JusJoJan Day 28: Inter-Species Relations

Just Jottin’ my way through January!

 

Okay, I know this post is a day late – and I have my reasons. Mostly that I wrote a post, and hated it. So, I decided to start over – and ended up with a 2500+ word story – too long for a blog post. So I revised it, and revised again, and again – and now, at last, it’s a more suitable length.

I offer, for your consideration, my longest jot, and my first fictional one…this story takes place immediately after this scene…Trip senses something from T’Pol, and comes back to kiss her…

Trip -” My skin heated, and I struggled to contain a pheremone release.

“Mmmn?” His voice was muffled against my neck.

“Trip.” I added a shading of sharpness, while I still could. “There’s something of importance we need to discuss.”

**

A fella could get whiplash with how fast T’Pol could go from delicious temptress to all-business Vulcan. But when I lifted my head to look into her huge eyes, they were glowing. Not business, then – something personal, and I smiled. “Okay, pepperpot, let’s talk. Your place or mine?”

“Neither. What I have to say is – unnerving, at best.” She tipped her head. “Someone is approaching.”

I took her elbow and steered her into the Conference Room, before anyone could see us necking in the corridor.

**

It was natural, now, to embrace him as humans do. I rested a hand on his chest, over his slow human heart, and tangled the other in his hair as he kissed me again. His hands slipped down my back. So human – his taste, his scent, the feel of him…my alien mate.

My bondmate.

I broke the kiss, holding his gaze. “Trip, do you remember when you told me that humans were free to choose, and that what I wanted was very relevant – that I have a duty to myself?”

“How could I forget? The thought of you gettin’ married just because you were supposed to – rankled the hell outta me.”

“That much was clear.” I drew a deep breath; rehearsing what I might say was a far different matter than actually saying it. ” Haven’t you wondered why Vulcan parents arrange their children’s marriages?”

“Course I have. Like I said back then, the whole thing sounds illogical to me. You can’t be the only one whose marriage didn’t work out.”

“Vulcan marriages ‘work out’ if the couple fulfills certain clearly delineated responsibilities to one another and the family unit. I surmise that your concept of ‘working out’ involves a strong component of mutual emotional affinity, freely expressed.”

“Aww, pepperpot, you say the sweetest things – in the most sterile way. But, yeah. Love makes the world go round.” He shrugged and smiled. “Well, mine, anyway. And I know that’s scientifically impossible – but it’s still true.”

“Do you recall approximately two years ago, when Captain Archer was taken hostage, and Phlox and I were confined to Decon?”

“When you were gobbling up your supper with your bare hands, and busted out and ran through the halls in your underwear? That was pretty memorable, pepperpot. Must’ve been a helluva fever you had – Malcolm had this crazy story that you propositioned him – ”

**

She stared at her shaking hand on my heart, breathing fast, and I got another memory-burst – hot, hungry, needing, denied, desperate for escape, for sex –

“I don’t remember that, however, it’s likely true. I attempted to seduce Phlox.” It was barely a whisper, and she was shaking all over now – not her subharmonic quiver of arousal, but fear I could feel in her mind.

“Phlox? T’Pol, he’s got three wives already.”

Her eyes met mine, then jerked to the side. “He was there, and male. Those were my only criteria – if I could not reach you.”

“Me? We weren’t exactly on the best terms.”

“I Awakened to you, Trip. You are always my first choice.”

“You sure hid it well.” Why was I so nervous, all of a sudden, like this was a big deal? “So, are you gonna tell me why?”

“I needed to mate.” She was shaking so hard I led her to the table and sat her down. She didn’t resist, and that said something.

“‘Needed to’? Not ‘wanted to’?”

“Both. Need precipitated desire. Without treatment, or mating, I wouldn’t have survived.”

“You mean, you would have died without sex?”

She nodded, silent and shaking.

**

He ran a hand through his hair, and paced away, then back. “Why didn’t you just tell me? I would’ve- “

“Phlox thought the virus would be fatal to humans.”

“So what does that have to do with – with us, now?”

