Coffee and Conversation/Wordless Wednesday: Unschoolers Rock the Beach!

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my family was driving on a highway late at night. Streaks of headlights and taillights painted the dark. For the first time, I realized that each car held people living lives as important to them as mine was to me.

I wanted to know what those lives were, and to share my own..

Didja miss me?

I know, I know! I generally post Coffee and Conversation on Mondays…or, sometimes, Tuesdays. Late into the night on Wednesday is a first…

This is partially a Coffee and Conversation post, and partially a Wordless Wednesday post….because, after all, this is the home of Lovely Chaos! =)

I was camping with my kids and a wonderful group of fellow unschooling families.

I could spend thousands and thousands of words writing about the goodness of the weekend. But, instead, I’m going a different route.

Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing images of various aspects of our weekend. If a picture is worth a thousand words, there’s a story held in these.

Let’s start with Friday, at the lake.

These aren’t all the images or moments; just a few of the most sparkling instants I captured with my little blue Canon point-and-shoot.

Have you ever had an experience that seems too big and rich to be reduced to language, or even pictures? Where was it? Who were you with? Want to chat about it?

My friend Sylvia, the consummate Jewish mama, even on the beach, baked yummy chocolate chip cookies for our pleasure!

WIPpet Wednesday: A Taste of Sole?

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It is hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengelmaven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

Hi there! This month, I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo. I’ve finished one WIP, The Stars are Fire,and have made it to the halfway point in another, Perchance to Dream. Neither of these are ready for public consumption, yet, so…

I’m continuing with snippets from my Story A Day May Challenge: Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction exploring the interspecies relationship of T’Pol and Trip, in a project titled The IDIC Romance.

Disclaimer: T’Pol,  Trip, and all the rest of Star Trek are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement intended. I just want to play with them, and I’m careful!

A bit about the challenge:

Story a Day is just that- a story every day in May. To make the challenge more interesting for myself, I used all of the prompts offered throughout the month.

The stories are roughly sequential, with various tones, POVs, and voices, due to the particular prompts that were in play during the writing.

For those keeping track:

This is the first installment of Story #4, Tigress T’Pol . The prompt for this story

was to write a story of exactly 2000 words. An additional guest prompt from Heidi Durrow invited us to explore passion in this story.

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 9, 2014.

Today’s math…

  • 16 sentences, adding the month and day.

This snippet is told from Trip’s point of view. The wounded Klingon, Klaang, had been abducted from Enterprise. In an attempt to find him and bring him home, Captain Archer has ordered them to Rigel 10 – the first populated alien world Trip has been to. It doesn’t help that he’s paired with T’Pol, who clearly knows her way around, and seems to think she’s in charge. And then there’s that little matter of the odd history they’ve shared…

This is an add-on scene for the pilot episode: Broken Bow Part 1. I‘ve done my best to extrapolate without violating series canon.

“Hey, T’Pol, how long are we going to pretend that nothing happened between us?”

I was a little shocked at myself; I’d planned to wait her out, see if she ever brought it up. But then, I had a long history of sticking my foot in my mouth, and I was apparently hungry for the sole of my boot.

“I know of another merchant. Stay with me, and attempt to restrain yourself.” T’Pol acted like I hadn’t said anything, or maybe like anything I said was beneath her notice. Where was that alluring temptress she’d been in Fusion? She was as full of surprises now as she’d been in that club – I’d give her that much. Too bad they weren’t at all the ones I’d been hoping for ever since she walked into the Capn’s Ready Room.

Maybe she’d forgotten all about that night – but, if she had, why had she looked at me that way when she first came in? For a second or two, it was as though we were back there, with the music flowing through us. Even now, I could feel it – a deep awareness of her, more than physical desire, something I’d never felt before. I wanted more.

But maybe she just wanted to forget. She was as damned arrogantly superior as all Vulcans, like she knew more than any human ever could. Probably thought it was way beneath her to do something so primitive as to feel desire, or anything else, for some human male she saw in a club.

