March 5, 2015: Long-Deferred Vision

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted a ROW80 update…and here I am, just to say…well, I don’t have much to say.

Just when I was getting back into a post vacation, Internet-sparse groove, my trusty laptop, which is, to me a bit more like an appendage than a machine…

So I’m writing today from my son’s ancient and battered old laptop. It’s slow, and, because it has a broken hinge, so I have to use it very carefully and on a stationary surface.

But, slowly, I’m getting back into it. I’m behind on posts, visits, and comments – I’m trying to do them more on the Kindle and my new smartishphone. I’ve hit some snags, but I’m making progress.

My ROW80 goals list is trapped within my laptop, and I may not see it again for a bit – warranty stuff. So, until then, I’m just going to move forward as best I can, and report on that.

It hasn’t been an utterly down week. There have been some strong rays of sunlight amongst the clouds

  • While I didn’t get my story posted to Ad Astra last month, I did make serious progress on the revisions. I hope to get it finished this week, and then…

  • Serious planning on April A-Z, and for my two April CampNaNoWriMo novellas…and that’s it until next time, when the goals may change, to accommodate progress, laptop, etc…

Thank goodness this is the writing challenge that knows I have a life (and an ailing laptop!).

How does this week find you? And, speaking of finding, you can find other ROW80 posts right here!

There can be beauty in adversity!

#LoIsInDaBl Day 25: So Far Away…

NOTE:  I was away, visiting faraway friends and family, when this post was intended to be scheduled. I was unable to post it, and the two following it.  Over the course of this week, I’ll be posting my “Missing Four” Love Is In Da Blog posts, as written, and resuming my typical posting schedule. As always,  I hope you enjoy!

Put a Little Love in Yours!

Put a Little Love in Yours!

Today’s #LoIsInDaBl prompt from Bee is “faraway friends”. I have many friends, all over the world. Some I’ve made through unschooling events, or during our travels, or while working at various places around the country -Grand Canyon  friends, Oregon friends, Yellowstone friends…the internet is a wonderful way to keep in touch with them, so that we can remain friends in a way that we might not be, without.

I have other faraway friends that I met online. Some are far enough removed from me that I am never likely to meet them in person…and yet, with Internet access, we can connect, help one another, laugh and cry and grow together…

But there are other times when I get the privilege of meeting friends I’ve only known online. This week has that potential; and, by the time it’s over, some people who’ve been only online friends, until now, will be attached to faces, voices, and memories. Yes, within days we’ll be faraway friends again, but the memories and the new knowing will remain.

And, for the friends who are still faraway – there’s always the chance that life will carry us closer together…

And, if not, distance doesn’t define friendship – friends do! =)

Do you have faraway friends? Why not take a step to connect or reconnect today?

For more Love Is In Da Blog posts, go here!

#BOAW: The Beauty That Is… Me!

Find more Beauty of A Woman posts by clicking the icon.

This post is part of August McLaughlin‘s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest …an annual celebration of beauty in all its forms…for more, here’s August herself! =D

What makes you feel beautiful? What’s helped you embrace your body/appearance as it is? What area are you still working on—or should you? What makes you feel sexy? What helped you embrace, rather than shame, your sexuality? What’s stopping you? How do you define real beauty or sex appeal? Who epitomizes beauty and sexiness, IYO? What advice would you give your younger self or a girl in your life about beauty and/or sexuality? 

I’ll admit it. When I say that I know I’m beautiful, I still find myself resisting the urge to turn around and look over my shoulder. You see, I was raised to believe that it was immodest, and therefore undesirable and maybe even wrong, to compliment myself. I was told that it was bragging or ‘fishing for compliments’.

Well, I am beautiful. And I don’t think it’s bragging or unseemly to say so. My beauty is an accomplishment, a tribute to years of learning, work, healing, and self-discovery. I’ve delved beneath the layers and levels of conditioning, drained and stitched festering old wounds, and adjusted my inner and outer vision until I could see not only the beauty all around me, but also that which has been within me, all along.

Yes, I look back now at pictures of me as a little girl, and as a young woman – and I see someone beautiful – without the confidence to see or know her own beauty, or her own strength.