“The virus triggered a related, naturally occurring process.” I breathed deeply. “You know of the pon farr.”

“Well, yeah, but I know that you ‘mate’ more than once every seven years, pepperpot.”

“Trip, you misunderstand. If Vulcans don’t mate during pon farr, we die.”

“Come again?” Trip came to sit beside me, and took my hand in his.

I used his human vernacular. “And again and again – and many times beyond that.”

His mouth dropped open, then closed. “That’s your first dirty joke – but you’re not kidding, are you?”

No. Pon farr requires copious sexual release and telerotic communion.”

**

I clamped my mouth shut, stuck my tongue in my cheek so that I wouldn’t say something stupid about ‘copious sexual release’, and how much I was looking forward to helping her out with that. “Is there someone who can help you, tell you what to do?”

I haven’t Burned before.” She said it like it was another name for what was going to happen to her. “Phlox has developed some palliative measures to ease the early stages. I’ll know what to do -” She shuddered, and stared out the window at the stars. “The cycle is natural, for me. I’ll be physiologically compelled to mate – frequently, and likely violently. We don’t speak of it – our marriage customs assure we have mates, when pon farr commences.”

I kept hold of her hand, squeezing softly. “I guess they’re more logical than I thought. How long – do you know?”

The active phase is approaching – within the next several months; perhaps sooner.” She sounded small and lost, her head bowed.

“You just tell me when, pepperpot, and I’m all yours. But you said ‘telerotic’ – can a human do that?” Was I going to be enough for her, when she needed me?

“We were able to bond. You are enough, and more, Trip.” She didn’t quite look at me. “But this isn’t your way. You’re human – you must be free to choose.”

Maybe I haven’t been very clear about it, lately, T’Pol – but I already chose you – all of you.” I lifted two fingers in the Vulcan way she’d taught me.

T’hy’la,” she whispered, meeting them with her own, and a single tear fell onto her cheek as I drew her close.

Pop on by to visit the other sexy Jotters!

WIPpet Wednesday: “Can You?”

 

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’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

I’m sharing the final snippet from “Tigress T’Pol”, a locked-room 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.

Disclaimers: 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 Non- Math Math:

  • Today is January 28, 2015.
  • Non-Math: It’s the last January WIPpet, and the last snippet from this story. So there you have it.
  • You get 7 short paragraphs today – and this is almost it, so I hope you enjoy!

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.

In February, I’ll be returning to Chameleon’s Dish (which may or may not become Never Doubt I Love) – to reconnect with Henry, Tisira, and Nockatee…I’ve been revising this month, and I’ve discovered how much I’ve missed this unique ‘threesome’…

But for now, there’s a Vulcan and a human locked in a cell… and footsteps are coming closer….so what will they do?

“That would be – most appreciated.” Damn – a please and a thank you – from a Vulcan. Not just any Vulcan, though – T’Pol, the one who’d twisted me up in knots a year ago, and tightened them in this little cell, making it our own private little paradise. How I was gonna keep from shouting that from the top of that beautiful Warp Five engine of mine, I wasn’t sure – but I would. I’d pretend I hated her in public, if it meant I got another chance to be alone with her, a bed, and a door.

“One level. Someone moving on this level, as well, approximately fifty meters ahead and to port. A female, obviously trying to remain undetected.” I didn’t ask how she knew, or if she was sure, because now I could hear the faint sound of feet above, descending the steps haltingly. “Commander, if you have the opportunity to escape -“

“And leave you here? No way, T’Pol -“

“That’s illogical. I’m well able to take care of myself.”

And I’m not?” I tried to ignore the fact that that Suliban – only one, dammit – had taken me out almost before I knew what was happening, while it had taken five -and a gun butt – to stop her.

“Someone needs to alert Enterprise to our situation, Trip. I will be able to protect the Captain and Ensign Sato, without need of a sidearm. Can you?” The feet got louder; we were running out of time. I wanted to argue, but she had a point. Didn’t mean I had to like it, though.

