Snuggling into My Nest: December 17, 2014

Wanna ROW with us? Another round starts in January!

Can you believe Hanukkah has begun, and Christmas Eve is only a week away? That we’re down to the final two weeks of 2014?

Do you have big plans, for these two weeks?

I’m wrapping up. Not gifts, so much – we have a rather non-traditional approach to gift-giving, here, and the kids have pressed ‘purchase’ on their Amazon wish lists, so, other than stocking stuffers, that’s done.

Instead, I’m wrapping up my 2014 writing; and looking forward to 2015.

It’s been a banner year…I’ll have more on that for Round 1, 2015; but, for now, I’m recovering from our weekend trip, making steps to get our home back into a state approximating chaotic order. I’m making progress, and getting closer to the end of my NaNo novel…and wrapping up other projects.

And I’m giving myself some time and space to relax, and dream, and allow that to help me shift to a new year, and new goals.

And, on that note…

Thanks to George Takei’s Facebok page! <3

December Focuses:

  • First Quarter Homeschool Reports for both children. Completed 12/15.

  • Finish my two “hanging” WIPs.

  • Set plans for 2015 Writing.

Target Attained:

2014 Hometending:

Complete and submit both childrens’ first quarter homeschooling reports.

  • Both done and submitted on Monday. Free now until March.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Continue to meet and make plans with friends.

  • Recently visited our friends, the Woodmans, in New Jersey.

2014 Fitness:

Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.

  • Reduced weight by 1 pound from October weight; didn’t check in November.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Water

  • Fish or seafood (shrimp).

  • Soup: 2/1 (French onion).

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

In Progress:

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits.

Maintain blogging schedule.

  • I’m dragging my Second Serving Sunday post. Post-travel tired; family time. Will get to it today or tomorrow.

Catch up comments and visits neglected during NaNoWriMo.

  • Momentum stalled; still backlogged. Will change this by the end of the round.

2014 Writing:

Complete rough draft of The Earth Doth Move: at least 2,000 words a day until complete.

  • Sunday: 2,048 words.

  • Monday: 4,126 words.

  • Tuesday: 3,070 words.

  • Scene: 56/60. At the beginning of the first resolution scene.

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.

  • I’ve reread most of the current draft, in preparation for planning and new writing.

2014 Hometending:

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

  • Puttering and general cleanup; no big progress.

Clean up files:

File or delete Inbox email backlog; maintain below 100 messages.

  • A little above 100, on average. Playing post-travel catch-up.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Write a rough draft of my 2015 writing plans, by round and theme.

  • General notes and impressions; will write a draft later this week.

Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

  • Nothing new. By the weekend, though.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Read the 3/8 TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

Return to exploring the slips in my Play Jar – in a playful, FUN way!

  • Nothing new.

2014 Fitness:

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

At least one workout at the Y each week.

  • Very mellow cardio workout; first time back in three weeks. I was very fatigued, post-travel.

Meet or increase existing cardio goals.

  • Treadmill:.5 mile/10 minutes; about 2 minutes off my target/mile.
  • Recumbent bike: 6.2 miles/30 minutes; 1.8 miles off target.

At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.

  • Nothing new.

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

  • Nothing new.

Plan/execute at least two activities/trips each month that promote physical activity.

  • 1/ 2 complete.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Salads/smoothies: 3/5; (2 salads; 1 smoothie).

  • Nuts: 1 / 2 (pumpkin seeds).

  • Whole grains: 2/3 (dry multigrain cereal; whole grain roll).

  • Fruits/vegetables: 2/3 (broccoli; clementine).

Celebrating New York’s Dutch roots…our way!

Not Yet:

2014 Writing:

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

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

2014 Hometending:

Clean up files.

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

2014 Fitness:

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

  • Maintain or increase weight-bearing exercise.

  • Use Wii balance board and at least 3 days weekly, for a minimum of ten minutes.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Greek yogurt.

