Treat yourself! #free #scifi #ebook Today only! 12/22

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Made for Me, Book 1, sci-fi romance

Described by one reviewer as “Delicious brain candy,” this futuristic sci-fi novella is free on Amazon Kindle today only, 12/22.  Download your free copy and get to know these characters and their unique romance.   Enjoy free, and please leave a review! Universal link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01DZ5230G

Thanks for your support!

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Guest post: Pamela Schloesser Canepa

narrative-794978_1280 Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.  From Kathy: I’ve met many fellow writers this past year, and am thrilled to share my blog space with some of them. Please take time to read Pam’s post below! And just a few reminders: …

Source: Guest post: Pamela Schloesser Canepa

#weekendcoffeeshare Full Speed Ahead and Ready for a Breather!

coffeechristmas-1895053_1280 Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Why do the holidays come and go so fast when we get older?  Seriously, they’re almost here, and I’m nowhere near ready!  Okay, we’ll make this a brief stop.  Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com!  Do you need a huge Mad Hatter’s cup or a regular size?  (I could take either one).  If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you:

I’ve kept myself a little too busy lately.  Was I just putting things on hold in November?   I feel sometimes that I am not very sociable when I have a writing project, and since those are dying down, I’ve caught up with a few people this week.  One of them is my sweet little aunt who left me a message last week, and I feel bad that it took me so long to reply.  She didn’t guilt me, though!  I was still writing this week, though; I entered a flash fiction contest here on WordPress for the first time.  I’ve looked at them before, but this time, the image struck me and a thought grew into a brief 150-word story.  I’m the kind who “writes what I want to write,” but I love the idea of this community of bloggers and the fact that no two people think the exact same way.  The variety of responses is fun to see!  Check mine out here:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/a-turning-point-flashfiction-amwriting-fffaw-challenge/  It seems a little dark, but it is called “A Turning Point.”  I also prepared a presentation for an assembly of high-schoolers that I will chat with about writing, my own books, and my journey during Literacy week in January.  Yikes!  Jitters.  I’m sort of excited, though, and I should focus on that.  I’ll get there!  This is all in addition to my usual work schedule.

Holidays are upon us!  Christmas is here in a week, and I’m nowhere near done with Christmas shopping.  Amazon will save the day, but I suppose one trip to the mall will also be necessary.  Working there for 15 years of my earlier life kind of killed the joy I used to feel as a mallrat.  I guess I save much more money now, right?  Somehow I have turned anti-mall.  To be honest, you won’t find the TRUE spirit of Christmas there anyway.  A church dinner Wednesday helped get me into the spirit, and a fellow member has been needing rides to church so it’s getting me out of my temporary anti-social bubble.  After church dinner, there was a children’s play that was cute, funny, and inspiring all at once!  Well, the lady that rode with me had her granddaughter with her too, and they told me about a home with a beautiful Christmas light display, so we stopped there on the way home.  It was a beautiful departure from my usual rush-to-get-somewhere and rush-to-get-home habit.  I think that may be what will help me get into the spirit of Christmas, more things like that.  I’m going to try it!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

In going through the holidays this year, I am realizing the many people who suffer through this season with addiction/alcoholism, loneliness,  depression, etc.  We experienced a dark cloud in my family last year, but this year is so much better.  I am thankful for that, and I plan to be grateful for the love that is shared this season, rather than looking back at the sadness of last year.  I encourage you to reach out to someone who may not have that light of Christmas in their eyes. You never know what kind of difference you might make.  On that note, why don’t you take some more coffee for the road?

How was your week?  What fuels you and warms your coffee mug?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please also visit the Weekend Coffee Share host at parttimemonsterblog.com to enjoy some of the other Weekend Coffee Shares by our fellow bloggers and add the link for your own coffee share!

 

“A Turning Point,” #flashfiction #amwriting FFfAW challenge

photoprompt-20161212155025335This week’s photo prompt is provided by Maria with Doodles and Scribbles.

 

The party had been a blast.  Too much so.  But Kimberly grew tired of Brad’s advances.  She sauntered down the dark road, her mind in a fog.  Why did I take that last drink?  She pondered.  Could I even scare off an attacker, with this stagger in my walk?

