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!

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Letting My Characters Speak. Giving Inspiration the Driver’s Seat, #amwriting

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A representation of Malachi.  Photo via Pixabay.

All writing © Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2019.

There comes a time when a parent is no longer shaping and molding her child, when she/he must simply take a step back and observe, when everything you say or advise seems to be a reiteration of things you’ve already taught them.  That’s when it’s time to stand back and listen.  Well, it’s the same with our main characters. This has been coming into play with the writing of my current manuscript, tentatively titled, Malachi.  Malachi goes through some interesting experiences, and seeing them through his eyes was a whole lot of fun!

“I came to this job through an ad in the newspaper.   It read:  Acting job.  Get your foot in the door.  The tryout was basically an interview, and I didn’t get a call back until a week later.  Probably enough time for a background check.  I should have known right away that salty old guy in jeans was no director.”   –Malachi, work in progress

In undertaking this novel, I knew that I wanted to see things through a different point of view.  This book is in first person, and I know some people either prefer to read first person or totally shy away from it.  However, it does really place you in the character’s shoes.  Writing this novel for sure put me in this character’s shoes.  Why did I want that?  Well, Malachi is an interesting character who surfaced in my novel, Undercurrents in Time, because Cr. Milt Braddock has his fingers in something he knows nothing about handling.  Malachi is one of those hired to help him deal with it.  We don’t learn much about him, where he’s from, who his family is, who he relies on in times of distress, or why he does what he does.  He has what we would call an interesting job, and he is good at it.  That was apparent in Undercurrents.  He is a twenty-year-old kid who has the skill of flying by the seat of his pants, answering hard questions on the fly, and concocting a story to help him get through any situation.  He also failed out of college.

I found that, in putting myself in his shoes, I really wanted him to succeed yet understood the pitfalls he encountered.  (I was once young, myself, you know). Why was he so lonesome even when he was successful?  Maybe it helped that I am the mother of a son who is in his early twenties, whom I have seen flounder through a few years not knowing his direction, who has changed his path a few times.  I love writing the story though, putting myself in a character’s shoes and helping him while at the same time, putting some huge mishaps on his path.

Most of all, what I have enjoyed about writing this story in first-person-point-of- view is the listening.  In the morning, I get up and go to the kitchen.  I think, what would Malachi do first?  Then, I suppose I listen.  What would be going through his head?  Then I try to think like that.  On that note, what would be in Malachi’s kitchen cupboard?  Evidently, not much!  Remember, I was once young too…

Malachi’s story will likely be published in the spring or summer of 2020.  I am just getting to the end of the first draft, and will begin the process of editing, revising, and all of that fun stuff.  Malachi appears in the second book of the Detours in Time series.  If you haven’t yet, you can start the Detours in Time series today: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B07F5WPK72

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Character visualization and WIP, Detours in Time Series. #amwriting #scifi

Image (c) Enrique Meseguer via Pixabay

I’m playing with visualization as the character of Ellie grows stronger in my mind.
Ellie appears across several timelines in Undercurrents in Time (Detours, Book 2), shows up in my WIP, “Malachi,” (2020) and will feature in an upcoming novel (2021?). Who is the mysterious Ellie?
Start reading the Detours in Time series today and get to know the intriguing cast of characters! Available in Kindle, print, or Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF
Photo Credit goes to Enrique Meseguer via Pixabay.

 

Series link:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B07F5WPK72/kindle/ref=sr_bookseries_null_B07F5WPK72

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Malachi’s Zodiac Sign-Aquarius. #characterbuilding #WIP

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They don’t bear their soul, they trust no one.  Malachi is a side character in Undercurrents in Time who is hired briefly to help Dr. Milt Braddock secure some of his scientific secrets by scoping out the competition.  Why?  Because Malachi is good at being sneaky and fitting it everywhere.  He doesn’t bear his soul, what he bears is a made up fiction to fit any given situation.  Malachi is also now the main character in my work in progress, tentatively titled, Malachi.

I’ve used Zodiac details to flesh characters in the past, such as Tabitha in Detours in Time and its sequel, Undercurrents.  It really helps me get into the character and imagine them as a flesh and blood person.   Malachi is an excellent actor and well, a good liar.

From  https://www.yourtango.com/2016285888/fascinating-way-you-tell-lies-per-your-zodiac-sign   WHo lies best?  “Like Geminis, Aquarians are creative and witty storytellers. Their lies may be too good to be true, but they deliver it so flawlessly that people end up believing them.”

