Weekend Coffee Share. Work/Life Balance… Still a Challenge.

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

Grab a cup of whatever pleases you, I know I myself had a good cup of coffee today with milk and honey creamer. After spending the morning alternating between sending parent e-mails, entering grades, and working on my Class Dojo site with 30 min. exercise at one point and a little time working on my authorship, I think the topic of work/life balance is a good one to bring up at this time.  Don’t worry, we can talk about the rest, too!  Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage!

It has been another busy week.  Work, grades, planning new lessons.  Students are more of  a challenge the closer we get to the holidays. (Hence, the parent e-mails this morning).  Thursday consisted of two separate doctor appointments.  No new issues were found, but the doctor, after a discussion of the pain in my shoulder and arm, is sending me for an MRI and x-ray and referring me to physical therapy. The physical therapy is probably a good thing, since this has been bothering me even after going to chiropractic for a year. Don’t get me wrong, visiting a chiropractor has really helped my back and spine. So I’m adding one more appointment and it’s increasing my need for work and life balance. I can do this.

I may have mentioned I was going to be visiting Kingsland, Georgia with my boyfriend in last week’s coffee share. We were there visiting his dad who recently got a new health diagnosis that has been worrying my boyfriend. Well, we had a nice visit, and afterward decided to visit Neutral Zone Studios which, as a friend had told me just that day, was having a Star Trek exhibit where you could visit the set. Evidently they do a lot of fan films there. Well, we hammed it up and had lot of fun. I think we really needed that.  Beam me up!

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I have been spending a little bit of time each evening for about a week listening to the narrators chapters for my book, Undercurrents in Time. It will soon be an audiobook, and I am so excited. She is doing a great job, and it’s all going smoothly, except for a little delayed with the ACX audio system. That doesn’t really bother me, because I really can’t listen to more than one chapter per night with everything else going on in my life. So no problem. I also actually enjoying listening to her read the story, and like hearing it again through the narrator’s tone and inflection. I think you all will enjoy it too! I have also sent my manuscript, Malachi to another beta reader. I think that pretty much be done with the story soon, and it will be on to editing and soon, the designing of the book cover, which really gets me excited!

**Today’s coffee share has been written with the aid of Dragon dictation, something I have not used for a while, but I felt like I should give my arm and shoulder a break. So as a result, I have noticed a font change when there shouldn’t have been, and I have had to stop and change some of the words that the dictation misunderstood from my voice. I feel like I might have discussed a few more topics here, but it’s just time to lay back and relax and read a book now. I did a lot of this morning, though. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend and a wonderful week next week.

 

Weekend Coffee Share, 10/05/19. Author, teacher, mom

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where dreams run rampant and reality competes for equal coverage. The Coffee Share is hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com and takes place every week. Grab your favorite beverage and join me, I know I sure needed coffee this morning!

My week was busy and packed with meetings as well as at least two nights late at work. We’re getting toward the end of first quarter, testing is happening next week, and I’ve volunteered for a low-paying leadership opportunity at my school, mostly because no one else wanted to do it. I may talk more on this later, but not right now. It’s time for the fun stuff.

No, not the grading I did this morning before getting my hair done, and not the sciatica that robbed me of early morning sleep. 😦 I had an appointment to get author photos today after my hair appointment and lunch. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off after the lost sleep and the resulting eye bags, but I wore real mascara for ththe first time in years, slapped on some extra foundation, and got going

The photographer was a friend I taught with last year. She seems knowledgeable and had lots of ideas for poses. We even did a few casual/fun ones! The author headshots don’t show my jeans, so when they come out, just forget what you know. 🙂 Here’s one of the casual ones (I rather like the shadows) :).

There is more on the author front, such as the release of my novel, Detours in Time in audiobook! I also worked a little on the paperback of From Bedlam to Ben, because my students are asking about my writing. I think that’s a good one for teens with identity crises. I also owe Malachi some editing time sometime soon. I still think I can make an April release!

Speaking of owing someone some quality time, my boyfriend and I are going to an open-mic comedy night, I’m taking my dog to the dog park tomorrow, and my son and I had some conversation at dinner last night. That felt good. He has a new job, is getting more responsibility, and is getting home later as well. Such is life. Enjoy every little moment, and I do.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Someone is begging me for playtime…

Weekend Coffee Share. Back to Normal, My Version of it!

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

Our area was spared of the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, but sadly, the Bahamas was hurt. I spent a terribly exorbitant amount of time watching Netflix (The Walking Dead and Money Heist) and eating things I don’t normally let myself eat. The brookie, for example, was my best and most decadent find, a cookie baked into a brownie that sat by the checkout at a convenience store my son and I went to on a bored, stir crazy soda run. I shudder now to think of how that took me beyond my carb and sugar limit. Carpe diem, they say. 🙂 School was cancelled for three days, and my son’s job for two of them. We somehow survived with comfort eating and Netflix binges. I’ll own up to it.

