Monday, November 28, 2011

An *Exclusive* 2012 calendar filled with Haiku poetry!

For the last year, I've been working on a calendar that would combine beautiful images with my Haiku poetry.  Each poem is inspired by the month itself.

This Haiku a Month calendar is my first released collection of poetry. Not only would it be a great gift for the poetry lover in your family, it would be a beautiful addition to your home or office. If you click on the cover below, you'll see previews of each month.

And I'll be happy to sign them. Just send them to me with a self addressed stamped envelope to Pamela Caves, PO Box 743, Fyffe, AL 35971. Or if you live near Fyffe, Alabama, email me and we'll set up a place to meet.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Waiter, may I have two Chapter 24s, please?

It's been awhile since I've shared a "here's what I've learned" post about my adventures in writing. I'm inspired to write this post after having just done a Future Past editing marathon which has lasted from 8pm to 11:30pm; well past this boring mom's bedtime.

First of all, I was a little horrified to learn that I'd sent a full manuscript out with not one, but TWO Chapter 24s. If the editor noticed, she certainly didn't tell me. I can hear a huge Homer Simpson "DOH!" ringing in my head. It is late, so initially I thought that I was getting a little too tired and had screwed up the numbering in my outline. But when I went back to double check, I have Chapters 23, 24, 24, and 25. So I guess the lesson here is to run through the manuscript for a solo check on the chronological order of your chapters before you decide it's ready to send out. Better yet, if you run with outlines in much the same way Jacob runs with wolves, then include those chapter numbers in your outline. This is the first time I've actually used chapter numbers in my outline. You can bet that now I will always use them.

The second lesson I've learned thus far with these edits is that the process of coming up with a final draft is much longer than any new writer can really understand. It's not as simple as just writing it and moving on. I wrote the rough draft, then combed through it, making few changes here and there, focusing mostly on grammar and structure. It was then that I thought it was good enough to send out. As it turned out, I was far from it and I'm so lucky that Ms. DeFino liked my concept enough to throw criticism my way.

When she first suggested that I might not finish edits in time for the next submission period, I thought, really? How hard can this be? All I had to do was just go through it again and be on the lookout for the key problems she explained. And I did. But this left me with another problem. I'd cut out so much extra wording that I was barely left with enough words to make up a novel, much less an epic fantasy. So when I started examining other areas of the story, I realized that there were key parts of the story that I hadn't addressed. I do hope to do more novels starring the characters of Future Past, but for now, I needed to focus on one story and fully satisfy the threads of this novel before trying to see what elements I could pluck for the next one.

I feel like I'm making real progress and the story is even more exciting to me the more I dig into it. My main character, Dayel, is more a representation of myself than I've realized before now. She's been through things in her life that has left her feeling like less than a person. She feels too tainted for any kind of better life than what she's been handed. I used to feel like my dreams were out of reach, too, and that I would never be good enough for anyone to ever consider publishing one of my novels. But I know I'm making it with careful hard work and determination. I guess you could say that the real hard work of writing is something I'm learning more about as this process continues, too.

Peace, love, and persistence,


Monday, November 21, 2011

First "Barrier" story to be released early 2012!

Hi, y'all!

I have exciting news! I've gotten the go ahead to announce that my science fiction story, Barrier: Ethics vs. Duty, has been picked up by Fiction Lake! Yes, I do their online management for them but there was no guarantee that they would publish anything I wrote. So I'm pretty much stoked right now. Let me show that here:


Tentative release is early 2012, maybe around April. I'm hoping to get the edits to Future Past completed in the next month or two and then I'll be able to work on the edits for Barrier for its release. This is the first of a series and I hope the next few stories is as well received by the editors as this first has been.

In the meantime, I wish I could jump around but with my back in the shape its in, I don't think that would be a good idea. I'll just jump around in my mind. That still counts, right?

Peace, love, and cartwheels,


"The Hand" by Pamela Caves - Excerpt

 You can purchase The Hand on Smashwords (several formats available), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or search for it on your favorite site!

