Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #2

Happy Father’s Day to you!  How’s your weekend going?  Mr. R and I just survived a visit from my folks.  They mean well, but it’s nice to have our house back to ourselves.

For this second week of Summer Songs, I’m pulling out REM with Stand.  I’ve always loved this song, and for some reason, it feels like summer.  Maybe it’s the travel vibe.  Given the proper amount of liquid encouragement, I could even join in on the line dance they do in the video.

I’m not sure we’ll be going out for Father’s Day–we did a great deal of running around with the parentals all week.  But Mr. R has a pop-up beach cabana coming his way.  Shhhhh…

This weekend, be sure to celebrate the dads in your life.  In addition to gifting your dad with the tacky ties, weed whackers, and golf tchotchkes, let him know how much he’s loved and appreciated.  A big hug ought to do it.

And dance along with me if you’re so inclined.  Happy Saturday night!

 

Saturday Night Serenade–Summer Songs #1

Isn’t June glorious?  Warm weather is back with a vengeance.  Our local drought is over, thanks to the nearly eight inches of rain we received in the past week.  Mr. R. and I spent an amazing Memorial Day at the beach a couple of weeks ago.  The water was cool, but calm.  We carried our noodles in and just floated.  I’m in the mood to hit our favorite outdoor hangouts like Square Grouper and Guanabanas, where I can sip something fruity/rummy/icy cold while gazing out over the water.

Tonight kicks off 13 weeks of some of my favorite summer songs.  Now through the end of August, I’ll be posting songs that feel like hot days and balmy nights, like lazy times spent doing what you like with those you like.  Recalling more innocent, optimistic times.

For me, The Go-Gos feel like summer.  I love this version, because it’s recent.  It’s encouraging to see the heroes of my youth still doing their thing.

I hope you enjoy this nostalgic summer romp.  Be sure to hug those you love.

Happy Saturday night!

The Next Adventure

retirement1

I’ve been counting down the days and it’s finally here.  I am no longer employed by the School District of Palm Beach County.  I finished up my duties, cleaned out my room, brought WAY too much stuff home, and said goodbye to folks who’ve been my colleagues for the last thirteen years.  Okay, maybe not ‘goodbye’, we’ll be getting together over adult beverages on a regular basis for the foreseeable future.  But we won’t be working together.

Lots of people have asked the question, “What are you going to do now?”  Having left the District, I’m finally free to answer.

Two years ago, June 7, I (accidentally) published my first novel.  How I did that accidentally is a long story.  Suffice it to say, there has been a steep learning curve. And had I understood the depth of my ignorance about marketing, promotion, SEO, graphic design, formatting, etc., I would never have had the courage to try.  Ignorance can be a huge asset, it turns out.

Let me put in a plug for self publishing.  Indie publishing is a growing industry.  In the past, the large publishing houses have been the “gatekeepers,” determining what literature the reading public has access to.  That meant little variety–they’re only interested in a return on their investment.  But like iTunes and YouTube did for Indie music, and Sundance did for Indie films, Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft2Digital are allowing authors to get their work out in front of the reading public.  Buying an Indie book is the literary equivalent of ‘buying local.’

A few years ago, under the pen name Pandora Spocks, I started writing literary steamy romance just as a hobby, really, a creative outlet.  After a while, I began publishing chapters online, and I discovered that people liked what they read.  Eventually, I published the entire book, chapter by chapter, on a blog.  Along the way, I met other writers who independently publish their work and I began to wonder about doing it myself.

My books are spicy, y’all.  I promote them as ‘Smart, Sexy Romance’.  They’re heartfelt, deeply character-driven stories punctuated by the occasional steamy love scene.  Think of them as the thinking-girl’s romance.  Like Fifty Shades, but more literary.

Today, I have seven books available on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and several other outlets you probably never heard of.  My goal by the end of August is to publish my next steamy novel, and to write a nonfiction book about classroom management, to be published under my own name.

