Weekend Coffee Share…Of Walter Dean Myers, bucket lists, baby goats, and writing goals.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share!  Please don’t hate me because I live in Florida, and it will be close to 80 degrees today.  At least my iced coffee is pumpkin spice flavor!  😉

First, I’d like to ask, which rings true for you?  Here are two alternate skits:

Child:  Grandpa, why are we here?

Grandfather:  To love one another and care for this great Earth.

Alternate:

Child:  Grandpa, why are we here?

Grandfather:  To compete with each other, destroy our enemies, and turn a profit.

I will not deny that this may seem a little political.  I have a hard time verbalizing such things.  I love people regardless of their political beliefs.  But I am having such a hard time lately dealing with recent policy changes, seeing the earth pilfered, people hurt, and families torn apart.  I may seem like a pipe dreamer, but I have long ago realized that was my place on this Earth.  If we all saw things in black and red (monetarily and us vs. them), it would be an ugly world indeed.  I’ve also accepted that, if I were alive in the Middle Ages, I would have been an artisan, poor indeed, but I would make people smile or cry, and they’d throw me enough crumbs to keep me alive.  I’d also be least likely to get beheaded.  I obviously would dress for comfort and not to impress some king into putting jewels on my head.  I’m perfectly fine with my place in life.  If I should ever make it big as an author, I’ll wear what the heck I want to book signings, just like Stephen King.

Now, off of my soapbox.  I have not participated in Weekend Coffee Share in a while!  Part of that is due to neglecting to blog more than once a week.  I’ve been doing the flash fiction entries since it’s tickles my fancy, but only once a week.  It’s good to be back, even if for once in a blue moon.  I love my writers’ community, and I’m glad you all are still here in this space!

Work has kept me busy, busy, while I try to promote my published books.  I’m not writing a book for NANOWRIMO, but I am fleshing out and revising the one I wrote last November.  It is a sequel to my time travel novel, Detours in Time .  This sequel has gone from 45,000 words to 56,000 when I last checked, so I am making progress.  Still, some nights, I get home from work and just want to read and relax.  It may not be completely revised at the end of November, and that’s okay.  I get achy in my hands and arms at times, either due to arthritis or the way I manage stress (internalizing).  So, I’m not pushing it.  All will happen in due time.  I don’t see myself quitting the job to just write until I most likely legitimately retire from teaching.

The workplace has given me more challenges than last year, I believe.  My family life is calmer, but I come home from work good and tired.  I won’t complain about the job; there are good days and bad days.  Sometimes, you can know just what to say to tell a student you’ve “got their number,” and it may work.  Other days, it’s quite overwhelming and you just wonder why they have to be manipulated or pleaded with to do the right thing?  Ah, the nature of middle-schoolers.  They don’t always know who they are.

At least I get to teach one of my favorite books again:  Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers.  Talk about a struggle for identity.  This book is about his life, and he sure went through some hard times regarding: poverty, race, identity, growing up in Harlem, family issues, and adolescence in general.  I know I mentioned this last week in my Stream of Consciousness post.  This book stays with me.  We are starting to study author’s point of view in a memoir.  I’m hoping I have enough artistic kids, because what I’d like to do is have posters of his head opening like a box with a hinge, and his thoughts on paper strips coming out.  Truly, isn’t that what a writer does?  We open it up for others to see what is inside.  Usually, there is an end goal.  He obviously wants to inspire kids of today to stop making excuses and go for their dreams.  I know Myers inspires me.

Well, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, is coming soon.  We’re going to NC to see my brother and sister-in-law.  The cooler weather will be nice.  I think I’ll gain weight.  I do yoga once or twice a week, but my cardio is faltering.  I blame it on weather fluctuations and writing goals.  I just have to do enough to make sure my clothes still fit.  Buying a whole new wardrobe doesn’t appeal to me like it used to.  I guess I’m getting more practical as I move toward fifty.  It’s gonna be awesome.  I will make it awesome.  I’ve added beer yoga, baby-goat yoga, trying helium beer with my high-school best friend, and still have sky-diving on my bucket list.  Wish me luck in these endeavors!      (Seriously, find a video of baby goat yoga.  They jump all over the place and look so light-weight.  It just seems like a joyful, laughter-filled experience I’d love to try.  Watch it and feel your blood pressure drop)!