“If that’s the way you wanna play it,” I muttered, as the footsteps got really close, and I felt T’Pol setting herself, just like I was…

No, it won’t help to look behind the computer – there’s no more! Can you believe I just ended that on a cliffhanger?! Do you wonder what happens next? Well, you’ve got options. You can watch Broken Bow, and see how TnT get outta that cell, and what comes next. Or, if that’s not your cuppa tea, stay tuned – I’ll be sharing this story, extended, on a fan fiction site TBD, later in the year.

You can also come looking for me, but I’ll warn you – if you break my fingers, I won’t be able to type!

Why not just come back next week to go time traveling with me, instead?

And here, as a peace offering, is an “Unexpected” deleted scene, where T’Pol rather illogically needles a vulnerable Trip! Now that’s entertainment!

 

 

January 28, 2015: ReVisionary

ROWin’ merrily through my goals!

So, did you see snow this week? I just shoveled about three inches of extremely powdery and not at all historic white stuff – and then slipped on the ice and fell – probably because I was wearing my 13 year old’s enormous man-boots, because the zipper on my seven year old, awesomely comfortable Land’s End pair gave up the ghost when I pulled it on…*pouts just a little*. I’m not badly hurt, but I’m all done playing in the snow for today.

Anyway, it’s my last January update. I’ve made progress, and I’ve still got a few days left to the month, so there will be more. What I don’t finish this month, I’ll carry over to February – with our family vacation to Oregon at the end of the month, I’m going to keep things simple.

I’m doing well with what I most want to complete – my Write1 Sub1 and Just Jot It January challenges. Finishing should be right on target.

As for everything else, read on!

And how about you? Are you staying warm and dry? Are you moving toward achieving your goals?

January Update #7:

  • Goals attained: blue with strikethrough: 22.5

  • Goals in progress: green: 26.5

  • Goals-in-waiting: red: 9

Focuses:

  • Revisions: Chameleon’s Dish; The IDIC Romance; and “Morning Coffee”.

  • Write1Sub1: Terrance’s Story (for Kifo Island Chronicles); “Morning Coffee”.

  • Oregon Trip: Planning and preparing.

Last year’s storm…

Writing:

Write1Sub1:

Write rough draft of Terrance’s story (for Kifo Island Chronicles)

Submit “Morning Coffee” to World Unknown Review.

  • Revisions moving along.

Kifo Island Chronicles:

Sort stories into novella threads; choose three.

Complete background information for at least one, using Cathy Yardley‘s Rock Your Plot.

Star Trek Chronology Project:

Complete current viewing of Star Trek: Enterprise. 

Rewatch Season 1; taking notes and beginning story list.

The IDIC Romance:

Research fan fiction sites.

  • Looked at one; decided against. Nothing recent there.

Choose one for first submission.

A-Z travel posts:

Create list of A-Z post topics.

Trueborn Warp/Weft series:

Sketch notes for next volume in each series.

Write at least 750 words daily:

Use 750words.com for freewriting and to chart progress.

  • 27/31 days.
  • Missed 1/31; 700/750 words.

Editing:

Chameleon’s Dish:

Revise all midpoints for Chameleon’s Dish (6.5 scenes).

The IDIC Romance:

Complete revision pass for “Tigress T’Pol” as WIPpet project.

Combine “Breaking Protocol”, “Mystery Woman”, and “Magical Possibilities” into new rough draft.

  • Creating Scene 1 of the new draft.

Write1Sub1

Revise “Morning Coffee”.

  • Exercise 4/5 nearing completion.

Choose at least 1 more story for 2015 revision.

Social Media:

Blog Maintenance:

Maintain regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.

  • Yes.

Build blog queues:

Write at least 1 Coffee and Conversation post:

Write 1 “special” WIPpet.

Blogging Action Plan:

Review Blogging Action Plan; highlight for revision.

  • Highlighted for February revision.

Review Lovely Chaos Sidebar; make list of desired changes.

Twitter and Facebook:

Visit each twice weekly.

  • Facebook: 1/ 2
  • Twitter: 0/ 2

Pinterest, LinkedIn,  WANATribe, ect:

Visit at least one weekly.