Will Trip get a reaction out of T’Pol? Will he regret it, if he does? Who’s really in charge here? Will they find the missing Klingon? Come back next week for the next excerpt!

Story A Day commentary…

Full version of the story…

These posts are the seeds of a project that will germinate over the next months, so input is especially valuable. Already, new stories are weaving themselves into the fabric. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my phase pistol on stun ..for the most part.

Want more WIPpets?


Coffee and Conversation: ROW80 Round 2 Retrospective


Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again – time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, myfamilywas 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...

So, what about that ROW80 thing, anyway?

A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80), is the creation of Kait Nolan. It’s “the writing challenge that knows you have a life”. Rather than an intensive writing marathon with rigid rules, ROW80 divides the year into four 80 day segments, with breaks between. Each writer devises their own personal goals, then gives an accounting once or twice a week. If the goals aren’t working, they can be changed at any time.

It’s an idea that’s brilliant in its simplicity and flexibility. Through it, I have learned a great deal about myself- as a writer, and as a person. More, I’ve found a supportive community of fellow writers at all levels – I can learn from those who are further along the road than I, and offer support and advice to others, as well.

It’s break time now; Round 2 is over, and Round 3 begins on July 7. So, it’s a good time for me to take account of where I stand, in order to get a sense of what I’d like to do in the next round.

For 2014, I’ve set annual goals; each round, I make steps toward these in the form of smaller, incremental goals. Some of these goals will be somewhat altered for the next session, since I have a better idea of what I can accomplish at the midpoint of the year than I did at the beginning.

Curious? Click this icon!

So, without further ado, here are the goals I addressed in Round 2, and their status:

2014 Blogging:

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

  • Mostly, I set this aside, for this round.

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

  • I did fairly well with regular posting, and with answering comments.

  • As far as queues and sharing, not so much.

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

  • I have a better idea of what my eventual website will look like.

  • As for The Unfettered Life, it will be incorporated, in some form, into that website.

2014 Writing:

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

  • TBONTB complete.

  • TSAF nearly complete at 138K (it’ll need some cutting in the edits, for sure!)

Draft two more novels in the Trueborn double series, as NaNo projects.

  • I’ve got some extensive basic notes on one character’s story arc for one story.

Explore my gestating Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction novel concept, as well as the Last House story collection concept, in the form of short pieces or flash fiction, during April and May. (Overstrike; completed!)

  • The Last House concept was renamedKifo Island Chronicles, and will be developed as a series of novellas.

  • The Enterprise fan fiction project was named The IDIC Romance, and will be offered freely online as a serial project.

2014 Editing:

Complete first revision passes for Chameleon’s Dish and Bounded by a Nutshell; make pre-revision notes for Blood and Breath.

  • Chameleon’s Dish in revision; set aside for most of this writing round.

  • Pre-planning notes for Bounded are complete.

  • Blood and Breath has had a read-through.

2014 Hometending:

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

  • Progress made in resetting rooms (but a slow process!) and in the study.

  • File cleaning was more organic; with the introduction of a snazzy new computer.

2014 Lifetending:

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

  • I got together with some friends I hadn’t seen in longer than I wanted.

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

  • More thought being given to fitness and related goals.

Do you set long-term goals? Do you enjoy moving toward them as part of a group, or are you more of a soloist in that regard? Or, like me, do you prefer a blend of personal attention and group accountability? Please pull up a seat, and I’ll pour you a fresh cuppa while we chat!


Creativity, Exponentially: ROW80 Update, 6/22/14

Curious? Click the icon!

Well, hello there, and welcome to another ROW80 Sunday update!

Ever been so creatively charged that it almost feels that you are breathing your creative expression? That, even when you’re doing something else, you’re still creating, beneath the surface?

When I last reported here, I had about 6,000 words toward my JuNoWriMo total.

