Best of the Year, December 2018 Blog Challenge. #2018BOTY

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Online graphic is from Beaton’s blog, Becoming the Muse.

Thank you to Beaton at becomingthemuse.wordpress.com for making me aware of this blog challenge! Since I have arrived late to this party, I will have to do this my own way. I am no good at posting daily these days. I have missed the first days, and some of these require me to really ponder my answer. So, I will try to present a few of my entries 2 to 3 times a week. I hope this does not disturb the universe. Yes, I totally stole that one from T.S. Eliot’s poetry, and I have a few others I like to say at random times. ūüôā At any rate, here are my Best from numbers 1 to 5:

  1. Movie- Rental: Arrival. This one ‘arrived” on the scene in 2016 and came to me via Netflix DVD, because I have a really hard time getting out to see new movies, what with writing and the like. It is sci-fi, but it is a thinking movie. There is a mystery to solve; you have to pay attention. It also can be quite touching and powerful. Amy Adams’ performance was moving and emotional. Loved it!¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Movie seen in the theater: BlackkKlansman. The acting was awesome, the plot intense, and the subject matter, heavy. I saw it with my young adult son, and we both loved it and appreciated the message it gave. It was wrought with irony, and sometimes we laughed. At times, I cried. We walked out of that theater, the two of us and everyone else, in silence. The ending was so disturbing in drawing a comparison between 70s/80s Klan activity and racial attitudes to what has gone on this year. Kudos to the director for his raw honesty.
  1. TV Show season- Season 2 of “Travellers,” available on Netflix. Superb acting and great writing, despite just a few plotholes. This was a total time travel indulgence for me that had me binge-watching for days. It got me through a sinus infection, and I probably laid around more than necessary, but hey, I was entertained and definitely hooked!

3. Fiction book- The Watchmage of New York, by C.A. Sanders.

The Watchmage of Old New York by C.A. Sanders

It’s magical and has a little of a Neil Gaiman feel to it. It’s the turn of the century, there’s a detective solving crimes, and not every character you encounter is human. Absolutely loved it and highly recommend it!

4. Nonfiction book- Untamed, the Wildest Woman in America and the Fight for Cumberland Island by Will Harlan

Untamed by Will Harlan

I found this woman to be quite an inspiration. She was totally unlike me, but thank God there are people like her. She fought hunters and poachers on the island to protect birds, sea turtles, etc. She would raise a gun to them and defend the island to the death. She was no quitter, and I found that really admirable, as well as finding her strange habits interesting, if not to my taste. (Roadkill just doesn’t appeal to me) ūüôā There were also many chapters that included far out scientific facts about sea turtles and other secrets of nature.

5. Song- Man on Fire, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. I love this band and have for a few years. They are so natural, free, and loving. In the videos, they look like a bunch of hippies who have gathered in a park to have fun and sing some tunes. Love seems to flow through the smiles of the lead singers. What’s not to like? That, and Man on Fire is downright inspiring. It gets me going when I feel tired in the morning, making me want to go out and use what talent I have to inspire and to love others. I just discovered it this past year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08WeoqWilRQ

Thanks for reading! My plan is, in a few days, to post my Dec. 6-11 Best of the Year.  How about yours?

Books I’m Thankful for, 2018. #books

This was day 3 of “Books I’m Thankful for.” Daily, I’ve been mentioning a book that I am grateful for on social media as we go through this Thanksgiving week. I also encourage you to share yours! This is The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. If you have ever felt like a social misfit, you just may identify with Holden Caulfield. When I read this, I was 18, newly graduated, and a little cut-off from my high school social tribe. I can’t say I felt like he felt, or did the things he did, but I can tell you, what he was going through, I felt like I’d been through it before, right at about year 16 to 17.

Let me quote: “Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know.” When I read a book, sometimes the main character becomes just like a friend, and I am able to shut out the world around me. Some say the character Holden is a sick person. We’ve all been sick at one time or another. Some of us will tell no one. We may only tell parts of it to our friends, but here is a character who will tell you the whole story. I loved that.

Other books I’ve mentioned include: The Help, by Kate Sprockett, Little Women by Loiusa May Alcott, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant, and Fish Out of Water, by Helen Palmer will likely be my finisher, as it is the first book my mom can recall ever reading to me, which also makes me very thankful!

 Inspirational reading by Iyanla Vanzant.

 The first book that helped me to love books.

I hope you all have an enjoyable, heart-warming Thanksgiving holiday and plenty of time to read a good book!

What Mother’s Day Means to Me. #mom

I found this pin in a pile when my mom recently cleaned out her room. Oh, the things she saves! It is about 30 years old and brings back so many memories. My mother is a huge part of who I am as a person, more so than anyone I know. Her faith and her ability to not curse make her seem angelic and very religious, but let me tell you about the quiet rebellion she has instilled in me through all these years.  She has truly shaped who I am as a person.

Independence is something I learned from my mom. I always thought she just developed it because my dad left, but I believe she had it long before then. You see, Mom left home after graduating and lived in Denver, working as a telephone operator. A few years later, she got married and had me; then my brother came along five years later. She returned to work when I was 11 or 12 after she and my dad divorced. As a teen, I grew to admire her for that. She was a proud Union member, which this pin represents. When Dad left, she worked to help support us. Today, I am also a proud Union member, which is why I love this pin. I also hate the kitchen, so I totally agree about a woman’s place!¬† Worker’s rights are very important to me as well.

