OctPoWriMo Day 22: Platitudes and Trust (and a Big Stretch)

Read or play along here! Click the icon! =D

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twenty-Two!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott.

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s prompt was especially challenging for me – to film myself reading one of my own poems.

Under the best of circumstances, I don’t enjoy having my picture taken, much less being recorded. It’s something I’ve striven to overcome, but it still sets the not-good-enough meter pinging up toward its top end…

But that’s the nature of a real challenge, right? To offer us an opportunity to stretch, to reach, to leave our comfort zone and peek out at the world around us…?

So, I asked my ten year old if she would like to do the honor of taping me – she’s got a passion for movie-making.

I thought this result is a little dark, but she says that it fits the mood of the piece, and I’m going to respect her artistic vision, as well as my own.

I’ll share the video at the end of the post; first, I want to get on with the new stuff…

There’s a list of prompts for those not wanting to share a recording, and, since I’d already planned to write a poem every day this month, I went ahead and selected a few of the words from the list to write a quick little bit of philosophy…

Platitudes and Truth

I can do anything I set my mind to…

Strong words, but not true, not really.

No matter how valiant my effort

Despite my desperate motivation

I can’t love my baby boy back to life

Or prevent my own eventual death.

When I think of…

The way we use words as platitudes

And pretend that they are truths

I think we cheat ourselves

Sell away our deeper power

For a moment of feeling encouraged.

I feel…

There are things we can’t prevent

Things we can’t make happen

Like love and life and death

The audacious spontaneous immutable

Facts that define all existence.

And now, on to today’s poetic comfort zone stretching…

And the transcript for this Day One poem:

Dream-chrysalis

I curl into

the comforting warmth

of my blankets

like a butterfly

in my cocoon.

Sleep is

my

chrysalis.

Dreams

my

transformation -

Images, tastes, textures,

memories, emotions

sights, sounds, scents -

Create the silken shelter

from which I emerge

changed and changing

and soar into

the new day.

Come read and watch other poets!

When the Nest Leaks: October 22, 2014 Update

 

Up for a ROW? Learn more here!

Ever have that feeling the roof is coming down on you?

Well, it wasn’t so much the roof as the ceiling. Or, more accurately, a single panel of the ridiculously ugly drop ceiling in our bedroom, which we’ve been meaning to get rid of for the nearly 13 years we’ve lived here.

It rained. The roof leaked, the panel slipped, landing right on my night table, where I usually set that first cup of coffee I enjoy in bed  each morning. Thanks to my middle-aged bladder, and my Accomplice’s dentist appointment (he usually brings me coffee as soon as I’m awake, because he rocks like that), neither I nor my coffee were there.

Still, it was a mess…and my Accomplice decided that yesterday was finally the day to ditch the drop ceiling.

So he removed, and sealed leaks, and added insulation -and now we have a higher, but unfinished, ceiling. The thing is, we’re not quite sure what to do next, so, for a bit, we’ll be looking at insulation above our heads..

It’s been a rather chaotic session, though, with the unplanned, half-day project. But a positive one – a long-postponed project moved forward, and not having access to the bedroom meant that I spent some quality time in my study, where I finally had my delayed first cuppa…I may make a habit of that, at least a few times a week. It was pleasant, and productive.

How about you? Has chaos or order prevailed, in your world?

My Magnetic Poem, “My Liquid Laugh”, created for OctPoWriMo….this was lots of fun!

I include only those goals I addressed during the session. I’ll assess my progress on all October goals at the end of the month, and my progress toward my 2014 goals at the end of the round.

October Focuses:

  • OctPoWriMo

  • Short Story Revisions for Submission

  • NaNoWriMo Plotting

Blogging:

Queue all November posts for Coffee and Conversation and WIPpet Wednesday features by October 31. On target.

  • C and C posts are in development through December! =D

  • WIPpet posts are in development through December 15! =D

  • Additionally, I have decided to use the SoCS prompts for November, and write NaNo excerpts for them. That will up my word count and help make my SoCS posts at the same time. Hooray for efficiency!

Blog all 31 OctPoWriMo poems. On target.

  • 21/31 posted. Into that final stretch! =D

Share each feature post to 3 diverse places. On target.

