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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


Raku pottery

Raku: The Japanese Pottery Style that Speaks Volumes

March 10, 2019

How We Are Like Pottery You don’t have to literally survive a fire or be a super deep thinker to get it. It’s not really a big stretch. Pottery is fragile until it’s been fired. Clay is carefully sculpted with an attentive touch and only holds its shape when it’s put in a kiln at…

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Quiet Lightning

Be Alive, Don’t Just Survive

March 7, 2019

Inspiration can come from anywhere I recently attended Quiet Lightning‘s event Sparkle & Blink 98, a curated submission-based reading of writers and poets in San Francisco. I haven’t been to a reading event in a while, so this was a really great event to attend. I got to meet other writers and get inspired on…

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Nothing left

How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #2 Accept You’re a Victim

March 2, 2019

Bad Things Happen Most of the time there’s nothing we can do about it. When my entire neighborhood was lost in the 2017 Northern California Wildfires, no one saw it coming. I don’t live in the middle of the forest. I’m in a residential neighborhood. That shit just doesn’t happen! I just so happened to…

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Amazon Fresh Donation

How to Recover from Trauma: Tip #1 Learn to Say Yes

February 25, 2019

Amazon Fresh donation from family friends Swallowing Pride I’ve never been good at accepting help. Call it pride, call it stubbornness, but it’s one of my biggest faults. In college, I literally failed courses because I thought that going to my professor to tell him or her that I was struggling meant that I was…

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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.