#WeekendCoffeeShare: Out of Chaos…

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Happy Saturday, fellow bloggers.  What a much needed Saturday it is!  Work has been hectic lately, life has been hectic, even my writing has felt hectic.  Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share!  If we were having coffee today, on the 13th of May, I’d tell you:

Somedays work is really a challenge as we move closer to the end of the year.  However, I did something with my students to end out the week:  Collaborative Discussion.  I am pleased to say that I enjoyed it!  Yes, they’re still antsy because of Spring and the impending end of the school year, yes, I had to remind some of them to stop being silly, but they even made me laugh at some points.  I got to see that some of them have really grown in their thinking about our texts and in their self-expression.  That was priceless.

Life is, well, life.  I miss the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I wouldn’t have time to blog every day anyhow.  I’ve had a hard time with my son turning 21.  I had to set some rules in writing for the household, which took some thought.  Still, I’m glad I did it.  It’s not easy seeing your child make mistakes or bad choices, and it’s also not easy standing back to see them fall flat on their face just to learn their lesson.  I had many years to teach those lessons, but he had two different households and two totally different parents influencing him.  I’ll go no further so as not to make this a venting session about my ex.  🙂

Writing.  I said it was hectic.  I regret not having time to enter the short story challenges here on WordPress.  It’s easy to meet other inspired writers that way, and it’s so rewarding to create a little world within 100-250 worlds.  I guess I miss that, too.  I’ll have to miss it because I’m working on editing my full-length time travel novel in the hopes of publishing it this summer.  It’ll be self-published, of course, because that is the way I do things right now.  Over the last month or two, I’ve read two books about self-publishing and promotion, one by Derek Murphy, which was very helpful and packed with ideas.  I recommend it.  The title is Guerrilla Publishing.

In the Writing/Author world, I have published a short story on Smashwords about a stray dog’s life until meeting his forever home called From Lost to Loved, A Stray Dog’s Tale for free download.  I have two freebie programs going on in the effort to get my name out there a little further.  One is a limited time Instafreebie where people can get my first novella, Made for Me, in digital form free when they sign up for my newsletter.  See it and sign up at https://instafreebie.com/free/UsMtE . The other is an Amazon giveaway of the e-book, Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes, the darker, more dangerous progeny of Made for Me.  It only runs until about 9 p.m. tonight (May 13th), EST. This giveaway is aimed at getting more Amazon followers.  Plus, two more people will be reading my sci-fi, coming of age tale of a young woman whose dad wasn’t fully human.  Before tonight, you can enter at https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/35b50ae59e6ba24d

Why all of this at once?  I started the Amazon giveaway last night when I just had no energy for editing.  The brain must be in the right place, you know, and I was tired. When I am ready to release my full-length novel, I won’t have time for the rest of this.  These freebies can only help to get my name and my work out there.  I’ve had 74 entries for the Amazon giveaway since last night!  When I do the novel release, I may have to invest in a Twitter service for my other novels.  Plus, who knows if I may be editing and getting these last minute ideas for the novel right up until publishing?  I’ve never done so many stages of a novel for publication.  Some tell me this is how it’s really done.  I’m learning, though.  Now, I should stop talking about editing, and go back to actually editing!  I hope everyone has a great week!

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com.  I urge you to write your own #weekendcoffeeshare.  Be sure to use the hashtag in your post, then visit Emily’s latest at http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-where-im-off-exploring-wacky-stuff/  and add your own to her link-up.

*If you’re wondering about my “chaotic” title, it’s just something jumping around in my brain that hasn’t found a place to land.  I couldn’t hold it in, though.  It sort of needs to take root before becoming a full idea.  I hope it didn’t cause confusion or leave you disappointed in the details of my week.  🙂  Hectic/ Chaotic.  All different shades of meaning.

Z is for Zone. #AtoZChallenge

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I am in the zone lately, reading and writing like a maniac, learning marketing ideas as an indie author, and escaping into fiction reading just as often.

I wanted to write about something Zen for Z,  but let’s be honest, I have no true idea about Zen.  My home life is a little chaotic.  Work is terribly busy, so I just escape into a book.  It’s nothing new; I’ve done it all my life.  I had my phases where I’d binge watch certain things on Netflix, but I can’t seem to make myself a passive recipient of others’ ideas right now.  I don’t think reading someone’s book is passive at all.

“Zone out” means you become inattentive or unbothered, and I have to use that in my life right now.  There have been many changes in my home, and I have to accept them. Know what helps?  Getting in my zone.  Every now and then I have to reconnect with those around me, though.

I look forward to telling you more about what’s happening in my zone in the next few weeks.