  • 2/3 places for Sunday and Monday posts. Will share each at least once more apiece.

Maintain blogging schedule; find a comment rhythm that supports a 2-3 day turnaround. On target.

Writing:

Finish plotting The Earth Doth Move (for NaNoWriMo 2014) by October 31. On target.

  • 29/60 scenes ready to go in  Scrivener. Almost halfway! =D

Complete OctPoWriMo Challenge; write 31 poems in October. On target.

  • 21/31 poems completed.

Editing:

Complete Deep Revision process for three short stories. On target.

  • Not sure I’ll get all three finished. “A Splash of Red” is taking shape.

Hometending:

Take time at least once a week to simply be in the space, as it is. Target attained!

  • I spent time writing, revising, and just being, daily.

File or delete Inbox email backlog; maintain at a manageable level. Target attained!

  • I do a little every time I check my email; larger sorting/deleting 2-3 times weekly for a complete purge.

Continue using calendar app to manage my time. Target attained!

  • Plotted out Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday blog features into December, with notes.

Read Smart Change. On target.

  • 20% complete.

My OctPoWriMo “found poem”, “My Favorite Music” – from a page of my flash fiction story, “A Splash of Red” currently in revision.

Lifetending:

Return to exploring the slips inside – in a playful, FUN way! On target.

  • I pulled a slip! I pulled a slip! Update to follow….

Fitness:

At least one workout at the Y each week. On target.

  • A truncated workout, as I’m still feeling tired from the tooth issue and not much sleep.

Recumbent bike: 8 miles in 30 minutes, using an interval program. On target.

  • A slower pedal: 6.79 miles in 30 minutes.

Nutrition:

Maintain existing nutrition goals (smoothies/salads and yogurt/nuts). On target.

  • 1/5 salads/smoothies – Fuji Apple Chicken Salad; 1 /2 nuts – pumpkin seeds.

Eat fresh vegetables other than salads (raw or cooked), and/or fresh fruits at least 3 times each week. On target.

  • 1/3 – apple.

Eat whole grains, in any form, at least 3 times each week. On target.

  • 2/3 – corn tacos, whole wheat roll.

Eat broth or vegetable-based soup at least once each week. Target attained!

  • Butternut Squash/Pumpkin Soup.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Visit my “team” twice weekly. Target attained!

Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit. Target attained!

Come ROW with us, or cheer us on from the shore!

 

My first OctPoWriMo poem, “Dream-Chrysalis”. Filmed by Annalise S.Burton, who says that the darkness suits the poem. I think i agree. =)

WIPpet Wednesday: “Keep Your Shirt On”:

 

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It is hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

I’m sharing a story from The IDIC Romance, my Story A Day May Challenge project. This is a Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction, exploring the interspecies relationship of T’Pol and Trip.

This is the seventeenth installment of Story #4, “Tigress T’Pol” . The prompt was to write a story of exactly 2000 words. An additional guest prompt from Heidi Durrow invited us to explore passion in this story.

So, have you ever heard the one about the human and the Vulcan who got locked in a cell and played word games? No? Well, have I got a WIPpet for you! =D

Disclaimer: T’Pol, Trip, and all the rest of Star Trek are property of CBS/Paramount; no copyright infringement intended. I just want to play with them, and I’m careful!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is October 22, 2014.
  • Slightly convoluted Tricky math: 22+11 (the ones from month and year) =33
  • And the last paragraph from last week, for context.

This story is an add-on scene for the pilot episode: “Broken Bow Part 1”. Ive done my best to extrapolate without violating series canon.

This snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, Intense Reaction. Trip and T’Pol play…word games?!?

 

Last week’s conclusion:

Yes.” T’Pol’s voice was sardonic, now, and she dropped her gaze off to the side the way she did when she was uncomfortable. “You seem to elicit certain – instinctive responses – within me.” She met my eyes, and hers looked troubled and open – I wanted to fall into them again, but then she shifted her focus back to the side, and her voice was barely a whisper. “I was unprepared for such an intense reaction. In future, I’ll – restrain myself.”

And now for today’s treat:

“Well, now, T’Pol – keep your shirt on -“

Her look was just about priceless. “I certainly will,” she said, after a few breaths.