Things have changed, since then. In a big, happy, word filled way! And, better yet, I’ve had time for other things, too…

In other news, Wednesday will about finish out this round. I’ll make my final accounting on Sunday, with some thoughts about what I’d like to be doing until Round 3 starts on July 7. I’ll likely post something on ROW80 days over the break, because I like keeping that rhythm.

Where I often feel a lull at the end of a round, I’m definitely in a surge, just now. I’m going to keep this short, so I can get back to the storyweaving! =D

My focus for the remainder of this month:

2014 Blogging:

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

“Blogging Maintenance”: Post regular features; answer comments; make return visits. On target.

  • 3/3 weekly posts.

  • No comments answered Saturday; but caught up till then. I made lots of blog visits this week.

2014 Writing:

Complete the JuNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words on The Stars Are Fire and, if applicable, Perchance to Dream. On target, and nearly caught up to where I ought to be, at this point in the month.

  • New Words: 18,689 -yup, you read that right! =D

  • Word Count to date: 25,074/ 50,000

  • WIP Stats: Scene 48/60; 113,524/~120,000

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue family room reset: Move computer desk and pantry to new positions. On target.

  • Slow progress on clearing the porch.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Maintenance goal: 5 salads/fruit smoothies per week. Almost...

  • 2 of each this week, thus far…4/5 attained.

Evaluate other fitness and lifetending goals. Something’s gone amiss, and I think I need some time and attention to what that is, what I want to accomplish, and what might be a better way to get there.On target.

  • I’m feeling more positive and proactive, and I’ve got the beginnings of a plan of action for Round 3.

  • I visited some dear longtime local friends I hadn’t seen in years too long! =)

Sponsor Visits:

Yes, but I’m going to beg off on the listing of these, this time…words are callin’ my name!

Other ROWers ROWing!

The Phantom of Creativity : ROW80 Update, 6/4/14


Curious? Click the icon!

Well, hello there, and welcome to another ROW80 Midweek update!

So, I’ve had a few days away from Story A Day, but not from T’Pol and Trip. They’re still very much with me; I’m reading fan fiction, and watching episodes. It’s actually helping me to get to the kernel of my (unrelated) WIP.

Last night, Annalise and I shared The Phantom of the Opera together. It was her first “adult” show, at Proctors Theatre, one of the “grand old theaters” in our area. It was a gift to be with my almost-10-now daughter as she marveled at the décor, the staging, the music…she got the jokes, and snuggled in when the chandelier sparked and sizzled. She comported herself with admirable restraint for the Force of Nature that she is, and lavished fellow theatergoers with compliments on their wardrobes. I tend toward plainness, but she’s had a sense of style nearly since birth (as in, she was trying to grab jewelry and shoes in stores months before she could walk, and exhibiting definite wardrobe preferences, well before her second birthday).

And me?

I loved the soaring music even more live. I’ve been a Phantom fan since my teens, but I’d never seen it live. This was the staging from London’s Royal Albert Hall, and it was lush and evocative…and, during the masquerade scene, there they were again, whispering about how much they’d love a masquerade party, where a certain Vulcan could let herself go at least a little, with none but a certain complicit human the wiser…

It definitely added dimension to the show, and that scene is still tickling my imagination…

Our After the Show Glow!

About that WIP…

I’ve written thousands of words in the last few days. The vast majority have been meta-words – writing about the writing, trying to recenter myself in the story. I’ve had a breakthrough or two of a minor nature, this morning, so I’m hopeful that I’ll gain momentum when I return to writing later today (giving the thoughts a few hours to simmer, first).

One of the difficulties I’ve been having is that my POV character for this scene is lost and broken when we rejoin her. There’s very little, if anything, she’s certain of, at this point, and it’s been a little tricky climbing back into her skin when I’ve been dealing with two characters as definite as Trip and T’Pol are.

But we’re finding our way back to each other, gradually…with a little inspiration from Phantom, and a lot from Enterprise….