*For the month of April, I’ve participated in the April A to Z Blogger’s Challenge!  Can you believe it’s just about over?  I’ve done it!  Each day this month, I have written something based on the next letter in the alphabet.  It’s been challenging and fun while giving me a chance to pause for reflection as well.

Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

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X is for Xenophobia. #AtoZChallenge #amwriting

No, this is not a preachy post on how we should all appreciate other cultures (though we should).  It is my understanding that xenophobia goes much deeper than culture shock and seems to be the resistance to adjusting to the fact that not everyone is like oneself.  Some don’t know the difference.  I am in the process of writing and editing that includes the culture shock one might experience if they went several years into the future.  One character seems to be close-minded about it.  Is she a xenophobic?  I am not an expert, but I had an interesting time creating the culture-shock in my most recent fiction story.   The book comes out in mid-June.  Here is some back story:

If you could take the ultimate escape, where would you go?  In November of 2015, I envisioned just that.  I would go to the future.  Things were a little rough in my family at the time, and I’d often take walks with the dog at night, staring up into the sky at the stars and wondering if I’d be able to visit them in any way other than imagination.  People in my online writer’s groups were going on and on about NANOWRIMO.  I thought about it, and decided I’d start typing a time travel story, but on my own timeline.  From this experience, I do kind of think writing saves my sanity.

At the end of November, I’d typed 30,000 words and had no idea how I’d end the story.  I just started imagining and typing and provided myself the escape I needed.  In January 2016, I took a James Patterson Master Writing class.  Man, I love his accent.  At any rate, I finished the novel by the end of January with approximately 66,000 words.  In the summer of 2016, I gave the manuscript a preliminary edit and had my mother, my first beta reader, give it a read-through.

I’ve recently paid someone to edit it and have had a book cover made.  By mid-June,  I hope to have this sci-fi novel published and available!   If it sounds interesting, please follow me on Amazon at  http://amzn.to/1t3BYGU and sign up for my author newsletter at http://t.co/Gj6d3CXMZq if you’d like to get a free 20-page sci-short story for download.

Way to throw in author promo., I suppose.  I guess I just really wanted to talk about the book.  Happy reading and writing, fellow bloggers!

*I’ve joined the April A to Z Blogger’s Challenge!  Each day this month, I will write something based on the next letter in the alphabet.  It’s been fun so far, yet it has really given me a chance to pause for reflection as well.

Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.comBlog2017 Badge

C is for Contests. #AtoZChallenge

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“I cheated in the contest.”  Seinfeld quote.

Sorry, I had to throw that in, because it is all I can think of any time there is a contest!  I’m a diehard Seinfeld fan, and my brain quite easily goes South to his innuendo and jokes.  But I digress.

I’ve been thinking about how I started publishing my writing.  The answer is this: contests.  Yet, I’ve never won money in a writing contest.  I was in Poetry contests as a teen and in my early thirties.  Each of those got my poems in an anthology, a beautiful book which was mine for, a fee.  I bought both but never won any money.

A Wattpad contest is what encouraged my first self-published book of fiction.  Maybe because I wasn’t sure what to write about, and this contest gave a premise.  The contest was just for a short story, but the feedback I got from it was encouragement enough to make me try my hand at self-publishing.  Since then, I have entered into a Writer’s Digest contest (didn’t win), and plan to enter more.  As long as the fee is not exorbitant, why not try?  Each time, I hone my skill a little bit more.  Nonetheless, I have to be true to myself, and write in my own unique style, rather than trying to write the way the winner actually wrote.  They could be looking for something different every time.

The beauty of the contest that got me started on this journey was the fact that I was risking putting my writing out there and NOT winning.  Once I got over that, I was able to have the nerve to publish, because some may not think I’m the best writer, but maybe some will.  My ego can sustain not winning, so I think it can sustain the popularity contest and occasional criticism.  It was really a good preparation, much better than the vanity press contests.  So what happens now?  I keep publishing my writing!

Made for Me was a continuation of my short story that was entered into a Wattpad contest.  Find out more about it at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DZ5230G.  Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes was a sequel that follows Norrie from Made for Me, who has now become a young woman who is exploring the world and learning who she is.  It offers a lot more suspense than the first, which has been called a sweet love story with a futuristic flair.  Both are now in paperback as well as Kindle Unlimited, and you may find them, or find more about them, by exploring my Amazon author site at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Schloesser-Canepa/e/B01E0KV716.

The bottom line is, remember who you are writing for, and it doesn’t just boil down to a handful of judges in a contest.  Write what you enjoy writing!

The Author’s Trail #indiewriter

She breezes through town, agent by her side, dazzling us with her witty words,  leaving all spellbound with her talent and clamoring to purchase and devour her material.   That’s how the dream goes, anyhow.