“Really? So it’s only my clothes you want to get rid of, is it?” I grinned at her.

“I -” She broke off, looked to the side, then back at me. She was turning a lovely shade of light burnished green, a little like old copper. I decided to take pity on her, and put a hand lightly on her shoulder. She tensed up, but she still had a low-grade vibration – did that mean that she was still aroused, too, and trying to resist? Just to be sure, I lifted my hand – and damned if she didn’t stretch just a little taller, like she was reaching to maintain that contact…and, even if it made me the biggest fool on Rigel Ten, I put my hand back, and T’Pol made a soft sound, like a sleepy puppy – first she reminds you of Lizzie, and then a dog?! What the hell is going on in your brain, Tucker?

T’Pol looked up at me, not quite getting to my eyes. Even those beautiful pointed ears were blushing, and I could feel her trying to figure this out. Poor woman’s got no chance; not if logic’s all she’s got to do it with…because whatever this is, it sure as hell isn’t logical!

I couldn’t keep teasing her. Wasn’t even fair, when I was the one who started it. I smiled and gave her shoulder a friendly squeeze, trying to ignore the way she seemed almost to surge up into my touch like a cat would – now a cat?! I must be as confused as she looked.

“Relax, T’Pol- it’s just an expression, and it wasn’t fair to let you think I meant anything else by it – even if it does kinda fit the situation to a T. It means is that there’s no reason to rush into a decision. This – ” now I was the one who didn’t quite know what to say, especially when she finally met my eyes, her pupils reflecting me back to myself, wrapped up in things she felt, and I couldn’t decipher – not yet, anyway. But I sure as hell wanted to learn how to.

I gestured vaguely into the space between us with my free hand. “Well, whatever this is -this isn’t the best time or place to explore it – but once we get back to the ship, and the doc says you’re all right – “

Beneath my hand, her shoulder was vibrating a little faster, a little deeper. She didn’t say anything, but that quiver spoke plenty, and her eyes were large and glowing as her lips parted slightly, her breath emerging in a soft sigh.

“Damn, you’re gorgeous,” I whispered. Gorgeous, passionate, and driving me crazy without even seeming to be aware of it. Who knew a Vulcan – a Vulcan! - could be like this?

“Are you suggesting that we engage in sexual activity?” Gorgeous, passionate – and she sounded like a prudish clinician with a seductress’ voice.

Somehow, that just made her even sexier..

 

What’s Trip’s answer to that? And will T’Pol accept it, and continue to restrain herself?

You guessed it – you can watch the episode, or come back next week for another WIPpet snippet! But, because I like you, I’m giving you a pre-Halloween treat: a story I wrote for the SoCS meme, The Shape of My Heart”.

Spoiler alert: it happens several episodes after the pilot, so be warned!

Until next week, live long and prosper, y’all!

Here’s a special treat…the scene that is my model for the TnT interactions in these stories…I gotta give this round to  the logical lady in  (and out of) the hot blue silk…

 

OctPoWriMo Day 21: Panera Poem

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twenty-One!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott.

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s prompt was to write a poem using the theme ‘I was here‘. There were several ideas for prompts; I used the word list, beginning each line with successive words, and adapting when needed. At the end of the list, I came back to the present and completed the poem.

Words for Inspiration

  • Hand

  • Foot

  • Sand

  • Impression

  • Memory

  • Beach

  • Ocean

  • Fingers

I started a different poem; but it wasn’t flowing- this one was written in less than 15 minutes, while I ate my dinner at Panera, my regular post-workout indulgence. I’ll save the other beginning to play with another time.

This one is a memory, from early in our marriage. My husband and I were camping at Honeyman State Park near Florence, Oregon. After exploring the dunes and the beach, we found a secluded place in the woods, where we could hear and smell the ocean, and where hummingbirds flitted above, and we made love…it’s a simple and magical memory, more warming than butternut squash soup on a chilly, damp fall night.

It makes me think of the secret memory-treasures we all hold within us…

Mayflower II masts and rigging, Plynouth, MA July 2010.

