Weekend Coffee Share, What’s New?

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It has been an exciting weekend, and today I am relaxing with green matcha tea, letting my breakfast settle before taking my son to the gym in a little while. Today is decompress day and family day.

So, what was the excitement about? Yesterday, I had a Zoom interview about my books and my writing process with Rave Reviews Book Club, and online reading/writer’s club that I have belonged to since 2016. They have so many activities and opportunities for sharing our work and learning about marketing; I only usually join in on some of them due to working full-time, but I plan to join in on more of them! Why should I hide my light? Why should I pay hundred of dollars a month to advertise my books? I suppose opinions could differ on that, and I am still unsure, but I felt really good about the interview and will share the link when it is available!

The promo page for the interview can be seen here: https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/rrbc-rrbceyesonthebook/

Another cause for excitement was learning that I was 1st Runner Up in a short story contest! My short story, Crossroads Diner #205 won 1st Runner Up in the Alpha-Omega Short Story contest with Rave Reviews Book Club. I really enjoyed doing this, and it has encouraged me to write more short stories.

Crossroads Diner is sort of other-wordly and metaphysical, all while set in a typical diner with jaded staff and weary travelers. However, everything is not as it seems. Check it out and read it for yourself! Sometimes a stop along the way serves an important purpose in our journey: https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN

Well, I almost escaped! πŸ˜‰

Last night, my date, someone I’d dated years ago and have been seeing again for four months, took me out to dinner with some of his close friends at a waterfront restaurant, and afterward, we went to an Escape Room with the Old Jail theme in St Augustine. It was fun searching for clues and trying to beat the clock! I have a lot of fun with this fellow, so it’s not surprising. πŸ™‚

That’s all for now. Have a great week, everyone!

In A Wave. #RDP #poetry

Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

Today is where we live,

but yesterday is a place we visit

quite often, as mental time-travelers

in a wave of nostalgia or memory

of a little child’s hand in yours,

or a wave of fear

of the threat heard in a voice,

or of screeching tires,

or the shared memory

of being wedged between two other cars.

A wave of nostalgia could bring

a memory of young love

that was new, or

of climbing trees

in springtime,

scraping our knees and

running onward anyway, no care

but for the present moment.

We travel to remember

Why we don’t go certain places,

if we can trust a certain person,

or in moments we need to feel

our life has meaning.

We can forgive in ten seconds

but remember years later;

Love, regret, and fear are automatic.

