#WeekendCoffeeShare. On the Hamster Wheel.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com.  May is slipping past us.  I have felt so busy and overwhelmed, yet the days keep going by.  To quote T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”  Eliot is singing to me lately, as I’ll be turning 50 later this month!  I just worked on a turing fifty post and can’t wait to share it later this month!  Lately, I have pondered my life, what I am doing, where I am going, etc.,  and sometimes that just results in anxiety.

Case in point, last Saturday.  I was feeling frustrated with my book marketing efforts.  I had a marketing strategy session with Audrey, who runs the Author Transformation Alliance, and it was so exciting and educational.  I was pumped!  Then, I went and saw that my back tire had been leaking air all night; you see, my boyfriend and I had put air in it the night before.  I’d have to take it in somewhere.  Only, I had a massage appt. for 3:00 and hadn’t showered yet.  I had spent time on the laptop doing lesson plans before I’d even gone out to see my car.  What was I going to do?

I wasn’t taking my car in.  I would not cancel the massage appt.  It was bad enough that I had brought work home this weekend; I didn’t need a crisis situation.  Instead, I got a ride.  My son and my boyfriend later patched it up, and it was looking better Sunday…not flat.  I am so glad I didn’t jump and react with panic.  That was NOT going to be my Saturday.

Saturday evening was relaxed.  Affter dinner, I fell asleep watching Netflix after my boyfriend left.  I had started fantasizing all day about leaving the job, leaving my writerly aspirations, leaving my responsibilities, buying a van and then parking it on a beach where I would live and write poetry on paperbags, convincing someone I was the next Kerouac so they’d bring me tacos and sandwiches a few days a week.  On the beach!  A great way to leave behind the hamster wheel.  Sometimes it seems I’m going nowhere.  I’m getting older and I’ve never been to Europe.  My body aches after a massage.  I stress out just planning a vacation to the Northeast.  This tells me I’m riding on the edge a little too much.

On the writing scene, I finished my first edit for Undercurrents in Time (the sequel to Detours in Time) after the paid editor did her edit and notes.  Someone is now reading it for me….Excited, I am! I also took at least two webinars this week and read many notes of advice on the GDPR that is passing on 5/25, so I feel like my privacy policies and my e-mail marketing are in compliance.  I was stressing about that for a while.

On the topic of stress, I’m still reducing the caffeine intake.  I am dreaming of camping out and watching beach sunrises.  I suppose that could replace the dream of Europe.  Flying in a plane for 12 hours might not be the thing for me.  It’s okay.  I’m still living my life.  I’m just tired right now.   Slept until 10 a.m. last Sunday.  Guess I needed it!  The hamster wheel is a pain, but I am going to imagine it is exercising me, getting me in shape and ready for the next phase of life.  I’m going to believe it will be fabulous.

My family and I  enjoyed a wonderful Mother’s Day last week.  We went on a boat in the St. Augustine waters.  Here is my post  about my Mom and the wonderful ways she has shaped me as a person:  What Mother’s Day Means to Me

Thanks for visiting my Weekend Coffee Share!  Visit more Coffee Shares or enter your own for viewing at  Eclectic Alli Coffee Share 5/18

Have a great weekend!

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#RRBC: Author Exposure and Support!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Want to know how I got to be on an online Blog Talk Radio program in August last year?  Or how I’ve worked my way up to over 1,000 Twitter followers?  How about the author who has posted my author interview on her blog?  The truth is, it wasn’t all that difficult, and it wasn’t just because I published a book on Kindle.  It all happened thanks to the help of some powerful networking, a tool no indie author could really live without, especially if they want to stay the course in these sometimes lonely waters.  Let me tell you about Rave Reviews Book Club!

I imagine one could pay to have a PR company promote them.  There are many book promo. sites that will tweet for you.  I simply didn’t feel I could foot the bill for such a thing.  You may have heard me mention Rave Reviews Book Club before.  It is a grounding point for me as an indie author.  I truly feel as if I am not alone since finding this community of writers and readers whose main goal is to show one another reciprocal support.  Therefore, I may have joined this club in order to receive author support, but I remain, as my responsibility as a writer is to encourage other writers, to respect writing as an art, and to appreciate and promote other worthy authors, after all, I am still a reader and an appreciater of books and great Literature!