-Pamela

#WeekendCoffeeShare is now hosted at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ Please visit the blog to view other weekend coffee shares and to enter your own.

How was your week?  What’s going on in your life and your artistic/ blogging endeavors?

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Finding Michael. #FFfaw #amwriting

Photo credit, (c) Enisa.

We were eighteen and his parents were tired of worrying.

The note on my step said, “I’m gone.  Hanging out somewhere guarded by two dragons.”  It sounded delusional to me.  His parents were used to his strange speech.  I hadn’t told them he may be reacting to my latest boyfriend.  Michael and I weren’t as close lately, so I felt slightly guilty.

Two weeks later he was still gone.  I enlisted my younger brother one weekend, scouring the town.

Great imagination, or maybe he didn’t want to be found right away.  Sure enough, two dragons were guarding the field where Michael was camping out.

A thinner, tanned Michael smiled and hugged me.  “I didn’t think you cared.”

“Ron may be a cool guy, but I can still care about you.”

“Yeah.  That’s good.” He put his arm down, but kept smiling.  “Thanks for being my friend.”

After all, I was still his friend, despite college and new friends manipulating my time.

I didn’t tell him about breaking up with Ron.

Story: 175 words

 

A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

You can join the flash fiction fun at flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Stream of Consciousness…Nov. 2017

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One idea after the other has flooded into my head today and I am not able to act upon a single one in completion.  Yet, that’s okay.  My brain is working, and I’m thankful.  I wrote an added chapter to my work in progress which

has opened doors and avenues for more ideas….

 

I met with friends who inspire me and nurture my brain, as we talk on one topic and then another which leads to even another.  Then, we decide on a general time frame for our next meet, all of which enriches my soul.

It is comforting to know there are many more ideas waiting to come to life when this current goal comes to its fruition.

To my delight, my doctor’s visit today included discussion about Quentin Tarantino movies.  Dark and disturbing, but nothing I’d walk out on.  Darkness lives among us.  We cannot run from it, but we can try to shine our light into its corners.  I also tend to take a muscle relaxer when it creeps up on me like some of those Tarantino scenes…They creep up on you and blow up immediately.  Case in point:  The Hateful Eight.

There is awe-inspiring literature still to be discovered, and though I am in between books, I am once again teaching the wonderful novel by Walter Dean Myers, titled Bad Boy.  At the heart of it is his struggle for identity, his longing to be a writer like Shelly or Byron, existing right beside his love for ‘playing ball’ and his increasing awareness that race and his place in society (back in his time) may not fit with his desire to write like Yeats.  His struggle for identity touches me.  Portions of this novel are very dark, but I can say that I have been there.  I went through that.  It had nothing to do with race, but more with my place in society, living in a mobile home park with a divorced mother who worked very hard to make ends meet.  Living with the memories of my dad as an angry alcoholic and later, talking with him on the phone, a converted stranger trying to get to know me as a sober dad, long-distance.  I never felt college was really within reach until my dad made it clear to me in 12th grade that I really needed to try it, and that he would help.  There were dark days where I trusted no one, lots of awkward social experiences,  days I had lunch alone (before I remembered to take a book everywhere), and bright days when I earned an A in College Algebra because I studied three hours the night before.  When I read of Myers’ dark days, I feel it.  There were times, as a teen, when I was cutting, thinking of suicide, or partying with other lost teens.  It is such a soul-searching venture to dig deeply into this novel.  It also makes me relive some of my son’s teen angst years, all of which is fodder for an entirely separate entry or story.

