Weekend Coffee Share, Of Pain and Growth

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette.  https://antoinettetrugliomartin.com/2020/01/10/winter-on-hilton-head-island/                Pull up a chair and drink whatever you like!

If we were having coffee today, I’d be drinking a half-caff hazelnut.  Half seems to work best for me these days, I am trying to work on maintaining a calmer spirit. I might be brief today, as I have a hair appointment that mainly serves the purpose of making my hair easier to maintain.

I feel like I am growing as a person, and physical therapy is making me feel stronger.  I’m realizing that, for a long time, I have stuffed negative emotions down in areas of my body, currently, the lower back and shoulder.  But I’ve made progress and have been able to complete every pose in Zen yoga for the last two visits, and that makes me proud.  My job stresses me out all the time, as there are certain things I want to do right, yet I am pushed to ‘get them done’ in small amounts of time.  Yet, most of my students delight me.  I love watching them grow.  One of them still makes origami animals for me, and I enjoy it so much; I started giving him candy when he brings me something awesome.  I feel it is right to reward someone who wants to share their talent to make me smile.  I am working on an end of the year poem to give to all of them.  I know, it’s way ahead of that, but I am still sleeping at a shortened amount of time so my brain must do something, and I will not let it constantly worry.  There is so much beauty in this world!

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In stressful times, I decided to use a go-to scenario involving Jimi Hendrix singing for me.  He is my latest obsession which is much better than obsessing about my health.  Anyway, he sings, and I have turned into a butterfly; I am limitless and indomitable, feeling no fear.  That’s for when I need to relax, because sometimes I am still very tense, though I am working on that.  I suppose this tensing is a defense mechanism that actually, overall, hurts me in the long run.

In the writing area, I have finished Malachi and have sent it off to the editor.  I have gotten the book cover done and there will be a cover reveal soon!   It is at about 170 pages.  My negative inner voice tells me that isn’t enough.  My other voice tells me his story is completed; Ellie is entering the picture now and wants the spotlight.  There is a lot between those two, so it will be in the book after that.  I need to have faith in myself.  I haven’t worked on fiction in about two weeks; I’m writing a lot about my growth process, dealing with anxiety and trying to grow through the arthritis pain.  Who knew dealing with physical pain had so much to do with mental health? I published a short poem to my son about some of this, as he has had many struggles already in his short life.  You can find it here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2020/01/09/for-my-son-poetry/

That is all for today.  It is beautiful outside here in the Southeast!  I’m going to exercise a little before the hair appointment, and hopefully, have a carefree day.  How are things in your corner of the world?

Weekend Coffee Share, Being Understood. 12/20

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Antoinette at https://antoinettetrugliomartin.com/category/weekend-coffee-share/   I am having a half-calf, which seems to fuel me just fine these days.  However, I must admit, I am waking up, on a good night, somewhere between 4:30 and 5 a.m.  It doesn’t bother me as much as it did at first.  I don’t know if it’s the time change or the new exercises I have added daily as a result of PT, but I am getting used to it.  I wonder if this will change once the clocks move forward in the Spring?  I know I have a busy mind and wonder if it will ever slow down.   It’s okay if it doesn’t. 🙂

As far as the physical therapy, it seems to be going well.  My lower back is not as locked up as it used to be.  I do still suffer from sciatic issues, but I’m learning some exercises for that and realizing I need to have more hot baths and less time in the computer chair.  Maybe I’ll just record my writer’s thoughts and stories straight to audio? I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.  I am not worried!  While editing/revising the Malachi manuscript, I found a wonderful modification that works for me.  I e-mailed the rough draft to myself and I’ve been opening it on my phone for a read-through.  This read-through can be done laying on the couch, exercising on the Gazelle (small, elliptical type exerciser), or even in bed.  I can be on my side or back, etc. according to my comfort needs. When I find an error, I write it down for when I will edit it on my laptop.  Then, I am going to send it to the professional editor.  There is no way I will stop writing, so I just need to change my process.