Share posts – mine, and others’:

Share 3 items a week.

Blog views and followers:

Increase blog views to 25 on a semi-regular basis (at least 10 times this month).

  • 26/31.

Snow girl!

Hometending:

Family room reset:

Clean the three toy bins (trains; gears; misc.).

Clean the Lego and battle game drawers.

Kitchen reset:

Clean kitchen counter to left of sink.

Rehome pans and serving dishes to pantry.

Inhabit my study:

Clean and organize floor.

  • More progress!

Replace calendar and candle.

Use the space weekly.

Personal Administration:

Clean, organize, and backup Desktop and Writing Bullpen files‘; sort Leisure Time Reading file.

Maintain inbox below 100 messages twice weekly.

  • Some reduction Tuesday; not under 100. 0/2.

Homeschool Administration:

Begin second quarter homeschool reports for both kids, due March 15.

Photo digitalization:

Scan Oregon travel photos; save in organized files with backup.

ROW80:

Submit sponsor post.

Keep visits up-to-date.

Lifetending:

Oregon vacation:

Make list of what needs doing.

Make schedule for accomplishing list items.

Do what can be done in January; evaluate weekly.

Kindle ebooks:

Read and write reviews for 2 books on my Writers I Know list.

NNWM local group:

Continue attending write-ins whenever possible.

Interact at least weekly online.

Meditation:

Experiment with guided/unguided meditation at least once a week.

TBR Stacks:

Read 1 book from bedroom TBR pile.

Smart Change:

Make a list of goals to focus on, using the methods in this book.

Starfleet:

Reconnect with USS Albany group.

My beloveds:

One on one time with each, at least twice per month, doing something of value to us both.

  • 5/2 -Accomplice.
  • 6/2 – Jeremiah.
  • 6/2 -Annalise.
  • Late night conversation and hanging out; couples time.

Paying it Forward:

Complete at least two beta reads and promotional blog posts for other writers as requested.

Fitness and Nutrition:

Workouts:

At the Y or a strenuous activity at least weekly.

Wii Fit at least once weekly, for 15 minutes minimum.

Walk, dance, swim, or physical play:

With children, spouse, and/or dog at least weekly.

Practice:

Find out t’ai chi and yoga class schedules.

Intuitive Eating:

Read.

  • 21% complete.

Cooking/ Food Preparation:

Develop a repertoire of 4 self-made food options that support my nutritional goals.

Maintain weekly nutritional quotas; adapt as needed.

Weight:

Maintain or reduce weight; continue monthly checks.

Take a ride on the ROWboat!

Outback in the snow…

JusJoJan Day 27: Vulcan Biology…As In Reproduction

Jaunting my way through January!

I still remember being thirteen years old, and all but clueless about sex, when I first read the James Blish novelization of the Star Trek episode Amok Time.” I didn’t know it then, but that episode was going to change the course of mywriting life.

No lie.

Why?

Well, because of this:

For the exact moment that altered the course of my personal history, go to time stamp 5:07 and…wait for it.

Unless you already know about the biology of Vulcans…biology, as in reproduction.

If you don’t yet, suffice it to say that the Vulcans don’t exactly play the mating game the way we humans do. Actually, they don’t play the mating game at all.

If you’re a Vulcan, sex is a life-or-death proposition. You mate, or you die. Of course, if the mate your parents arranged for you decides they don’t want you, you might end up embroiled in a fight to the death…

Because, really, you can’t have lust-maddened and murderous Vulcans running around loose on the planet. Wouldn’t be logical. So he who doesn’t get the girl gets dead. Simple. Expedient. And oh-so-logical….

So, is my interest only salacious?

No.

 

I’m intrigued by the contrasts between the level of discipline, logic, and control Vulcans are usually capable of – and then the time when all of that melts away, and all that is left is this one overwhelming urge that becomes a matter of life or death. It’s a radically different sexuality, and one that can’t simply be ignored. Every adult Vulcan has to accommodate it, in one way or another, throughout their reproductive years. I wonder how this affects their family life – parents experiencing the cycle couldn’t trust themselves around their children, or care for them while preoccupied with mating, so allowances would have to be made.