I first realized it by accident, a few years ago; I was at my parents’ house, when my attention was caught by one snapshot of a lovely young girl with long wavy blonde hair, sitting on a picnic table with her legs drawn up beneath her. I stared at her for minutes, trying to place her.

She was me. I’d been about sixteen then, and deeply insecure about my appearance. That wavy blonde hair? Wouldn’t do a thing I wanted it to. This was the 80s, the decade of big hair and oodles of hair spray to hold it. Only, my thick hair simply would not be tamed, insisting on doing its own wild thing…

At nineteen, with Aviendha. Thin, but unhappily embroiled in an abusive and toxic relationship.

I thought I was too skinny. I’d been a late bloomer, and held onto the image that I was a scrawny girl, long after I wasn’t anymore.

When I saw that old picture, I saw a beautiful girl smiling or laughing at something long forgotten…

Caught in that unguarded moment of not caring how I looked, I was beautiful. And that was the beginning of healing, for me.

As I’ve healed and grown and explored my own inner terrain, bits and pieces of it rise to my surfaces. No, I’m not sixteen anymore – but there’s more light and love and life in my eyes now. I don’t spend a lot of time considering how I look to other people – there’s too much else to think about, and see, and do. I’ve found not only my beauty, but my strength. I spend my time in a way that delights me, surrounded by people I love.

Brand new mom with two day old Jeremiah.

Sure, I’m no longer the thin young girl I once was – but the thickening of my body is the result of nearly forty-six years of life, almost eighteen years of being married to a mighty fine chef (I don’t just mean that he cooks for me; he actually IS a professional chef). It’s a consequence of having carried and given birth to three children in the space of four years. To some extent, I’ve been thickened by grief – the grief that comes with the loss of our second child twelve days after his birth.

I’ve found joy, and purpose, in the aftermath of that tragedy. There’s something beautiful in that – in embracing love and life and possibility, when I might’ve chosen a different path – one of bitterness, or rage, or betrayal…

With my kids in Lake George, NY, fall 2013. I’m beautiful when I’m happy and fulfilled!

I’ve found a beauty that comes from my deepest places, my most intimate self. And, by bits and pieces, I’ve given it the space to shine through. The more confident I grow in myself, the more beautiful I grow.

My hair? It’s darker, now, and scattered liberally with silver. It’s still as wild – but now, I see that as a reflection of a more elemental part of my own nature, and I love it. It suits me. So do the new lines in my face, the roadmap of my own personal history I wear with pride of ownership.

Mine may not be a ‘classic’ beauty – but it is my own, born of my history and my personal journey, and I claim it for my own.

What makes you beautiful?

Find more Beauty of A Woman blogposts here!

Making my own dreams – like being a published writer – a priority in my life makes me beautiful!

SoCS and #LoISInDaBl Day 21:”A Helluva Team”

Float down the Stream With Us!

Float down the Stream With Us!

For today, Bee‘s prompt is “you/me.  Linda‘s is “relative/relativity”And, yup – the Vulcan in my head, and the human who loves her, decided to hijack this post, too – rather delightfully, I think. I hope you agree!

Disclaimer: Although I believe T’Pol and Trip have their own ideas about it, Paramount claims ownership.

“Who’s that for?” Jon jabbed a finger at the tea.

“T’Pol.” I knew he wasn’t going to take it well, but the best option seemed to be brazening through. “And, if you’ll excuse me, Cap’n, I want to get it to her while it’s still hot.” I turned, and he barely got out of my way in time. I figured the hot liquids might be all that stopped him from decking me. Did I look and act this stupid, when my testosterone was up?

“From my observations, it seems to be endemic to your species.” But there was teasing acceptance behind her thought-message. “However, your possessiveness troubles me considerably less; perhaps it’s a relative matter, or that I am yours…”

“We talkin’ in our heads, now, pepperpot?”

“Yes. I would appreciate receiving my tea while its still hot.”

“Trip?” Jon was peering at me, now, as though he couldn’t decide whether to be mad or concerned. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah, Cap’n. Just an aftereffect of the meld, I guess. Didn’t know she could still talk to me.”

