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?

**

WIPpet Wednesday: “About My Ears…”

 

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 penultimate 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!

Convoluted WIPpet Math So That I Get My Way:

  • Today is January 21, 2015.
  • Math: All digits played with this way: 1 + 2 + 1= 4; 4 x 2+ 0 =8; 1+5=6: 4+6 =10: 8+10= 18; 18-10=8….I know I could have done that in a far simpler way, but I’m way overtired, and I like playing number games from time to time.
  • You get 8 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… Trip was maybe about to learn what T’Pol‘s ‘extenuating circumstances’ were when those ears of hers picked up on something he couldn’t hear… today, we learn what T’Pol hears, and talk a bit about ears, too…

We’ll have some of this….because you KNOW this little cell interlude isn’t going to ease all the tension between these two!

Another few seconds that seemed to stretch out almost forever, until T’Pol said quietly, “There are four people approaching. I believe that two of them are Captain Archer and Ensign Sato, and that they, too, have been taken captivee. Their footsteps sound -” I could feel her frowning, trying to find a word that fit. “Reluctant – as though they are being forced.”

I kept my voice down, so I wouldn’t distract her too much. “I can’t hear anything. How far away are they? Can those pretty ears of yours tell that?”

“Two levels, perhaps three. It’s hard to be certain at this distance.” She half-turned back to me. “Commander Tucker – about my ears – “

I gave her the best innocent look I could muster – hadn’t ever fooled my mama, but T’Pol wasn’t Katherine Tucker, or even human. “Yes, Subcommander T’Pol?”

Her face softened, a little. “While I find your – fascination – with my auditory organs agreeable, in private, I request that you refrain from referencing it in the presence of the remainder of the crew. It’s a matter of – “

“Protocol. I know. And I’ll try to make it look like I’m still ticked off that you’re here, and that I haven’t gotten past the fact that your’e a Vulcan long enough to see that you’re a helluva sexy woman, and that you didn’t straddle me and damn near strip me, and that I have no idea at all how damned good you feel in my arms, not to mention the way you taste, and -“

“Trip.” She turned back to me, and there was something like fear in her eyes. She must’ve been scared, because the next thing she said was pure human. “Please.”

“Sorry,” I told her, and meant it. “I’ll behave.” At least, I would damned well try.

Can Trip behave? And are they headed for salvation, or deeper trouble? Is there ever going to be a bed and a door in their future?!

Come back next week to find out more!

And eventually, THIS!

Yes, I’ve counted..applying decontamination gel to Trip’s right shoulder five times isn’t exactly, well, logical…and that’s before the ear joke…but after Trip’s eyes and fingers head south, and other parts head – ahem, further north…

JusJoJan Day 14: Quadratic Erotica?

Just Jottin’ Through January!

So, do you have any confessions to make this fine Wednesday night?

No?

Maybe it’s just me, then -

Because I do have a confession to make. It’s an oldie but a goody…

Ready?

OK…deep breath…here goes….another deep breath –

I wrote erotica in most of my high school mathematics classes.

Yup. Sure did.

To be fair, and in the interest of full disclosue, it was extremely bad erotica – like many things, erotica is better when you’ve got some experience, or at least a working knowledge of how the subject works – and, well, I didn’t. Not even a little bit.

Which, of course, led to vagueness and sometimes flat-out impossibility, even given that most of my characters weren’t human.

All writers need to start somewhere, right?

And so I started in high school math classes, and this is a big part of the reason why…

The Quadratic Beats. Public domain image, via Wikipedia.

No, I’m not joking. The quadratic formula was a catalyst for my foray into classroom eroticism. I felt an instinctive need to hide from that Big Scary Monster. I didn’t understand it, or what it was meant to do. My teachers simply said we were to learn it, and, if they talked about the why, it was quickly drowned out in problem after problem – none of which I could solve.

Yup, that’s right. Never, not once, in my high school career was I able to solve for x, when it came to the quadratic formula. It flummoxed me at every turn, and nothing seemed to change that. I was hopelessly lost, and I stayed that way. This was long before the advent of YouTube or the Internet, way back in the mid-80s, when I had the teacher and the textbook.

I definitely didn’t have this teacher to educate me….

