Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Fan fiction, Star Trek: Enterprise, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, writing, Writing Sample

“I am Unqualified”: 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 might be working on The Last House,  my Kifo Island prequel WIP, which is my April CampNaNoWriMo  project.

I also might be asleep.

It’s been a week of kid-connecting and adventuring. I have a new computer, which is a sure sign our tax rebate is in. My son went with me to make my purchase once I’d finished my online research, and confirmed that I wanted to upgrade to a newer Lenovo Yoga that is smaller, lighter, and more powerful than my previous model. Despite its petite profile, the screen is the same size (smaller border), and the keyboard is nearly identical.

On Saturday, my daughter and I went out to do some much-needed clothes shopping, because, on Monday, we were headed out to the Welcome to Night Vale Live Show, “All Hail”.

Then, Tuesday, I took my son to the local convenience store and for a slice of pizza, which we ate by the Hudson River, by the Stillwater Blockhouse, a historical recreation of an eighteenth century structure.

On top of all that, he and I designed a prototype label for his hot sauce business, and he’s joined our local chamber of commerce. We’re so close now to him being able to sell, and we’re hoping to get the rest of the details taken care of quickly-ish. It’s taken some time, but we’ve managed a lot on a very limited income, and without taking a loan.

That’s a lot of stuff, and I haven’t slept yet….hoping to get this done, a bit more hometending, then take a quick nap and get down to some serious writing, because all this being busy with my family means not many words got added, and I’d love to change that today.

But you’re not here to listen to me talk about my weekend. It’s time for 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, eventually. But first, we’ve got to lay the groundwork that gets her there, and that’s where we are right now.


Ambassador Soval is meeting with his young kinswoman, T’Pol. He’s revealed that she’s been assigned to a temporary station aboard a human chef.

We rejoin them here, with a POV shift to T’Pol, as she absorbs the news.

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 12, 2017.

  • I added the digits of the day for three paragraghs.

And now….on to today’s WIPpet!

“I am Unqualified”

“I am unqualified to serve upon a human vessel,” T’Pol objected. Logically, there was no other reason he would have summoned her here, then revealed this information.

“They will not delay for an officer be sent from Vulcan. You are the most qualified Vulcan already on Earth. You are therefore assigned to Enterprise, for the duration of its mission to Qo’noS. We have secured officer’s quarters, and you are encouraged to bring whatever personal items you wish, as you will be expected to remain there when not required for duty.”

Even on a human vessel, she wouldn’t be allowed the freedom to interact with this fascinating species T’Pol focused her attention on attempting to suppress her emotional response before it surfaced in her demeanor. If she attempted to explain her convictions to Soval, would he suspect the deeper purpose, if she requested a measure of discretion in how to spend her leisure time? Or would that present sufficient reason for another to be selected?

Will T’Pol keep her emotions in check?

Will she ask for more personal freedom?

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 above 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 #atozchallenge, Blog Hops and Fests, Parenting, poetry, Unschooling

Jettisoning Judgment: #atozchallenge for April 12, 2017

Slices of An Unschooling Life Theme Reveal Post

Today’s Poetry Type:

Jeffrey’s Sonnet


Jettisoning Judgement

Jettisoning Judgment is key

for those learning naturally.

Preset notions get in the way.

Ingenuity and freedom –

creativity needs some

blended into every day.


Swift play runs a current unseen:

messy space, no hurry to clean

at the cost of inspiration.

Chaos holds possibilities –

Their crossed i’s and my dotted t’s;

deeply engaged concentration.


Invention can be far better

than construction by the letter.

A chair hangs from the ceiling at the National Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, August 2015.
A chair hangs from the ceiling at the National Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, August 2015.

I came from a very different parenting paradigm than the one we live here in my home, today.

As a child, I was constantly judged, and usually found wanting. I was “supposed to be so smart” but I didn’t always make the right choice, or know how to do everything. If I read until dawn during the summer, then slept till noon, I was lazy, despite getting less sleep than I probably needed. I was too messy (almost certainly true), had no common sense (that tends to come with maturity, experience, and the freedom to make some mistakes along the way without being ridiculed for imperfection). I was clumsy (not really; I just sometimes get wrapped up in what’s going on inside my head, and forget to pay attention to the outside – where I end and the rest of the world begins).

Inspiration, discovery, and invention need more space than that. They need the freedom to be, without judgment, and to exist, not for a desired, parent-directed result, but simply for their own sake.

            Lise-made craft foam birthday party treats for Buttercup the Littlest Pet, who was also turning twelve.
            Lise-made craft foam birthday party treats for Buttercup the Littlest Pet, who was also turning twelve.

When I put too much energy into the quest for my variety of order, or demand a specific result of any activity, I can thwart my kids’ (and my own, too!) creativity and overall learning.

Learning works best when the motivation for it is intrinsic – in other words, it’s relevant to the learner’s life right now. That’s why so much of what kids “learn” in school needs to be reviewed – it wasn’t relevant to the child’s life, or something that interested them enough to retain it. Much of a teacher’s job is to try to make the curriculum interesting.

