Weekend Coffee Share. My Calling. 8/10

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

 

I’ve had a fruit V8 and now it’s time for my half a cup of coffee. You may enjoy whatever you like!  It will likely be another hot day.  It has already been a good morning.  Back to School season is in full swing, and I have been up before or at 6 a.m. all week, working non-stop either physically, to prepare my room, or mentally, to prepare my lessons.

I stayed up ’til midnight last night and woke up promptly at 6:30 a.m.  No 8-hour sleep-in for me.  I’m already getting into the grind, but I rebelled. After laying in bed, stretching and mentally preparing myself for not being able to sleep late for a year, I spent 20 uninterrupted minutes sitting on the porch watching Bixby’s nose twitch and ears perk. He enjoyed it too, I’m sure.

We observed a lot, like the fact that the sun felt good and my new neighbor gets picked up on a Saturday by a big truck blaring Spanish talk-radio, and some other neighbor’s brakes squeal, and the next door neighbor goes out on his ten- speed at 8 a.m. Also, there was still dew on the ground, so I knew I couldn’t get sunburned, on the porch, at 8 a.m. Nice start to the day! Now my brain is awake.
I need to continue porching it through the fall season, too! 

This video is from a July morning on the porch.  I thought you would enjoy it.  Bixby features frequently in my blog posts and Weekend Coffee Shares.  He is my adopted shelter dog and also a girl’s/writer’s best friend.  We go on adventures together and we sit and observe the world together.

 

Since I have mentioned Back-to School, I want to tell you how truly wonderful it is to take the road less traveled.  I went to a training this week that was not packed full, none of my friends were going to  it.  It was about helping kids understand advanced text.  The instructor spoke to me right away and offered me a matchbox car.  That was fun!  Then we had to talk to others about why we chose the one we chose.  We loved talking about that.  When we answered a question, he asked our name and asked the whole ‘class’ to say “Thank you, Pam.”  There were about 40 people in there, but we talked, we moved around, we used our brains.  We were actively learning, and that’s what we need to do with our students.  This was a wonderful break from an over-crowded meeting room with people on their laptops while someone at the front ‘talks at us.’ It got me really pepped up for what I need to do daily, which is, get to know my kids, and then inspire them to do the work that will help them learn the most.  I think about writing full-time, but I know my work in the public school system is not yet done.  It isn’t easy, and many spend just 1-5 years teaching in public schools, but what is best for the kids? I want to do what is best.  This is were we determine or help affect the culture of our nation in the future.  It feels like an important calling to me.  Writing keeps me sane, but maybe my writing will also inspire someone and get them thinking about how we treat each other?  That can be done in any genre.

On the writing front,   the Malachi manuscript is still with beta readers, and I am entertaining ideas for the cover.  I will be taking my last Teaching Gifted endorsement course this fall, so I may have to slow down progress on that manuscript, but I am holding to a goal of publishing it in the first few months of 2020.  Progress is being made on both of my Detours in Time series books to be produced in audio version.  I’m excited!  Detours in Time may be available for audio purchase in about a month! I just finished listen to the first narration and have sent corrections requests.  Yikes!  This is an awesome feeling.  My narrator for Undercurrents in Time is also getting started.  I’ll share more on that later.  In the meantime, here is a brief clip of the narration for Detours in Time:

https://www.untiedmusic.com/emory/Chapter_11_teaser.mp3

DetoursInTimeAudible

That’s what’s going on in my world!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!  I know I need to exercise now, but I think a hot bath may also be on my schedule for today.  I think I have worked for it.  🙂

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Weekend Coffee Share.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Summer is winding down for me, but not before a last little weekend jaunt for fun and sun in St. Augustine Beach. It really is lovely.

This little guy wasn’t happy to see me packing, but my mom got home later that same day and she and my son we’re here to take care of him. He was so ecstatic when I returned today.

We got our share of sun, walking, nature, good food and fun.

The beach wasn’t too crowded Friday afternoon, but everyone was quite curious about this little rock star who likely just wanted to find shade. Kenny said this was not a sea turtle. He passed right by us and looked Kenny in the face as if to say, so long!

Writing Status

On the author front, the Detours in Time audiobook has been recorded and just needs to be edited! I may have a narrator for Undercurrents in Time! The Malachi manuscript has been sent to its second beta reader, and I discovered an old serial story of dystopian flavor that I really should dust off, polish, and grow to fruition as a novel or novella. I plan to! I haven’t thought about this stuff since we left town Thursday, but I am catching up on e-mail today and remembering where I left off. There is plenty to keep me busy!