  • Read Intuitive Eating.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

Write a rough draft of my Round 1 sponsor post.

  • Wrote something that may form the basis of the draft; will play with it later this week.

That’s it for me! If you’re so inclined, cheer on other ROWers here!

Movable and Inspiring Nest: December 14, 2014

Wanna ROW with us?

Hey there! How are ya?

The kids and I have been visiting our dear friends, the Woodman family, since late Thursday. We live in upstate New York, and they live in central New Jersey…but Skype and text chats can only go so far, so, a few times a year, we load up the Outback and make the five-hour drive to our “second home”.

No one gets much sleep, but a tremendous amount of fun is had…the pictures will say it better than I can!

Writing is not as prolific for me, here – too many wonderful other things to do, and, after all, it’s not why we came, even if Sylvia is my personal patron of the arts and loves to have my typing away at her kitchen table, on the guest bed, or in her living room…so, while there is writing, the focus narrowed to blogging, the kids’ reports (nearly done, and due tomorrow), and my NaNo WIP, which is getting close to the resolution scenes, and still surprising me…

But the inspiration? That will ride home in the car with us, later today, and be with me for some time to come…be on the lookout for many, many words in the next week or two!

Here’s looking at you and yours, Sylvia Woodman! You guys make me a better me! =D

Do you have personal friends who inspire you to go more deeply into your passions? Have you let them know what that means to you?

Creating her own ice cream volcano! Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

December Focuses:

  • First Quarter Homeschool Reports for both children.

  • Finish my two “hanging” WIPs.

  • Set plans for 2015 Writing.

Target Attained:

Build positive blogging habits – post regularly.

Maintain blogging schedule.

  • Finally “caught up”: but with a travel weekend, I still might slip a bit behind this week before I hit an even keel.

2014 Hometending:

Clean up files.

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

2014 Lifetending:

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

Continue to meet and make plans with friends.

  • Currently visiting our friends, the Woodmans, in New Jersey.

2014 Fitness:

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

At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.

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

  • Played “Emperor Penguin Catch” and went for a walk.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Water

  • Fish or seafood (crab cakes).

  • Nuts: 3 / 2 (pumpkin seeds; slivered almonds).

  • Yogurt: 2 /2.

  • Whole grains: 3/3 (dry multigrain cereal; whole grain challah bread; Cheerios).

  • Fruits/vegetables: lots: Number uncertain (romaine lettuce; extra veggies on sub; carrots; hummus; steamed broccoli; clementines).

    Soup: Tomato basil.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

Four friends, piling up for Minecraft fun! Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

In Progress:

2014 Blogging:

Build positive blogging habits – answer comments.

Catch up comments and visits neglected during NaNoWriMo.

  • Increasing momentum; there’s still a backlog.

2014 Writing:

Complete rough draft of The Earth Doth Move: at least 2,000 words a day until complete.

  • Wednesday: 3,505 words.

  • Thursday:    2,034 words.

  • Friday:         5,112 words.

  • Saturday:     3,002 words.

  • Scene: 54/60. Getting very close to the end; things are beginning to come together.

2014 Hometending:

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

  • Out of town – nothing new.

Clean files:

  • Nothing new.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

  • Added one item.

Complete and submit both childrens’ first quarter homeschooling reports.

  • Annalise’s report complete except attendance log.

  • Jeremiah’s report about two-thirds done.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Read the 3/8 TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

Return to exploring the slips in my Play Jar – in a playful, FUN way!

  • Nothing new.

2014 Fitness:

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

Plan/execute at least two activities/trips each month that promote physical activity.

  • Our trip to visit friends has included ice skating for Annalise; lots of physical play; and going for walks.
  • 1/ 2 complete.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Salads/smoothies: 2/5 (both salads).

I’m festive! Hats were a big part of this weekend! Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

Not Yet:

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.

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

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

2014 Hometending:

Clean up files.