 

And there would almost certainly be injuries – despite T’Pol’s claim that she won’t hurt Phlox if he mates with her, it’s well known that Vulcan sexuality, with all those primal passions unleashed, is more forceful and violent than the human variety generally is…at least, when both parties are consenting participants to the act.

There’s also a telepathic element, and Vulcans are hand-centric – watching both Spock and T’Pol while they’re in pon farr, it’s obvious that they express their aroused state through their shaking hands, which seem to need touch…

Why have I spent so much time thinking about all this?

Well, I tend to like the psychology of interactions, and the thought of humans and Vulcans- like Spock’s parents, Sarek and Amanda, or T’Pol and Trip – embarking on intimate relationships makes me wonder just how they navigate their vastly different sexual landscapes.

Sex in a relationship is always a negotiation, but this is even more so. Not only don’t they share a cultural base; they don’t even share a common species. Abilities and sensitivities are not the same.

We can assume that Sarek and Amanda have worked out a viable arrangement, since we first meet them when their son is grown, and they must have gone through several cycles already.

But what about Trip and T’Pol? We know that T’Pol has never experienced pon farr before the virally-induced episode that Phlox managed to treat with a vaccine. And we know that she and Trip had a sexual relationship, because….

Our Vulcan lady is definitely the take-charge type – but the writers left the couple just after that second kiss, and, the next time we see these two together, it’s the next morning, Trip opens his mouth about it in public, T’Pol thanks him for ‘facilitating my exploration of human sexuality’, Trip feels like a lab rat and says so, and they deal with the morning-after awkwardness with the same confusion that marked the discussion that led up to their encounter – well, their whole relationship, really.

And, you see, I need more than that. I need to know how these two very different people negotiate that interaction we know happened between T’Pol dropping her robe, and calmly sipping tea in the mess hall while Trip falls all over himself trying to get her to admit that she felt something.

I mean, they were both there, and we weren’t, and that’s not really fair.

I know T’Pol can negotiate – kissing on the mouth is not a part of Vulcan sexuality. And yet, the way she turns a neuro-pressure therapy session into foreplay seems all Vulcan. Trip is floored, clearly – but also receptive. He’s waited a long time for this moment, and I have to think he was sure it would never happen…

But the space between. It’s because of that that I’m hooked, that I have bits and pieces running through my head, that I imagine how that negotiation would play out between them, over time…

And it all has to do with Vulcan biology, and how it interacts with human… and that one moment, when the course of Vulcan sexuality was set.

Am I the only one who wonders about what happens between the scenes and the sheets of my favorite shows? Drop me a line, and share your curiosity, too!

Pop on by to visit the other sexy’ Jotters!

Coffee and Conversation: Boldly Embarking on the Star Trek Chronology Project

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.

There’s something about a new year that seems to beg new challenges, new perspectives, and new projects, isn’t it?

One of mine, this year, is to complete The Star Trek Chronology Project – to view the entire live-action canon in the space of one year, in “chronological” order – so that the fictional story progresses along a rational timeline.

Why am I doing this?

Well it will be fun to revisit my favorites (I get to start with Enterprise, after all, and, at the moment, it’s far and away my favorite Trek series). I’ll have a series that features T’Pol, then one with Spock, and then some movies…

Another reason is that I missed a lot of Deep Space Nine, and most of Voyager. I was in my mid to late twenties, then, and life took precedence. I’ve prejudged these two shows without really engaging with them, and I feel like they deserve another chance.

But the primary reason is that I am passionate about Trek - passionate enough that I spend considerable time and effort crafting Star Trek fan fiction. I give it as much effort and attention as I do my other writing. And that means that I want to be sure that I am respecting, not only the canon of the televised and movie franchise, but also these characters who, to coin a phrase, fascinate me. I want to honor them and the fictional reality they occupy.

This will be an act of love.

For Trek, for Vulcans, and for myself.

