Sanctuary in the Wide Open

Poem by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2020

The place I can go to escape it all

Is really not a place at all.

It’s not designed for us to go hide

There’s no door that lets you go inside….

But yet I run there to escape the chase

To hide out from the rat race,

And laugh at what I’d tried to chase…

None if that would soothe my soul…

Success or money won’t make me whole.

My sanctuary is the wide open

Freedom from worries unspoken,

No need to answer my phone here,

Seagulls and waves are all I hear.

I didn’t need a dark space to hide,

I needed free space to clear my mind.

Weekend Coffee Share, Somewhere Else

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share,  hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. It has been a nice little getaway weekend. Our first quarter at work has been completed and I have earned some R and R!

My boyfriend and I headed to Savannah, Georgia for sightseeing, good food, and a change of scenery. I loved the street musicians but was amazed that so many tourists there were mask free. Still, the people watching was fun.

I relaxed and enjoyed some time with Kenny. Today, I felt much less stressed at work, so the getaway must have worked!

On the writing front, the audiobook for Malachi, Ruse Master is still in progress. I have edited and published on Medium an article about faith and struggle. You may view it here: https://medium.com/@pamschloessercanepa/of-faith-and-the-eternal-struggle-f626c18f0a93

After returning Saturday afternoon, I didn’t do much. Sunday, I had brunch with a good friend who is a fellow writer along with my son and my mom. It was relaxing and enjoyable, with everything followed my a massage I so needed after being sick about ten days ago. I am recharged now! This is going to be a great week!

The Post Office Box, #shorttales #flashfiction

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The Post Office Box, (c) 2016 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Tussling with the dog. That was Jasmine’s story, this time. The scar would dissipate in a week, she knew. It did hurt. This was so unfair, yet, all too familiar.
Driving to work, Jasmine noticed she’d inadvertently put on one navy blue shoe and one black. An understandable mistake; they were almost identical, and those colors were close. I wonder if anyone will notice? She realized the light had turned. I sure don’t need a ticket.


To her left was the post office. Darn, I forgot that electric bill. Rick will lose it. Do I go back? She worried it might make her late, yet she didn’t need one more fight about the mail.


Her thoughts drifted to the invitation that had arrived the week before, for her ten year high school reunion. Of course, with a four month old baby and a full-time job, she hadn’t seriously considered. Still, she had thought of going.


“You just want to see all your old boyfriends! You wench!” Rick had screamed, holding the baby in his arms.


“No, Rick, don’t worry, I don’t need to go.” That’s how it always went. Keeping the peace. When she never received any in return.


Abruptly, she pulled into the post office. “I need a post office box,” she announced to the clerk. JUST for me.


With receipt of the key, she found the assigned box. It was cool inside. She imagined fitting inside of it, this doorway to distant places.

**A flash fiction story in 250 words or less, originally published here on WordPress and on Kurt Brindley’s writing website in 2016.  Want to see what happens? This story is posted with two alternate endings at https://www.wattpad.com/story/83522549-the-post-office-box-realisticfiction ; one is realistic fiction, and the other is paranormal fantasy.  Or, you may check the original WordPress posts where I first published the alternate endings. Realistic fiction ending: The Post Office, RF ending and Paranormal/fantasy ending: The Post Office, PF

 

Goodbyes and New Beginnings. #Flash FictionforAspiringWriters

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Ted Strutz. 

Upon arriving in Maine on a solo voyage, Kirstie rented a car.  It was beautiful and relatively mild here in the summertime.  She loved the local seafood and sights.

In two weeks Kirstie would marry a Wall Street stockbroker.  Of course, Richmond thought she was traveling with friends.  He’d intervene if he knew otherwise.  The longer she stayed in Maine, the more she loved the people, their accent, their attitude. Particularly that of Steven, the owner at Manford’s Clam Shack.  It was he who suggested she take a short jaunt to Nova Scotia, as she sat at the bar one night chatting.

“Only if you accompany me,” she answered. Then blushed.