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

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

  • Write a rough draft of my 2015 writing plans, by round and theme.

2014 Fitness:

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

  • At least one workout at the Y each week.
  • Maintain or increase weight-bearing exercise.
  • Meet or increase existing cardio goals.
  • Use Wii balance board and at least 3 days weekly, for a minimum of ten minutes.
  • Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Write a rough draft of my Round 1 sponsor post.

That’s it for me! If you’re so inclined, cheer on other ROWers here!

Besties at the ice rink, apres skate. Photo credit: Sylvia Woodman.

Sprucing and Pruning My Nest: December 10, 2014

 

Wanna ROW with us?

So, how are you doing, this late winter? Here in the frozen north, we’re wrapping up a two-day storm. I’ve taken advantage of a disparity in mine and the kids’ sleep/wake cycles to get in some words, move the reports forward, and evaluate my goals buffet, pruning some branches I’m not going to get to this round.

The next few days, the kids and I will be away, so I’ll be writing more hit-or-miss until at least Monday.

December Focuses:

  • First Quarter Homeschool Reports for both children.

  • Finish my two “hanging” WIPs.

  • Set plans for 2015 Writing.

Target Attained:

2014 Hometending:

Clean up files.

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

  • My box is clear, and I now intend to keep the level below 100.

2014 Fitness:

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

At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.

  • Snow shoveling.

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

  • Played ‘cat with ball’ with Annalise.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Water; Fish or seafood (crab cakes).

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

In Progress:

2014 Blogging:

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

Maintain blogging schedule.

  • Still wrapped up in story, and still a bit behind with blogging…

Catch up comments and visits neglected during NaNoWriMo.

  • Still very slow; but forward momentum.

2014 Writing:

Complete rough draft of The Earth Doth Move: at least 2,000 words a day until complete.

  • Sunday: 1,983 words. My first “almost” of the month.

  • Monday: 4.998 words (at least; didn’t chart.)

  • Tuesday: 4,082 words.

  • Scene: 51/60.

  • This was where much of my focus was, this session.

2014 Hometending:

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

Complete the family room reset.

  • More general cleaning.

Begin the massive kitchen reset.

  • We STILL have a kitchen counter! And it’s even a little cleaner!

Continue cleaning and organizing my study.

  • Organizing and sweeping.

Take time at least once a week to simply be in my study, as it is.

  • Nothing new.

Clean files:

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

  • Made the first pass. Cleaned/organized some story and novel files.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

  • Nothing new.

Complete and submit both childrens’ first quarter homeschooling reports.

  • Annalise’s report complete except attendance log.

  • Jeremiah’s report about one-quarter done.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Read the 3/8 TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

  • A few more pages of The Unschooling Handbook. 131/219.

  • 1/3 complete.

Continue to meet and make plans with friends.

  • The kids and I are preparing to visit our friends, the Woodmans.

Return to exploring the slips in my Play Jar – in a playful, FUN way!

  • Completed another slip, and snuggled up to someone special.

2014 Fitness:

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

Plan/execute at least two activities/trips each month that promote physical activity.

  • Ready to spend a few days with friends…there will be ice skating.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Nuts: 1 / 2 (pumpkin seeds).

  • Yogurt: 1 /2.

  • Whole grains: 1/3 (dry multigrain cereal).

  • Fruits/vegetables: 2/3 (romaine lettuce; extra veggies on sub)

Not Yet:

  • ‘Tis the time to drop a few of these until 2015 Round 1.

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 one post each for Coffee and Conversation and Wordless Wednesday features.

  • Create a potential sharing list for each feature (Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, blog hops, etc.)

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

  • Draft a Rough Website Wish List.

  • Give some attention/publicity to my Second Serving Sunday blog hop in the making…

  • Start a list of favorite Unfettered posts, with links.

2014 Writing:

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

  • Complete rough draft of Perchance to Dream.

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

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

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

2014 Hometending:

Clean up files.