Cicely has been experiencing strange pulls and tugs at her temporary home where she is staying while taking radiation treatments for breast cancer.
From - The Hand 
I spent the night at home Sunday and made the three hour drive back to my temporary home Monday morning. I stopped by the house for a stretch to unload my overnight bag and refrigerate some leftovers that would feed me for the next week.
As I turned from the fridge, I felt something-- someone-- grab me around the wrist. It was a solid feeling that jarred my senses, as much as if I’d been electrocuted. I looked down at my wrist and a hand was wrapped around it.
A hand.
Its knuckles were white as it clasped around my wrist, as if it didn’t want to let go. I screamed and thrust myself backwards in an attempt to free myself.
Within seconds, it simply dissipated.
I’m sorry, Mrs. Chase. I just don’t see anything that indicates the cancer has metastasized.”
I stared at my doctor dumbfounded. It hadn’t escaped me that he was apologizing for my cancer not spreading. Sure it was great news… only now it meant that I had no scientific reason behind my experiences. “No brain tumor?”
He shook his head with a half smile dancing on his face. “None at all.”


You can purchase The Hand on Smashwords (several formats available), Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or search for it on your favorite site!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's a sad reality when you have to talk to kids about sexual abuse before you have THE TALK.

In trying to figure out what to write for the day, I played with a number of topics. I could write about Thanksgiving and how disgusted I am at the retailers who want to push Black Friday into Thursday. I could write about my battle with the hubs on a real tree versus a fake tree since it's coming close to time to start thinking about putting up Christmas decor. Or I could rant about how irritated I am that presidential candidates get to have security provided by my tax dollars when there is such a huge debt problem in the United States. I could even write something writing-related because ultimately that's most of what this blog is about; my life as a writer.

But not today. I'm going to focus on something even more ruffled than any of those things above; having an important discussion with a 5-year-old.

We haven't had THE TALK. I think my son is still too little for that full blast of reality but when the questions come, it's almost impossible to avoid the subject. So far, the realm of sex talk has only extended into a dabble of discussions about babies. Earlier this year, my step-daughter was pregnant.  My son asked, "Momma, who put a baby in sissy's belly?"

When it comes to the serious stuff, dear hubs usually passes the buck to me. We were in the car at the time of this spontaneous question and I'm sure the look on both of our faces depicted the horror a squirrel must feel when a car comes barreling down on it. Since I knew his father wouldn't answer him, I had to come up with something quick. My sense of being a realist mother kicked in. I didn't want to lie to him or give him some BS line about storks or the bit that starts with "When mommies and daddies love each other..."  Instead, I kept it simple. "Marcelo put it there," I said. Then I held the handle of my car door tightly as if I were bracing for impact. My husband's eyebrows shot up and his mouth kept opening and closing in disbelief at what I'd just said.

As it turns out, simple really is better. He accepted that answer with a stout, "Okay."  Relief washed over the hubs and I. Being the I-told-you-so person that I am, I turned to the hubs and grinned.

Less than five minutes later, the next question came. "How will the baby get out of sissy's belly?"

I'm sure my face went white again and the hubs only snorted as he stifled a laugh at how smug I'd been.  So what was another simple answer? "Sissy goes to the hospital and a doctor helps the baby out."


Thankfully, he accepted those answers without digging further and I'm thankful that I was able to easily answer him with a point of reality instead of feeding him fantasy.

But while I can somewhat divert the seriousness of those types of questions for now, I knew I needed to teach him about bad people. The whole Sandusky thing going on at Penn State is horrid. There are so many stories about sexual abuse from people you would never expect and stories about abductions and such that as a parent, it has become a vital necessity to talk with your kids about it.  And what's even worse is that you have to talk to your kids about this stuff before even having THE TALK with them.

So last night, I wanted to convey safety to him without scaring him. I told him about bad adults and some of the things they would try to do to little kids without being graphic. I talked mostly about clothing and how adults should never undress in front of kids and how other adults shouldn't ask kids to undress in front of them. I also weaved a little abduction safety in there. The only questions he asked were about who he was allowed to ride home with when I told him that I would never send someone he didn't know to pick him up from anywhere.

Then we did a little Q & A after our discussion. "What do you do if someone picks you up and tries to put you in their vehicle?"

"Kick, scream, bite, scratch and get away!" he said proudly.

Having this kind of discussion with little kids is especially tough because kids are really detail oriented. I didn't want to miss a scenario they might encounter. I want them to be prepared if they ever (God forbid) encounter a situation where someone says they would kill their mommy and daddy if they tell on them. I want them to know what to do if an adult approaches them about helping them find a puppy.  I'm not going to be able to be with my kids all the time. And when my son spends the night somewhere else, whether with a family member or a friend, I'm not going to know every person that enters that home when he's there. You just never know who is and isn't capable of unspeakable behavior. And it's my job to prepare my children for those things.  It's a sad reality but it's a must.

