Chichin Itza means the mouth at the well of the Itza (Mayans). It is located in the Yucatan of Mexico. We took a ferry from our Royal Caribbean cruise ship to Playa del Carmen, then we walked 10 minutes to the tour company’s buses for a 2.5 hour drive. Ours was a van, much better. I didn’t know what to expect, but the tour was nothing but enlightening. Join me for some highlights!
My photos don’t do the etchings justice.
This week on my cruise vacation has been amazing! From this portion of the week, I feel so enriched learning about the culture and history of Mexico, the Mayans, and Chichen Itza.
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. It’s a Tazo Green Tea day again! I may have a coffee morning tomorrow. We all have our preferences! If we were having coffee ☕, I’d need to relax and have a laugh.
This week I’ve been trying to finish a lot of things with my school yearbook, and it has kept me busy, busy. That’s okay; I’ve made some rounds and talked with many more people, students as well, which is kind of fun! I’ve been at an almost frenetic pace, though. Next week we also start a state writing test.
I’m too busy to stop and stress over it, though. My boyfriend and I have also been planning a cruise vacation for June. Exciting! I’m not sure I want to swim with pigs though. I may have to just observe and laugh at my boyfriend’s antics!
Last weekend, we had a little drive to St. Augustine to visit Castillo de San Marco and have a great dinner. I was slightly distracted by the idea of the floating tiki bar though!
The fort has been here for centuries and is interesting to see. The weather was beautiful! It made for a great walk and dinner date.
We are expecting rain today. I had been planning to take my car in today but have gotten mixed up in the things I want to get done. Go, go, go! The challenge of my goals is fueling my energy. When I got home yesterday I was soooo tired that I ordered through Door Dash! It was healthy, though.
One must rest to rejuvenate, though. I slept in late and decided my car could wait till next weekend. I am going to dinner with the boyfriend later and we should be hanging out with another couple, as it’s his friend’s birthday. It should be fun, it always is. 🙂
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Natalie the Explorer. The drink for me is green tea today, and the background music is peaceful ambient. Actually, Saturday got away from me; I started this post yesterday but was not quite finished until this Sunday morning. Bear with me please! There is some good to share. 🙂
I’ve been posting a little this week about my trip to Rochester, NY, a much needed getaway.. I returned Monday at noon, and boy, was Bixby ever glad to see me! I was glad to get home, as there was a lot going on here while I was on vacation. There has been a family situation, and I am trying not to let it get me down. Sadly, my reading has brought me to the term Anosognosia, which describes what one of my loved ones is going through: refusal to accept that one is ill and needs medical help. The serenity prayer is going through my head so often now. Unconditional love means we love each other no matter what.
The Serenity Prayer also helped me get through a sudden, unplanned repair to my car. Sigh. I can handle it, but I can only handle my own reactions. I’ve been happy to see my local family and friends again, though.
Back in Florida, I’ve enjoyed sitting on my back porch in the sun eating breakfast a few times, but I fondly remember sitting on my friend’s patio in Rochester eating breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner. I even caught a beautiful sunrise once! Rochester is also home to many beautiful and historical sites.
There was a lot to enjoy of nature, whether rain or shine! We actually found Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite in the rain with rain ponchos on, but did not find that of Frederick Douglass. His statue, however, was located in the nearby park which we visited later at night. Such a beautiful sight.
My summer break will end soon, but I am at peace with that! I like knowing I can pay for my car repairs, and I certainly want to plan for future vacations. Considering I really love teaching overall, I don’t mind getting back to that while earning a paycheck, but I am planning future vacations. 🙂 Life is short! All I can do is do what I enjoy, live up to my responsibilities, and be there for those I love while respecting my own needs, which likely looks different for all of us.
Have a great weekend and an even better week to come!
Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share! Pull up a chair and have a cup of whatever appeals to you. On this pleasantly chilly day, I’m brewing warm coffee. This week has held many changes, but one thing remains the safe: COVID is out there and precautions are still very necessary, especially here in the state of Florida.
What does that mean for me? Wearing a mask non-stop while teaching, washing my hands frequently as I look at their rough skin, longing for a paraffin manicure. I am too practical for that, though, yet I may grow really desperate if they look even worse in a few months. COVID is not going away soon enough.
This week, I wistfully longed for the confidence to pursue my bucket list. High on the list is a visit to New Orleans for Joan of Arc’s annual birthday parade. I believe they made it virtual this year, which is in no way the same. I am hoping to go in the next 2-3 years, and it is the perfect way, in my opinion, to see New Orleans for the first time. It is not safe right now. Joan’s birthday was January 6th, 1412, and the parade includes the throwing of beads, yet I hear it is not as debauched as Mardi Gras. I shall find out!
Another wistful thought came to mind yesterday morning as I played songs by my favorite Scottish band, Albannach. I had seen them several years in a row at the outdoor Celtic festival in St. Augustine, Florida. I dearly miss outdoor festivals and remembered it would likely take place two months from now as Spring ushers in the pleasant weather. Not this year….well, maybe next.
Changes galore have been happening at my teaching job due to many students coming out of the online schooling option and returning to school. I may even be absolved of teaching an online class now. Instead, I will have a Critical Thinking/Creative Writing class that is an elective. I am used to change; I won’t let it shake me up. I see that next week will bring even more changes and surprises as the COVID teaching landscape forces many new ways of doing things and a huge amount of adapting. I have stepped down from leading a committee and now I’m getting into the start of a News Club. I can only see positives here, except it is another responsibility.
However, I am staying positive since several students seem interested. What does this mean? There are minions! Yes, what a relief. I do have another teacher willing to be a co-sponsor which also makes me feel this idea can be feasible while allowing me not to let it ‘take over.’ It also pleases me to know I can use my gift for writing to share with students and hopefully inspire and teach them more about writing. We will have to plan a way to have an active club while using social distancing. My social life is starved lately due to COVID, but I am surrounded by people as a teacher, and I plan to relate to them all positively.
Being positive with those around me will be possible if I can still have my boundaries and have the time to practice healthy living. This means eating healthy and not on the fly, making time to exercise, and time for appointments that nourish my health and mental health (it takes a village) :). Let’s not forget, being able to get things done but still rest and spend time with my loved ones including my dog, Bixby.
That’s what’s is happening in my corner of the world. Everyone have a great weekend, and stay safe.
I’ve decided to write COVID-19 into my current fiction work-in-progress. Doing so makes me think of Stephen King’s The Stand with a shudder. Stores closed, streets practically empty. That is, until two weeks ago, when governors started announcing gradual re-openings. I am still playing it safe, though. If you were to write COVID-19 into your current work-in-progress, would you mention toilet-papergate? Stores running out of hand sanitizer? Stores with signs up requiring you to wear a mask? These are unprecedented times, and they are worth remembering and writing about. In my novel, the character will travel to our times from the earlier 2000s and will see some of those things. I do not plan to make it tragic, though. Still, who knew this would become our reality?
In my most recent work of published fiction, Malachi, Ruse Master, I have written a whole chapter on Sept. 11th, 2001. My character is a young man living alone in the D.C. area. An ordinary day turns into an exercise in fear and uncertainty as news reports come in about the attack on the World Trade Center and the plane that headed for the Pentagon. The emotions were real, I experienced them and recall clearly what 9-11 was like.
I did a little research on what it may have been like for someone living in the D.C. area during 9-11 to get my facts straight. I do not know anyone who lived there at the time. I had lived there as a child, and I’m always reminiscent of the Potamac River and the weather changes. Living in Florida, the seasonal distinctions are not as clear. So, having a character living in that area around that time lent itself to writing that event into the setting. I feel that this is a way to frame the events of a novel, adding something we are all familiar with.
Like my character, Malachi, I did not really have a feeling of community reinforced for me. I just felt more alone. Though, I suppose, that is a result of terror. So why add such a horrible event into the setting? Because it is something we all remember, in many different ways. I also feel it helps us sympathize with the character. The book is considered a young adult novel, but it is not written specifically for young adults. It is something we all can identify with in some way; we’ve been there. My hope is that readers of all ages will find something to identify with in this book. You can learn about or get a copy of Malachi, Ruse Master at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VYJYZX
As I grow in my writing journey, I am finding the importance of setting in a book, how it makes readers connect to the characters in the events. In a sense, a setting in any book is a character in itself.
What historical event have you lived through, and which fiction books express the experience well for you?
We’re all gearing up for Halloween and watching our favorite horror flicks to prepare, but did you know that today, in 1929, the stock market crash occurred that would lead the United States into the Great Depression? Truly, what could be scarier than imagining what it felt like to be alive that day? Is it worth remembering, is it a cautionary tale, or am I just obsessing over bygones? Nonetheless, it is history, our history, and much can be learned from it.
Four ghosts approached a charming, Southern mansion.
“I’m not comfortable with this assignment,” Marv said.
A younger ghost, Jeb, responded, “Really, Marv? My family farmed cotton and it was our livelihood. I think it’s wonderful.”
“Oh, yeah? Who actually picked it?”
“Won’t asking reassignment delay moving on from the “in-between?” Kat asked.
“Kat, I’ve been ‘in-between’ for a hundred and fifty years. You get used to it. Time flies. This is a matter of principle. So this is all okay with you?” Marv gestured to the wreath.
“Well, I’m not sure. My ancestors were slaves in cotton fields.”
The others looked surprised.
She continued, “I also had ancestors who were farmers and plantation owners. I’m a product of both sides. Bygones should be bygones. Maybe we’re here for that reason.”
“You’re so modern, Miss High and Mighty,” Marv said. “Okay, What do you think Eskel?”
Eskel tapped his chin, deep in thought. “I say we move on. Cotton wreath?” He chuckled. “We’re bound to be assigned to someone with better decorative taste.”
copyright, 2018 by Pamela Schloesser Canepa
~174 words (without photo credit and title).
*The opinions expressed in this flash fiction are not necessarily the opinions of this author. Wait, I think I represented every possible opinion. Did I miss any? In fact, it was hard to stay within the 150 words +/- 25 rule! For a description of this writing challenge or to view other entries, visit Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers April 16th
**The AtoZ Challenge theme for my blog is “Who I am.” Yes, it’s wide open. In April, I will blog from A to Z to include little tidbits about me, poems I’ll share, and stories. Each day I will write something based on the next letter in the alphabet. It’s been fun so far, yet it has really given me a chance to pause for reflection as well.