Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

How Do They Live? for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:


Rose has a newspaper rose made by a shabbily dressed man whom she finds compelling. As she takes her commuter train to work, she reflects on the experience of meeting him.

How Do They Live?

I hold his rose, and wonder.

How does he survive, alone on the streets? How does anyone? Especially now, with winter stretching for months ahead, and the nights falling well below freezing? Where do the forgotten humans go, when it’s killing cold outside?

How do they live?

Again, my cloak feels like a weighted accusation of excess, of plenty when others have not enough. I’ve remained carefully unaware, pretended not to see, not to notice, not to be either part of the problem, or the solution. But now I hear Jeremy’s voice in my mind.

What will Rose do now that she’s so aware?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

What will she do with his rose?

Any guesses?

“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review,  edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

On Saturday, my Accomplice and I attended a Wine and Food Tasting held by a local Lions Club chapter. It was held in a yacht basin, and he was there to represent the restaurant where he works. His employer also said he could sell his artisanal hot sauces, so I was there to offer those, as he served up fresh-grilled Cajun catfish and dirty rice.

The food ran out in about an hour, and we shifted our focus to the sauces, setting out our samples and signage. We already had our new shelf stocked. We sold seven bottles – that’s pretty good, as it’s a fledgling cottage business that’s only existed for about 3 months.

My Accomplice makes the sauces by hand – it’s a labor of passion for him – but I do all the labeling, signage, platform building, and marketing….and I’ve essentially been learning as I go. It’s keeping my brain very busy (and kept me from getting to as many other #8sunday folks as I wish I was).

And, on that note….

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link!

Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Marketing my Writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Sharing the Wind for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’ Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:

Rose has just made a confession to Jeremy, but then is afraid to hear his response. We pick up from that point…

Sharing the Wind

Can’t bear to risk that his ‘perhaps’ means ‘no’. I burst up, nearly upsetting the latte before Jeremy rescues it. I try to look back, but the other commuters are jostling and pushing for the car entrances, a tsunami that sweeps me away from him.

I get the last station-side window seat – nearest the door, and the cold wind that will enter every time it opens. But I don’t mind that – I’ll be sharing the wind with Jeremy, and I’m dressed more warmly than he is. I find where the thinning crowd leaves a bench in solitude, and there he is, watching me as he sips his latte. He lifts the mug in silent salute, his smile wide and crinkling the corners of his blue eyes. He mouths something. Fellow human, I think.

Will Rose ever see Jeremy again?

Does Jeremy want to see her?

What’s next for these two?

Any guesses?

If you’re looking for more #8Sunday, click this link, or the icon below!

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

Posted in Life Writing, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Unschooling, Weekend Coffee Share

The Practicing Mindfulness Edition: #weekendcoffeeshare and #SoCS

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I thought I’d get to this post earlier in the day, but that earlier in the day was instead filled with the ever-present Other Things.

You see, my Accomplice is starting a business, I am engaged in goals around that, my writing (it’s July #CampNaNoWriMo, and I’m writing a book without a plot for the first time in a few years, so the writing feels more…vivid than it has of late), and learning about marketing, platform and design. More, my daughter became a teenager a week ago, and my son will be going on a camping trip out of state with friends. He’s visited out of state friends before, but never for camping.

My kids are growing up, and their parents’ horizons are expanding too. For all of us, this is a time of exciting change and shifting. They are becoming adults. Jeremiah will be 16 in early September. He’s been studying the driver’s manual and the state licensing laws already, because he’s a practical, safety-minded person who also happens to love doing research on things that interest him.

We’re at that point where many families are dealing with “teenage rebellion.” As a matter of fact, I was told be a family member, back when the kids were 8 and 5, that “all teenagers rebel, even if only a little.” Because we don’t impose rules on our kids, and haven’t since they were 7 and 4, I was assured their teenage years were going to be disastrous.

And they certainly could be. I wasn’t a very nice mother, before I made a conscious, and very difficult to enact, decision that I needed to become a kinder, gentler, more respectful version of myself.

My kids, shortly after this change, referred to my former self as “Mean Mommy.” As in, “Back when you were a Mean Mommy.”

That hurt, to hear them say it. It still hurts that it was true, even though it’s been years since I lived up to that title.

But that’s a litlte off topic. I wanted to say, that if I had gone on down that Mean Mommy path I was on, I would almost certainly be in big trouble right about now. I’ve spawned a fifteen year old who is about 6’3” tall – and burly about the chest and shoulders, like his father – only bigger.

If I had made myself his enemy, way back then when he was still much smaller than me, I might be in very deep trouble now. Instead, I have an almost-a-man son with whom a maintain a close and connected relationship, even as he stretches toward independence. We don’t just tolerate one another, or have a state of truce.

