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I've just edited an item in my portfolio:
 Bessie  (13+)
My entry for Short Shots contest for September.
I've added a new entry to my book, "Once Upon A Shadow, Deep Inside A Dream:
         "Frustrated Hope
I've added a new entry to my book, "Once Upon A Shadow, Deep Inside A Dream:
         "Behold Triumphant Dying!
I've added a new entry to my book, "Once Upon A Shadow, Deep Inside A Dream:
         "A Sword to Cut Through the Mess
Hello, everyone! Sorry I've been so silent. As of July 19th, I will have lived in Shanghai, China for 7 months. It is crazy to imagine that I've been here this long! I am looking forward to what the future holds for me.

I am continuing my Masters degree in Ministry with a Pastoral Leadership and Counseling focus. I am moving slowly forward. I am also now living with three small turtles, several fish, a hamster, and two cats. :) I had two roommates, but one was a horrible person, so we split ways at the end of June. Now, it's just me and Caleigh.

I have had stressful days, I'm not going to lie. I do believe that there is much for me to learn here, though, in order for me to become a better person. I hope to start writing again. I do have a podcast that is random and sometimes entertaining, so you can search for Hephzibah Talks A Lot on most podcast forums and find me. :) Have a listen and let me know what you think!
So...sorry I haven't been about lately. I was out of town enjoying Disney World and a Disney Cruise. During my vacation, I was delayed by DE for my departure to China. I now leave on December 18th.

We are finally in single digits, however I have lots to pack and I haven't really started. I am looking forward to moving...and yet feeling some anxiety, as well. So much to do and plan for and figure out! Ugh! It is helpful, though, since I plan to relocate out of NM when I choose to return to the States. So...I have a minor glimpse into what will be required of me to make that happen. Of course, I can rent a truck then, so it won't be as restrictive.

So, summary...I'm not in China yet, but I will be on December 19th. And now you know!
Shanghai update: It's official! I received my Visa on Thursday and my itinerary on Friday. I fly out on 12/4 at 7 a.m. and arrive in Shanghai at 6:35 p.m. on 12/5!

I leave for Florida Monday night. I will spend two weeks enjoying myself and going on a Disney Cruise. I am really looking forward to moving to Shanghai and I am excited for all that will be experienced and learned. Yay!
Welcome to China!
Haha, thanks! I haven't been on here for over a month! They delayed our arrival. We all arrive on December 19th now. :)
I enjoy the riddle that is about three items on one side of the river and a man with a boat that can only take one item at a time. He needs to get all three over. How does he do it?

One version is that there is a head of cabbage, a goat, and a wolf. The goat can't be left with the wolf or the cabbage because the goat will be eaten by the wolf or the goat will eat the cabbage.

It is pretty simple for me to figure out (normally, riddles are not at all simple for me), so that is probably why I like it so much. The man needs to take the goat to the other side of the river. Then, he needs to go back for the wolf. Then, he needs to take the goat back to the other side of the river and take the head of cabbage to the other side and leave the goat. Then, he goes back for the goat. So, at any given time, the wolf and goat and the cabbage and goat are not left alone.

I think there is another version where he can take two items at a time, but that's too easy. One would take the wolf and cabbage and then go back for the goat. It doesn't make it nearly as challenging.

What are some of your favorite riddles?
Shanghai update: It is Monday where I am and it is the last week at my state job. I will work through Friday and then I will work Friday and Saturday nights at my part-time job. On Monday, I'll be doing a photo shoot at a pre-school, which I'm excited about. Then, we fly to Florida by way of Denver, and spend two weeks relaxing and having fun.

When we get home, I will need to then worry about getting all my Shanghai relocation items together and getting my room in order (thankfully, I get to leave things at my mom's house, so I don't have to pay for storage, sell things, or take a lot with me). I will be staying overnight in a nearby town with a friend of mine so we can work on the sermon I'll be giving at my church on Sunday, December 2nd, that she is going to be a large part of (she's a beautiful singer).

My Visa should arrive Thursday or Friday, at which point I will send a copy to Disney and they will, in return, send me my itinerary, which is when I will know exactly when I leave America and arrive in China. Through all this, I have much to do, such as opening an international bank account and finding a local bank that will convert USD to RMB for a small fee. I'd prefer no fee, but I live in the real world. :)

It's all happening so quickly now!
Shanghai update: I was finally able to file for my Visa yesterday. That, for me, is what makes all of this real. Once I receive my Visa, I will send a copy to Disney and they will then send me my itinerary, meaning I will then know when my flight is and when I officially will arrive in China.

I have five and a half more days at the job that I've had since June 2014. I have four more nights at Hyatt. I am so grateful for the manager at Hyatt who, even though she was able to hire my replacement a few weeks ago, honored my request to remain employed and working through November 11th. :) Truly, Night Auditor at Hyatt Place is one of the best part-time jobs I've ever had! I will be training my replacement, who happens to be an acquaintance of mine, next Friday and Saturday night, my last two nights on shift. :)

We leave for our two week vacation on Monday, November 12th. I have also been given the amazing privilege of photographing preschoolers for their parents on that day. I will be speaking at my church on December 2nd. There is a lot coming in the next few weeks and that, alone, will make this time before my departure fly by!

