#FFfAWchallenge “A Date to Remember”

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Photo courtesy of Mike Vore

A Date to Remember, by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

(c) 2017,  All rights reserved

 

“It’s small, but cozy, and there’s no one around for miles,” Tom said.

He was being so sweet, trying to honor this special day.

“Wonderful!  Thanks for finding something on such short notice.”

He held my hand in his own.

“If we get a permit for a baby, we’ll move up.”  He looked at me shyly.

“Or not.”  I smiled, gazing on the truck.  Tom didn’t know I’d failed the genetic test.    Based on a small chance of Down Syndrome and/or addiction in future offspring, I’d never get approved.

“That’s okay, either way.  You are what matters to me.”  He smiled.

“I have to tell you something…”

“No, no explaining needed.”  He took my other hand and kissed me.  What a magical day.

On a tree, not far from our truck “room,” Tom carved our initials.  TC + LP, married May 12, 2062.

 

**Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) is hosted by Priceless Joy and provides a prompt photo each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Visit other flash fiction stories and/or enter yours at http://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/fffaw-challenge-week-of-february-7-2017/

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#weekendcoffeeshare Schemes, Dreams, and Fears

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Bixby contemplates.

Good morning, and Happy Saturday!  Well, it’s sort of a gray one here.  Sorry, I can’t bring you the sunshine today.  If we were having coffee on this, the 4th day of February, I would tell you that….

There is violence and unrest all around me.  It’s rampant in my city (Jacksonville), and in the schools.  Students are much more riled up lately and more prone to arguments and fights.  A fellow teacher friend and I couldn’t put our finger on why.  I’m going to posit that the national climate is affecting everyone.  As I try to be non-partisan and not look at my fellow humans as Democrat or Republican, it’s hard to take the person who is always sharing something divisive or even outright supporting our president by deriding those who are standing up, speaking out, or peacefully protesting.

Sometimes I think I really need to think about where I stand.  I am a pacifist, but I feel like I am not standing for anything.  Is just loving my fellow man enough?  Perhaps.  We all have our place.  At any rate, it concerns me to see such things in our kids.  I was part of a wonderful event at the school called Challenge Day, where we listen to each other and focus on commonalities.  See challengeday.org for details.  The spirit of that day needs to follow us all year.  It takes work.

My spirit is at unrest, as I type while standing, due to an over-active sciatic nerve. (See, I never quit).  I have no time for friends right now, yet miss spending time with friends.  Work life and family life are taxing right now.  I escape it with my writing.  I’ve also started watching Black Mirror during downtime.  No one in the house likes it but me.  There is such terror, but sometimes it is so subtle, and I LOVE that!  There’s always a twist; yes, it is a modern day Twilight Zone.  I’ve been told some of my writing is very reminiscent of The Twilight Zone.  That makes me proud.  Yet, sometimes I’m realistic.  This week, I wrote a flash fiction called “Michael’s Fairies,” and despite the title, it is all too realistic.  Oh, just give it a read! https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/flashfiction-fffaw-challenge-michaels-fairies/  Your comments are appreciated!

Somewhere between my hopes of exercising the demons and fantastic dreams in writing, and obtaining another source of income, I considered setting up a Patreon account.  Well, I started the process last night.  It could help to pay for future editing, book covers, and book promotion.  If any of you have done this, I would love to get your advice.  It seems to me I could appeal to my type of reader, rather than trying to get my friends and co-workers to read my writing, since I’m not sure how interested they might really be.  Well, I have one really enthusiastic friend, but she is a writer as well.  🙂  Now, if I set up and go live on Patreon, I’d like to do it right, so I may need to read up on it more.

Thank God for weekends.  I can plot my schemes, and I also get some downtime with my dog, my boyfriend,  my writing, and time with my church community.  Let’s not forget, Super Bowl Sunday!  While I am not concerned with who wins, I am glad to go and eat some really good chili at my boyfriend’s house, especially if it’s windy and cool like today. Since being online looking at WordPress this morning, an author friend already made me smile with a story of success.  Please do share.   I’ll do the same, one day.  To all of my friends, cohorts, or visitors, have a great week!