From time to time, I will be updating my progress, and offering some thoughts and ideas inspired by what I’ve watched recently.

This week, I’ve got the first three episodes of Enterprise, and a bit about each (clicking the titles will take you to the episode on Hulu:

Broken Bow:

As series pilots go, this one’s breathtaking – so good, in fact, that I tend to forget that it’s a pilot.

The decontamination scene gives a tantalizing hint that there is some degree of sexual tension between Trip and T’Pol – and the basis upon which my fan fiction is based. I’ve always thought that something else had to have happened before that for Trip to be so bold, and for T’Pol to be – well, even bolder. I love that they conduct this inter-species exploration in the midst of a heated argument – an argument that simmers over repeatedly as they learn to live and work together.

Fight or Flight:

This second episode deals with fear, adaptation, and discovery – a frightened and overwhelmed officer, an alien life form struggling to survive, human curiosity and Vulcan logic, and a ship filled with dead aliens from whose bodies fluid is being siphoned.

This is a good character development episode, but hasn’t yet inspired any fan fiction.

Strange New World:

Enterprise discovers a Minshara-class planet – one with the capacity to support humanoid life. But all is not as it seems…

I’ve written two long stories based upon this episode. It’s an excellent exploration on the conflicts between Trip and T’Pol, conflicts which explode in a dangerous way. It leaves lots of room for other things to happen, which I of course took advantage of.

It’s a solid beginning to this prequel to the original series, and it offers action, character development, the seeds of things yet to come…if you liked what you saw here, stay tuned for future installments of my STCP experience.

Do you have a favorite show or book? Have you ever imagined other stories based upon these characters? I’ve got drinks and popcorn in assorted flavors, and we’re expecting some snow. Won’t you cuddle up and share?

**

JusJoJan Day 26: Of Zucchinis and Condoms

Jotting my way through January!

In my Day 25 post (posted earlier today, because I ran out of yesterday before I ran out of things to do!), I mentioned that my kids explored with zucchinis and condoms. I’ve written about that in more detail here.*

The experimentation had a purpose – to empower my children, and to demystify the processes of sex and birth control. I wanted them to have a greater familiarity with condoms and how they work; how to apply them, what they smelled like. They figured out that they could break by using them as water balloons. All of this was interspersed with talk of pre-seminal fluid, spermicides, and things that can compromise the structural integrity of latex. It was an exploration, and a chance to learn.

I don’t remember anything like that in my own high school sexual education. We were told to use condoms, if we were going to be foolish enough to forgo abstinence (which, by that point, most of the class long since had). But there was not an actual condom in sight, and nothing other than a very brief lecture, without demonstration, on how to use them.

That was somewhat indicative of the way sex education was handled in my public school. There was the presentation on menstruation when I was in sixth grade – all of us girls gathered together into the gym, our mothers in chairs in the back of the room, where we knew they were there, but couldn’t see them without turning, and risking a sharp word from one of the female teachers in attendance.

That experience was so strange and uncomfortable that I really don’t remember what the movie was like. I do know that, at the end of the movie, we were all given a copy of a little booklet called Growing Up and Liking It -a title that always sounded a little like a cross between a threat and a command to me. In it, three fictional girls, one of whom had moved away from her two best friends, wrote a series of highly contrived letters – all about getting their periods, or waiting for them. The girl who had moved away was a know-it-all, and seemed to forever be lecturing her friends on the whys and wherefores of menstruation.

The booklet was produced by a feminine hygiene company, and the last page was an order form for a menstrual starter kit. My mother duly ordered this sampling of products for me, and it arrived in a long, flat brown box, and then lived under my bed for the next three years, because I didn’t get my period until I was 14.

An interesting aspect of the sex education that I received in school is that it was of very little practical use when I actually started having sex. I knew, in theory, how to apply a condom, but I knew very little about how to really do it. I wasn’t even always sure my partner was using one, and I’d been given no pointers on how to be assertive about it. I could scarcely look at an erect penis, and I certainly couldn’t talk about sexual matters. That took me another few years, and experience. For the most part, those first few years, I went along with what the man in question wanted; I had little input of my own, and far less confidence.

