100 miles wide.

hurricane Irma-storm-2017-Florida-winds-aftermath-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega

 

SPOTLIGHT: D. G. Kaye ~ Live. Laugh. Love. And Don’t Forget to Breathe.

29 May

“Friends are like bras: close to your heart and there for support.”

~Donna Roberts

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It is my pleasure to introduce today a woman who I greatly admire for her strength, positive attitude, and writing talent: Debby Gies (D. G. Kaye). She is also a very supportive friend. An author of nonfiction memoir she writes about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. Debby inspires others by sharing stories about events she has encountered and lessons that come along with them.

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Growing up as an emotionally neglected child, she struggled, tormented with guilt, with whether or not she should remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, feeling in debt to her narcissistic mother for giving birth to her. Her first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about her journey to seek solace from living with guilt.

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In keeping up with sharing her experiences in life, Debby thought about her turbulent voyage through menopause. No, it wasn’t fun. But in retrospect, she had to laugh when comparing symptoms with friends over some of the craziness of the side effects, so she decided to write Meno-What? A Memoir. The book is a short, humorous accounting of her passage through the hormonal injustice. In that book, she shared some of the many symptoms she encountered, hoping to shed some light and humor on what women may expect or experience at that unpredictable time. She also offers up some helpful hints she found useful for relief.

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Have Bags, Will Travel  is a travel memoir of tales and reminiscings from some of Debby’s more memorable trips, which all factor in the same ongoing issues for her – too much luggage! 😀

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Debby’s newest book, P.S. I Forgive You is Book II to Conflicted Hearts, a journey of seeking forgiveness for her narcissistic mother. As her death was approaching, she was forced by conflicting thoughts to reconcile her feelings about her mother and find a way to make peace within herself for her decision to remain estranged, yet find forgiveness for her to send her off with compassion.

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Words We Carry   focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. She talks about how and why we develop a low sense of self by using her own life experiences as examples. She shares stories about how she recognized her own shortcomings, and overcame her insecurities, hoping to empower others.

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D. G. Kaye’s writing is raw and honest. She hopes that through her writing others would relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

In her words . . .

Hi, I’m Debby Gies. I’m a Canadian author, and I write my books under the pen name of D.G. Kaye.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life; otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parents’ relationship. I often wrote notes, and journaled about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times always striving to work my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word ‘No’, or to use the words ‘I can’t’, keeps me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

D.G. Kaye (Debby Gies) writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and the lessons she learned from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome some of the many obstacles that challenged her.

Check out Debby’s Blog:

D. G. Kaye Live. Laugh. Love  And Don’t Forget to Breathe!

Connect with her on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

Is there a narcissist in your life? How does that person affect your life? 

Are you going through menopause? Is someone close to you going through menopause? How are you or they dealing with the symptoms?

Do you enjoy traveling? What’s the funniest, scariest, or most shocking experience you’ve had while traveling?

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I hope you enjoyed today’s ‘Spotlight’. Give Debby some love in the comments below.

 

 

Haiku Friday – KING & DAY

10 Mar

Hello, today’s post may not be easy for some to read or see but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t.

 

King and Day are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Amazing Animals on Pinterest

God created man

To rule with kindness and love

Not to kill or maim

Many kings shall have their day

Until Mother Nature reigns

When God said,

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

~Genesis 1:26

I’m extremely certain that He didn’t mean, breed animals and torture them everyday of their lives until they die or hunt them down, not for sustenance but for sport or profit until they are extinct. I believe the key words in the statement above is God made mankind not only in his image but in his likeness as well which I interpret as ‘with his character’. Hunting animals for fun, testing products on them and killing them for profit was not what God intended when he put mankind to rule over them. God is love and he would not condone this behavior toward his defenseless creatures.

I’m sure this will not be a popular post, because many people rather live in a bubble and not know the truth of what is really happening in the world when it comes to animals and what greedy corporations are doing to them on a daily basis.

I saw an article on Facebook about animal testing. I had no idea how many companies tested their products on animals. I knew some companies did but I had no idea what these tests involved. After reading this article I went on to do my own research and investigation and what I learned made me sick. I’m not kidding. I was crying and vomiting at the same time. I was very affected by what I read and the videos and pictures I saw. This knowledge shook me to the core and changed my life.

These tests are cruel, inhumane, monstrous and they’re done on a daily basis to dogs, cats, rabbits, monkeys . . . intelligent animals that feel pain, fear, anger and sadness just like we do. These poor animals are being tortured everyday for hours until they die.