He didn’t know she was set to be married.  When asked, Kirstie only said she was here to make a life change.  Steve pondered, realizing it was rare for him to take even a weekend off in the summertime.  This wasn’t the kind of thing he did.

“Deal,” he said, eyes smiling.

Days later, Kirstie sent a letter of goodbye to Richmond.

*A story 174 words long

 

Can you write a story with a beginning, middle, and end in 100-175 words or less based on a photo prompt?  It is challenging but quite a lot of fun.  Let your imagination fly!   Visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 

View other flash fiction entries and/or submit your own based on this week’s photo prompt!

Weekend Coffee Share. Delayed Rush

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.com.  I normally would be drinking coffee right now, but I’m putting it off since I want to maximize my relaxation today.  I really need to relax, (spoken with a nervous tick in my eye).

Do you know what middle-schoolers are like in the springtime?  You do?  Okay, multiply that by twenty.  Add in a dash of test anxiety and total relief when it’s all over.  I mean, nobody wants to learn anything right after taking an hour and a half test.  That describes my week.

Add  to that my participation in a screenplay contest that required me to learn a whole new format for my story ideas.  Formatting in Word?  Not my forte.  I am thinking short stories are more for me.  But I did it!  I finished and sent it off.  Now we wait for feedback.  I don’t expect to win anything.    At any rate, I’ll be editing a novel in the meantime, so I guess these two months will go by quite quickly.  I have a crick in my neck and a tick in my eye.  Hence, the reason I am delaying my coffee.  No, you go right ahead.  I really don’t mind.

I can delay my coffee need; I have an appointment at noon for ninety minutes in a float tank!  I remember how much better my stressed shoulders felt after the last time.  Except, last time, I kept coming back to my thoughts and observations.  I had a cup of coffee before I went.  I don’t need to be so alert.  Maybe I just need to slip a way for a little while…

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It’s worth a try.  I feel like a mermaid in the tank, and while it’s not as stylish and roomy as the one pictured here (plus the fact that my face is above water), I love the feeling of floating.  Either way, it’ll be good for relaxing my body.  I’m sure, when I’m done, I’ll head right for the coffee shop on the corner.

That’s my life lately.  I still have half of my editing to do on Undercurrents in Time.  Have you read Detours in Time yet?  The sequel is coming…

In the meantime, I’ve listened to Lana del Rey a lot lately.  Do you have any suggestions for inspiring music?  I always like something new.

Have a great week!  How are things in your corner of the world?  Please send your suggestions for music to inspire and help me kick back.  Not the kind to put me to sleep, but to take me away from the day’s frustrations and checklists of what is undone.  It’ll all wait.

Thanks to Allison for keeping the #WeekendCoffeeShare going.  Visit her and see other coffee shares or even submit your own at Eclectic Alli

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Staying Afloat

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/  I like completing this challenge weekly, if at all possible.  It helps me to check the gauge somewhat, and process where I am in my writing and life journey.  I apologize for the stressed tone in the first few paragraphs; there is relief if you read through, I promise!

I am sad to say I didn’t write much this week, except for a flash fiction at the start of the week based on a photo prompt.  What came out was sad and maybe a little bit touching.  You may find it here: Flawed Magic Men You know, it’s disillusioning when the faults of a a person you look up to as a small child become revealed little by little.   I’ll have a cheerful story another week!  Other than that, I’ve been so busy I can’t write, and I’ve only been able to read a little bit but not every night.  Still, a manuscript of mine is in the hands of a beta-reader, so my words are making progress!  I’ll be happy for that.

The aforementioned state of being busy was due to work, of course.  I’ve grumbled about the state of education already as of late, but I’ll just say I had a suggestion on how to do things.  I tried to plan it to make it work, and my plans were great, but I ended up working until 6:20 one day.  Getting home at 7 p.m. is just no good.  Seriously, I go to bed at 10 p.m.!  I still brought paperwork home and dealt with some of that while eating dinner.  Yikes!  It was quite frustrating.  I felt so behind on the paperwork because I took a day off Wednesday.  That day was great, in the morning.  I did a lot of social media and planning for my author strategy.  Rarely do I get to do that.  However, the afternoon was spent at the dentist, which gets my shoulders in a knot.  Never a good thing.