Have you ever found yourself unintentionally writing a story while at a play or a concert? If so, do you set it aside, or indulge it with secret fervor? Do you tell anyone that you enjoyed the performance in this way? Do you find the it enhances or detracts from the show?

Now, this session’s progress: I only update those goals I advanced during the current session.

Focuses for June:

  • Homeschool Reports (due 6/15)

  • Guest post

  • JuNoWriMo

Theatre After the Show

2014 Blogging:

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

Blogging Maintenance”: Post regular features and Sunday Post; answer comments; make return visits.Mostly on target- missed a post.

  • Sunday Post for June 1, 2014

  • 0/4 weekly posts.

  • Missed Monday; I got lost in rereading The IDIC Romance and other Enterprise fan fiction, and totally forgot I was writing a blog post! I could have worse problems, and far less pleasant distractions. =)

  • Comments and return visits were up to date Monday; more waiting for tomorrow’s session.

Build Features Queues: Add to Idea/Concept Files; develop post outlines; create posts; ship.On target.

  • Ideas developing organically; I’ll begin a list soon.

2014 Writing:

Complete the JuNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words on The Stars Are Fire and, if applicable, Perchance to Dream. On target; a slow start.

  • Words to date: 1,107 / 50,000

  • TSAF word count: 89,800/~ 120,000

2014 Hometending:

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

Continue family room reset: Move computer desk and pantry to new positions. On target.

  • A little more porch-clearing.

Continue claiming my study: Clean and reset corner between work spaces.

  • Began clearing out the corner in question. Expect to have that step completed by Sunday’s update.

Complete and submit homeschool reports for both kids by 6/15. On target.

  • Jeremiah’s ELA and Library Skills sections complete.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Maintenance goal: 5 salads/fruit smoothies per week.On target.

  • 2/5;both salads.

Evaluate other fitness and lifetending goals. Something’s gone amiss, and I think I need some time and attention to what that is, what I want to accomplish, and what might be a better way to get there.On target.

  • Giving this some thought; I have a few ideas, but none quite ready to share.

At Starbucks, Pre-Show.

Sponsor Visits (some belated, my apologies!):

You can check up on the other ROWers, right here!


Story A Day May 31: “Views of a Wedding”

Hello, and welcome to my 2014 Story A Day Challenge,Day 31(and done!)If you’d like to read today’s story without commentary,click here.

I am basing my stories uponStar Trek: Enterprise, and the intriguing interspecies relationship between T’Pol of Vulcan and Trip Tucker, who is very, very human.



This story is a fan fiction extrapolation of an unwritten scene based upon the  Star Trek: Enterprise episode, Home.

T’Pol and Trip are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement is intended.

Today’s Story A Day prompt is to write a story focused on “An Ending and A Beginning ”.

Home is a pivotal episode for T’Pol and Trip, as T’Pol is herded into the marriage arranged when she and her fiance, Koss, were children. She’s come to Vulcan with Trip, who remains to support her as she makes a choice that hurts them both.

On her way to kneel with Koss for the ceremony, T’Pol clasps Trip’s hand, pulling him back for a moment, so that she can stand on tiptoes and kiss his cheek.

I extrapolated a story that explores the ceremony and the immediate aftermath, and proposes that T’Pol gave Trip a small gift in remembrance.

The prompt was open-ended; the wedding itself is an ending, and a beginning…experienced by three people deeply affected by it.

This story is long – over 6500 words, and I think it wandered more than it will. I did some moderate revision, and know that it could have been 10,000 words or more, if the day had stretched longer! =D

It was a great place to end this story – for now. But I will be back, to begin the next phase, before too long!

And now,an excerpt of my story,Views of a Wedding”. For the full version, click the title.

A young woman knelt upon the pressed sands of her homeworld, her fingers lifting to cross to the precise center of the table. The man across from her mirrored the first posture, but their fingers hovered just at the range at which the bioelectric pulses could be sensed – the prelude to the joining. He felt – strange. Too calm; too still. She was required to meet the man’s blue eyes, but it was difficult to do so. She was aware of a deep, illogical desire to refuse, to rise, to flee…to burst into tears that would be understood by only one person here.