What seems to me to have been lacking is empowerment. Instead, we were fed someone else’s pre-programmed agenda. The focus was strictly on biology, with an overlay of morality that strongly reflected the “Just Say No” eighties. Sexual pleasure wasn’t even part of the equation. Our sexuality was something to be manipulated and controlled. Our minds were there to be molded, shaped in accordance with that agenda.

We weren’t treated as nearly-adult people with the right to choose for ourselves, and who possessed the capacity to weigh options and consider consequences. What we needed was the information without the overlay, and the assurance that we could choose for ourselves, and choose well. There was nothing at all about sexual harassment in the schools – something more recent studies suggest is rampant in high schools, and which I personally experienced. The combination of forbidden excitement (I was a very sheltered virgin) and shame (I must have done something to encourage the ‘nice boy’ in question) kept me from telling an adult what was happening.

That’s what I hope to give to my own children – the empowerment of knowledge and the confidence to use it as a tool in their own lives, for their own purposes. I want them to value themselves enough to claim the right to their own bodies and their own sexuality, to be able to refuse when they aren’t interested, stand up for themselves if someone tries something that they don’t want to participate in, to know what pleases them, and to be clear and confident about it.

I want them to be free of the underlying shame that ran through my own sex education and sexual awakening, because shame can be a crippling muzzle to a healthy sex life.

Zucchinis and condoms were just one small but potent part of that.

*The original post, Zucchinis + Condoms = Sexual Empowerment, won an Honorable Mention in the 2014 World Sexual Health Day Writing Contest.

Photo by Austroneslan Expeditions, shared with a Creative Commons license, via Flickr.

January 25, 2015: Focusing My Vision

ROWin’ along through January!

Wow, here we are – already at the penultimate January update! A little hard to believe, isn’t it?

It’s the time in the month where I tend to narrow my focus to those items I most want to complete. In this case, it’s my Write1 Sub1 and Just Jot It January challenges.

I intentionally set a large and diverse array of goals, knowing that I wouldn’t have time to finish everything on the list, but that I could move many things forward. As we move through the last week of the month, I’m a little astounded by how far I’ve come – nearly everything started, and more than two dozen completed, with nearly that many more in progress.

What isn’t finished this month will form the basis of my February goals. With a trip to Oregon taking up the second half of the month, it seems like a good idea not to pile on a heap of new goals. Oh, and I’m sharing Oregon pictures from looong ago, because I finally can! =)

And how about you? Have you found your stride in this new year, or are you still feeling things out, and choosing a direction?

January Update #6:

  • Goals attained: blue with strikethrough: 31.5

  • Goals in progress: green: 23.5

  • Goals-in-waiting: red: 3.5

Focuses:

  • Revisions: Chameleon’s Dish; The IDIC Romance; and “Morning Coffee”.

  • Write1Sub1: Terrance’s Story (for Kifo Island Chronicles); “Morning Coffee”.

  • Oregon Trip: Planning and preparing.

Bunko-dog vs. The Kelp Monster!

Writing:

Write1Sub1:

Write rough draft of Terrance’s story (for Kifo Island Chronicles).

  • Began the draft! I like Terrance quite a lot.

Submit “Morning Coffee” to World Unknown Review.

  • Revisions ongoing.

Kifo Island Chronicles:

Sort stories into novella threads; choose three.

Complete background information for at least one, using Cathy Yardley‘s Rock Your Plot

Star Trek Chronology Project:

Complete current viewing of Star Trek: Enterprise. 

Rewatch Season 1; taking notes and beginning story list.

The IDIC Romance

Research fan fiction sites.

Choose one for first submission.

A-Z travel posts:

Create list of A-Z post topics.

Trueborn Warp/Weft series:

Sketch notes for next volume in each series.

Write at least 750 words daily:

Use 750words.com for freewriting and to chart progress.

  • 23/31 days.
  • Missed by 50 words on 1/24; I forgot about them! Overall, I’m ahead, though.

Driftwood Bounty!

Editing:

Chameleon’s Dish:

Revise all plot points for Chameleon’s Dish (6.5 scenes).

  • Changing goal to all midpoints.
  • Midpoint 2/3 in revision.

The IDIC Romance:

Complete revision pass for “Tigress T’Pol” as WIPpet project.

Combine “Breaking Protocol”, “Mystery Woman”, and “Magical Possibilities” into new rough draft.

Write1Sub1:

Revise “Morning Coffee”.

  • Exercise 4/5 progressing.

Choose at least 1 more story for 2015 revision.

Fitful Pacific Sunset

Social Media:

Blog Maintenance:

Maintain regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.

  • Yes.

Build blog queues:

Write at least 1 Coffee and Conversation post:

Write 1 “special” WIPpet.

Blogging Action Plan:

Review Blogging Action Plan; highlight for revision.

  • Highlighted for February revision.

Review Lovely Chaos Sidebar; make list of desired changes.

Twitter and Facebook:

Visit each twice weekly.

  • Facebook: 2/ 2
  • Twitter: 5/ 2 – I’m really starting to love it!

Pinterest,LinkedIn, WANATribe, ect:

Visit at least one weekly.

  • 2/1.

Share posts – mine, and others’:

Share 3 items a week.

Blog views and followers:

Increase blog views to 25 on a semi-regular basis (at least 10 times this month).

  • 24/31.

Silhouette of an old friend long gone….

Hometending:

Family room reset:

Clean the three toy bins (trains; gears; misc.).

Clean the Lego and battle game drawers.

Kitchen reset:

Clean kitchen counter to left of sink.

Rehome pans and serving dishes to pantry.

Inhabit my study:

Clean and organize floor.

  • More progress!

Replace calendar and candle.

Use the space weekly.

Personal Administration:

Clean, organize, and backup Desktop and Writing Bullpen files‘; sort Leisure Time Reading file.

Maintain inbox below 100 messages twice weekly.

  • Tuesday. 1 /2.

Homeschool Administration:

Begin second quarter homeschool reports for both kids, due March 15.

Photo digitalization:

Scan Oregon travel photos; save in organized files with backup.

  • Done!

ROW80:

Submit sponsor post.

Keep visits up-to-date.

My Accomplice, the Oregon boy, before the blue beard. =)

Lifetending:

Oregon vacation:

Make list of what needs doing.

Make schedule for accomplishing list items.

Do what can be done in January; evaluate weekly.

Kindle ebooks:

Read and write reviews for 2 books on my Writers I Know list.

NNWM local group:

Continue attending write-ins whenever possible.

Interact at least weekly online.

Meditation:

Experiment with guided/unguided meditation at least once a week.

  • Focal point meditation – fingertips.

TBR Stacks:

Read 1 book from bedroom TBR pile.

Smart Change:

Make a list of goals to focus on, using the methods in this book.

  • Reread Chapter One.

Starfleet:

Reconnect with USS Albany group.

My beloveds:

One on one time with each, at least twice per month, doing something of value to us both.

  • 4/2 -Accomplice.
  • 5/2 – Jeremiah.
  • 6/2 -Annalise.
  • Late night conversation and hanging out.

Paying it Forward:

Complete at least two beta reads and promotional blog posts for other writers as requested.

Pacific Twilight

Fitness and Nutrition:

Workouts:

At the Y or a strenuous activity at least weekly.

Wii Fit at least once weekly, for 15 minutes minimum.

  • Totally forgot!

Walk, dance, swim, or physical play:

With children, spouse, and/or dog at least weekly.

Practice:

Find out t’ai chi and yoga class schedules.

Intuitive Eating:

Read.

  • 10% complete.

Cooking/ Food Preparation:

Develop a repertoire of 4 self-made food options that support my nutritional goals.

Maintain weekly nutritional quotas; adapt as needed.

Weight:

Maintain or reduce weight; continue monthly checks.

Take a ride on the ROWboat!

We were taking selfies way back in 1997, before they even had a name!