Weekend Coffee Share, Of Holiday Celebrations and Cryptozoology

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. It has been a crazy hectic week, I survived it, and I have added even more dreams to my life bucket list! Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage while I sip a V8 and we talk about surviving work, reaching for goals, and the things we want to do one day!

Seriously, I’ve been grading essays at breakfast and multi-tasking every part of my life this week. It’s nuts! The essays aren’t done. I’ve survived Halloween (and a surprise visit by school admins that involved 90% of my students participating and doing just WHAT THEY SHOULD IN CLASS, HOW PLEASANT!) I  also volunteered at a middle school dance, just for a while. I let some of the girls paint a spider on my hand at the face-painting station. It looked sort of awesome! I didn’t have to work too hard at the dance, but there are always the few kids who want to run around or go piggy back while I chide them sternly to go and dance, envisioning someone hitting their head on that hard floor. We’d like to avoid that… I’ve also been trying to help coordinate some volunteer events for students in the NJHS club, which takes planning, for sure! So, I’m ready to have a weekend where I do fun things for myself with the people I love and enjoy spending time with. Essays will have to wait until Sunday, today I will start with ME.

Did you know there is a Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum in Littleton, NC? It’s an 8 mile drive for me. I was searching fun Bigfoot sites this morning. No essay grading today! I came across mention of this museum. Having visited a Fan film Star Trek stage a few weeks ago, I want to do more of the same! I can’t bungee jump and don’t have time to plan visits to Europe. A girl’s gotta have something. Geek life it is! I want to be around people who are so enthusiastic about something, either paranormal or historical. (My other choice is the Joan of Arc Society and parade in New Orleans on her birthday, happening every year, January 6th). That, and I want to take some Improv classes. Seriously! “Baby…didn’t want parades just passing by her…” (Thank you, Melissa Manchester)! When will I do all this?   Well, I have summers off and two weeks for Winter Break…

But for this weekend, I have my writing dream going. Undercurrents in Time in audiobook is in final quality assurance stage. The narrator said she “loves this book” and enjoyed reading it. I feel in love with it again as I listened to her narration. It is a dreamy narrative, as it is sci-fi, but focuses a lot on the character and motivations of Tabitha and her need to escape. Hmm, haven’t we all been there? Imagine hanging out with your great niece when she is grown, something you’d never live to see, or learning the future of your troubled brother.

Regrettably, I’ve been so busy and worn down that I haven’t written much fiction on this blog lately.  Maybe I’ll have time with the upcoming holidays.  Here is a link to the last one I wrote, if you just discovered my blog or haven’t seen this one yet (it promises a good dose of ‘weird’: Maverick-Light and Shadow. 

Well, it has pleasant chatting with you here on my front stoop in the rare 60 degree weather in Jacksonville, Fl.  Maybe I got a little sun on my face!  How was your week?  I appreciate you stopping by!

Weekend Coffee Share. Work/Life Balance… Still a Challenge.

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

Grab a cup of whatever pleases you, I know I myself had a good cup of coffee today with milk and honey creamer. After spending the morning alternating between sending parent e-mails, entering grades, and working on my Class Dojo site with 30 min. exercise at one point and a little time working on my authorship, I think the topic of work/life balance is a good one to bring up at this time.  Don’t worry, we can talk about the rest, too!  Pull up a chair and your favorite beverage!

It has been another busy week.  Work, grades, planning new lessons.  Students are more of  a challenge the closer we get to the holidays. (Hence, the parent e-mails this morning).  Thursday consisted of two separate doctor appointments.  No new issues were found, but the doctor, after a discussion of the pain in my shoulder and arm, is sending me for an MRI and x-ray and referring me to physical therapy. The physical therapy is probably a good thing, since this has been bothering me even after going to chiropractic for a year. Don’t get me wrong, visiting a chiropractor has really helped my back and spine. So I’m adding one more appointment and it’s increasing my need for work and life balance. I can do this.

I may have mentioned I was going to be visiting Kingsland, Georgia with my boyfriend in last week’s coffee share. We were there visiting his dad who recently got a new health diagnosis that has been worrying my boyfriend. Well, we had a nice visit, and afterward decided to visit Neutral Zone Studios which, as a friend had told me just that day, was having a Star Trek exhibit where you could visit the set. Evidently they do a lot of fan films there. Well, we hammed it up and had lot of fun. I think we really needed that.  Beam me up!

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I have been spending a little bit of time each evening for about a week listening to the narrators chapters for my book, Undercurrents in Time. It will soon be an audiobook, and I am so excited. She is doing a great job, and it’s all going smoothly, except for a little delayed with the ACX audio system. That doesn’t really bother me, because I really can’t listen to more than one chapter per night with everything else going on in my life. So no problem. I also actually enjoying listening to her read the story, and like hearing it again through the narrator’s tone and inflection. I think you all will enjoy it too! I have also sent my manuscript, Malachi to another beta reader. I think that pretty much be done with the story soon, and it will be on to editing and soon, the designing of the book cover, which really gets me excited!

**Today’s coffee share has been written with the aid of Dragon dictation, something I have not used for a while, but I felt like I should give my arm and shoulder a break. So as a result, I have noticed a font change when there shouldn’t have been, and I have had to stop and change some of the words that the dictation misunderstood from my voice. I feel like I might have discussed a few more topics here, but it’s just time to lay back and relax and read a book now. I did a lot of this morning, though. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend and a wonderful week next week.

 

Weekend Coffee Share, 10/19, books, family, paperwork, and paperwork…

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com Photo by Image Apothecary, because books go well with coffee! Pull up a chair and have your favorite beverage. No coffee for me today, mine is V8!