She was a Vulcan. She would not cry.


A little off, a man stood in borrowed finery, watching. He watched her fingers lift, in concert with the man. He wondered what she felt; was it different than what she felt with him? Was it better, with a Vulcan man – a man of her own people? He could only see her face in a thin slice of profile, made misty by the sheer cowl. She’d worn a cowl the first time he saw her, too – but he’d known. He was aware of an almost desperate need to charge across this damned sand garden, grab her, run away, pull out a communicator he didn’t have and demand a beamup from a ship that was 16 light-years away, in Spacedock. Instead, he stood there, and watched her preparing to sacrifice herself.

He was on Vulcan. He wouldn’t cry.


Aesthetically, she was beautiful. Almost, illogically, he could imagine that she had been sculpted by a master. He was privileged to have the chance to combine her genetics with his own. So his parents had declared, since they were children, and chosen for one another. He, however, was uncertain it was enough. Ought children not be raised in a home where a certain affection – or at the least regard? – existed between their parents, where both were available to them? He could feel the resistance, the distance, that separated them; she would never feel other than a stranger to him, and she wanted nothing more of him. In truth, she wanted this as little as he did. Perhaps he should end this, now, before the next posture began.

They were Vulcan. They must try.

You can find all of my May Challenge stories at my “official” Story a Day blog. My commentary on the process of creating these stories is here.

Interested in reading more Story A Day offerings?






Coffee and Conversation: Looking Back on the Alphabet

Grab a cuppa and a comfy seat, and let’s chat a while.

It’s Monday again - time for Coffee and Conversation.

When I was six, my familywas 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 the last Monday of May, and, as I move through the final week of my Story A Day challenge, it seems like a good time to do a little online hometending. One of the things I’ve been meaning to do is to write a reflection post for this year’s Blogging from A-Z April Challenge, now that I’ve had a little time and space from the intensity of the challenge itself. Read my pre-challenge Big Theme Reveal post.

  • I chose to do this challenge because it was a perfect vehicle for a writing project that had been swirling around my mind for a year, and was ready to be born. This challenge, whose only requirement is to write 26 alphabetical posts, allowed both a framework, and the freedom to explore in whichever ways my creative impulse carried me.

  • I chose to do it because there’s something satisfying in participating in a challenge with a group of others, pursuing the same goal, each in their own unique way. This meant others sharing in the journey. New blogs to discover, new friends to make. New ideas to ponder, and be expanded by…

  • And the excitement of writing and stretching myself to complete and ship my post, 26 out of 30 days.

So, did I get what I wanted out of this challenge?

Let’s take a look.

  • That nascent idea became Kifo Island Chronicles - 26 stories of characters residing, for various reasons, on a no-cost private hospice island. Some are dying; some are mourning; some are desperate for a chance to live.

  • By the end of the month, I knew that I want to use this source material to create a series of novellas. Each will contain between 2-5 interwoven story arcs. There will be some recurring characters, and themes and arcs may encompass more than one novella, although each will stand alone.

  • For each character, I have a brief character sketch, and a rough outline of their story arc. I can see many intersection points, and ways in which diverse characters will intertwine in various ways.

  • I have 17,915 words of story; and plans for much more. For each of my characters, I have one crystallized story that captures them and their conflicts.

Yes, it’s a long way from a completed series – or even one completed arc. But every project must begin somewhere – and I began with play, and now have a solid beginning.

And how about that group participation?

I discovered some wonderful blogs and bloggers during the challenge. This seems like a perfect time to introduce a few of my very favorites:

Badge of Honor!

Obviously, there’s lots of ideas and creative fodder here! =)

I’ve also picked up a few new blog followers, myself!

But, more importantly than the stories, or the camaraderie, or even the challenge, is the fun, the feeding my own creative life, the pouring forth of my daydreams…

Will I be back next year, for another take on this challenge?


