#WeekendCoffeeShare Replenishing the Well

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at the Eclectic Alli blog!  It’s a full cup day for me, because I just feel tired.  The ink well seems to have run dry, and it’s time to replenish.  My sinuses were challenged for a few days this week, and I’ve been sleeping in later each morning.  It seems I am catching up on some needed rest.  I hope I’ll be caught up soon, because I’m started to feel unproductive…

Well, I have been making progress on the course I am taking for teaching; I am a little ahead of schedule.  I have also made some progress on contacts to ARC readers, and a few people have added it to their Goodreads shelf after I posted about that on social media.  If you add a book on Goodreads, all of your friends or followers there can see and may be curious what the book is about.  If you go to Goodreads now, Undercurrents in Time can be found by searching the title.  Just a suggestion… 🙂

A day or two ago, I blogged about the pre-order deal and my first ARC review by a book blogger.  It is exciting!  You can check it out here:

Undercurrents in Time, pre-order and ARC review!

I had a chance to blow off steam and relax with the boyfriend last night, then this afternoon I enjoyed a free lunch with my mother at a shredding event at her financial advisor’s office.  It was outdoors, but we sat in the shade and the heat was quite bearable.  The food was certainly delicious!  I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow afternoon as well.  So I think my theme for this weekend will be relaxation.  I don’t devote complete weekends to that often enough!

Have a great weekend everyone, and visit Alli’s site for more Weekend Coffee Shares:  Eclectic Alli

 

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#WeekendCoffeeShare. On the Hamster Wheel.

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com.  May is slipping past us.  I have felt so busy and overwhelmed, yet the days keep going by.  To quote T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”  Eliot is singing to me lately, as I’ll be turning 50 later this month!  I just worked on a turing fifty post and can’t wait to share it later this month!  Lately, I have pondered my life, what I am doing, where I am going, etc.,  and sometimes that just results in anxiety.

Case in point, last Saturday.  I was feeling frustrated with my book marketing efforts.  I had a marketing strategy session with Audrey, who runs the Author Transformation Alliance, and it was so exciting and educational.  I was pumped!  Then, I went and saw that my back tire had been leaking air all night; you see, my boyfriend and I had put air in it the night before.  I’d have to take it in somewhere.  Only, I had a massage appt. for 3:00 and hadn’t showered yet.  I had spent time on the laptop doing lesson plans before I’d even gone out to see my car.  What was I going to do?

I wasn’t taking my car in.  I would not cancel the massage appt.  It was bad enough that I had brought work home this weekend; I didn’t need a crisis situation.  Instead, I got a ride.  My son and my boyfriend later patched it up, and it was looking better Sunday…not flat.  I am so glad I didn’t jump and react with panic.  That was NOT going to be my Saturday.

Saturday evening was relaxed.  Affter dinner, I fell asleep watching Netflix after my boyfriend left.  I had started fantasizing all day about leaving the job, leaving my writerly aspirations, leaving my responsibilities, buying a van and then parking it on a beach where I would live and write poetry on paperbags, convincing someone I was the next Kerouac so they’d bring me tacos and sandwiches a few days a week.  On the beach!  A great way to leave behind the hamster wheel.  Sometimes it seems I’m going nowhere.  I’m getting older and I’ve never been to Europe.  My body aches after a massage.  I stress out just planning a vacation to the Northeast.  This tells me I’m riding on the edge a little too much.

On the writing scene, I finished my first edit for Undercurrents in Time (the sequel to Detours in Time) after the paid editor did her edit and notes.  Someone is now reading it for me….Excited, I am! I also took at least two webinars this week and read many notes of advice on the GDPR that is passing on 5/25, so I feel like my privacy policies and my e-mail marketing are in compliance.  I was stressing about that for a while.

On the topic of stress, I’m still reducing the caffeine intake.  I am dreaming of camping out and watching beach sunrises.  I suppose that could replace the dream of Europe.  Flying in a plane for 12 hours might not be the thing for me.  It’s okay.  I’m still living my life.  I’m just tired right now.   Slept until 10 a.m. last Sunday.  Guess I needed it!  The hamster wheel is a pain, but I am going to imagine it is exercising me, getting me in shape and ready for the next phase of life.  I’m going to believe it will be fabulous.