So, that’s my week in a nutshell. Never a dull moment, but I think I did a great job for a couple of days forgetting my to-do list! Have a great weekend and week to come!

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/13. A Writer’s Life.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where the Florida temperature may tempt you to take your coffee iced, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

Be sure to check out my flash fiction for this week (there is one, a quick read on one young man’s struggle growing up): Take a Hike #RDP

This week, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with a writer friend at Whole Foods Tuesday and lunch with a teacher friend on Wednesday!  I am passionate about writing and passionate about teaching, so both days, I was fueled.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like much is going on with my writing, but I really do have a lot in progress and a lot of ideas in the hopper.

In fact, I wrote a Facebook post about this, as I really am working on a lot this summer, but I tell people, “No, I’m not working a summer job.”  People need to appreciate the work a writer does, though.  Here is the post:

I am a Writer Living the Dream, Edition 1~
1. Since I am an introvert (mostly), I am find staying inside a few hours this morning at my laptop, promoting the Undercurrents in Time Kindle and working on the next book, “Malachi,” a natural thing to do. I’ve posted on Facebook & Twitter about the promotion. Crossing my fingers. Sold 1 yesterday and 1 today.    Undercurrents in Time is the sequel to Detours.  You can check it out or order it here: Undercurrents in Time on Amazon

-1. Conversely, being able to sit so long at the laptop doing “book stuff” (which includes sometimes seeing what everyone on Facebook is up to), makes me stiff and causes lower back pain. So, I get up when it screams at me. I got up to type this, in fact. 
2. In my blog world on WordPress, I am promoting some other authors who are part of this online Book Club where authors or readers read and give reviews, sometimes getting reads and reviews.  I also plan to put more Flash fiction there in the next weeks; I am just itching to do so. It will be on my own schedule, though.  The blogs on other authors are for members of Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (an International Writer’s Association).  They are under the category of Authors Discovered and can be found by clicking that category to the right of the page or try clicking this link to see the most recent posts on the various featured authors:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/category/authors-discovered/
3. I’ve sent the first few pages of the work in progress “Malachi” to a writer friend for thoughts and ideas. I am not sure who I am marketing it towards, but it intersects with events and characters in Detours in Time Book2 (Undercurrents in Time).  Mom said, it’s really different, that I am “branching out.” This could only be a good thing, right? Though I’ve read it’s good to find your own niche, however, I want to do different things as well, and I don’t like formulaic advice. Gotta be me! I also have contacted two professional beta readers about this new manuscript. I have typed the whole book including the ending! Now, I just need to see if there are plot holes that I can’t see, as it is my own personal work of art. We aren’t that objective about things we create and love. I love all of my books and my characters, how could I not?
4. I sent a newsletter yesterday to 365 people who don’t seem to care. Each time I send one, 5-7 unsubscribe, but that happens when they may have signed up just to get a freebie. My freebies are only short stories or previews now. Learning as I go. Haven’t tried for new subscribers in a while, but I will soon.
5. This felt good, though: I chose a chapter that I think is quite interesting in “Malachi” that I will put through Calbri (not sure about the name) to put in BookFunnel as a free sample. I’ll let you know when it’s available!
6. With the writing of “Malachi,” I have interjected the character of Ellie from Undercurrents in Time. Lines come to me while I’m driving or brushing my teeth. I’m writing down bits here and there and then will develop my outline for the book to follow “Malachi,” starring Ellie, who is another unique character from Undercurrents in Time. They will both intersect in Ellie’s book as well (yet to be titled).
7. I anxiously await the narration to be done on the Detours in Time audiobook as I am hoping I will gain lots of new Detours readers/listereners in that way, and it should come out this fall, between Sept. and Nov. is the plan. I have decided on text for the audition for Undercurrents in Time as well so I need to set that up on the Audible production site.
8. When people ask if I am working this summer, I say no. I guess I love doing this stuff, but let’s be honest:  It is work. Call it a labor of love!

So, that pretty much sums up my week!  On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., it was 80 with 88 degree humiture, and my dog and I couldn’t quite take coffee hour on the porch; we had to go inside.  I took him to the park Thursday around 10 and he was panting so much.  I need to start waking up earlier!  My summer Netflix habit has had me staying up until midnight watching Ozark, an awesome but dark show sort of like Breaking Bad but set in hillbilly country, and the first season of Outlander.  This is what teachers do in the summer, isn’t it?  I’m sure I won’t have much time once school starts.  Have a great week and enjoy what is left of summer!