Once, one of my teachers realized that I was writing far too many words in my notebook for it to be math-related. She came to my desk, and, with her teacher’s authority, took my notebook and began to read, while I tried very hard not to die of mortification – I wasn’t nearly confident enough to share freely, at that point in my life, and, even if I had been, I wouldn’t have chosen to share with someone who had the power to land me in a great deal of trouble. I watched her face – and it grew redder and redder as she read. After a moment, she looked at me silently for an infinity of seconds, then said, “Never bring this garbage into my class again.”

I think it was about three weeks before the need for distraction, and an outlet for my raging hormones and imagination, led me to disobey her. I don’t know if she knew; if she did, she chose to ignore it, which was maybe better for both of us. As a forty-five year old woman, I’ve thought about my Quadratic Eroticism, and I wish that I could apologize for embarrassing her in front of the class. “I was bored, and I hate the subject matter,” may have been true, but there are places to write erotica, and places not to write it – and a public high school math class falls into the latter….

But, on the other hand….

It was those early, very bad stories that fueled me, that trained me to write regularly, and prolifically. I still explore some of the same characters, and they still find themselves in erotic situations. Not all the time, anymore, and in a more accurate and believable way (I’ve leaned I few things, after all, in the better part of three decades). So, even if I never can solve those durned quadratics, I didn’t waste my time, either –

Which goes to prove that what kids learn is not always remotely related to what the teacher teaches.

How about you? Did you have any subversive hobbies or passions when you were in high school? Can you solve a quadratic equation? Or do you relate more to the video below?

Jot on over and read more mathin’ posts!

January 14, 2015: Vision and Revision

ROWin’ to my goals!

So, have you seen any good fireworks lately? Some places have them for New Year’s, so you might have.

Me, too.

Mine, though, have been more internal. The flashbangs of new ideas, and the sizzlesparkle of new connections and layers in older ones. Things are shifting, and happening, but a lot of it is the type that will show up later, and cumulatively, like the Grand Finale. It won’t necessarily look like much, in the next few updates, but it’s like setting up for the show. A lot happens that doesn’t show, in the dark, when magic paints the sky as if it was Lite-Brite

So it goes…

  • 2015 goals

  • Round One goals.

January Update #3:

  • Goals attained: blue with strikethrough: 14

  • Goals in progress: green: 27.5

  • Goals-in-waiting: red: 17.5

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.

Writing:

Write1Sub1:

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

Submit “Morning Coffee” to World Unknown Review.

  • Reread all completed exercises.
  • Began Exercise 3/5.

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.

  • 1/31 stories sketched.
  • Broken Bow (series pilot) with notes.
  • 6 possible story threads to ponder.

The IDIC Romance:

Research fan fiction sites.

Choose one for first submission.

A-Z travel posts:

Create list of A-Z post topics.

  • List about 1/5 done.

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.

  • 13/31 days.

Editing:

Chameleon’s Dish:

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

  • .5/6.5 January scenes completed.

  • Revising Midpoint 1/3.

The IDIC Romance:

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

  • Extenuating Circumstances”: in revision.

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

Write1Sub1:

Revise “Morning Coffee”.

  • In revision. Step 3/5.

Choose at least 1 more story for 2015 revision.

Social Media:

Blog Maintenance:

Maintain regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.

  • Some comments answered/visits made.
  • Posts up to date.

Build blog queues:

Write at least 1 general queue post:

Write 1 “special” WIPpet.

Blogging Action Plan:

Review Blogging Action Plan; highlight for revision.

Review Lovely Chaos Sidebar; make list of desired changes.

Twitter and Facebook:

Visit at least twice weekly.

  • 1 /2 – Twitter.
  • 3/2 - Facebook.

Pinterest, LinkedIn, WANATribe, ect:

Visit at least one weekly.

  • Quick visits to Pinterest and LinkedIn; breaking the ice.

Share posts – mine, and others’:

Share at least 3 items a week.

  • 2/3; to Facebook Writer Page.

Blog views and followers:

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

  • 11/31.

Hometending:

Family room reset:

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

  • Began sorting train bin.

Clean the Lego and battle game drawers.

Kitchen reset:

Clean all kitchen counters to left of sink.

  • Emptied “the Bowl bowl”.

Rehome pans and serving dishes to pantry.

Inhabit my study:

Clean and organize floor.

  • A bit; sweeping.

Replace calendar and candle.

Use the space at least once per week.

Personal Administration:

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

Maintain inbox below 100 messages at least twice weekly.

  • Yes; Monday.

Homeschool Administration:

Complete 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.

  • Awaiting final revision.

Keep visits up-to-date.

  • Caught up.

Lifetending:

Oregon vacation:

Make list of what needs doing.