Take a look at your dog, cat, parakeet, pig, monkey, horse, snake . . . whatever pet you have and imagine that sweet animal living that kind of life––it’s heart-wrenching.

If you’re a good, kind human being you’re probably asking yourself, ‘I’m just one person, what can I do?’ There are lots of things you can do. First of all, do not buy products that test on animals. That alone will help a great deal. When you’re at the grocery store or pharmacy or Costco, Target, Walgreens . . . look at every bottle, jar or box you pick up and be sure it says ‘No animal testing’. You’ll see these words somewhere on the product––look for it. If it doesn’t say it that means the company does torture and kill animals.

Animals deserve better. No being created by God deserves to live a life of pain, fear and sadness. Please do your part.

“Don’t turn your face away.
Once you’ve seen, you can no longer act like you don’t know.
Open your eyes to the truth. It’s all around you.
Don’t deny what the eyes to your soul have revealed to you.

Now that you know, you cannot feign ignorance.
Now that you’re aware of the problem, you cannot pretend you don’t care.
To be concerned is to be human.
To act is to care.”

 

Please, be well informed and follow at least one of the links below and read the article.

Beauty Without Bunnies

What is animal testing?

Animal Testing 101 | PETA

11 Facts About Animal Testing 

These Companies Test on Animals, Never Buy These Brands

Avon             Almay                  Clorox              Windex             Tide

Revlon          Aquafresh           Febreze            Vicks                 Nivea

Covergirl       Vaseline             Lysol                  Secret               Coppertone

I know, these were some of my favorite go-to brands too. It was difficult to change them but I believe these poor defenseless creatures are worth this small sacrifice. I’ve been finding some great replacements for them and I’m sure you will too. You can also write letters, emails and make phone calls to these companies asking them not to test on animals. There are alternatives to testing on animals. Other companies and products have found a way so can they.

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😦

Q & A Tag – The Writer Next Door

16 May

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to thank Marjorie Mallon from KYROSMAGICA for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Marje is a writer, book reviewer, and all around great person. She has a fun and colorful blog that is all about the magic of writing, her love for books, crystals, laughter and much more, so be sure to check it out.

kyrosmagica-The Writer Next Door-Marjorie Mallon-Vashti Q

What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating writers, bloggers, books, and writing. It is also a great way to discover or know more about our online friends in the writing and blogging communities.

Following are the questions that Marje Mellon prepared for me and my answers.

  1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

 

Hmm. I would interview him.

 

  1. What’s your favorite genre of book and why?

 

I love to read the same genres I write which are fantasy, horror and suspense/thriller. However, I do occasionally read romantic comedies, crime thrillers, and historical fantasies. If someone recommends a book in another genre I may read the first few chapters to see if I like it. I do like to give every book a fighting chance.

halloween-horror-clown-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

  1. Who is/are your favorite author (s), poet (s)? What is it about them that inspired you?

 

Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy. I admire these authors’ imagination and ability to tell a good story in a way that I can play it out in my mind in living color.

 

Poets: Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, and Anne Sexton

 

 

  1. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.) Too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) Enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) Pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

 

I would tell them a story. That has always worked for me with smaller cousins growing up and with my nieces, nephews and their friends when they were younger. I might join in a little bit of mayhem too––as I suspect you would, Marje. 😉

 

  1. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored, attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

 

Nothing made me become a writer. I was born and that’s what I am. My family is very supportive.

 

I’m working on a fantasy series about angels. The first book in the series is called The Fall of Lilith. I’m currently working on some structural issues. I’m also writing the second book in the series, Dracúl.

 

  1. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

 

When my husband and I sold our previous home (it sold much faster than we had anticipated) we had to temporarily stay at someone else’s house until our new home was ready. I did not want to stay in this person’s house but my husband had good reasons to stay there, so we did. This was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like I’d experience hell. The aura in that house was so dark and negative. One of the people living in the house did everything humanly possible to make our stay as horrible as could be. I never felt so uncomfortable and sad in my life. Leaving there was like escaping from hades. However, this experience has made me appreciate my home and my family so much more, and for that I’m thankful. (I know how dramatic this reads)

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

 

I always start the process as a plotter. Somewhere along the line the pantser takes over. I use an outline, sketches, character diamonds . . . I like to begin the novel in an organized way. As I write things begin to change and I allow the story to unfold in a more organic way. I’m generally an organized person but I do have my messy moments. I would guess you’re a plotter, Marje.

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  1. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings? Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons . . . etc. . . . Make your own observations . . . and let me know.