So, my mother sent me today to go to a flotation tank type spa.  Escape!  My body gets very tense with the events of my day and week.  Letting the words flow when I get home is great for my mind, but still may overuse the wrist, arm, bicep, etc.  My lifestyle is demanding in this way.  Though I have to remember to skip coffee next time, I did lose track of time and my body loved floating.  I felt like a mermaid!  I definitely came out of there with much less tension in my joints or worry on my mind.  I will certainly go again, just to see what it’s like with the door closed!  Baby steps….

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So, the moral of today’s post, is “I shall rise.”  Have a great weekend, everyone!

My Go-To. #WeekendCoffeeShare

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Bixby contemplates my morning coffee.  What is so magical about it, and what will she do if I sneak a few sips?  

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Allison athttps://eclecticali.wordpress.com.   I am trying to keep it short, but just to forewarn you, I have the attention span of a gnat this weekend.  Work was frustrating yesterday, and I am so tired of the national news dividing our nation even more.

At any rate, I have done my stretches this morning, and I plan to get a walk soon.  This is all part of my intention for this year to help me stay healthy and of a positive mindset.

My writing has been coming in spurts this week, unplanned, by the seat of my pants.  A pantser, that I am, at times.  I’m working on a new idea that is a spin-off of a character in my sequel that is in beta-reading mode, also known as waiting mode.  I also wrote a flash- fiction piece in one of the blog challenges this week.  It is a nice escape based on characters who got away from their daily grind to live in a luxurious, non-stop vacation world.  Only, they have to somehow afford that life.  Interested?  Read it here:  Swindled, 1/07/18. #flashfiction

Sometimes writing is a great escape for me and nothing but.  It is its own means to an end.  It would be great if I made enough money from it to take grand vacations, but it doesn’t matter.  I love what writing does for my mind. This brings me another of the key factors in my focus on seeking or harnessing energy in this new year: music.  My mind can race at times with thoughts, ideas, negation of my ideas, lack of ideas,  ruminations of my day, etc., etc.  It starts when I wake.  I have to calm it or tame the run-away train when I need to focus on getting one thing done (writing, cleaning…) or focus on getting myself ready for work and out the door on a workday morning.  Music helps.  It can also inspire me to get some writing done.  Here is my latest discovery that I am dying to share, and I hope you will go check out the video, Taro by alt-J.

 

The video visuals and the music together are just divine perfection, a comment on the human experience, our beautiful world, an understanding of those around us.  I found out this is a tribute to a war-time photographer named Taro, and all of the footage here is of peaceful images.  I found this when searching another song by alt-j with psychedelic undertones, because I love them; they take me away, and so does this song and its video.  Sometimes I need an escape from my mental chatter.  Writing can do that, my favorite out-of-this-world, creepy shows or movies do that (Haven, Haven) , books do that, and music does that, some music more than others.  Please enjoy this video.  It will surely provide a brief escape for your weekend.

Visit other coffee shares or add yours at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/weekendcoffeeshare-birthday-weekend/ by clicking the blue InLinkz button!  Have a great week!

 

 

Friday Fictioneers, “A Storyteller Must Tell.” #amwriting #flashfiction

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PHOTO PROMPT© Jan Wayne Fields

“Billy, that’s it!”  Roma pointed.  “They said she’s a famous author.  She’s been staying here three months.”

“Can’t be that famous.  Why isn’t she at the Hilton?”

Freshman in college, they both felt wise to the ways of the world.

“What’s that whispering?”  A middle aged woman with wild hair came out.

“Mrs. Frederici?  There’s a bonfire.  You should come.”

The woman smiled appreciatively, grabbing a walking stick.  “No one ever asked before.  I’ll go.  I only get one good hour of writing a day.  Arthritic hands.”

Roma asked, “Could you tell a story?”

Mrs. Frederici winked. “I’d love to.”

100 Words.

 

Rules:  Write a complete story in 100 words or less, based on the provided photo.  Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.   Include the photo prompt and link your story to through the Inlinkz button at https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/08/23/25-august-2017/

Readers, feel free to share your own at the link above and to check out other Flash fiction stories!

Yeah, the cliff-hanger was inevitable, though I do think Billy and Roma will resurface in future stories.  (This is their second adventure in my land of fiction :))

P.S. It took me all week to devise this story.  I’ve been quite unfocused, but I am so grateful that Billy and Roma came to my rescue.  Characters do that, you know.

 

Alone, (a short story). #writephoto

Photo provided by Sue Vincent at scvincent.com

No one knows where I am.  They’re probably saying I’m crazy.  That’s okay; I don’t expect most of them to understand.

I’m out here, all alone.  Miles away, on another continent.  The view is breathtakingly beautiful.  The sounds are inherently calming.  I don’t wake to an alarm; the slight hint of dawn and the chirping of birds is what wakes me every morning.

Chastity might understand.  Maybe one day I’ll go back for her.  Or maybe I won’t, if it could mean losing everything I have right now.

What I have now is freedom.  Like the gulls cawing above, I have freedom from my uncouth boss, freedom from bills, the mortgage, that ex-wife and her constant prying for alimony.  I have freedom from the stress.  The only thing I have to stress about now is what I’ll eat.  So far, I’ve been able to find a way, every time.  This is a life of survival, and I’m doing it.  I never thought I could give up that false security back home.  Now, I know it’s totally possible.

The beach breeze brings a pleasant, salty smell to the air.  Some days, I remind myself that the lack of a shower means a lack of interest–on my house, my credit cards, my car.  I let them repossess it, and the house went into foreclosure.  Some will say I was only trying to jilt my ex-wife, but they don’t see the larger monster that I needed to escape.

Money is what ruled me, and what was bound to kill me.  I was working non-stop, fueling myself with caffeine, Redbull and barbecue.  Now, I take my chances on a steep mountain or waking up in a hostel, not knowing if I’ll gather money to buy my next meal, but I am getting better day by day.  Instead of getting  heart disease, I will get leaner.

In a day or two, I’ll go to visit the monks on the next mountain.  I think they’ll agree with my decisions.  Learning to do without is really freeing.

 

 

*Every week, Sue Vincent posts a photo prompt and a challenge to fellow bloggers.  Directions are:  Use the image (below) as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 16th August and link back to this post with a pingback.

I invite you to visit the post on Sue Vincent’s blog at https://scvincent.com/2017/08/10/thursday-photo-prompt-alone-writephoto/

FFfAW: A New Alliance, Flash Fiction

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Photo credit:  Louise at Storyteller’s Abode

She walked over and Henry bristled.  “I’m here to be alone,” he said, curtly.

“Oh, I’ll just have a seat.  You won’t bite.  I can tell. Your body language says it all.”  She set down her huge bag and sat, carefully holding her dress down.  “You’re definitely overdressed.”

“So are you,” Henry said, realizing he’d been sized up.  He moved his equally stuffed bag to the other side.

“How long since you cut yourself loose of your chains?” She asked.

“A year,” Henry replied, smiling.  He thought he’d figured her out.  “How about you?  A pretty young woman, walking the beach, overstuffed bag.  Do you sleep here?”

“Do I look crumpled and wrinkly? Of course not.  This is how I pass the days.  Two years.”

“Sorry, no offense.”

“Okay.  Are you free for lunch?”  She replied.

“Why not?”

Two years and twenty beaches later, Henry was still wandering the shores with Kaitlynn.

 

**This Flash Fiction challenge is hosted by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/fffaw-challenge-week-of-may-23-2017/

How it works:  A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.   Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.   Please credit photo to photographer.  The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

Please check out other stories inspired by this prompt.  I hope you like what I cooked up.  No two are ever alike!