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

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

  • Write a rough draft of my 2015 writing plans, by round and theme.

2014 Lifetending:

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

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

2014 Fitness:

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

  • At least one workout at the Y each week.
  • Maintain or increase weight-bearing exercise.
  • Meet or increase existing cardio goals.
  • Use Wii balance board and at least 3 days weekly, for a minimum of ten minutes.
  • Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

  • Read Intuitive Eating.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Write a rough draft of my Round 1 sponsor post.

That’s it for me! If you’re so inclined, cheer on other ROWers here!

A Nestful of Sleepy Excitement: December 8, 2014

Wanna ROW with us!

Did you miss me? I know, I know – I’m already a day late – I was writing!

It’s been quite a week, for me story-wise…it’s also been a largely nocturnal one, with a big storm, and some big news…

But I’ll say more about that on Wednesday – right now, I’m in a hurry to get back to my story….so I hope you’ll forgive my evasive tactic from my waitressing days – “Smile more; talk less.”

December Focuses:

  • First Quarter Homeschool Reports for both children.

  • Finish my two “hanging” WIPs.

  • Set plans for 2015 Writing.

Ahhh, the nocturnal life…

Target Attained:

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Water; vegetables/fruits (veggie wrap; broccoli; celery; carrots; cucumbers; grape tomatoes).Grains (whole grain rice and bread); Greek yogurt; salads/smoothies (4 salads; 2 smoothies). Fish or seafood (salmon; crab, shrimp).

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Visit my “team” twice weekly.

  • Visit other ROWers as time and energy permit.

Will we get THIS kind of snow?

In Progress:

2014 Blogging:

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

Maintain blogging schedule.

  • Still very wrapped up in my story world, and running a bit behind with blogging…I’m playing this by ear, due to the story being alive and homeschool reports to write. Maybe in the next week…

Catch up comments and visits neglected during NaNoWriMo.

  • Slow progress, here, but progress is progress.

2014 Writing:

Complete rough draft of The Earth Doth Move: at least 2,000 words a day until complete.

  • Wednesday: 4001 words.

  • Thursday: 7000 words + (forgot to chart).

  • Friday: 11,533 words!!! (all-time personal best!)

  • Saturday: 8,003 words.

  • Scene: 49/60

  • This was where most of my focus was, this session.

2014 Hometending:

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

Complete the family room reset.

  • General cleaning/organizing.

Begin the massive kitchen reset.

  • We have a kitchen counter! Who knew?!

Continue cleaning and organizing my study.

  • Organizing and sweeping.

Take time at least once a week to simply be in my study, as it is.

  • Sat in there with my pretty lights on…planning and dreaming.

Clean up files.

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

  • Levels still fluctuating, depending on other projects. Under 100, on average. Debris cleared.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

Continue using calendar app to manage my time.

  • Added a trip to New Jersey.

Complete and submit both childrens’ first quarter homeschooling reports.

  • Annalise’s report complete up to Geography; about 75% complete.

2014 Lifetending:

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

Read the 3/8 TBR books on the bookcase by my bed.

Continue to meet and make plans with friends.

  • The kids and I are preparing to visit our friends, the Woodmans.

2014 Fitness:

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

Plan/execute at least two activities/trips each month that promote physical activity.

  • Our plans to attend the Saratoga Springs Victorian Street Walk didn’t happen…people were up all night Wednesday, and asleep most of Thursday. Other plans being considered…and, with a big storm predicted for Tuesday, they may involve snow.

2014 Nutrition:

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

Maintain existing nutrition goals.

  • Nuts: 1 / 2 (slivered almonds).

Looking back on the year past…this was early January.

 

Not Yet:

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 one post each for Coffee and Conversation and Wordless Wednesday features.

  • Create a potential sharing list for each feature (Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags, blog hops, etc.)

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

  • Draft a Rough Website Wish List.

