OctPoWriMo Day 28: “It Levels Off Up Ahead”

Learn more here!

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

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’ve followed many of the prompts, and had the double joy of play and 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 about past loves, or the beginning of love, and we were given the following prompts:

Word Prompts:

Love

Bliss

Consuming

Blind

Honeymoon

Feeling Words:

Euphoria

Joy

Bewildered

Annoyed

Grief

I began each stanza of this free verse with one of the word prompts. I shifted the order a bit to fit the flow of the poem and our journey.

The poem is based on a hike we took early in our marriage, when our “only child” was a four-month old puppy named Bunko, and we had no idea what life held in store for us…

The trail was steeper than we thought it would be, and, all during the three-mile hike, my Accomplice in Mischief kept saying, “It’ll level off up ahead….”

It’s become a joke, between us, when life gets tricky and things don’t seem to be going our way…

Maybe that’s our secret – that we have inside jokes, stories, and journeys that we share – the light and the shadow.

Lava Lake – see that mountain off to the left? That’s the trail…never did level off.

It Levels Off Up Ahead”

“It levels off up ahead,” you said,

As we hiked toward Lava Lake

Love can be like that trail,

Winding up and up

Strenuous, taxing,

Fraught with dangers

Like the bears

In the Montana wilds

The obstacles and the

Rough places of life.

**

Bliss is the thing we expect, maybe

When we give ourselves over to love

What we want is the glory

Consuming everything but

Each other

Those long wild nights

When it’s lovemaking

And talking

And touching

And more touching

More talking

And a lot more

Making love.

**

Blinded by emotion

By hope and raw desire

Hunger and need

And the dreams

That wrap us round

Tighter and tighter

Cocooning us in

A webbing of unity

With no room left

For the world beyond

Or the future

Or even

Reality.

**

Honeymoon fights

As reality solidifies

I want to go to the

Aquarium – you don’t

We fight, I cry, you win

Later, in Kingman AZ

Reality a vise, a leghold trap

teeth at my throat

I left the car, walked out

Nighttime desert

Scorches with truth

Hot and relentless

In every heated breath

“I can’t believe

I married you!”

Words sharper than

Agave thorns.

**

Euphoria is a bubble

A cloud a wave

Something that ebbs

And rises anew

Like switchbacks, and

the steep broken path

Up the side of a

Mountain

Leading to the

Treasure of a

Hidden blue lake

A place to rest and renew

But the path winds up, still

It never did level off up ahead

Not on that trip anyway

And we chose not to climb

Higher that day, but to

Find peace with our descent

And delve the lower places

Within and between us.

**

Annoyed too often and for too long

A seething lava pit beneath

The surface of our love

And our shared lives

Boiling over like a geyser

Rumbling and rending

Poisoning the waters

Upheaval at the roots

Like a fallen sequoia

Or Sedona’s red rocks

The schisms and rifts

Whenever we didn’t

Agree.

**

Bewildered by new identity

Mommy and Daddy – who, us?

To suddenly be the ones

Responsible for his life

His health his laughter

And far too many early tears

Frustrations, rages, his and ours

The trips and stumbles

along the path

Many unseen dangers

Lurking like Montana bears

Hidden by glacial boulders

Shadows in the wild places

In the world, in ourselves

Jagged edges that threaten

This fragile being, our son

Our love blended and grew

Glowing in baby blue eyes

Eyes fixed on us.

**

Grief grabs us, squeezes, clenches

You hold our secondborn so gently

As the monitors slow, ssllooww

Stop.

You hold him for another hour

Squeezing and clenching

Shock of sorrow

Piercing reality

This isn’t a level place

This is trauma, soul deep

Black clouds, gaping void

Empty clothes, empty crib

Empty arms, empty womb

We cling together and

Fill what we can.

**

Joy isn’t always held in

Those leveling off spots

It’s like the sudden grin

Our daughter’s dancing eyes

Child born from tragedy

Force of nature

Like that climbing path

So long ago

Joy is a flower

Fragile

Ephemeral…

And not really the point

Of this hike, this life

Lived together

It’s the rainbow

The squeals of laughter

The moments in firelight

In desert mountains

In caves and scuba gear

Touch and taste of you

Quickening my heart

Binding me tighter with

Spidersilk webbing

Tensile strength and

Freedom…

**

It’s always been

About the

Journey.