 

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I believe in God and if there’s a God there are good and bad forces. I believe in Karma, mind-over-matter, visualization, meditation, perseverance, positive thinking . . . For the rest––if I could see it, hear it, and feel it, then it’s real.

scary-halloween-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

  1. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

 

When I was a blonde I had my hair color done and it looked good at the beauty salon but when I got home I noticed there were a few areas where the toner didn’t take. Had it happen in areas that were not noticeable I would have left it alone but the brassy areas where very noticeable so I called the hairstylist and she told me to come back in. Instead of adding toner to the areas that needed it she put bleach over my entire head, including areas that were already bleached! I didn’t think that was right but I figured she knew what she was doing as the professional cosmetologist. Well, all my hair broke off leaving me with about an inch of hair all over my head and maybe an inch and half or two inches in the front. I was at the shampoo bowl when she said, ‘Oh no!’ I looked up at her and she showed me a handful of my hair.

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  1. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you . . .

 

. . . never know when your time will come, so live life to the fullest and appreciate what you have and the good people in your life.

I nominate any writer, poet or blogger who’d like to participate in this tag. You can answer Marje’s questions or make up your own. Let me know when you publish your post. Have a great day everyone!

Writers Quote Wednesday – Empathy

6 Apr

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. It’s Writers Quote Wednesday and I’d like to take advantage and say a little something about empathy.

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I believe what this quote says also. Without empathy the world would be in chaos. I believe that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has a lot to do with the people of these two ancient cities lacking empathy and becoming desensitized to the suffering of their own people. Whether you believe God destroyed these two wicked cities or the eruption of a colossus volcano wiped them out, the truth is the world is a better place with them gone.

Right about now you may be thinking, what the heck is she talking about? Something similar to what happened in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is happening in the world today. I’m not preaching ‘Armageddon’ but you have to admit that many people nowadays are sorely lacking  empathy.

My father is still in the hospital. He’s doing a little better every day so we’re a bit more hopeful. He has a strong will and is fighting like crazy. I have spent a lot of time in the hospital with him and if you have a family member admitted in the hospital I recommend you do the same. When I’m not there my mom, sister or brother are. My brother and I are in the medical field and my mom is a retired nurse. We know what goes on.

I venture to say that 80% of the hospital staff are good people that care but then you have that 20% that are completely desensitized and lack empathy for the patients they treat and their families who are suffering right along side them. These are the people to watch out for.

My father is not alone in his hospital room. He shares the room with another man. The other patient’s wife has been by his side since my dad was moved to that room on Sunday. At least she’s always there when I’ve gone to visit my dad which is every day for many hours. Yesterday I overheard the older woman (she’s in her 80s) ask the nurse if she could bring her a sandwich or a small soup. She thought that since her husband, who was hospitalized, could not eat that maybe she could get a little of the food he was unable to consume. To my surprise the nurse told her no and not in a very nice way. The lady explained that she had no family to bring her food and she did not want to leave her husband’s side and I suspect she didn’t have much money either. The nurse told her coldly that she was not going to repeat herself and that the answer was still no.

My heart was crushed. I mean, I felt physical pain in my chest. How could someone stare a person in the face and refuse to help them, especially a tiny (maybe 95 lbs) 80 year old who’s hungry when you know you could easily help her. My family and I have been offered soup, sandwiches, jello, pudding, juice and all sorts of things by other nurses while we’ve been there and this nurse is telling this lady that she can’t do it. I couldn’t believe the callous way in which this nurse spoke to this lady or the lack of empathy.

Afterward I told the patient’s wife that I was headed for the cafeteria and that I would bring her something to eat. I brought her back a soup and sandwich and she ate the soup and saved the sandwich for later. Before I left the hospital I spoke to the charge nurse and explained what had happened. She told me not to worry that from that moment on they will bring the older lady food and she kept her word because the nurse (a different nurse) and nurse assistant have been coming by the room and bringing my dad’s neighbor’s wife snacks like jello, pudding . . . between breakfast and lunch of course. She will be receiving three meals a day plus snacks. That’s the way it should be. After all, if a hospital is going to charge $25.00 for an aspirin, $8.00 for a box of tissue, and $20.00 every time the blood pressure cuff is used they can afford to feed a poor old lady who doesn’t want to leave her husband’s side an occasional soup and sandwich.

People in the medical field are constantly in danger of becoming desensitized and of lacking empathy for the patients they serve and their families. I commend all those individuals who have been in the medical field for years and maintain concerned, moved, involved––with love in their hearts for those they care for and their families. I appreciate you and am so grateful for you. ❤

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Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

I want to thank all my wonderful online friends for the love and support, kind thoughts, wishes and prayers for my father’s well being. You are all great and I am very thankful.

empathy-The Writer Next Door-Writers Quote Wednesday

My dad

I don’t want to say goodbye . . .