From  https://maripiermorin.com/en/2018/02/12/aquarius-kids-are-too-cool-for-school/

“If you have an Aquarian in your life, you know how goddamn independent they are. Supposedly, they need space to love you back – pfff. So if you let them have their personal freedom, you’ve won half the battle.”  Malachi totally relies on himself but finds himself in a financial, emotional, and moral battle in his youth which has the possibility to create a turning point.  Not to mention, when someone is so dishonest with the world (and perhaps, himself), relationships are either a struggle or non-existent.

Aquarians, in the above article, are termed “Too cool for school.”  “To put it simply, they just have this je-ne-sais-quoi without even knowing they have it. Cool-kids like these come with a knack for starting and entertaining conversations with people of all kinds of walks of life. If I can give you a tip: Beware of the moment they switch from entertained to bored. It does happen quite suddenly if you’re a little too square for them.”  Malachi has an excellent gift of gab.  He wows all of his professors and puts on an excellent Hamlet.  He wows everyone until the day of mid-term exams.

Weaknesses- “You shut down your emotions like you shut down your laptop, right?”  Again, Malachi avoids his family because of the drama that surrounds them, and he has lied to most of them since childhood.  He rarely shares his feelings with anyone.  He’s a young man living in a new town, failing out of college because having deep discussions with your professor is not enough to pass, and struggling to find a new life plan that also provides food and shelter.  He knows he must survive on his own, so indulging in his emotions is a luxury he can’t afford.

Another Aquarian weakness:  “Idealistic because you think it’s the same as being realistic.”  I wasn’t sure if that fits Malachi.  Though people change in times of scraping to survive.

You’ll have fun reading about Malachi, and maybe you’ll be familiar with his struggle for identity as he finds himself in a world of deception.   I even enjoyed remembering being in my young twenties, looking at myself through a new lens, trying not to judge myself and others as I was taught as a child.  This book is not sci-fi per se, but Malachi  is linked to many characters from my sci-fi series, Detours in Time.  One example is Ellie, whose identity and place in the space–time continuum is slowly being revealed, even to me.  Characters can tend to do that.

Overall, this book is devoted to the character Malachi, and the people he comes across, the development of ihis identity, and his struggle to discover just what kind of person he is.

There will be more behind-the-scenes hints in the next few months.  This one is going to stew on the stove, as I slowly fit it in with many other goals I am seeking this year.  Look for it in 2020!

Tabitha’s Character Zodiac, a Detours in Time character study

Tabitha Hansen of Detours in Time.  Photo via Pixabay.com.

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This is a source idea I read about online somewhere for NANOWRIMO inspiration as I wrote the second of my books starring Tabitha, a character in the time travel series, Detours in Time.  Tabitha, a.k.a Pinky, is in her early thirties.  In book two, she no longer answers to the moniker 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 the movie star, Ashley Judd, in her thirties.  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.

She’s a student when she meets Milt, but after graduating, she works in an art gallery because it brings more money than trying to sell her own art.  She is prone to moodiness and flights of fancy, yet, set in her ways.  Her parents are deceased, and she 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. 🙂

The idea that inspired me was to match my character to a Zodiac sign, and make it hers.  I know little about any signs other than my Gemini sign, so I found a helpful article about Aries at http://www.yourtango.com/2015261912/13-brutal-truths-about-loving-aries-as-written-by-aries  by Andrea Zimmerman.  It is easy to see my character Tabitha in this zodiac description.

The article is titled “13 Brutal Truths about Loving an Aries, (As Written by One)”  What are our Aries friends like?

     “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.”

Like I said, don’t get on Tabitha’s bad side.  She’s a pistol, for sure, but fiery can also mean passionate, and if she loves you, she will love you deeply and without faltering, as is also mentioned in this same article.

     “We have an ego…. 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!”

In fact, there are times when Tabitha has Milt, whom she meets when he hires her to clean his university office, outright confused.  This is a little difficult for him, as he is a university Science professor who is socially awkward.

     “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.”

Of course, Tabitha is adventurous!  She agrees to join Milt (Dr. Milt Braddock, that is) on more than one time travel journey.  Though she may not be as open-minded as he is, (where he is more perceiving, she is more judging), she is curious enough to get in that vehicle and take the leap!      