  • Give some attention/publicity to my Second Serving Sunday blog hop in the making…

  • Start a list of favorite Unfettered posts, with links.

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.

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

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

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

2014 Hometending:

Clean up files.

  • Clean up all Desktop and Writing Tidbits files on laptop. Organize in a rational, intuitive manner.

Develop new habits that support organization and productivity.

  • Write a rough draft of my 2015 writing plans, by round and theme.

2014 Lifetending:

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

  • Return to exploring the slips in my Play Jar – in a playful, FUN way!

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

2014 Fitness:

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

  • At least one workout at the Y each week.
  • Maintain or increase weight-bearing exercise.
  • Meet or increase existing cardio goals.
  • At least one strenuous home/yardtending activity each week.
  • Dance, swim, or play physically with kids at least once each week.
  • Use Wii balance board and at least 3 days weekly, for a minimum of ten minutes.
  • Maintain or reduce body weight – monthly checks.

Continue exploring nutrition goals.

  • Read Intuitive Eating.

ROW80 Sponsor duties:

  • Write a rough draft of my Round 1 sponsor post.

That’s it for me! If you’re so inclined, cheer on other ROWers here!

Artwork by Annalise, at age 7. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Second-Serving Sunday: The SQUEE! Edition!

A weekly peek backwards and a look ahead, in my little corner of the blogosphere

Last week in life:

  • NaNoWriMo 2014 wrapped up with a Sunday write-in (I’ve found my new weekly writing group!). My final word count for November – 167,303 words, a huge new record for me! I attended the after party; then started catching up with the rest of life (blog comments, hometending, reading, and those homeschool reports); fell right back into the novel, including a best ever single day of 11,533 words, and set a writing plan for December.
  • In other writing news, I finally posted the review I promised! And…cue the drum roll, please… I received payment for my short story, “A Splash of Red”, which means it will soon be appearing in the premiere issue of World Unknown Review! Don’t worry, I will post links when I have them!

And now, on to the week’s goodies!

Recently at shanjeniah:

Second-Serving Sunday: The Day-Late, WHEW! Edition

And now, last week’s features…

Coffee and Conversation:

WIPpet Wednesday:

SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday):

  • Uschooling Present: The prompt ‘present’ leads me to explore multiple facets of the word as they relate to our unschooling family.

ROW80 Updates:

  • Leaving My NaNo-Nest: I write many, many words as I finish NaNoWriMo 2014; and look forward to a mellower December.
  • A December Nest: I set some new goals for a new month…and keep on drafting!

What’s Next:

My writing plan for December:

  • Complete kids’ first quarter homeschool reports, due December 15. I’ve started my daughter’s report, as it’s the more complex of the two.
  • Complete rough draft my NaNoWriMo project, The Earth Doth Move, another Star Trek: TOS/Enterprise crossover fan fictiongreat progress this week; I’ve now got only 11 scenes left to write.
  • Complete rough draft of my “dangling” fanfiction WIP from July 2013 CampNaNo, Perchance to Dream. – 10 scenes left to write. I’ll finish this one after I finish TEDM.
  • Complete and post the review I promised a fellow writer a few weeks back. I finally posted this to Amazon! It was easier than I thought it would be. I will definitely be doing more of these, as I didn’t know how important they are for independent and self-publishing authors.
  • Draft a basic writing plan for 2015, with a focus for each season/round. I’ve given this a little thought, and will rough out ideas this week.

And on the blog:

In the Wilds of Internet-Land:

Life Stuff:

  • Another local NaNo write-in, a trip to visit our New Jersey friends, more writing, hometending, and maybe a swim with my girl…

Want to join in on the Second Serving Sunday fun? Here’s how!

WIPpet Wednesday:“That Query is Illogical”

 

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

I’ve been a little – remote- here, the last few weeks, as the new story devoured me whole. It’s not done yet, but NaNo is, so I’m stepping back a bit. I’ve got comments galore to answer from my lovely fellow WIPpeteers, and I intend to get back to visiting everyone, because I kinda haven’t been, and I want to see what all of your characters are up to, too!

NaNo is a wonderful form of madness….

The madness that is NaNo!

I’m sharing a snippet 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. Oh, and the word “Kill” appears especially for our WIPpet Mistress, who earned it! =D

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!

Last week, we time-traveled from the Suliban cell to the future. This week, we come back, to find Trip hiding in the corner, so that T’Pol can’t play with his hair…because that seems to get them both all hot and bothered (OK, at this point, pretty much everything does, but…).

Does it work? Does she follow him? Read on!

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is December 3, 2014.
  • My simple math: 16 mostly short paragraphs: 12+3=15, and one added as a December treat (one shabbos candle; one star; one snowflake; one month to go till 2015, one confused human in a cell….your choice!)
  • You also get the last paragraph from About a Thousand Years Ago..”, bolded, for context.

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.

 

I scrubbed a hand over my face and through my hair – damn, please don’t let her decide she needs to fix it again! Before she could, I whirled around and paced the three steps to the corner she’d gone to after that first kiss, about a thousand years ago, now…

It didn’t stop me wanting her, but it did mean I couldn’t touch her. I squeezed my eyes closed, as if that could help with the imprint she’d left on my brain, my body – my damned imagination..

I could almost feel her quivering, and her scent was thick in the little room, Her taste still lingered on my tongue, clean and spicily sweet, a little like honeyed ginger tea. “Gimme a minute or two….please.”

“Certainly, Commander.”

How the hell did she manage to be formal and sultry at the same time….? I gave up trying not to see her, and watched as she moved to the front of the cell. I remembered too late how much I enjoyed the rear view…damn, and damn again. This was a damn torture chamber – and torture had never felt so damned good…”Hey, T’Pol?

“Yes, Commander Tucker?”

“You don’t happen to be carrying a lockable door and a nice big comfy bed in one of your jacket pockets, do you?”

“That query is illogical.” She turned around to look at me, that little frown saying I’d confused her again.

“I know it is,” I told her. “I needed to think of something else. So, I can assume you’re not hiding a bed, right?”

“You may make that assumption, if you wish.” Her voice was as measured as if she was talking about the composition of water. But her eyes – those gorgeous eyes, their hazel hidden by dilated pupils – made a slow, sensual journey from the top of my head, where I swore I could feel her fingers in my hair and on my ears, to my throat, with her about to tug down my zipper, to – well – the part of my she’d ground herself against as though there was nothing else that mattered, in all the universe.

And, dammit, I was responding again, as if she was actually pressed against me – and her eyes glowed as she bit her lip. She looked straight into my eyes, and it was as intimate as though she was in my arms. “You’re an engineer,” she whispered huskily. “Couldn’t you- adapt – something that would – suffice?”

My body – or parts of it, anyway – sure as hell wanted me to tell her I could. So did most of my brain. I swallowed a whole damned Vulcan desert’s worth of parched air, and muttered under my breath, “If we’ve gotta stay in here much longer, it’s gonna kill me, I just know it.”

Then perhaps, Commander, we should abandon the attempt to fashion a bed or a door, and instead focus on escape. It would be – most unfortunate, if you were to meet your demise before the end of your inaugural mission.”

I blushed, and tried to get something out – anything- but nothing came. How the hell had she heard me? What other stupid things had I said, and how many of those had she heard?

T’Pol began feeling along the edge of the force field, standing up on her toes and reaching high, emphasizing the strong lines and curves of her body, and I itched to pull her close, forget everything but how we felt together…

Sexy as hell. She was definitely gonna be the death of me.

And I didn’t think I was going to mind, at all.

After all this, are they really going to stage a jailbreak? Is there a comfy bed and a lockable door in their future? And just how good are T’Pol’s ears, anyway? Come back next week to find out more!

