Author Networking and Mutual Support, #RRBC

wp-1475061168680.jpg

 

Want to know how I got to be on an online Blog Talk Radio program on Aug. 27th?  Or how I’ve worked my way up to 927 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!

ravereviewsec4306defe2a10c0894cd211cf0182b4  A.M. Manay, @ammanay on Twitter, a talented fellow member, made this 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/

All of this support and the attitude of mutual encouragement are rubbing off on me.  I have decided to add a Book Reviews section to my blog and will post my reviews here on the blog in addition to Amazon or the author’s preferred site.  Please check back to see this feature on my page!

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

Advertisements

Return to The Post Office Box, a short story reimagined with alternate endings #paranormal #realisticfiction

PObox800px-Busselton_post_office_gnangarra_14

by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, copyright 2016. Part 1 originally posted on kurtbrindley.com

Originally a Flash Fiction response in 250 words, now followed by two alternate endings; choose your preferred genre, or read both.  Thank you for reading!

Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.
Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice?  She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.
To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.
Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four-month-old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.
“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.
“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.
Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.  With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.

Alternate ending A, paranormal/speculative fiction:

She slipped her hand in a little further.  It seemed to pull her.  Where would she go?  No doubt, someplace cooler than South Carolina.  The pull was quite strong, but she pulled back against it.  The baby!  I can’t leave the baby.

Realizing that this might be even more real than she had imagined, Jasmine slammed the door to her post office box shut.

“Everything okay, Miss?”  A young girl with hair the color of pink cotton candy and earbuds in her ears asked.

Jasmine turned around.  “It’s been a strange day.”

“Your mailbox isn’t all the way closed, by the way.  I’m Wilma, but my friends call me Freddie.”  She held out her braceleted hand.

Jasmine shook it and turned to make sure the post office box was closed all the way.

“That was a nice pinkie ring, your wedding band, too.”  Freddie called.

The wedding band was replaced after Rick had tossed it down the disposal in a drunken rage.  He spent three times as much on it, in hopes that would make his night of terror less memorable.  Of course, Jasmine didn’t say that to Freddie.

“Thanks.”  Jasmine looked around, feeling cornered.  This girl noticed too much.

“If you have that door open too long, it really works.  It takes you away.”  Freddie whispered.  “You only come back if you want to.  I swear.”

It was as if this girl knew her secrets, Jasmine thought.  She also seemed to know her exact thoughts on what was at the other side of that P.O. box.  Jasmine shivered.

“I have to go home.”

“Yes, of course.  But just so you know, it’s here.  It’ll still be here the next time you come back, no matter how long it’s been.  Once you feel the pull, you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist.  I sense you need it even more than I did.”  The young girl put the earbuds back in her ears.    “Ciao,”  she called, as she turned and pulled her hoodie over her head and left the post office.

Jasmine rushed home, but Rick was, indeed, in rare form, ticked off over her being fifteen minutes late.

“I got stuck in traffic.”  She lied.  Telling the truth about what was going on in her mind was not safe at all.

“Yeah, right.  You were probably hanging out, talking to those guys you work with.”

“Rick, I’ll do better.  I’ll find a new way home.  Just let me get the dishes done.  Ross is fine over there in the playpen.  Please, just no more.  Don’t wake him.”

“I’m out of here.  You had your fun, I’ll have mine.”  And he walked out, slamming the door.

Rick came back four hours later, noisily.  Jasmine feigned a deep sleep.

Three days later, Jasmine walked into the post office with her baby, Ross.  The box was empty, of course, but she stuck her arm in as far as it would go.  Then, she had Ross stick his hand in.  “Doesn’t it feel cool, Ross?”

He giggled, taking his hand out and then putting it back in.

An elderly woman looked at them strangely.

“He likes playing, feeling the temperature change in there,” Jasmine explained.  The woman gave a fake smile.  Jasmine asked, “Have you seen that young girl, with the bright pink hair, and….”

