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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Platitudes and Truth

I can do anything I set my mind to…

Strong words, but not true, not really.

No matter how valiant my effort

Despite my desperate motivation

I can’t love my baby boy back to life

Or prevent my own eventual death.

When I think of…

The way we use words as platitudes

And pretend that they are truths

I think we cheat ourselves

Sell away our deeper power

For a moment of feeling encouraged.

I feel…

There are things we can’t prevent

Things we can’t make happen

Like love and life and death

The audacious spontaneous immutable

Facts that define all existence.

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

And the transcript for this Day One poem:

Dream-chrysalis

I curl into

the comforting warmth

of my blankets

like a butterfly

in my cocoon.

Sleep is

my

chrysalis.

Dreams

my

transformation -

Images, tastes, textures,

memories, emotions

sights, sounds, scents -

Create the silken shelter

from which I emerge

changed and changing

and soar into

the new day.

Come read and watch other poets!

OctPoWriMo Day 12: Daughter of Vulcan; Son of Earth

 

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twelve!

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

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

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

Today’s prompt was to write a poem about desire. I’ve kinda doubled down on this one: The poem is about a passion that couldn’t be predicted, and, as anyone who’s read here before may have noticed, its subjects are a particular passion of mine (if you’re new, try clicking here; I think you’ll see what I mean!).

There’s a word list, but I only used a word or three:

  • desire

  • wanting

  • fascination

And, just because I can, after the poem, you get a video clip of the scene that inspired it!

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!

Daughter of Vulcan; Son of Earth

“Logic above emotion”.

The needs of the many outweigh

The illogical desire of the one.

So I was told when I was a child

Taken to Koon-ut-kal-if-fee

To be Promised to a boy

I pleaded and hid but the will

of the many prevailed.

I was sealed to Koss

And Koss was sealed to me.

Logic above emotion.”

But he is here, so near;

Too much of his body revealed

Smooth strong muscle bared skin

His words sharp edged slicings

Lirpas cutting through to my core

Blades sharper than the sands

Under my seven year old knees

When I was sealed to Koss,

And Koss was sealed to me.

“Logic above emotion”

But he slices through reason

His weapons his bold passion

His blue sky eyes his sharp voice

Nothing of logic, all pure emotion

Conviction clear in every word

Demanding I set a wrong right.

And in the midst of this cascade

Of human behavior unleashed

He offers me – kindness and

The pleasures of touch

But I am sealed to Koss

And Koss is sealed to me.

“Logic above emotion”.

The needs of the many outweigh

The illogical desires of the two.

But I’m still sealed to Koss

And Koss still sealed to me.

Trembling fingers; quickened breath.

Sharp-bladed words, exploring touch

Musk-male human scent inviting

More touch, deeper breaths

Daughter of Vulcan; son of Earth

Now I yearn for a man called Trip

And Trip illogically yearns for me.

“Logic above emotion.”

The needs of the many outweigh

The hungry fascinations of the two.

Barren mantras crumble beneath

The potent wonder of each caress

Passion far stronger than logic.

Quivering flamelets in every breath

No words can undo this desire

What use is reason to my soul

Or a tradition devoid of feeling?

My beliefs shudder, duty a bond -

Why must I be sealed to Koss

When Trip is here, wanting me?

This poem comes from my Story a Day May Twitter Fiction; the original 140 character story, meant to read like a Vulcan koan, is here.

And now, as promised…skin, touching, arguing, tension…these two are delicious with blue lights and decon gel….just sayin’!

Find More Lusty Poems Here!

Settling Into My Nest: October 12, 2014 Update

 

Join us or learn more here!

Is it really already week into the round? I guess I was busy writing, and didn’t spend so much time marking the passing of days…

But here we are, alreasy, six days in. I haven’t been marking the days as much as I’ve been living them…and the last two have come with a badly abscessed tooth and a holiday weekend…I’m managing, but I look a little like a lopsided chipmunk with one cheek full of nuts and the other empty. Hopefully, the swelling will go down before Tuesday, but, well – there’s clearly some dental work in my near-immediate future…

My theme for the round is Nesting, and I’m doing more of that the last two days, since the pain is sapping some of my energy and motivation. I’m doing minimal hometending, so the chaos isn’t overwhelming, and I’m hoping to be able to get back to it soon. In the meantime, there’s poetry, and blogposts, and plotting, and my two classes to play with….

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

October Focuses:

  • OctPoWriMo

  • Short Story Revisions for Submission

  • NaNoWriMo Plotting

Blogging:

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

  • All C and C posts mapped through December 1.

  • All WIPpets mapped out through November 12.

  • Next WIPpet post in drafting stages.

Blog all 31 OctPoWriMo poems. On target.