How does it work, you might wonder?  Rave Reviews Book Club requires a nominal fee once per year, and with that, you are a member!  Membership means you will get news of excellent books being published or going on sale, and as a writer, you will get to share your books and news.  Your requirement is to follow other members on Twitter, purchase 4 books by fellow members yearly and review them on Amazon, and to share/retweet fellow members’ news of their books.  In return, you will be supported with shares of your tweets and book information, you’ll have your book looked at, purchased and reviewed, and at some point, yours will be chosen as the book of the month.  This all means much more exposure, what every indie author needs.  Besides all of this, they have a blog talk radio show, a channel on Whatsapp (which I haven’t joined yet), and special programs such as the Back to School Blog party.  It is amazing just how many types of author support they provide!  I haven’t partaken in every little bit, but I just wanted to show that there are so many opportunities for networking and spreading news of your book at this club.  After a few months, I had been chosen as Member of the Week, which is a huge Twitter support storm, and about a month later, I was chosen to talk for a few minutes about my book on their Blog Talk Radio show, which was an exciting opportunity!

A.M. Manay, @ammanay on Twitter, a talented fellow member, made a graphic and Twitter blasted it during my Member of the Week “reign.”

I’ve had the opportunity to read and review such excellent authors as Bruce A. Borders, author of Over My Dead Body, http://amzn.to/2d1w7Qw and J.R. Barrett, author of Winnerland, http://amzn.to/2d1uC4H.  By the way, I highly suggest you read both of them!  These are books I might not have discovered otherwise.

Another type of author support some of the members use is author promotion on their blogs.  Check out the site of Kim Cox, http://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor, fellow published author and RRBC member!  This is the link to the author interview she posted on her blog for me: http://kimwrtr.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/the-writers-journey-guest-author-pamela-schloesser-canepa/

Are you interested in the policies and perks of the Rave Reviews Book Club?  I encourage you to visit their site and join up at http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/ and if you sign up, tell them Pamela Schloesser Canepa sent you there!  Yes, they even have perks for getting new members signed up.  I seriously love being a part of this Book Club.

Go now, check out Rave Reviews Book Club at the site above!

-Pamela

Counter Clockwise. #FFfAW

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Enisa.

Counter Clockwise, (c) Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I’d always been amazed by that watch he said he received from his grandfather.  It looked as good as new, and his grandfather had been long gone.

“They didn’t make that sort of gadgetry back in your Grandpa’s day,”  I teased.

He just shrugged, explaining very little.  His grandmother, whom I’d met, told cryptic stories about the grandpa.  He was from elsewhere and therefore unaccepted by her parents. She wasn’t surprised.  “They were narrow-minded,” she sniffed disdainfully.

Of course, Nadine was far from narrow-minded.  They’d never tell me where his grandfather was from.

Once, while on vacation in France, the watch started acting up, moving counter-clockwise really fast.

“You should take that for repair,” I suggested.

He shook his head no, and held his arm out the window.  Unclasping the watch, he let it drop to the street only to be pummeled to pieces by a passing delivery truck.

~149 words

 

Challenge- Write a flash fiction story of 100-150 words or less in response to a photo prompt.  Visit the FFfAW blog for more information and other stories:  Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, May 7th prompt

Thank you for your readership and your comments!

What Mother’s Day Means to Me. #mom

I found this pin in a pile when my mom recently cleaned out her room. Oh, the things she saves! It is about 30 years old and brings back so many memories. My mother is a huge part of who I am as a person, more so than anyone I know. Her faith and her ability to not curse make her seem angelic and very religious, but let me tell you about the quiet rebellion she has instilled in me through all these years.  She has truly shaped who I am as a person.

Independence is something I learned from my mom. I always thought she just developed it because my dad left, but I believe she had it long before then. You see, Mom left home after graduating and lived in Denver, working as a telephone operator. A few years later, she got married and had me; then my brother came along five years later. She returned to work when I was 11 or 12 after she and my dad divorced. As a teen, I grew to admire her for that. She was a proud Union member, which this pin represents. When Dad left, she worked to help support us. Today, I am also a proud Union member, which is why I love this pin. I also hate the kitchen, so I totally agree about a woman’s place!  Worker’s rights are very important to me as well.

Books, books, books!! I love them, maybe because she taught me to love them. Some things are hard to say, and I now write to get a lot of things out. Part of why I think I love books and writing is because Mom shared this with me. She also read just about anything. Stephen King’s Cujo and Firestarter were lying on her night table, so at an early age (12 or 13), I had read them after finding them in her room. There were ugly things and even profanity inside them. It almost seemed taboo, and I was hungry for even more. Perhaps she reasoned that it was better to prepare me for the world in this way. Maybe, she listened to all those people who told her I was precocious, and just let me read what I wanted.  I thank her so much for not trying to keep blinders on me, though I was reading these books long before she let me see R movies….Still, I loved this secret world of knowledge. And life happened, as it does to all of us. It will shock and disappoint, so why restrict our written education? Those books created warriors who arose from horrible situations, except Cujo, which just taught us to be sure your dog gets rabies shots. I hated King for a while, but it sure didn’t stop me from devouring the next Stephen King book!

Thanks Mom, for leaving a door open for me that sparked my imagination, and thank you for being the best example of what I could grow up to be!

I wish everyone a happy and relaxing Mother’s Day!

-Pamela

#WeekendCoffeeShare. In Careful Measures

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com!  You may have whatever you like, me, I’ll only have half a cup.  I’m trying to be healthy by cutting my coffee intake, you know, to help myself fall asleep at night and keep calm during the day and to relax when I want to.  Last week I had a screenplay deadline just because I wanted to do something new.  The end of last week involved catching up on editing that I’d missed and trying to de-stress.  No matter what, I could not turn my brain off.  This week, I tried some adjustments.  In true Bridget Jones fashion, (Minus the musings over men and the quirky, partying friends) I’ve recorded my self-analysis daily.  Here’s how it went:

Day 1, Sunday:  Drank- 1/2 cup.  Felt: Normal, but I went to church and had forgotten my offering on my dresser.  😦  Still, I felt quite normal once I got there.  At lunch, I felt fine.  Thoughts were a little calmer.  However, this was not a workday.  Let’s see how tomorrow goes.  By the way, I went grocery shopping that evening, and they didn’t have my flavor of the V8 energy juice 😦 (Fueled by green tea).  I was beside myself.  Still, we’ll see how it goes…

Day 2 Monday: Drank- my last V8 green tea energy juice with a little cranberry and half a cup of coffee.  All I could see was a half-empty cup.  Still, I felt fine during the day, but I sure felt tired at 8 p.m.  However, I got at least 30 minutes of editing in before that!

Day 3 Tuesday: Drank- Less than half a cup of coffee.  However, I had bought a Starbucks refresher drink made with green coffee.  So in the morning, I felt good. I’m a person of set routines, but I did plan ahead for this one.  Unlike finding out my favorite yoga class was moved forward an hour, so I can’t eat dinner until 8 p.m. on yoga night.  Must adjust…

Day 4 Weds.: Drank- 1 whole cup of coffee, my gift to myself. Or, maybe a crutch.  I was up late the night before, since my son, who rarely has conversations with me, wanted to talk.   Then, he put on a movie, Point Break.  I said it was okay, but I’d likely fall asleep.  I did, but later than usual.  My bedroom is the closest to the living room, so t.v. and movies can be heard from there and we normally have all of that off at 10 p.m.  This was an exception; I plan to be back to the 1/2 cup goal tomorrow.  Being there for our kids is what mothers do.

Day 5- Thurs.: Drank: 1/2 cup of coffee, and a little bit of Energy V8 with orange juice.  This was a rather carbonated V8.  I do not prefer that; still, it is certainly better than drinking too much coffee.  My energy level was fine all day, though I did feel tired when I got home.  I felt like it was 90 degrees today.  One thing I am noticing with the decrease in coffee is that I seem less tense in my body.  That could be a motivation to stick to the decrease.

Day 6- I subsisted on just half a cup of coffee and some V8.  I figured by Friday I would be pooped and need more.  I felt tired in the afternoon, but it could be due to the very light lunch and lack of time to finish off that apple.  😦 Don’t worry, I made up for it by having beef with my Thai Ginger Stir fry.  Yum!  I stayed up at least until midnight because my boyfriend and I were watching Hostiles.  Man, that movie was great!  Conflict main character, morally slippery supporting characters, trying to love your enemy.  It really reached me.  That, and I love Christian Bale.  I also think Rosamund Pike plays shock and grief oh, so well.  That just may be her niche.  Do you see how I snuck in a movie review?  If you can handle blood and violence in gritty Western style, you should check Hostiles out!