31 Mar

My father is in the hospital again. He had been doing better than expected for a while now, so I guess it made us forget how bad things really are. He came over my house on Sunday for Easter brunch and although he was walking and talking and seemed to be happy I noticed there was something off. He was pallid and he struggled more than usual to walk and he hardly ate.

He went downhill from there and at 3:00 am on Tuesday he was admitted to the hospital. He’s lethargic and unresponsive now. When I arrived at the hospital and spoke to him he tried to open his eyes and he managed to open them a little and he smiled but after that he wasn’t responding to the nurses or doctors that came by.

I’ve been in and out of the hospital since then, mostly in, which is why I didn’t do Writer’s Quote Wednesday and haven’t been online much at all. Sorry about that. My sister Cleo is in the hospital with him now and I’ll be leaving soon but I didn’t want to leave everyone hanging without an explanation. I’ll get myself together and get back to my routine as soon as I can but for now I’m going to see my dad. This is a very painful part in someone’s life and I’m barely hanging on.

My father has come close several times and recovered. He has a very strong will but this time it seems different.

Father-Poetry-the love of a father

My dad

Father

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the facade of a brave man as his baby boy entered the world.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What are my duties? There are no guidelines. Where do I begin?

The babe in his arms felt so natural, yet so alien. A fire blazed in his chest.

“You are a father now.” The words were jolting, yet pleasing to his heart.

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a calm man as his son toddled, taking his first steps.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls? What if he hurts himself? I would fail as a father.

The toddler tottered to him and embraced him with dulcet giggles.

As he held his son, it did not feel alien. His heart gave way for love to conquer.

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a cool man as his son introduced him to his first girl.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls in love? What if she breaks his heart?

He embraced his son and slipped extra cash in his pocket.

As he held him, it felt like love, and he rested assured his son was smart.

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a brave man as his son grew and had sons of his own.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

Did I raise him right? Did I teach him to be a good husband and father?

He embraced his son, and they were swathed by the love they both felt.

As he held his son, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

His son’s brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched his father wear the façade of a spent man as he lay on a hospital bed.

His son’s mind and body were consumed by overwhelming fears.

Am I doing the right thing? Who am I to decide when his time has come?

His face dampened with sorrow as he embraced his father.

As he held his father’s weary body and gazed into his dimming eyes, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

His brown eyes deepen into polished onyx, and upon them comes a mist of tears.

He watches with the façade of a pitiful man as his son reaches for that button.

He is ready to leave this world and grateful his son has let go of his fears.

As his son holds his ruined body, and he feels the lifeblood drain from his eyes, he knows he has raised him right.

His mind and body are consumed with overwhelming love.

His son has given him the gift of peace, and his happy spirit travels toward the light.

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

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Rainbow Bridge

19 Jun

Rainbow Bridge

This is Rascal, my 16 year old toy pomeranian. I lost him yesterday. Needless to say this year has been rough on me. My little fur ball is gone and already I miss him so much. He would have been 17 years old November 22nd. He had heart issues and I knew it wouldn’t be long. I thought I was prepared–––I wasn’t. He took a little piece of my heart with him. I will never forget him, or all the unconditional love he showed me. I know I did everything I could for him and that he had a great life. That gives me peace. Anyway, this is not a pity party. I wanted to share a touching poem that my brother’s wife Celina, whose like a sister to me, sent me. I hope you enjoy. ❤

RIP-Rascal-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Rascal wearing his little Miami Heat T-shirt.

 

 

Rainbow Bridge

 

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

 

rascal-pomeranian-rip-Vashti Q

 

I hope you enjoyed Rainbow Bridge. Have you lost a pet? How did you cope? Did you get another pet right away to replace it, or did you wait?

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Book Reading / Signing

7 Apr

Book-reading-signing-event

The 3 little actors that performed The Basement skit from the 'Weapons' Chapter.

The 3 little actors rehearsing for a play based on the ‘Weapons’ Chapter from The Basement.

 

My first Book Reading/Signing event took place on Friday at GMAA, a private school in Westchester, Florida.  I was very nervous (I always am before any event), but excited at the same time.  I was going to be reading to kids between the ages of eleven and sixteen. Tough crowd – or so I thought.  