My family and I  enjoyed a wonderful Mother’s Day last week.  We went on a boat in the St. Augustine waters.  Here is my post  about my Mom and the wonderful ways she has shaped me as a person:  What Mother’s Day Means to Me

Thanks for visiting my Weekend Coffee Share!  Visit more Coffee Shares or enter your own for viewing at  Eclectic Alli Coffee Share 5/18

Have a great weekend!

Weekend Coffee Share. Delayed Rush

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.com.  I normally would be drinking coffee right now, but I’m putting it off since I want to maximize my relaxation today.  I really need to relax, (spoken with a nervous tick in my eye).

Do you know what middle-schoolers are like in the springtime?  You do?  Okay, multiply that by twenty.  Add in a dash of test anxiety and total relief when it’s all over.  I mean, nobody wants to learn anything right after taking an hour and a half test.  That describes my week.

Add  to that my participation in a screenplay contest that required me to learn a whole new format for my story ideas.  Formatting in Word?  Not my forte.  I am thinking short stories are more for me.  But I did it!  I finished and sent it off.  Now we wait for feedback.  I don’t expect to win anything.    At any rate, I’ll be editing a novel in the meantime, so I guess these two months will go by quite quickly.  I have a crick in my neck and a tick in my eye.  Hence, the reason I am delaying my coffee.  No, you go right ahead.  I really don’t mind.

I can delay my coffee need; I have an appointment at noon for ninety minutes in a float tank!  I remember how much better my stressed shoulders felt after the last time.  Except, last time, I kept coming back to my thoughts and observations.  I had a cup of coffee before I went.  I don’t need to be so alert.  Maybe I just need to slip a way for a little while…

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It’s worth a try.  I feel like a mermaid in the tank, and while it’s not as stylish and roomy as the one pictured here (plus the fact that my face is above water), I love the feeling of floating.  Either way, it’ll be good for relaxing my body.  I’m sure, when I’m done, I’ll head right for the coffee shop on the corner.

That’s my life lately.  I still have half of my editing to do on Undercurrents in Time.  Have you read Detours in Time yet?  The sequel is coming…

In the meantime, I’ve listened to Lana del Rey a lot lately.  Do you have any suggestions for inspiring music?  I always like something new.

Have a great week!  How are things in your corner of the world?  Please send your suggestions for music to inspire and help me kick back.  Not the kind to put me to sleep, but to take me away from the day’s frustrations and checklists of what is undone.  It’ll all wait.

Thanks to Allison for keeping the #WeekendCoffeeShare going.  Visit her and see other coffee shares or even submit your own at Eclectic Alli

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.

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Self-care.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/  The weather is quite mild today, but I’m still enjoying a mug of hot coffee!

This week has been another intense one.  I worked on editing three nights this week, and the days have been: work, work, work, crunch numbers, target instruction, plan, plan, plan.  I stayed late Friday and I am ready for the week!  Can you believe the season of Lent is almost here?  Time is flying, and I feel short-changed, because I did not get to yoga last week.  Trust me, I will this coming week!  There was not much time for the blog, but I’ve started a new series about books that are not so well-known, but well worth the read.  Visit Installment One here:     Books You May Not Know Of…     I’ve also been taking care of myself.  It almost feels like indulgence, but I’ve been working hard and I deserve it.  Really, I’ve just decided to do some basic things that I deserve.

