Weekend Coffee Share, 7/20. Writing, Living, and Hanging with the Dog.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali

It has been another really hot week, but I have managed.  Several days were half cup days, one day iced coffee, and today was a glorious full brewed cup of coffee day! You may drink whatever you like, my friend.  I’m sorry you missed the dog-walking this morning.  We ran into two neighbors with dogs, and after the initial barks and noise, I walked with them, and the dogs all got into line, like going on a walk with their brothers/sisters.  It was great.  Now to cool off.  Let’s sit down for a few minutes…

My days have been a joyous celebration of mostly introvert heaven and a little bit of friendship time. There is the joy of deciding for myself what I’ll do each day. Coffee hour on the front porch (usually cut short by the heat); my dog enjoys sitting there off the leash, sniffing the air and making noise at passersby. There’s beach time, no more than once a week, but having gone three times this summer so far, it is still more than the usual Sept. to May time frame. Reading hour, writing hour, social media/blog/book news time, Netflix hour during lunch (as I have already binged all that I will binge for this summer. I’m looking at you, Ozark, Stranger Things,  and Seasons 1-2 of The Handmaid’s Tale); then there’s exercise HALF hour with yoga hour twice in the week. I’ve taken to walking with my dog in the park or walking on the beach in sockless sneakers for a half hour. It’s a great way to get a tan without being a target for sunburn. So, I think I have divided my time in a healthy way, with occasional visits to our nearby sports bar where I play trivia. They have an awesome chicken wrap for dinner, and my son likes to go there, too, so that takes care of dinner!

Many folks I know are planning or are on vacation, and I’m just waiting until the end of July for a short St. Augustine getaway. I’m saving money though, so I am thinking about places to go this Winter and maybe a family trip next summer.

Author Progress Notes(2) My new graphic!

On the author front, I’ve pretty much wrapped up most of the writing I wanted to do.  The Malachi manuscript is with a beta reader now, and I get random ideas for the Ellie manuscript now and then, so I am writing them down.  I get what I think are excellent ideas for dialogue, so I have a jumbled mess in her Word doc, so at some point I will need to make an outline.  I know how it begins and how I want it to end, the rest will come to me.  I made the graphic above in a burst of coffee fueled energy, and the joke is, it contains an outline, as if I planned everything ahead! You can see from the statement before this, I am largely a pantser and only plan when I know I have to tame the wild weeds growing rampant in the lush field of my mind.  Actually, the joke should come after my next paragraph, so I suppose I’m just being ironic today.  🙂  Maybe there will come a day when I’ll follow the outline.  Are you shaking in suspense?

DetoursInTimeAudible Coming Soon In Audiobook! This is the audio bookcover.

The Detours in Time audible version should be done in August or July, and I have put Undercurrents in Time up in ACX.com for auditions.  I’d like it to be released shortly after the Detours in Time audible version.  Seems like a sound decision.  I also added Made for Me, my first published fiction book (novella length) to a group effort of selling our .99 books.  Made for Me is light sci-fi that describes what a “weird date” might be like in the future and then explores the relationship that fellows, a sort of societal taboo.

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If you’d like to learn more or download Made for Me, a light read with an unexpected ending, it can be found on Amazon, Made for Me on Amazon

It is also available at other retailers such as B&N, Kobo, and Apple by clicking this link:  https://books2read.com/u/4Xo50v

On the topic of world domination, I guess am 1/1000 of the way toward my goal of having my books on the shelf in every country.  I am not a Math person though, so we may need to add some zeros. 😉

That’s all I have for today!  Life is good, my friends!  Have a great week.

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Weekend Coffee Share. Summer Goals!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. This is the week I started my true relaxation and “detox” from stress, including occasional half-cup-of coffee days. I’m writing here and there, but I have no set deadlines this summer.

I do have goals, though. Staying healthy and not feeling stiff or pained every day are two of the biggest. The issue came up last week when my boyfriend and I went on a four hour drive to the memorial for my best friend’s husband. I get stiff just from sitting in a car for those few hours, and we came back the next afternoon.

 Friends are also family.

