All Perfectly Normal: An IDIC Gift for my WIPpet Wednesday Birthday!

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! She‘s our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway

Well, hello, July 29! Fancy meeting you here, as my life clicks over on another year filled with lovely chaos…

Riiiggghhhtttt…happens every year, at this time. And, since I’m not one for birthday parties or fussing (too close to July 25, which is important to me for very different reasons); and since I might not get to many WIPpets till after the weekend, because Camping (Yay, CAMPING!!!!), aI thought I’d give you all a gift, instead of the other way round…

Here you go!

Yup, I DID draft over 75K in 17 days….*pinches self; then looks at word counts again, to be sure* More than that; there are more than a few good words and meaty parts to develop – and I’ve still got a ways to go…

But I’m taking it easy, for the rest of the month, to play with other things, like:

  • Water,
  • my kids,
  • our friends,
  • revisions,
  • plotting,
  • prepping,
  • critiquing….

Oh, and did I forget?

THESE TWO!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 29, 2015.
  • I was born at 6:59am, July 29, 1969. Obviously, I have an affinity for the number 9….
  • Which also happens to be 3 squared – and three is my favorite number. =D
  • So, by the power invested in my by WIPpet math and being the Birthday Girl, I add 9+3 to give you a dozen sentences.

Before you read on, a disclaimer:

I don’t own Star Trek (I’m really not sure anyone truly can, at this point, despite what legal documents may say), and I have no intention to attempt to make any money off my favorite Vulcan and the brave human who dares to love her. It’s just that they keep dragging me into their lives, and they’re both rather intransigent about it…

For those keeping track, this story comes from my discards from last year; in its original form, it was backstory and development for this poem. I brought it out of the trash bin a few weeks back, and you can find the other installments of this story, which I’m revising piecemeal as I go, by following these links:

 

For those too busy to click those links, here’s the deal –

Captain Jonathan Archer approaches the Situation Room, and hears Trip and T’Pol having a standoff about sitting. Jon intentionally ‘doesn’t notice’ all the little intimacies between his second and third in command, but he does notice that T’Pol seems exhausted – too exhausted even to butt heads with her favorite human sparring partner. Trip’s giving her some kind of massage, and, very unexpectedly, T’Pol seems to find comfort and solace in the contact, even in public, and on duty.

We pick up from these lines:

Vulcans weren’t humans; T’Pol was entitled to her own brand of grief. And all the better, if she’d let Trip support her even a little – helping people was just his nature, and had been as long as Jon had known him


All Perfectly Normal

Jon decided to let well enough be well enough, and not notice the way Trip put one leg out behind him, using his foot to hook the chair. Or T’Pol’s uncharacteristic relaxation; she clearly found whatever the engineer was doing ‘agreeable’. Was this that neuropressure they’d started, back in the Expanse, when Trip couldn’t sleep?

He wanted to ask, but he remembered in time that the Vulcan discipline was considered intimate. If T’Pol needed it enough to accept it here, in the Situation Room, it would be foolish and maybe even unkind to point out to her that he knew it.

Instead, he acted like all this was perfectly normal. “All right then – what have we got for today?”

“Plomeek broth,” Trip said, as Hoshi came around the corner with a steaming cup presumably filled with the traditional Vulcan breakfast. “And the chair – didn’t think I forgot about that, did you?” He wrapped his arms gently around the First Officer; now both Jon and Hoshi were working hard at not noticing, so they looked at each other, darting glances to the other two as Trip maneuvered T’Pol into the chair. “There, now, that feels better,” he told her, as though he knew it was true. “Now, with the Cap’n’s permission, you’re going to have some breakfast before you fade away into nothing.”

Will T’Pol stay in the chair?

Will the Captain OK her impromptu meal?
Will T’Pol eat, even if he does?

Is Trip going to be sorry for being so presumptuous?

