Weekend Coffee Share….Belated


Welcome to my belated Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Ali!  Had I posted this on time, well, it wouldn’t have sounded very different.

I’m experiencing allergy issues and/or laryngitis.  Briefly, I suspected strep throat, though I don’t think I could have held out this long if that were the case.  So, my weekend consisted of Mucinex, salt-water gargling, Netflix watching, a little bit of reading, and a little bit of writing.  That, and posting photos of my dog on Instagram.  It’s a new hobby or escape of mine, the world of #dogstagram.  Check it out.  You can find my canine angel at Bixby_Fluffikins!  He cheers me in any mood, and all the other dogs at #dogstagram are a joy as well!

BixbyCouchFebIMG_0143 (2)

At any rate, the annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition pretty much always finds me recovering or nursing an allergy related malady, so I barely even participate, despite finding out from Ancestry DNA that I am 2% Irish.  At least this year I didn’t get a stomach bug!  (Those are probably related to my public school teaching job).  That’s a story in itself.  Enough belly-aching. Pun not intended….

I’ve been working on revising my WIP, a sequel to Detours in Time!  Yes, I think I’ll have it all done by this summer, and I am due to send it off to an editor, today or tomorrow.  So, I have been neglecting the blog a little.  I’ve overloaded myself on Netflix, and the new obsession is Travelers, a mysterious sci-fi series about people from the future coming back to set certain things right.  I’ve been reading how to write a screenplay, started another installment in the Irish Lottery series by Gerald Hansen, and I also started reading The Shack for a book club. Why did I start two books?  One is on Kindle and the other paperback, so it depends on mood and how long it takes the phone battery run out of juice.  That, and, I have to be in the right mood for how to write a screenplay.  Though, it all looks familiar, but I am taking notes and bookmarking.


Speaking of Book clubs, my church’s book club decided to read my book, Detours in Time, and we met to discuss it this last Thursday.  I, with my hoarse-y voice, was not going to miss it for the world.  I was asked to prepare discussion questions.  So I did!  It was interesting and was quite an honor! If you have a book club and would like to read a sci-fi book that focuses most on characters and moral dilemmas, consider this one.  Let me know, and I will supply discussion questions!


Books You May Not Know of…Irish Flavor


It’s Spring, and the flowers are budding, the birds are singing, and we’re all getting ready to pretend we’re a little Irish.  My second installment of “Books You May Not Know of” is An Embarassment of Riches by Gerald Hansen, a bowdy, irreverent look at one Irish family, their hi-jinks, and a long-time bitter rivalry between two sisters, one of whom has won the Irish lottery.

I learned of this book through a book recommendation on my Kindle a few years ago and decided to read it.  I remembered it recently and couldn’t find it; but when I searched by author, it came up.  I wondered if it was just an obscure book, but, truth be told, there are 176 reviews for it on Amazon, averaging four stars overall.


A Bawdy Spring Read

Be forewarned:  in this book, nothing is sacred.

I laughed, I guffawed, I felt guilty for laughing.  This book almost seems to poke fun at Irish culture, or maybe just Irish stereotypes, and I kept wondering if I was wrong to enjoy this.  Yet, I realized, every family has it’s embarrassments.  A Catholic daughter gets knocked up by a Proddy, a younger daughter pulls chaos at her christening; this is full of irreverent laughs that are sometimes a little over the top.  Seriously, there is never a dull moment in this story.  If you like that sort of thing, try this book out.  The author himself is Irish.

So, once again, I sing the praises of my Kindle and the Amazon book recommendation system, for bringing me great reads that none of my friends have ever heard of.  I once read somewhere it is good to read a lot, and to read wide.  It’s the best advice I ever received!

Taking in Nature’s Beauty. #writephoto

Photo credit, Sue Vincent.

“Taking in Nature’s Beauty,”  a short story.

(c) 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“You have the words to describe it; I struggle with this.  It’s beautiful, though.”  Matt sounded unsure of himself and felt like a heel, remembering she couldn’t describe what she couldn’t see.  Or could she?