But, just like swimming through the waves,

living in the present must be learned.

~~~~~~~~

**These thoughts inspired by the music of Still Corners’ song, The Trip. Comforting, yet slightly haunting.

***You may visit today’s RagTag Community prompt and challenge at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/10/02/rdp-saturday-wave/

Weekend Coffee Share. Lit!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today is half-caff coffee day for me. Enjoy whatever you like, and pull up a chair for this virtual cafe-chat!

Coldplay sets the musical ambiance, and my once-again-fluffy dog wanders about, summer haircut growing out. It has been a nice, cool few days here in Northeast Florida, but today feels warmer. Still, it is lovely out. Autumn is here. I enjoyed a Thai dinner with my friend last night. The sun set through the window as we ate, conversed, and laughed. It is setting earlier these days. Sometimes that’s the main indication of a season change in my corner of the world. I’m sort of used to it. πŸ™‚ My ‘friend’ is a young man I dated 2o years ago, and we re-connected a few months ago. I think we are good for each other at this point in our lives.

This last week was full of activity, and I’m keeping quite busy lately. I’m running the yearbook club this year, and meetings with students will start Monday. In National news, last week was #ReadaPoemtoaChild week. I have a Poe t-shirt, so I read a poem by Poe to my class, a lesser known poem called The Magician. My students loved it.

My life is Lit! πŸ™‚

I asked a student to take pictures. The kids loved it! My teacher friend next door read a poem by Maya Angelou and dressed in a lovely African-style print, touching on the history of our nation at the time the poem was printed. She incorporated some Civil Rights background. It’s really awesome when we can all communicate and pull something together like this on our own. Sadly, so many days we’re too concerned about ourselves and what’s going on behind the doors of our own classrooms.

Still, now and then the magic comes together. So, we keep taking chances that it will work. We must try, right?

As far as writing, I am so busy with life, and I don’t like sitting at the computer for too long. There are ongoing ideas that will be finished further down the road. However, I am getting ideas for Janie and second chances, so that is the basis for my new writing idea, which is a short story, length to be determined. Janie is in my published short story of this summer called Crossroads Diner #205. Find out more about this Kindle story here, which also has a theme of second chances: https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-between-Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa-ebook/dp/B098269VSN

Thanks for stopping by for a brief chat. I am off to get a hair trim soon. Monday is picture day at school! Have a great week, everyone.

Weekend Coffee Share, Fall Frenzy

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a day for matcha green tea, since yesterday was my half-caff day. I am sticking to the green tea routine with coffee as a treat maybe twice a week. Sleep is more important to me these days.

The weather report was promising rain, but the sun has been peaking in and then fading out this morning. I think rain will come later. My week was so busy, I hardly had time to read, and writing seems to be just sporadic these days. This pandemic and my teaching job seem to cause a special kind of stress, and since I’ve dealt with stress a long time in my own ways, this was also a week for sciatica and on/off back pain. I may have to get back to using the Curable app or at least following meditations on Youtube. Yes, I have been the kind of person who internalizes stress or anxiety and holds in anger or resentment. I’ve been trying to deal with it, but then, sometimes I get too busy.

I can tell myself I have an important job, and that I am making a difference, but I have to maintain the downtime for myself. This is most noticeable with the Back-to School swing. I had summer off and dealt with a lot of things in my life, so now I’m busy again. This weekend is a respite. I saw my (new/old flame) boyfriend last night for a delicious Italian dinner, and today I am getting a pedicure. Outdoor time may be in order, since the sun is holding steady currently. I’m still relaxing after breakfast, though.

There is not much that’s interesting to share except that I’ve been enjoying my students in the Newspaper Club, who write about what they want and accept editing suggestions gracefully; boy, do they ever love to write! It’s refreshing. I’m sponsoring the Yearbook Club, and we’ll start meeting and get geared up on the 27th. Work was been hectic with grades due last Friday and then an online Open House in the evening this past Tuesday. I’m working on time-management and have a true need to work-smarter-not-harder.

I’ve been reading a fiction book about Bigfoot. I may explore the whole series, it’s kind of interesting. Books have to catch my attention these days, and it is easier for them to lose me, a result likely of the pandemic, all that is going on, and maybe because of my age and how I handle my stress and responsibilities. As I said, writing is sporadic, but last week I posted a poem in response to the Ragtag Daily prompt. View it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/a-kaleidoscope-rdp/

This morning, I received a notification from a genealogy site I belong to called Family Search. I used to be all into that sort of thing; I have a lot of family lines from different places and love knowing ‘where I’m from’ and about my ancestors. My paternal aunt lives in Utah and has been very active in searching those family roots and introduced me to Family Search. All I have today is photos, one from mom’s side and an ancestor from the Denmark line, and one from my dad’s line from the Johnston’s, a relative from England but of a line that could be also Scottish.

I love looking at these old photographs. I haven’t been as active in searching these things as I was in 2013, but they send me hints, so I know I have some living relatives who are cataloging and collecting, so it is very worthwhile for me to belong to such a site. I used to try to construct the background stories of my ancestors. I think that’s what got me started in writing fiction. Historical fiction is also very interesting to me.

