#WeekendCoffeeShare. Who Says I Can’t Still Vacation? #amwriting

cappuccino-1149061_1280 Images via Pixabay.com

Welcome to the #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com!  If we were having coffee today, on 8/13, I’d tell you…

Summer’s over, but I can still visit Endless Summer in my mind!  I’ve been back to work this past week, getting ready for the new school year, trying to stay on the positive bus.  I know how to do it, so I’m going to try.  For me, it certainly involves relaxing, getting away (even if only in my imagination), and to avoid workplace negativity/ burnout or dwelling on national and world news (Ugh).  So, this morning for coffee, I’m visiting Italy with a dark roast and a bit of almond milk with sweetener.   Yes, it’s 11 a.m. and I’m still working on my coffee. Don’t judge! I like where I am.  So, in my imagination, I’m sitting, sipping my coffee and staring out at this.  Ahh.

italy-2580533_960_720

In reality, I’m sitting here choosing that as my reality by using my words and my keyboard.  You see how this writing thing works?  It has saved my life on occasion.

I must confess, I’m drinking coffee late because I slept in due to being out last night dancing with friends.  One of them was in town so I knew I’d see her and a few other mutual friends.  My boyfriend and I met them.  It was a great escape, talking about non-work stuff, watching a crowd of people I don’t know, who all seem impossibly younger than I but not caring or worrying that I look a fool when I hear a song I’ve got the nerve to dance to.  I  know, that seems like a run-on sentence, right?  I’ll leave it be this time.  Anyway, wearing sneakers helped a lot.  I’m at an age where comfort is key, and a t-shirt, sneakers, jeans combo is my go-to attire.

Funny, I was going to mention how I am empty in the writing area lately, but it is doing me right today.  I don’t know if you like it, but I like where it’s taking me.  Yes, my thoughts seem a little disorganized, and I apologize.  Summer left me unfocused, but I really needed to relax.  The writing I’m doing right now is helping me keep my state of mind positive.  The purposeful writing that I need to do to get my ideas channeled into writing projects will likely come when it truly feels like fall.

Since summer’s over, and fall is on its way, let me share my letter to fellow teachers.  I see an epidemic with new teachers and some veterans that leaves them with little personal life, children who long for them to come home, or neglected friendships and relationships.  Some of them work during the summer to set up a room, only to find they were re-assigned to a different school.  Others are just so tired that they take it personally when kids don’t respond to them (the latter is me; I did that).   Really, those long days will happen in the fall, when you have to reach a parent right away or some other urgency occurs.  Right now it is too soon to stress out.  So, here it is:

 

Dear teacher,
Yes, your classroom looks good enough. Go home! Yes, you’ll likely forget some little detail. It means you’re like the rest of us. Go home and remember you’re a human being with friends, family, hobbies. Relax. It will make your first day smile much more genuine when you meet those kids.
Signed, 
A 17 year veteran teacher who has been there.

 

I plan to be the teacher who is all about positive energy this year, and it will happen because my brain is calm and relaxed.  That’s my goal.  I’m also planning on things going smoothly with the family, so that my brain energy is focused on being all that I can be for myself and for the needs of others.  Yet, if someone in my family needs me, this calm state of mind could only be helpful at that point, as well.

Have a great week, everyone!

**Please visit Diana’s blog at parttimemonsterblog.com to check out other Coffee Shares or to share your own by clicking on the blue linky button.  You may also feel free to leave me a comment about your week, your taste in coffee, vacation experiences, writing progress, etc.

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One Year Anniversary! #indiewriter #amwriting #RRBC

OneYearBadge

It’s my one-year anniversary with Rave Reviews Book Club!  I’ve just renewed for another year with them because 1.  the exposure can’t be beaten  2.  I’ve gained readers and reviewers through them  3.  I am part of a network of authors on Twitter who all help each other build a platform and gain exposure.  All of this is really priceless, especially for an Indie author.  I’m still new and still learning things almost daily to help my author promotion and platform, but this book club has really helped.  I’ve been featured as book of the week, invited as a guest on two blog radio talk shows, part of a Book trailer party that got my book video seen, and have been welcome to many other opportunities, some which I haven’t tried yet, but I may do so this year.  (There are a writer’s conference and the Spring Blog Party that I have yet to try).  If you’d like to know more about this Book Club and author’s resource, go to http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com and see if you might want to join!

There is also another anniversary worth celebrating here.  It has been one year and one month since I self-published a book!  I’m still writing and getting ready to publish another, but I’d like to thank all of the helpful people I have met through various Facebook and other online groups as well!  I’ve learned invaluable lessons such as where to get attribution-free photos, how to use Canva, what are some alternate e-book publishing venues, and how one actually writes a good blurb.  I’m still working on that one!  I love the camaraderie among indie authors, and though self-publishing is a time-consuming venture, I plan to continue!  Look for news in June regarding my new release, a time-travel novel, and the Facebook event I have planned.