Coffee and Conversation: Sometimes, You Just Gotta Na-Know, Y’Know?

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.

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

In high school, nearly 30 years ago, I had an assignment that asked me to describe the career we’d like to eventually have, and how we thought the advent of home computers might change the nature of that career.

I chose writing, and posited that the computer wouldn’t do much to change the 1987 current reality of writing. Sure, I reasoned, it might be easier to print using a keyboard and screen where I could fix typos without whiteout, and not have many many trees killed for my art, but computers couldn’t do the writing, because they didn’t have human experiences. They’d never be more the a sidenote to my writing – sort of a fancier, more efficient version of the Smith-Corona electric typewriter I received for graduation.

I didn’t know, then, what computers would come to be, in the next decade or two. I didn’t know about the Internet; Facebook and Google and Netflix and Amazon and blogging simply didn’t exist. Twitter was just a sound made by gaggles of little girls…or a flock of birds.

I didn’t know that the computer would become both a writing resource, and an outlet. I had no clue whatsoever what computers could be, and how vastly important a tool they would become for my writing life (not to mention life in general).

What do I mean?

Well, take absinthe, for example. My personal experience with the wormwood-infused alcohol is non-existent – well, OK, I know a person or two who’ve tried it; and I’ve seen a bottle of it, and been offered a sample, which I refused.

Green Muse” -Albert Maignan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

For myself, that’s enough. But I’m a writer, and, during November’s National Novel Writing Month, I had a character who tries absinthe in an attempt to deal with “larger issues” – he’s a telepath who needs to make and maintain contact with someone on an unknown planet, and he’s used pschychoactive substances in the past to achieve that contact. Absinthe turns out to be an excellent catalyst, for that purpose, but his growing passion for it wreaks havoc on his life…

So I needed to know something about absinthe, and this magical window whisked me away and led me down a trail where I learned :

  • the composition of absinthe
  • the chemical aspects of wormwood
  • the ritual of preparation
  • (and why, scientifically, it matters)
  • the history of the drink
  • the language used in relation to it
  • art featuring absinthe
  • rumor, propaganda, and facts
  • the effects of absinthe
  • famous people who favored absinthe;
  • and those lovely spoons…

By SDC (Copied from the English Wikipedia.) [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons

From the research, my story evolved. My character not only has his life turned upside down by absinthe- it becomes the moving force propelling him through a good deal of the story, and a symbol of those “larger issues” he was dealing with. It provides sensory detail and imagery that feed the story, and led this character – and others – down paths I never suspected they’d take (and I planned this story). The spoons he and others choose for the ritual become symbols for who they are, or who they see themselves as. The process of preparation becomes an analogy for what’s happening in this character’s life, and within him, through the story…the changes and challenges he undergoes.

Without the Internet, I might have been able to come up with some information on absinthe- but it wouldn’t have been instantly available, to be explored in the moment of inspiration. It would have been rigid and limited – static. It wouldn’t have shifted with my explorations, accommodating the shifts my imagination made along the way. I wouldn’t have been able to adjust the research with a new click, save the relevant pages electronically, and navigate smoothly from one site to the next. So my story would have been either more vague, or less organic, than it will be.

And what I looked at was only the tip of that iceberg…I can learn far more, just as easily, if I need or want to. And not just about absinthe – about nearly any subject I can think of.

No, the Internet won’t write my story for me – but it does give me the resources to be a better writer, in an endlessly customizable way.

So, to my former English teacher, I offer this hindsight 20/20 update. While it’s true that computers aren’t doing my writing, they have changed just about every aspect of my writing life…in ways I couldn’t even imagine, back in 1987.

And I’m very happy about that!

How about you? If you’ve been around long enough to remember the pre-Internet world, in what ways is your life different, now? If you’ve always had Internet access, can you imagine what life would be without it? I’ll pour the beverages (absinthe, anyone?), and listen….chime right in!

By Eric Litton (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons