#Weekend Coffee Share. Of Introverting, Business, and Balance

Weclome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali WordPress. I have so much going on in my head I can’t type prose right now!  Nor can I churn out an emotional poem. Perhaps I am using the other side of my brain more this week?  Grades are due in the next week, and I have been pulling my hair coming up with personalized plans for my students to make strides in the reading standards for English Language Arts.  Yes, it’s a little analytical for me.  But I’ll get it done!  Add to that the online course I am taking.  Ugh…

There is good news, though:  a Book signing is scheduled for my first full-length novel, Detours in Time, and I will also have some of the sequel, Undercurrents in Time at the book signing on Sat., Nov. 3rd, 10 am to 2 pm at San Marco Bookstore in Jacksonville, FL, in case any of you are in town!  I’m excited, and I’m planning, thinking about marketable tactics, planning a good night’s sleep the night before. (Hope it works)!

So, this weekend is that of an introvert’s lifestyle.  Analyzing data, working on personalized plans, and grading while sitting in the living room with my son watching “Logan,” a tale of the aging Wolverine.  I love to nerd out.  Luckily, I’d seen it before, or I’d have to put the work down!  I suppose this counts as quality family time with my twenty-two year old son?  After he went to bed, I chilled out with Netflix’s “Maniac,” a truly weird, yet engaging tale.  Last weekend, my boyfriend and I discovered “Unbreakable” from 2000, and now I want to watch all the others in the series!

In all this, I have been feeling the aches of arthritis pain this week, and I skipped yoga again!  Big mistake.  A little walk this morning made me feel better though.  Yeah, it’s truly an introverting weekend, but don’t read me wrong.  I am planning a lot of socializing in November and will have my conversation face on for the book signing!  I love talking about my books!  Overall, I am still going.  I can’t stop.  My big break may be just around the corner, or, I may be working on the side hustle until retirement allows me to write full-time.  Either way, I can do this!

Thank you for the visit.  My coffee really energized me this morning, and I am well-rested after last night!  I hope you feel fueled this morning as well.  Have a great week!

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#Weekend Coffee Share. A Poem for Every Emotion.

Cappuccino, Coffee, Cafe, Empty  An empty cup means we have filled our hearts with fellowship and companionship, no matter how briefly.

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com.  I am full of emotions today.  Full of love for my job where I can share my love for reading and writing with some cute, young, sometimes challenging, and at times, fun students.  Full of disappointment over my hurting arm and hand and the brief stop my writing has done for the time being, therefore this is a short post.  I’m also full of confusion and despair over the turn our country is taking for women.  Yet, I am full of hope that we have some control over the way things will turn.  The wheel keeps on turning.  I am simply going to draw a little picture here:

Freedom, (c) 2018

We are not considered the ones in charge

Yet, we are full of power

We are the thorny plant and not the flower.

We are the wild brush of the jungle.

No longer tame,

no need to be restrained.

When I hold my tongue to spare your feelings,

Or sit, thinking I can’t reach the ceiling

I have believed all that they said

Politics have ruled my heart and head.

When I am too diplomatic, my thoughts sour

Stuck in this headspace, a day or an hour,

so here, I’m going to spill it on the table

Let it form it’s lovely colors, if it’s able.

If you’ve listened, and really heard

You are my friend by deed, and not just word.

 

Thank you for hearing me out.  I think I needed this.  I hope you all have a lovely week.  Visit Alli’s blog to share your own post or to visit others! https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/category/series-of-sorts/if-we-were-having-coffee/

 

Avoiding Bottleneck. #WeekendCoffeeShare

 

white mug near book

Photo by Bruno Cervera on Pexels.com

Welcome to the Weekend Coffe Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli.

This morning, I woke up with a song in my head by Alt-J, and that is a good thing!  It’s called Dissolve Me, one of their more relaxing, upbeat tunes.  I am now playing music by Lana Rey, one of my current musical obsessions, and my coffee is not done yet.  Hope you don’t mind.  I’ve gone light on the coffee this last week.  Perhaps I need that to stay calmer and mellow right now.  I certainly need a calmer stomach.

You see, this past week was a storm of esophagal proportions.  No, you wouldn’t normally put those words together, but… that’s how it felt.  So I took Monday off. Then, I went in to work Tuesday morning and….went home after noon, head spinning, stomach still hurting.  Yes, I brought work with me so it wouldn’t all get stacked up with more work at school.  After some grading, I slept much of Tuesday afternoon and night.  I missed yoga this week and did not see the chiropractor, two must-haves in my current search for calm and well-being.  I think we all need to seek calm and well-being.  Just look at the national news.  Gladly, I missed out on every little detail, but people are posting daily in reaction to this news of the Kavanough fiasco.  Some, several times a day.  It’s almost too much to fit into my head, but I want everyone to understand something.  Women used to get shocked by the reality of their gender and what they had to accept.  Then, they would just give up.  Now, all of that is changing.

Now, I suppose my politics will shine through here despite my being very general and vague on what my political stance is.  However, people are vilifying the woman for “coming forward now.”  Perhaps it’s because his face is plastered all over t.v. as the latest nominee for Supreme Court?  Makes it hard to forget past events.  Makes it hard to forget someone who wrecked your young life, if he is guilty, of course.  I am sick of this world making villains out of accusers, before all the facts are out.  I am sick of seeing young, white men let off the hook because of being ‘young and stupid’ or having ‘affluenza.’ Yeah, they can stick that word somewhere south and let it never see the light of day again.  These things are up front in the news much more lately.  Why?  Because women won’t just take it like we used to.  Maybe the tides are turning.  Maybe women will have enough support to stand up and speak for what has happened, because I sure feel it never used to be that way.

So, while people were posting all over social media their opinions of this latest news fiasco, I have been posting daily a photo of a once banned book that I have either read and loved or actually taught in school.  I am proudly in support of intellectual freedom, of people having the right to tell their stories for the purpose of either sharing truths or revealing universal truths wrapped in fictional whimsy.  As a young one, I learned of horrible realities in the pages of Stephen King’s fiction, but I also was presented with incredible heroes who fought evil and stood up to their fear.  I think my mother wanted that for me, and therefore, did not limit my reading material, and I am all the better for it.

Okay, my plan was to relax a little today, but I think I’d better let my coffee cool since I got a little warmed up with this post, unintentionally.   My friends, please do not obsess over the latest news, there is so much more to life.  There is so much more to you, and me.  Your side may win or lose.  There are only so many things you can change, and posting every 30 minutes on Facebook is not going to change it but will only add to the hyper-stress of this modern world.  I will speak my peace, but I will leave it there and concentrate on other things as well…my dog, my family, my spirituality, physical well-being, the busy work of my job and the inspiring moments of teaching, along with great books, and writing!  Writing, something I don’t do enought lately, but there’s this post. 🙂  I apologize if this was such an outburst.  Sigh.  But I feel better having shared with you.

By the way, I haven’t been writing much as I am so busy, but a week ago, a wrote a flash-fiction in response to a photo that is a nice little get-away.  Care to take a glimpse?  Flash Fiction FFfAW

Have a great week, everyone!

 

A Proposal. #FlashFictionforAspiringWriters

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Michelle DeAngelis. 

It was the perfect vacation spot with a lovely, romantic backdrop.

He asked her to be there with him, and she regretted not a moment of it.

“The sun awakens us, and the sound of island music seranades us to sleep.  What could be more perfect, my beauty?” he asked.

He was shirtless most days, and she revealed her back at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Not one proprietor minded.  Flip flops were the norm, even in fancy restaurants.  After a month, they frequented less of the fancy restaurants, and were more likely to grab a sandwich for dinner and sit on the beach.

“That used to be us,” she remarked, looking at a couple carrying a cooler and towels.

He kissed her softly and pleaded, “Can we stay?”  He reached for her hand and led her to a shack off of the tourist strip.

“Yes,” she beamed, eyes glistening.

**A 149 word story.  My story is a response to this week’s photo prompt at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Full Cup, Please!