It was interesting that she chose this danger over a ride home with Brad, the All-American football star.

The unknown was her choice.  She’d swiped a heavy paperweight at the party when she decided Brad would not be taking her home.  Would it protect her?

Of course, she wasn’t thinking straight; she could have asked anyone else.  Instead, she darted out the door and down the street, to greet vampires or murderers, or who knew what.

Up ahead stood a dark, shadowy figure.

If I live, I’m going to stop celebrating New Year’s Eve this way, she whispered.

 

*This brief story was part of a Flash Fiction challenge, no more than 100-150 words allowed, based on a photo prompt.  The prompt was provided as one of the weekly challenges at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/fffaw-challenge-week-of-december-13-2016/   I encourage you to peruse some of the other material there, as no two minds think exactly alike.

Yes, this was challenging!  What do you all think?

Inspiration, When it Comes Knocking… #amwriting

Featured on http://www.kathycecala.com/

narrative-794978_1280Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

If you’re one of those who sometimes wonders why you ever published, or you feel you are in an endless loop of writing, then trying to get your writing noticed, then writing more, rest assured, you’re not alone.  I feel that at times.  But two years ago, the writing bug hit me, maybe because of hard times at home and the desire to escape;  I decided I was going to write, finish what I started, and stop being afraid to show people what I wrote.  After all, I am a grown up.  I’m also not getting any younger. To this day, I don’t regret that decision. 🙂 I took to hanging out in writers’ forums on Facebook, took a James Patterson online class, and entered some contests on Wattpad.  Now, my college degree was English Literature and I wrote about many authors, but   something had to get me up to bat as a writer of my own material. This post is in honor of the many things that make me write and keep me writing.

My favorite writers.  A favored quote by Stephen King: “You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”  He is one daring author.   Nor does he feel like he has to put on some fake persona for the fact that he is an author.  I like that.  He keeps on writing.   If he can, so can I, and he seems to think the same thing.

Joyce Carol Oates:  She angered me so in her book “Wonderland,” but it spurred me to write a whole book full of poetry that brought out many issues from my past.  It is not published.  Her main character was utterly detestable, and perhaps a little of a sociopath, but his treatment of women disturbed me so much that I could no longer empathize with his horrible past once I got past 3/4 of the book.  I’ll look back on my poetry and see when I’m ready to share it.  I am not knocking Oates for “wonderland,”, this simply shows how good she was at hitting a raw nerve.  Her book, “Freaky Green Eyes,” totally championed women’s rights by showing just how wrong a patriarchal relationship could go.  “Wonderland” disturbed me.  What does that mean?  I’ll never forget it.

James Patterson:  Some people have argued that he’s not really that good at the art of writing.  I THINK THEY READ THE WRONG BOOKS.  He’s no Shakespeare, but if he’s no good, then, why can’t I put his books down?  He’s a master of suspense who can write in the perspective of male, female, protagonist, or villain and is convincing in each one.

Writers inspire new writers to write.   By just writing and daring to get it “out there” you could provide inspiration to a new writer!  One of the few times I allowed myself to be moved to tears as a teacher was in response to a student’s poem about her dear, departed father.  I told her my tears were a real compliment, and she smiled.  If you are a writer, you should inspire others to write.  Writing is forever evolving, this is why we always need new literature and, or course, new writers.

Dreams.  Of Reptiles and Dragons…

fairy-tale-1653150_1280 Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

The most recent dream I’ve had is supposedly foreboding, according to dream interpretation books.  I say they’re just narrow-minded.  Hard times are coming?  I’ve already had them.  Reptilian eggs hatching to tadpoles, growing into snakes that morph into raptors or dragons?  No problem.  Here is an idea of what I’ll make of that, and yes, it reflects my reality of having a family member who suffered a mental breakdown in the last two years.

 

Little girl:  Hey, you’re that boy who sees dragons all the time, aren’t you?

Boy nods his head and looks at her warily.