OctPoWriMo’s A Journey!

Lone Star Geyser with Rainbow, Yellowsstone National Park, WY.

NaNoing My Nest: October 29,2014

 

Click this icon if you wanna ROW, too!

Well, here we are! It’s the final October update, and my busy week is in full swing!

My troublesome tooth is history. I’m not in much pain- it’s tender, and twinges occasionally, but I can live with that. I’ve taken Annalise shopping to complete her costume, bought both kids clothes because, well, they do seem to keep growing, and, on Thursday, the kids and I will be headed five hours away, to central New Jersey, to visit our friends for Halloween. Incidentally, that’s where I will begin NaNoWriMo – as close to midnight as I can manage.

Click this banner to visit me at my NaNo home! =D

And, since it’s nearly the end of October, it’s time for me to assess my progress on my monthly goals. On Sunday, I’ll be posting my November goals (uhh, NaNo, mostly!), and my overall Round 4 progress thus far.

How was YOUR October? I hope you found it productive and fun – rather like a leaf pile! =D

October Focuses:

  • OctPoWriMo

  • Short Story Revisions for Submission

  • NaNoWriMo Plotting Target attained!

Blogging:

On target:

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

  • Several posts in progress; that’ll be a focus for the rest of the week; until I run out of month, or all are scheduled.

  • C and C: Posts for 11/3; 11/10; and 11/17 in physical development. Idea nascent for 11/ 24.

  • WIPpet Wednesday: Post for 10/29 scheduled; 11/5; 11/12; 11/19; 11/26 in various stages of physical development.

Blog all 31 OctPoWriMo poems.

  • 28/31 completed and blogged.

Share each feature post to 3 diverse places.

  • Most of the time. More organic than recorded.

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

  • Again, most of the time. I’m still falling behind on the intense Saturday-Monday blogging stretch; but queuing posts should help with this, in future.

May the words fall like the leaves….

Writing:

Target attained:

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

  • 60/60 scenes complete; chapter 19/19.

  • Now I let the ideas simmer until Saturday! =D

On target:

Write 31 poems for OctPOWriMo, one per day in October.

  • 28/31 poems completed.

Not yet:

Complete rough draft of Perchance to Dream.

Continue first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish.

Complete readthrough for Blood and Breath.

Editing:

On target; goal adapted:

Complete Deep Revision process for three short stories.

  • Goal adapted to one story, “A Splash of Red.”

  • Exercise 5/5 in progress.

Not yet:

Do first revision pass on each poem in Queen of My Infinite Spaces.

Continue with on-page pre-revision notations for BAB.

Submitting:

On target; goal adapted:

Submit all Deep Revision stories to World Unknown Review.

  • Submission will occur after final revision pass.

Happy Nightmare Fairy – maybe she’ll give us all inspiration!

 

Hometending:

Target Attained:

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

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

Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

Read Smart Change.

On target:

Continue the family room reset.

  • Stalled out a bit mid-month, but gathering steam again…slowly.

Continue cleaning and organizing my study.

  • Intermittent progress here; moving along.

Not yet:

  • Organize laptop files in a rational, intuitive manner. Aim for 15 minutes/week.

  • Explore the 52 Weeks of CHaOS program.

Lifetending:

Target Attained:

Move Play Jar to a more visible area.

  • Moved to a prominent space on my study shelf, near my chair.

Read at least one of the TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

On target:

Return to exploring the slips in my Play Jar – in a playful, FUN way!

  • I’ve pulled a slip, and will complete it next week.

Continue to meet and make plans with friends.

Not yet:

Surveying what’s on the horizon….

Fitness:

Target Attained:

  • Plan at least two monthly excursions that promote physical activity.

On target: (at least, until the tooth abscess derailed me.)

  • At least one workout at the Y each week.

  • At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.

  • Dance, swim, or play physically with kids at least once each week.

  • At the Y; at least 4 weight-bearing exercises/machines for arms/legs/core weekly.

  • Treadmill: 18 minute mile, walking/jogging; using “Rolling Hills” Program.

  • Work up to 2 miles, at any speed for the second mile.

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

  • Build toward one half mile walking/jogging on the track each week.
  • Add time on elliptical, arc trainer, and/or rowing machines: goal is 10 minutes on each, by end of round.
  • Set up Wii balance board and use for 10 minutes at least twice weekly.