I’ve been doing more edits in conjunction with my producer on my audiobook for Detours in Time. Soon, it will be released! I work on the Malachi manuscript when I get time. It is going to be strange, as it is 99% character study that ties in to my sci-fi series, but it will only have hints at some sci-fi goings on. The character is however, going through a very interesting time of his young life. Still, what the heck am I doing? I think it’s what the character wants me to do, therefore, it’s what I want to do! Life is short, and I have the ideas coming to me daily for the sci-fi followup; think of it as a younger generation Detours in Time, and yes, it is part of that series. Think of Star Trek, the Next Generation. I can only hope my strategy could be compared to such a giant…

On the writing front, I’ve been polishing some stories I’ve written over the last 3 years, two that had been entered into story-to-screen contests. I sent one of them off to a short story contest. The other, I’m considering converting from script to a story. I am trying to keep my eyes open for anthologies where they might fit, some are sci-fi, and some are supernatural/paranormal. Let me know if you hear of any anthologies taking submissions! I also wrote a poem titled “Psychedelic” this week in response to a one word prompt. It is about someone who had a very cool grandma. I didn’t know my grandma that well, so this is all imagination. Please view it here: “Psychedelic,” a Poem

The selfie is included because I just had my hair done today and I feel great about it. She styles it better than I ever could, as I normally don’t have patience for the hair dryer. There is a lot to be said for smiles! Smiling makes the bags under my eyes almost invisible. So, I thought I’d share. I will be getting new author photos done soon, since I hope to be publishing Malachi in March or April. That is, if my nerves don’t get to me, as in, how dare I depart from my sci-fi ways? How dare I place the focus squarely on one character and his struggles….I don’t know. I think I’ll get my nerve back. Not doing so will only lead to inaction, which I cannot stand; it interfered with my writing for too many years! Here’s to action, my friends, and forging onward!

Thanks for stopping by as I drank my cold coffee. At 97 degrees, it seemed called for. Have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, The Health Edition

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

Enjoy your favorite beverage and stay for a chat in the air conditioning; it still feels hot and sticky out there!

It has been another week on the job, and many evenings I came home with sore feet and legs.  Gladly, I made it to yoga Wednesday night, which helped!  I feel really busy now, as I am trying to creating challenging lessons and projects, and working on proofing the final chapters of the audiobook for Detours in Time.

Do any of you take statins?  If you’re reading this and thinking, that’ll never be me, or that’s for old folks, overweight folks, yada yada yada, I once thought that too.  I wouldn’t call myself overweight, though I am at my highest weight non-pregnancy.  I am fine with the way my clothes fit, but a gain of a few pounds will send off an alarm for me.  My mother and I might go on a diet together as she is not happy with her weight.  She is retired and many social events for her center around going somewhere to eat ‘good’ food, and she really enjoys it.  For me, I am going to try and add an extra night of 20 minute cardio.  My default last year was to do 2 cardio nights/day and a one hour yoga session once a week.

So, my weight baffles me.  I thought I was a healthy eater.  Four years ago, I was 15 pounds less and I don’t think I exercised more or did much that was different.  A year later, I had gained maybe 5 of those pounds, and was told, “Your cholesterol has continually gone up and now is at a level that requires you to take statins.”  So, I did, but probably at half the recommended dose.  This last year, I got really lax at that and would forget.  Result? Cholesterol went up; the doc wanted me to double the dosage.  I did it for a couple nights, but then added blueberries to my morning cereal and sometime, soy lecithin in liquid form.  I decided to stick with one, as it seems I feel effects when I increase the dose.  Effects such as hands that feel even stiffer than my arthritis causes in the morning, and feet that feel terribly swollen at end of day.  Am I stupidly not following directions or rebelliously taken my health into my own hands? I am trying to eat healthier, and likely should work harder at that. 🙂

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Along with all of this, I have been slightly cutting down on coffee consumption.  I’m having half a cup today. My other doctor agrees this is a good move, as I tend to get benign cysts.  I had read up on that elsewhere, too.  Not to mention the sources I have read about decreasing coffee if you have arthritis.  I actually hope it is the statins causing my soreness and not my arthritis getting worse.  Come on, I have 11 years to go until retirement!