     “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.”

I liked this description, because it does seem to describe some dreamers and artistic types, and Tabitha is definitely one of those.  She paints some interesting images in Detours in Time, images which seem to come to her mind fully formed, and she discovers a new artistic medium in Undercurrents in Time to express her emotional state.  Milt, on the other hand, seems like the small details guy.

     “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.”  Like I implied, don’t get Tabitha angry, but if you are on her good side, she’ll defend you to the death.  You can witness that in book 1 and 2 of the Detours in Time series.    

     “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.”

I have to chuckle here, because this character trait definitely comes into play in Detours in Time Book 1, when they first get to the future.  In face, Milt is so beside himself over her reactions to their surroundings that he tricks her into being silent for a good part of one or two chapters, much to his later regret. 🙂

    Thank you to Andrea at yourtango.com for the inspiration.  I thank you all for joining the fun!  I thought this was a good strategy that someone else could use, or, perhaps I just entertained and distracted you for a few minutes.  Writing this series has been a journey, a journey of the mind, and while I had many distractions like fender benders, family issues, and full-time work, the world of the Detours in Time characters has been such a fun escape for me.

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You can preview or start reading the Detours in Time series today by clicking here: Detours in Time.  It’s available in Kindle, paperback, or read free with Kindle Unlimited.

Detours in Time has earned a Literary Titan Award for sci-fi and the title of Official Selection in Young Adult Sci-fi/or Horror in the New Apple Literary Summer E-book Awards.  Read the book reviewed as “a great way to spend a few hours in both another world and another time!” –Tome Tender Book Blog

#Weekend Coffee Share. Of Coffee…. and Books!

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8 a.m.- Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com! Today is the day of my first ever book-signing, something I have been dreaming of since I first decided I might like being a writer at age twenty. Pardon me if I am a little distracted….I will be adding to this post later, after the book signing, so that I can tell you how it went! For now, I have half a cup of coffee with cream, as I am sure to grab a cup later at the coffee shop directly across from the bookstore, San Marco Books.

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I’ll be signing my novel, Detours in Time, and the sequel, Undercurrents in Time. Detours in Time is my pride and joy. Undercurrents is also special to me, but with a different tone and focus. It’s like knowing you want liquorice, but today you want red liquorice, and yesterday only black liqourice would do. I’ll be signing the books at a lovely little indie bookstore in the best of areas, sitting at a table at the front of the store on a beautiful day in Florida! Excuse me, I need to stop talking about it and actually do this!

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10 p.m.- Okay, so the day is now over! I had more than half a cup of coffee. However, I had no more than that. A friend offered to get me something at the sandwich shop across the street, and I asked for sweet tea. It got me a little wired. Perhaps that was due to my already being nervous and excited. It worked out though. The weather was wonderful. I had lots of supportive friends come out, some I hadn’t seen in quite a while, and I talked to plenty of new people about my books, passing out postcards with my website info. This one friend really surprised me though:

Turns out, a few of my friends surprised me by wearing t–shirts they got made just for the occasion! My heart was aflutter. Just for me? I have the best friends in the world, and I feel so loved! They gave my mom a shirt as well, since she is my number one supporter and fan!

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This day was a dream come true. Do you know just how long I’ve dreamed of this? My heart is full!

Follow the current Weekend Coffee Shares here:  Weekend Coffee Share 11/03

Side Character Sunday. The Brother.

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He’s young, innocent, and sensitive.  Until he drowns that innocence and sensitivity.  Tabitha’s brother becomes a plot point in the novel, Detours in Time and a good bit of the character development in Detours in Time and its sequel, Undercurrents in Time.  Why does he keep running?

In Detours in Time, Tabitha finds out some truths about her brother during time travel to the future.  After all, an internet search in 1997 was not so detailed and not even thought of by most people.  If someone disappeared from your life, you called the cops.  If they were over eighteen, you got the drill:  There’s not much we can do if he doesn’t want to come home.

Would you let a discovery from the future change the way you deal with a family member?  It’s probably an easy question.  Read Detours in Time, a sci-fi novel packed with moral dilemmas, sticky situations, and decisions made in the future that affect our present.

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Read Undercurrents in Time to continue the story.  Come for the curiosity, stay for the characters.  Both books available in Kindle or paperback and also in Kindle Unlimited.  You may find both books here:  Detours in Time Series on Amazon

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