They sat on a log, and Pauline felt the breeze change.  Yes, they were in the presence of great beauty.  Only, Pauline could not see it.  Matt didn’t know how to describe it.  She fought against frustration at him, confident she could coax the words out of him.  Asking questions usually got her some clear answers.

“There are mountains,”  Matt began.

“How many Matt?  Two?”

“No, More.”  A man of few words, he was more at home in the world of numbers.

“Are they connected?”

“Yes.  Some of them could be as one, but with more behind them.  The two in fronted are separate, almost as if to let you see the ones beyond them.”

Pauline was forming a picture in her head.  “Is the sun shining at all?”

“Yes, there are a few rays of light, but clouds, too.”

“The sun only shines through in one spot?”

“Oh, no, there are several patches in the clouds letting in light, though they are thick and gray to one side.  It’s lovely.”

“Yes, I felt the clouds, the coolness, coming on.”

“There is a stream, and some trees,” Matt went on.

“What sort of stream?”  she asked.

“Um, just, a stream, no, a lake.”  Matt stopped there.

“Yes, it’s sounds quite lovely.  It feels so lovely,” Pauline mused.  In her head was the most wonderful picture of the scene that she sensed with her being.  It was void of color, for she had never seen color and only imagined it as variations of shading, as on a person’s skin, for she’d had such things described.  Color, to her, was an emotion, such as being on a rollercoaster, tasting a spicy food, or getting a cut on her foot as she had that one time.  It was all so frustrating to her as a child, but she developed an imagination that would fill in the gaps.  When people described beauty, she imagined how it would look, and it pleased her.

“Anything else, Matt?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  It just feels good being here.”  He grabbed her hand.

“Yes, it does.”  She held his hand tighter, needing no more explanation.  They’d gone way ahead of the other members in their group and had a few minutes to sit still and enjoy the scenery, each in their own way.  A hawk flew over, and his call resounded through the valley, carrying another breeze toward them.

~The end~

The #writephoto challenge is a weekly writing challenge based on a new photograph presented at https://scvincent.com and you may visit this week’s challenge at Write Photo Thursday Prompt

Tomboy. #FFfAW #flashfiction


Photo (c) Enisa

Tomboy, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa.  (c) 2018

It was a good memory.  Until it wasn’t anymore.

The sun shone vividly and bounced off of the rocks and the shallow water.  I admired my next door neighbor, Rolan, so much.  He was a little older, but I was a tomboy.  I was like a younger brother.

Yeah, right.

That was the day I became a woman, and there was no hiding it from Rolan.  He seemed disgusted.

“Now we gotta go home!”

“I’m sorry,”  I said.

“You need to quit tryin’ to be something you’re not.  You don’t belong out here with me.  Go to the mall with the other girls.”

On the way back, the tears burned my dirt-streaked face.  I hated that.  I was acting like a girl.  Maybe he was right.  I didn’t belong there.

Needless to say, we were no longer friends.  So I started going to the creek with Henry.  I choose where I belong.

~Approx. 163 words


Visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers  for more information about this Flash fiction challenge!

My Year of Saying “Yes.”

sunrise-sky-blue-sunlight-67832.jpeg  Photo (c) Pixels.

2014 bled into 2015, and the effects of saying yes were amazing on my mind.

I’d say it started mid-2014.  My son graduated from high school and went to live up North with his dad for a while, and I found myself suddenly with more time for…myself.  Summer time was great.  I caught up with old friends and started helping out at a food bank.  It was something I was always curious about.  Several people from my church also volunteered there, so I got to know them a little better.  There was a nagging worry about my son, but guess what, it was always there since he became a teen.  I kept busy.

Eventually, he came back, as things didn’t work out there.  I figured he learned some necessary lessons being away.  Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know if they sank in.  He enrolled in college and had a few more troubles, then withdrew from his classes.  He really went through a rough time, and so did it.  It was hard to accept that his journey into adulthood would be nothing like mine.  There was a sense of loss.  He was not the person he used to be and would not talk to me about things that were going on.  We sought help, but I did not seek help for myself.  Perhaps I should have.  I dealt with it, somehow.