  • 11/31 completed.

Share each feature post to 3 diverse places. Target attained!

  • 3/3 (counting hashtags as locations, at least for now).

Maintain blogging schedule; find a comment rhythm that supports a 2-3 day turnaround. Scheduled posts on target; commenting not so much.

Writing:

Complete rough draft of Perchance to Dream. On target.

  • Reread the scene I left dngling at the beginning of the round.

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

  • As of midnight on Saturday, Goal/Motivation/Conflict/Disaster for 23/60 scenes.

  • Once these are done, I’ll write scene summaries and Cheat Sheets – and then I’ll be done with the plotting. =)

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

  • 11/31 poems completed.

Editing:

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

  • Exercise 4/5 in progress for story 1/3. These will become my priority as soon as NaNo planning is complete.

  • Both other stories are at earlier points in the revision process.

Hometending:

Continue cleaning and organizing my study. On target.

  • Quite a lot of progress here on Thursday night. Pictures will come at some point.

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

  • Spent several hours enjoying the space, with and without guests, over this session.

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

  • Email cleared and sorted. Now to keep it that way during NaNo…

Continue using calendar app to manage my time. On target.

  • Mostly just for future post mapping, this session.

Lifetending:

Move Play Jar to a more visible area. Target attained!

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

Stay current with my two FutureLearn classes; Shakespeare and His World and Exploring Play. Not as much as I would like.

  • Week 3 starts today.

  • Shakespeare: Week: 2. Exercise: 9/13.

  • Play: Week:1. Exercise: 13/15.

  • Hoping to catch up at least one class by the end of this week.

Fitness:

At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week. Target attained!

  • Did some reorganizing in my study.

Dance, swim, or play physically with kids at least once each week. Target attained!

  • Took a brief walk with the kids; a little dancing.

Use Wii balance board for 10 minutes at least twice weekly. Target attained!

  • Used board Sunday, Monday and Wednesday; up to 38 minutes per session.
  • Sidelined by fatigue and pain. Hoping to be back to it soon.

Plan at least two monthly excursions that promote physical activity. Target attained!

  • Apple-picking and museum visiting. Check.

Nutrition:

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

  • 5/5. 3 salads, 2 smoothies.

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

  • 5/3: Added a carrot and a banana to my existing count.

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

  • 3/3.

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

  • Done on Tuesday.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly. Target attained!

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

Find more ROW80 posts here!

OctPoWriMo Day 10: Shattered Landscapes, Healing Soul

Learn more right here!

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Ten!

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

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

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

Today is World Mental Health Day, and the prompt was to discuss mental health and/or healing. The poetry type prompt was an acrostic or ode…I chose to write an ode.

My life has been touched by mental illness in a common – and often overlooked- form. I am the product of an abusive childhood, the child of parents who were once abused children, themselves.

Too often, there’s a code of silence that surrounds abuse, and much about it that blames the victim for the mistreatment. Silence and shame are basic tenets of abusive relationships; I have siblings who have reacted with rage and shame because I dare to speak about my childhood experiences, and label them for what they were –

But there were places in my life that helped me to survive. There was love and laughter and the magic of words and animals, nature and learning. Somehow, and I’m not really sure how, I survived. It took me some time to understand the nature of my childhood, and more time before I learned a new way of being that I hope will ensure that my own children will perpetuate a new pattern – one in which children are loved and respected, and where parents have other, more peacefully productive ways of

Shattered Landscapes, Healing Soul

I owe

So very very

Much to the harsh

Tortured places that

Carved molded and honed me

Fractured vistas scattered with blossoms

Littered with jagged broken cliff edges

Calm still waters and stormy oceans

Avalanches and earthquakes and

Blistering wildfires that consume

Everything living in their path

Who I am and how I live

Carried within me

Shaped and

Formed

By places and

Forces that made me

Roaring geysers spew forth

Toxic waters from earth’s deeps

Driven by heat and fierce pressures

Blasting and shaking lands all around

Poisoning the trees from their very roots

The water of life turned to ravaging death

There was poison in the landscape of my life

Poison handed down and down and down

Untold generations’ secretive torments

Intense pressure boiling from within

Below and beneath everything

Erupting outward, flashing

Furious searing rage

Fever bright crack

Pain so sharp

Anger-fueled hand

My plump smooth cheek

Bearing tearbathed red proof

Echoed and joined by the storms

The spewing spittle-hail as lightnings

Screamed into my face, his terrifyingly warped

Far far too close as I cowered away crouched small

To hide the soft places from the raining blows

Shatterings of my fragile inner terrain

Shattering – and strengthening

Tenderizing and gentling

Softly tucked within

Safe-sheltered

By the tumble-broken

Landscapes and rough jagged

Edges of fractured crumbling cliffs

Hidden buds of self’s freshening promise

A chance to burst forth in beautiful healing life

Kissed by bright spring sun caressed by gentling wind

My blossoms grown in the crevices of rocky rubble

The cool soft shadows, the soils of old decay

Taking nourishment wherever I found it

Growing and healing those wounds

Protected out of firing range

A peaceful soul’s core

Kept safely snug

In wreckage

Bloomed

 

Get More OctPoWriMo!