Along with the self-publishing journey, it was a year ago in January when I started blogging here at WordPress.  I am so thankful for the bloggers I have met who share other writers’ material and posts and offer regular chances, such as Jackie’s “Echoes of My Neighborhood” at acookingpotandtwistedtales.com and Daniel Ray’s Re-blog opportunities at dreambigdreamoften.com.  That and the many writing prompt opportunities, as well as the #weekendcoffeeshare, have helped me to meet more writers, network, and learn more about sharing my writing in multiple ways.  Thank you, fellow writers!

 

X is for Xenophobia. #AtoZChallenge #amwriting

No, this is not a preachy post on how we should all appreciate other cultures (though we should).  It is my understanding that xenophobia goes much deeper than culture shock and seems to be the resistance to adjusting to the fact that not everyone is like oneself.  Some don’t know the difference.  I am in the process of writing and editing that includes the culture shock one might experience if they went several years into the future.  One character seems to be close-minded about it.  Is she a xenophobic?  I am not an expert, but I had an interesting time creating the culture-shock in my most recent fiction story.   The book comes out in mid-June.  Here is some back story:

If you could take the ultimate escape, where would you go?  In November of 2015, I envisioned just that.  I would go to the future.  Things were a little rough in my family at the time, and I’d often take walks with the dog at night, staring up into the sky at the stars and wondering if I’d be able to visit them in any way other than imagination.  People in my online writer’s groups were going on and on about NANOWRIMO.  I thought about it, and decided I’d start typing a time travel story, but on my own timeline.  From this experience, I do kind of think writing saves my sanity.

At the end of November, I’d typed 30,000 words and had no idea how I’d end the story.  I just started imagining and typing and provided myself the escape I needed.  In January 2016, I took a James Patterson Master Writing class.  Man, I love his accent.  At any rate, I finished the novel by the end of January with approximately 66,000 words.  In the summer of 2016, I gave the manuscript a preliminary edit and had my mother, my first beta reader, give it a read-through.

I’ve recently paid someone to edit it and have had a book cover made.  By mid-June,  I hope to have this sci-fi novel published and available!   If it sounds interesting, please follow me on Amazon at  http://amzn.to/1t3BYGU and sign up for my author newsletter at http://t.co/Gj6d3CXMZq if you’d like to get a free 20-page sci-short story for download.

Way to throw in author promo., I suppose.  I guess I just really wanted to talk about the book.  Happy reading and writing, fellow bloggers!

*I’ve joined the April A to Z Blogger’s Challenge!  Each day this month, I will write something based on the next letter in the alphabet.  It’s been fun so far, yet it has really given me a chance to pause for reflection as well.

Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.comBlog2017 Badge

A Date to Remember, Ch. 2. A Tale of Love in 2063. #amwriting #shortstories

wildflowers-1559029_1280 2-14-2063

A Date to Remember, Ch. 1   Find the first installment, a Flash Fiction piece, here on my Niume profile. (If you haven’t discovered it yet on WordPress).  http://niume.com/post/251559

A Date to Remember, Ch. 2 © 2017.  By Pamela Schloesser Canepa. All rights reserved.

He’s going to love his Valentine’s gift, I thought, almost running back home under gray skies that could not cloud my mood. I had just been to see Roy, who was helping me with this effort.

Tom and I had discussed this, the possibility of a child. We saw Roy and Mavis with their child, Randy, who could not hear but communicated quite well with his hands at four. It was just a pity there was no official education for a child like him.  Since the “system” had decided not to fund or make available any health insurance for those who procreate without a permit, the government believed it could rightly do away with any such education. Those operating outside of the laws of society would do so without any help from society or the government.

Roy and Mavis were actually doing quite well. Mavis was researching and hoarding all the books and video uploads she could find to educate her child on her own. Health insurance? Roy was already a holistic healer (a profession that implied living on the fringes), and his self-studies made him an awfully good unofficial nurse/ sometimes doctor for children who were born to families on the fringes. His own child included. In fact, if I ever gave birth, he’d have to be the one to deliver it. Not to mention, no doctor would help me now…..

Read the rest here at Niume:  Source: A Date to Remember, Ch. 2. A Tale of Love in 2063.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay (Creative Commons)

Want to know how you can use Niume to promote your writing and earn revenue?  Please see my post at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/use-niume-to-promote-your-writing/

Thank you for reading!