Weekend Coffee Share, 6/29/19

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Pull up a chair and grab your drink of choice. As you can see, Bixby prefers a puppicino! NO, I porbably didn’t spell it right; it’s a made up word anyway!  It has been a hot week. The heat and humidity together made it feel like 110 degrees at times. Yikes!

I was glad to be indoors for a while at the WordPress Wordcamp today. It was so interesting and at times, overwhelming.

Here are three takeaways:

1. The sessions are not long enough for you to actually set up everything that you might want to on your site, so take notes! I plan to ruminate on the information later.

2. There is sooo much covered, and if you are merely a fledgling techie like me, take note of sites recommended or bookmark them on your laptop to review when there is more time.

3. Make it a point to return the next time there is a Wordcamp in town! Next time, I’ll have a better idea which sessions would best pertain to me. The most helpful today was on planning content. There were many things in that session I plan to put to use!

Besides it being interesting, I met some nice folks, and the lunch was great!

What I’m going to remember most is the idea of having a content plan. Saturday is already a great time for networking and community, as we do with the Weekend Coffee Share.

Besides working a little more on my work-in-progress, Malachi, I joined the Friday Fictioneers prompt challenge and entered my own little flash-fiction.  Mny reders are interpreting it in different ways! Check it out:  Observations at the Theater, Friday Fictioneers

I thank you for stopping by and hate to cut it short, but I am a little tired after this day of learning so many new things and now there is dinner to consider.

I hope you all have a great week! I am planning a little bit of writing on my novel in progress next week, and I’ll be working up that content plan for my blog and social media. Then there is also Independence Day. Enjoy it! I don’t have firm plans yet, but I’ll definitely be comforting my dog from the neighborhood sounds of fireworks. Poor doggie can’t stand the noise. 😦

Weekend Coffee Share. Summer Days and Ways

 No coffee needed for Bixby!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Summer is in full swing, and I’m adjusting to sleeping in, more time with the dog, and a lot less stress! On the topic of stress, I’ve been making an effort to have at least two days weekly where I only drink half a cup of coffee. Let me be honest, yesterday was the second day this week, and my ability to focus was really lacking. I was working on a few of my goals as an author, but I was pretty distracted and quite slow to gain traction.  I did make it to yoga, though, and, wow! That is always good for my mood and relaxation.

I’ve been attending yoga twice weekly since summer’s start and going to Stretchzone in addition to more frequent walks. Stretchzone is a place where you do assisted stretch with a person who is usually licensed in Sports Medicine or physical therapy. I really like it, and I’m trying it because having butt in chair to write or laying around reading ( both of which I’ve been doing) can bother my lower back and sciatica.

Seen on Thursday’s walk. Colorful Shrooms!

So what am I up to as an author? Why am I sitting in that chair? I’ve got Detours in Time in audiobook production with an awesome narrator, I’m working on Malachi (work in progress), and I’m starting Undercurrents in Time on the audiobook process. I have to prepare files of scenes from Undercurrents that lend themselves to narration. ( Starting that this week). I’ve had Detours in Time on a Countdown deal for .99 this week which ends Sunday. Detours in Time is a fun, yet thought-provoking read of a woman and a scientist who travel to the future, then back and forward again,  and as a result, they learn a lot about their own families and themselves, as well as encountering some moral dilemmas.  Can you just observe a train-wreck?  That was metaphorical, but think about it.  Find out about Detours in Time or download it here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF

BTW, Undercurrents, the continuation, will also be on a Countdown deal in two to three weeks. I’ll keep you posted, because someone might be interested!

Today, my dog, Bixby and I are on the road with my boyfriend, Kenny. We’re going to Brunswick, Ga to see his dad and stepmom. It will be a low key visit, with conversation and lunch at his house. We’ll be quite entertained watching my dog and their little poodle chase each other around, though!

Road trip photo!

The author tasks and goals will wait until tomorrow, after I’ve enjoyed some sunshine!  Thank you for stopping by for our coffee chat, and have a great summer week!

Weekend Coffee Share. Summer Goals!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. This is the week I started my true relaxation and “detox” from stress, including occasional half-cup-of coffee days. I’m writing here and there, but I have no set deadlines this summer.

I do have goals, though. Staying healthy and not feeling stiff or pained every day are two of the biggest. The issue came up last week when my boyfriend and I went on a four hour drive to the memorial for my best friend’s husband. I get stiff just from sitting in a car for those few hours, and we came back the next afternoon.

 Friends are also family.