“I don’t know who you’re talking about, sorry.”  The woman spoke with a thick accent.  Should I ask where she’s from?  Jasmine pondered.  Maybe that’s where I should go.

Then it hit her.  I’m really considering doing this.  I am thinking of leaving.  How?  How can I leave?  Where will I go?  I guess it starts with daring to think of it, daring to believe I could do it.  How could she turn back now?

The woman walked off and left the post office.  Jasmine was left alone with Ross, and the open mailbox door.  Lights were beginning to dim.  It was late this time.  She’d taken off while Rick was out on one of his drinking binges, to return God-knows-when.  The only light she saw now was inside of the box, on the other side.

Letters, packages, notices all get sent from out here, to in there, ending up with loved ones or important people across the sea, in other states, far-away places.

She closed her eyes and held Ross tightly.  I will never leave you, Ross.  If I go anywhere, I go with you.  But how will I fit this diaper bag full of formula and diapers in there?  Opening her eyes, she saw the light still glowing within.  “Here we go, Ross.”  She put her thin arm into the box, and he followed suit with his chubby little baby arm, a big smile on his face.  She held him close and closed her eyes.

“Mam?  We’re clos-“ Manny, the late shift postal worker announced, to no one.  He had just seen her there, and now there was no one.  Perhaps the dim lighting was playing tricks on his eyes.

He didn’t see the woman on the other side of the box, holding a baby, carefully opening an envelope addressed to Canada.  If he had, he would not have seen it for too long.  She and the baby had disappeared inside of it, arms first, seeming to be sucked in by a powerful light that was nothing more than the power of sheer determination, free will, and a strong ability to believe.

Whatever happened to Jasmine and Ross?  One thing is for sure, Rick never saw or heard from them again.  He seemed distraught at first, and then, just seemed to forget to be distraught.  Meanwhile, Jasmine found herself with very little money in a coastal surfing town called Tofino, Canada.  She made up a believable story since there was still a shiner under her eye that only showed when she went without makeup, something she did a lot more often now.  One call to work, informing them she wouldn’t be back, and a request that her boss call her parents and inform them she was alright.  That was the last time anyone from her old life heard from her.

She took up odd jobs in tourist shops, then found a room above a coffee shop and eventually started working there, pouring coffee in the morning and babysitting children in the afternoons.  It was a very simple life, but this town felt like freedom to her.  She recalled nothing of how she got there.  Nor did it matter.  The memories of who she used to be were fading as well.  Little Ross was happy playing with other children in the cozy little tourist town.  She planned to teach him how to surf one day, as she was taking a lesson on it every week.  She also took up knitting, as the locals informed her it would get quite cold in the next month.   People around town would take to more indoor activities, and that was okay; she loved the people here.  Yes, this sure felt like freedom.  And it was there for her, only because she dared to chase it.

Rumor has it, that every few months, the postal workers at Postal Office B in Charleston, South Carolina, would see a strange glow in the mailroom at night behind the P.O. boxes, just around closing time, accompanied by the sound of a woman and her baby laughing without a care in the world.  Perhaps they were simply between destinations?  Or, perhaps it was a reminder of the power of imagination and belief.  Manny, tired, overworked, and always the stooge of his peer group, was starting to feel the pull himself.

 

Click here for Alternate ending B, realistic fiction following the intro.: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/the-post-office-box-flash-fiction-limit250-words/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free download of the sci-fi novella, “Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes.”

stse

One reader calls it a “very fascinating and scary observation of human nature.”  Have you ever tried seeing the world through someone else’s eyes?  This futuristic sci-fi novella imagines it as a literal and metaphorical feat.  You can get it for free, starting 9/22!  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GNNCHHQ

Download my second sci-fi novella, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes, for free from 9/22 to 9/25.  Considered “darker, with a dangerous edge,” this one follows more closely the character of Norrie from Made for Me.  Both she and Abrielle are searching for some truths, but it’s soon Norrie’s turn to set out on her own.  She’s all grown up now, fearless, and curious, longing to find the truth about her biological father and the father who raised her.  This book continues the timeline of Made for Me, but can also be read as a stand alone.  Download it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GNNCHHQ

If you’d like to read Made for Me, a sweet sci-fi romance, first, it is available on Kindle or Kindle Unlimited at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DZ5230G  A big thank you to the readers who have recently read it on Kindle Unlimited!

