Monthly Archives: November 2015

My Worst Thanksgiving


As we are all enjoying the last few hours of Thanksgiving Break, I wanted to share my most memorable Thanksgiving. All though at the time it was one of the worst things I could have imagined, it ended up being a powerful events in my life.

So it started the Friday before Thanksgiving. It was the last few weeks of my student teaching. In education, you spend the last semester of college doing in the classroom training called student teacher, where you gradually take the reigns as the full time teacher. I was in the midst of that when I heard my name being called to the front office. I asked the regular education teacher to take over, while I went to the office and figured out what happened. I thought maybe I was parked in the wrong spot or something in the parking lot.

However, when I got to the office, one of the deacons from my church and a long time family friend was up there. He broke the news to me. He told me there was no easy way to put it, and that my house had burned down. I was floored. Literally. I fell to the ground and was just shocked.

After he consoled me, I returned to the classroom and collected my things. Thankfully, the teacher was very understanding and let me leave early. I drove back with a colleague who I was carpooling with at the time.

When I arrived back in town, I went to our church where  my mother and sister were. They were crying uncontrollably. I consoled them as best I could. They were completely heartbroken because we had several pets, that we were certain did not make it out.

My former youth pastor drove me over to the house and I saw the wreckage of the house. Several of the local fire departments were there, however, none of them were able to salvage or contain the fire. They were essentially just making sure it didn’t spread. As I arrived, I saw them knocking down my bedroom wall.

In the days that followed, we were tasked with cleaning up the ashes of the house. I spent most of my Thanksgiving Break sifting through the debris for anything that was salvageable.

In spite of all the chaos and bad memories, I learned several important life lessons from this event.

  1. In tough times, you learn who your real friends are. It may sound cliche, but when this happened, my best friend was in the air force. He somehow got emergency leave and was able to come home for a week and help my family out. He bought my sister and me a bunch of new clothes.
  2. The importance of stuff (or lack thereof). After the fire, I was very shocked to learn that all my stuff was gone. My clothes, my movies, my CDs, and all of my video games. However, all was not lost. My family was safe, because fortunately, no one was in the house when it happened, and even though we lost everything, we were completely reimbursed by the insurance.
  3. God has a plan. Long before the fire, my dad worked with a business partner and built two houses. One sold quickly, but the other didn’t. We were able to move into that new house after a few weeks and were set up thanks to this unforeseen circumstance.

Update: Change the Intro

Well the past few weeks have been very busy ones for me at work. My school has had so many events and back-to-back things going on at the beginning of the school year. I have honestly fallen behind in my blogging. I have, however, been working on my writing when I get a chance. Also, I have been taking a writing course online. I found it on Groupon while looking for any deals on professional development. I saw this and thought it would be a good refresher for me and maybe get some new information out of it. For $16 on a normally $200 course, you can’t really go wrong. Even if I don’t get anything new out of it, I figured it would be a good review.

As for the writing, I decided to change the first few chapters. I was rereading the first part of the book and wanted to add to the intensity and urgency of the book. Really attempt to grip the reading. Originally, the first chapter was a flashback, or dream of the past that Gabe has. I like the sequence, but I don’t think I want to start with something that was the past. I want to keep that content, but I will probably put it in somewhere else. Maybe in another book, but we will see.

So now the opening of the book is starting with a revised start. Gabriel is getting ready for the new semester, running around trying to get ready. I added a new layer of motivation for Gabriel, but you will have to wait to see who/what that is. I’m also adding some to the second and third chapters to get them to feel more real, intense, and interesting. This will hopefully get the chapters to be more gripping to the reader and pull them in quicker. Let’s face it, some kids need to be pulled into the book quicker than later if they are going to keep reading.

So that is my update for where I am right now.