Plotting a Poetic Nest: October 8, 2014 Update

 

Learn more or join in! Click the icon!

So, what have you been up to the last two days?

For me, it’s a brand new Round of Words – two days in, and 78 to go!

I’ve been fairly focused, thus far, with blogging and OctPoWriMo and plotting The Earth Doth Move, next month’s NaNoWriMo novel-to-be. I’ve gotten some good exercise, and explored the worlds of Shakespeare and play.

I haven’t gotten to any editing thus far, and hometending has been sporadic, since it was my Accomplice’s weekend, and the priority was connection and errands, rather than keeping house.

I’m happily engaged in my projects-of-the-moment, and I think I’ll stop here, so that I can get back to them…

May all of our next days be joyfully fertile!

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

Far and Away…

October Focuses:

  • OctPoWriMo On target.

  • Short Story Revisions for Submission

  • NaNoWriMo Planning On target.

Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

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

  • Mapped out ideas for most of my features posts for October and November, using my calendar app.

  • Went through my 13 page Comment Source File, and sorted most posts into categories, so that I can develop them into blogposts. In some cases, I assigned them a tentative publication date.

Blog all 31 OctPoWriMo poems. On target.

  • 7/31.All on time, thus far, and I’m loving the challenge.

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

  • Shared one post with hashtags. It’s a start.

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

  • I tend to fall behind from Saturday to Monday, which is my most intense blogging of the week.

 

Because….PUMPKINS!

Writing:

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, as my NaNo project.

Finish planning/ plotting The Earth Doth Move by October 31.On target.

  • Completed the planning stage pre-round, and began plotting.

  • All plot points sketched for 3/3 POV characters.

  • All connecting scenes sketched out for 2/3 characters.

  • Named and mapped first ten scenes in Master Scene List; 10/60 complete.

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

  • 7/31 poems written.

Surveying the Vista!

Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

Clean up files.

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

  • Made a significant dent.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Continue using calendar app to manage my time. On target.

  • Not every day; more as a guideline than a requirement. It’s definitely helping me to organize my many projects.

Vibrant Still Life!

Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

Stay current with my two FutureLearn classes; Shakespeare and His World and Exploring Play. On target.

  • Fell behind during the weekend blogging blitz; caught up with Shakespeare and catching up Play.

Continue to meet and make plans with friends. On target.

  • Tentative local plans for Friday; firmer, out-of-state plans for end of month.

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

At least one workout at the Y each week. Target attained!

  • Five straight days of Wii Fit meant a little less energy today; I adapted.

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

  • Added reps/weight on several activities.

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

  • Very tired; managed .35 miles in 10 minutes – a little slow – then stopped for the day.

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

  • 6.49 miles in 30 minutes. New bikes at the Y and fatigue slowed my pace.

Build to one half mile walking/jogging on the track each week. On target.

  • 2 laps, one at a slow jog. That’s 1/7 mile.

Add time on elliptical, arc trainer, and/or rowing machines: goal is 10 minutes on each, by end of round. On target.

  • Rowing machine: Started last week with 1 minute. This week 2/10 minutes.

  • Arc trainer: 1/10 minutes.

Use Wii balance board for at least 10 minutes at least twice weekly. On target.

  • Used Wii for 28 minutes on Monday. 1 / 2 sessions for the week.

Plan at least two monthly excursions that promote physical activity. On target.

  • Apple-picking last Friday. 1 /2 for the month.

  • Plans to go to the NYS Museum and perhaps swimming on Friday.

Applelise!

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

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

  • 1 Smoothie/ 2 salads: 3/5 for the week.

  • 1/2 Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 nut/seed /fruit blend

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

  • 2/3 vegetables (red bell pepper halves); 3/3 fruits (apple; plum; Concord grapes)

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

  • 1/3 (whole grain roll)

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

  • 1/1 French onion soup.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly. On target.

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

Bounty…

 

A Nesting Time: My ROW80 Round 4 Goals

 

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Yes, I know that Round 4 doesn’t begin until tomorrow – but I’ve got whole-round goals, and October goals, and the thought of sharing both in one post makes me head spin a little. So, today I’ll share my goals for Round 4, and get myself back in that Sunday/Wednesday updating rhythm. Tomorrow, for the “official beginning of the round, I’ll post my October goals – and, of course, on Wednesday, my first update, which should be enough to re-establish my ROW80 mojo!

