Weekend Coffee Share, Three Little Birds

Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share in verse, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali!

Three Little Birds

The birds tell me ‘don’t worry,’

but I am in a hurry

to leave the past behind,

get this year gone from my mind.

Still, they whisper, ‘Be still,

For all of this is real.

Ponder on the lessons,

Each moment has its essence.’

One must flap his wings and go,

One will stay and become known,

The other existing just in our minds

Changeable, elusive, but we shall find

All of these birds will occupy our hearts

One moves in when the other parts.

Everything has its place: past, present, and future. With each New Year, we relegate another to joining the ranks of the past. I am probably, like others, anxious to kiss this year goodnight! However, every year has its lessons, and we should not deny them. They are worth remembering! Any mistakes made can bring a lesson, but it is best to remember our mistakes without shame or sorrow, to not continue suffering from our mistakes, but instead, to forgive ourselves and be thankful for the lesson. Most of my mistakes are way back in the past, but they come back to haunt me sometimes. I am working on keeping them in their place and remembering them rationally without berating myself. My anxious brain needs to remember that I am not doomed to continue the same pattern of mistakes. Every day is a new day! There’s nothing like a New Year to remind us of that.

If you’re interested, I summed up my year 2020 in a bloggers’ challenge post by Beaton at becomingthemuse. net, and you may read it here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/12/16/best-of-the-year-boty2020/ You can also share your own! It was interesting to think on my lessons learned and what were the best parts of this year.

So, as I finish my cereal and decaf coffee today, (part of my new healthy habits), I am feeling optimistic. I also know that I may drag my feet today and spend the day reading, journaling, playing with the dog, and maybe organizing my closet as I try to stay in from the cold. I am allowed to do that today! Everyone who is dear to me is currently COVID free and I got to see them for this holiday. So, this morning, I am one step closer to “being happy.”

*A random word generator gave me the word, ‘flap.’ I was thinking on the New Year and how the old year must take flight. I’m always thinking about how the past, present, and the future collide. Thank you to Bob Marley for inspiring me with his song, “Three Little Birds.” Yes, ‘every little thing, gonna be alright!’

Weekend Coffee Share, Grateful for Each Day

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage! My ‘coffee shop’ has a cute pup wandering around, and in the background, music plays by the band, LIVE, particularly, my favorite song lyrics:

Don’t try to find an answer

when the the truth’s already here

don’t let your heart be wounded

Show no mercy to your fear.

****

Quite appropro, as I had to meet my traffic anxiety face-to-face this holiday season.

Scenes from my Thanksgiving: I proudly drive two hours straight through Georgia and then (respectfully) require my boyfriend, Kenny to drive I-95 in S. Carolina. At a rest stop in Santee, my bro grills hot dogs and we have chips too, before he ushers my mom up to Raleigh, N.C. I gratefully ride home with Kenny having avoided an 8 hour trip alone with my mom and my traffic anxiety. (If I needed a break, her driving would also cause me great anxiety). You see, I could have gone up to N.C. with my mom, but, you can infer why I preferred not to, and my brother and his wife don’t get much time visiting alone with Mom. By the way, what is up with I-95 in South Carolina? Everybody seems to take that route north during the Thanksgiving holiday, and it is just TWO AGONIZING lanes. That scene is just not for me, and let’s suffice it to say, I am honoring and setting my own limits….

Thursday, I effectively teach Kenny’s 83-year-old dad how to take a picture with my cell phone! His smile was wonderful! Carb-laden food is consumed and I laze around. I let my son drive me later on and I get scared half to death because of his involuntary tics…which also add to my anxiety and I don’t know how he can white-knuckle it and tell me “It’s nothing.” He won’t get checked out. I sometimes fear it is a lingering result of his head injury from 2017. It is in his hands, also in God’s hands, I suppose. I pray it is not as awful as it appears to me. Friday, I avoid shopping malls and do nothing but dog play, yoga, and laundry.

On the note of anxiety, I am starting to re-read the book, Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety. It speaks of Toxic anxiety (so prominent in our world today), Natural anxiety (think of wildlife, ready to fight or self-protect), and Sacred anxiety (involving fear of death or that our time is running out to fulfill our purpose). It is brilliant, faith-based and Science- based, so all-around perfect in my book, and I highly recommend it if you are trying to achieve/ maintain balance or calm in your life.

I am not writing much as far as progress on a novel, but I already decided this next one will take some time, and I will give it time to marinate. However, I seem to churn out poetry now and then and a short story or two. Here is a recent poem I posted on my blog about ‘knowing thyself’ and honoring yourself during the start of a hectic holiday season. Check it out here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/11/26/slow-down-and-grow/

Thank you for stepping into my world and catching up for coffee today. I hope you all have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share. New Horizons, New Me…Same Hopeful Mess!

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette at

This is the last Coffee Share of 2019! I am so looking forward to 2020, and instead of a resolution, I decided to choose a word:  Limitless.  I have had so many limits this year and put so many limits on my life.  It has almost gotten me down at some points.  I have also accomplished a few things:  I encouraged my son to get a low level job in a new field, and he loves it!  I published/produced two books into audio.  I celebrated my boyfriend’s 57th birthday, my 51st, and my mom’s 78th.  I actively sought to deal with my back and pain issues and sought help with it; as a result, I am now doing squats (among other things) several times a week.  Squats!  It is a shocker.  However, I draw the line at Burpees.  🙂  My family are in on my new health kick, well, at least on supporting me.  My boyfriend got me a vertical mouse which is ergonomic and more comfortable for the hand and arm.  I am really getting the hang of it! (Google it and check it out). So maybe I can write even more, pain-free.  Mom got me an upright desk, it just isn’t assembled yet….

I did not feel much Christmas spirit due to the loss of a few dear people, but I did find opportunities to help others and the community, which made it feel more like Christmas.  Now I get to greet a New Year, and live out my personal goal of a being more of a limitless person.

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Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

A blogger friend wrote a beautiful Weekend Coffee post on New Year’s resolutions, to be more loving, like Christ.  It’s a wonderful post, and you can read it here:  https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/coffee-share-191227/ 

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Since it is Winter Break, and I have time off, I have been writing some short and flash-fiction.  I am proud of this piece here, which involves aliens: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/popular-opinion-fiction-fowc/ and was written in response to the Fandango One Word Challenge; the word was ‘popular.’  I personally love those one-word challenges and have tried them with some of my students who like writing.

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These are two books I have read lately.  One, very traumatic, yet hopeful.  The other, just all out bawdy humor by one of my favorite humorous authors, and I loved it as well!  I needed that after a Holocaust novel, and I loved both of them equally.

I also was able to meet up with an old friend who lives out of town.  She lost her husband of three years to an illness.  I read recently about the healing power of laughter.  She and I laughed a lot this time, as always.  It was wonderful to see her and her daughter.  The Insomnniac’s Diary is still in progress, but I think it is more of a personal thing now; in other words, I believe I am accepting a new normal.  As long as I can fall asleep at night and get at least four hours of sleep, I can handle it.  I am still logging the basics, though.  I mean, I was on 5 hours when I met my friend for dinner.  We had a great time for about two hours, and then I went home to relax and get ready for bed.  No problem!

I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and will have a safe, fun New Year with many pleasant surprises.

-Pamela

Weekend Coffee Share, Being Understood. 12/20

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette at https://antoinettetrugliomartin.com/category/weekend-coffee-share/   I am having a half-calf, which seems to fuel me just fine these days.  However, I must admit, I am waking up, on a good night, somewhere between 4:30 and 5 a.m.  It doesn’t bother me as much as it did at first.  I don’t know if it’s the time change or the new exercises I have added daily as a result of PT, but I am getting used to it.  I wonder if this will change once the clocks move forward in the Spring?  I know I have a busy mind and wonder if it will ever slow down.   It’s okay if it doesn’t. 🙂

As far as the physical therapy, it seems to be going well.  My lower back is not as locked up as it used to be.  I do still suffer from sciatic issues, but I’m learning some exercises for that and realizing I need to have more hot baths and less time in the computer chair.  Maybe I’ll just record my writer’s thoughts and stories straight to audio? I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.  I am not worried!  While editing/revising the Malachi manuscript, I found a wonderful modification that works for me.  I e-mailed the rough draft to myself and I’ve been opening it on my phone for a read-through.  This read-through can be done laying on the couch, exercising on the Gazelle (small, elliptical type exerciser), or even in bed.  I can be on my side or back, etc. according to my comfort needs. When I find an error, I write it down for when I will edit it on my laptop.  Then, I am going to send it to the professional editor.  There is no way I will stop writing, so I just need to change my process.

As far as the busy mind goes, I had an interesting talk with a student yesterday who rarely talks in class.  Yes, it was the day before Winter Break, I was casual, friendly, and joking a lot, a relaxed atmosphere for sure.  I presented them with our reading theme for next quarter: “Fear, is it a hindrance or a help?”  The first time this student started talking to me was when I had a lesson on conflict and explained internal conflict and how the struggle is strong for someone who suffers from depression or anxiety.  I told them of my anxiety when driving over a bridge.  I recently have added hospitals to my list.  (I have too many thoughts of experimentation when I see a whole floor taken up by only one office, and construction does not help either).  Recently, I’ve also realized that the holidays are a little triggering.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that she actually wanted to have a conversation with me.  I also was pleasantly surprised by the Christmas holiday kindness shared by the students yesterday, and one student’s note in her card almost had me in tears of joy:

Dear Ms. Canepa, Thank you for your hard-working ethics and passion for teaching. I love how you have the inspiration to get up and drive to work every day, not knowing will the day go by good or bad. You made a great impact on my life so far and I’m looking forward for you to continue.

It was a hard week with lots of grading, a Code Red drill, a fire drill, a handful of parent meetings, some holiday events, and amped up kids. But seeing such empathy, appreciation, and the right choice of words warmed my heart. Someone noticed how hard I work and took the time to verbalize that to me.  Maybe they are taking it to heart.  That is the best gift ever!

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May you all enjoy the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season, and may you reach calm when you seek it!  I am definitely planning on some relaxation myself.

Peace!

Pamela

#WeekendCoffeeShare. The Season is Upon Us!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com. I feel like I’m neglecting my blog lately, I’ve been so busy. Yesterday, I volunteered as a teacher sponsor with kids in our National Junior Honor Society. I have to say, their youthful bounce and jump right in attitudes kind of warmed my own holiday spirit and the hearts of many patrons.  I only needed one cup of java to get me through the day.  It seems the spirit of youth was in the air and influenced even my energy!

At one point, a Salvation Army rep came by and fixed our sign. It’s supposed to go at the top of the stand. Oops! At any rate, it was a day well-spent with several interludes of Jingle Bells and a few other songs!  I think the kids did a great job and learned more about what it’s like to set a goal and raise money for a good cause.

Work has kept me quite busy as well. I’m a teacher, so I guess that’s just what is expected. I do find time now and then to work on my current work-in-progress, which is now just a little above 15,000 words. I am proud of that, as I have brought it up just in the last 3 weeks. I’m also part of a read/review group, and they have an Online Holiday Popup Book Shop until 12/16. Please visit the link and browse, because if you buy a book from their online shop, which links you to Amazon by the way, you just have to follow their instructions in order to be entered for an Amazon gift card. We all could use one of those! While you’re there, visit the author reading room to see authors reading excerpts from their books. I even have a video of myself reading a portion of my sci-fi novel,  Detours in Time.  Go to this site and navigate through the links at the top of the page.  Enjoy!  https://booksbudzpopup.wordpress.com

On a side note, damp weather does interesting things to my hair!  Thank you for reading, and have a great week!

BooksByPamIMG_0401 My available paperbacks, also can be found in Kindle edition; only Undercurrents is not shown hereI am working on adding to the collection!

 

Weekend Coffee Share…Of Walter Dean Myers, bucket lists, baby goats, and writing goals.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share!  Please don’t hate me because I live in Florida, and it will be close to 80 degrees today.  At least my iced coffee is pumpkin spice flavor!  😉

First, I’d like to ask, which rings true for you?  Here are two alternate skits:

Child:  Grandpa, why are we here?

Grandfather:  To love one another and care for this great Earth.

Alternate:

Child:  Grandpa, why are we here?

Grandfather:  To compete with each other, destroy our enemies, and turn a profit.

I will not deny that this may seem a little political.  I have a hard time verbalizing such things.  I love people regardless of their political beliefs.  But I am having such a hard time lately dealing with recent policy changes, seeing the earth pilfered, people hurt, and families torn apart.  I may seem like a pipe dreamer, but I have long ago realized that was my place on this Earth.  If we all saw things in black and red (monetarily and us vs. them), it would be an ugly world indeed.  I’ve also accepted that, if I were alive in the Middle Ages, I would have been an artisan, poor indeed, but I would make people smile or cry, and they’d throw me enough crumbs to keep me alive.  I’d also be least likely to get beheaded.  I obviously would dress for comfort and not to impress some king into putting jewels on my head.  I’m perfectly fine with my place in life.  If I should ever make it big as an author, I’ll wear what the heck I want to book signings, just like Stephen King.

Now, off of my soapbox.  I have not participated in Weekend Coffee Share in a while!  Part of that is due to neglecting to blog more than once a week.  I’ve been doing the flash fiction entries since it’s tickles my fancy, but only once a week.  It’s good to be back, even if for once in a blue moon.  I love my writers’ community, and I’m glad you all are still here in this space!

Work has kept me busy, busy, while I try to promote my published books.  I’m not writing a book for NANOWRIMO, but I am fleshing out and revising the one I wrote last November.  It is a sequel to my time travel novel, Detours in Time .  This sequel has gone from 45,000 words to 56,000 when I last checked, so I am making progress.  Still, some nights, I get home from work and just want to read and relax.  It may not be completely revised at the end of November, and that’s okay.  I get achy in my hands and arms at times, either due to arthritis or the way I manage stress (internalizing).  So, I’m not pushing it.  All will happen in due time.  I don’t see myself quitting the job to just write until I most likely legitimately retire from teaching.

The workplace has given me more challenges than last year, I believe.  My family life is calmer, but I come home from work good and tired.  I won’t complain about the job; there are good days and bad days.  Sometimes, you can know just what to say to tell a student you’ve “got their number,” and it may work.  Other days, it’s quite overwhelming and you just wonder why they have to be manipulated or pleaded with to do the right thing?  Ah, the nature of middle-schoolers.  They don’t always know who they are.

At least I get to teach one of my favorite books again:  Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers.  Talk about a struggle for identity.  This book is about his life, and he sure went through some hard times regarding: poverty, race, identity, growing up in Harlem, family issues, and adolescence in general.  I know I mentioned this last week in my Stream of Consciousness post.  This book stays with me.  We are starting to study author’s point of view in a memoir.  I’m hoping I have enough artistic kids, because what I’d like to do is have posters of his head opening like a box with a hinge, and his thoughts on paper strips coming out.  Truly, isn’t that what a writer does?  We open it up for others to see what is inside.  Usually, there is an end goal.  He obviously wants to inspire kids of today to stop making excuses and go for their dreams.  I know Myers inspires me.

Well, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, is coming soon.  We’re going to NC to see my brother and sister-in-law.  The cooler weather will be nice.  I think I’ll gain weight.  I do yoga once or twice a week, but my cardio is faltering.  I blame it on weather fluctuations and writing goals.  I just have to do enough to make sure my clothes still fit.  Buying a whole new wardrobe doesn’t appeal to me like it used to.  I guess I’m getting more practical as I move toward fifty.  It’s gonna be awesome.  I will make it awesome.  I’ve added beer yoga, baby-goat yoga, trying helium beer with my high-school best friend, and still have sky-diving on my bucket list.  Wish me luck in these endeavors!      (Seriously, find a video of baby goat yoga.  They jump all over the place and look so light-weight.  It just seems like a joyful, laughter-filled experience I’d love to try.  Watch it and feel your blood pressure drop)!

-Pamela

#WeekendCoffeeShare is now hosted at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ Please visit the blog to view other weekend coffee shares and to enter your own.

How was your week?  What’s going on in your life and your artistic/ blogging endeavors?

#flashfiction Friday Fictioneers, “The Road Less Taken.”

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Photo credit: PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

Cassie stepped off the curb.  “Wait!  Wait!”  A male voice called.

She bristled.  Please, no, not when I’ve made it this far.

A young man approached another young woman next to her.  “I’m sorry,” he said, and embraced her.  Ah, true love.  Or not.

Close call, she thought.

Lord knows, it took enough nerve to get her this far.  She couldn’t stay any longer.  Something in her would die if she did.

The bus, a $50 fare, would get her on her way fast.  Back home.

“Merry Christmas to me,” she whispered, boarding the Greyhound bus, backpack in hand.

~99 words.

Each week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts Friday Fictioneers where we’re challenged to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words, more or less, based on the picture above.  It is awesome, in this blogging community, to see the many different responses that are generated from one prompt or photo.  I encourage you to create your own and click the InLinkz button to add it to the Friday Fictioneers responses!  While you’re at it, go to Rochelle’s link above and check out some of the other Friday Fictioneers’ responses!

#weekendcoffeeshare Merry Christmas/Hannukah!

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Welcome to my #weekendcoffeeshare, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com!  If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the fact that today is both Christmas and Hanukkah is an astounding, symbolic uniting factor for our world, something we so desperately need right now!  Instead of focusing on differences, we should focus on what unites.  And because the coffee is so good and the coffee shop music so enlightening, I would truly feel this.  I am, at heart, a true optimist.  Sure, I fight negative feelings at times, but I always believe it is a battle worth fighting.

I’d also tell you that I’m still writing, though I told a friend the other day I felt very unfocused right now.  (I did, but that was a work issue.  My job challenges me so much right now).  Yesterday, I added 500-600 words to my latest full manuscript.  That’s a big deal, because it tipped me to over 48,000 words and I’m closing in on 49,000.  I won’t accept any less than 50K.  I allowed myself to extend beyond November, but I won’t allow stopping short.  (Get the Seinfield reference?):)  I did another flash fiction story; you can read it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/flashfiction-this-time-shortstory-fffawchallenge/  I also discovered some new uses for the Author’s Den website.  I have never felt successful there, but they are showcasing Christmas poems and stories right now.  What’s a girl to do?  Write a Christmas poem and tag it as such!  So I did, and people have been responding to it! (This is after I figured out the Author’s Den password).  I also got all Christmas gifts wrapped yesterday, slacked around a bit, read a little, watched the IT Crowd, begrudgingly renewed auto insurance, and crashed, fatigued by 10 p.m.  Anyhow, here is the Christmas poem, as it reflects on my feelings of this season:

Christmas is in the Heart

copyright 2016

Gifts are wrapped,
hair is done
I’m ready for the arrival
of the chosen one.

To celebrate,
I’ll wear my best dress,
but it doesn’t really matter,
I must confess.

I’ve gotten all caught up
and I’ve lost sight
of the things most important
on this Christmas night.

Did I open my heart gladly
to someone in need?
It matters more
than the glitter on my tree.

And if I decided
that I could take time
to chat with a friend,
perhaps the joy is mine.

So if I am haphazard
with the wrapping of gifts,
decorating the tree,
or fulfilling each wish

Please understand
I, in my own way, take part
Christmas isn’t in the wallet,
but in my heart.

Friends, I wish you all the joy this holiday season can bring, whether from your family,  a loved one, a fuzzy dog or cat, or the joy you may bring to another unexpectedly.  Thank you for stopping by!  Please also visit http://parttimemonsterblog.com to see the other #weekendcoffeeshares and to submit your own as well!

#weekendcoffeeshare Full Speed Ahead and Ready for a Breather!

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Why do the holidays come and go so fast when we get older?  Seriously, they’re almost here, and I’m nowhere near ready!  Okay, we’ll make this a brief stop.  Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com!  Do you need a huge Mad Hatter’s cup or a regular size?  (I could take either one).  If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you:

I’ve kept myself a little too busy lately.  Was I just putting things on hold in November?   I feel sometimes that I am not very sociable when I have a writing project, and since those are dying down, I’ve caught up with a few people this week.  One of them is my sweet little aunt who left me a message last week, and I feel bad that it took me so long to reply.  She didn’t guilt me, though!  I was still writing this week, though; I entered a flash fiction contest here on WordPress for the first time.  I’ve looked at them before, but this time, the image struck me and a thought grew into a brief 150-word story.  I’m the kind who “writes what I want to write,” but I love the idea of this community of bloggers and the fact that no two people think the exact same way.  The variety of responses is fun to see!  Check mine out here:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/a-turning-point-flashfiction-amwriting-fffaw-challenge/  It seems a little dark, but it is called “A Turning Point.”  I also prepared a presentation for an assembly of high-schoolers that I will chat with about writing, my own books, and my journey during Literacy week in January.  Yikes!  Jitters.  I’m sort of excited, though, and I should focus on that.  I’ll get there!  This is all in addition to my usual work schedule.

Holidays are upon us!  Christmas is here in a week, and I’m nowhere near done with Christmas shopping.  Amazon will save the day, but I suppose one trip to the mall will also be necessary.  Working there for 15 years of my earlier life kind of killed the joy I used to feel as a mallrat.  I guess I save much more money now, right?  Somehow I have turned anti-mall.  To be honest, you won’t find the TRUE spirit of Christmas there anyway.  A church dinner Wednesday helped get me into the spirit, and a fellow member has been needing rides to church so it’s getting me out of my temporary anti-social bubble.  After church dinner, there was a children’s play that was cute, funny, and inspiring all at once!  Well, the lady that rode with me had her granddaughter with her too, and they told me about a home with a beautiful Christmas light display, so we stopped there on the way home.  It was a beautiful departure from my usual rush-to-get-somewhere and rush-to-get-home habit.  I think that may be what will help me get into the spirit of Christmas, more things like that.  I’m going to try it!  I’ll let you know how it goes!

In going through the holidays this year, I am realizing the many people who suffer through this season with addiction/alcoholism, loneliness,  depression, etc.  We experienced a dark cloud in my family last year, but this year is so much better.  I am thankful for that, and I plan to be grateful for the love that is shared this season, rather than looking back at the sadness of last year.  I encourage you to reach out to someone who may not have that light of Christmas in their eyes. You never know what kind of difference you might make.  On that note, why don’t you take some more coffee for the road?

How was your week?  What fuels you and warms your coffee mug?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please also visit the Weekend Coffee Share host at parttimemonsterblog.com to enjoy some of the other Weekend Coffee Shares by our fellow bloggers and add the link for your own coffee share!