One of those is the pedicure.  It has probably been two months.  The nicer weather may bring opportunities for sandals, so I got the pedicure yesterday.  This was after I had lunch with an old friend I hadn’t seen in 6 months or more.  She is such a supportive person; she also works in education but she has other dreams and she is working on them.  She can be quite an inspiration.  I gave her my short paperback, From Lost to Loved, the imagined tale of my dog’s early life.  She is an animal lover and adores her cat like I do my dog; she was ecstatic about the book, so I am so glad I did it.  She gave me some social media ideas!  This leads in to the new Instagram for my dog:  Bixby Fluffikins Canepa!  Follow him at   bixby_fluffikins

The boyfriend and I went to an art show last night to see a work of art by a friend of mine from church.  She is new to the art scene.  It was great to see her enthusiasm and her post-modern piece.  We did not stay out late, but it was something different to do.  I cannot believe how much I packed into this weekend already.  Yesterday morning I was finishing up work things I know I won’t get to on Monday.  Then, I happened to check e-mail and see I got my DNA report back from Ancestry DNA.  I just have to say, it’s fascinating!  Since I had a hard time inserting the whole picture, the breakdown is:

Ethnicity Estimate

Scandinavia

45%
Great Britain
43%
Europe West
5%
Ireland/Scotland/Wales
2%
Middle East
2%
Iberian Peninsula
2%
Europe South
1%
I’ve been on genealogy websites and found myself linked to someone from Italy, Spain, and Ireland in addition to the English, Welsh, German and French I already knew of along with all of Mom’s Scandinavian from Norway and Denmark.  Iberian Peninsula is near Spain.  The Middle East connection totally blows my mind.  I absolutely found all of this amazing, and I wish I could know the family stories, though some of them may be 1,000 years old, in which case I’ll have to imagine the story of a wayfarer from afar traveling to Europe or England, marrying into a whole new bloodline.  Perhaps there was migration due to war.  It just sparks my imagination, and I feel so connected to the world!
To bring this to a close, I am so thankful for everything that is giving me such a full life right now!  Yes, I feel positive about the challenges at work.  Yes, I feel like I can still make time and fit in the things I enjoy like Art, Family history, writing, and taking care of myself!  Next week will be a great one.  I’ll fit in an hour on three or more nights for editing;  I’ll even be sure to get to yoga class. 🙂
*Join the Weekend Coffee Share by viewing others or submitting your own at   https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/weekendcoffeeshare-lots-of-lotsness/
How was your week?

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Pep Talk or Planned Timeout? #letterstomyself #amwriting

Morning, Coffee, Cup, Drink, Table

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Allison at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/ wherein I debate whether I really need a pep talk or a planned timeout this weekend.

Yeah, you may have guessed; I’m tired.  I work for an organization that educates children but seems to test them more than we educate them.  I don’t believe in the way we do things, but I follow directions well.  Testing season is upon us.  I will not dwell on it anymore, but I will add that there are many days I love to be in that room with that sea of facing, many of them smiling because they love being silly, and a few of them are even laughing or responding to my jokes.  🙂

On the bright side, I made it to yoga this week for a class that was very relaxing, yet energizing. We got a great stretch.  This is great because I woke up so sore that morning.  Today I will likely take a walk with the dog.  I also carved out two hours in the evenings to work on editing my upcoming sequel to Detours in Time.    It is good that I have that on the side, and I’m working hard to always have the energy to fit the writing in,  because I don’t have the energy to stay up past 10 p.m. these days.  It is highly possible that the time change will bring more energy and ability to extend my schedule; it seemed to work last year.  For today, I promise myself a walk with the dog, whether long or short, and a hot bath.  I also know I need to go to the bank, but that is not a treat, just a necessity.  There will also be reading time.  If two hours this week sounds too scarce for the writing/editing, maybe it is.  My day job is just so demanding lately, but I will do this.  I still think I can get this book out over the summer, which is my plan, since I will be off and have time to promote it, contact bloggers and reviewers, write guest posts, etc.

At any rate, there are lots of times I give myself a pep talk.  A writer friend named Jonas posted an idea called Letters to Myself a month or so ago.  I joined in.  Below is an extension of a Facebook challenge:  what two words would you say to your younger self.  My words are, “You Can.”  It is also a #lettertomyself, and it still rings true today.  I write because I can.

