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!

 

#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!

 

My Year of Saying “Yes.”

sunrise-sky-blue-sunlight-67832.jpeg  Photo (c) Pixels.

2014 bled into 2015, and the effects of saying yes were amazing on my mind.

I’d say it started mid-2014.  My son graduated from high school and went to live up North with his dad for a while, and I found myself suddenly with more time for…myself.  Summer time was great.  I caught up with old friends and started helping out at a food bank.  It was something I was always curious about.  Several people from my church also volunteered there, so I got to know them a little better.  There was a nagging worry about my son, but guess what, it was always there since he became a teen.  I kept busy.

Eventually, he came back, as things didn’t work out there.  I figured he learned some necessary lessons being away.  Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know if they sank in.  He enrolled in college and had a few more troubles, then withdrew from his classes.  He really went through a rough time, and so did it.  It was hard to accept that his journey into adulthood would be nothing like mine.  There was a sense of loss.  He was not the person he used to be and would not talk to me about things that were going on.  We sought help, but I did not seek help for myself.  Perhaps I should have.  I dealt with it, somehow.

In November, my mom and I spoke seriously about getting a dog.  She and I live with my son in the same house.  He voiced no opinion on the matter.  She went looking one day and told me about the sweetest dog she’d found.  My son was there and did not voice disapproval; he didn’t voice excitement either, but that is nothing new.  It seemed apparent the dog would be my mom’s and my dog.  Two days later I went in and met the dog.  I’d thought about doing this for a few years and always stopped myself because of the new responsibility, the cost, the adjustment, etc.  Well, I decided to accept this as a happy adjustment.  There were so many adjustments that year anyway.  I put down the deposit and went back to get him when his stray hold was over at the shelter.  Let me tell you, a new canine family member is an excellent way to stave off depression.

Around the time, I was asked to serve on the Session at my church.  It is somewhat of a governing board.  Now, I’d grown closer to spiritually, but mostly in the sense of begging God for help, begging for acceptance to enter my soul, begging things would not get any worse than they were.  I’d discussed things with my pastor now and then, and when someone nominated me for this, I discussed my fears with him and what were the positives.  Obviously, when you’re asked to do this, you have to know you are going to be in a place of servitude and can’t just think “What’s in it for me.” However, I didn’t want it to distance me from my son even more, as I was his transportation and he was involved in a few programs to help him get a job and help him sort his life out.  Still, I said yes after deliberation and talks with my pastor.  It was the third time I’d been asked to do this and this time I finally said yes.  I would start my term in January, 2015.  Let me tell you, it was a challenge but rewarding as well.  I am looking back and reflecting on it, because my three year term recently came to an end.  It got me involved in some voluntary activities that I would not have done otherwise, all very rewarding.

During the three years, my son lived in a world separate from me, in our own home, in his mind.  I still made efforts to keep him on the right path.  He was in a state of recovery and did not ask much of me, yet he needed my support.  He would at times accompany me to church events.  I learned a lot while serving on the session, and I felt closer to God.  I frequently was in a state of reflection, and I started writing more.  Poetry had been a sometime hobby for a few years, but I started writing stories.  It was a great escape.

In mid-2015, I bought a little notebook to write down all the zany ideas that popped in my head and disappeared when I later had time to write.  I binge-watched Mad Men that summer, and the character, Don Draper’s transformation and soul-searching inspired me.  I wrote a few stories online that I shared with no one other than the writing platform where they were housed. In early 2016, I started blogging here at WordPress.  It opened a new world to me, and I would respond to photo prompts and communicate with other bloggers who are also writers.  I still benefit from the WordPress community.  I submitted some stories at Wattpad, and while I think their audience wants something different from my brand of stories, I grew some confidence, and I decided to extend one of the stories into a book and self-publish.  Since I had joined an online Writer’s Group, I had learned a little about the process. I am still learning more today.  I really got into a mindset back then of telling myself, “Yes, I can,” and “If not now, when?”  I had put off writing for several years because of hurting in my hands, being busy at work, fogginess in my brain (which was probably a sort of depression).  Writing helped sharpen my brain.  It acted on that problem, and it happened in spite of the first two afore-mentioned problems.  Sing it, “We Shall Overcome.”  That is the story I want to live.

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