Then, she is off to the next destination, a new group, new venue, ready to rock the crowd.  Wait, that would be a rock star’s job.  Well, I did tell you it was a fantasy, right?  That anyone would hail an indie author in such a way is truly the stuff of folk tales.

My author’s trail is more like a slow trek on the Oregon Trail.  Luckily I still have my day job, or someone might be starting to starve.  I should probably add that being employed full-time forces me to do a balancing act and sometimes shuffle the writing and self-promotion to the bottom of my to-do list.  😦  However, I am learning the benefits and reaping the rewards of speaking to groups about my books.

Mind you, I have only spoken to groups of people that know me personally.Once at my own church Artist’s/Talent Fair, and recently at my mother’s church, where I knew at least 80% of the audience. I had an invite to go to a high school during their Literacy Week, but a family mishap forced me to cancel.  Still, I’ll take two out of three and have faith there will be more, along with the gumption to make it happen.IMG_0095

First presentation ever!  April, 2016.  Amateurish, I know.  Don’t judge! 🙂

For my second presentation, the crowd consisted of people from my mother’s church who have known me since my twenties, but most haven’t yet read my book.  Why?  Some people don’t read on Kindle.  But three months ago I got my first book, Made for Me, a sci-fi romance novella, published in paperback through Amazon’s Direct Publishing program.  I also brought a few extra paperbacks to the presentation, you know, just in case.  Like magic, five people are now reading my book who haven’t before.  You may think, “Five?  Big deal.”  Every reader is a reward to me as an indie author, even if they are people that know me.  It’s one more chance at word of mouth.  Every review is another reward.  Count every small step forward as a victory.  On top of that, it was just touching to see many people that I haven’t seen in years.  I also got some great feedback about my presentation and some interesting questions were asked.  Yes, I carried an outline for my speech.  It helps. 🙂

I know my next steps, I know who I need to contact.  My next goal is to speak at public libraries.  However, I can’t tell you when.  I am working on writing and editing another book, working full-time, and parenting, and I’m sure there’s something else.  But it will happen!  I won’t put it off too long.  Sometimes I want to make it happen all at once, but it won’t.  At any rate, I may be feeling older, but I am still young.  I’m going to do this, and perhaps the plan is where it all starts?

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Here are two of my biggest supporters!  Mom’s reading my paperback, Made for Me.  Bixby has sat beside me many times as I wrote this book and others.  If you’re interested, Made for Me is available in Kindle edition or paperback at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Made-Me-Its-chemistry-isnt/dp/1520250215  I’ll soon be working on converting the second book in the series to paperback as well.

 

 

 

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#weekendcoffeeshare Can’t Stop the Time

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Good morning, everyone!  The Weekend Coffee Share is a blogger’s community post where we share with each other our goals, our projects and progress, thoughts and musings.  As T.S. Eliot would say, the “butt-ends of our days and ways.”  Sounds negative, I guess, but it gets to the nitty gritty.  What is the end product of our goals and aspirations?  Well, I suppose I could share just about dreams, but I’ll give some reality too.

If we were having coffee this weekend, I’d tell you some good things.  Coffee makes me feel positive, unless I am already in an anxious mode, which I’m managing lately, but still, I limit myself to one cup to avoid a problem.  Lately, I’ve been posting on the new Niume site, working hard to share and get those views.  Maybe I’m working too hard.  I posted a prayer for Lent, which is, I suppose, a free verse poem.  It is posted here on my WordPress and on my Niume site.  I haven’t been doing much with my “works” in progress as a result of the new site (which needs to change), but there is a positive.

On my Niume site, I dedicated myself to writing every third post about a futuristic story of love in an age of government over-reach and neglect. Yes, it sounds paradoxical, but it’s really not.  It started here on WordPress with a Valentine’s Day entry for a Flash fiction post, so they are all titled “A Date to Remember,” and things are happening on various dates in the future.  At any rate, these characters will meet up with Norrie in the future; she is the warrior/heroine in my Made for Me and Seeing Through Sampson’s Eyes series. And boy, is she ever going to prove a valiant warrior.  By the way, I mean “warrior” metaphorically.  In that sense, sometimes I am a warrior.  So, out of the Niume posts grew another fiction idea for my future writing.  I have so many, it’s like spinning plates on my hands and feet.  I’m a moody sort, so I can pick up whichever one fits my fancy on a given day.  The key will be, finishing one, then another.  Only then will I have met my goal.  Perhaps I should write out my goals and give myself deadlines.