I hope you enjoy, and I thank you for reading!

-Pamela

 

 

The Writer’s Journey – Guest Author, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Kim's Author Support Blog

Indie author finally realizes a life-long dream of sharing her writing habit with the world.
Pamela Schloesser Canepa, self-published author and Earth inhabitant.

pamelaHow and when you started writing: I recall writing my first short story at age 8, when we traveled from Florida to Tennessee to visit my uncle and his family. I had to entertain myself in the car, and this came in quite handy! It was shared with family, and they all encouraged me profusely. I continued writing, for class, for myself, to exercise strong emotions, etc., but much of it was shown to no one. Still, it was good for me! I was a quiet little girl, and this helped me channel my voice.

How and when you first published: I entered poetry contests and got into vanity published books. If nothing else, it felt good. In my thirties, I published stories on my Myspace blog…

View original post 549 more words

Echoes of My Neighborhood, Sept. Entry

Sept. 9th in Jacksonville, Fl, at a lovely 91 degrees!  It was a lovely day to be outdoors in my simple, yet beautiful neighborhood.img_0186-2

Maybe the only thing that tells me Fall is coming is the drop in humidity lately.  For sure, the sun was still quite hot on this September day.  Yet I found the drier air to be a relief.  It seems a little more bearable, now that the storms and rainy aftermath of Hermine have left us.  It felt quite comfortable sitting outside today, for about 15 minutes, anyway!  This picture shows off some of our lovely flora and fauna in my neighborhood, as well as my neighbor’s lovely, lush green grass.  Looks just like summer, but the air is much lighter today!

img_0187

Even Bixby enjoyed sitting out in the lovely air!  This photo showcases our crepe myrtle tree, still in bloom!  The grass was freshly mowed, hence the grass cuttings still sitting on top of our lawn.  It accentuates the contrast with our neighbor’s yard.  They have the best on the street!  By the way, our lawn hasn’t won any awards yet.  🙂  Now, if only this picture could fully illustrate Bixby’s sniffer going wild, as it does every time we are sitting outside….

img_0188

Not a very good representation of my neighborhood, but here is where I’ll end my photo illustration of this day in my neighborhood.  My dog, Bixby, ended up on alert after seeing some neighbors walk by with their dogs.  You can see his ears perked up, as he sits on edge ready to strike in the spirit of protecting me from these wild dogs and their unknown owners.  (That’s in his point of view).  You’ve got to love their protective instincts!  At any rate, it grew pretty warm and I sat in the shade for the last few minutes, then decided we should go inside since my dog simply would not come next to me to relax in the shade.  Always on guard!

“Echoes of My Neighborhood” is a weekly blog challenge started by Jacqueline Obyikocha at her blog, A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales.  Her most recent entry can be found at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/category/travel-2/dubai/echos-of-my-neighbourhood/ and illustrates her life in Dubai quite well!  Go and give it a look!