“What did she say?” There was a little too much emphasis on the ‘she’. I hoped like hell he was going to get over this possessive streak when he recovered from those Orion pheremones, because this wasn’t making adjusting to the bond, or that second bombshell she’d dropped, about needing to mate so she wouldn’t die, any easier.

“Said she likes her tea hot, and that I should get a move on.”

“T’Pol said that?”

“I could be paraphrasing.” I smiled. “She’s a helluva lot more formal than I am, after all.”

I got to the door, and Jon pushed the button, then followed me through. Any hope I had that he’d let it drop evaporated when he said, “Trip, what’s going on between you and T’Pol?”

I was at a loss – but then, words and ideas came into my head – a way to reveal just enough, without actually lying – or really answering the question. I surrendered to the master, and let myself be her conduit, lending her my own voice and tone. “Well, Cap’n, she’s too polite to say anything -“

“T’Pol’s not that polite, Trip. And I’ve never known her to hold back when she’s got something to say – any more than you do.”

“You and me, pepperpot – the loudmouths of the ship.” I found that more amusing than she did. To Jon, I said, “You’ve never been seduced by an Orion slave girl before, either, sir. But you have been now – and so have the rest of the men aboard – even, I’ve heard, the ones that don’t usually think of women as potential partners.” I had to admit, I felt sorriest for those guys – bad enough to be overwhelmed, but to be attracted to someone who would never normally turn your head – there was something cruel in that…

“Except you.” That was an accusation, pure and simple. “Why, Trip? T’Pol’s immune. You’re immune. Nobody else.”

“I’m not a doctor. If Phlox doesn’t know, how the hell am I supposed to? Maybe it’s that we work together a lot. Maybe it’s the neuropressure, or the melding – or even the dance lessons – I just don’t know.” We had our suspicions, but it was true that we didn’t know for certain that the bond was the reason. “Anyway – there’s been a lot of sexual frustration around lately, and a lot of fighting. And a lot of excess, angsty emotional energy floating around. She couldn’t hide from it while you weren’t able to do your duty, but she can now that you’re – more or less- functional again.”

“But she can tolerate you? Trip, when she first got here, I was damned near positive you were going to kill her. After I saw her fight a time or two, I was damned near positive she was going to kill you.” Finally, Jon cracked a smile.

“And now look at us. I’m bringin’ her tea, like I’m all civilized.” I felt T’Pol’s awareness sharpening – she could feel the punch line coming, even if she didn’t use those words. And she knew I was getting closer…I could feel her quiver of arousal humming back to life. “Lusty little pepperpot,” I thought to her, and something sinuous and swift passed through my mind, catlike and tempting. “But I’ll tell you a secret, Cap’n, if you promise not to tell her.”

“I promise.”

I grinned at him as we neared her door. “I’m just waiting till her back’s turned. I was the fastest short-sheeter in summer camp, and I’ll just bet Vulcan kids don’t pull pranks – hell, maybe they don’t even have summer camp – I mean, it’s a desert world, and all that…what would the counselors say -‘OK, kids, go jump in the sand dunes?'”

“Trip, I order you not to short-sheet Commander T’Pol’s bed.” Jon chuckled. We were at her door, now, and he pressed the button. He peered in; thankfully, T’Pol was sitting facing us, eyes open, but still in meditative pose. “Watch him, T’Pol – he’s got designs on your bedding. Dinner, nineteen hundred. Both of you. Enjoy your tea.”

T’Pol sighed deeply as she accepted her mug, her fingers lingering on mine, seductive in a way I’d never known, before her. “You handled that well, Trip.”

Me? Not all by myself. It was you and me, pepperpot.” It was tempting fate, but I couldn’t resist. I took those fingers, very carefully, and brushed my lips over the backs of her fingers. She moaned softly, trembling.

Like you said, Trip, we make a helluva team.”

Put a Little Love in Yours!

Put a Little Love in Yours!

Looking for more Love Is In Da Blog? Find it right here!