Here is my Niume site if you are interested in the posts: https://niume.com/profile/111217#!/posts  You can also read my WordPress post explaining how you and I can get referrals and gather revenue from it:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/use-niume-to-promote-your-writing/

Two weeks (or one week) ago, I started a GoFundMe for my old friend from high school, Wendy.  She has Lupus, RA, MS, and a few other illnesses and the treatments, even with co-pays are outrageously high cost.  Well, there have been 11 donors and 80 plus shares on social media.  I feel like it is thriving and so far there has been a helpful amount donated.  However, it’s not enough to get her and her husband out of the hole.  I am still circulating it on social media.  It was one of my promises for Lent to set this up and give it, up front and center, a place on my social media.  Please visit it if you feel so moved!  https://www.gofundme.com/sxfp7s-wendys-medical-fund

Yesterday, after being on the computer for too long, I took a walk on some trails with my son and my dog.  My twenty-year-old son is a little non-verbal at times.  I feel he is going through a difficult time but keeps it all in.  However, these walks are quite a positive note in our lives, and research agrees that outdoor exercise keeps a brain healthy.  He and our dog are right at about the same pace.  I love it!

trailshot317022517_10209124641782171_633798082144021063_n A brief pause.

Sometimes I get writing ideas while out on the trail or during yoga.  None lately, though.  I seem to have the ideas and I need to just flesh them out, make them work.  I have Spring Break coming up.  That should prove to be a fruitful time!

Speaking of writing, I was invited to speak at my mother’s church at one of their weekly dinners about writing and the books I’ve published.  I’ve known some of these people, as I attended there in the past.  It was heartwarming, and a few told me afterward, “You had the attention of everyone.”  This was such a positive, and since my book is now in paperback and many of them don’t read on Kindle, I was able to sell many of them my book in paperback.  Four of five, but still, that’s more books than I’ve ever sold in one day.  I need to seek out libraries next for these talks while working on my new material.  So, I have enough to keep me busy until, I don’t know, maybe 2062.  🙂  I’m getting engrossed with writing at the present and forgetting to tell the world I am a published author.  Such is the life of an indie writer.  My life!

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Made for Me, Book 1, sci-fi romance

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Book 2, sci-fi coming of age novella.

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster .  Thank you Diana for all the great Coffee Shares in the past!  This week it is hosted by Nerd in the Brain).  Thank you Emily!  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before. 

 

 

#weekendcoffeeshare Ushering in Lent

 

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Welcome to the #weekendcoffeeshare, created by parttimemonsterblog.com.  If we were having coffee this morning of February 25, I’d tell you:

It’s past noon and I’m still in my pajamas (t-shirt and sweatpant shorts).  If you do come over for coffee, don’t worry, I’ll quickly put on a robe before answering the door.   I’ve lately been obsessing over my writing in a new blogging community and sharing my posts everywhere!  Maybe, instead, I should have been obsessing over the state test and my teacher observation occurring in this next week.  Nah. I surpassed the 500 view mark on Niume today! Yay!    Since I am learning how to promote, promote, promote, I may as well do something with it that can help others.  In a conversation on a friend’s Facebook wall, I volunteered to set up a GoFundMe account for a friend, and it is a worthy cause.

You see, my high school friend, Wendy, has Lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, MS, Osteoporosis.  She also has a 1-year-old grandbaby whom she loves spending time with, but she is frequently in pain and undergoing a lot of treatments. There is more detail in this link, and you may feel moved to donate or share it on your social media.  https://www.gofundme.com/sxfp7s-wendys-medical-fund   She skipped a needed treatment last month because of the cost.  😦

Yes, it was someone else who suggested I do this, as I was encouraging her to do so, but inside me, I do feel that I should use my talents not only to please myself or earn some money but to help others.  Wendy just had treatments a day ago and has been quite out of it, so I, in my good health, am able to do this for her.  Why wouldn’t I then?  What will I give up for Lent?  Lent officially starts March 1st.  It is such an important time of year.  I hate dietary restrictions, as I go without beef or sweets many times just to aid my digestion.  Now is a good time to choose a selfless act, and this one just appeared before me.  I hope it isn’t uncool to post about it here.  I have spent much of my morning wording the campaign description and getting details from Wendy about her illnesses.

As far as my writing, I am all over the place.  The Niume blog is my latest writing obsession and I suppose it is getting my name out there even more.  Feel free to visit any of my posts at https://niume.com/profile/111217#!/posts and read my WordPress post about it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/use-niume-to-promote-your-writing/ (if you’re interested).  It includes a referral link if you want to sign up and start your own.  I also have a novel being edited by someone.  I am not writing with true regularity, just in spurts of creativity.  That’s okay, at least it is happening.  This is what I needed to write about today.

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster .   The coffee share is now hosted by Nerd in the Brain).  Thank you Emily!  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky“.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before.