Posted in #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Parenting, poetry, Unschooling, Writing Sample

Dabbling, Daring, and Delving Deeply: #AtoZChallenge for April 5, 2017

Slices of An Unschooling Life Theme Reveal Post

Today’s Poetry Type:



Delving a Deeper Dare

A dabbling, delving deeper dare

Four lives spill over bright thought air

What matter which new treasure sparks

With each fresh thought energy arcs

Neurons are firing blazing marks

We read and write or stroll in parks

Of past long-gone, history harks

So many things learned in our larks

It looks like play, this life we share

Unless you see more purpose there.

                               Most Adorable British Officer...EVER!
                               Most Adorable British Officer…EVER!

There’s no doubt: the way we learn here doesn’t look like school.

It’s not intended to.

Many people don’t know this, but American public school was devised as a way to remove children from the workforce until they became adults – and, at the same time, to train them for the factories and other forms of manual, unskilled labor the working classes were assumed to be best suited for.

The goal was to condition them to for factory work  (hence the beginning and ending times that don’t mesh with what current science tells us about how much, and when, adolescents need to sleep), and the bells and structured schedule that mimic work schedules of the nineteenth century, when schooling became mandatory.

It was also to give children the “right kind” of knowledge – enough that they could do the jobs employers wanted them for, but not so much that they might foment discord, or want to learn more than what the powers that be wanted them to have to be good, steady workers.

                                    Joyfully learning on the British lines!
                                    Joyfully learning on the British lines!

That’s not what we want for our kids. We want them to be fascinated by life,  to understand that there’s depth and breadth beyond what can be held in books, that the people whose names survive in history were as real as they are – that they lived full lives, breathing, eating, drinking, loving, hating, burping and sleeping and making love and all the other parts of life.

That took the kids and I to the Saratoga National Historical Park last September. This is aRevolutionary War battlefield, and, after a brief stop at the Visitor’s Center, we downloaded an audio tour on my phone, and set out on the 9 mile tour road – exploring American and British lines, fortifications, and a farm home used as headquarters.

The narration brought the tour to life. As we hiked the rolling hills, we were reminded that the soldiers, mostly on foot, traversed these same hills, without the benefit of modern paved and maintained paths. Back then, the area was mostly wilderness – which is what made it a good place for the Colonial Army to attempt to hold the Hudson and prevent the British using it to cut off New York City, then the capital of the new nation.

Yes, they might have gone on a school trip, since the Battlefield is in our hometown. But they couldn’t have had the leisure to do it on a September Saturday, with the entire afternoon and the first part of the evening given over to exploring in their own way and in their own time. Or, several years ago, to spend a few hours there on the Fourth of July  (schools aren’t open on Saturdays, or during the summer).

Since neither of them have ever been to school, they don’t have a clear understanding of the gift of time and freedom to learn as they will. But their parents, both veterans of the public school system, do – and it’s priceless.

Are you a dabbler, a delver, or both?

If you have kids, what do they like to explore, and how do you make space and time for it?

Do you dare to take a dip or a dive into other delightful D posts? Delve into some more stops on the Blogging from A-Z April Challenge by clicking on this link, or the icon below.

Come back tomorrow for an exuberant exploration of…well, everything!

                                              Throwing Shadows on History!  
                                              Throwing Shadows on History!  
Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Fan fiction, Star Trek: Enterprise, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, writing, Writing Sample

“For the Duration:” for WIPpet Wednesday

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.We’re led by the capable fingers and nimble mind of Emily Witt.

Hi there!

As you read this, I’ll likely be tapping away at The Last House,  my Kifo Island prequel WIP, which is my April CampNaNoWriMo  project. I’ve taken a break from that today. I spent a few happy hours in the company of my kids, the third wheel as they sibled, then watching a video with my daughter, and running errands with my son. I have to say – these two big kids just get cooler and cooler as they grow.

Then there was some time with my Accomplice. I guess, even with a novel to draft, some days need to be about family.

But now, all family members “filled up” with my presence, I can take a little time to bring you another installment of a sassy TnT fan fiction story,  just because I can!

I’ve got a patchwork of stories, written in different styles, at different times, and for different projects – and I’m slowly figuring out how to pull them all together into a coherent whole that explores just how and why T’Pol was the one Vulcan chosen to accompany Enterprise NX-01 on her maiden voyage.

There will be hints and shadows and lots of delicious Trip and T’Pol sassiness – but first, we’ve got to lay the groundwork that gets her aboard, and that’s where we are right now.


Ambassador Soval has just informed his young kinswoman, T’Pol, that she has been recommissioned to the Vulcan High Command, at a rank beyond that which she had formerly attained. As he expected, she has questions, and he has begun to explain that the humans are determined to attempt a mission for which they are unprepared.

We rejoin them here, as Soval continues his conversation with T’Pol.