WIPpet Wednesday: Storms and Snares

Come WIPpet with us! =D

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 returning to Chameleon’s Dish (which may or may not become Never Doubt I Love) – to reconnect with Henry, Tisira, and Nockatee…

In the dangerously superstitious past of Shakespeare’s England, an amnesiac girl and a foundling boy must keep her strange nature hidden as they stalk the Bard’s words and Hunt her lost identity.

This month I’m sharing the opening lines from each character’s Inciting Incident, as they’re currently written in revised first draft scenes. We’ll be on vacation when this posts, so I may be slow making visits and returning comments – but I’ll get to as many as I’m able to.

Today I offer you Henry’s opening. He’s a boy on the cusp of manhood, who’s been fending for himself far longer than a child should need to. He’s currently occupied with assuring he can survive the winter…a winter that’s not going to be anything like what he expected…

Note: I’m still struggling a bit with Henry’s specific voice and language. I need to do more research; that will come before Draft 3. For now, any suggestions appreciated! He’s also likely going to be a little older by the final draft – fourteen or so.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is February 18, 2015.
  • Math: Adding the digits of the year: 2+0+1+5 =8. Subtract that from the date: 18-8 =10. for a total of 10 longer paragraphs.

The rutting musk of a fallow buck, blended with the sweat of his labors, were rank and unpleasant in Henry’s nose. He hastened as much as he dared, wanting to have done with this snare line. He wanted to be home before full dark, and he was thinking that he would heat a bucket from the creek over the fire, and have a good washing later, to cleanse the noisome scent, and warm his chilled bones.

Seven rabbits filled half of his hempen carrysack, their bodies stiffening with death and cold alike. It was meat for himself, and for Goody Cooper and her brood of hungry young, and their furs, so close to the coming of snow, were rich with winter growth. Spring would find him with need of the coin they would bring, to replace the supplies he used over the winter.

Thoughts of a washing, and the venison stew, cheese, and bread awaiting him, roused his spirits, and his feet, needing no trail, were lighter upon the ground beneath his snare line, despite his burden -almost too much for his body, still small for his twelve years. He smiled at the call of a winterbird, and gave back an answering whistle, pausing a few beats, head tipped, to listen for a return call. That it did not come told him that he hadn’t quite the mastery of the call.

He’d have ample time to practice, soon enough. Henry lifted his eyes to the heavens; the clouds were growing heavy and full; the air held the tang of growing chill and coming snow. He was of a mind to remain within doors, on the morrow. He could skin the rabbits, and begin his stew, and some meat for drying -he might even have one for spitting and roasting.

Best I tend to these snares, then, while I still have the ease to walk on solid ground, and so do the rabbits.” He liked his lips, and ran a hand through his tangled curls to press them back away from his eyes.

It was an odd habit, this way he had of talking to himself, and he hoped none of Verity’s children were lurking about, ready to tell their mother all they saw and heard. Mayhap, she would think him ensorceled, or mad, to speak so where none were near enough to answer. In the foundling’s home, he had scarce spoke; to speak wrongly might gain a slap, hard labor on his knees, and, oftentimes, even worse. It were best, there, to be small, silent, and willing to do as he was bidden.

Now, he lived as he chose, and spake as he would, and wondered if that made him a madman. He sang, softly, as he walked his snare line, gauging his pace by the number of snares unchecked, and the lowering of the sun through branches and gathering clouds. Aye, there would be time enough, if he did not tarry about the tending.

Only a dozen snares between him and the pleasures of his home, now, and Henry’s mood was fine, when he came upon a sprung and empty loop of leather cord. It had not been escaped – there were broken branches, and bits of fur clinging to them that bespoke struggle, and the scent of death clung like a shadow.

The snare was unbroken; something had slipped the carcass from the loop, leaving him the cord, but no meat. And so it was with full half of the next six – the rabbit gone, unbroken snare left behind.

Ah, a mystery – and less meat than Henry expected. What or who is robbing his snares? Will he survive the winter? Catch the thief?


C’mon, you really didn’t expect me to answer, didja?

See you next week – and, hey, while you’re here, here’s the link to more delightful WIPpet Snippets; assorted genres and styles to choose from! =D


#LoIsInDaBl Day 17: Fathers and Feelings

Put a Little Love in Yours!