Well, I had plans and ideas for today, but I don’t stick to a constrained schedule on Saturdays, except that there’s a 3:00 appointment for the pedicure. I hope you all have a great week!

A Kaleidoscope #RDP

Photo by Fiona Art on Pexels.com

Maybe you have a bland color you don’t like,

But you find a way to incorporate others…

The blue that calms you, the blue that

electrifies you

The green that makes you feel embraced

like a long-time trusted friend

The brown that feels like

suddenly falling in the mud

The yellow like the sun that lifts you up

and helps you dust off and move again.

The bright orange of learning new things

and of laughter with a friend.

Such is the contrast of life, along the way

Enjoying all that we are, adapting

to the mysteries of each day.

**Posted in response to the daily prompt challenge at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/09/11/rdp-saturday-kaleidoscope/

Weekend Coffee Share. Where I am

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Today was a green tea day for me, and very much a rest and restore day. Yesterday after work, I got a cold tea at Starbucks and sat outside, since the air was breezy and nice for a change. Their inside seating was closed off anyway, thanks to COVID.

Time to rest and restore. I deserve it. I got my exercise this morning and walked the dog for a while. The fresh air was great once again.

A post came up in my Facebook memories feed that I’d like to share. I’m sort of in a peaceful place with life and acceptance right now, but I realize I need to stop expecting something bad to crop up, and I certainly need to disengage from COVID news or mask controversy! Maybe more gratitude is what I need.

I wrote the following post when thinking of the lotus and all it represents: “Be the lotus flower and rise out of the muck. Don’t be ashamed of your low beginnings or that you were underwater last week. Be all that you can be the minute you feel the sun on your face; embrace your beginnings or your dark yesterdays, for they brought you to where you are right now.”

Yes, this is where I am today. Gratitude. I think I should ponder on that again.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, Change for the Better

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer! It’s a coffee day, half-caff, that is. It is Sunday and I’m almost ready for church, multi-tasking with a million coffee-inspired ideas in my head that don’t all relate to where I’m going this morning. Okay, some of them do, but I am seriously multi-tasking in my head.

Change is on the wind these days! I’m not talking about a change of season; here in Northeast Florida we won’t get that until probably October if we’re lucky, barring the approach of a hurricane, which is approaching the west side of my state currently. No, I’m talking about changes in my life.

Who’s afraid of change? Not I! Yesterday was a good day. I got my lowlights and and highlights! My hair is getting longer, gradually. However, some changes have been more sudden. In the last month, my son moved back home with me (for the best at this time), he got a new job, I started a new school year, I became yearbook advisor at school, and the guy I’m dating moved closer. I’m optimistic about all of it! My son had a rough summer but is ‘getting it together. I have faith that the good will continue.

Sudden change can be an adjustment, and I’m sure experiencing that, but it all seems to be okay! I’m happy to help my son out. I’m getting paid for the new responsibility at school, and as I’ve gradually learned, I enjoy and flourish with the nurturing of students’ skills in extra-curricular areas. I love helping them to grow socially and emotionally.

I myself am learning new things, and it seems to be great for my brain. As long as I make time for relaxation and sleep, I think this is a positive road for me. So, today I am seeing bright skies, and not just because it is sunny and hot outside!

This week, I’ve been promoting a prequel to my Detours in Time series, The Temporal Test. Reviewed as β€œAwesome storytelling and storyline!” You might enjoy this short read, longer than a short story and slightly shorter than a novelette. Get a free download here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JQL5NNM Also, I’ve put Detours in Time, a full-length novel, at a reduced price of .99 for a limited time. https://www.amazon.com/Detours-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B0711ZW6XF It is an award-winning #scifi book with a sweet romance included and has been enjoyed by readers of all ages.

It has been a while since I actively promoted my published books. Take a look if you are so inclined. πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Coffee Share, Our Selves.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair; Bixby and I are getting philosophical today over green matcha tea. It’s a hot and muggy day, so the A/C is on and the sunlight peeks through my blinds.

I’m tired of always talking about the same things here; my family situation keeps changing, and my family member who had left on a bad note is now back and in need of a lot of patience, but let me share what has got me philosophizing and looking inward. I saw a thought-provoking quote on social media this morning….

So I was thinking, didn’t who I used to be affect who I am today? I made mistakes, trusted the wrong people, and tried to be a good child to avoid conflict at home, therefore only rebelling in quiet ways and unleashing worry on my mother but not every outwardly rebelling against my father whose temper was worse than hers; he wasn’t there after age 10, so his knowledge of any of my rebellion was just second-hand after that.

As a child, I don’t think I trusted many people, but as a teen and young adult, I think trusting the wrong people made me just trust myself more in the long run; that is, after I beat myself up for stepping in it. Perhaps it made me more aware and more wary. I gauge the moments when it’s best to keep it close to the vest, and when to wear my heart on my sleeve.

What I am saying is, there is nothing wrong with who I was. Everything was a learning experience. The only error would be to never learn from the experiences that told me ‘don’t go there next time’ or ‘let him go’ or ‘she/he has shown you who they really are; pay attention.’