**The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Diana of  Part-Time Monster.

Join us and be part of this great online community of coffee lovers.  Tell us about your week!

 

#flashfiction FFfAW challenge. “Michael’s Fairies.”

flashfictionfaeiriesphoto-20170130154651135 Photo courtesy of Jessica Haines.

“Michael’s Fairies,”  (c) 2017

by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“He wouldn’t come away from the puddles,” Ray complained.  “He kept seeing things in the water.  Fairies, unicorns, …”

“Kids and their imaginations,” I shrugged.  How could I explain?   Ray didn’t understand.  Michael saw things, and that was that.  The rain didn’t matter.

“What took you so long with the teacher?”

“Issues.” I shrugged, offering nothing more.  “Thanks for waiting, though.”

Ray dismissed it with a wave.  “Gotta go.”

Despite two years together, I knew he’d never grace my doorway with his presence again.  And did it matter?  He did not make the cut.

I closed the door.

“I’m sorry,” Michael whispered.

“Don’t you ever be sorry for being you, honey,” I said with a smile, because I knew that was all Michael had done.  In a few weeks, I’d find a way to explain Ray’s absence from our lives.

Michael put his arms around my neck, and I returned the hug.

 

***Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers presents a new photo prompt challenge every Tuesday, and the challenge is open until the next Monday at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/

I encourage you to enter your own, or go to their site and check out some more stories!

*Stories must be 100-150 words.(+-25)

Cramming. #weekendcoffeeshare a.k.a, It’s time- to- sit back Saturday.

wp-1485560541716.jpg Photo courtesy of my phone and one of Instagram’s filters.  Thanks to Bixby for modeling!

Ah, Saturday.  This is great since I slept in until 9:16.  It is 47 degrees out, so I am indoors.  My dog posed for this photo which is from last week’s 70- degree weather.  I hope you don’t mind, but this may become a regular Coffee Share photo for me. 🙂  If we were having coffee on this 28th day of January, I would tell you:

  1.  I feel overwhelmed, as work is getting test-driven and crazy with FSA (state test) coming up.
  2. Sometimes I think I took on too much, as I am taking an online course that is required for re-certification.  The plus side is I am taking it along with a friend, and sometimes we stay after at work to get it done (mostly) in one afternoon.  We’ll order Chinese food and chow down in the classroom as we read the material and make our required responses.  It’s much easier that way.
  3. It also seems there is so much more on my plate since my son’s accident.  It wasn’t too much of a hectic week in regards to paperwork, but he’s been laid off and seems a little listless.  He can’t drive right now, either.  I’ve been making sure to take him to his support group, which makes for another hectic day hurrying home from work and eating so I can get him there.  Although there is a group for parents (NAMI), I’m not ready to go back.  The last time I attended, it was almost taken over by a loud, vociferous, political squawker.  Sorry if that sounds nasty, but they are in abundance lately, and a family group is not the place for it.  At any rate, this crazy, busy few weeks has gotten in the way of writing.
  4. Speaking of writing, I did write a short story.  Dark, mysterious, and slightly supernatural, it really pleased me to write it in light of all of the emotions I am dealing with lately.  Sometimes, I think we judge ourselves for feeling negative thoughts.  Would God want us to judge ourselves?  No.  I think he’d want us to love and accept ourselves if we are not hurting anyone.  Considering, this was my channel to let those thoughts out.  Heck, I even giggled once.  However, as I think on it, I know that I must edit and revise a few things.  And there is no time right now.  Nonetheless, I sent it to my boyfriend who is going to sketch me a wonderfully absurd picture that can accompany this story whenever I publish it here or wherever I decide.  It will be free, that part is for sure, so I’ll certainly share when it comes out an encourage everyone to read it!
  5. On writing and living, you may have noticed my dislike and almost paranoia of hospitals in last week’s post.  Just writing about that gave me ideas.  It may appear in a publication of mine.  Sure, it may take a year, but it shall be there.  Why?  Because this fear of hospitals is pervasive amongst many of us.  It appears in Literature, movies, and even in the Seinfeld “Pigman” episode.  Bless Jerry for allowing us to laugh at our fears.  While I doubt I’ll be humorous about it, it is better to express them somehow, than to bottle them inside.
  6. I forgot to mention, a reviewer’s blog has reviewed my book Made for Me!  Check it out at lilbooklovers.wordpress.com!
  7. So now, I hope to spend some time with family, and maybe even my dog!