It was an emotional visit, but this visit was also very life-affirming. I’ve known my friend since age 13. We know so much about each other and have seen each other through some really hard times. We’ve been separated many times by circumstances and distance. Her second husband recently became ill and was hospitalized at the end. He was one of the best husbands in my opinion, even though I only met him once. She loved him very much, and everything she said at the memorial just showed she was full of appreciation for her time with him and relief that his pain was over.  In other words, she was not a basket case at all.  Her husband, whom she has known five to six years and been married to for three, had been sick in the last two years.  Near the end, he developed a rare disease, calciphylaxis, and was in the hospital for most of this last year.  It breaks my heart, but in talking with her I could see that she wasn’t dwelling on the sorrow, and instead was focusing on the wonderful times they had together.  I want to make sure to go and see her or spend time with her more often.

After returning, I’ve been setting a lot of appointments this week.  Routine stuff, and I made it to yoga twice in one week!  I felt great after yesterday’s class, but I feel sore today, so maybe I just have to get used to it.  I also went and tried out a place called Stretch Zone that does assisted stretch.  I decided I’d go back, so I purchased a month’s package to see how I improve after that month.  “Spend all you have for loveliness,” someone said, somewhere.  I used to spend it on vacations and concerts, now I am having to invest in being healthy and a whole person.  In my opinion, well worth it!  It’ll make my next vacation more enjoyable.  I also took my furbaby to get a haircut yesterday.  Yeah, he knows he’s handsome. 🙂

Beside that and binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve been working with a narrator to get Detours in Time onto audio, and after that, Undercurrents in Time as well! I’m trying to finish the Malachi manuscript, but I find I get pretty stiff when sitting in the same place for too long (as mentioned above).  Sometimes I stand near the kitchen counter and type.   I will be posting some brief excerpts in the next week or two!  In reading, I’m alternating between a Kindle book and its audio. That seems to work with my goal of not being too still. Please pray for me so I can get this book finished!  I think I am incorporating a good plan to keep moving.

I hope you all have a great week and are enjoying your summer. Happy Pride month to those of you who are, or have a friend or loved one that is, LGBTQ.  Happy summer to all!

Dance of Life. #poetry

2006. Ballroom dance practice.

Blackshoe2IMG_0009 2009, before I retired these shoes.

 

Dance of Life by Pamela Schloesser Canepa, (c) 2019

Please don’t tell me how to dance
and don’t critique my dance
This dance is life and is not a dance with death,
it is a dance with what I’ve been given.
Don’t check the boxes while I dance
My dance is what I’m feeling inside
My dance is where I am in life…
It changes all the time.
To think I used to wear those shoes,
I danced away depression and blues.
Did I worry about a judge?
I also forgot to bear a grudge.
Now here I am, sneakers and yoga pants
and I still at times break into dance.
Sometimes the flow of words is my dance,
Sometimes comforting a child is my dance.
Don’t stare and check your boxes,
the dance is the story, a story, partly fiction
the story is me, the dance is survival
One can only live through self-expression.
I am not within the box,
and no one else draws my lines
so join me if you dare, or laugh along.

Yes, laugh, I said. It means that we’re alive.

Weekend Coffee Share. A Bird’s Eye View

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli .  The weather looks beautiful, but I’ve been moving slow this morning.  I also have had some coursework, and I am almost done.

Last night, I went with my mom and my son to a Mexican restaurant with a really hip, cool vibe.  It was packed, so we sat at the bar.  After a while, a guy comes over, and I recognized him as one of my cousins.  We are all glad to see him and chatted for a good, long while.  He travels a lot.  It was really nice though, to feel connected to family beyond our small unit.  He tells interesting stories, but my family is awesome story fodder.  🙂

I am going through growing older and having new health issues pop up, having to go through tests.  Throw a prayer my way, please.  I may or may not need it, but it is greatly appreciated.  Enough of that.  No need to worry.  It makes me wonder, if I were a bird or a spirit looking down on my life, what would I think?

 

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Which makes me think of my writing life and experience.  I posted this on Facebook this morning: The space that a story inhabits is important. I have been drawn in by spaces and places, as in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie, Bladerunner 2 as well as in The OA, my new Netflix obsession.
Visualizing yourself in a place or places adds a level to any story. On the left is a crude map I drew of a few city blocks in Undercurrents in Time during my drafting. These blocks also appeared in Detours in Time, but the street names changed due to events and time shifts in that first book.  (Of course, all this followed by an invitation to read my books and a link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF in Kindle, K.U., or print.)  Shameless self-promo done, but it is Independent Bookstore day!  They carry everything.  One independent bookstore in Jacksonville called the Book Nook carries my books, but I’ll work on expanding that.