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Welcome to my 9/15 entry for the #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  Please  bring the beverage of your choice, or enjoy a Gevalia Keureg coffee like I am having.  I know I am not the best hostess, but you’re here for the conversation, right?  😉

Thank God it’s Saturday!  It has been a busy week, with full cups of coffee daily!  Monday, I went to the chiropractor after my day of teaching, which is something I’ve been doing weekly for about a month. I went to a chiropractor before, but it has been three years. My only thought is, why did I put this off for so long? I always feel so much better after leaving there, except for my neck, which I have to hold steady and face it straight ahead for a few hours. The neck always seems to need adjustment and is much better the next day. So that is something for my health that I added to my schedule. Tuesday, I went to work in a skirt and sleeveless blouse for a morning meeting, then after work, I stayed and had a small dinner on-site so that I would be ready for Open House that night. This meant I was on-site at school for 12 hours that day, which is a little too much for me.  The rest of the week, I didn’t do much outside of the work schedule, partly because grades were due Friday.  I probably brought a little more paperwork home than usual. Ugh.  My wrists have bothered me for for a little over a week, and I really feel that today. I think it’s arthritis and/or my body is reminding me how old it is getting. Thanks, bod! However, I am making adjustments today so that I can write!

I have decided to bring out my Dragon headset again. This was a gift from my mom about four years ago and it lets me speak my thoughts into the microphone, and then edit later. I haven’t used it in a while, probably because of the misunderstandings it seems to have when I speak. Trust me, they are minor, and I have my hands crossed comfortably while this post is actually getting written. Perhaps Dragon will help me get a lot of writing done without much pain to my wrists. Believe me, I had really put off writing for a while due to the discomfort I had felt starting probably four or five years ago. However, when I look back to that time, I also realize there was probably a little bit of depression going on with me, and that can really paralyze one’s dreams and goals. I just kept thinking, this will only get worse with age; there’s no way I can keep working.  How can I write that book I want to publish?

At any rate, today I am thankful that I pushed past those feelings.  I think I hurt just as much now, but not as much inwardly.  My inner voice tells me, “Crap, it hurts, but I’ve got to get up and do as much as I can today, there are lots of people worse off than I am!”   Whereas, that voice used to say, “Why do I have to hurt so much? I can’t do this, I can’t do that….”  Well, now I’m doing it anyway.  Mind over matter.  I have heard that as we get older, we get more stubborn, and I think pain is all relative.  🙂  However, I realize I do seem to get cranky more towards others, or maybe I have less patience due to chemical/hormonal changes.  Well, it’s natural, and I do try to think before speaking.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I am pretty patient with my middle-schoolers; after all, they are middle-schoolers!

So, I didn’t get much writing done this week, but I got a student newsletter finalized for my Journalism class!  I am so proud of them and their work.  I got some beta reader notes for my short prequel story starring Milt and Tabitha from Detours in Time, so I hope to be working on that in just a few minutes.  I am working to make this statement come true:  “If you dream it, you can do it.”  I have so many writing ideas for the next few years!

On that note, I am off to editing land.  I hope you all have a great weekend and a great week, and thanks for stopping by!  Visit other Weekend Coffee Shares from the blogging community at Eclectic Ali.  Namaste and God bless!

Side Character Sunday. Malachi.

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Photo credit, Pixabay.

On this Side Character Sunday, meet Malachi of Undercurrents in Time.  The nineteen year-old Malachi is a sort of actor hired on by an agency that is contracted by Professor Milt Braddock in his attempt to thwart a future disaster.  This post is a never before published background that I plan to develop into a novel of its own, followed by an excerpt from Undercurrents in Time.

Malachi’s Point of View:

I looked down at the notice in my hands.  It read: “Academic Probation.  Please report to your career counselor’s office to clear yourself of probation and enroll for this semester’s classes.”

Then there was the other notice:  “Notice of financial aid suspension.”  I didn’t even read that one.  I knew what it meant.  I’d been missing assignments left and right and failing most of my recent tests.  I knew I was failing out.  This meant I would have to prove myself or go through a lot of red tape to ever get financial aid again.  My pizza delivery job was not really paying for even my necessities.  I sat on the couch and chewed on a toothpick nervously.

Maybe I could ask them to increase my hours, just until I figured out exactly what I would do next.  I thought about picking up the phone to call my brother, Timothy, but thought better of it.  We hadn’t talked since I left for college, and here I was a year later, picking up the phone to talk?  He’d know something was up right away, and he’d certainly give me hell for it if I asked for money because of failing out of college.