Day 7- Sat.:  I had most of a Starbucks bottled frappucino, because, well, it was free.  My boyfriend had it left behind by his visiting cousin and gave it to me.  Oh, they are tasty.  Caffeine-wise, I am probably off of the wagon for the day.  Perhaps I’ll get more editing done for my sequel, Undercurrents in Time.  I have forty-five pages left to do, so maybe I’ll channel the extra caffeine energy.  It’s all good!  Going forward, I am not going to measure my intake.  Still, I plan to have more half-a-cup days and will let myself drink the whole cup when I feel I need it.  Perhaps this will calm my 20-open-computer-tabs tendencies.  Maybe? 🙂

How did your week go?  Am I nuts to try to decrease caffeine intake?  My mind is still pretty active.  Caffeine is a friend to me that I sometimes need to distance myself from.  Where do you stand with caffeine?

Visit other coffee shares and share yours at Eclectic Ali May 5th

Weekend Coffee Share. Delayed Rush

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.com.  I normally would be drinking coffee right now, but I’m putting it off since I want to maximize my relaxation today.  I really need to relax, (spoken with a nervous tick in my eye).

Do you know what middle-schoolers are like in the springtime?  You do?  Okay, multiply that by twenty.  Add in a dash of test anxiety and total relief when it’s all over.  I mean, nobody wants to learn anything right after taking an hour and a half test.  That describes my week.

Add  to that my participation in a screenplay contest that required me to learn a whole new format for my story ideas.  Formatting in Word?  Not my forte.  I am thinking short stories are more for me.  But I did it!  I finished and sent it off.  Now we wait for feedback.  I don’t expect to win anything.    At any rate, I’ll be editing a novel in the meantime, so I guess these two months will go by quite quickly.  I have a crick in my neck and a tick in my eye.  Hence, the reason I am delaying my coffee.  No, you go right ahead.  I really don’t mind.

I can delay my coffee need; I have an appointment at noon for ninety minutes in a float tank!  I remember how much better my stressed shoulders felt after the last time.  Except, last time, I kept coming back to my thoughts and observations.  I had a cup of coffee before I went.  I don’t need to be so alert.  Maybe I just need to slip a way for a little while…

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It’s worth a try.  I feel like a mermaid in the tank, and while it’s not as stylish and roomy as the one pictured here (plus the fact that my face is above water), I love the feeling of floating.  Either way, it’ll be good for relaxing my body.  I’m sure, when I’m done, I’ll head right for the coffee shop on the corner.

That’s my life lately.  I still have half of my editing to do on Undercurrents in Time.  Have you read Detours in Time yet?  The sequel is coming…

In the meantime, I’ve listened to Lana del Rey a lot lately.  Do you have any suggestions for inspiring music?  I always like something new.

Have a great week!  How are things in your corner of the world?  Please send your suggestions for music to inspire and help me kick back.  Not the kind to put me to sleep, but to take me away from the day’s frustrations and checklists of what is undone.  It’ll all wait.

Thanks to Allison for keeping the #WeekendCoffeeShare going.  Visit her and see other coffee shares or even submit your own at Eclectic Alli

A Matter of Taste and Sensibility? #FFfAW #amwriting

Photo credit, @Goroyboy.

Four ghosts approached a charming, Southern mansion.

“I’m not comfortable with this assignment,” Marv said.

A younger ghost, Jeb, responded, “Really, Marv? My family farmed cotton and it was our livelihood.  I think it’s wonderful.”

“Oh, yeah?  Who actually picked it?”

Jeb shrugged.

“Won’t asking reassignment delay moving on from the “in-between?”  Kat asked.

“Kat, I’ve been ‘in-between’ for a hundred and fifty years.  You get used to it.  Time flies.  This is a matter of principle.  So this is all okay with you?”  Marv gestured to the wreath.

“Well, I’m not sure.  My ancestors were slaves in cotton fields.”

The others looked surprised.

She continued, “I also had ancestors who were farmers and plantation owners.  I’m a product of both sides.  Bygones should be bygones.  Maybe we’re here for that reason.”

“You’re so modern, Miss High and Mighty,” Marv said.  “Okay, What do you think Eskel?”

Eskel tapped his chin, deep in thought.  “I say we move on.  Cotton wreath?”  He chuckled.  “We’re bound to be assigned to someone with better decorative taste.”

copyright, 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

~174 words (without photo credit and title).

*The opinions expressed in this flash fiction are not necessarily the opinions of this author.  Wait, I think I represented every possible opinion.  Did I miss any?  In fact, it was hard to stay within the 150 words +/- 25 rule!  For a description of this writing challenge or to view other entries, visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers April 16th