Weekend Coffee Share. My Calling. 8/10

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

 

I’ve had a fruit V8 and now it’s time for my half a cup of coffee. You may enjoy whatever you like!  It will likely be another hot day.  It has already been a good morning.  Back to School season is in full swing, and I have been up before or at 6 a.m. all week, working non-stop either physically, to prepare my room, or mentally, to prepare my lessons.

I stayed up ’til midnight last night and woke up promptly at 6:30 a.m.  No 8-hour sleep-in for me.  I’m already getting into the grind, but I rebelled. After laying in bed, stretching and mentally preparing myself for not being able to sleep late for a year, I spent 20 uninterrupted minutes sitting on the porch watching Bixby’s nose twitch and ears perk. He enjoyed it too, I’m sure.

We observed a lot, like the fact that the sun felt good and my new neighbor gets picked up on a Saturday by a big truck blaring Spanish talk-radio, and some other neighbor’s brakes squeal, and the next door neighbor goes out on his ten- speed at 8 a.m. Also, there was still dew on the ground, so I knew I couldn’t get sunburned, on the porch, at 8 a.m. Nice start to the day! Now my brain is awake.
I need to continue porching it through the fall season, too! 

This video is from a July morning on the porch.  I thought you would enjoy it.  Bixby features frequently in my blog posts and Weekend Coffee Shares.  He is my adopted shelter dog and also a girl’s/writer’s best friend.  We go on adventures together and we sit and observe the world together.

 

Since I have mentioned Back-to School, I want to tell you how truly wonderful it is to take the road less traveled.  I went to a training this week that was not packed full, none of my friends were going to  it.  It was about helping kids understand advanced text.  The instructor spoke to me right away and offered me a matchbox car.  That was fun!  Then we had to talk to others about why we chose the one we chose.  We loved talking about that.  When we answered a question, he asked our name and asked the whole ‘class’ to say “Thank you, Pam.”  There were about 40 people in there, but we talked, we moved around, we used our brains.  We were actively learning, and that’s what we need to do with our students.  This was a wonderful break from an over-crowded meeting room with people on their laptops while someone at the front ‘talks at us.’ It got me really pepped up for what I need to do daily, which is, get to know my kids, and then inspire them to do the work that will help them learn the most.  I think about writing full-time, but I know my work in the public school system is not yet done.  It isn’t easy, and many spend just 1-5 years teaching in public schools, but what is best for the kids? I want to do what is best.  This is were we determine or help affect the culture of our nation in the future.  It feels like an important calling to me.  Writing keeps me sane, but maybe my writing will also inspire someone and get them thinking about how we treat each other?  That can be done in any genre.

On the writing front,   the Malachi manuscript is still with beta readers, and I am entertaining ideas for the cover.  I will be taking my last Teaching Gifted endorsement course this fall, so I may have to slow down progress on that manuscript, but I am holding to a goal of publishing it in the first few months of 2020.  Progress is being made on both of my Detours in Time series books to be produced in audio version.  I’m excited!  Detours in Time may be available for audio purchase in about a month! I just finished listen to the first narration and have sent corrections requests.  Yikes!  This is an awesome feeling.  My narrator for Undercurrents in Time is also getting started.  I’ll share more on that later.  In the meantime, here is a brief clip of the narration for Detours in Time:

https://www.untiedmusic.com/emory/Chapter_11_teaser.mp3

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That’s what’s going on in my world!  I hope you all enjoy your weekend!  I know I need to exercise now, but I think a hot bath may also be on my schedule for today.  I think I have worked for it.  🙂

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Weekend Coffee Share. A start and an end. 8/03

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com

Have a coffee, hot or iced, a tea, or whatever you like. For me, it’s an energy V8 juice. I’m still experimenting with reducing my coffee dependency. We can sit on the porch if you like. I must warn you, it’s 80 degrees and very humid in this corner of Florida today!

My dog Bixby will gladly join us. He likes to hang out where his people are. Just water for Bixby! He is looking dapper since he got a haircut yesterday, for that matter, so did I!

As a teacher, my summer is almost over, but a new school year is just beginning! July went by in a flash! In case you weren’t aware, teachers not only bring home work throughout the school year, but many teachers are currently shopping for classroom supplies already, checking class rosters, looking up student information, and already doing the background work to know their students’ need. I started that Friday. I wasn’t getting paid. It only lasted an hour; I had so much else to do. So, I’ll get off that soapbox now and ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for this new school year.

Author Progress Notes(2)

On the writing front, I am awaiting beta reader feedback for the WIP, Malachi. Ellie’s story is becoming a work in progress, more to follow later. I’ve spent at least a week going though the narration of Detours in Time to compile editing notes for my narrator. I should finish the last chapter today! It will happen soon, I can feel it! That and, I am waiting on a 15 minute checkpoint from a separate narrator for Undercurrents in Time. I really felt it needed a female voice, and I feel confident of my narrator. I can’t wait to share the news when these audiobooks hit the shelf at Audible! Since I already brought up the weather, let’s move on. Also possibly pertinent, is that I am making an effort again to grow my Mailchimp newsletter list. If you are an author, you may also know that everyone says we need a list, but I am still trying to make it work for me!

