Reaching Out


Have you ever wanted to help somebody?

You know someone who needs a boost in life, a great person with dreams and aspirations and love who needs to get back on there feet, and you know in your heart that you want to do something for them.

I do.

Sometimes I wish I was wealthy or won the lottery or hit it big on the stock market because then I could just give to people who need help. Charities, schools, people, whoever it may be. Unfortunately, I haven’t it it big yet. (I’m still hoping).

There’s a family in need that I know personally. Loss of employment for a few months set them back in bills a lot. Now this goodhearted woman (single mother) has a new job (Yay!), but could use a little help getting her bills caught up. If we had the money we would say, “Hey, here ya go!” But like I said I haven’t hit it big just yet.

It’s been a rough couple of years for this family, being homeless and having to stay with friends, moving from place to place having to start over. But last year, she was able to purchase a small, safe home and start a decent full-time job. This job didn’t work out unfortunately and she was left with mortgage, electric, water, and car payment. It might not seem like much, but these bills add up fast when you aren’t bringing any money in. Currently, they can’t even stay in their home because the electricity has been shut off. The electric company won’t turn it back on until they pay $600.

I’ve done what I can by helping with job applications, resume writing, and calling around to local charity organizations to find help with utility payments, but there has been no luck yet. With her new job, she will be able to start paying down her bills, but this is an immediate need. The electric needs to be turned back on, the water bill ($186) needs to be paid off or they will shut the water off too, and her mortgage is a few months behind. It is hard to be living out of a suitcase, not being able to sleep in your own home, cook in your own home, and basically have your own space. A little bit of financial help could get this family back on their feet in no time.

This isn’t a sob story, and there are many people out there who face these struggles daily. I’d like to help everyone, but I’ll just start with one family and hope I make a difference. So I’m reaching out here.I want to teach my daughter the power of giving and sharing. If you are able, please donate to the Go Fund Me account I’ve started. If you are not able to donate, please share this link with family, friends, friends or friends, or even strangers in your network. The more people can see it, the more likely we are to get donations to help!

Please Share! Raising Money for a family in need!

Thank you all for reading and God Bless!

xo Aly

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A Writer Writes


It’s been about 9 months since I have updated this particular blog. For that I am sorry. I have been sort of busy trying out this new thing called mothering. I really think I am getting the hang of it. But there is one thing I truly miss and that is keeping up with my writing. Don’t get me wrong, I write all the time for school or in emails or texts, but I don’t usually take the time I need to write, to practice my craft, and to share my stories.

Today I turned in my final project for my 10th Masters class. That is 10 out of 12 meaning that I only have two classes left until graduation and both of those are workshops. I almost can’t believe it. It doesn’t seem like it is really that close. Originally, I was supposed to graduate by December 2014, but I took off some time when my Nana came to visit me in Japan and last summer when we moved back home. I didn’t want to waste my classes by not paying attention. I think that this program turned out really well for me. I learned alot about research, literature, writing papers, and then I learned a lot about writing, critiquing, and sharing. To believe that I am finally in my “thesis” classes seems to good to be true (I say “thesis” because it is not like a doctoral thesis in any way. It is more about the writing).

As I was looking over the course descriptions for my next class I read the introduction from the professor and this is what struck me, “A writer writes…” She was saying that graduation, publication, or accolades do not make the writer. The only thing that makes a writer is if he writes. Most days I’m just Momma, but today I want to be a writer. I want to be a writer on more days because I love it and I miss it.

I am excited for the opportunity that this class is providing because it will give me that push to write every day. I will be working on my memoir, To The Ends of the Earth. (This is a very old, very rough draft so please bear with me if you choose to read it). I already have close to 30 pages of content that I can expand on and really work with. I hope one day to publish and share my stories with the world.

So for now, I’m back in the blogging world and I hope that I don’t let myself leave for so long. I have so many stories to tell. (My little girl is almost one years old!). I think I’ll leave those for another day.

Aly

Finally Friday!


I worked hard this week. I probably say that often, but this week I accomplished a lot in the way of work. I had my clubs back page to do (a monthly advertorial that lists events going on at our clubs/restaurants), and my feature story. To many, this may not seem like a huge deal, but to me it is. I can become somewhat of a perfectionist, in the way that I worry that my work isn’t complete even when it’s finished. This was a challenging article for me to write as well because the subject was cooking, and to be honest I’m a pretty boring cook. I usually stick to noodles, steak and chicken. So this was a learning experience for me as well as a feature article for my job. The article itself won’t come out for another month, but the text version is complete….now for design, layout, editing and printing, but fortunately, these tasks are for my teammates here and the printing company. Either way, I’m glad to say that I finally have a completed draft, though it may change between now and then, it feels good to have something finished.

I counted and over the course of 21 months I have written 6 features, 2 photo essays and three restaurant reviews (not to mention the advertisements and event advertorials I have done). Not to shabby, I’d say. I feel that a quality in myself that I have to work on is to speak up and propose my ideas for articles, in that way I think I’d get more writing experience and coverage. For a first writing job after college I think I have done pretty well. I’ll have to remember this for my next job interview, when they ask about a situation or quality in your work that you would like to improve….I definitely want to speak up and share more ideas with the team instead of being shy or even timid. I hope that the next job I take whenever we move back to the States offers me great flexibility and creative room. To see my name in print offering some really interesting topics (sumi-e painting, various restaurant reviews and food reviews, traveling around Okinawa on public transportation, snakes!) that I most likely would not have considered writing about on my own personal time. I also hope that this blog shows my dedication to writing (Hello Future Employer! Pick Me!) and the passion I have for all types of writing.

To some people, it may sound crazy, but it’s all I ever wanted to do…write poems, write stories and these days write non-fiction features. I never really enjoyed my newswriting classes, but I made up for it in my magazine and feature courses. I knew that these were the perfect mix of truth, yet telling the story in a creative way. I think that journalism as well as story telling is essential to us. Journalism reports the truth, but stories, legends and tales all give us a break from reality when the world seems too dim.

I’m glad it’s Friday, the bug is keeping me awake at night. Richie has baseball for a few hours, so I think I will cuddle up on the couch and watch NCIS after I get home from work. I’m also going to post some of my previous articles from the magazine if anyone missed them the first time around.

The Miracle of Technology!


It is truly a miracle. It’s only two weeks later and I’m posting again :). Baby bug and I are entering our 18th week of pregnancy and I can finally say its getting a bit better. I have terrible heartburn, but I’m excited to soon feel the baby move and find out if its our little boy or our little girl. I’m starting to get really impatient. I’ve started my baby registry, but it only has a few items on it. I add a few more each day. I know the closer it gets to December the more stuff, we will accumulate. I’m still working so far, it’s been a busy few weeks and gets busier still. I have turned in everything for print for this month, but I’m about to jump into a new feature about cooking with local ingredients-how to cook an Okinawan meal. It should be fun, as long as I don’t burn the whole dinner.  I’ve also recently started a new class, I am halfway through my Master’s program now at class 6-Poetry. It’s pretty fun, alot more work than I expected, but I think I like it. Next semester it will be a the last literature course-American Modernism. Then, I will probably take a short break to have the baby and move back to the States, but as soon as we are on American soil I will be jumping right back in for my last 5 classes! Where does the time go? I can’t believe that we have less than a year left here. It seems like just yesterday, that we were leaving America to live here, now we are getting ready to come home! I think its a miracle that I can keep up with all my loved ones near and far through this blog and the internet. When I skype with my mom, she always wants to see my belly :). Hopefully, the next time I post everyone will know if Baby Turner is a boy or a girl! 18 weeks and counting. Come on, December.