What does autumn feel like to you?

For me, early fall is like a big inhalation – full of energy and possibility. The middle part of autumn feels like a pause, a gathering- something’s on its way, but not quite ready to break. The later part of the season is like a long slow exhale….settling in for a slower, deeper space, a more reflective, dreamy mood, as winter slips or roars in.

So, this seems like the perfect round to focus on nesting – beautifying our home and preparing it for winter – a time of creation, here, and cocooning more inside, where it’s warm and snug; updating and streamlining my online presence; clearing out physical and virtual files; and assessing what I’ve accomplished this year, so that I can plan for the next.

With this in mind, here are my Round 4 goals!

Stretching toward treasure.

2014 Blogging:

Focus on layout and design aspects of my Blogging Action Plan.

  • Update shanjeniah sidebar and bio.

  • Review and update Blogging Action Plan.

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly, build queues, answer comments, and share diversely.

  • Queue all November posts for Coffee and Conversation and Wordless Wednesday features.

  • Share each feature post to 3 diverse places.

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

Brainstorm what I want in a website; move The Unfettered Life to a spiffy new home.

  • Draft a Rough Website Plan; stay in contact with Kristen as I develop ideas into a vision.

Stretching into a leap of faith!

2014 Writing:

Complete rough drafts of To Be or Not to Be, The Stars Are Fire, and Perchance to Dream.

  • Complete rough draft of Perchance to Dream.

Draft another novel in the Trueborn duology series, as my NaNo project.

  • Finish planning/ plotting The Earth Doth Move by October 31.

  • Complete rough draft of TEDM as my November NaNo project.

Complete first revision passe for Chameleon’s Dish; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

  • Continue first revision pass for Chameleon’s Dish.

  • Continue readthrough/pre-revision notations for Blood and Breath.

Freewrite on the ideas I’ve had for the unwritten portions of the story.

  • Write rough sketches for all as-yet unwritten volumes in the Trueborn duology.

  • Plot a rough schedule for creating first drafts for all.

Complete OctPoWriMo Challenge; write 31 poems in October.

Putting on a smile!

Editing 2014:

Revise all poems for Queen of My Infinite Spaces; until satisfied with the results.

  • Do first revision pass on each poem.

Complete Deep Revision process with my three short story WIPs.

  • Complete process for all stories.

  • Submit all stories to World Unknown Review.

2014 Hometending:

Continue physical and virtual hometending plans – resetting rooms, cleaning files, and inhabiting my study.

  • Complete the family room reset.

  • Begin the massive kitchen reset.

  • Explore the 52 Weeks of CHaOS program, beginning in October.

  • Continue cleaning and organizing my study.

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

Clean up files.

  • Clean up all files on laptop. Organize in a rational, intuitive manner.

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

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

  • Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

  • Read Smart Change.

Apple cheeks! =D

2014 Lifetending:

Stretch and find new ways to blend the facets of my life with intention and awareness.

  • Move Play Jar to a more visible area.

  • Return to exploring the slips inside – in a playful, FUN way!

  • Read the 9 TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

  • Complete my two FutureLearn classes; Shakespeare and His World and Exploring Play.

  • Continue to meet and make plans with friends.

Seek out playful new ways to move and challenge my body.

  • At least one workout at the Y 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 to 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, at least twice monthly.

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

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

  • Buy and begin using resistance bands at home at least once weekly.

  • Set up Wii balance board and use at least 4 days weekly, for a minimum of ten minutes.
  • Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.
  • Plan at least two monthly excursions that promote physical activity.

Natural beauties!

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

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

  • 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.

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

  • Read Intuitive Eating.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Complete and submit my sponsor post.

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

Silly selfie!

OctPoWriMo Day 3: In the Apple Orchard

 

Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Three!

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

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

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

Today’s poetry type is tri-fall, and the word prompts were:

  • sweet

  • candy

  • sugar

  • indulgence

As difficult as yesterday’s poem was, today’s poem was a joy -to write, and to live. It didn’t hurt that the kids and I decided to go apple picking…from pain comes wisdom, and from sorrow comes new appreciation of joy…

I’ll let the poem and the images say the rest!

In the Apple Orchard

We head out into air

Crisp and clear

The promise of branches laden

With the treasures they bear

Far and near

A mother, son, and a maiden

Nature’s candy so sweet

Gold green red

Indulgence nature’s treasure quest

To find sun-sugared treat

Spirits fed

Our bags are full; we take a rest

Sustained by fertile Earth

Fall weather

Silly snapshots, sips of water

Together

Return walk filled with mirth

Fulfillment, with son and daughter.

Need More OctPoWriMo?!