I’ll be posting the next few lines from this scene for #8sunday,  if you’d like to learn more…

Looking for WIPpet Snippets where people notice things, and no one’s making anyone sit or having a birthday or plying them with Vulcan soup? You can find those, or add your own date-related excerpt, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet!

Funhouse Mirror Reflections…: July 20, 2015

ROWing through the impromptu….

Round Three is all about reflection, for me: where I am, who I am, where I’d like to be, and who I’d like to be when I get there…

Ever have a stretch where it seemed that everything that could possibly be an obstacle, and a few things you never suspected might be, got in the way of the things you planned to do, cleared time to do, announced to all your beloveds that you intended to do?

That’s the last two days, for me. I had no other plans, and my kids’ sleep/wake schedules were conducive, and so I let the family know that I planned to spend the bulk of my weekend writing.

Which was a lovely idea that did not pan out, because I am Mommy, and Wife, as well as Writer.

Cousins on a sleepover!

Carlee and Annalise – Cousins on a sleepover!

An impromptu sleepover, an impromptu walk, two impromptu trips to McDonald’s. An impromptu clearing of the writing decks to be with my Accomplice. An impromptu two hour text chat with a homesick girl awake after everyone else was asleep. Arriving for my weekly write-in to find no one else from my group there, because the power had gone out, and I didn’t check the Facebook group before I headed out…

So, I didn’t get that two days I was looking forward to – but I did a lot of writing, in the cracks and crevices left to me, in the midst of living…

And that’s enough…although I’m holding out high hopes, still, that I can make up a bit for some of the lost time, today and tomorrow…because hope, after all, springs eternal!

A moment....

A moment….

Color-coding key:

  • Goal attained = blue with overstrike.

  • Goal in progress = green.

  • Goal-in-waiting = red.

Writing:

  • The IDIC Romance: Fit 2015 Story A Day May stories into existing, chronological Scrivener binder; fix continuity errors. Existing stories ordered through #14 (“Hey, Cinderella”); slots created for S1: “Get Out Your White Hat”, and pre – S1: “Slow Jazz Awakening”, which is a compilation of stories #1-3 of the 2014 series. Nothing new.
Silliness run in the family! =D

Silliness run in the family! =D

Editing:

  • Slow Jazz Awakening”: Highlight detailed notes for plot, dialogue, setting, character, devices, themes, general impressions, and things for later stories in this or other arcs. Nothing new.

Social Media:

  • ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date. My sponsor post is in; visits current.
  • Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule, comments, and visits. Continue on-time posting; up the ante a bit on commenting and visiting. Better, despite chaos…
  • Share posts – mine, and others': Share generously and variously as inspired! Get out of my comfort zone a bit with this one, and explore some new ideas… Yup! I shared several things!
  • Go on at least one social media adventure each week. I’ve been treating this like a chore – time to have fun with it! Nothing this week.

Hometending:

  • Continue decluttering/beautification projects; in home and/or yard, five days weekly. I’ve got a flow now; ride the waves, and continue making improvements to our home and our quality of life. 4/5; Very light hometending.
  • Create General Categories List of Things to Attend to Before We Move to Oregon; add specific items as/if they occur to me. Not yet.
  • Homeschool Administration: Submit Annalise’s test results to school district when received; rough draft IHIPs for 2015-2016 (research requirements for Grade 9), create Jeremiah’s Peer Review Panel Form. Test scores are back; Peer Review Form started.
Pretty silly girls.

Pretty silly girls.

Lifetending:

  • NNWM local group: Attend write-ins regularly, and check in on the Facebook and Twitter groups as inspired. Complete one critique. Missed write-in due to power outage – didn’t peek at the group at the right time…critiques? Not yet.
  • Complete the two beta reads I’ve had waaay too long. Nothing new.
  • Meditation: Practice four times a week. Experiment with two new techniques. 3/4 for this week. Continued reading about mandala meditation; 1 /2 new techniques.
  • Starfleet: Fill out application and check on summer USS Albany group meeting schedule. Nothing new.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, several times each week. Walks, McD’s, and many chats with both kids; couples’ time; conversation; and bleeding brakes with my Accomplice. We all went to the drive-in.