We have a different approach. We don’t judge our childrens’ passions, or how they spend their time. We support them; offer them opportunities to go to interesting places and do things they might enjoy; we have a house full of books and games and interesting bits and pieces; excellent wi-fi; pets and the lovely chaos of learning – oh, and conversation. Lots of talking about what we love, what we don’t, what we’re planning and dreaming…

It might seem surprising, but knowing that their time and activities are their own leads to many other forms of learning. Most of what they’d be required to learn in school, on a preset timetable, they come to, on their own, in pursuit of their own goals. And, more often than not, they learn it more deeply, and can use it immediately.

It’s totally worth the lovely chaos it sometimes causes!

Just a quick question –

Can you think of a way that jettisoning judgement would help you or your children to find more joy in learning?

Jittery to jump on the J post joyride?

Just drive your jalopy onto the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge highway?

Click here, or the icon below, and journey on!

Jog by tomorrow – we have KITTENS!

                             Twelfth Birthday, with a giant theater cat! July 2016.
                             Twelfth Birthday, with a giant theater cat! July 2016.
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, Challenges and Contests, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Two 2017, Travel, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

Sowing Connection: April 12, 2017

Ever have one of those stretches where the focus has been about nearly everything but your writing goals?

When I first began to approach my writing as a serious life goal, my children were young – 8 and 5. Perhaps naturally, I made a personal oath – my writing was not going to rule the rhythms of my family.

At first, that meant I wrote in little bits and chunks of time when I wasn’t needed. We unschool, which means there’s no curriculum or set lessons – but there’s also no strict schedule or firm artificial structure to the way learning progresses.
The kids are big now. At 15.5, my six-foot-two and still growing son hardly qualifies as a kid, and, as my daughter nears her 13th birthday this summer, she’s growing and maturing so quickly, it’s got my head spinning a bit.

Clearly, they don’t need me nearly as consistently. Sometimes, I have nearly entire days when I’m free to decide just how to spend my time. The kids are passionate about several things each, and they pursue them, often independently.

And then there are the other times…

The times of connection and spontaneous exploration. The lovely morning spent in our suddenly alive front yard beneath the budding lilacs, listening to Rush, R.E.M, Billy Joel, and Melanie Martinez – current favorites for the young people at my house. The trip to the State Museum, and discovering it’s closed for remodeling on Mondays, and the walk around the Empire State Plaze – twice – and visiting a playground with a not-quite-grown girl. Exploring our hometown with my boy, and sharing slices from the local pizza place next to the Hudson River, and a historic replica eighteenth century blockhouse.

All that in addition to the already scheduled Welcome to Night Vale Live Show at The Egg.

These are the times that keep my family connections strong, and build trust with my getting-close-to-adult offspring. Things that come before writing-things, but fill the well so that it runneth over.

My update will reflect that. Am I OK with that?



  • CampNaNoWriMo: Draft The Last House (a Kifo prequel). ~65K. Target: 2,167 words/day average to complete by April 30. Primary goal. 16,842/65,000 words. I’m behind, but I did flesh out the beat sheets for the last four scenes of Act One. This session had other focuses, so I can accept that. The latter part of the week will be focused on writing, so I expect to catch up, and maybe even pull ahead a bit.


  • Story a Day May: Main Project: Create basic sketches for flash fiction stories (999 words/less, with exceptions) exploring July’s Still Nameless: Kifo Island #8, using #StaD prompts. Side Project: Reread Cowled arc;create basic sketches for drabbles (100 word stories) based on existing notes and prompt words. Primary goal. I checked the site for news on this year’s prompts; decided to listen to the podcast and see if there’s some news there.

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. H post up and linked; I up but not linked yet: 9/26 complete; visits made for 0/6 days.

  • Blogging Features: Continue biweekly Skywatch Friday posts, as well as weekly #SoCS, #8sunday, Mindful Monday, WIPpet Wednesday, and Weekend Coffee Share posts. Pre-produce posts where possible; aim for one hour every Tuesday and Thursday. Tertiary goal. Green posts in progress.


  • 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 each week. At least five General Hometending rounds per day, 5 times/week. Secondary goal. Hometending rounds 2/5 for the week.


  • 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. Welcome to Night Vale “All Hail” Live Show with daughter; local outing with son. More outings planned for the next weeks.

  • CampNaNo: Interact with cabin mates 5/week: attend write-ins and visit forums once weekly. Secondary goal. I passed on the write-in this week; it was a busy Friday -Monday, and Sunday was my slightly headachy, full-moon sleeplessness, recharging day. 2/5 Cabin visits.

  • Career Furtherance: Patreon: Complete profile and launch site. Draft CV/cover letter and revise. Assist my Acomplice in his efforts to launch his cottage industry. Tertiary goal. More labeling stuff for my Accomplice.


  • Journal and meditate five mornings and three evenings each week. Primary goal. Morning: 1/5 complete; evening 0/3 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. .5/7 hours strenuous; hiking.

Leaps of Faith:

  • NEW GOAL! Blogging from A-Z Challenge 2018: Gather links and sketch out base idea for these posts. Continued filling in links for planning base list; about 2/3 complete with information-gathering section; simmering how to use this material.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

ROW Along, or Cheer Us On!
We’re also on Facebook!

Wondering what Welcome to Night Vale is all about?  Here’s the pilot podcast for your perusal!