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. First World Problems.

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

I am typing this on my phone with the WordPress app that I got mostly to save book ideas that I get when out and about. It’s hard to look so much at this small screen, but I’ll give it a try, since my laptop is not working; it thinks it can’t connect to wi-fi anymore. My left eye is red from the strain. I just got back from Staples where I dropped off the laptop for repair. We writers need our laptops! I’m glad this waited until I sent final approval for my upcoming audiobook for Detours in Time. I haven’t done much writing this week, save for a flash fiction response titled Jumble.

Coffee this morning was pumpkin flavored , as I just want to pretend it is fall here in Florida. As I exercised on the porch, I listened to my current audiobook (my eyes need a break from grading on a small tablet). This is a fun listen; the narrator does a cool accent for Houdini, a person who has always fascinated me!

I also got sidetracked and almost adopted a cat from Petco after leaving my laptop for repair, which is right next to Staples.

He was an 8 year old Siamese with blue eyes who kept rubbing against my hand, longing for attention and touch.
Dusty is at Petco on San Jose Blvd, where there’s a big adoption event today. I’m sad that my house is too small to keep him separate from Bixby.

So, that’s it. I need a bigger house so I can end the loneliness and suffering of more homeless/shelter animals, and I will need a new laptop in the next year or two. I suppose I should start playing the lottery.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and hopefully I’ll have more author news next time!

Weekend Coffee Share. Back to Normal, My Version of it!

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

Our area was spared of the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, but sadly, the Bahamas was hurt. I spent a terribly exorbitant amount of time watching Netflix (The Walking Dead and Money Heist) and eating things I don’t normally let myself eat. The brookie, for example, was my best and most decadent find, a cookie baked into a brownie that sat by the checkout at a convenience store my son and I went to on a bored, stir crazy soda run. I shudder now to think of how that took me beyond my carb and sugar limit. Carpe diem, they say. 🙂 School was cancelled for three days, and my son’s job for two of them. We somehow survived with comfort eating and Netflix binges. I’ll own up to it.

I’ve been doing more edits in conjunction with my producer on my audiobook for Detours in Time. Soon, it will be released! I work on the Malachi manuscript when I get time. It is going to be strange, as it is 99% character study that ties in to my sci-fi series, but it will only have hints at some sci-fi goings on. The character is however, going through a very interesting time of his young life. Still, what the heck am I doing? I think it’s what the character wants me to do, therefore, it’s what I want to do! Life is short, and I have the ideas coming to me daily for the sci-fi followup; think of it as a younger generation Detours in Time, and yes, it is part of that series. Think of Star Trek, the Next Generation. I can only hope my strategy could be compared to such a giant…

On the writing front, I’ve been polishing some stories I’ve written over the last 3 years, two that had been entered into story-to-screen contests. I sent one of them off to a short story contest. The other, I’m considering converting from script to a story. I am trying to keep my eyes open for anthologies where they might fit, some are sci-fi, and some are supernatural/paranormal. Let me know if you hear of any anthologies taking submissions! I also wrote a poem titled “Psychedelic” this week in response to a one word prompt. It is about someone who had a very cool grandma. I didn’t know my grandma that well, so this is all imagination. Please view it here: “Psychedelic,” a Poem

The selfie is included because I just had my hair done today and I feel great about it. She styles it better than I ever could, as I normally don’t have patience for the hair dryer. There is a lot to be said for smiles! Smiling makes the bags under my eyes almost invisible. So, I thought I’d share. I will be getting new author photos done soon, since I hope to be publishing Malachi in March or April. That is, if my nerves don’t get to me, as in, how dare I depart from my sci-fi ways? How dare I place the focus squarely on one character and his struggles….I don’t know. I think I’ll get my nerve back. Not doing so will only lead to inaction, which I cannot stand; it interfered with my writing for too many years! Here’s to action, my friends, and forging onward!

Thanks for stopping by as I drank my cold coffee. At 97 degrees, it seemed called for. Have a great week!