Enough about me – how about you? Have you undertaken a purposeful challenge, lately? What were your goals and hopes, going in? What inspired you? Did you get out of it what you wanted? Expected? Were there unexpected benefits?

I’ll brew up another pot with the new coffeemaker, and set out some tasty treats (we have muffins!). Why not tell us all about it? =)

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Lilac Scented Senses

Lilac Loveliness!

Welcome to Stream of Consciousness Saturday Linda G. Hill‘s weekly prompt to encourage stream-of consciousness writing. This week’s prompt is “The Five Senses”.

Here’s my entry for today:

I’m sitting in my study – a hodgepodge little cubby that we made several years ago by bolting three tall bookcases together to divide off a small section at the end of our long, narrow living room. This space has served a few different purposes, since, but, mostly, it’s been a cluttered and unusable mess more useful to felines than humans.

But two years or so ago, I decided to claim it. It’s been a stuttering, stop-and-go process, and my vision keeps changing as I learn more about myself and my creative process. Today, there is progress, and I am sitting, half-uncomfortably, on my new upholstered chair, my long legs precariously perched on the spinning office chair, which is a little too high for the job. I have plans to add a footstool, because writing here seems to tap into my creativity more than sitting at a desk does.

I’ve got my new laptop on my lap – but a table to set it on might be a good idea, too, even if I don’t always use it. It’s a different perspective, sitting here, and I like it. I can survey the space (okay, still too much clutter to really enjoy the right-now of it, but I have a vision of what it will be, and I can hang onto that. There’s a lot of dust in here, and I have plans.

But there are also grace notes – more and more of them as I go along, as I embrace my affinity for turquoise with a lampshade and a partially-decorated bulletin board. I’m learning that, for me, creative flow is deeply tied to the sensual. So there’s a little turquoise coffeepot, flavored honey straws, and a basket for snacks, coffee and tea. I can feed my hunger, quench my thirst – and engage my taste buds…

From the other side of my bookcase wall, the local news is talking to itself, or maybe to the spinning ceiling fan. I can hear a lawn mower off somewhere. I couldn’t get ours started today, so I weeded around a raised garden bed instead…

Today’s treasure….the wafting of the sweetly potent scent of lilacs. It was a harsh and persistent winter, and spring woke slowly and lazily this year. But then we had warmth and sun, followed by cool and rain, and three days back, Annalise was prematurely planting wildflower seeds in the as-yet unweeded front flower bed, because when you’re nine, sometimes you just can’t wait. I was gathering laundry, and puttering my way through the beginnings of what promises to be an intensive cleaning project to clear out and repurpose our enclosed front porch. She looked out across the yard, and said, “Mommy, the lilac trees are saying, ‘I love you’ all over the place.”

Our lilac trees aren’t really trees – they’re large shrubs. But our house is a mobile home with an addition, so it’s low, and the “trees” reach higher than the roof. And there they were – resplendant in lavender blooms, when, a week before, the leaf buds were just beginning to open. It always takes me by surprise, their swiftness and splendor, that delicate and powerful aroma carried on the air.

Why did she think they were saying, “I love you?” Because years before our children were born, when my husband and I lived a different, vagabond life, working in assorted national parks, he would sometimes stop our big old Dodge truck along the road in Oregon or Montana or Florida, and pick me purple wildflowers, because, for our wedding, we gathered vividly purple wildflowers from a swampy area, and used these rather than expensive arrangements. We came up with a catchphrase, “Purple flowers mean I love you.”

And so, over a decade later, and well into another, they still do.

Today, I breathed in that lavender- colored, lilac-scented love, and knew I wanted to bring it inside – to my study, so they will waft into the words that I write, the worlds that I weave, and, from here, to the rest of the living room…I took my time in selecting and arranging, and I was certain to keep some of the green leaves, for contrast, and because they’re shaped like hearts to add to the love. I have deeper purples and lighter, for variety, and I placed them in my blue ceramic pitcher.