Books, books, books!! I love them, maybe because she taught me to love them. Some things are hard to say, and I now write to get a lot of things out. Part of why I think I love books and writing is because Mom shared this with me. She also read just about anything. Stephen King’s Cujo and Firestarter were lying on her night table, so at an early age (12 or 13), I had read them after finding them in her room. There were ugly things and even profanity inside them. It almost seemed taboo, and I was hungry for even more. Perhaps she reasoned that it was better to prepare me for the world in this way. Maybe, she listened to all those people who told her I was precocious, and just let me read what I wanted.¬† I thank her so much for not trying to keep blinders on me, though I was reading these books long before she let me see R movies….Still, I loved this secret world of knowledge. And life happened, as it does to all of us. It will shock and disappoint, so why restrict our written education? Those books created warriors who arose from horrible situations, except Cujo, which just taught us to be sure your dog gets rabies shots. I hated King for a while, but it sure didn’t stop me from devouring the next Stephen King book!

Thanks Mom, for leaving a door open for me that sparked my imagination, and thank you for being the best example of what I could grow up to be!

I wish everyone a happy and relaxing Mother’s Day!

-Pamela

Detours in Time, Book Promo Graphic. (A Mad Scientist’s Reflection)

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So you contrive a powerful piece of machinery that can take you to the past or the future. ¬†Only, it in itself is not foolproof. ¬†There are always bugs to be worked out…

Then, you contrive a list of rules for time-travel to avoid sticky situations and a possible paradox.  Except, your time-travel companion has a different moral compass than you.  Can you make her adhere to your made-up rules when they start to challenge her sense of ethics?  With two people of completely different mindsets, can a compromise be reached, or does one of them have to bend?

Read Detours in Time and its tale of time-travel and the messes we can make. ¬†What the heck. ¬†It’s summer! ¬†Time for a journey….

I thank the two people who have reviewed my book this last week!  The review goal is truly an uphill climb, but they are coming in.   This is my first full-length novel, after all.

Detours in Time is 305 pages long, available in Kindle and paperback, or free to read on Kindle Unlimited.  Look it up at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF and add it to your Kindle or bookshelf!

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#weekendcoffeeshare A New Year’s rollercoaster

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how I don’t like rollercoasters anymore.¬† They make me feel whiplashed.¬† Well, whiplash (a metaphorical kind) is what my life gave me this last week.From watching a rented movie New Years Eve to time spent in an ER New Years Day, to spreading news of my first book now in paperback, I don’t think normal is meant for me.¬† Even keel?¬† I have to try hard to maintain it these days.

I am so grateful that through this last week that I’ve had the support of my mom, my significant other, and my church family.¬† Because New Year day was horrible, getting a call from Shands hospital that my son had been in a bad car accident.¬† They couldn’t tell me anything else, so I went down there.¬† And sat, and waited, for at least an hour before someone could tell me his status since nurses and doctors were really busy in the ER.¬† Let me tell you, that hour is the worst.¬† Shands is the leading trauma center in our city.¬† I knew that, and it made me even more worried, not knowing the extent of the accident.

Finally, I got details, and when I saw him they had him sedated and in a neck brace.¬† I worried about his state of mind.¬† The next day, when he was in a regular room, he was awake.¬† Thank God! A day later he was discharged, and he has a concussion.¬† Considering all of my worries, we are blessed that he got nothing worse.¬† My writing this week has been seriously affected by this event;¬† I didn’t work on any writing projects or add to any flash fiction challenges, but I did post a free verse poem that acknowledges the process and pain of a fellow traveler in the ER that day and my struggle of being between two places, grief and relief.¬† https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/10117/

After resting at home a day,¬† he went back to work, and so did I.¬† That evening, I got an uplifting piece of news.¬† The work I did over Christmas break paid off!¬† I had gone into KDP at Amazon and converted my first ebook into a paperback.¬† I had to re-do it a few times, and then after hitting publish, it took a few days to go “live.”¬† My mother ordered one, and I wasn’t telling anyone until I saw that the finished product was presentable.¬† It was a lot of hard work to figure out the formatting and their requirements; formatting is not my forte.¬† But I persevered!¬† It looks good! I think I should have gone with a smaller trim size (or whatever it’s called).¬† My mom’s excited because many of her friends love reading but don’t have a Kindle.¬† Therefore, my writing is getting into the hands of more people, which excites me immensely!¬† You may view or purchase the paperback of my sci-fi romance, Made for Me, at¬† http://www.amazon.com/dp/1520250215, and here’s what it looks like:

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I had kept getting error messages about the text possibly getting cut off at the edges.¬† Well, it’s all there!¬† It was nice to get some good news after all that went on this week.¬† While I was a little down about not being able to work on any current writing projects, this came up and reminded me:¬† “Pam, this is who you are and what you do.¬† Nothing can take that away.¬† Rest if you need to, and then come on back to it.¬† You’ve achieved many things so far, and when ready, you’ll continue.”¬†¬† That’s my self-talk to get me through the rest of the year.¬† *sighs with relief.

weekendcoffeesharelogo  Weekend Coffee Share is hosted at parttimemonsterblog.com and is a community effort shared by bloggers worldwide, where we share our insights, our comings-and-goings of the week, latest projects, or anything else under the sun.  Join the chat and add your link at parttimemonsterblog.com, while visiting some of the other posts.  I have met all types of writers and creative types through this effort!