Girl:  Well, some people see angels.  Grandma says you can’t see them, but Momma says my baby brother sees angels, that’s why he smiles all the time.  Did you see angels when you were a baby?

Boy: Nope.  Mom says I’ve been seeing dragons since I was a little one. ( Looks back down at his toy truck.)

Girl:  Do you see one right now?

Boy:  Yep.  He’s right next to you.

Girl:  Do they help you?  Do they keep you company?

Boy:  Yeah.

Girl:  Well, maybe you just have angels that look like dragons, then.

Boy:  (Smiles.)

Girl:  Can I play with your truck, too?  Tell your dragon I’m a good person, okay?

Boy:  (Shrugs).  Yeah, okay.

© copyright 2016

Now, if only every oddball was accepted so easily, and differences could be normalized.  I’m not sure where the dragon theme is leading, but it seems to be here to stay until I figure that out.

Reality.  Events happen.  Sometimes life sucks.  See my last section on my inspiration for writing about dragons.  My writing motto over the last 1-2 years has been, “I Fiction because Reality Sucks.” (Bites, etc.).  But doesn’t a troubled or confusing reality fuel one’s fiction?  Yes, I say it does. It certainly has fueled my poetry which is a source for expressing my emotions.  Anxiety over what may happen to a loved one has wrecked me time and again.  I wrote about it in this poem, written after a sleepless night:

https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/anxiety-the-phantom-poetry/

Yes, things are better now in my family, and should stay that way, as long as terrible drivers don’t come near me ever again.  It may seem irrelevant, but that has been my main source of anxiety lately.  Deep breaths.

I’ve also used my past experience in a troubled marriage, dissolved eighteen years ago, to develop the perfect man in my novel, Made for Me.  (Well, almost perfect) 🙂  My second, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes, focused on a side character from the first, who turned out to be a kick-ass chick at just twenty years old.  If interested, you can find out more about my self-published novellas by clicking on the About section of my WordPress site.

Faith and Beliefs.

I am fortunate enough to be in a church where I feel I am good enough.  I feel totally accepted, and there are many opportunities to serve the Lord whether in brief skits, Advent devotions, or the traditional ushering, liturgist, elder duties.  I have posted my entry for the Advent devotional here on my blog as well.  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/christmas-memories-no-im-no-angel-but-sometimes-my-prayers-are-answered-advent-faith-christmas-memories/

I also devoted several posts to the application of Bible verses to my life during Lent this past year.  If that is your thing, please take a look!

https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/a-new-morning/

Faith has been an important part of my life, so it is right that I should write about it.

Morning and Evening Walks with the Dog.

This is one time when I cannot multi-task.  I have to see where I’m going!  I can observe thins around me, such as the arc of the sun ascending or a full moon at night.  I love watching my dog’s antics when he sees a squirrel.  I got many ideas for a time travel novel as I walked him around and glanced at the night sky.  For the last two years, he has been such a blessing in many ways.  I should mention yoga.  It clears my mind and then marvelous thoughts enter.  In other words, my mind doesn’t stay clear.  And that’s okay.  I’m different.  Yes, I’ve written on this topic also in posts titled “My Exercise Evolution, Yoga Stream of Consciousness.”

wp-1480187201702.jpg“Halt!  Who Goes There?”

Popular Culture.  Songs, books, movies.  Let’s talk movies, shall we?
Among the most inspiring:  The Martian.  (I read it and saw the movie).  Interstellar.  Another Earth (you likely haven’t seen that one, but you should.  Go rent it).  Fight Club.  Being Flynn.  Some of the more obscure movies are simply obscure because they don’t appeal to the mainstream.  That is why you should see them!  It is also why they make my brain want to explode with ideas.  Songs?  There are many, but I’ll only mention one.  “Wow,” by Beck.  He is groundbreaking in many of his songs, but this one takes me to so many places, probably because it sounds like a blend of so many different music genres.  I recommend it if you are open-minded in music choices.

In a nutshell, I keep writing because there is so much out there; there are so many ideas just waiting to be caught!  Do you see them in the air?  Do you hear them in between your friends’ conversations?  There are so many ways to go with writing and sometimes, I want to do it all!  Maybe, I’ll find one area that is really my niche, or maybe not, because I am such a moody little filly that I must write to stay sane and because anything I write expresses my mood at that time. Perhaps one day, I’ll figure it out!