I mentioned marketing.  I’m active on social media every day as Pandora.  You can find me in these places:

Website: PandoraSpocksAuthor.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2rwR5Lv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandoraSpocksAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PandoraSpocksWP
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PandoraSpocksAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14080322.Pandora_Spocks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandora.spocks.author/

Steamy romance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  But if you enjoy a nice hot love story, I hope you’ll check it out.

Saturday Night Serenade–Happy!

Welcome to the unofficial start of summer!  It’s a three-day weekend, and I’m only two work days away from retiring.  Starting June 1, I’m a full-time writer.  Hopefully that means that this neglected little blog will get a bit more attention.

We’re taking a big chance, Mr. R and I.  His fledgling real estate career is just beginning to bear fruit.  By retiring early, I’m walking away from a sure paycheck every two weeks.  But life is short, getting shorter every day.  So we’re seizing the day, taking the opportunity to try something new.

For now, that means he’s selling houses in Palm Beach County.  And I’m working from home, writing and promoting steamy romance.  On the other hand, we may consider selling everything and taking to the road.  Recently Mr. R showed me a video of the island of Mauritius.  “Here.  Let’s move here,” he said.

I can write from Mauritius, y’all.  And I imagine someone has to sell houses there.  Or work in television news.  Or whatever he decides he wants to do.  It’s thrilling to know that we don’t have to settle for the status quo.

Confession:  I’m hedging my bets.  I’m packing into the garage everything I’d need to start a first grade classroom again.  Worst case scenario, I end up going back to teaching at some point.

But it’s a beautiful day today, I’m in love with the love of my life, and dammit, you know what?  I’m happy.  Hence tonight’s serenade.

I wish for you all the happiness in the world.  Hug those you love and enjoy your weekend.  Happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Mamma Mia

I’m so excited!  Next Saturday, my best girl Mo and I are headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to see the farewell tour of Mamma Mia at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  Mr. R has graciously offered to drive us down, mainly because the thought of driving further south than West Palm Beach really makes me nervous.  And he has no interest in going to the show.  I can’t understand why, LOL!

I’m old enough to remember ABBA, although admittedly I was not that much of a fan back in the day.  But when they put the songs into the context of a romance, I was hooked.  I’ve seen the movie dozens of times and it just makes me happy.  The songs are catchy and fun, and I’m all about the ‘happily ever after’ ending.

For tonight’s serenade, I’ve chosen one of my favorite sequences from the movie.  It starts out silly, but toward the end, it’s a delightful street ballet that feels feminist and empowering.  I just love it, and I can’t wait to see it live on stage.

And it seems fitting to post a song from Mamma Mia right here at Mother’s Day.  Be sure to hug your loved ones tonight, especially your mom, who loves you more than she can say.  I know, because I’m a mom, too.  To all the moms, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day.

And happy Saturday night!

Saturday Night Serenade–Saturday Night in Paradise

It’s May, glorious May, and I couldn’t be happier.  We’re nearly to summer.  In a mere 25 days, I will be leaving the glamorous world of public education to become a full-time writer.  As I unexpectedly explained to my administrator this week (long story, but suffice it to say, the cat is out of the bag), with Mr. R starting his own real estate business, it’s time for a new adventure.

Having been in school in one way or another most of my life, for me summer is long lazy days spent relaxing, reading, going on vacation, hanging out at the beach…  This summer will be a little different in that I won’t quit working–my work will just be here at my computer.  Which isn’t different from the last few summers, but now there’s the added pressure of needing to see lots more sales so that this becomes a viable operation.

But I’m thrilled for the opportunity and for the support of my love, who says I should go for it.  That brings me to tonight’s serenade, Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett in a joint venture.  Don’t we all wish we were knee deep in the water somewhere, finding our own kind of paradise?

I hope you enjoy a beautiful and relaxing weekend in your own kind of paradise.  Happy Saturday night!