Friday, a day off for students. Peace and quiet. My workday:
Planning day…Grades done! Bulletin board up. Straightened my room. Now to plan a novel study! Oops, gotta check my CAST online list so the test data I am judged by won’t be incorrect. Yada, yada, yada. Oh, better send some parent emails before lunch. Yay! Lunch out with coworkers! Hurry, don’t be late to the meeting. Yada, yada, yada, DATA. Yada, yada, make a spreadsheet of your data. Now you can go home. Nope, I can’t. I have to do that PMP today. Yada, yada, yada, PMP: paperwork based on data and strategies. Hmm, let me find a good Langston Hughes poem to go with the Walter Dean Myers novel. I could do this for hours, let me find three poems! Oops, better make sure I know what I’m teaching about writing Monday and Tuesday. Yada, yada, yada, should’ve gone home an hour ago…and I’m still not done, y’all. THE STATE OF FLA AND THEIR FREAKING RREQUIREMENTS made this day feel like nothing but data aand paperwork. 😦 Learning is Social and Emotional! Also the title of a book I plan to read.

On the writing front, my books Detours in Time and Undercurrents in Time have been on sale this week for just 99 cents. I have sold a few, but I would like to sell more. As I type this, I am listening to the chapters completed so far by my narrator for Undercurrents in Time. She lost her voice this week and is having to pace herself. The timing is fine for me as I barely have any time outside of work lately. Still, I love the creation of my work into an audiobook. It is exciting!

I enjoyed dinner with my mother and my son last night. Though I normally do the trivia by phone app at this wing place where we like to eat, I only did half a game last night, and spent the rest of the time talking with my son, responding to his observations of the crowd in the restaurant and a few comments about his job. I so enjoyed that quality time with my adult son who spent a lot of time between age 17 to 20 not talking to me. Hey, he also pays rent now! (I won’t tell you what a great deal he is getting) 🙂

Today, my significant other and I are taking a little road trip to Georgia. This is not for fun, it is for family, who needs him right now. It is hard to watch your parents age. He and I are both getting to that point in life. By the way, I will not have access to work or anything writing related or work related while on that trip. Well-done plan, if I say so myself!

So, I’m editing this by phone while I while I exercise on the porch. There is a lot to be said for outdoor exercise, including the view: (No, not the fence. Keep looking…)

He had one leg up comfortably and only left when it started to rain. My dog sniffed around in the morning air but never noticed the majestic owl. My little secret stalker, though, who was watching who?

How do I get everything done? I don’t know. I’ve had no coffee today, just V8. On a full cup yesterday, I got a lot done but got really wired about all that was on my plate. I am looking forward to a quiet one hour drive to Georgia. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share, 10/05/19. Author, teacher, mom

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where dreams run rampant and reality competes for equal coverage. The Coffee Share is hosted by Allison at http://eclecticali.wordpress.com and takes place every week. Grab your favorite beverage and join me, I know I sure needed coffee this morning!

My week was busy and packed with meetings as well as at least two nights late at work. We’re getting toward the end of first quarter, testing is happening next week, and I’ve volunteered for a low-paying leadership opportunity at my school, mostly because no one else wanted to do it. I may talk more on this later, but not right now. It’s time for the fun stuff.

No, not the grading I did this morning before getting my hair done, and not the sciatica that robbed me of early morning sleep. 😦 I had an appointment to get author photos today after my hair appointment and lunch. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off after the lost sleep and the resulting eye bags, but I wore real mascara for ththe first time in years, slapped on some extra foundation, and got going

The photographer was a friend I taught with last year. She seems knowledgeable and had lots of ideas for poses. We even did a few casual/fun ones! The author headshots don’t show my jeans, so when they come out, just forget what you know. 🙂 Here’s one of the casual ones (I rather like the shadows) :).

There is more on the author front, such as the release of my novel, Detours in Time in audiobook! I also worked a little on the paperback of From Bedlam to Ben, because my students are asking about my writing. I think that’s a good one for teens with identity crises. I also owe Malachi some editing time sometime soon. I still think I can make an April release!

Speaking of owing someone some quality time, my boyfriend and I are going to an open-mic comedy night, I’m taking my dog to the dog park tomorrow, and my son and I had some conversation at dinner last night. That felt good. He has a new job, is getting more responsibility, and is getting home later as well. Such is life. Enjoy every little moment, and I do.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Someone is begging me for playtime…

Weekend Coffee Share. Authorly Goals and Time with Kids

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

I have not given Bixby enough playtime this week. I owe him a dog park day really soon! Yesterday, I had a meeting with some middle schoolers in the NJHS club, a truly rewarding volunteer job. These kids are the cream of the crop in middle school, and have to maintain academic and behavioral standards as well as earning a certain amount of community service to qualify.  We discussed volunteer opportunies. Thursday, I had an appointment at an assisted stretch clinic. Yes, I went there for a month this summer but have signed up again for a month as I have been either stiff or in stress knots lately. That and a once weekly relaxing yoga class are keeping me level lately.

So…here’s what else is happening:

Malachi is still in editing and rewriting. Goal: April publication!

And finally, Detours in Time is now available in audiobook!    It is narrated by the talented Emory Stagmer, who can be found at @VAXHeadroom on Twitter.  You can find out more about the audiobook here: Detours in Time Audiobook

It has been fairly cooling off, which means we have had temperatures in the eighties.  🙂 It feels great in the morning but by 3 p.m., the humidity gets to me.  At least we are not in the ninety degree temperatures everyday!  I am sure I would find something more to share about, but I am eyeing a stack of papers that also have to be graded.  My work seems to never end…

Have a great week, and thank you for stopping by!

 

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.  🙂

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!