Not yet:

Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.

  • Not having gotten to the gym two out of the last three weeks, between abscess and the extraction, has delayed this goal. I’ll check my weight next Tuesday.

Nutrition:

Target Attained:

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

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

On target (still working on forming the habits):

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

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

Not yet:

Read Intuitive Eating.

  • This will likely be my NaNo break reading, and, if not, I will read it in December.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Target Attained:

  • Complete and submit my sponsor post.

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

 

ROW into November with us!

WIPpet Wednesday: Pickle Juice and Leverage

Welcome to the Halloween version of 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!

And, speaking of our incendiary duo….

Here’s another snippet 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.

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!

I’ve got something a bit different for you today. A few weeks back, someone, and I’m sorry to say I don’t remember who (Emily, maybe?), posted a “blooper” – a scene that didn’t make it through revisions. I loved the idea, and I wasn’t the only one. So…

Story a Day May provided me with lots of good TnT stuff – but also a few bits that wandered off into weird places. So today, in honor of tricks and treats, I give you a bit that didn’t make it into the slot eventually filled by “Strangers in Sickbay”.

Spoiler Alert! This occurs after the events in “Tigress T’Pol”, which we will return to next week. If you don’t want to know if TnT spend forever in that cell; don’t read this!!!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is October 29, 2014.
  • My math is – Halloween, baby! Call it a trick; call it a treat; call it a tenth birthday gift for my nephew; call it whatever you want! =D

This story is an add-on scene for the episode: “Acquisition. Ive done my best to extrapolate without violating series canon. I haven’t edited it; it’s as-is!

So T’Pol and Trip have just bamboozled three alien thieves into captivity, thereby saving the ship….

T’Pol looked at the three big-headed aliens she’d just dispatched. “I trust you will disarm them, Commander? Their scent is – powerful.” She wrinkled her nose; I tried not to notice how cute that small uncontrolled gesture was. Suddenly, I was very aware that we were two of only three people awake on the entire ship.

“What about that nasal numbing agent you used to talk so much about?” I said it mostly to distract myself.

“I no longer use it. I’ve grown accustomed to the scent of humans. However, these people possess a markedly different body chemistry. I find it somewhat – overpowering.” She swallowed. “I would prefer to go no closer.”

“You all right? You’re looking a little green around the gills.”

“The smell is rather -nauseating. Once I am out of close proximity, I suspect the sensations will fade.”

I went to kneel by the aliens, and now my nose wrinkled, too, and I cleared my throat. “These guys don’t smell as bad as Klingons, but this is a little like being too close to an entire vat of pickle juice.”

“‘Pickle – juice?'”

“Mostly vinegar, with some spices, then cooked. It’s a powerful scent – even to my nose.”

“Then I suggest you complete your search quickly.” Her voice wavered a little.

“Good suggestion. Good shooting, too.”

Their skin was like worn leather when I brushed it, and I had to fight the impulse to wipe my hands on my coveralls like I was back to being a kid. “They all have something like phase pistols, and those handcuffs they used on the captain, and then there’s this whip plasma contraption…”

“We will confiscate their weapons, and study them. As for my aim, I had the element of surprise, and a contained area. I believe our phase pistols are the more powerful.”

“Well, their handcuffs seem just about perfect for what I’ve got in mind.”

It took a little shoving and arranging, but, when I was done, they were all attached to one another. “With the way these guys bicker, they’ll be too busy blaming each other to figure out how to get themselves out of this.”

“Splendid.”

She looked at the pile I’d created, and there was smug satisfaction in her tone. She withdrew something from somewhere around her waist – where the hell did she manage to hide anything in a uniform that fit her as though she poured it on every day? – and held it up. It caught the light with a metallic glint. It was a key. “I believe it is time that I released the captain -“

“T’Pol!”

My voice was sharp, and it bounced and ricocheted off the pipes. She tensed. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to be so loud. But, if you’ve had that key; does that mean Krem is disabled, too?”

“It does indeed.” She watched the key spin, almost as though it had her mesmerized.

“Then why didn’t you unlock the captain?”

She looked at me, and there was something a little reckless in her glinting eyes. “I have unfinished business with Captain Archer, and this key represents leverage.”

“For someone who claims she’s motivated by logic, you certainly seem to be enjoying this.”

What will T’Pol say to that? What business does she have with the captain, and why does she need leverage? Is she enjoying this? How come they’re both keeping their hands to themselves?

Nope. Not telling. That’s the trick part…but you know the drill by now– you can watch the episode, or wait till I post this on a fan fiction site and share the link!

These posts are the seeds of a project I’ll be expanding in 2015, so your input is always valuable. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my phase pistol on stun… for the most part. ;)

OctPoWriMo Day 28: Hunger

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

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’ve followed many of the prompts, and had the double joy of play and 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 to fit this equation:

Prompt: Hunger + Secondary Emotion = Your Poem

Add to HUNGER another, secondary emotion of your own choosing.

Possibilities include

sadness

joy

ambition

lust

yearning

self doubt

boredom

(or fetch your own via five minutes of free writing on the theme of hunger.)

Hunger

Hunger

    is the

             slinking

      sinuous

prowling

      hollowed

      stray

                tom cat

       of the

empty

soul

Yesterday’s poem was epic, so maybe it’s fitting that today’s is a mere 15 words….

But 14 potent words, born of one of my first memories. I was in my crib, walking back and forth running my hand along the rail = I liked the cool smoothness of the plastic bite guard under my fingertips. It was daytime, and I was waiting for my mother to come upstairs and release me from my nap. There was a small high window near the foot of the crib, and, as I looked out the window, I saw Hunger.

Hunger was a local stray, big headed and with prominent ribs – and, back in the early 70s where spaying and neutering weren’t mentioned much, I suppose, he had a seemingly endless appetite for scraps and our tortoiseshell cat, Hudson.

I watched Hunger strut and stalk through our yard, aware of everything around him, and I thought that “Hunger” was the perfect name for him…even as a toddler, words have been a playground for me.

And, even at the age of 45, if someone says the word “hunger”, that beat up, half-starved prowling creature of appetite will be the first image-meaning that slips into my mind…

I’m not sure if the secondary emotion comes through, or is just implied- it’s emptiness, loneliness – and maybe a touch of nostalgia.

Hungry for more OctPoWriMo?

OctPoWriMo Day 27: Just a Dream of Broken Hearts

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

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 many of 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 that dealt with sleep or dreaming….

And they’ve been in my head, showing me what happens, when they dream…

So I gave them 1300 words or so to each say their piece; of course, they both surprised me. Then I went through both passages, and created a list of found phrases, which, adapted, became the components of this blended dream.

If I pulled it off, you will feel two distinct voices throughout….

Warning: this is a rather epic poem, at over 700 words. No, I didn’t plan that!

And for those who care – SPOILER ALERT! This poem has MAJOR, HUGE, BIG-TIME SPOILERS for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Home” and points surrounding. Don’t go further if you don’t wanna know…

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!

Word Prompts:

sleep (sleepy, sleeping)

dream (dreaming, dreamer)

nap

awake

insomnia

Just a Dream of Broken Hearts

“oh god, T’Pol – why can’t

this be just a dream?”

you watched her get married

she’s Koss’s wife not yours

you have no right to her now

it’s his bed she’ll share tonight

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

her beautiful face blurred

and ran with my tears and hers

an old oil painting melting

beneath her hot red sun

What right had Koss to me?

Angry blood seared my veins.

“oh god, T’Pol – why can’t

this be just a dream?”

not the friendly sands of Florida

sands of another world

red sands where she

sacrificed herself

on the altar of her logic

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

My nails dug into my palms.

“I must meditate.”

To whom did I speak?

There was no one here.

“oh god, T’Pol – why can’t

this be just a dream?”

“She’s mine – “

“Yes, Trip – I am yours – “

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

Koss had the right

to take me as wife.

“oh god T’Pol – why can’t this

just be a damned dream?”

we moved together

no hurry but unspoken urgency

bodies and minds and souls

tangled together

inseparably forever

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

In this space, I could pretend…

Pretend if I went out the door,

turned left, rounded the corner,

and crossed the corridor,

felt it rising surging

bursting forth – power

and crushing pain

that I would be at Trip’s door -

he would welcome me in,

her citrus-and-sandalwood

arousal scent blended

with the salt air of home

He’d take me into his arms

and I would come fully to life.

“oh god T’Pol – why does this

have to be just a dream?”

her eyes glowed and it was almost

as if I could feel what she felt

touch what she touched

know what she knew

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

hot fingers trailed down my chest

plasma arc of sharing

everywhere she touched

Peace slipped away and popped

like the soap bubbles on Trip’s chest.

“oh god T’Pol – why does this

have to be just a dream?”

to lose myself in her fierce bliss

popping like soap bubbles

under her virgin fingers

as she learned at last how

to play just play

without purpose

but just

for fun

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

“You don’t play nearly

enough, pepperpot.”

Vulcan children did not ever

Play simply to play.

she was opening receiving

all I could give

giving so much more

than I thought she had

“oh god T’Pol – why does this

have to be just a dream?”

What he’d fanned into vibrant life,

now dull, numb, broken toys.

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

“don’t suppose that’s sugar-free pie?”

sugars hit her hard and fast

take logic and inhibition

toss them out the airlock

we don’t need them now

My hot touch excites him

Into vivid human flame.

“oh god T’Pol – why does this

have to be just a dream?”

she rained kisses on my face and I

kissed her pecan pie tasting mouth

deeper and deeper breathing her in

but never breathing her out

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

hot sticky smears over my chest

before I could say anything but “hey!”

well she certainly learned how to play

“oh god T’Pol – why can’t this

be more than just a dream?”

Tempt me from solitude

And quiet meditation

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

her hot breath came sharp and quick

cutting through the sounds of the waves

and the gulls and the setting sun

Cool human fingers soothing

The heat of my hungry skin.

“oh god T’Pol – what does it mean

that we’re dreaming the same dream?”

Our tumultuous bubble of peace

Punctured by tradition and duty.

she kissed my cheek and

gave me the gift of

her thoughts and her tears

“Trip, is this what humans mean,

When you speak of ‘broken hearts’?”

Find more dreamy OctPoWriMo poems here!

Coffee and Conversation: Of glassmaking and fairy tales and the beginning of story

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..and today, that means welcoming author Ruth Nestvold, who is going to share how her Venice vacation with her daughter led to a novella…let’s all settle in and give Ruth our attention, while she spins us a tale…

Today I’m going to reveal a little bit about how my upcoming YA fantasy novella, Island of Glass, started to come together in my writer brain. I first began to conceive of the idea for Island of Glass on a trip to Venice with my daughter. We stayed on Murano and visited the Museum of Glass there, and I learned about how the glassmakers were forbidden to leave the islands for fear that they would reveal trade secrets.

Glass Museum on Murano Being a writer, that immediately struck me as a perfect setting for a story. I didn’t start it right away, though — I jotted it down in one of the spiral notebooks I use for collecting ideas. My physical notebooks are like a storage space for my subconscious. The ideas get noted there and stashed away where they can ferment for a while. Often when I pull them out again, my brain has made connections with some of the other ideas I’ve stashed away. And then something that almost feels like magic starts happening: ideas fall into place, plot threads start to take shape, characters start coming to life.

For the story set on Murano among glassmakers, it was the glass itself that provided the connection to the fairy tale. As I played with ideas, writing down everything that occurred to me, one of the ideas that went into my notebook was “glass slippers.”

Now this definitely had potential. Since I already knew my protagonist would be a young woman who’d had to fight convention to become a master glassmaker, glass slippers could take on a completely new meaning in my story. What if the glassmaker had to create glass slippers for a prince for some reason? In bygone eras, men wore some pretty fancy shoes:

Then I just had to figure out why she would be making shoes of glass for a prince. Of course, it would have to have something to do with the prohibition against glass makers leaving the islands of Venice! She would be attempting appease the prince in favor of a family member or loved one.

A young glassmaker, glass evening slippers for a prince and motifs from Cinderella provided me with most of what I needed to dive into the story. The final thing was the magic system and the rules of the world. For that, I borrowed from myself. Before starting the first incarnation of Island of Glass, I had written a short story set in a world in which magic had been “set free” — alchemists had discovered the principle of transmutation and could turn lead to gold. (That story, “To Act the Witch,” is available in my short story collection Dragon Time.) It occurred to me that such a world would make a great setting for a story revolving around glass, since if gold was no longer as valuable, glass would be even more so. It’s a kind of fantasy alternate history in which alchemy triumphed instead of chemistry, leading to the Age of Magic instead of the Age of Reason.