Also in the writing arena, I posted a poetic response to Friday Fictioneers about a week ago. I’d love for you to read it: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/break-the-endless-loop-amwriting-fridayfictioneers/

That’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and if you take your coffee hour on the porch, be sure to cool off afterward in front of a fan, and water the dog!  Summer break is almost over for me, but summer is still in the air!

Weekend Coffee Share. Busy Times Call for Dog Snuggles and Positive Thought.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

Today, I’m wondering why little, harmless things seem to make me sore. Sitting at the computer for too long, wearing some cute flats to work, sleeping on the wrong side. I’ll be okay if I stick to my self prescriptions of exercise, yoga, and chiropractic care. (I’m on the Gazzelle as I type on the phone). Still, sometimes life and work get in the way.

At any rate, age and schedule woes aside, I have much to rejoice over. Attitude might be almost half of starting to feel better, so let me get on that track and avoid telling you how many essays I need to grade! Positives: 1. All I have left is a test, then I’ll be done with my current class for teaching Gifted! 2. Spring break starts in seven days! 3. Despite a busy week, part of my extra efforts were due to being invited to talk at my school’s Literacy night about my books, writing process, and writing inspiration. Cue random auther event photo:

This was me at my first book signing in Nov., 2018.  (So, it’s recent).  I don’t have a photo from the Literacy event yet, but I can say it went well.  I had a plan and wrote some things down.  I gave away one of my kids’ books in a drawing.  I also read from Detours in Time, having kids comment and answer questions about what I read.  They participated, and during question times, some adults asked questions.  One of them was about my writing inspiration (family, my dog, nature). I spoke about the kind of person I am and how thrilled I am to see a book with my name on it.  My principal told me afterward just how much energy came out of me when I talked about my writing and inspirations.  It was truly a compliment.  I was pleased to do this, and it tickles me to think I may have inspired a young writer!

With the past few books, I have been thinking about the lessons one could learn from my books and what topics of thought I could provoke when they read my books.  I believe I moving closer to producing writing that is meaningful besides being entertaining.  One reader recently called my sci-fi writing “social science-fiction.” I like that.  I think I’ll stick with it!

Simply put, life is challenging and my legs and feet are tired, but I love life, and I love what I do! I came home after Literacy night and snuggled up with my dog, who was glad to snooze next to me, calming me and easing away the excitement and any uneasiness I’d had about my day.  Life is good!  Have a great week, my friends.

Find out more about Detours in Time at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF 

If interested in other books, such as the book for young readers, From Lost to Loved, A Stray Dog’s Tale, click on the author name when you go to the book link above.

 

Weekend Coffee Share, “That Sweet Spot.”

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Welcome to my #WeekendCoffeeShare hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali!  It’s Valentine’s Day week, and I am in love with life.  As hectic, busy, and packed-full as my brain is, I am not miserable at all!  It seems my hard work has been paying off, and I don’t mean paying for vacations or bills, but producing results, nonetheless.

My Facebook job of record is “In training at- Trying to be a Positive Influence on Others.” It’s true abd shall be true all my life.  I make enough money to get by.  I may get a bonus now and then to provide for a vacation, but what matters is if I am reaching the young hearts and minds of those in my classroom.  What matters is that I am writing material as an author that pleases my heart and makes people think.  Somehow, between the two, I want to make the world a better place.  I’m still taking courses on how to teach and reach the highest achievers in school.  It keeps me so busy, and I’m enjoying it immensely!  I caught up on my course this week, working almost daily in the evening to get the assignments done.  So I had time Saturday to a little writing with my current character, Malachi.  I even had time to go to lunch with my son.  Friday, I started putting those planned lessons and assignments to work.  It was great fun!

Forgive me if nothing is in linear order here.  I had a Eureka moment while teaching on Friday.  I worked so hard this week at learning new strategies, sitting for hours at my laptop, working while eating, processing, planning, interpreting data. The payoff: A lesson on things I love, animal nature, poetry, and figurative language, as well as a poet I got to research in a Grad. School class. A student I never thought I was reaching said, “Ms. Canepa, you are the teachingest Reading teacher I’ve ever had.” Students had fun creating their own creative metaphors, and some sat in a group with me discussing their choice of alternate assignment because they passed a pre-test.   They looked so genuinely interested in the assignment to find out the background of the authors and maybe even appreciative.  It’s called differentiation, and it’s a lot of hard work.  It doesn’t only exist for those who need help getting it, but for those on the other end as well.