So, I am trying a few things.  My one glimmer of hope, something I think I can actually do, is to add the cardio session and increase my exercise to four times a week.  That doesn’t even factor all the walking I do around school.  I bought a foam roller, but I left it on the floor and it got dog pee on one end.  My little furbaby is getting older too; he is eight years old.  I walk him at nine p.m. and I am in bed by 10, so it is hard to give him another outing.  He seems unable to hold it until morning now.  The foam roller should be good after the bleach dries.  Ugh.  The money I spend on exercise ‘equipment’ includes the super thick knee pad for yoga that I take to class with me.  My consensus: worth it!  Using bleach and cleaning up after the dog: worth it.

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I hope you all have a great week, and I think you for listening to my obsessing over health!  I hope you are well and have enjoy our coffee visit!

Weekend Coffee Share. A start and an end. 8/03

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

Have a coffee, hot or iced, a tea, or whatever you like. For me, it’s an energy V8 juice. I’m still experimenting with reducing my coffee dependency. We can sit on the porch if you like. I must warn you, it’s 80 degrees and very humid in this corner of Florida today!

My dog Bixby will gladly join us. He likes to hang out where his people are. Just water for Bixby! He is looking dapper since he got a haircut yesterday, for that matter, so did I!

As a teacher, my summer is almost over, but a new school year is just beginning! July went by in a flash! In case you weren’t aware, teachers not only bring home work throughout the school year, but many teachers are currently shopping for classroom supplies already, checking class rosters, looking up student information, and already doing the background work to know their students’ need. I started that Friday. I wasn’t getting paid. It only lasted an hour; I had so much else to do. So, I’ll get off that soapbox now and ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for this new school year.

Author Progress Notes(2)

On the writing front, I am awaiting beta reader feedback for the WIP, Malachi. Ellie’s story is becoming a work in progress, more to follow later. I’ve spent at least a week going though the narration of Detours in Time to compile editing notes for my narrator. I should finish the last chapter today! It will happen soon, I can feel it! That and, I am waiting on a 15 minute checkpoint from a separate narrator for Undercurrents in Time. I really felt it needed a female voice, and I feel confident of my narrator. I can’t wait to share the news when these audiobooks hit the shelf at Audible! Since I already brought up the weather, let’s move on. Also possibly pertinent, is that I am making an effort again to grow my Mailchimp newsletter list. If you are an author, you may also know that everyone says we need a list, but I am still trying to make it work for me!

Also in the writing arena, I posted a poetic response to Friday Fictioneers about a week ago. I’d love for you to read it: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/break-the-endless-loop-amwriting-fridayfictioneers/

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and if you take your coffee hour on the porch, be sure to cool off afterward in front of a fan, and water the dog!  Summer break is almost over for me, but summer is still in the air!

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/20. Writing, Living, and Hanging with the Dog.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

It has been another really hot week, but I have managed.  Several days were half cup days, one day iced coffee, and today was a glorious full brewed cup of coffee day! You may drink whatever you like, my friend.  I’m sorry you missed the dog-walking this morning.  We ran into two neighbors with dogs, and after the initial barks and noise, I walked with them, and the dogs all got into line, like going on a walk with their brothers/sisters.  It was great.  Now to cool off.  Let’s sit down for a few minutes…

My days have been a joyous celebration of mostly introvert heaven and a little bit of friendship time. There is the joy of deciding for myself what I’ll do each day. Coffee hour on the front porch (usually cut short by the heat); my dog enjoys sitting there off the leash, sniffing the air and making noise at passersby. There’s beach time, no more than once a week, but having gone three times this summer so far, it is still more than the usual Sept. to May time frame. Reading hour, writing hour, social media/blog/book news time, Netflix hour during lunch (as I have already binged all that I will binge for this summer. I’m looking at you, Ozark, Stranger Things,  and Seasons 1-2 of The Handmaid’s Tale); then there’s exercise HALF hour with yoga hour twice in the week. I’ve taken to walking with my dog in the park or walking on the beach in sockless sneakers for a half hour. It’s a great way to get a tan without being a target for sunburn. So, I think I have divided my time in a healthy way, with occasional visits to our nearby sports bar where I play trivia. They have an awesome chicken wrap for dinner, and my son likes to go there, too, so that takes care of dinner!

Many folks I know are planning or are on vacation, and I’m just waiting until the end of July for a short St. Augustine getaway. I’m saving money though, so I am thinking about places to go this Winter and maybe a family trip next summer.

Author Progress Notes(2) My new graphic!