Thus, the “historical” background is the 17th Century - but of course it is a 17th Century that never existed, except in my imagination. Nonetheless, I have included a number of details from the historic Venice of the time in my world building. The background of the glassmakers on Murano and the Jewish Ghetto in Cannaregio are all based on history, as is the Council of Ten and other details and places. Venice was never officially an empire, however; it was always a republic. That and the power of the princes who no longer elect Doges are part of my fictional world building.

I also did a lot of research on the history of glass and glassmaking techniques, and it became increasingly obvious to me that glass was not only my subject, it was a wonderful for magic and alchemy and the power of transformation, since glassmakers are capable of turning rocks into works of art. While working on Island of Glass, I collected a number of links regarding the history of Venice and glassmaking on a Pinterest page. If you’re interested in investigating the background, you can visit the page here.

http://www.pinterest.com/ruthnestvold/island-of-glass/

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Glass-Glassmakers-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00NVGGSL0/ Island of Glass (Book I of The Glassmakers Trilogy)

Seventeen-year-old Chiara Dragoni is a master glassmaker of Venice, a position that is both a privilege and a trap. For the glassmakers of Murano are forbidden to ever leave the islands of the Venetian lagoon.

When Chiara’s uncle is caught on the mainland and thrown into the dungeon of the Doge’s Palace, she must use all her talents, including magic, to help free him. But the gift she creates for the prince of Venice has unintended consequences, and now Chiara must decide whether to give up everything - and everyone - she knows and loves in order to save her dream.

Island of Glass will be published on Oct. 28. Now available for pre-order at a special introductory price of only 99c!

Find Ruth Nestvold on the Internet:

Blog: https://ruthnestvold.wordpress.com

Web site: http://www.ruthnestvold.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ruth.Nestvold.Author

Twitter: @Ruth_Nestvold

Ruth, that was lovely! Here, have a cuppa and a treat, and rest a bit. Here’s a fun coincidence – while we were working out the final details of this post, PBS aired an episode of their series How We Got to Now that recounted the history and scientific significance of glass, and Murano was featured. You – and everybody else – can find it here.

Ready to read? I know I am!

OctPoWriMo Day 26: The 90-Second Fear Ride

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

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 many of 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 “Face Your Fear”. We were offered a list of word prompts – I managed to use most of them, nearly all in just two lines, which I think is pretty cool:

  • Frightening

  • Darkness

  • Spooky

  • Mysterious

  • Thud

  • Striking

  • Midnight

  • Pounding

I’m going to do things a little differently today. Instead of introducing the poem and talking a little about the process of its creation first, I’m going to leap right into sharing, and chat after the fact! Change can be scary, but here goes!

Scarily Sweet!

The 90-Second Fear Ride

Heart

Pounding

Fear message

Limbic system

Ancient reptile mind

Hides beneath all reason

Surges up and takes control

Muscles tense; ready to fight or flee

Instincts rule; emotion enslaves me

Self-preservation my priority

A ninety-second thrill ride of terror

Mysterious thud in the darkness

Something spooky strikes the window

Flinch from the man-shaped shadow

Cringing as it leans in

Mind re-engages

Lone sunflower

Peeking in

I planted

It.

Now for the funny part – this is absolutely an autobiographical poem!

One spring, when my kids were much smaller, we planted mammoth sunflowers in the backyard. Rabbits have a tendency to stop by for a dawn and dusk daily browse, and they seem to adore sunflower sprouts, so I planted a patch right beside our bow window, which is in the living room.

My Accomplice in Mischief is a chef, which means the kids and I spend most evenings alone together, a fact we’re all used to, but which started to take on major significance one night, when I kept feeling as though we were being watched through that window. Finally, I spun around – and cringed in terror at the sight of a silhouetted form leaning in to watch us…

Um, yeah. Make that the heavy-headed ripe seven foot sunflower I’d planted…

Recently, I read My Stroke of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor. She mentions the limbic system, and the fact that limbic responses are autonomic, but only last about 90 seconds, after which time we can choose what we do next. That’s where the title came from.

I wrote this poem as a double etheree, so that the beginning punch of terror, and the punch line at the end, would have impact, and I kept the source of the fear to myself for a while…

I like the way this one turned out – especially since there was in fact no window lurker!

Find more OctPoWriMo terror – if you dare!