As far as the busy mind goes, I had an interesting talk with a student yesterday who rarely talks in class.  Yes, it was the day before Winter Break, I was casual, friendly, and joking a lot, a relaxed atmosphere for sure.  I presented them with our reading theme for next quarter: “Fear, is it a hindrance or a help?”  The first time this student started talking to me was when I had a lesson on conflict and explained internal conflict and how the struggle is strong for someone who suffers from depression or anxiety.  I told them of my anxiety when driving over a bridge.  I recently have added hospitals to my list.  (I have too many thoughts of experimentation when I see a whole floor taken up by only one office, and construction does not help either).  Recently, I’ve also realized that the holidays are a little triggering.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised that she actually wanted to have a conversation with me.  I also was pleasantly surprised by the Christmas holiday kindness shared by the students yesterday, and one student’s note in her card almost had me in tears of joy:

Dear Ms. Canepa, Thank you for your hard-working ethics and passion for teaching. I love how you have the inspiration to get up and drive to work every day, not knowing will the day go by good or bad. You made a great impact on my life so far and I’m looking forward for you to continue.

It was a hard week with lots of grading, a Code Red drill, a fire drill, a handful of parent meetings, some holiday events, and amped up kids. But seeing such empathy, appreciation, and the right choice of words warmed my heart. Someone noticed how hard I work and took the time to verbalize that to me.  Maybe they are taking it to heart.  That is the best gift ever!

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May you all enjoy the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season, and may you reach calm when you seek it!  I am definitely planning on some relaxation myself.

Peace!

Pamela

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!

Weekend Coffee Share, 7/13. A Writer’s Life.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, where the Florida temperature may tempt you to take your coffee iced, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

Be sure to check out my flash fiction for this week (there is one, a quick read on one young man’s struggle growing up): Take a Hike #RDP

This week, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with a writer friend at Whole Foods Tuesday and lunch with a teacher friend on Wednesday!  I am passionate about writing and passionate about teaching, so both days, I was fueled.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like much is going on with my writing, but I really do have a lot in progress and a lot of ideas in the hopper.

In fact, I wrote a Facebook post about this, as I really am working on a lot this summer, but I tell people, “No, I’m not working a summer job.”  People need to appreciate the work a writer does, though.  Here is the post:

I am a Writer Living the Dream, Edition 1~
1. Since I am an introvert (mostly), I am find staying inside a few hours this morning at my laptop, promoting the Undercurrents in Time Kindle and working on the next book, “Malachi,” a natural thing to do. I’ve posted on Facebook & Twitter about the promotion. Crossing my fingers. Sold 1 yesterday and 1 today.    Undercurrents in Time is the sequel to Detours.  You can check it out or order it here: Undercurrents in Time on Amazon