Put a Little Love in Yours!

For today, Bee  prompts us to focus onFathers. After yesterday’s rather emotionally laden post, I decided to share an excerpt from my WIP novel, The Earth Doth Move, instead of delving deep terrain.

As you read this, we’re preparing to see my Accomplice’s father. It’s been years since he’s seen his dad, and this is rather a big deal. So, in honor of fathers, real and fictional, I offer this…

Disclaimer: Spock, Sarek, and Amanda are not mine. I’m not in the habit of owning people, even fictional ones. Paramount claims ownership…

“How long?” he asked, now, as his body seemed almost to sink into the chair. There was a deep relief in being supported and tended, after the frightening and solitary nature of the effort to return home. His eyes drifted closed…

“It will take .972 hours, approximately.” The words circled his awareness, finally connecting with the question he had asked.

“Nearly an hour,” he said, and sighed. Mother had been asleep, and Father was dressed in the light robe he wore for sleep. “I -regret the disturbance my carelessness caused, Father.”

“Accidents will sometimes occur, Spock. As your parents, it is our duty to tend you when you have need. It is also my privilege to do so. I do not consider this privilege to be dependent upon such matters as time or routine.”

Spock frowned. He had been focused on the conflict he knew would come, when he stated his choice, and his determination to fulfill it, even if that placed him in direct opposition to Father and his expectations. Even if it must mean rejecting generations beyond count of tradition. He had been preparing for what he knew would be a heated debate that was likely to challenge him to maintain logic and emotional control.

He had not considered this Sarek, who tended to his hurt with gentleness and honor.

He pondered this – Mother’s outburst, and his own. Was it possible that she understood the impulse that had driven him, even when he did not? That she accepted even those interactions that could, in truth, only be termed “attacks”? That she forgave instinctively?

And what of Sarek? Once Mother had brought a tray and connected it over the arms of the chair, Spock watched his father, as he ate, as Mother spoke soothingly about random topics, without needing any reply from him, in the way she was prone to do in the aftermath of trouble. It seemed to soothe her, and her voice was a pleasant counterpoint to his thoughts.

What of Father? Would he experience an emotional response to Spock’s rejection of the path he had chosen with logical consideration? Would there be pain in it?

It was not a thing he would have considered this dawning, when he first knew that he must go, no matter the cost. He had been concerned with his own feelings, and Mother’s, but not Sarek’s. He had often thought that Sarek had none to consider.

But now the evidence pointed strongly to their existence, and Spock’s resolve wavered. He did not wish to cause his father pain or concern; but he was still certain that he could not remain on Vulcan, that, if he was to learn to manage his human half, he must have a more diverse sampling that Mother and Trip, the human katra which had resided for a time within him.

In order to do what he must, to learn all of who and what he was, and to begin the process of finding T’Lys, Spock would have to risk not only Sarek’s approbation, but also hurting him.

Looking for more Love Is In Da Blog? Find it right here!

February 15, 2015: Looking to the Horizon…

ROWin’ merrily through the snow! =D

ROW80 is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Goals can be changed at any time, when life or interests change. And, for me, it’s Anytime…again!

Our vacation is upon us, and, in the spirit of being with our family, and enjoying life, I’m minimizing my goals, until the end of the month, and perhaps through the first week of March.

I’ve been adding blog posts to my queue, so that I can relax and still connect and share. I’ll be online less, through the coming weeks, and I may be slow at answering comments – but I will still be here! As far as my writing goals, I’ll be focused more on some of the offline goals, during my time away. Writing, planning, and revision will feature largely, during those times when I’m free to do as I will, and have the creative impulse (historically, I to be much more in input than output mode when I travel, but who knows?).

I may not post updates for the rest of the month…or I might.  Hard to say…so much depends on how things progress..but I will be back with revised end-of-round goals early in March. 

How bout you? Do you have faraway family you’d love to see again? A favorite or fantasy vacation locale? Goal adjustments?

You mean I have to say goodbye to all this (plus the foot and a half or two we’ve gotten since)?!