Selftending:

  • Make time for physical activity every day; use phone app to track three time a week. 7/7 days, 3/3 with phone; Walking, weeding, and hometending.
  • Practice: Attend t’ai chi regularly; begin consistent at-home practice. Aim to add second class weekly. No…but soon!

These goals are a part of Kait Nolan’s ROW80 Writing Challenge  –

It’s also a blog hopFind more ROWers right here!

 

“We’re Not Ready”: The IDIC Romance for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Sharpening My Weekend Quill! En Garde!

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 07/11/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/12/15. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

For me, it’s a second chance to share a small snippet of my current writing. Most weeks, I tie them back to my WIPpet Wednesday post, so reading both can give a deeper peek…

This ten-sentence snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, Shared and Unspoken. 

“We’re Not Ready”

“We’re not ready to talk about it, yet, Cap’n.”

Trip’s voice was ragged with the tears that brimmed his eyes, and he was as close to T’Pol now as he’d been that day,  on the shuttle. T’Pol’s eyes had been wide and frightened then, and Trip had stayed glued to her, wrapped his arm around her, kissed the top of her head while she sang a human lullaby, his eyes daring anyone to tell her to stop.

“Neither a leave nor medication will erase what has happened,” T’Pol said, and, although she wasn’t near tears, her voice had that strained quality she got when her emotions were threatening to break her hold on them. She leaned back very slightly, and Trip pressed his fingers into her back until she let out a long, soft sigh. “Therefore, logically, I’ll tend to my duty.”

Something about it – the casual ‘we’, the way Trip seemed to know just when and how to touch her, the way she allowed it, even seemed comforted by it- felt deeply intimate, as though there were layers here that Jon didn’t understand, and maybe should. But how could he? Vulcans weren’t humans; T’Pol was entitled to her own brand of grief. And all the better, if she’d let Trip support her even a little – helping people was just his nature, and had been as long as Jon had known him.

What aren’t Trip and T’Pol ready to talk about?

When did they become a ‘we’?
Does Jon really want to know what’s going on between them?

Has Trip given up on getting T’Pol to sit down?

This excerpt comes from the discarded stories file of The IDIC Romance, my Star Trek: Enterprise  fan fiction series, which chronicles the canon inter-species relationship between Chief Engineer Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III and Commander T’Pol, the Vulcan scientist and First Officer. The timeframe is somewhere early in the six-year gap between the events of S4E21: “Terra Prime”  and S4E22: “These Are the Voyages” (I have an explanation brewing for that disaster of a finale that will allow this to be canon, but I haven’t written it yet…).

After playing with this excerpt, I’ve decided to pull it out of the discards, and eventually build the bridge between this story, and Not Jealousy, written for Story A Day May 2015, I have an arc building, so there may be much more in the future…but, starting next week, I’ll be posting….something different.

If you’re a fan of my favorite Vulcan, and the human who loves her, though, don’t worry. They have this way of worming themselves into my head no matter what else I’m working on, and it’s just not a good idea to deny them for long – T’Pol has a temper, after all, and she might get….agitated.

Disclaimer:

Trip, T’Pol, Captain Archer, and Star Trek: Enterprise are not mine. I write their stories because they insist on it, and I accept no monetary compensation for sharing them.

Want more #8Sunday? The icon is your portal!

Enter here!

Shared and Unspoken: The IDIC Romance for WIPpet Wednesday

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! She’s our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway…

I’m still planning to share from Foul Deeds Will Rise, the latest in my Trueborn Weft fantasy series – it’s been quite a while since I’ve shared from that. But I’m not quite done plotting it yet, so no new words. And today, there’s a birthday in the house, so I’ll be otherwise engaged for a good chunk of the day, as I focus on bringing the sparkle to her bright one-year-older eyes…

I expect to be drafting like a madwoman by the weekend! But, for now…Trip and T’Pol! Because you knew they couldn’t stay quiet for long, right…?