It was an emotional visit, but this visit was also very life-affirming. I’ve known my friend since age 13. We know so much about each other and have seen each other through some really hard times. We’ve been separated many times by circumstances and distance. Her second husband recently became ill and was hospitalized at the end. He was one of the best husbands in my opinion, even though I only met him once. She loved him very much, and everything she said at the memorial just showed she was full of appreciation for her time with him and relief that his pain was over.  In other words, she was not a basket case at all.  Her husband, whom she has known five to six years and been married to for three, had been sick in the last two years.  Near the end, he developed a rare disease, calciphylaxis, and was in the hospital for most of this last year.  It breaks my heart, but in talking with her I could see that she wasn’t dwelling on the sorrow, and instead was focusing on the wonderful times they had together.  I want to make sure to go and see her or spend time with her more often.

After returning, I’ve been setting a lot of appointments this week.  Routine stuff, and I made it to yoga twice in one week!  I felt great after yesterday’s class, but I feel sore today, so maybe I just have to get used to it.  I also went and tried out a place called Stretch Zone that does assisted stretch.  I decided I’d go back, so I purchased a month’s package to see how I improve after that month.  “Spend all you have for loveliness,” someone said, somewhere.  I used to spend it on vacations and concerts, now I am having to invest in being healthy and a whole person.  In my opinion, well worth it!  It’ll make my next vacation more enjoyable.  I also took my furbaby to get a haircut yesterday.  Yeah, he knows he’s handsome. 🙂

Beside that and binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve been working with a narrator to get Detours in Time onto audio, and after that, Undercurrents in Time as well! I’m trying to finish the Malachi manuscript, but I find I get pretty stiff when sitting in the same place for too long (as mentioned above).  Sometimes I stand near the kitchen counter and type.   I will be posting some brief excerpts in the next week or two!  In reading, I’m alternating between a Kindle book and its audio. That seems to work with my goal of not being too still. Please pray for me so I can get this book finished!  I think I am incorporating a good plan to keep moving.

I hope you all have a great week and are enjoying your summer. Happy Pride month to those of you who are, or have a friend or loved one that is, LGBTQ.  Happy summer to all!

Weekend Coffee Share. Out of my Head, and onto the Page.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

What a lovely weekend it is! Here in the southeast U.S., it will be close to 100 degrees today! I took Bixby to the dog park Saturday, and we could not even last an hour.
There were plenty of dogs, and he loved that, but they all where panting heavily in no time in that heat. At least he drank a lot of water! The dog park is always a treat for me as well; I love to watch dogs play.

I am approaching my birthday this coming week. It makes me look back and ponder my life and choices while appreciating all that has been given me. I have been blessed in so many ways.

This throwback photo is of me in April, 1996, either a week before or the day before I gave birth to my son. All of this talk of women’s reproductive rights gets me thinking. My son was certainly planned and wanted. For those who had a child that was not planned, I honor you as well. No two experiences with motherhood are the same. How different could the pregnancy experience be for someone who is raped or does not have access to birth control? We do not need to move backward with women’s rights, or the rights of any other sort of person! I suppose I’ll be accused of being political. Posting certain things on my Facebook can lead to arguments from some of my staunchly GOP friends. I have some in my family, too. I love them no matter what and try to disagree amicably.

All of this reflection has led to me setting up a separate Facebook to share some poems and past journal entries about my experiences as a woman. Oddly, if I try to boost any of those posts or the page, FB wants an extra authentication process, meaning I will likely be put on a list somewhere. I feel so important now! I am tired of holding my tongue just because I am a girl, and I have never picketed for women’s rights. I am a firm believer that the pen is mightier than the sword.

As part of this whole process, I have considered writing some books under a pen name, and do not always feel comfortable sharing certain things under my own name that involve subverting the paradigm or opening eyes to my point of view, so I’m trying it out to see how it goes.

My most recent post was a poem entitled “Sorry,” which is all about the way many of us have been raised to be sorry for so many things, when we just needed to express our emotions or we didn’t want a hug from Dad’s scary old man friend. You know, taught to be sorry when we didn’t live up to others’ expectations of how we should behave as a girl.

I do think this may lead into a book someday, but I have no other details. I am still working on my WIP, Malachi, and I am considering a summer trip to the place which is the setting of this book. Of course, this means I need to get to planning, and I am so behind on that. I can do this!

Why was she always so sorry? (Image via Pixabay).

Thank you for stopping by for my Weekend Coffee Share! I know I have mostly been sharing about what’s going on in my head, but hey, I am doing something about it, because my thoughts don’t eat me up anymore. Have a great week!