 

Christmas Memories: No, I’m no Angel, but Sometimes My Prayers are Answered. #advent #faith #christmas memories

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This time of year brings back all kinds of memories. I volunteered to take a Bible verse and write a devotion to go in my church Advent devotional.  The memories were easy; the challenge was training my thoughts around a scripture as well.  Here’s the result.

Christmas Memories

Scripture- Psalm 16:11 “You show me the past of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” 

Advent season is a time for many memories.  Opening the door to the past, I think of my first Christmas memory.  Mom gave me a new red, velvety dress and pressed my hair in curls.  I was seven and we lived in Virginia.  Well, she dressed me up all pretty but it seems I caused her some embarrassment, plugging my ears and yawning a lot during the musical service.  Maybe I just wanted to be in the nursery with my little brother.   Despite my lack of decorum, we went home and Mom, Dad, and my little brother spent time listening to the record player together as I fell asleep watching the candles flicker, waiting for morning.  As close as I am to Mom, it’s odd that this is my first Christmas memory!  Yet what matters is that we enjoyed our time together as a family, my immature behavior was forgiven, and the occasion was still joyful.

praying-child-1668636__180

Then there is the memory of two years later being allowed to go into the ICU on Christmas Eve to see my dad through the glass.  *He’d had surgery on his esophagus and was in critical condition, but ultimately, lived.  It was a rough Christmas, but friends and neighbors all over shared their Christmas joy and cheer with us for the weeks he was hospitalized.  I was overwhelmed; we’d only known many of them for just one year.  Years later, as an adult, Dad said he saw me look through that window, and it felt as if he was visited by an angel giving him assurance.  Being told this made me feel really special.  I didn’t realize I could be so important to him.

While I recall many who have given over the years to share their joy and Christmas spirit with my family and with me, it is as deeply rewarding to do this for others.  I had a few opportunities to do so when I worked in retail.  I missed church service working late one Christmas Eve, and was anxious to get home to give three-year-old Austen his new tricycle.  Yet, I found joy in making one customer so happy when I found her a sought after TV in the stockroom, that she hugged me, saying, “God bless you.”   This was two minutes before closing time.  I talk about how retail zapped my Christmas spirit year after year, but this woman’s happiness and relief truly warmed me spiritually, and my son was still happy when I got home!

 

Prayer:  Lord, when I look back, please help me to see the good in all that I have endured, the lessons learned, the moments when I was someone else’s light in the dark whether I knew it or not, the many times that I was shown how much I was loved.  Help me to share that love and joy with others, for there is no greater pleasure.  Please help me to see that the goodness you have bestowed on me all my life will continue, for with faith in you, dear Lord, comes the knowledge and assurance that I will always be loved.

*Addendum:  If you were wondering, my father’s esophageal issue was due to a history of binge drinking and alcoholism.  He sought sobriety and finally, it stuck, after he stayed in a 30-day rehab when I was 20.  Almost thirty years later, he is still firm in his recovery.

tunnel-1484554_1280Light at the end of the tunnel.  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.

 

Anxiety, The Phantom #poetry

One of my early WordPress posts…

pamelascanepa

By Pamela Schloesser Canepa
Anxiety, The Phantom copyright, 1.05.16
A windy night brings it. Bam!
The back porch door slams
And I’m left to wonder what is there
What glowing eyes in the night will glare?
I am like a child, four years old again,
My fear and imagination bends.
What hoodlum or phantom lurks here?
I sense something evil crouching near.
Gone is all hope of sleep.
I must be ready in case he leaps.

“He” is my fear of things unseen,
Politicians and terrorists threatening me,
Bills, undone tasks, that won’t let me free,
Narrow minded people judging me
Worry for my son, in his melancholy
TV news feeding branches of my anxiety.
Things that make me think I have no weapon,
Realities that happen, with or without mention.
My canine detects no offending thief,
And only morning daybreak brings relief.

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