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Stories with meaning.


I didn't find writing, writing found me. Life influences fiction and in turn impacts my life, as I hope it will yours. Learn more about my crazy wonderful and sometimes epically tragic life and how it's come to inspire my stories.

The Survival Over Surrender Project has become the home for both my active blog and a conduit for those who have experienced trauma in their lives to tell their stories.

With perspective comes opportunity by design.

-Melissa Geissinger, Nothing Left But Dust



To Rebuild or Not to Rebuild

April 25, 2019

After losing our home in the Tubbs fire in October of 2017, we finally just broke ground on our rebuild a few weeks ago and are scheduled to pour our foundation in about a week – over 18 months later. But back then, we didn’t necessarily know what we were going to do. Should we…

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1906 Earthquake Commemoration - 2018

1906 Earthquake Commemoration and Lyrics to “San Francisco”

April 17, 2019

The Annual 1906 Earthquake Commemoration Every year in the early morning hours of April 18th, a group of people gather at Lotta’s Fountain in San Francisco to commemorate the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake and fires. It’s not a large group – sometimes it seems like the press outnumber the attendees. Folks, many who have…

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Be Bold

How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #4 Be Bold

April 5, 2019

Fighting the Urge to Fade Into the Background When you’ve been through some really hard shit, it’s really really easy to want to put on some camouflage and fade into the background. And by all means, if you are still in survival mode, allow yourself that time. I needed it. A lot of it. I…

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Melissa and Emily

How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #3 Make New Friends

March 14, 2019

When You Leave Your Old Life Behind When you go through a trauma, it creates a rift in your life. For me anyway, there is the life I had before the fire and my son being born, and there is the life I have after. It’s not even like two different chapters, it’s like two…

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Let's get coffee.

Actually, I don't drink coffee. I'll have tea. But I'd still love to chat if you are either an agent or have an interesting bit of insight into one of my current projects.