Having participated regularly over the summer in this blog challenge, I may perhaps join in every few weeks or monthly now that I’m back at work.  I am hoping my brief entry here showcases what life is like here in Florida!  That, and there’s the lovely profile of my favorite dog. 🙂

-Pamela

Stream of Yogic Consciousness, My Exercise Evolution, Pt 3

“Let yourself sink into the gap between your thoughts, they are like chains, linking, but with the small gaps in between,”  the young, calm yoga instructor suggests.  I can’t help it…my thoughts are more like flames chasing each other…You have to appreciate the metaphors, though, and I really love this instructor!  But sometimes, during yoga, a spark appears in my thoughts and it just takes flame, so I watch it, amused.  My worries gone, my thoughts unthreatening, sometimes they represent ideas, and I really should go with them.  They delight me.  I do not want to throw them back.  So, I just pretend I am counting to ten as suggested, and ridding myself of thoughts, all the while, chuckling inwardly at how I am fooling them all.  🙂

I decided quite a while ago to embrace my thoughts, after worthless attempts to empty them.  Sure, I’ve tried.  I read a “Buddha Bliss” book on meditation that suggested visualizing each thought as a fish that just landed in my hands, and letting it go into the pond of …. pond of, relaxation, I guess?  It did help since I was going through a tough emotional time.   In several ways, though, I have become more able to box up disturbing thoughts and realize when it is time to just let go, to just accept that, hey, it is what it is!  Obviously, sitting in yoga class, I can’t get my son a job or get my bills paid, can’t do anything about my ex-husband and his mess or the things in my life that I want to happen.  Might as well let that all go, and I do.  Those thoughts become replaced by higher-level thoughts, more blissful thoughts.  Well, they are to me, anyhow.  Here is an example from a year ago:

*The instructor tells us to count back from ten when a thought pops into the mind and let it go.  IF another one comes, count backward from ten again.  So, I try.  Then, I notice how my yoga towel is the color of sand, and that being on it is like being at the beach, no, it’s like being on Mars!  Isn’t Mars sandy?  If not, it at least has a lot of that sandy color.  I almost chuckle at myself and start the countdown again.  Then I think about a rocket launch countdown, and while we’re on that topic, let’s circle back to Mars!  Matt Damon is going to Mars in the upcoming movie, The Martian.  Oh, I have to see that movie!  I love Matt Damon, he is awesome!  Thinking of which, I loaded that book on my Kindle, I ought to get around to reading it before the movie.  So, this yoga towel is a flat landscape of Mars.  Then I start thinking of the movie, Interstellar.  They are along similar lines, but not the same.  Each unique in its own right.  I am so excited to read The Martian and see the movie.  Then I start thinking of Matt Damon and his movie, Elysium, and the message he was trying to convey.  Back to a plank, and I see the flat, sandy landscape.  Yes, I realize Mars is probably more rocky than that, and I may be quite wrong about the landscape.  Doesn’t bother me.  But I make a note to self to read more about space and the other planets.  Good plan, I tell myself, almost chuckling again as the instructor does another count back from ten.  It’s all good!  I am such a rebel.

So, here I am, being me,enjoying the heck out of my yoga practice and the thoughts it is inspiring.  I’ve gotta be me, right?  And that, my friends, is healthy thinking, brought to you by the benefits of yoga.  Shhh…Don’t tell anyone.  They might find my rebellion disrespectful.  😉

YogaClipArt1

I am Mother. #Poetry

Photo taken in 2008. That’s my son and I; he was twelve at the time.  (And that’s 425 steps)!  A happy memory. 🙂 I have witnessed my son growing up drastically lately.  All part of the process.  I brought out this poem while reflecting on how much he has changed.

austenthrowbackestenhills

copyright 2015, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

I am Mother.

I feed you, clothe you, house you.

I shield you from harm.

You are my child.

I am Mother.

I stand back and let you fall,

Teetering and learning how to get back up.

You are an adult.

How did it come to this?

It seems it happened overnight.

I am supposed to let go.

But what if something bad happens?

I am confused.

As you wallow in the mud,

how can I not reach in to help?

But then how would you learn,

to help yourself?

I am Mother.

I no longer make the rules.

Life won’t tell me what is next.

Nor will you.  Nor do you know.

I feel destined to fail.

I am  still Mother.

Though I will sometimes fail.

And you’ll tell me I’m wrong.

I still love you always,

Even when I gracefully lose.

I am still your Mother.

And I will never quit.