 

The night before the reading, my little seventeen-year-old Pomeranian gave me a bad night.  He kept getting up and walking from one end of the bed to the other, over and over again, while making a noise I call a cough, but it’s more like loudly coughing, wheezing and clearing his throat at the same time.  I got up and took him to the kitchen to see if he wanted some water.  He drank, and I brought him back to bed.  He was quiet for a minute, and then began walking and coughing again. I got up for a second time and took him outside to see if he wanted to do something.  Nothing.  Well, this went on until one thirty in the morning, when he finally settled down and fell asleep.  This has happened before and I’ve told his vet about it on several occasions, but she explains there’s nothing that can be done about it.  He takes a bunch of pills for several things already (poor thing). He’s just very old.  After a sleepless night, he had some sort of episode in the morning that had me in tears. I almost cancelled the reading, but fortunately he seemed to get better.  

 

Rascal

Rascal

Right before leaving my house, I misplaced my keys and spent at least ten minutes looking for them. I always put my keys in the same place so that I always know where to find them, but of course this morning was not going as planned. When I finally found my keys, I stormed out the door (without breakfast) and ran into a terrible traffic jam.  It seemed like there were terrible forces conspiring against me. Everything that could go wrong was happening on this important day.

 Book Reading-signing-event-vashtiquirozvega

My fortunes changed once I finally arrived at the school. My sister Cleo greeted me very warmly. You see, Cleo is a music teacher at this prestigious school. Her children (Natasha, Vanessa and Joshua), were ages 17, 23 and 12 when they read my book and loved the story. Cleo read it and enjoyed it, as well. She introduced it to the school’s librarian, who didn’t have time to read it, so her assistant read it instead and also loved it. My sister asked for several copies of the book to give to the English and literature teachers at the school, and I gladly gave them to her. Well, this led to the book being incorporated into the school’s library and curriculum and to the Book Reading/Signing event.

Book Reading-Signing-Event-The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Everyone at the school was friendly and kind, which made me feel at ease. I wanted my Book Reading/ Signing event to be different. I wanted the kids to be entertained, but I also wanted to instill in them a desire to read. I had adapted one of the chapters from my book into a skit for the kids to perform. My sister took the play to the 5th grade teacher, Miss Betchel. She chose three kids to play my characters: Robbie, Natasha and Cleo. I was very excited.

Kalvin Martinez, Ester Peiro and Janine Llaurado as Robbie, Cleo and Natasha

Kalvin Martinez, Ester Peiro and Janine Llaurado as Robbie, Cleo and Natasha

 

All the kids were taken to a small auditorium where they sat and waited for the Show Book Reading/Signing event to begin. They said a prayer and sang a hymn. I was introduced. I spoke a few words and then my book trailer was shown on a large screen. The kids clapped excitedly when the trailer was over.  

 

After I read a short chapter from the book, the kids performed the play. Janine Llaurado, Ester Peiro and Kalvin Martinez did a great job portraying the characters.  After that I spoke a few words about what inspired me to write The Basement, and gave aspiring writers in the group (which were many) a few tips on writing.  Afterwards, I took pictures of the actors in my play, teachers, librarian, my sister… I was having a great time and had forgotten all about the bad night and morning.

 

The Basement-book-signing-reading-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Janine Llaurado as Natasha

I set up a table with my books in the library, and just when I thought the fun was over, hordes of kids came into the library in waves with their teachers.  They were so excited about the book.  They asked me a million questions, not just about The Basement, but also about my experience as a writer and the writing process!  Many of the kids told me about how much they loved to read. I think nothing warmed my heart more than that. These kids were excited about reading! I wanted to do flips and dance on the library tables (inappropriate, I know).

 The Basement-book signing-reading-preteens

I had an awesome time interacting with the children. Telling them what The Basement is about, what inspired me to write it and what they needed to do to prepare if they wanted to become writers: read, read, read and write, write, write.  Oh, yeah… I sold some books, too.

 

The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-book-reading-signing-author 

 

We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.

Guest Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega

21 Mar

I’m a guest blogger at Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Authors Blog! Check it out and leave me some feedback. Thank you!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

970594_405793276204758_797328340_nMy name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Suspense, Thriller and Horror. My first novel, The Basement , was released in August 2013. It was one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life. It was not easy getting my book published. Once upon a time, I was very naive when it came to the publishing process. I thought all I had to do as a writer was to write the book. Soon, I had a rude awakening when I found out that my manuscript had to be edited. Then I found out I had to get an agent in order to interest a publisher, and I had to write a query letter in order to get an agent! Well, after many months of querying, I finally got my manuscript in the hands of a publisher… who wanted it edited some more. Phew! A year later…

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