On the author front, I’ve pretty much wrapped up most of the writing I wanted to do.  The Malachi manuscript is with a beta reader now, and I get random ideas for the Ellie manuscript now and then, so I am writing them down.  I get what I think are excellent ideas for dialogue, so I have a jumbled mess in her Word doc, so at some point I will need to make an outline.  I know how it begins and how I want it to end, the rest will come to me.  I made the graphic above in a burst of coffee fueled energy, and the joke is, it contains an outline, as if I planned everything ahead! You can see from the statement before this, I am largely a pantser and only plan when I know I have to tame the wild weeds growing rampant in the lush field of my mind.  Actually, the joke should come after my next paragraph, so I suppose I’m just being ironic today.  🙂  Maybe there will come a day when I’ll follow the outline.  Are you shaking in suspense?

DetoursInTimeAudible Coming Soon In Audiobook! This is the audio bookcover.

The Detours in Time audible version should be done in August or July, and I have put Undercurrents in Time up in ACX.com for auditions.  I’d like it to be released shortly after the Detours in Time audible version.  Seems like a sound decision.  I also added Made for Me, my first published fiction book (novella length) to a group effort of selling our .99 books.  Made for Me is light sci-fi that describes what a “weird date” might be like in the future and then explores the relationship that fellows, a sort of societal taboo.

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If you’d like to learn more or download Made for Me, a light read with an unexpected ending, it can be found on Amazon, Made for Me on Amazon

It is also available at other retailers such as B&N, Kobo, and Apple by clicking this link:  https://books2read.com/u/4Xo50v

On the topic of world domination, I guess am 1/1000 of the way toward my goal of having my books on the shelf in every country.  I am not a Math person though, so we may need to add some zeros. 😉

That’s all I have for today!  Life is good, my friends!  Have a great week.

Weekend Coffee Share. A Day Like Any Other, in a Beautiful World

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Iceland, the countryside, and me, circa 1972.

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

This is the post in which I celebrate, or bemoan in a humorous attempt, the addition of another candle on my birthday cake. I am now not as old as dirt, but officially older than dirt. 😉 It happened Weds., sandwiched in between Memorial day and the last day of school, two other things I like to enjoy.

This past Wednesday was a day like any other, except it was the day I celebrated having made another trip around the sun! As”trippy” as that sounds, it makes me feel better about being a year older. So, let’s look back. I was fortunate enough to live in five states before turning eight, thanks to Dad and his Navy career. The dissolution of Mom and Dad’s marriage ending up with her putting her feet down and not having us follow him to the next station after Jax. Such is life. I got schooled in school and then got truly educated in college; I am so greatful for that! I have lived in Jacksonville since age eight, and I’ve been married, pregnant, a mother, divorced, engaged, rebounded, freed. Raising my son was a whole other story, but I did it, all while engaging in a teaching career.

I have raised a son, mostly on my own, but I will acknowledge the help of my mother, my church, and my long-time boyfriend in helping him be part of a community and to learn things I couldn’t teach, like changing the oil or driving a car with a clutch. I know he appreciated that. My mom has been helpful at those times I needed to have a social life and my son couldn’t be left alone, and they were very close when he was younger, since Grandma never had to be the stern one or the disciplining figure in his life, but I’m sure there are many other reasons they had a special bond! I have seen him through some hard times and I hope I helped him out. He has grown a lot just in the years since he turned eighteen.

Then, to put the icing on the cake, or maybe to find my moorings and to not lose myself in the midst of a storm, I finally got a dog and published a fiction book. I am still publishing fiction books! This was part of fulfilling my bucket list, and I am so glad I stopped letting ‘life’ (read that as ‘survival’) get in the way. I started spending a little time now and then with an elderly church member who is in a home, which teaches me a lot about patience and attitude. The gratitude she gives me is humbling. To be honest, I didn’t know I would be doing that; it just struck me as something I should do when volunteers were enlisted. At any rate, here I am in life, not yet a millionaire and haven’t made it to Europe. That’s not bothering me yet. Well, I never did expect to be a millionaire. 😉

I am so much more accepting of myself now, yet I’m still a little bit enslaved to culture’s dictations on what is acceptable. Bralessness is still not accepted. Eyebrows are a must, and that can be a problem for women of a certain age. A pencil is no longer sufficient; now I must have an eyebrow kit. Yes, there is more than one step to ‘doing my eyebrows.’ In fact, I hate spending too much time getting ready in the morning, so most days now, I skip the eyeliner or eye makeup and consider having eyebrows to be my makeup. Plus, clear mascara goes a long way and doesn’t leave raccoon eyes after a day in the humidity of the good old Southeast, U.S.

If I look to my mother and how she has aged, then I have nothing to worry about! She is having fun and has made more friends this last five years than I have ever seen her enjoying. Too many years her life was just work and church, then work, church, and the internet. It’s great to see her enjoying life and aging well, and we still get to spend a good amount of time together. Life is good!