The bigger picture:

February Accounting (Revised List):

  • Goals attained: blue with strikethrough.  9

  • Goals in progress: green. 20

  • Goals-in-waiting: red. 8

February Update #1:


  • Oregon Trip: Planning and execution.

  • Revisions: Chameleon’s Dish; The IDIC Romance.

  • Write1Sub1: Several written; “Slow Jazz Awakening”.

  • Bloggy Stuff: Love Is In Da Blog,and, of course, Beauty of a Woman; Original and Girl Boner editions.



Write rough draft “Tuesday Afternoon Tea” – next chapter/story in “Monday Morning Coffee” series.

  • Reread/highlighted story/character notes.
  • Began character sketch (name/role/occupation/ physical description).

February: Submit “Soft Jazz Awakening” to Ad Astra.

  • Compilation Draft 1.5 completed!
  • 2/19 short scenes highlighted for revision.

Kifo Island Chronicles:

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

  • Copied WIP from 750words to LibreOffice file.
  • Reread existing material.

Star Trek Chronology Project

Rewatch Season 1 of Star Trek: Enterprise; taking notes for Story -a-Day May.

  • Review character backgrounds.

The IDIC Romance:

Submit first story, “Slow Jazz Awakening”.

  • Progressing.

A-Z travel posts:

Write intro post.

  • Set dates through April 20 post.

Trueborn Warp/Weft series:

  • February: Review background information.

Write at least 750 words daily:

Use for freewriting and to chart progress.

  • 13/28 days. Missed my third day of the year. Still over 750/day, on average.

Editing Bliss! =D


The IDIC Romance:

Slow Jazz Awakening” – Complete draft.

  • Moving along.


Slow Jazz Awakening” – Complete revision passes.

Social media in our kitchen!

Social Media:

Blog Maintenance:

Maintain regular posting schedule, comments, and visits.

  • Moving ahead, trying to get all posts completed for the duration of our trip.

Build blog queues:

Write at least 1 Coffee and Conversation post.

  • Tomorrow’s post set up.
  • Next two weeks’ post in the idea stage.

Blogging Action Plan:

  • Rough draft revision.
  • Review Lovely Chaos Sidebar; make list of desired changes.

Twitter and Facebook

Visit Facebook twice weekly.

  • 2/2.

Visit Twitter thrice weekly.

  • 2/3.

Pinterest, LinkedIn, WANATribe, ect:

Visit at least one weekly.

Share posts – mine, and others’:

Share 5 items a week.

  • 5/5: Links shared via reblog; Second Serving Sunday; and RT.

Blog views and followers:

Continue goal; increase to 50 (at least 10 times this month).

  • Feb.11: 24
  • Feb.12: 51
  • Feb.13: 19
  • Feb.14: 31
  • 6/28.
  • I think these totals are reflective of the fact that I’ve been building queues, rather than focusing on interaction.



Personal Administration:

Maintain inbox below 100 messages twice weekly.

  • 1/ 2 for the week, a serious sort/purge.


Keep visits up-to-date.


Oregon vacation:

Do them.

  • Many balls still in the air; the juggling’s getting easier….nearly ready to go!
  • Make it So!”

Kindle ebooks:

Write reviews for 2 books on my Writers I Know list, and post to Amazon.

NNWM local group:

Continue attending write-ins whenever possible.

  • Virtual write-in via Twitter, due to inclement weather. Fun! =D

Interact at least weekly online.

  • 1/1.


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.

My beloveds:

One on one time with each, at least five times each, doing something of value to us both.

  • Accomplice: 6/5
  • Annalise: 6/5
  • Jeremiah: 4/5
  • Couples’ time; vacation talk; shopping; playing with our new phones; chatting.

And away she goes!

Fitness and Nutrition:


At the Y or a strenuous activity twice weekly.

  • 3/2: Snow shoveling; firewood carrying.

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.

2/1: played ball with dog; shoveled and played in snow with Annalise.

Intuitive Eating:

  • Read.

Cooking/ Food Preparation:

Maintain weekly nutritional quotas; adapt as needed.


Maintain or reduce weight; continue monthly checks.

Take a ride on the ROWboat!

Seeking Inspiration on Another Shore…