  • In contact with Jim’s sister and others.
  • Much conversation on this end; plans firming up.

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.

  • Free to Learn by Pam Laricchia; reading complete.
  • Reading: 1 /2
  • Reviews: 0 /2

NNWM local group:

Continue attending write-ins whenever possible.

  • Attended latter part of Sunday’s write-in.

Interact at least weekly online.

  • Done twice Monday!

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.

Paying it Forward:

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

  • Chapter One of beta read 1 /2.

Fitness and Nutrition:

Workouts:

At the Y or a strenuous activity at least weekly.

  • Y on Tuesday.

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.

  • Found classes that will fit my availability; also a water aerobics class I may try.

Intuitive Eating:

Read.

Cooking/ Food Preparation:

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

  • First steps: shopped, and bought a magazine with simple recipes.

Maintain weekly nutritional quotas; adapt as needed.

Weight:

Maintain or reduce weight; continue monthly checks.

Take a ride on the ROWboat!

Round One Goals: Re-Visioning My Life

Come ROW with us! =)

Hey, all! Have you enjoyed ringing in the new year? Ready to get back into the swing of things with familiar routines, the tried and true underpinnings of your life? Or, like me, are you taking a look at what you’ve been doing, and thinking that a change just might do you some real good?

Today is January 5, the beginning of A Round of Words in 80 Days 2015 – the writing challenge that knows you have a life. If you aren’t familiar with ROW80, you can learn more about it by clicking the icon above.

2014 was a banner writing year for me. I finished with all of my pending drafts completed, a significant increase in blog activity – which means I have many more online friends -, many ideas to develop, and, to cap off this goodness, I was honored to have two essays chosen for inclusion in an upcoming nonfiction anthology, and my short story, “A Splash of Red”, published – for pay! – in the inaugural issue of World Unknown Review.

I might have achieved some of these things without being involved in ROW80, which focuses on autonomous goal-setting, adaptability, self-defined achievement, group support, and accountability…but I don’t think I would have accomplished nearly so much. I’ve learned a tremendous amount in the three years I’ve been a part of the amazing community that Kait Nolan has built, and I expect that that trend will continue through this year and beyond.

My 2015 theme is exploration. I have a set of annual goals, which I will update at the end of each round. I’ve used these goals to create my Round One goals, a subset with the theme of Re-Visioning. I’ll use the beginning of the year to reacquaint myself with my goals, and with projects that have been set aside for a while.

I will update the Round One goals at the end of each month.

Beginning with my Wednesday update, I will be using monthly goals – a smaller subset of the Round One goals listed here. These will be updated twice weekly, on Sundays and Wednesdays.

OK, that takes care of business….shall we begin?

Writing:

Writing and living!

Editing:

  • Chameleon’s Dish: Revise all plot and pinch points, prologue and epilogue (14.5 scenes).
  • The IDIC Romance: Revise stories through “Tigress T’Pol”. (5 stories).
  • Write1Sub1: Revise “Morning Coffee” and “Peach Liqueur Love”, using Sarah Selecky‘s Deep Revision process; choose three more short stories to revise in 2015.

Editing Playground!

Social Media:

  • Blog Maintenance: Keep regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.
  • Build blog queues: 3 general posts; 1 each WIPpet and C and C posts.
  • Blogging Action Plan: Review/revise plan; overhaul Lovely Chaos sidebar.
  • Twitter and Facebook: Visit at least twice weekly.
  • Pinterest, LinkedIn, WANATribe, ect: Visit at least one weekly.
  • Share posts – mine, and others’: Share at least 5 items a week.
  • Blog views and followers: Increase blog views to 50 at least 10 times per month; followers to 700; WordPress followers to 222.

More time spent with this….

Hometending:

  • Complete resets/reorganizations: Complete family room reset; clean all kitchen counters; organize/remodel island; and rehome pans and serving dishes to pantry.
  • Inhabit my study: Clean and organize floor and project table; replace calendar and candle; use the space at least twice per week.
  • Personal Administration: Clean, organize, and backup Desktop and Writing Bullpen files’ sort Leisure Time Reading file; maintain inbox below 100 messages at least twice weekly.
  • Homeschool Administration:Complete second quarter homeschool reports for both kids, due March 15.
  • Photo digitalization: Scan Arizona and Oregon travel photos; save in organized files with backup.
  • ROW80: Submit sponsor post; keep visits up-to-date.