In November, my mom and I spoke seriously about getting a dog.  She and I live with my son in the same house.  He voiced no opinion on the matter.  She went looking one day and told me about the sweetest dog she’d found.  My son was there and did not voice disapproval; he didn’t voice excitement either, but that is nothing new.  It seemed apparent the dog would be my mom’s and my dog.  Two days later I went in and met the dog.  I’d thought about doing this for a few years and always stopped myself because of the new responsibility, the cost, the adjustment, etc.  Well, I decided to accept this as a happy adjustment.  There were so many adjustments that year anyway.  I put down the deposit and went back to get him when his stray hold was over at the shelter.  Let me tell you, a new canine family member is an excellent way to stave off depression.

Around the time, I was asked to serve on the Session at my church.  It is somewhat of a governing board.  Now, I’d grown closer to spiritually, but mostly in the sense of begging God for help, begging for acceptance to enter my soul, begging things would not get any worse than they were.  I’d discussed things with my pastor now and then, and when someone nominated me for this, I discussed my fears with him and what were the positives.  Obviously, when you’re asked to do this, you have to know you are going to be in a place of servitude and can’t just think “What’s in it for me.” However, I didn’t want it to distance me from my son even more, as I was his transportation and he was involved in a few programs to help him get a job and help him sort his life out.  Still, I said yes after deliberation and talks with my pastor.  It was the third time I’d been asked to do this and this time I finally said yes.  I would start my term in January, 2015.  Let me tell you, it was a challenge but rewarding as well.  I am looking back and reflecting on it, because my three year term recently came to an end.  It got me involved in some voluntary activities that I would not have done otherwise, all very rewarding.

During the three years, my son lived in a world separate from me, in our own home, in his mind.  I still made efforts to keep him on the right path.  He was in a state of recovery and did not ask much of me, yet he needed my support.  He would at times accompany me to church events.  I learned a lot while serving on the session, and I felt closer to God.  I frequently was in a state of reflection, and I started writing more.  Poetry had been a sometime hobby for a few years, but I started writing stories.  It was a great escape.

In mid-2015, I bought a little notebook to write down all the zany ideas that popped in my head and disappeared when I later had time to write.  I binge-watched Mad Men that summer, and the character, Don Draper’s transformation and soul-searching inspired me.  I wrote a few stories online that I shared with no one other than the writing platform where they were housed. In early 2016, I started blogging here at WordPress.  It opened a new world to me, and I would respond to photo prompts and communicate with other bloggers who are also writers.  I still benefit from the WordPress community.  I submitted some stories at Wattpad, and while I think their audience wants something different from my brand of stories, I grew some confidence, and I decided to extend one of the stories into a book and self-publish.  Since I had joined an online Writer’s Group, I had learned a little about the process. I am still learning more today.  I really got into a mindset back then of telling myself, “Yes, I can,” and “If not now, when?”  I had put off writing for several years because of hurting in my hands, being busy at work, fogginess in my brain (which was probably a sort of depression).  Writing helped sharpen my brain.  It acted on that problem, and it happened in spite of the first two afore-mentioned problems.  Sing it, “We Shall Overcome.”  That is the story I want to live.

Merry-go-round. #poetry

This is exactly how I feel right now. Full disclosure, this is a re-post from about a year ago. Test season is here. #teacherlife #writerslife

Small Town Vibes . #fridayfictioneers


“So, if the place is decrepit and unsafe, why does Henry still live here?”

“He runs the fuel station beside it.  Sells bait out of this window and sorta stopped keeping the place up when his wife died.”

Bingham squinted.  Too bad Jones would be retiring soon.  Bingham still had a lot to learn.

Just then, Henry opened up his bait window.  “Oh, it’s you guys.”

“Mind if we come in?”  Jones gestured.

Bingham felt nervous. Suddenly, jazz music started playing upstairs.

“Gotta go.”  Bingham slammed the window shut.

“His wife loves jazz.”

“His deceased wife?”


“Loved jazz?”


~100 words

“Small Town Vibes,” (c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2018

*Friday Fictioneers is a once-weekly photo prompt challenge.  Rules include keeping your story within 100 words.  Visit Rochellewisoff.com for more information.  Thank you for reading; comments are welcome and appreciated!