Weekend Coffee Share, Virtually Social

 

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.  It’s half-caff for me, with creamer and honey to boost my immune system.  Not that I should worry, I’ve been social distancing quite well and wearing a mask in public.

Last night, I invited three teacher friends to a Zoom card party called Cards Against Quarantine.  It is very cheeky, inappropriate fun!  One of the gals lives in Hawaii now but is moving back this summer, so we talked a long time after the card game.  I’m not used to staying up that late, but it was great fun.  I’m glad I downloaded that game.  Otherwise, it’s mostly work, work, work and streaming shows or movies these days.  I do manage to keep exercising, though.  I got my mile in this morning on the Gazelle.  Got to stay healthy!

On the topic of health, I went for x-rays Thursday.  I should hear from my doctor next week. I don’t think there is a tear, so perhaps what I feel is muscular.  I’m steal reading about the mind-body connection.  I am a personality type that holds a lot of tension in my body and often find it difficult to shut off my mind.  Yoga helps, but I skipped it yesterday due to feeling limited with my arm.  I am on the computer daily because of teaching online and have not spent much time writing my next novel.  That will certainly come this summer when I have more free time!  In the meantime, I bought playdough to play with and create things.  I also plan to schedule more online card parties or ‘girls’ nights’ for sure!

School ends in thirteen days. I hope to plan a fun last day in a Live meeting.  We discussed sharing poems and perhaps making one into a song.  One student volunteered to play guitar and another to play piano in the background.  I think it will be a melodious, joyful way to end this crazy school year!

I do hope you all are well and will have a great weekend.  If you are interested in any of my books, check them out at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716  or find my latest, a great place to start, at Malachi, Ruse Master

In a few days, look for my post about writing 9-11 and COVID-19 into my novels!

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/13. A Writer’s Life.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where the Florida temperature may tempt you to take your coffee iced, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

Be sure to check out my flash fiction for this week (there is one, a quick read on one young man’s struggle growing up): Take a Hike #RDP

This week, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with a writer friend at Whole Foods Tuesday and lunch with a teacher friend on Wednesday!  I am passionate about writing and passionate about teaching, so both days, I was fueled.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like much is going on with my writing, but I really do have a lot in progress and a lot of ideas in the hopper.

In fact, I wrote a Facebook post about this, as I really am working on a lot this summer, but I tell people, “No, I’m not working a summer job.”  People need to appreciate the work a writer does, though.  Here is the post:

I am a Writer Living the Dream, Edition 1~
1. Since I am an introvert (mostly), I am find staying inside a few hours this morning at my laptop, promoting the Undercurrents in Time Kindle and working on the next book, “Malachi,” a natural thing to do. I’ve posted on Facebook & Twitter about the promotion. Crossing my fingers. Sold 1 yesterday and 1 today.    Undercurrents in Time is the sequel to Detours.  You can check it out or order it here: Undercurrents in Time on Amazon

-1. Conversely, being able to sit so long at the laptop doing “book stuff” (which includes sometimes seeing what everyone on Facebook is up to), makes me stiff and causes lower back pain. So, I get up when it screams at me. I got up to type this, in fact. 
2. In my blog world on WordPress, I am promoting some other authors who are part of this online Book Club where authors or readers read and give reviews, sometimes getting reads and reviews.  I also plan to put more Flash fiction there in the next weeks; I am just itching to do so. It will be on my own schedule, though.  The blogs on other authors are for members of Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (an International Writer’s Association).  They are under the category of Authors Discovered and can be found by clicking that category to the right of the page or try clicking this link to see the most recent posts on the various featured authors:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/category/authors-discovered/
3. I’ve sent the first few pages of the work in progress “Malachi” to a writer friend for thoughts and ideas. I am not sure who I am marketing it towards, but it intersects with events and characters in Detours in Time Book2 (Undercurrents in Time).  Mom said, it’s really different, that I am “branching out.” This could only be a good thing, right? Though I’ve read it’s good to find your own niche, however, I want to do different things as well, and I don’t like formulaic advice. Gotta be me! I also have contacted two professional beta readers about this new manuscript. I have typed the whole book including the ending! Now, I just need to see if there are plot holes that I can’t see, as it is my own personal work of art. We aren’t that objective about things we create and love. I love all of my books and my characters, how could I not?
4. I sent a newsletter yesterday to 365 people who don’t seem to care. Each time I send one, 5-7 unsubscribe, but that happens when they may have signed up just to get a freebie. My freebies are only short stories or previews now. Learning as I go. Haven’t tried for new subscribers in a while, but I will soon.
5. This felt good, though: I chose a chapter that I think is quite interesting in “Malachi” that I will put through Calbri (not sure about the name) to put in BookFunnel as a free sample. I’ll let you know when it’s available!
6. With the writing of “Malachi,” I have interjected the character of Ellie from Undercurrents in Time. Lines come to me while I’m driving or brushing my teeth. I’m writing down bits here and there and then will develop my outline for the book to follow “Malachi,” starring Ellie, who is another unique character from Undercurrents in Time. They will both intersect in Ellie’s book as well (yet to be titled).
7. I anxiously await the narration to be done on the Detours in Time audiobook as I am hoping I will gain lots of new Detours readers/listereners in that way, and it should come out this fall, between Sept. and Nov. is the plan. I have decided on text for the audition for Undercurrents in Time as well so I need to set that up on the Audible production site.
8. When people ask if I am working this summer, I say no. I guess I love doing this stuff, but let’s be honest:  It is work. Call it a labor of love!

So, that pretty much sums up my week!  On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., it was 80 with 88 degree humiture, and my dog and I couldn’t quite take coffee hour on the porch; we had to go inside.  I took him to the park Thursday around 10 and he was panting so much.  I need to start waking up earlier!  My summer Netflix habit has had me staying up until midnight watching Ozark, an awesome but dark show sort of like Breaking Bad but set in hillbilly country, and the first season of Outlander.  This is what teachers do in the summer, isn’t it?  I’m sure I won’t have much time once school starts.  Have a great week and enjoy what is left of summer!

Best of the Year. Dec. 6-11. #2018BOTY

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Image from Beaton at Becoming the Muse Blog

This is my second post for Best of the Year.  My blogging habit involves forgetting for a few days, so I am posting a few days at a time.

6. Album-Imagine Dragons, “Evolve”, which includes “Whatever it Takes” and “Natural.” I am not really up to speed on new albums.  When it comes to music, I know what I like, and I stick with it.  However, I do listen to the radio at times, and Imagine Dragons is one of my favorite.  Specifically, “Whatever it Takes” is a favorite.  It motivates me and makes me want to do things, not just getting out of bed, but making a difference in this world.  I love the lead singer’s voice, and the lyrics just pop.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOsM-DYAEhY

In fact, I’m playing it right now to get my plans for the day in gear!

7. Experience- Sailing in RI.  I wrote a blog post on it this summer in July or August.  My dad and his firned in RI took us sailing past Naragansett Bay and toward the ocean.  It was a little scary, but quite inspiring.  Sometimes things that scare you can really wake you up to life.  That, and it was a beautiful day with awesome sights!

Sail37095898_10212769026329507_8157927827677642752_n  RI2018.37420295_10212814253380155_4076472461292470272_n It was sunset by the time we got back, and what a beautiful sunset!

8. Meal- Lunch in Amelia Island at a quaint little seafood place.  Sadly, I have not been trying new things much.  My stomach over-reacts to certain things, so I am pretty careful.  However, there is one meal I remember fondly.  It was a lovely day, and we sat outdoors.  I had a club sandwich with blue cheese potato salad, something I don’t eat often, and the potato salad was of a kind I have never tried.  It was scrumptious!  I was having weird stomach issues and afraid to eat seafood, but this lunch was great.  I splurged and had a lot of calories in that lunch.  The friends I went with are all retired teachers, and we were having a lot of fun that day, shopping and lunching.  Then, one of them starts throwing fries on the ground for the birds.  🙂  Those birds were having a party…

9. Drink- Orange is the New Crack. It’s kind of like an Orange Julius for adults.  This accompanied my meal at Amelia Island with my friends.  Doesn’t the name explain itself? Can you believe I only had one?

10. News Story- I avoid the news. The only news stories I can recall made me cry this year.  But I appreciate those that bring me to tears of joy and hope; one example would be the kindness and humanity that arose out of the fires in Malibu, CA in November.  People were stuck in their cars with the fire blazing around them; they could not get out.  However, groups rescued many left behind animals and took them in.  People risked their lives to help others.  One of them, a garbageman whose boss told him to cut his route short and go home, instead checked on the homes of some of the elderly residents he knew.  He ended up rescuing one 93-year-old woman.  Thank God for those with a heart!   https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/17/us/camp-fire-garbageman/index.html

11. Purchase- Gazelle.  It’s an exercise machine that does not require electricity.  I purchased it in case we had another homebound/hurricane scare this year, which I am glad to say we didn’t!  Two years in a row we had them, and I gained weight due to comfort eating.  I am at a point where I still think I look just fine, but I do not need five more pounds.  Guess what?  I use it twice a week, don’t have to brush my hair like I would for the gym, and I can read while on it in relative peace and quiet, unlike my exercise experience at the gym.  Which reminds me, I need to cancel that membership….

Thanks for reading!  In a couple of days, I will have a few more for you!

 

Taking in Nature’s Beauty. #writephoto

Photo credit, Sue Vincent.

“Taking in Nature’s Beauty,”  a short story.

(c) 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa

“You have the words to describe it; I struggle with this.  It’s beautiful, though.”  Matt sounded unsure of himself and felt like a heel, remembering she couldn’t describe what she couldn’t see.  Or could she?

They sat on a log, and Pauline felt the breeze change.  Yes, they were in the presence of great beauty.  Only, Pauline could not see it.  Matt didn’t know how to describe it.  She fought against frustration at him, confident she could coax the words out of him.  Asking questions usually got her some clear answers.

“There are mountains,”  Matt began.

“How many Matt?  Two?”

“No, More.”  A man of few words, he was more at home in the world of numbers.

“Are they connected?”

“Yes.  Some of them could be as one, but with more behind them.  The two in fronted are separate, almost as if to let you see the ones beyond them.”

Pauline was forming a picture in her head.  “Is the sun shining at all?”

“Yes, there are a few rays of light, but clouds, too.”

“The sun only shines through in one spot?”

“Oh, no, there are several patches in the clouds letting in light, though they are thick and gray to one side.  It’s lovely.”

“Yes, I felt the clouds, the coolness, coming on.”

“There is a stream, and some trees,” Matt went on.

“What sort of stream?”  she asked.

“Um, just, a stream, no, a lake.”  Matt stopped there.

“Yes, it’s sounds quite lovely.  It feels so lovely,” Pauline mused.  In her head was the most wonderful picture of the scene that she sensed with her being.  It was void of color, for she had never seen color and only imagined it as variations of shading, as on a person’s skin, for she’d had such things described.  Color, to her, was an emotion, such as being on a rollercoaster, tasting a spicy food, or getting a cut on her foot as she had that one time.  It was all so frustrating to her as a child, but she developed an imagination that would fill in the gaps.  When people described beauty, she imagined how it would look, and it pleased her.

“Anything else, Matt?”

“Oh, I don’t know.  It just feels good being here.”  He grabbed her hand.

“Yes, it does.”  She held his hand tighter, needing no more explanation.  They’d gone way ahead of the other members in their group and had a few minutes to sit still and enjoy the scenery, each in their own way.  A hawk flew over, and his call resounded through the valley, carrying another breeze toward them.

~The end~

The #writephoto challenge is a weekly writing challenge based on a new photograph presented at https://scvincent.com and you may visit this week’s challenge at Write Photo Thursday Prompt

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. “My Friend.”

Photo credit, (c) Louise at The Story Teller’s Abode

We’d been friends for many years.  That year, our families took a vacation together.  The sights were beautiful.

Michael was not sleeping.  He was constantly on the go.  His dad wouldn’t let him go alone for fear he’d not return, so I tried to keep up with him.  Once, his dad accompanied him, and they’d both come back angry.

I was tired.

It was sunrise.  He grasped my hand and raced us toward the water.  “A boat!  We’ll sail in a boat!”

He looked crestfallen as we saw that the tide was low.  Michael sat in the wet sand.  “I’m sorry.  I think I’m out of control.  I never asked what you want to do.”

I smiled.  “I want to sit still with you, and watch the tide come in.”

“Still my friend?”

“Yes, still friends, Michael.”

He put his arm around me and said, “Thank you for looking out for me.”

I sat pondering, knowing that someday I’d need my space, hoping he’d understand.

~The End~

 

165 words

A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

You can join the flash fiction fun at flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

The White Rabbit Hates Donuts! Stupid #&$t I did When I Was Young, pt 2

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Photo courtesy of Bing, Creative Commons.  This poor guy looks a little anxious. 😦  Okay, no animals were harmed in today’s story.  In fact, the white rabbit was not an animal, but a car.  It was the first car I was allowed to drive on my own.  Yes, I know, it sounds very Alice in Wonderland-ish, and maybe that’s actually fitting.  Too bad I don’t have a picture of that car.  The white rabbit, however, did not like donuts at all, and rebelled in kind.  Read on for the story of a lesson I learned the hard way at age 17, in my second Monday installment of “Stupid %&$t I Did When I Was Young.”

It was 1985.  Billy Idol played on my radio and in my cassette player almost non-stop.  I had a job.  That was great, even though it was in a fast food restaurant.  Even though I sometimes worked pretty late on weekend nights.  I had a car that could get me there, since Mom had just bought a newer car for herself.  The white rabbit was a Volkswagen Rabbit, and I know it had potential.  I just didn’t know what to do with it.

His name was *Jaxx.   (Or maybe it wasn’t. :))  He was different.  Outspoken, unafraid, with long hair and tall as an oak tree, no lie.  I was different, too.  Quiet.  Somber, would sit in a corner alone if I didn’t know anyone, and half the time, I’d have my head down too unless I was in a class with some of my friends.  Honest,  I didn’t die my hair black, though many probably expected me to.  This was 11th grade, and I had some interesting friends, quite an assortment.  One of them was really into getting into every rock concert or going to see every new band she could.  I went with her many times.  Through her, I met Jaxx.  He didn’t have a car; I did.  But what he did have, was a fake i.d.  Imagine what a valuable piece of plastic that was to us!  I would gladly drive him places.  Well, some of my other friends wanted to go, and they’d bring boyfriends.  Inevitably, I let him drive my car because I’d get, you know, too tired to drive.  Sometimes they’d meet me up at the *Jack in the Box (Name changed to protect the innocent restaurant chain) and get something through the drive-through, then wait in the parking lot until I got off.  I don’t think I got much sleep back then.

We’d go off to the drive-in movies or out driving.  When I let Jaxx drive, he usually drove like a crazy man.  Hey, it was a five speed!  One night, a bunch of them wanted to try and do donuts, round repeated spins at high speed, in the car.  I think it was just my car, well, someone had a Pinto, maybe it was subjected to donuts, too.  I don’t know; it gets hazy.  So, yeah, they were doing that and I was just laughing with everyone else, in a lackadaisical, anything goes spirit.  Why worry?  Why question it?  Who does that when they’re 17 and having fun anyhow?  Oh, I sure needed to learn a lesson.

We were out so late this one night, I just knew I’d be in serious trouble.  Jaxx said, “Man, I stay in trouble.  I’d just like to run off.”

And I said something like, “Yeah.  I should do that.  I’m tired of my mom’s strict rules.  I’m tired of school.”

Well, everyone else had to go home to avoid grounding, I guess, but he and I didn’t want to go home.  We decided we would just run off.  Now, I’m sure my car sounded bad, but for some reason I don’t remember specifics.  However, it got us to an IHOP on the other side of town, Westside, I think.

We sat there eating something cheap, and I was drinking coffee, thinking what am I doing here.  Looking at the night shift waitress thinking, will I need a job like that to feed myself?  What were we thinking?  Are Jaxx and I gonna live together?  Could we even stand each other?  Mind you, we weren’t actually dating and he’d never kissed me.  He had a fake i.d.and devil may care attitude.  I had a car, and an easy-going attitude.  Meaning, I didn’t really look out for myself.  I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

I looked at him, and he looked at me, and one of us, I’m not sure who, said, “This was not a good idea.”  What a relief.

“Yeah, I guess I’ll have to face grounding.  I’m tired,”  I said.

“You look tired,”  he agreed.  Actually, I think he said something much meaner.  See what I mean?  All this guy had going for him was a fake i.d.  So glad I came to my senses.

Of course, I got grounded.  Of course, something was wrong with the car.  It got me home, but it didn’t start the next day.  I asked one of my friends who had been there to tell me what happened to it.  She told me, “Jeff says Jaxx knocked the engine off the engine block.”  Great.  If I would’ve just told him to get out of my car, if I would have just taken care of my car, what a frustration.  I hadn’t.  I didn’t look out for myself, either.

I don’t know if Jaxx had already been a dropout, or if it happened soon after, or if I just didn’t have the guts to tell him he caused that damage to the car and owed me for repairs. Summer was just a month or two away, anyhow. The car sat in our driveway for months until Mom got someone to buy it for dirt cheap.  That was part of my punishment, losing the car.  I knew I deserved it.  She had been rife with worry that whole night that I was out until 4 or 5 a.m.  I can sympathize with her now, looking back.

I got rides to work, rides home, waited around so Mom could drop me off before work.  I worked, and save $700 for some kind of used Plymouth that did its own donuts on the side of the road when it was rainy out.  Guess I’m lucky I lived.  That car liked donuts. :p We won’t go too far into how I felt, sitting at the side of the road, heart racing.  God, it was a close call.  Considering it once happened on a highway, I must have had someone looking out for me.

It seems like I straightened up in Senior year, realizing my love for Literature, and that I could actually go to college, just had to choose carefully which classes I chose to sleep in.  I kept working, got a better part-time job, still driving that rusty Plymouth, but I was able to get some work done on it.  It became less dangerous to me, thank God!  My outlook on life was a lot lighter, brighter.  Maybe I was more determined.  My dad was going to pay my first two years of tuition if I paid for books.  So, I did go on to get my college degree, working and paying for the rest of it myself.  After all, you learn a lot more when you pay for what you get.  A tough lesson, an education.  And don’t subject the white rabbit to donuts, or so-called friends who insist on donuts!

*Some names have been changed to avoid dredging up the past.  Well, it is prominent in my memory right now, it being summer time, but I would like to have certain people remain just that, a memory. 🙂

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