I would like to let go of the remnants of the girl who was so anxious when first learning to drive that she took 3 tries to get her license, of the girl who applied for a first job at a fast food chain but ran out of confidence when told to go back and talk to the manager, and the one who didn’t speak up for herself when a ‘friend’ made fun of her in front of other kids in school. It’s okay, I stopped talking to them. I showed them…I was lonely, but I saw regret in their face. I would do it differently today, but through all these things I learned to be stronger.

So, do we let go the remnants of our younger, unsure selves? The ones who put up with boorish family members just because they were ‘family’? The parts that always felt a need to show sympathy for the underdogs to the point we had to endure their odd characteristics that separated us from our friends. Yes. But how can we let go the girl who listens to people at a dinner party before jumping in and being friendly in order to avoid suffering the company of a boor all evening? Why would we let go of the specific facets of our personalities, the intuitive, empathetic parts of ourselves?

‘Guard your heart,’ a friend once told me. That was not always me, but what is me is the person who shares her heart with young people to show them that being a person to others matters, who gives a little more when I feel and read the need on someone’s face. And I still avoid conflict, but I will speak up for myself, though I will do it calmly; I insist on doing this calmly and if it becomes an argument, I will be the better person.

So, who I am evolving to be should be stronger than who I was, but there are remnants of a past me that led to where I am today. I keep learning a lot about myself, how to be myself, and how to keep making myself a better person. Therefore, I both agree and disagree with this statement.

It also makes me think of who I’ll be in the next phase of my life, the one after I am a teacher. My personality will still be here. Will I still have the desire to be a positive influence on young people? Will I find a way to do that daily and perhaps hold a job that allows this? Within the next decade, I’ll have the opportunity for such change. It could be a little scary; I tend to stay so long in one job, but I think this will be exciting. I am going to leave the remnant behind that made me stay in a situation much longer than I should. I will keep evolving, so I won’t be carrying remnants of my old self, just evolved pieces of me that form who I have become.

Stay safe, my friends!

Made of Cast Iron

The ‘cast iron plant’–25 years and counting

You were once a wee one

How you needed me, needed love

I nurtured you the best I could

Encouraged you to grow into your own

You were an active little boy

Who loved mud and chasing birds

How those legs would move!

Then one day, they grew long,

You seemed awkward, but kept growing

It grew as well, with our moves,

Your ‘birth’ day cast iron plant,

Through the adjustments and changes.

Still, what remained the same

Was the hearts that were your home.

Your offshoot didn’t flourish when we gave it away,

So it just goes to show,

One flourishes when they know where is home…

We all need a welcoming place called home

To nurture, encourage, and help us grow.

You can always return to home.

Weekend Coffee Share, Outlook Adjust

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s nice and sunny, and I’ve imbibed cold green tea today. Bixby is at my feet, and Indie Folk music is playing, a calm, light atmosphere.

Bixby had his end of summer haircut and is cute as always…

I’ve been back at school for a week, attending meetings, taking training, and planning my classroom set-up. It appears I’ll have a lot of low level learners in addition to Advanced classes with Gifted students, so I’ll have three different types of classes to teach for English Language Arts. I’m expecting a challenge, and I’m nervous.

I can still find inspiration, though.

I still believe there are students I can reach and that I reached several last year. Perhaps I just need to believe in myself more as we start anew again with another set of students, while recalling what I’ve learned from last year’s kids.

At the back of my mind and in the forefront of the news is the COVID situation. Florida has had a lot of COVID hospitalizations in the last few months and a few deaths as well. At work, we are required to wear a mask for 30 days. I’ll do that to benefit a child. However, not all students will be wearing one, as they are not required to.

If you think these policies are sort of confusing, I agree. I’m being careful even though I’m fully vaccinated. Some vaccinated folks are still getting COVID, but I believe the symptoms are allayed in most.

On the bright side, I got together with my companion last night. He took me out for steak dinner, and I had flavored brussel sprouts on the side that were scrumptious! Well, so was the steak, and the company. πŸ˜‰

My writing feels like it’s suffering. My emotions are overwrought over my struggling family member who barely speaks to me lately. My intellect is challenged over my upcoming school year. But I still find time to meet up and laugh with this man who listens and lightens my mood, and I have some dinner plans with friends for next week. All are forms of self-care.

Perhaps my writing situation is different since I don’t like to sit still much lately. Fact: I’m laying on the couch typing this on my phone. When done, it’s time to exercise. I’ve written little bits of Ellie’s story in a notebook. We adapt as needed, I guess. I also wrote about Special Family Dynamics based on reading I have done about dealing with a family member who is ill. You can view it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/navigating-special-family-dynamics/ It is based on what has been foremost in my mind lately, and I wrote it to condense things that I have learned as reminders to myself on how to manage emotionally.

Don’t worry, I’m not done sharing stories yet, fiction or non. This Coffee Share is my way of sharing little bits of my story. I thank you for reading this far. How has your week been?