Well, here I am again, extolling the virtues of self-expression (writing being one of them) and how it helps us to hang on, to survive as a species.  Thank you for listening to mine!  Hang in there, friends, and keep letting it out.

*The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster .  I kept it simple by just making a list.  That’s about my pace this weekend, keeping it simple.  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky.”  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t yet to share about your week in writing or otherwise living in general.

Happy WordPress Blogger Anniversary to Me!

wordpress-com-anniversary-2xThursday, 1/26/17, is my one year anniversary with WordPress!

I was just reminded that today is my 1 year anniversary with WordPress! Not a paying job, but a hobby, a compulsion, and a social act, blogging has been one of the tools of my self-care. They say to make writing a habit, do it every day. I’m close to it. As I’ve gone from crisis to crisis at home, blogging has been my go to for a quick smile when I write a cryptic flash fiction piece, or when I pour out my heart about the things I don’t understand in my life and my family and putting it into words relieves me. You know I’m not the type to sit on the phone for an hour moping. I don’t want to be the rain cloud in someone’s day. I’ll write it, and if you don’t like it, look away. Someone else will like it or at least identify.
Using the keyboard for expression, imagination, or simply venting has strengthened me as mental health issues have struck one family member, and anxiety wracks my nerves. There are times I cannot talk to anyone at home, as my mom is there sometimes but also has her own life. We all have some sort of issues. Swallowing them constantly makes a person ill. I am going to deal with the crap that has been thrown at me, and hopefully be an example to my son who is also dealing with it, my students who need healthy ways to vent, and anyone else who will listen. I’m so grateful for the chain of events that led me to discover that I could blog on WordPress as it led me to other writing avenues, too. I am encouraged and buoyed up by this blogging community where members express faith, humor, world facts, ideas of horror or fantastic visualization. I just love the way WordPress works.  It suggests reading to me and suggests my blog posts to others.  Never did I figure that out on the prior blogging site I used.  Now I’m a member of a blogging faith community, sci-fi community, writer’s community, poets, dog lovers, readers. It’s all here, and my year has been brightened because of it!

#weekendcoffeeshare Writing Setbacks, a.k.a – No, Reality Won’t Stop Me

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com.  If we were having coffee, on this foggy morning of January 21st, we’d sit outdoors, as the Florida sun is just starting to peak through.  Not to mention, it is a pleasant 70 degrees!  This has been quite a week, heck, it has already been quite a month.  There have been way too many challenges and obstacles to overcome.  But I’m doing it.  I am not a quitter, and I don’t say that lightly.

Still, my goals have been affected by setbacks.  My goals are not as clear anymore, either, due to many dramatic events in my family life lately.  I have a full-length manuscript that someone is editing for me, after which I’ll need to make some changes I’d already planned on.  Then, I have two other spin-off ideas, yet, I don’t have the focus to really dive into them right now, as I’m also taking a required online course for work that involves a lot of reading and responding.  It’s just 3 months!  *sigh* At least I have started typing up or writing the general ideas so they won’t be lost forever.  (This used to happen to me before I seriously committed myself to being a writer).

Heh, that sounds cool.  I have committed myself to being a writer!  Hey, guys, I’m a writer!  It was only a dream two years ago!  I had ideas floating around that were lost to the aether because I never wrote them down.  Fortunately, I changed that habit.  I can be glad for that, but still,  I am frustrated lately by the intense details that have dropped into my life since my son had an accident that put him in the hospital for three days.  Now, there is so much paperwork and follow-up.  He is better, though his employment situation changed recently, and that’s another concern.  We will get through this.

If my paragraphs seem to be all over the place, I apologize.  That is my life lately.  I deal with what I must, then I inject the writing wherever I can.  I did do some writing this week, however.  Although I haven’t worked on any of my manuscripts or novel in progress, I entered my response to a flash fiction photo prompt.  You can find it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/travel-my-way-fridayfictioneers/  Please give it a read and I’d love it if you have a comment!  I just love flash fiction, though I hated it at first.  But I realized that open-ended stories have their own merit, and I learned to love that beast.  Not to mention, I completed it before work on Tuesday as I let my hair dry.  What an excellent way to start the day!  I have also written poetry lately, in dealing with my overwhelming emotions and the overwhelming events of life.  I think it was this week I wrote my “Tenuous Grasp” prayer/poem, see http://bit.ly/2kciqvT.  Aha, yes, it was this week, 1/17/17.  Sometimes I write because I love writing, other times, I do it to survive emotionally.  I mean that.

I wish I had more to share on my status as a writer.  This week also consisted of busy activities at work, learning (and then teaching) a way my students can submit their writing to me online for grading, and, yes, hospital visits.  A hospital is the last place I ever want to be.  However, since insurance requires certain forms being filled out for my son’s accident, and I’d hate spending an hour on the phone to find out where to fax or mail them, my son and I went up there.  Twice.  First, on MLK day since I was off.  He is not driving now, so I had to go, too.  Well, the necessary department was closed that day. Or, that is, what we thought was the necessary department.

So, I arranged to take Wednesday morning off and we went again.  After speaking to about 5 people, starting with E.R. on the first floor,  where he had been first treated, we were sent to many different departments to include: Medical Records, (basement), Case Management (1st floor, I think; it got confusing), then, Trauma Admin (8th floor) where a cute young Doogie Houser/Will Smith intern helped us find the right office.  Finally, someone took our form and said it would be ready in 7-10 days.  All that, in addition to getting lost down a long, dark, hall with blank gray walls.   I could imagine being lost there, never to return.  Maybe I’ve seen that in a movie.  Did I mention I hate hospitals?  The long hidden corridors, the smells…I’ll stop there.  At least there was an end to our endless loop.

At any rate, I slept in today, as I so needed it.  I get arm pain and muscle aches, so I’ll modify diet this week and see how it helps.  Next Dr. visit is in 1-2 months.  No need to hurry there.  I am so glad it’s Saturday.  I am hoping to work on my writing projects next week.  Enjoy your weekend, my friends!                                                                                            *The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster .  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky“.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before. (I’ll make the links hot later)

Travel. My Way. #fridayfictioneers

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PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

 

“Kids, just think, how many less cars crowd the streets when people take the train!”  The self-assured woman announced.  Her older son didn’t seem to agree, while her daughter stared out the window excitedly.

“Where are you going, mam?” I asked, taking tickets.

“To the grocery store, the fancy one.  Special occasion!”

I couldn’t see doing such a thing, and was about to speak again, when she said:

“Some people don’t understand.  But one day, the cars won’t run.  We’ll have to find another way.  We’ll get off early and walk a mile.  Good practice.”

“For what, Mam?”

“The future.”

 

Each week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts Friday Fictioneers where we’re challenged to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words, more or less, based on the picture above.  It is awesome, in this blogging community, to see the many different responses that are generated from one prompt or photo.  I encourage you to create your own and click the InLinkz button to add it to the Friday Fictioneers responses!  While you’re at it, go to Rochelle’s link above and check out some of the other Friday Fictioneers’ responses!

1/13 Prompt.  Sorry if my entry is a little late!