I set them on a dusty high shelf, where they can be seen as I enter the room. Nope, I didn’t dust. I will, eventually, but I have other things going on today. I’m looking at them now, as the baby robins nesting in the eaves set up a ruckus that means that the parents have brought food…the children are yelling happily from the trampoline; I can hear them as an undercurrent to the house noises.

And they are lovely, there on that shelf that holds both treasures and dust. It’s beauty and decay, in one place.

To me, it a perfect demonstration of the Lovely Chaos that is my muddled and magical life.

Have you engaged your senses lately?  How?  

Read more Stream of Consciousness Saturday, and feel free to jump in!

The Lovely Chaos of a Study Shelf. =)


WIPpet Wednesday: In the Beginning…

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday -K.L. Schwengel’s weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is May 14, 2014.

  • Today’s math…
  • 5+14+7= sentences. (adding the digits of the date: month, day, and year) .

This month, I’m offering up a taste of my Story A Day May Challenge. This month, I’m exploring my fanfiction concept for Star Trek: Enterprise, and the interspecies relationship between T’Pol and Trip, in a project tentatively titled The IDIC Romance.

The snippet I posted last week engendered conversation – and also confusion. Quite a lot of confusion, as a matter of fact. If there hadn’t also been some positive feedback, here and elsewhere, I would be more discouraged.

Instead, I’ve realized that this is a story best told from the beginning. You see, T’Pol is not what most people more familiar with Spock would term “your standard Vulcan”. From the pilot episode of Enterprise, she was – different. Intense. Sensual. And she could kick serious behind, too.

Need a bit of proof?

She also gives as good as she gets, when a certain human Chief Engineer decides to explore her frontiers.

She challenges preconceptions of what a Vulcan is, and Enterprise is set a century before the original series. On the whole, the Vulcans of her time are much more volatile and emotive than those we’ve seen in later incarnations. There are reasons for this; but they aren’t revealed until Season Four.

So, that being said, it might help to let go of T’Pol’s Vulcanness as a definition of who she is. It matters – and it doesn’t. She’s paradoxical; she’s passionate; she’s fallible; and she’s fascinating.

This snippet is an extrapolation from the “jazz club” scenes in the episode “Fusion”. I’ve estimated that this exchange happened about 14 months before the first mission of Enterprise NX-01, the first Warp 5 starship.

And now, please allow me to reintroduce you to T’Pol, who had slipped out on her own (and against protocol) to explore the entertainments on a strange new world known as Earth...

The woman’s heeled boots rang a muffled staccato pattern on the fog-swirled pavement as she moved toward me. The powerfully pungent human odor was layered over with some compound that contained synthetic versions of the chemicals found in plant matter. It lodged in my throat, and I repressed an urge to cough. She carried herself tensely, and kept looking about her, as though she thought there might be danger from any direction, and in any instant.

There was an unspoken warning in her manner. Perhaps, it was foolish for me to be out alone at night, here.

On Vulcan, no one need be concerned about being alone after dark, except upon the Forge, where anyone would do well to remain aware and prepared. But on Earth, male passions were – different, and perhaps far more dangerous; I had received the standard training in avoiding these volatile and sexually rapacious beings. If I remained in the compound, I had been told, I would remain safe.

Any human male who thought I would make easy prey would be quickly disabused of that idea. I had been a member of the elite division of the Security Ministry specifically because of my small stature and proficiency in the martial disciplines of a dozen worlds. However, if I were driven to defend myself, I would certainly be found out, and there would be consequences, perhaps even dismissal.

Therefore, logically, I must avoid such confrontation.

A couple passed by, leaning into one another – passion, or an attempt to keep their precarious balance?Their scents were ripe with alcohol, and their laughter commingled with percussive force, assailing my ears. I though of my small room at the Consulate, my meditation candles, the comfortable, known quiet of life among my own people. There would be no laughter there to confuse me, no risk of becoming the target of uncontrolled male desires.