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

A November to Remember. On Losing Graciously, yet Victoriously, in NANOWRIMO. #amwriting

snapshot_20160528_2 My NANOWRIMO bio photo.  I think it reflects a serious writing face, and it appropriately features my favorite coffee cup. 🙂

As the goal of NANOWRIMO is to write a 50,000 word novel, I’ve done a little writing this month.  🙂  I also have:  worked full-time, encountered two car accidents in my family, one of which has me now driving my son to work at the other end of town, but let me say I’m thankful, since no one is hurt.    I made a visit to southern Florida to spend a short weekend with a high school friend, attended church, attended yoga (though not enough, it helps undo the tension from typing and laptop use), I blogged more than I should have while trying to write a book, but I love the friendly community of blogging and I couldn’t stop. I voted and watched the world unravel over the election’s results, I processed the election results, spent a little time with my boyfriend, hung out with his family and my son for Thanksgiving, I walked my dog countless times and got sudden glimpses of inspirations, and….that’s about it. Unless I forgot something.   Yes, that’s one heck of a run-on, but in November, you don’t edit!  Never mind that it’s December now. 🙂 I’ll edit in January!

So, considering all that is my life, I feel victorious when I say I wrote 45,000 words in November!  I’ve been in forums to get support and also heard the naysayers, “Quality means more than quantity.” But I truly think the beauty of NANOWRIMO is the deadline, and perhaps, the competition.  You know others are doing it, you know many of them will succeed, so, why not you?  I gave it my best effort.  I decided halfway in that I was only competing with myself.  Last year, I wrote 30,000 words of a novel.  It was finished in January.  This year, I wrote 45,000.  I think I’ve won.  After all, you only have yourself to compete with, right?  Still, when you know so many of your peers in the writing world are doing it, you want to join.   In the words of my NANOWRIMO bio,  “I might as well write as much as I can, while I still have the mental faculties and stamina.   Victorious, I march on with my pen!”

wp-1480592931919.pngWorking title.

So, let me end with some of my survival strategies for this November, that, if employed correctly, will have me at 50K for the next NANOWRIMO:

  1.  Notepad and pen handy when traveling in the car
  2. Dog walks are short as that’s when inspiration hits, especially at night
  3. Read Chris Baty’s “No Plot, No Problem.”  Next year, I’ll read all of it. 🙂
  4. Limit reading to very short books, like the one I finished while getting a pedicure.
  5. Get at least one massage during the month
  6. Make a book outline.  I’ll be more detailed with my next outline.  DO this BEFORE November.
  7. Don’t stare at the laptop/typewriter.  Get a notebook and map out your setting or make a timeline of events.
  8. Pop in to forums to get inspiration.  A helpful post I saw recommended deciding your character’s Zodiac sign and reading up on it.
  9. Next year I’ll try pure dialogue sprints between characters and see what is revealed.
  10. NANOWRIMO sprints.  They’re on Twitter.  I participated in just one. It seems I didn’t really get the concept and got up to pee then got distracted during the twenty minutes.  It’s okay, I am new to NANOWRIMO.  I’ll give them a better try next time!
  11. The Night of Writing Dangerously.  I was so tired lately, I didn’t consider this, but it is a grand idea!  An all-nighter, when people all around the globe are having a writing marathon?  Call in sick the next day! Yes, It does sound interesting.  I may try it in the future!  Stress just got me this year, and bedtime was always so inviting.
  12. I didn’t try this, but I hope to next time:  A local write-in!  How I’d love to meet with local writers.  If you tried this, how did it go?

undertow-sea-710297_960_720Photo from Pixabay.

Well, as I said, I love blogging, so here I am processing the month of November, while my main character is still treading water.  I will have to leave her that way until my two weeks off at Christmas time.  Right now, I need a much-deserved break!

Character Inspiration #Nanowrimo #amwriting

*Image courtesy of pixabay.com. Herein lies inspiration for my character, Tabatha Hansen, a.k.a, Pinky, born on 3/28/1967, who in my book inhabits the world of 1997 to 2000, with occasional visits to the year 2047.  I’ll admit it, I am up to 17,238 words in this novel and I need inspiration.  I need to be in the shoes of my character for at least 33,000 more words.  I may or may not get it all done in November.  That’s okay; it will get done!woman-1774020_1920

This is a source idea I read about online somewhere, for my NANOWRIMO inspiration for Tabatha, a character in two of my time travel books.  Tabatha, a.k.a Pinky, is in her early thirties.  Wait, now I’m writing book two, and she no longer likes to be called Pinky.  She says it’s too childish.  Her hair: not exactly blonde, not exactly dark.  Some call it dirty blonde, while others call it “touched with honey.”  Her body stature: small. She is a picky eater.  Height: 5’6.  She is built like a dancer.  Eyes:  hazel, sometimes brownish.  Maybe amber.  I don’t know; I’m going on the word of her best friend and partner, Milt.  Let’s be glad he remembered her birthday (3/28/1967).  Skin: beautiful.  Tans easily, with dark eyebrows.  Reminds me a little of Ashley Judd.  Just lovely.  Long, skinny fingers on her hands, and toes to match.  Long, thin arms.  Loves to dance.  She actually went to dance school for a while, but also loves art.  She draws, paints, dreams.  In her early thirties, she works in an art gallery because it brings more money than trying to sell her own art.  Prone to moodiness and flights of fancy, yet, set in her ways.  Parents are deceased.  Has one brother, two years younger, who is a little, let’s just say, wayward.  Has his own issues and struggles.  Family is so important to her, and she is also a loyal friend.  Just don’t get on her bad side.   While she loved the Flashdance fashions from the eighties, her go-to wardrobe in the nineties consists of jeans, Doc Martens or Chucks, and rock-n-roll or progressive band t-shirts.  But watch out, she can also rock a little black dress and will dress up for the art gallery when it is called for.