And then it is time to come back above water.  I know how it ends.  Myers finds his identity and place as a writer.  I am, as an adult, of the mindset that believes there is always hope.  I’ve found my place in society, and I’ve used the dark moments of my life to fuel my writing.  I am still emerging as a writer.  Maybe I’m a fledgling.  I don’t think I’ll ever rest on my laurels.  This makes me feel young, and I pray, pray, pray with all my might that my mental capacities will allow me to spin tales for years to come.

This is what’s on my mind lately.  What’s on yours?

 

Two Boys and a Boat. #amwriting #fridayfictioneers

Photo credit, Roger Bultot

(c) 2017 Pamela Schloesser Canepa

They had left while it was still dark, two sixteen-year-old boys taking off with Dad’s car AND his canoe.  It was their first boating excursion alone.

Reaching the water’s edge, Billy halted.  “The tide is too low.”

“You didn’t check the reports?”  Roma asked.

“No.”  Billy felt bad.

Roma, ever the adventurer,  said, “We’ll go through the brush to where the water’s deeper!”

Billy recalled being in there before, getting stung by bramble, and finding a dead bird.

“But….” He saw Roma’s hopeful face.  “Well, the road less traveled…”

“Yes!”  Roma smiled.

*100 words*

This was written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the provided photo prompt.

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

Scream Reads! #instafreebie #group promotion #free

 

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Choose from eleven short stories that are sure to rattle your bones or raise your goose bumps!  Click the link below to browse and choose the stories that appeal to you, then download and read for free. http://bit.ly/SCREAMREADS

Most of the stories are through Instafreebie, a site where authors share some of their works to spread the joy of their writing styles.  You, as a reader, agree to sign up to their author newsletter.  Your e-mail is not shared with anyone else.  Most indie author newsletters are unobtrusive to your time.  For example, my newsletter gets sent out once every 3-4 weeks.

Your choices range from horror, gore, to paranormal.  Choose from all sorts of things that go bump in the night, tales of ghosts, vampires, Death, etc.  Enjoy!

P.S. My story offers Death as a character, as a dramatically disturbed young woman seeks revenge for the loss of her family.  Sort of has a Godfather/ Book Thief feel to it.  Try it!

Dreamin’ #poetry #dreams

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Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Dreamin’ (c) 2017 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

 

I dream of a California

that is untouched by flame,

of wide open spaces to which

no one lays claim.

I dream of a body

that’s not slowed down with pain

Of waterlogged islands

that can be home again.

I wish for outdoor concerts

not ruined by gunshots

And long for a leader

whose conscience can’t be bought.

I dream of a nation

embracing its weakest.

Acceptance and love,

to those of the outer reaches.

 

I dream with wanderlust

for I just want to escape

The feel, and the touch

of this year’s landscape.

I dream of a future

that is better than today,

that is spiritually evolved

from the world of yesterday.

I dream, but is that all?

For it has to start somewhere.

I dream, I share my dream,

and I wonder, just who cares?

 

*The poet, Pamela, was born in California.  Her own experience with the year 2017 has been a little rough.  Watching the news doesn’t help.  You may make conclusions about her political leanings.  That is your right.  We are all entitled to our opinion, but I think we’d all agree, the world, our nation, our people, have suffered a rough year.  Still, we can always hope for a better tomorrow and dream of a better world. 

 

 

 

 

Squawk! #fridayfictioneers #amwriting

                  PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

 

I should’ve known that bird would be trouble.

On the way home from the pet store:  “Hurry up Bi#$@!”

I jumped.  Why do I go for charming rogues?  He’d shown no signs of this tendency at the store.  Figures.

At home:  “I’m f*&%^g hungry!”

Geez, he reminded me of my ex, Wade.  We hadn’t spoken in years.  Was this a reincarnation?

This went on for weeks.  He’d eye me while eating his food, and blurt out “b*&^%” one more time.

No woman should put up with this.  I sold him for two bucks in a garage sale.  As is.

*100 words*

**To find out more about Friday Fictioneers or to post your own flash fiction, go to https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/10/11/6-october-2017/  to preview the weekly photo prompt, rules, and guidelines.  Click the “InLinks” froggy button to share your own or to read other flash fiction tales.