-1. Conversely, being able to sit so long at the laptop doing “book stuff” (which includes sometimes seeing what everyone on Facebook is up to), makes me stiff and causes lower back pain. So, I get up when it screams at me. I got up to type this, in fact. 
2. In my blog world on WordPress, I am promoting some other authors who are part of this online Book Club where authors or readers read and give reviews, sometimes getting reads and reviews.  I also plan to put more Flash fiction there in the next weeks; I am just itching to do so. It will be on my own schedule, though.  The blogs on other authors are for members of Rave Reviews Book Club and RWISA (an International Writer’s Association).  They are under the category of Authors Discovered and can be found by clicking that category to the right of the page or try clicking this link to see the most recent posts on the various featured authors:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/category/authors-discovered/
3. I’ve sent the first few pages of the work in progress “Malachi” to a writer friend for thoughts and ideas. I am not sure who I am marketing it towards, but it intersects with events and characters in Detours in Time Book2 (Undercurrents in Time).  Mom said, it’s really different, that I am “branching out.” This could only be a good thing, right? Though I’ve read it’s good to find your own niche, however, I want to do different things as well, and I don’t like formulaic advice. Gotta be me! I also have contacted two professional beta readers about this new manuscript. I have typed the whole book including the ending! Now, I just need to see if there are plot holes that I can’t see, as it is my own personal work of art. We aren’t that objective about things we create and love. I love all of my books and my characters, how could I not?
4. I sent a newsletter yesterday to 365 people who don’t seem to care. Each time I send one, 5-7 unsubscribe, but that happens when they may have signed up just to get a freebie. My freebies are only short stories or previews now. Learning as I go. Haven’t tried for new subscribers in a while, but I will soon.
5. This felt good, though: I chose a chapter that I think is quite interesting in “Malachi” that I will put through Calbri (not sure about the name) to put in BookFunnel as a free sample. I’ll let you know when it’s available!
6. With the writing of “Malachi,” I have interjected the character of Ellie from Undercurrents in Time. Lines come to me while I’m driving or brushing my teeth. I’m writing down bits here and there and then will develop my outline for the book to follow “Malachi,” starring Ellie, who is another unique character from Undercurrents in Time. They will both intersect in Ellie’s book as well (yet to be titled).
7. I anxiously await the narration to be done on the Detours in Time audiobook as I am hoping I will gain lots of new Detours readers/listereners in that way, and it should come out this fall, between Sept. and Nov. is the plan. I have decided on text for the audition for Undercurrents in Time as well so I need to set that up on the Audible production site.
8. When people ask if I am working this summer, I say no. I guess I love doing this stuff, but let’s be honest:  It is work. Call it a labor of love!

So, that pretty much sums up my week!  On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., it was 80 with 88 degree humiture, and my dog and I couldn’t quite take coffee hour on the porch; we had to go inside.  I took him to the park Thursday around 10 and he was panting so much.  I need to start waking up earlier!  My summer Netflix habit has had me staying up until midnight watching Ozark, an awesome but dark show sort of like Breaking Bad but set in hillbilly country, and the first season of Outlander.  This is what teachers do in the summer, isn’t it?  I’m sure I won’t have much time once school starts.  Have a great week and enjoy what is left of summer!

Letting My Characters Speak. Giving Inspiration the Driver’s Seat, #amwriting

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A representation of Malachi.  Photo via Pixabay.

All writing © Pamela Schloesser Canepa, 2019.

There comes a time when a parent is no longer shaping and molding her child, when she/he must simply take a step back and observe, when everything you say or advise seems to be a reiteration of things you’ve already taught them.  That’s when it’s time to stand back and listen.  Well, it’s the same with our main characters. This has been coming into play with the writing of my current manuscript, tentatively titled, Malachi.  Malachi goes through some interesting experiences, and seeing them through his eyes was a whole lot of fun!

“I came to this job through an ad in the newspaper.   It read:  Acting job.  Get your foot in the door.  The tryout was basically an interview, and I didn’t get a call back until a week later.  Probably enough time for a background check.  I should have known right away that salty old guy in jeans was no director.”   –Malachi, work in progress

In undertaking this novel, I knew that I wanted to see things through a different point of view.  This book is in first person, and I know some people either prefer to read first person or totally shy away from it.  However, it does really place you in the character’s shoes.  Writing this novel for sure put me in this character’s shoes.  Why did I want that?  Well, Malachi is an interesting character who surfaced in my novel, Undercurrents in Time, because Cr. Milt Braddock has his fingers in something he knows nothing about handling.  Malachi is one of those hired to help him deal with it.  We don’t learn much about him, where he’s from, who his family is, who he relies on in times of distress, or why he does what he does.  He has what we would call an interesting job, and he is good at it.  That was apparent in Undercurrents.  He is a twenty-year-old kid who has the skill of flying by the seat of his pants, answering hard questions on the fly, and concocting a story to help him get through any situation.  He also failed out of college.

