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, 10/19, books, family, paperwork, and paperwork…

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com Photo by Image Apothecary, because books go well with coffee! Pull up a chair and have your favorite beverage. No coffee for me today, mine is V8!

Friday, a day off for students. Peace and quiet. My workday:
Planning day…Grades done! Bulletin board up. Straightened my room. Now to plan a novel study! Oops, gotta check my CAST online list so the test data I am judged by won’t be incorrect. Yada, yada, yada. Oh, better send some parent emails before lunch. Yay! Lunch out with coworkers! Hurry, don’t be late to the meeting. Yada, yada, yada, DATA. Yada, yada, make a spreadsheet of your data. Now you can go home. Nope, I can’t. I have to do that PMP today. Yada, yada, yada, PMP: paperwork based on data and strategies. Hmm, let me find a good Langston Hughes poem to go with the Walter Dean Myers novel. I could do this for hours, let me find three poems! Oops, better make sure I know what I’m teaching about writing Monday and Tuesday. Yada, yada, yada, should’ve gone home an hour ago…and I’m still not done, y’all. THE STATE OF FLA AND THEIR FREAKING RREQUIREMENTS made this day feel like nothing but data aand paperwork. 😦 Learning is Social and Emotional! Also the title of a book I plan to read.

On the writing front, my books Detours in Time and Undercurrents in Time have been on sale this week for just 99 cents. I have sold a few, but I would like to sell more. As I type this, I am listening to the chapters completed so far by my narrator for Undercurrents in Time. She lost her voice this week and is having to pace herself. The timing is fine for me as I barely have any time outside of work lately. Still, I love the creation of my work into an audiobook. It is exciting!

I enjoyed dinner with my mother and my son last night. Though I normally do the trivia by phone app at this wing place where we like to eat, I only did half a game last night, and spent the rest of the time talking with my son, responding to his observations of the crowd in the restaurant and a few comments about his job. I so enjoyed that quality time with my adult son who spent a lot of time between age 17 to 20 not talking to me. Hey, he also pays rent now! (I won’t tell you what a great deal he is getting) 🙂

Today, my significant other and I are taking a little road trip to Georgia. This is not for fun, it is for family, who needs him right now. It is hard to watch your parents age. He and I are both getting to that point in life. By the way, I will not have access to work or anything writing related or work related while on that trip. Well-done plan, if I say so myself!

So, I’m editing this by phone while I while I exercise on the porch. There is a lot to be said for outdoor exercise, including the view: (No, not the fence. Keep looking…)

He had one leg up comfortably and only left when it started to rain. My dog sniffed around in the morning air but never noticed the majestic owl. My little secret stalker, though, who was watching who?

How do I get everything done? I don’t know. I’ve had no coffee today, just V8. On a full cup yesterday, I got a lot done but got really wired about all that was on my plate. I am looking forward to a quiet one hour drive to Georgia. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

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. My Calling. 8/10

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

 

I’ve had a fruit V8 and now it’s time for my half a cup of coffee. You may enjoy whatever you like!  It will likely be another hot day.  It has already been a good morning.  Back to School season is in full swing, and I have been up before or at 6 a.m. all week, working non-stop either physically, to prepare my room, or mentally, to prepare my lessons.

I stayed up ’til midnight last night and woke up promptly at 6:30 a.m.  No 8-hour sleep-in for me.  I’m already getting into the grind, but I rebelled. After laying in bed, stretching and mentally preparing myself for not being able to sleep late for a year, I spent 20 uninterrupted minutes sitting on the porch watching Bixby’s nose twitch and ears perk. He enjoyed it too, I’m sure.

We observed a lot, like the fact that the sun felt good and my new neighbor gets picked up on a Saturday by a big truck blaring Spanish talk-radio, and some other neighbor’s brakes squeal, and the next door neighbor goes out on his ten- speed at 8 a.m. Also, there was still dew on the ground, so I knew I couldn’t get sunburned, on the porch, at 8 a.m. Nice start to the day! Now my brain is awake.
I need to continue porching it through the fall season, too! 

This video is from a July morning on the porch.  I thought you would enjoy it.  Bixby features frequently in my blog posts and Weekend Coffee Shares.  He is my adopted shelter dog and also a girl’s/writer’s best friend.  We go on adventures together and we sit and observe the world together.

 

Since I have mentioned Back-to School, I want to tell you how truly wonderful it is to take the road less traveled.  I went to a training this week that was not packed full, none of my friends were going to  it.  It was about helping kids understand advanced text.  The instructor spoke to me right away and offered me a matchbox car.  That was fun!  Then we had to talk to others about why we chose the one we chose.  We loved talking about that.  When we answered a question, he asked our name and asked the whole ‘class’ to say “Thank you, Pam.”  There were about 40 people in there, but we talked, we moved around, we used our brains.  We were actively learning, and that’s what we need to do with our students.  This was a wonderful break from an over-crowded meeting room with people on their laptops while someone at the front ‘talks at us.’ It got me really pepped up for what I need to do daily, which is, get to know my kids, and then inspire them to do the work that will help them learn the most.  I think about writing full-time, but I know my work in the public school system is not yet done.  It isn’t easy, and many spend just 1-5 years teaching in public schools, but what is best for the kids? I want to do what is best.  This is were we determine or help affect the culture of our nation in the future.  It feels like an important calling to me.  Writing keeps me sane, but maybe my writing will also inspire someone and get them thinking about how we treat each other?  That can be done in any genre.

On the writing front,   the Malachi manuscript is still with beta readers, and I am entertaining ideas for the cover.  I will be taking my last Teaching Gifted endorsement course this fall, so I may have to slow down progress on that manuscript, but I am holding to a goal of publishing it in the first few months of 2020.  Progress is being made on both of my Detours in Time series books to be produced in audio version.  I’m excited!  Detours in Time may be available for audio purchase in about a month! I just finished listen to the first narration and have sent corrections requests.  Yikes!  This is an awesome feeling.  My narrator for Undercurrents in Time is also getting started.  I’ll share more on that later.  In the meantime, here is a brief clip of the narration for Detours in Time:

https://www.untiedmusic.com/emory/Chapter_11_teaser.mp3

DetoursInTimeAudible

That’s what’s going on in my world!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!  I know I need to exercise now, but I think a hot bath may also be on my schedule for today.  I think I have worked for it.  🙂

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.