I am sorry coffee was brief today, but I do recommend that you watch The OA if you like mystical sci–fi or anything uber weird.  It is delicously weird, but full of hope.  Imagine if, in the worst of moments or crises, you could leave your body because your spirit was free.  The thougth is quite addictive.  See?  I am off to a massage now.  Must relieve a lot of stress caused by worry, no doubt, and the constant drive to be better.  Well, maybe that and getting older.

Have a great day, my friends!

Weekend Coffee Share. Dogs and R and R.

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

Here we enjoy our favorite java, tea, or smoothie, and chat about whatever comes to mind and what is going on lately.

I’ve been blessed with a week off. Did I do any writing, you may wonder? Well, yes I did! My current WIP is around 35,000 words and is based on a side character from my book, Detours in Time. I already have the ending in mind, which means now I need to meander through it again and show a little bit more about the characters. It seems to be a more pared down manuscript when I start with the end in mind. It has been almost three years since I published my first work of fiction, and I started out as a pantser. Now, thought I write with the end in mind, I still am really pantsing it through the rest of the manuscript. I sort of leave it to stew until the muse hits me.  What do you all think? Does too much planning kill the details? Sometimes they just have to come to me at the right time. My next work break is this summer. I am making a date with my manuscript for several weeks at that time! It’s been great having a week for w-riting and relaxing!

Other than that, I grew tired of sitting at the computer for too long. I do a lot of that while I am working, plus adding in certification endorsement classes to my schedule. So, I did a little loafing this week. I saw friends for dinner one night, and I went to see Glass with the boyfriend last night. I enjoyed it. It was not as tense as Split, but it was definitely a psychological thriller with satisfying twists! The characterization is amazing, and it helps to have seen the two previous movies involving these characters. I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan, overall, and certainly a raving fan of James McAvoy. His face goes from glee, to penitence, to murderous terrorizing in seconds, perfectly. At home, I’ve watched a little Netflix, and I even got slightly hooked on Shameless. The acting is great, but there is a lot of inappropriate material. It is drama/comedy centered around the family of a “shameless” drunk. It is actually pretty sad at times. Like a train wreck….which actually is a plot point in the movie, Glass.

I plan to take my little canine to the dog park later. We have had several walks this week and morning coffee on the front porch days. He loves it, because he is off the leash on the front porch. Why not?? It’s his property, and he is a little more well-trained now. What he hates is when I walk him on a leash and we pass by a dog watering their own lawn, off-leash. Such dogs are well-trained and don’t leave their own lawn. I am trying to get Bixby to that point, and it seems to be going well. If he needs to do any serious potty time, though, he will give the begging eyes so I will leash him and walk him a bit further. Works out for me as well!

Would you believe, I haven’t gotten up before 8:30 a.m. at all this week! I was fighting a sinus/allergy issue, so that may be part of it. I went to yoga yesterday for the first time in two weeks, and my shoulders are sore. I have to get back into it. Things happen: work meetings, sickness, etc., but I did use a stretching app at home. No, it’s not the same, but it’s something. Back to the grind this coming Monday.

I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for stopping by to share a cup with me!

Affront

I’d just rounded the corner to my street on the way back from a pleasant evening walk with Sparky, my dog. There it was in front of me.

This evening’s cold front was rapidly advancing. I wouldn’t make it home in time. The approaching air was thick as a blanket, appearing palpable and alien. My dog just looked at me with my gaping mouth, probably wondering if I’d feed him again when we got home.

Yes, if we make it home, I’ll fill your dish again.

I grabbed the leash more firmly and picked up the pace. It seemed like the wind was being knocked out of me.

Not only that, but the wind around me was really kicking up some dust. I started a slow jog then accelerated as much as possible.

Coughing and sputtering, I made it to the door. I fell in, the dog following me. Bravely, I reached into the rolltop desk for my weapon.

That old inhaler does wonders. I peered out the window as the dust demon hurried down the street, a cloud of fog on its heels. Survived, again.

(C) 2019, Pamela Schloesser Canepa

Photo obtained via Pixabay.

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!