Panera Poem

Hand in eager hand, we stroll

Feet on the way to “X marks the spot”

Sand grit-squishing up between bare toes

Impressions on the capricious shore, in

Memory’s treasure chest locked

Beach hidden by dunes as we make love to

Ocean’s love songs and hummingbirds’ dance

Fingers and bodies echoing in slower tempo

I sit alone at Panera, autumn’s chill early dark

Outside the window, oldies playing

Waves of conversation, gull-cries of laughter

With my apple salad, pumpkin spice latte

Wheat roll and butternut squash soup

Secret oceans and you moving in my soul  

I’m not the only one here!

OctPoWriMo Day 20: Wait With Life

Click the icon and learn more about OctPoWriMo!

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twenty!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott. 

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s prompt was to write a poem using the theme ‘Rain’. The poetry type was “Blitz”. There was a word list; I used a few, even though  I didn’t really look until after I finished.

I’d never heard of Blitz, and when I first read the description, I was intimidated. Here’s what Shadow Poetry had to say about it…

  • This form of poetry is a stream of short phrases and images with repetition and rapid flow.

  • Begin with one short phrase, it can be a cliché. Begin the next line with another phrase that begins with the same first word as line 1. The first 48 lines should be short, but at least two words.

  • The third and fourth lines are phrases that begin with the last word of the 2nd phrase, the 5th and 6th lines begin with the last word of the 4th line, and so on, continuing, with each subsequent pair beginning with the last word of the line above them, which establishes a pattern of repetition.

  • Continue for 48 total lines with this pattern, And then the last two lines repeat the last word of line 48, then the last word of line 47.

  • The title must be only three words, with some sort of preposition or conjunction joining the first word from the third line to the first word from the 47th line, in that order.

  • There should be no punctuation. When reading a BLITZ, it is read very quickly, pausing only to breathe.

I almost didn’t try; my brain was twisted and tangled with these instructions. But, once I got going, using pre-numbered lines to avoid confusion, the poem flowed fairly quickly. Here’s what I came up with.

Wait With Life

Hurry up let’s go

Hurry up and wait

Wait a minute

Wait an hour

Hour after hour

Hours piling into days

Days spent running

Days wasted in rushing

Rushing through rooms

Rushing past life

Life given up

Life of driving

Driving further

Driving faster

Faster faster faster

Faster than breath

Breath in stabbing gasps

Breath never enough

Enough is enough

Enough time

Time enough to breathe

Time enough to be

Be where we are

Be alive right now

Now all there is

Now all we have

Have a seat

Have a cold drink

Drink in life

Drink and savor

Savor each breath

Savor every moment

Moment into moment

Moment melting in a sigh

Sigh and stretch

Sigh and relax

Relax and be

Relax into living

Living and loving

Living and laughing

Laughing at the rush

Laughing at a joke

Joke of false hurry

Joke of cheating death

Death comes for us all

Death to end life

Life too precious to rush

Life meant to be cherished

Cherished

Rush

Take Your Time…the other posts are here!

Who’s Your Hero Blog Hop: Whatever Happened to Barbara Leonard?

Today, I’m joining the Who’s Your Hero Blog Hop, to honor a long-lost more-than-friend…

Her name is Barbara Leonard – well, it was, when I was in my early 20’s, over two decades ago, now, when she became my hero.

Barb was about ten years older than me, and, from my perspective, she had her life pulled together while mine was falling apart. She had a good job, her own home, a car that didn’t break down more often than it ran, and two great dogs.

And, although she didn’t need to, she took me under her wing. She fed me, took me to an Al-Anon meeting, let me spend a week at her house – even when she wasn’t home! – talked with me, and told me stories of her life…and how she had been in similar straits to my own, when she was my age. She gave me ideas on how to scrape by until I could figure out how to thrive.

She was a friend – and more. She was inspiration, knowledge, kindness, and hope. She believed that I could be better than I was. She had a magnet on her refrigerator that read,

“After the rain, the rainbow.”

I would ponder that message while she added fresh vegetables to our boiling pasta.

Our paths diverged, and, eventually, we both married. I don’t know her married name, she doesn’t know mine.

I miss her.

I want to show her what her friendship meant to me.