I still have a few things to arrange and order before I leave, as well. It's crazy how things seem to speed up the closer it gets. I've known about this relocation since the end of May, beginning of June, and now it's all happening so quickly that I can barely keep up!

My mom and I will be in Walt Disney World on Mickey's birthday, which we are both very excited about. :) It's going to be a great vacation! I can hardly wait to get to Florida! Maybe, while I'm there, I'll be able to write some new things. It's been so long since I've written!

Comment on here if you want to connect with me on Facebook to stay in touch with all my Shanghai/Disney adventures. :) I'll send you the link to friend request me!

Write on!
You inspired me! Any advice?
There's so much there! :)

I'd say just do what you can to live the best life you can. Disney English and English First are two who hire for Shanghai in the realm of teaching, which is what I'm going to do. There are other companies, too. The main requirement is that you have at least a bachelor's degree.

In regards to vacations, take them! I am always surprised when folks take years to take a vacation. You don't have to travel far. My mom and I like to go to El Paso to spend a day or two and that's about a five hour drive, but well worth the time. Short or long, I think that we don't vacation enough, take enough breaks in our lives to enjoy ourselves. :)

I would never have, in a million years, imagined myself relocating overseas. The most I'd ever considered was, upon retiring, moving closer to Disneyland, which is still something I plan to do eventually. :)
Shanghai update: So, I've had a few snags in my life, which led to my having to take two additional days off, randomly, so I think my last paycheck with the State will be really, REALLY small. That makes me sad, but it's okay.

I have two weeks before both my full-time and part-time jobs end. What was really interesting was that I turned in my notice at Hyatt on October 12th and the main boss came in (I never see her due to my hours) and she and I were able to talk a bit. I told her that I wouldn't have resigned if I wasn't moving and that I would tell my friends to apply. That morning, when I got into my car, there was a message from a friend. She asked me if I knew of anyone hiring part-time. I couldn't believe the timing! She applied and she got the job. She starts on November 9th. I'll be training her and then my last day is November 11th. The boss respected and approved my request to stay employed through the 11th. :)

Frontier changed our flights (my mom and I are going on vacation) and didn't tell us! I found out when I called on Friday to get the flight information to send to our hotel for our shuttle to the airport upon our return home. It was then that I discovered that not only do they no longer have a flight out of our city on November 13th, but our flight was now a whole day earlier and they had us with a thirteen hour (I kid you not) layover in Denver! From there, we would fly to Salt Lake City (why?) and then to Orlando, getting us there a little after 7 p.m...meaning almost 24 hours to fly to Orlando!

When I spoke to them on the phone, they said that I could change the flight to leave on November 14th instead and arrive in Florida on the 15th (no thank you!) or they did have a flight from Denver that left shortly after midnight and gets us to Orlando a little after 6 a.m. on the 13th. I had them put us on that connecting flight, giving us a little over an hour to get to the next gate, and I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't put us on that flight in the first place.

All I am waiting on is my work contract and legalized documents to apply for my Visa. This is the most difficult part. I will check in with them next week and remind them that I'm going to be out of town for two weeks. One of the ladies that arrived in Shanghai on October 24th told me that they e-mail all the documents to me, so as long as I take my passport on vacation with me, I can print them out there at a Kinko's in color and apply for my Visa while in Florida.
A long, long, LONG time ago, I allowed readers and writers alike to vote on which chapter of The Burning Blood Chronicles: VAMPIRES to release for folks to read on Writing.Com. I stumbled on that now closed poll and the results, and since I never did release a chapter, I'm doing so now. :) The book is published out there in the world by PublishAmerica and is extremely hard to find. I plan to release it in digital and affordable paperback form through Amazon.Com as soon as PublishAmerica no longer co-owns the rights...which may already be possible. But, anyway, the chapter that won in the poll was Chapter I: Jul Lee and is now available. There are many flaws in this writing, so if I do digitally publish it, I will do so after editing. :)

"BOOK I: JUL LEE

This chapter is only open to registered users and higher and is also an 18+ chapter, so don't read it if you're not supposed to! :)
Writer's block is so horrible because absolutely nothing you write is good enough. As a writer, the longing to express oneself in words or open up a new world of amazing sights, adventures, and characters to others is overwhelming and when holding the hand of writer's block, the frustration is truly real.

I read what I once wrote and I am amazed at what I see (or I laugh, either way) and it is a deep sorrow that I cannot put pen to pad as I once did and spin the marvelous worlds into existence that are locked away in my soul.

Someday, though...someday my muse should return...hopefully...

From the past..."The Muse's Death 01-29-07