Here’s the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them; I don’t make money from them; I just love them, and I tell the stories they give me as well as I can.

WIPpet Math:

  • Today is April 5, 2017.

  • I used the day for a simple 5 sentences.

And now….on to today’s WIPpet!

“Is that wise?” She dared much with him, and, were he not aware of her altered state and her nature, the question would have merited reprimand.

“My experience with this species indicates that they aren’t likely to accept the truth of this sentence. However, they were in need of certain astronomical information. In return for relevant databases, they have agreed to the inclusion of one Vulcan officer for the duration of this mission.”

What altered state is T’Pol in?

What does any of this have to do with T’Pol’s recommissioning?

Will she accept the promotion?

Has Soval misjudged the humans?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my page,  or go directly to Loveuary Drabbles, where you will find bite-sized, 100 word stories written to prompts.

Read one, all, or anywhere in between – these are the seeds of longer stories to come, and each one has its own tiny little twist.

And, as always, clicking the little blue froggy below will carry you on to other WIPpet offerings from our talented and diverse group of writerly folks. You can even add your own date-related excerpt if you’re so inclined!

Posted in #atozchalllenge 2017, A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, April CampNaNoWrimo 2017, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, CampNaNoWriMo, CampNaNoWriMo 2017, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, Round Two 2017, Uncategorized, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

Sowing Seeds: April 5, 2017

Hey there!

Okay, we’re two days into this new round, and I’m getting to know my April goals, and Tim, Drea, and Rebekkah – the three POV characters in my CampNaNoWriMo project, The Last House – a Kifo Island prequel. Clicking the link will take you to my current progress on that front.

It’s been an eventful two days, in quiet family ways. I’m a bit behind my projected count right now, because of all the eventfulness, but I’m on track for my Blogging from A-Z and other blogging goals, so I expect to be caught up by the end of the day, and maybe even pad things just a bit over the rest of the week, since Monday is the Welcome to Night Vale live show I’ll be attending with my daughter, and I may not do much writing that day.

I’m going through my seed collection (literally and figuratively), and deciding what to sow first…

Do you have showers of April goals,too?

Are you hoping they bloom into beautiful fruition before May comes?



  • Trueborn: Complete draft of Foul Deeds Will Rise (Trueborn #2). Target: 3,333 words/week; add words every day I reach my Camp quota, above, Finish by April 30. Secondary goal. 1,186/3,333 new words for the week.


Social Media:

  • #atozchallenge: Confirm scheduling, and add link and branding to each day’s post.  Respond to comments daily, and visit 3 other participants at least 6 times/week. Primary goal. B and C posts up and linked; D prepped with links and scheduled; visits made 3/6 days this week.

  • Blogging Features: Continue biweekly Skywatch Friday posts, as well as weekly #SoCS, #8sunday, Mindful Monday, WIPpet Wednesday, and Weekend Coffee share posts. Pre-producewhere possible (aim for 1 hour each Tuesday/Thursday). Tertiary goal. Mindful (#AtoZChallenge B post) complete; WIPpet scheduled Tuesday night, and will be live by the time this posts publishes.


  • Resets/reorganizations: study, family room, bedroom, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Complete two 27 thing flings each room, each week. One 27 thing fling on porch and in yard (10/27) each week. At least five General Hometending rounds per day, 5 times/week. Secondary goal. Hometending rounds; 3/5 for the week. Living room: 3/2; porch 1/1.


  • My beloveds: One on one time with each, doing something of value to us both, each week. Continue planning/ attending outings (personal and family) as desired. Primary goal. Flirting; conversation; cuddling; career planning; ice cream; credit union; grocery shopping.

  • CampNaNo: Interact with cabin mates 5/week: attend write-ins and visit forums once weekly. Secondary goal. Posted to cabin 3/5 days. Attended write-in.

  • Career Furtherance: Complete Patreon profile and launch site. Draft CV/cover letter and revise. Help my Accomplice launch his cottage industry. Tertiary goal. Talked with Accomplice about his labeling and branding; priorities; my plans; etc.


  • Journal and meditate five mornings and three evenings each week. Primary goal. 2/5 complete.

  • Get a cumulative total of at least 99 minutes moderate physical activity 5 days weekly; 111 minutes (1 hour, 51 minutes) twice weekly, and 7 hours of more strenuous activities (tai chi, swimming, hiking, cardio, weights, etc.). Secondary goal. 99: 2/5; 111: 1/2.

  • Books: Listen to Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (abridged/; with Miah). Read: Mom, Star Trek, and Las Vegas, by D.W. Hirsch; and Starting Out as an Indie Author, by Ruth Nestvold by the end of the month. Tertiary goal. Plans made to listen to BNW sometime later in the week. MSTandLV: completed, and enjoyed. SOAAIA: 40%, and very informative so far, without being in the least intimidating.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80  –

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