A better idea came to mind.  I got up and opened the door to my apartment, peering across the hall.  Mr. Ackmen’s paper was still on the doormat.  Looking both ways, I stepped from the apartment and stooped to pick it up without making a sound.  Stealthily, I retreated back to my apartment and closed the door ever so quietly.  Classifieds.  There they were.  So many ads for sales that probably involved going door to door.  I did not own a suit.  Though I wouldn’t mind finding a decent paying job, buying a suit, and then getting a better job.  Finally, I found a headline that spoke to me.  “Put Those Acting Skills to Use.”  It read: Acting job.  Get your foot in the door. Tryouts Thurs., 11/04 at 10 a.m. at LLJF,  2033 Spindle St.

There was no phone number, so I figured I’d just show up.  I circled the ad, tore it out, and used a magnet to hold it in place on the refrigerator door.  At least now I had a plan, and with my social skills, I should blow away the competition for this entry level job.  Little did I know just exactly what this job would require of me.

Suffice it to say, there was no Shakespearean play, and Jack Fontaine certainly wasn’t scrreing candidates for commercials or daytime TV.  Still, it became clear I would be putting my acting skills to work, and the job actually did seem right for me.  I walked out of that office hoping I’d played my cards right and would receive that return call ASAP.  I was ready to be just about whomever Jack Fontaine needed me to be, and I knew I was just the right candidate for the job.

*********************

Excerpt from Undercurrents in Time (Malachi meets Dr. Milt Braddock):

Malachi made small talk; he definitely must have been an actor, Milt thought, briefly wondering what his real name was.

Jack headed off on his own, coat obscuring his camera, and Milt and Malachi continued their walk.  Without thinking, Milt tried the door to the Science labs.  Locked.  Of course.  Anyone working in there would have a key.  What would he do if Mahoney happened to walk out and bump into him?

He steered Malachi back down the path to the Health Sciences complex, watching the lab building the whole time.  There were lights on; he could tell. Exactly who was there and what they were doing, he couldn’t know.  He made a mental note to see if Jack could finesse his way into getting a building key.  Jack was able to do a lot of things Milt hadn’t foreseen, so maybe it wasn’t too much.  “So, Malachi, are you thinking of college yourself?  Or have you been in college?”  He forced a smile.

“Look,” Malachi retorted, “I didn’t ask you a thing about yourself, why you’re here, or what you’re doing in these hand-picked areas of the campus.”  He waved his hand toward the Science labs.

Milt was taken aback, not so much by Malachi’s response, but at his own carelessness.  He had let his guard down with a stranger.  Albeit, a stranger who was paid to be discreet, but still a stranger who might tell things for the right price.  Things such as, a man hanging around the Science department at MIT when the campus was all but shut down.  They were snooping around; that had to be obvious to Malachi.  Milt was usually good at compartmentalizing parts of his life, particularly scientific secrets; he knew there were some times you had to fib to avoid revealing them, but he was not used to this sort of stealth.  Still, it could be a matter of utmost importance in his attempt to stop Mahoney.

“Touché,” he responded.  “You know your job well.  I apologize.”  He added with a whisper, “I’m not accustomed to being so duplicitous.  But, you know, I must keep an eye on the competition.”  He then wondered if even that was saying too much.  Louder now, he added, “I’m just here because my nephew can’t decide between Chemistry or Health Sciences. “

“Well done,” Malachi answered, lightening up.  “I’m leaning toward Chemistry.”

“Okay, but we’ll view the Health Sciences area and buildings, just for good measure.”

“Of course, Dad.”  Malachi looked down, walking with his hands in his pockets.

“Uncle,” Milt corrected, looking straight ahead.

“Yeah, well, you’ve spent a lot more time with me than he ever did,” Malachi said, winking.

Learn about the Detours in Time series at Detours in Time on Amazon and read about the character, Malachi in its sequel, Undercurrents in Time.

Roam. Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers.

This week’s photo credit goes to Jodi McKinney.

At dawn, she felt freer than ever.  The dew would dampen her hair, and her spirit could soar.  It had been this way since her youth.

This place was always her home, the one she hoped to return to again and again.  Now, she had done her time and run her race.  Given the world all that she could.

Her babies had grown and didn’t need her anymore.  Though she couldn’t run through the fields as she used to, she’d sit and imagine the blades of grass crunching beneath her as she ran.

Here she would retire, an old gray mare, but here, she felt the most beautiful of all, because here, her spirit could soar.

**Find out more about this weekly photo prompt challenge at Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers