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

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#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!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Yoga, Food, and Family.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com.  Of course, we’ll make mine iced, as pictured above, unless you can stand my a/c being set at 72 degrees.  Woo, it’s scorching outside.  If we were having coffee today, on 7/15, I’d tell you:

*It has felt like a busy week, what with Monday and Tuesday being taken up by teacher training on dealing with tough or troubled kids.  It was a serious topic, but the fun was in role-playing that they gave us, the fact that I took this training with two good friends, and the opportunity to go somewhere for an hour lunch with my teacher friends.  (Teachers get 30 minutes for lunch during the school day, but when walking your kids to lunch, something always delays it).  So, I turned to comfort food to make the heavy topics in training more bearable.  We ate at Stan’s one day, and at Olive Tree Mediterranean the next.  I love their gyros!  Since I promised last week that I’d talk about food, here you go.  🙂

gyro-1194724__340  I’m pretty sure I promised last week to throw in some talk about food, so this is the perfect week for it!  I had fries with lunch both days.  Most likely, I’ve gained a few pounds, though I don’t weigh myself.  I noticed gain in the way my clothes fit.  Oh well, summer is a time to relax, so I’m relaxing my diet.  🙂  Then, Weds. night, Mom brought home ribs for dinner!  What could I do but appreciate her offering of dinner.  🙂  Ah, summer is great, but my stomach is delicate, and she is traveling by plane next week, another cause for unhealthy eating, so she and I have a little pact.

*Wow, we’re on the family topic already!  Mom’s been complaining about her back lately, and she broke her arm in late May so she’s not working and not as active.  Anyway, our pact is to eat salad as much as we can until she leaves on her flight to MN next week.  We’ll start with the Loop tomorrow; they have a Gorgonzola Walnut salad that is to-die-for!  I could use more salad, myself.  French-fry-girl is not an identity that I want to keep.  I have to be proud of my mom, though, as she still goes to exercise class at the senior center 2-3 times weekly.  On the subject of family, my son started a new job Weds., and hooray!  It is close enough that I don’t have to drive him.  He seems to like it, too.  It may or may not be long-term, but he is enjoying it right now.

*Family and yoga sometimes go together!  I went to chair yoga with my mom Thursday morning at her senior center.  It was enjoyable and gentle.  I’d just gone to yoga at my usual studio Weds. night which was relaxing and focused on hip-openers.  Chair yoga is just as it sounds, but I could feel the stretch in my legs.  You also don’t have the issue of balance that some of us suffer.  It wasn’t painful at all, and I’m sure you can modify according to your abilities.  I do that in regular yoga all the time.  The class is given by a lovely woman named Jeannie who has a blog at yogafromanatural.com, and she said she reads my blog, so I’m giving a shout out to a fellow blogger and yoga lover!  That’s the only yoga I did this week, so far, but it fits in with my twice or more a week goal.  I suppose I’ll take the dog on a long walk today and get a little cardio, perhaps.

Of course, the book marketing is still going on.   This week I wrote a post about my main characters in Detours in Time.  See it at    https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/detours-in-time-main-character-intro/  I am now listed at circleofbooks.com, and they are tweeting about my book.  Sales have tapered down, but it is vacation time, so who knows?  I do have 5 reviews now!  They altogether average four stars. 🙂  I’m learning book marketing.  In a webinar, one author says to find out which books are selling and write that type of book.  That’s not my creative process.   This is art, and I write what comes out of my mind.  My book is lightweight sci-fi that is not graphic, with a little humor, moral questions, what-ifs, and future curiosities.  Love it or leave it.  I love what I do.  ❤  There is a link to my book on this book graphic and also in the closing signature to this post, if you are interested.

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This graphic is also on the postcards that I ordered, which I take with me to various places like Starbucks and the bank; they make it easy for me to mention my book and my “authorhood.”  🙂  Sometimes it’s fun, and it makes me talk to people!

So, how was your week?  Feel free to share with me, and visit Diana’s coffee share at https://parttimemonsterblog.com/2017/07/08/weekendcoffeeshare-in-which-i-am-back-again/  You can add your own blog coffee share to her Inlinkz button (the blue froggy).  Have a great weekend!

 

Summer Glimpses, Beyond Book Talk

I am getting a little time for rest, relaxation, fun, and self-improvement this summer. That’s what summer is for! And while I’m working like mad to promote my book and have decided I’ll teach a Creative Writing class in addition to 6th grade English this year, I’m working on my sanity, as I should!

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I’m spending time with my son and our dog at the park, before noon. Note the wonderful trees! (I promised my son relative web anonymity). Family time is good for the soul.

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Speaking of family time, I’ve already mentioned the mom time, since she is on the mend. We’ve enjoyed a lot of Rom/Com.s together. My favorite: Kate and Leopold. (A time travel rom.com. Of course I love it)!

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There’s nothing like a beach getaway. My significant other had a birthday, and we’re starting to make the birthday beach getaway a tradition. This is the guy who sings Bohemian Rhapsody with me.  Not in public (not yet). 🙂 Getting away is great for my sanity. We had great food, relaxation on the beach, pool and Jacuzzi time, and we’re pictured here after some sunning, enjoying lunch in an open air restaurant called Oasis.

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Bringing new meaning to “down dog.” I’m hitting the yoga studio 2-3 times weekly, and trying trying to work the yoga and program in between. I won’t get it done if I let my dog in the room though!

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My brother’s wife is visiting, and we had dinner on the Riverside of town last night. It’s kind of an artsy area but seems to be getting gentrified. Still, the Wall Street lounge has been there for ages. We didn’t go in, but I was quite taken by this mural. It’s a slice of our town’s history.

I hope you all are having a great summer.  Thanks for stopping by!

If Yoga Were a Guy… (My Exercise Evolution cont’d)

 

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It’s been over a month.  I don’t know why, but I let stressful times keep me away when there are crises in my family and stress at work.  Then my shoulders get all these knots.  I really shouldn’t stay away.  Yet, coming back is a sweet homecoming.  The music and the essential oils beckon me and make me feel welcome.  Despite my tense body, I never feel guilt.  So I imagine yoga is this sweet guy with a Barry White voice, telling me, “Hey babe, the door’s always open.  So glad you’re here.  You’ll be glad you came back.”

Let me honest, I have no idea what he’d look like, except that he’d be fit and his hair would be out of his eyes.  He’d be wearing a light colored short-sleeved t-shirt, and yoga pants.  Okay, maybe not yoga pants, but those long, lightweight pants that yogis wear.  If yoga were a guy, he would:

*Not notice the few pounds I’ve  gained

*Not state the obvious, that my muscles would not be so tense if I just made sure to show up even during the taxing times, and I would not have gotten sick if I used the yoga to help me destress and stay healthy

*Play a lot of Dave Matthews, you know, for atmosphere.  That, and whatever else he seems to play that relaxes me so.

*Keep those candles lit and the lights dim.  Let’s not make it obvious how off-balance I am. Instead, he’d:

*Lend me a hand for balance when I need it.  Bring me an extra block without saying anything or pointing me out

*Let me linger a little while after savanas.  That’s right.  He wouldn’t kick me out, because he’d understand that I don’t just come here to whip my butt into shape, I come here to escape the outside.

*Invite me to come back in a few days or say something that makes me want to be more of a regular, not because I feel guilty, but because it feels SO good being here.

Truth be told, most of my instructors are female.  However, yoga is neither male nor female.  So I can imagine it any way I want.  What’s most important is that I keep going back.  🙂

While we’re using our imaginations here, I think it would be fitting if he gave me a half hour massage after each class.  I don’t live far from the studio, so I could just cruise home and drift into bed afterward.  What completes the fantasy better than a full night’s peaceful sleep?

Stream of Yogic Consciousness, My Exercise Evolution, Pt 3

“Let yourself sink into the gap between your thoughts, they are like chains, linking, but with the small gaps in between,”  the young, calm yoga instructor suggests.  I can’t help it…my thoughts are more like flames chasing each other…You have to appreciate the metaphors, though, and I really love this instructor!  But sometimes, during yoga, a spark appears in my thoughts and it just takes flame, so I watch it, amused.  My worries gone, my thoughts unthreatening, sometimes they represent ideas, and I really should go with them.  They delight me.  I do not want to throw them back.  So, I just pretend I am counting to ten as suggested, and ridding myself of thoughts, all the while, chuckling inwardly at how I am fooling them all.  🙂

I decided quite a while ago to embrace my thoughts, after worthless attempts to empty them.  Sure, I’ve tried.  I read a “Buddha Bliss” book on meditation that suggested visualizing each thought as a fish that just landed in my hands, and letting it go into the pond of …. pond of, relaxation, I guess?  It did help since I was going through a tough emotional time.   In several ways, though, I have become more able to box up disturbing thoughts and realize when it is time to just let go, to just accept that, hey, it is what it is!  Obviously, sitting in yoga class, I can’t get my son a job or get my bills paid, can’t do anything about my ex-husband and his mess or the things in my life that I want to happen.  Might as well let that all go, and I do.  Those thoughts become replaced by higher-level thoughts, more blissful thoughts.  Well, they are to me, anyhow.  Here is an example from a year ago:

*The instructor tells us to count back from ten when a thought pops into the mind and let it go.  IF another one comes, count backward from ten again.  So, I try.  Then, I notice how my yoga towel is the color of sand, and that being on it is like being at the beach, no, it’s like being on Mars!  Isn’t Mars sandy?  If not, it at least has a lot of that sandy color.  I almost chuckle at myself and start the countdown again.  Then I think about a rocket launch countdown, and while we’re on that topic, let’s circle back to Mars!  Matt Damon is going to Mars in the upcoming movie, The Martian.  Oh, I have to see that movie!  I love Matt Damon, he is awesome!  Thinking of which, I loaded that book on my Kindle, I ought to get around to reading it before the movie.  So, this yoga towel is a flat landscape of Mars.  Then I start thinking of the movie, Interstellar.  They are along similar lines, but not the same.  Each unique in its own right.  I am so excited to read The Martian and see the movie.  Then I start thinking of Matt Damon and his movie, Elysium, and the message he was trying to convey.  Back to a plank, and I see the flat, sandy landscape.  Yes, I realize Mars is probably more rocky than that, and I may be quite wrong about the landscape.  Doesn’t bother me.  But I make a note to self to read more about space and the other planets.  Good plan, I tell myself, almost chuckling again as the instructor does another count back from ten.  It’s all good!  I am such a rebel.

So, here I am, being me,enjoying the heck out of my yoga practice and the thoughts it is inspiring.  I’ve gotta be me, right?  And that, my friends, is healthy thinking, brought to you by the benefits of yoga.  Shhh…Don’t tell anyone.  They might find my rebellion disrespectful.  😉

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