It had been a foolish choice to go out alone. I would go back -

Music drifted on a salted ocean breeze – strange, wild- like the cry of a le-matya upon the Forge, seeking its lost mate…

I couldn’t resist the call of the music. It filled me as the nectars had, and, changed and changing, I followed, trusting instinct rather than logic. It was liberating to give myself to the sensations, much as I imagined humans did.

I walked for some minutes, the music filling me, until I came to a pair of doors. Light and the stomach twisting smells of cooked animal flesh came from within; I could hear that there were at least a dozen humans inside. I turned, scanned the road in either direction – and then, I slipped through, blinking.

What waits, on the other side of the door? Will T’Pol be discovered? Is she safe here? 

The full version of the story

Story A Day commentary…

These posts are the seeds of a project that will germinate over the next months, so input is especially valuable. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my talons sheathed…for the most part.

Want more WIPpets?

I loved this bit…it’s not so often that Jolene peeks out from behind T’Pol’s face…


Welcome to My Sunday Post for May 11, 2014 !

Curious? Click the icon!

Since my ROW80 updates are getting a little crowded, this seems to be an interesting way to update some things without adding to the clutter. I’m still figuring out what form I’d like this feature to take, so please expect there to be evolution as the weeks pass!

Venus: Bringer of Peace:

Last Week on My Blogs:


ROW80 Updates:

Story A Day May:

All my Story A Day posts.

Stories Sans Commentary, for the purist.

The Unfettered Life:

Jupiter: Bringer of Jollity:

What’s Next:

This week, I’ll be posting daily Story-a-Day posts here at shanjeniah, with commentary on how the writing went; episode trailer, and maybe other goodies, too.

There’ll also be my regular posts:

  • For Coffee and Conversation, I’ll explore why I don’t agree with the blanket glorification of mothers. Hint: being a mother does not necessarily mean you treat the small people in your care with love and respect. Not being a mother doesn’t make non-mom women lesser beings than those of us who have reproduced.
  • WIPpet Wednesday will host an excerpt from The IDIC Romance – I’ll be going back to the beginning, because last week’s post seems to have been a little confusing!
  • For Wordless Wednesday, I’ll share images of my kids and I (and that guy we live with may put in an appearance or two!)
  • And for Stream of Consciousness Saturday, I’ll be doing just what the title suggests – writing a stream-of-consciousness post on the weekly prompt.

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Cool Stuff I’ve Found along the way…

Life Stuff: (Eventually, there will be current pictures, just not today!)

  • On Sunday night, I cut my hair. I have a LOT of thick, wavy hair. I usually let it grow all winter. It was a rainy week, and my hair was sproinging all over. I pulled it out of my face; but then I got a headache. I chopped a tribble’s worth, and now I’m feeling light and breezy and in tune with oncoming spring.
  • Tuesday was a banner day. I finished my ROW80 sponsor post, at last, and I got tickets forAnnalise and I to see Phantom of the Opera early next month. Her first adult show, and, since neither of the guys want to go, it’ll be a girls’ night for us.
  • On Thursday, a certain nine-year old was heard to say, “On my 85th birthday, I want to go to the zoo, go into the crocodile habitat, and be killed by an atlatl.” A little disturbing for a mom to hear – but it certainly wouldn’t be a cliched way to shuffle off this mortal coil! And it makes the short list of things I never thought I’d hear, before I was a mother!
  • Friday and Saturday were filled with jokes. Also, I used the lawn mower for the first time this year! That means, to my mind, that spring is well and truly here!
  • Saturday also brought me a new discovery, thanks to Story A Day. A writing prompt led my to Gustav Holst‘s Planets, and I’ve fallen in love with Jupiter and Venus, which inspired a scene between my main characters. I’ll be listening to these again and again, and trying out some of the other movements, as well.

Want to join the Sunday Post fun?