Little boy, big vacuum, long ago!

Lifetending:

  • Oregon vacation: Prepare for and take vacation trip in February.
  • Kindle ebooks: Read and write reviews for the 6 books on my cloud written by writers I know.
  • NNWM local group: Continue attending write-ins whenever possible; interact regularly online.
  • Meditation: Experiment with guided/unguided meditation at least once a week.
  • TBR Stacks: Read 3 books bedroom TBR pile.
  • Smart Change: Select a goal to focus on, using the methods in this book.
  • Starfleet: Reconnect/possibly rejoin USS Albany group.
  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, at least twice per month, doing something of value to us both.
  • Paying it Forward: Complete at least two beta reads and promotional blog posts for other writers as requested.

With my Mobile Muse!

Fitness and Nutrition:

  • Workouts: at the Y or a strenuous activity at least weekly; with Wii Fit at least once weekly.
  • Walk, dance, swim, or physical play: With children, spouse, and/or dog three weekly.
  • Practice: Resume t’ai chi or yoga classes by end of round.
  • Intuitive Eating: Read and begin considering.
  • Cooking/ Food Preparation: Develop a repertoire of 10 self-made food options that support my nutritional goals.
  • Weight: Maintain or reduce weight; continue monthly checks.

These goals are a part of Kait Nolan‘s ROW80 Writing Challenge - See what other participants are planning.

JusJoJan Day 2: Read, Read, Prompt, Repeat…

Click the icon to enter the blog hop!

Do you find the new year disorienting?  Are you a little at a loss when you finish a major project?  

 

Yeah, me too…

So, yesterday, I wrote a few hundred words on my beginning of the year, ROW80, post-novel drafting plans before I remembered Just Jot It January. Today, I remembered the other thing I forgot – that there were going to be prompts, and that I wanted to follow them…

Did I mention that I get a little addled when I finish a novel draft? Let alone two in two months (one, at over 272,000 words, written beginning to end)…?

My mind is swirling and whirling, not settling on anything for long, but instead flitting here and there, on a whim, or something less than a whim- the shadow of a whim….

Where was I again…?

Oh, right. That prompt.

For January 1- 10, it’s reading.

You would think that I’d have a lot more to say on the subject. I’ve been doing in since I was 4, after all…but, at this moment, my mind’s on low idle, off chasing random shadows and butterflies and flickering thoughts…

But I do have some ideas:

  • Things I learn from reading fan fiction
  • Reading books written by online friends
  • Learning to read….
  • “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”
  • Kindle and print reading.
  • Reading my own writing – in an anthology!
  • Reading as my children grow up…
  • ‘I read…’

Wow, look at that. In a few minutes, I listed enough ideas to cover all the reading prompt days. Pretty cool, no?

I’m feeling pretty satisfied with my up-all-night, slept-four-hours- self. I think I’ll actually develop these ideas over the rest of the “reading cycle”. I mean, this is Just Jot It January, not Overthink it January….

And I think I’ll leave it at that, for today… =) Want more JusJoJan fun? Click the icon at the top of this post, or right here!

One of many stacks of books waiting to be indulged in!

OctPoWriMo Day 30: Apart With Love

Learn more here!

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

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

This year, I’ve followed many of the prompts, and had the double joy of play and discovery…

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

Today’s prompt was to write a poem about “the day before”….I picked the day before an arranged marriage, from the point of view of the soon-to-be jilted lover….

Apart with Love

The day before

The world fell apart

Apart like we would be

Apart from now on

On my own now

On her world

World that owned her

World that claimed

Claimed her rights

Claimed her choices

Choices stealing away

Choices gone tomorrow

Tomorrow too soon

Tomorrow shredding joy

Joy in our journey

Joy of yesterday

Yesterday spent in bed

Yesterday a feast

Feast of lovemaking

Feast of sorrows

Sorrows in her touch

Sorrows in her eyes

Eyes holding so much

Eyes flinching with pain

Pain she felt

Pain we shared

Shared life shared stories

Shared love to be severed

Severed without options

Severed and surrendered

Surrendered to culture

Surrendered to tradition

Tradition a prison a trap

Tradition strangling hope

Hope for tomorrow

Hope for new beginning

Beginning a life a love

Beginning with another

Another man to hold her

Another type of life

Life without her

Life not worth living

Living without her touch

Living so near and so far

Far from the freedom

Far from my love

Love burns so bright

Love blooming too late

Late

Bright

Get more of days before!