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Students seemed so excited Friday.  Well, it was Friday and there was a dance, but they were really participating in our discussion.  Next week, I’m going to play them a song called “Dog and Butterfly” by Heart,  circa 1979. We’ll discuss how we can learn from animal nature.  I felt my own enthusiasm radiating from me on Friday when I introduced our poems.  It was great, since I’d felt bogged down by drudgery most of the week.

 

person holding stick in grayscale photography Somewhere in Alaska.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am also excited to be sharing some poetry by Mary TallMountain, a Native Alaskan poet I studied in a Graduate class at UNF.  Some of my students will be digging into her background and where she’s from.  They’ll be learning about a beauriful place that is mostly foreign to them.  I studied her in a course on American Literature that exposed us to many authors that are not traditionally on a college course syllabus.  I loved that class…

All in all, I am feeling great and will start another assignment for my course within the next hour.  The coffee is kicking in!  I learned a few things the past week:  If you lvoe what you do, it rubs off on others.  Hard work pays off.  Never quit,  but I already knew that, I just keep re-learning it.  The other: if you are writing a novel in bits and pieces, taking weeks off at a time due to life responsibilities, do keep notes on what your side character’s last names are, and consult it often.  Also, don’t leave your main character hanging on a limb for too long!  Still, I feel much better for having given Malachi some attention yesterday.  I am in the sweet spot for the time being.  Thanks God for a clearing of the clouds!  Even though the clouds may return, each time it seems I am learning more on how to see beyond the clouds.

I have a few author events coming up as well.  They are online events, and I plan to share more about them as they get closer.  Thank you for stopping by and sharing some coffee and a little bit of my recent joys with me.  Have a great week!

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Full Cup, Please!

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Welcome to my 9/15 entry for the #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali.  Please  bring the beverage of your choice, or enjoy a Gevalia Keureg coffee like I am having.  I know I am not the best hostess, but you’re here for the conversation, right?  😉

Thank God it’s Saturday!  It has been a busy week, with full cups of coffee daily!  Monday, I went to the chiropractor after my day of teaching, which is something I’ve been doing weekly for about a month. I went to a chiropractor before, but it has been three years. My only thought is, why did I put this off for so long? I always feel so much better after leaving there, except for my neck, which I have to hold steady and face it straight ahead for a few hours. The neck always seems to need adjustment and is much better the next day. So that is something for my health that I added to my schedule. Tuesday, I went to work in a skirt and sleeveless blouse for a morning meeting, then after work, I stayed and had a small dinner on-site so that I would be ready for Open House that night. This meant I was on-site at school for 12 hours that day, which is a little too much for me.  The rest of the week, I didn’t do much outside of the work schedule, partly because grades were due Friday.  I probably brought a little more paperwork home than usual. Ugh.  My wrists have bothered me for for a little over a week, and I really feel that today. I think it’s arthritis and/or my body is reminding me how old it is getting. Thanks, bod! However, I am making adjustments today so that I can write!

I have decided to bring out my Dragon headset again. This was a gift from my mom about four years ago and it lets me speak my thoughts into the microphone, and then edit later. I haven’t used it in a while, probably because of the misunderstandings it seems to have when I speak. Trust me, they are minor, and I have my hands crossed comfortably while this post is actually getting written. Perhaps Dragon will help me get a lot of writing done without much pain to my wrists. Believe me, I had really put off writing for a while due to the discomfort I had felt starting probably four or five years ago. However, when I look back to that time, I also realize there was probably a little bit of depression going on with me, and that can really paralyze one’s dreams and goals. I just kept thinking, this will only get worse with age; there’s no way I can keep working.  How can I write that book I want to publish?

At any rate, today I am thankful that I pushed past those feelings.  I think I hurt just as much now, but not as much inwardly.  My inner voice tells me, “Crap, it hurts, but I’ve got to get up and do as much as I can today, there are lots of people worse off than I am!”   Whereas, that voice used to say, “Why do I have to hurt so much? I can’t do this, I can’t do that….”  Well, now I’m doing it anyway.  Mind over matter.  I have heard that as we get older, we get more stubborn, and I think pain is all relative.  🙂  However, I realize I do seem to get cranky more towards others, or maybe I have less patience due to chemical/hormonal changes.  Well, it’s natural, and I do try to think before speaking.  Don’t get me wrong, I think I am pretty patient with my middle-schoolers; after all, they are middle-schoolers!

So, I didn’t get much writing done this week, but I got a student newsletter finalized for my Journalism class!  I am so proud of them and their work.  I got some beta reader notes for my short prequel story starring Milt and Tabitha from Detours in Time, so I hope to be working on that in just a few minutes.  I am working to make this statement come true:  “If you dream it, you can do it.”  I have so many writing ideas for the next few years!

On that note, I am off to editing land.  I hope you all have a great weekend and a great week, and thanks for stopping by!  Visit other Weekend Coffee Shares from the blogging community at Eclectic Ali.  Namaste and God bless!