You can……. Oh yes, you can. Girl, get on up there and show ’em you can. You can say what you mean. You are allowed an opinion and it doesn’t have to agree with all the others.  You can do what you set your mind to. You can do things because YOU want to and you will still be loved even if you slip up. You can. Paint those walls. Run those bases and skin your knees. Dance that dance and fall on your butt and get back up because they will still love you and be proud of you. And if they don’t, you love yourself and one day, someone else will love you for that. Love yourself because you can. Do something silly. You will still be loved and you will love doing it. Do it because you can.

I’ll end my Weekend Coffee Share on that note.  I hope that you all have a great week!  Visit the Weekend Coffee Share to read others’ posts and/or enter yours by clicking the blue Inlinkz button at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/01/26/weekendcoffeeshare-empty-weekend/

Weekend Coffee Share. “What I Can Plan and What I Can’t.” 1/20

Coffee, Pen, Notebook, Work, Book

Photo via Pixabay.

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

Oh, I’m feeling a little tired today.  Last night I got a message that my beta-reader’s notes and suggestions were done, but I didn’t have time to view it yet.  I am giving myself the weekend.  I have one more beta reader who should be available the end of this month, and then I’ll revise, edit, and send to a professional editor the draft for my sequel to Detours in Time.  This is hard work, and my full-time work isn’t getting easier.  That’s okay, I’ve given myself the right to only publish one book this year if that is all that gets done.  Meanwhile, I have other ideas hopping in my head that I’ve outlined or just typed into summary form to flesh out later.  After years of giggling at my own ideas and losing them an hour later because all I could do was dream, I decided to start putting those dreams on paper.  Thank God I did!  This is such a wonderful mind exercise.

As I said, the editing/revising process is hard work, and it at times requires a good amount of sequestering.  I found beta-readers in writing groups and plan to find an editor online who can give me a good turn around time.  I’d like to get this book out over the summer when I have time off, so I can give it the nurturing it needs to grow a readership.  Still, I like the sociability of blogging, so, right now I am tending to do one Weekend Coffee Share or reflection and one Flash Fiction challenge a week.  We share them in one central place as well as on our blog so that we can see each other’s work and comment.  There are frequent posters whom I know by name and I like to keep up with news from their parts of the world or see what sort of fiction they spit out based on the photo prompt.  That is the sociability that keeps me writing when those reading my book won’t leave reviews and when I have a slow book week.  It happens.  I am in the acorn stage.  Maybe one day I’ll be a tree.  🙂

The home front is not too bad, I must say; my son is working steadily and has been for 7 months.  He had a few troubles last year.  The biggest one, the alcohol issue, seems to be resolved.  His moods are light.  I see him smile at the dog and play with him, whereas he wouldn’t do that before.  I don’t feel like such a caretaker where he is concerned; it feels like he is now an adult who gladly gives me a portion of his paychecks.  Albeit, one who lives at home and can’t afford to move.  After what we went through, I like having him close by for now.  As I was thinking such positive things, my mother texted me last night that she fell near the doorstep and a friend took her to the E.R.  Her arm is broken; she had broken the other one last year.  I met her at the E.R. last night.  She’s hurting.  I hate to see this.  I know it’s part of getting older.  Everything I see in her is me in twenty some years.  I myself deal with muscle pains when I get up in the morning.  Yesterday I joked about suiting up with Ben Gay under my layers. (Yes, it has been in the 20’s and 30’s in Jacksonville, Florida several mornings this week).  I feel like I am getting a ‘poor me’ tone here, and I hate that.  We survived the E.R. though, and no one seems to have caught the flu.  Visions of Sheldon in the hospital episode kept dancing through my head.  I did abstain from restroom use while there.  She and I talked about exercises that strengthen the bones.  “Weight-lifting,” she said.  I do yoga, and that involves lifting your own body weight, but really, not often enough.

Time to add a ten minute arm weight routine to my morning stretches.  The challenge is just beginning.  I shall greet each new year with humor and laughter, just as my mother has on her best days.  Why, she even cracked a joke last night about not being able to drink wine. 🙂

Join the Weekend Coffee Share at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/weekendcoffeeshare-sushi-cheese-and-being-brave/ by reading others’ posts and/or adding yours by clicking on the blue InLinkz button.

Have a great week!  -Pam