This snippet comes from The IDIC Romance’s discarded stories file. The timeframe is shortly after (a few weeks, maybe) the events of S4E21: “Terra Prime”. After playing with this excerpt, I’ve decided to pull it out of the discards, and eventually build the bridge between this story, and Not Jealousy, written for Story A Day May 2015, I have an arc building, so there may be much more in the future…

The Situation (in the Situation Room…)

Captain Archer has come from his Ready Room just in time to catch his second and third in command in a standoff – over sitting down.

He listens long enough to hear Trip rattle off a laundry list of worrisome facts of T’Pol’s life- she’s not eating, sleeping, or meditating. Her response that she’s fine is clearly not true; she’s leaning on the Situation Table, Jon steps into the room in the hope of defusing the situation in the Situation Room – and that’s where we pick up, today.

And, as always….

Disclaimer:

Trip, T’Pol, Captain Archer, and Star Trek: Enterprise are not mine. I write their stories because they insist on it, and I accept no monetary compensation for sharing them.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 8, 2015.

  • Date, age of birthday girl, with one to grow on, for 20 sentences.

Shared and Unspoken

“Scuse me, Cap’n.” Trip brushed past Jon, his jaw clenched and his blue eyes snapping like cracking ice as he confronted the Vulcan woman. Once, that would’ve gotten T’Pol’s hackles up, for sure, even if she pretended it didn’t – Jon had been a little slow in picking up on her temper, but Trip was better at setting her off than anyone else. “How is it even a little logical for you to pull that old ‘I’m fine’ act, when I’ve just given you three damned proofs that you’re anything but, and we both know that the list just goes on from there?”

Jon had figured out, a while back, that T’Pol liked matching wits with Trip as much as Trip liked butting heads with her – and, if he just stayed out of their way, they were both more efficient when they were trying to outdo one another.

Now, though, the First Officer didn’t say a word, just sagged against the table and stared dully at her would-be combatant.

Her lack of response deflated the Chief Engineer, and Trip softened. “Listen, T’Pol- I’m worried about you, OK? If anything happens to you, after- ”

Jon stayed put, and focused on not noticing the way Trip’s hand reached out, brushing two fingertips against the back of T’Pol’s hand, then touched the little white gold ring on the fourth finger of her left hand. And he certainly didn’t notice the way T’Pol’s breath released in a soft sigh, and her delicate perfume got stronger, as she finally looked up – right at him.

“I’m sorry, Captain – I was – distracted -”

“I’m more concerned with whether you’re OK.” Trip took advantage of the moment, and edged around the table until he was more or less behind her, frowning, like he half-expected her to collapse, and he wanted to be close enough to catch her when she did.

“I’m tired,” T’Pol said, and went back to staring at the screen in front of her. “As Commander Tucker pointed out, I have been experiencing certain – difficulties – of late -”

“I don’t mind if you sit down – or maybe you should take a few days off, and go see Phlox. After everything that’s happened – ”

“Please don’t.” Two shaken voices, together, bound by shared and unspoken pain.

What’s wrong with T’Pol?

What is it they don’t want Jon to do?
What else will he ‘not notice’?

Will T’Pol stay on her feet, or is Trip right to be worried?

I’ll be posting the next few lines from this scene for #8sunday,  if you’d like to learn like more. And that’s all I’m saying, for now – in keeping with the preference of the subjects of today’s snippet…

Looking for WIPpet Snippets where gravity might not pose a threat, where everything is spoken, where someone has a sense of humor, and people notice things openly? Hop along with the little blue froggy; assorted WIPpetty lily-pads to choose from, and writers eager to share sneak-peeks of wordy goodness with you! =D

“The Day Before”: The IDIC Romance for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Sign up below with your name, blog and email and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Your post needs to be live between 12:00 noon on Saturday 07/4/15 and 9:00 AM on Sunday 07/5/15. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their #8sunday posts.