I found that, in putting myself in his shoes, I really wanted him to succeed yet understood the pitfalls he encountered.  (I was once young, myself, you know). Why was he so lonesome even when he was successful?  Maybe it helped that I am the mother of a son who is in his early twenties, whom I have seen flounder through a few years not knowing his direction, who has changed his path a few times.  I love writing the story though, putting myself in a character’s shoes and helping him while at the same time, putting some huge mishaps on his path.

Most of all, what I have enjoyed about writing this story in first-person-point-of- view is the listening.  In the morning, I get up and go to the kitchen.  I think, what would Malachi do first?  Then, I suppose I listen.  What would be going through his head?  Then I try to think like that.  On that note, what would be in Malachi’s kitchen cupboard?  Evidently, not much!  Remember, I was once young too…

Malachi’s story will likely be published in the spring or summer of 2020.  I am just getting to the end of the first draft, and will begin the process of editing, revising, and all of that fun stuff.  Malachi appears in the second book of the Detours in Time series.  If you haven’t yet, you can start the Detours in Time series today: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B07F5WPK72

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Weekend Coffee Share. Summer Days and Ways

 No coffee needed for Bixby!

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

Summer is in full swing, and I’m adjusting to sleeping in, more time with the dog, and a lot less stress! On the topic of stress, I’ve been making an effort to have at least two days weekly where I only drink half a cup of coffee. Let me be honest, yesterday was the second day this week, and my ability to focus was really lacking. I was working on a few of my goals as an author, but I was pretty distracted and quite slow to gain traction.  I did make it to yoga, though, and, wow! That is always good for my mood and relaxation.

I’ve been attending yoga twice weekly since summer’s start and going to Stretchzone in addition to more frequent walks. Stretchzone is a place where you do assisted stretch with a person who is usually licensed in Sports Medicine or physical therapy. I really like it, and I’m trying it because having butt in chair to write or laying around reading ( both of which I’ve been doing) can bother my lower back and sciatica.

Seen on Thursday’s walk. Colorful Shrooms!

So what am I up to as an author? Why am I sitting in that chair? I’ve got Detours in Time in audiobook production with an awesome narrator, I’m working on Malachi (work in progress), and I’m starting Undercurrents in Time on the audiobook process. I have to prepare files of scenes from Undercurrents that lend themselves to narration. ( Starting that this week). I’ve had Detours in Time on a Countdown deal for .99 this week which ends Sunday. Detours in Time is a fun, yet thought-provoking read of a woman and a scientist who travel to the future, then back and forward again,  and as a result, they learn a lot about their own families and themselves, as well as encountering some moral dilemmas.  Can you just observe a train-wreck?  That was metaphorical, but think about it.  Find out about Detours in Time or download it here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF

BTW, Undercurrents, the continuation, will also be on a Countdown deal in two to three weeks. I’ll keep you posted, because someone might be interested!

Today, my dog, Bixby and I are on the road with my boyfriend, Kenny. We’re going to Brunswick, Ga to see his dad and stepmom. It will be a low key visit, with conversation and lunch at his house. We’ll be quite entertained watching my dog and their little poodle chase each other around, though!

Road trip photo!

The author tasks and goals will wait until tomorrow, after I’ve enjoyed some sunshine!  Thank you for stopping by for our coffee chat, and have a great summer week!

Character visualization and WIP, Detours in Time Series. #amwriting #scifi

Image (c) Enrique Meseguer via Pixabay

I’m playing with visualization as the character of Ellie grows stronger in my mind.
Ellie appears across several timelines in Undercurrents in Time (Detours, Book 2), shows up in my WIP, “Malachi,” (2020) and will feature in an upcoming novel (2021?). Who is the mysterious Ellie?
Start reading the Detours in Time series today and get to know the intriguing cast of characters! Available in Kindle, print, or Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF
Photo Credit goes to Enrique Meseguer via Pixabay.

 

Series link:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B07F5WPK72/kindle/ref=sr_bookseries_null_B07F5WPK72

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