I just hope that I'm doing it right. A parent always second guesses themselves about such important things.

I hope you've had a talk with your kid about these subjects. If you haven't, the headlines should convince you that it's time. It's terrible, I know, but these adults who prey on kids do so because many kids haven't been empowered by the knowledge of what they should do if they are in that situation. Uninformed kids are easy targets for these monsters.

It's cliche but knowledge really is power, especially for kids.

Peace, love, and child safety,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why I'm getting away from journalism

My love has always been writing fiction. I never saw myself also pursuing journalism. But that's what happened. For several years now, writing content and news has been my alternate career as I continue pursuing my fiction career.

First, with the ever changing landscape of content writing and online news writing, I decided to look for something closer to home. There's not much around me in the way of journalism. Second, chasing news isn't really something I'm happy doing. The writing aspect and coming up with original ideas is fine but I don't have the disposition to constantly monitor the goings-on around me. It's stressful to constantly be on the lookout for that breaking story. I'd rather focus on my own family and my fiction than to be worrying about what everyone else is doing.

And third, stories like this depress me. There are often times when I'm searching for a story to do my Yahoo! commentary on, that I just sit at my computer and cry at these terrible, heartbreaking stories. It's not that I don't want to know what's going on in the world but I wouldn't dig so deep if I didn't have to write about these stories.  A fellow writer whose young son is battling cancer said it best; "Headlines alleging child abuse and discord make my stomach turn in ways I can't describe; they bring about a sense of rage that's hard to quell. Why are babies dying at the hands of the people who are supposed to love and protect them while I'm struggling --sacrificing just about everything-- to keep mine alive?" (-From the Prayers for Logan blog)

Sometimes keeping in touch with the news is too much for my soul to bear, especially when I'm struggling in pain like I have been for the last several months, especially when my kids are sick, especially when we discover that our insurance isn't as good as we thought it was and bills are starting to pile up, especially when it looks more and more like we'll be losing our home soon.

It's a rough life and I'm sure others are struggling more than I am. But in the case of my career, I need a change. I need something to do while working on my fiction that doesn't stress me or depress me so much. So starting month after next, I'm going back to college to get an English Education degree. The prospect of picking up math classes again frightens me but I'm glad to be able to go back.

It's going to be strange taking classes with kids that are the same ages as my step children. Maybe I won't be the oldest person in my classes.

Peace, love, and happy studies,


Monday, November 7, 2011

Update: One Month Post Discectomy

Okay so I've already written the "my back hurts after surgery so I'm whining" post. I want to follow that up with some practical "what to expect after back surgery/discetomy" points.

I tried really hard last week to get on some sort of normal schedule. My back was gradually getting better but I'm still having a hard time sitting. This isn't good when your work requires you to sit. Let me explain. I realize I probably still live in the stone ages with my 3/4 year old desktop computer. I have a netbook but I don't even have it connected. I only use it to write blog posts like this one and my fiction. So when I'm writing content for money, I can only do so at the desktop computer. But sitting and writing has been a problem. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were okay. I wrote a few articles and did some client work. If my back or leg started to bother me, I'd get up and walk a lap or two around the house.

But Thursday, my hip and leg really started to bother me. Friday, it was all but impossible to sit for longer than ten minutes at a time. I tried different chairs, pillows, etc. but nothing was easing the pain. I finally shut it down Friday and laid down until I had to go get groceries, which turned out to be an excruciating trip. I've been practically bedridden ever since. I'm actually typing this lying on my bed.

It's been nearly a month since the surgery. I thought that by now I was supposed to start feeling better... and I was feeling better up until Thursday. Since then I've experienced such horrible pain that I've been left in tears, asking God what I'd done to Him to deserve this. I've actually been praying, too, that God would put his hand on me and heal me. If he did that one thing for me, then I'd never take my body for granted again. I just want to be able to run again. I want to be able to get back to jogging and I want to be able to play with my kids.

I hope that I start to see some improvement soon. I see the disappointment on my kids' faces when I tell them I can't do something because of my back. I am watching the dwindling of my bank account because I can't work.

Ugh. I never meant for this to be another whining post but this is what I'm going through. On the bright side, at least since I can type on this thing lying down, I can continue working on my novel rewrite.

Peace, love, and normalcy,