Listens to: Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elvis Costello, U2, Sting, The Police, The Who, The Cowboy Junkies, Smashing Pumpkins, and a lot of music from that alternative/progressive station.

Particularly true for my character are numbers 1, 3, 6,7, 10, 12, 13, some of which almost made me consider making her a Gemini, but that didn’t set well with her. 🙂

Excerpt from http://www.yourtango.com/2015261912/13-brutal-truths-about-loving-aries-as-written-by-aries   (This is the zodiac description of my main character.)

     “The good, the bad, and the Aries.

     1. We’re fiery. We are a fire sign, so this should come as no surprise. I’ve been described as “fiery” my whole life, which after many years of introspection, I’ve come to realize is both a compliment and an insult. (I choose the former.) On the pro side, this means when we walk into a room, we bring a LOT of energy. Mostly good energy. Some bad, depending on our mood. We are the people you want to invite to your party if you want that party to be way more fun. On the con side, we have a lightning-quick temper.

     2. We have an ego. The intro of this piece should’ve alerted you to this fact but I will restate it for your convenience: Aries women need people who both stroke our egos when we need them to (which, admittedly, is a lot) but also can keep us humble. Have fun with that balancing act!

     3. We’re adventurous. We’ll try almost anything once. But if we don’t like it (or we aren’t that good at it) the first time around, we probably won’t want to do it again.

     4. We get bored easily. If you’re not engaging us or keeping up with us or having great sex with us or having a conversation that we think is interesting, NEXT. We’ll be polite about it (we do have manners, mostly), but we’re quick to move on if you can’t hold our attention.

     5. We’re big-picture people. Small details don’t interest us. We think broadly about projects, ideas, and goals and what it will take to get the job done. Minor details are less interesting to us. We’ll take care of ’em if we have to — after all, we value accountability — but we’ll probably do so begrudgingly.

     6. We’re aggressive. At getting what we want, when we want, and how we want it. Please step aside and get out of our way. Best not to compete with us because you’ll probably lose.

     7. We love hard. We fall quickly and enthusiastically and we love with a deep passion. We love love. When we’re in love with you, you will know it and feel it in the depths of your soul.

     8. We’re excited about life. Honestly, we’re excited about everything: travel, literature, theatre, interesting people, the world, you. Most everything excites us and we want to jump-in full-force. That’s why we’re big-picture people (#5) – if we concern ourselves with trivialities, we won’t have time to experience life at its fullest.

     9. We’re loyal – to a fault….. We can hold grudges for YEARS, people. YEARS. And what we lack in physical strength, we make up for in words — we will slay you with our tongue. The enemies of my friends are also my enemies; be forewarned.

     10. We’re assertive. That’s just a nice way of saying that we say almost anything we want to, especially around people who know us extremely well. We might lock it up around your parents or your boss because apparently “restraint” is a societal norm (who knew?) but understand that it’s so freaking difficult for us to not say how we feel. Best to step in and save us when we’re about to explode from polite-ness.

     11. We work really… hard. Hire an Aries, give them something they’re passionate about, and they will work harder for you than anyone else in the room. Caveat: This only works if an Aries is doing work that fulfills and stimulates him/her. Otherwise, all bets are off.

     12. We have no patience. Literally none. We want everything done yesterday and if we can bother to show up to a restaurant/movie/meeting on time (probably early) why can’t you? Do not even get us started on the rage we feel sitting in traffic or in a grocery store line. It’s a physical ailment that has no treatment except cowbell and NOT MAKING US WAIT.

     13. We need our space. We’re fiercely independent, which means you must, must, MUST have your own life. If we feel like a caged animal, we will flee the moment you crack open the door even a smidge. …

Thanks to yourtango.com for these brutal truths about our Aries friends.”

Thank you all for reading!  I thought this was a good strategy that someone else could use, or, perhaps I just entertained and distracted you for a few minutes.  I am on a journey, a journey of the mind, and while I have many distractions like fender benders, my son’s transportation problem, and world/national events (not to mention working full-time), I may not be able to define this journey in numbers per day.  I can only define it by reaching the finish line.  I still have NANOWRIMO to thank for pushing me to go further in my writing life.