Because my life is beyond good in so many ways – and it would be less so, if she hadn’t been in it.

Wherever you are today, Barbara, thank you! <3

So…who’s YOUR hero? And have you seen Barb?

Barb helped me to become this mom! <3

Coffee and Conversation and RDAP: What’s in a Name?

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while! It’s time for Coffee and Conversation!

When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own..

Click the image to read a RDAP post!

Today, I’m participating once again in Rose B. Fischer’s Redefining Disability Awareness Project. This is a post I meant to share last week, but an abscessed tooth and a swollen face waylaid my plans – I ended up with an emergency dental appointment instead.

But I’m on the mend now, so, without further ado, here it is:

This post is a response and elaboration on my September RDAP post, Disabled Characters: Descriptor, or Definition. In the comments, Rose pointed out that I often used the phrase ‘disabled character’, and that this drew attention to the very thing I was discussing in the post – seeing the characters first as people…people whose disabilities were facts of their lives, but not necessarily the focal point of their stories, and sometimes never even referenced directly.

I try to be aware of the words I use. I’ve worked with and for a number of people with various health and ability challenges, at all ages from infants to the very elderly. I am the mother of a child who died at the age of 12 days, as the result of a profound brain injury at birth. I do not want him reduced to that diagnosis…he was a beautiful, robust baby boy with dark hair that tended toward red, and the wisest, most accepting eyes I have ever seen. He is my child, just as his more typically abled siblings are.

Yes, he was a person!

And yet, when I wrote a post I intended to be accepting and to raise awareness – I labeled all those characters under a big umbrella marked Disabled.

I took some of their personhood away – and I hadn’t meant to do that. Not at all.

Honestly, it gave me a sick little knot in my middle. I don’t like being insensitive, even accidentally. I debated changing the title of the post, and suggested to Rose that I might. But she said it was better to leave it, and, much as it bothers me to have my gaffe a part of the Permanent Record, so to speak, I agree.

There’s value to the discussion we had in the comments, where Rose shared a thought-provoking link on this subject. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend People First Language, and the entire Disability is Natural site.

Names matter. The language we use matters – it both details and shapes our thoughts, and therefore our actions and our lives. From there, it affects every life yours touches…

It might not seem like a big deal – but try this little experiment with me, if you would.

 

  • Say this phrase aloud a few times:

Gay marriage

I’m guessing it brought up some thoughts and emotions and mental images. You might think it’s about time, an abomination, or just not something you’re inclined to give much thought to.

  • Now try this one:

Marriage equality

Do you notice a change? If you consider yourself against what you feel from the first phrase, or for it- does the second resonate differently? Does it sound more like something that belongs in a nation whose base tenet is that all are equal under the law?

It can be hard to focus on a universal issue like equality, if we’re stuck on labeling – and even more so when the label marks the labeled as ‘other'; not like us.

We are all who we are- and worthy of being seen as the people we are. Poetry credit: Annalise S. Burton, age 9.

By using the phrase ‘disabled characters’, I was making those characters into a set defined by their disabilities – even though their disabilities were seldom the focal point of their stories. I set them apart from my other characters, the ones who are more typically abled. And I did it while I was advocating for their equality.

That’s not such a big deal with fictional characters in one blog post, maybe – but it happens to real people in the real world, too. That’s a much bigger deal.

What words are we choosing when you speak of people with physical, mental, or emotional differences? Are we minimizing them, or marginalizing?

It doesn’t need to be intentional to hurt someone, or to imply that they are less than.

I’m setting an intention today, in this post. I will be listening to myself, to the language I choose, and the thoughts it reveals. I’ve done this before – when we began unschooling, part of making a huge paradigm shift in my way of seeing children and the world was to shift my language and my perceptions.

I might miss the mark, sometimes. I’m hoping I will notice it myself, when I do, so that I can intentionally backtrack and find a better way of expressing whatever I was trying to say. If I don’t, I hope someone will call me on it, like Rose did last month, so that I can re-evaluate, consider, and correct. I know I won’t be perfect; and I know that I’m going to learn a great deal along the way.

Will you join me? I’ll bring out the refreshments, and we can learn People First language together, which will make things even sweeter, all around, for all people!