For me, it’s a second chance to share a small snippet of my current writing. Most weeks, I tie them back to my WIPpet Wednesday post, so reading both, although not necessary can give a deeper peek…

This ten-sentence snippet follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet, Except in the Line of Duty.

The Day Before

On the day before reality shattered, Captain Jonathan Archer approached the Situation Room to see Trip pulling up a chair, and saying, with great determination, “You’ve got a choice. You can sit down by yourself, or I can pick you up and help you sit down – right on your damned Vulcan dignity, if that’s what it takes.”

T’Pol was standing, or, more accurately, leaning, against the situation table, holding onto it with both hands. Maybe it was the light, or Trip’s words, but she looked almost desperately fragile, and Jon thought about ordering her to go to Sickbay. “Commander Tucker -”

“Don’t you dare ‘Commander Tucker’ me, T’Pol. You’re a wreck, Commander- you haven’t eaten in ten days; you haven’t slept more than a few hours altogether in longer than that, and you’re not even trying to meditate anymore -”

Jon held back, to see what would happen, and to tell himself that it didn’t bother him that Trip seemed to know so much about T’Pol’s personal life.

“I’m fine, Trip,” T’Pol said, but her voice was faint, and she didn’t dress him down for talking openly about what she was sure to consider ‘classified’ and ‘private’. That alarmed Jon, but he strode with mock cheeriness into the midst of the standoff.

“Good morning, Commanders.”

What’s wrong with T’Pol?

Will she sit, or will Trip press the issue?
Will the Captain defuse the tension, or make things worse?

Why is he ‘not bothered’ by Trip and T’Pol’s connection?

And, maybe most importantly, what happens tomorrow to shatter reality?

This excerpt comes from the discarded stories file of The IDIC Romance, my Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction series, which chronicles the canon inter-species relationship between Chief Engineer Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III and Commander T’Pol, the Vulcan scientist who is First Officer. The timeframe is somewhere in the six-year gap between the events of S4E21: “Terra Prime” and S4E22: “These Are the Voyages” After playing with this excerpt, I’ve decided to pull it out of the discards, and eventually build the bridge between this story, and Not Jealousy, written for Story A Day May 2015, I have an arc building, so there may be much more in the future…

Disclaimer:

Trip, T’Pol, Captain Archer, and Star Trek: Enterprise are not mine. I write these stories because the characters insist, and  I accept no monetary compensation for sharing them, now or in the future.

Want more #8Sunday?

The icon is your portal!

 

“Zip, Zap, Whoosh, ZOOM!”: The IDIC Romance for SoCS

ROWin’ down the Stream of Consciousness! Badge by Doobster @Mindful Digressions.

This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme -an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt: the word “onomatopoeia”.  I used the word, its meaning, and several examples, in this story. Trip and T’Pol ran away with this one! =D

Disclaimers:

  • Trip T’Pol, and all the rest of Star Trek: Enterprise belong to Paramount. I play with them strictly for my own amusement – and perhaps yours, too. =)

  • This is an extrapolated story, occurring after the events in S1E8: “Breaking the Ice”. No spoilers.

“Zip, Zap, Whoosh, ZOOM!”

“OK, Little Miss Number Cruncher, are you sure all your calculations are properly calibrated?” Before the young woman’s hazel eyes could even shift their focus from his hands – she spent a lot of time looking at his hands, lately, and he wasn’t sure whether that excited him, or bugged him – Trip added, “Cause, if they aren’t, when I hook up this relay, I’m liable to go sizzle pop splat, when what I’m looking for is for this entire circuit to go zip zap whoosh ZOOM!”

She tipped her head the tiniest bit, and now he had her attention. Loved having it, when she was like this, with that little frown that said she half-thought he was crazy, and half-liked being with him because of it. Times like this, he loved working with her – not that it wasn’t fun arguing with her, but that was exhausting, and she usually won. All that damned logic laid ambushes faster than he could spot them….

Trip started counting; he was testing a theory. He got to ‘three-Mississippi’ before she said, “‘Zip zap whoosh zoom?’ ‘Sizzle pop splat’? Is this a regional dialect, Commander?”

“Well, that depends on if you want to call comic books a regional dialect.” Sometimes, it was the most fun to answer her seriously, as though he didn’t get that she thought he was three parts uncivilized, at best. Didn’t hurt to remind the smartest girl in any class that he had a brain, too…”I guess you could say it’s more of a literary dialect. Any way you look at it, though, we humans love our onomatopoeia.”

“That is Latin.”

“Give the little lady a cigar.” Just to keep her guessing, he touched his nose and pointed at her – damn, his fingers were coated with valve lubricant, and it itched – “She’s got it!” If you can’t lambaste them with logic, flounder them with farce…

“It translates is ‘the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named’. ”

“Hoshi would be proud, if she could hear you now.”

“That hardly seems relevant, Trip.” Score! She didn’t even know she’d said it, but, at the same time, he caught the first faint smell of her perfume, that one she wore that shifted with her moods. The one that kinda still made him want to drag her off somewhere, all alone, where there was, as they’d said back in that cell, a comfy bed and a door they could lock.

No, Tucker. You’re workin’ on being the lady’s friend. Just her friend, cause she needs that more than complications, right now.

But the way she was looking at him – the way she smelled…being her friend didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy them, right? And, maybe remember them later, when he could do something about it? Was he still a gentleman, if he didn’t tell her how much real estate she occupied in his fantasies, these days?

No way he was going to find out, if he could help it. But damn, the way her face opened up when they talked like this…

“Well, we like words that sound like the sound they describe. It tickles us, and, if you think about it, it’s pretty efficient. Do you have words like that on Vulcan?”

“No.” He thought that was gonna be it; she glanced at the data pad like she’d forgotten she had it, but that meant she was getting ready to get back to business. But then she added, “I believe we experience and quantify sound – differently – than humans.”

Well, now, that was pretty intriguing. “What do you mean?”

“We tend to focus on the aural quality, rather than the emotive. Decibel, frequency, amplitude, distance, direction, aesthetic appeal or capacity to induce damage. Our language regarding sound tends to reflect that reality.”

“So no sizzling or popping?”

“No. Nor whooshing nor splatting.” One of those beautiful slanted brows went up a tiny bit over a bright, wide eye that was focused on him, just him. Damn, he could fall into those eyes when she looked at him that way… “Perhaps, in this case, humans have found a logic that Vulcans lack.”

“Not just in this case, ma’am. You just haven’t figured us out, yet.” And, while she was chewing on that one, trying to decide whether he was insulting her, he said, “Those calculations, T’Pol?”

She pulled herself a little straighter, and this time really looked at what was on her pad. “They indicate that the results of reconnecting the recalibrated relays will indeed produce ‘zip zap whoosh zoom’, rather than ‘sizzle pop splat,’” she informed him, more deadpan than any human could ever be, or hope to be.

Someday, he was going to teach her to play poker.

But he was learning from her, now. “Let’s hope you did your math right, then.” He punched in a code, then reached into the panel, and flipped the circuit on.

“Zip. Zap.” T’Pol spoke as the sounds she named echoed through the snug Jefferies tube. “Whoosh.” All around them, the ship gathered herself – and there was a subtle shifting of energy. “Zoom?”

Trip grinned at her. “Zoom indeed.”

Have you tried stream-of consciousness writing?

Come join in – there’s just a few simple rules.

Get more SoCS right here!

A portal to other streams! =D

=

Mission Accomplished!: A Coffee and Conversation/#STaD Wrap-Up Post

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.

It’s been almost two weeks since the Story A Day May Challenge ended. I’ve had time to breathe, reread some of my stories, and prepared “Unsent Letters” for StoryFest, a weekend long blitz of fictional goodness – uh, I mean good fiction, because, while the stories might not be true anywhere but in the imaginations of their authors, the goodness of the experience is anything but fictitious.

This was my fourth #STaD challenge, but the first time I’m joining the story share. I’m really looking forward to it, because my characters and life filled up my time. I didn’t interact with other participants, nearly as often as I intended. That’s a recurring theme for me during any intensely creative challenge. I intend well, and start strong – then I vanish completely immersing myself in the meat of the challenge.

So I’ll be traveling around this weekend, visiting as many fine folks as I can, and reading, reading, readingmy support will be real, if belated. 

Now, on to my personal assessment of the challenge…

Like last year, I opted to write Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction for my ongoing series-or-something-like-it, The IDIC Romance, exploring the inter-species relationship between T’Pol, a Vulcan scientist, and Charles “Trip” Tucker III, the Chief Engineer of Enterprise. Why these two?

  • I love them, and they keep showing me pieces of their lives, and insisting that I tell their stories…Trip’s usually a laid-back guy, but T’Pol has a temper. Not something most people would expect from a member of her species, but when that temper is roused -well, she’s expert in an impressive array of martial arts, and Vulcans are stronger than humans…Ergo, the lady with the ears wins by a sandslide….

  • Enterprise offered these two complex, textured characters, and a relationship that grew bit by bit, in fits and starts – but it didn’t delve deeply into their inner realities – and that’s exactly where I most love to play. So many story ideas come to me, filling in the gaps between scenes and episodes; backstory; some that dig into what’s beneath the surface of a televised scene; some just stuff that Trip and/or T’Pol show me, and insist is true, even if it never made it to the screen…I can’t resist them and their stories. I don’t want to.
  • Because the characters are established, I have to operate within the parameters of the systems I’ve been presented. I can’t just make things happen just I want them to. And, even though the last episode was epically disappointing (I consider myself a diplomat, so I won’t say more), I can’t make things – even wrong things that make no sense – unhappen.
  • Playing in fandom means playing the hand you’re dealt. I have to respect the integrity of the characters and the canon, to play fair. More than that, I need to be true to the spirit and nuance of every scene I use or reference…I’ve been known to watch a two minute segment twenty times in a row, attending not only to dialogue and plot, but body language, intonations, positions, movements, and background. I don’t want to cheat on my characters -whether I created them, or someone else did. If I’m not going to enhance their stories, I shouldn’t play with them publicly (uh, wait, that didn’t quite sound right, did it?). It’s one thing to take all the liberties I want in private – but, for sharing, they deserve better than for me to use them for my own gratification where anyone might see them compromised.
  • All that practice noticing and protecting their integrity – it transfers to the rest of my life – my writing life, and beyond. Studying them gives me the practice and the instinct for studying others – as fodder for my writing, and as a means to more fulfilling interactions with people of the non-fictional variety.

So I come to #STaD to stretch my boundaries and to challenge my imagination. And I come back to Enterprise, to Trip and T’Pol, again and again – because they have stories to share, and because they fascinate, intrigue and compel me – and, through giving myself to them whole-heartedly, I learn more about the craft and art and discipline of writing, and about life, too.

Want to read my Story A Day 2015 stories? This link will work, for now, and I have this new blog page under construction; eventually, it will have links and useful information for every IDIC Romance story. For now, it’s got links for this year’s challenge stories, in rough, sketchily-edited form, with a rating and a brief summary. I’ve organized the stories into categories, and chronological order within the series. As stories are revised and/or submitted to fan fiction sites, I’ll update their entries.

It should, hopefully, allow visitors to select stories that will please them! And, as always, these stories are free, offered with love, as a gift to pay forward the delight that I’ve gotten from these two! =D

Do you have favorite characters? Have you ever played ‘what-if’ with their lives? Joined a challenge?

Are you looking for something fun to read this weekend? You can find many stories, in many genres, by up-and-coming authors, right here at StoryFest – including, of course, “Letters Unsent”.

So what are you waiting for? Come on in, the reading’s fine! =D