We enjoy one another’s company. We take long walks together, where he shares his thoughts, and, sometimes, asks me for advice or opinions on his plans for the future. He’s recently discovered an interest in in local history, and we’ve visited several significant sites together.

I know that if I need to tell him I disagree or have serious plans about something he wants to do, that he’ll consider my opinion – because I’ve earned his trust and his respect.

As I said above, it wasn’t an easy change. The life I had as a child offers little in the way of positive examples, beyond that my parents did foster a sense of curiosity and a desire for learning, and they could be goofy and loving.

But the reality includes the shadow of abuse. Physical violence, screaming and shouting, inconsistent and sometimes harsh punishment, emotional manipulation and abandonment, and intentional, systemic humiliation were all a part of my childhood, and, at one point, I was very close to bequeathing them to my own children as their birthright.

I didn’t decide one day to change the entire way I raised my children, and then do it. The process of deciding took nearly a year. That was followed by a great deal of research and learning.

At first, I had to be mindful every moment – every thought, gesture, and word. I made a tremendous number of mistakes and missteps. I relapsed more than once, falling back on those old patterns I’d known since I was a small child.

If I hadn’t practiced mindfulness, I wouldn’t be here, wouldn’t be the mother of two teensI know I can guide without controlling. Whose judgment I trust, within the parameters of the maturity they’ve attained.

When I think about the way life might have been, I’m profoundly thankful that I chose mindfulness instead.

The post is a joint venture of Stream of Consciousness Saturday, hosted by Linda G.Hill, and the #weekendcoffeeshare, back at its original home at Part-Time Monster Blog.

Posted in Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Parenting, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekend Coffee Share, Writing in Freedom

The Time Plays Tricks Edition: an #SoCS #weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it’s quarter after 9, Saturday night, and I’m just getting around to setting up this post. I’d say that I wrote it in my journal about twelve hours ago, and that the hours between have been filled with productivity and celebration…in a low key, as befits the wishes of the object of the festivities….but, maybe it’s best if I just pour the drinks, and let you read for yourself…

Age 3 months – already brightening our lives.

July 8, 2017 –

In less than an hour, now, my daughter will be a teenager.

It doesn’t quite seem possible.

Wasn’t it only a couple of years ago that we brought home our sleepy little yellow-tinged bundle, and laid her in her bassinet in the living room?

Where, shortly after that, her brother, not quite three, almost smothered her because he thought she needed a pillow, and couldn’t figure out how to get it under her head?

Has it really been twelve years since her first birthday, when she’d just (finally) gotten her first tooth, and could speak in complete sentences?

Eleven years since the doctor’s question, “Can she say at least six words?” came only a few days after her question,”Mommy, what kind of medicine is this?”

 

Christmas time silliness with her big brother.

Ten years since she could tell you what DNA stood for, and even make a joke of it – “deoxyribonucleic BACID!” – and could quote Shakespeare, but still said, “aminal”, “Psghetti”; “allgalator”, and “NimM’s”?

Nine years since she turned four, and first met Sheet, who would be her constant companion for years to come?

Eight years since she proved herself a natural horsewoman in the making (who later outgrew that passion)??

A day at the races; age 5. Can you tell she had a good time?

Seven years since she lost her first tooth, and made a new best friend?

Six years since she launched her first cottage industry, selling art with her best friend at our local unschooling conference?

Five years since she learned to read – naturally, and quite suddenly?

Four years since she wrote her first poem, largely by accident?

Three years since she attained her first decade, and rediscovered her passion for Littlest Pet Shop characters?

Sometimes she needs to stop and smell the irises….

Two years since she got her American Girl doll, Grace, after half a lifetime of choosing something else at the last moment, when the opportunity came?

Already a year since she started blossoming into the first flush of womanhood, expanding her horizons and refining her passions?

Time plays tricks, I tell you.

Here’s this girl who comes up to my eyes now, who is lovely and mature and silly and moody and still the Force of Nature she’s always been…

Self portrait of a lovely young woman in the making, in her last days of being twelve.

And I know how she got here, and I can do the math….she is 13.

But, somehow, the time elapsed between her arrival at 9:33 on a Thursday morning in 2004, and this moment – 9:02 on a Saturday morning in 2017 – seems like a sustained, mostly happy blur, carrying us along as time works its tricky magic.

Today. Lise is 13 years old – and I am a proud, amazed, and slightly bewildered mother, shaking my head at the perfectly normal tricks time plays.

This post was written for Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday  where today’s prompt is “ick” – by itself or as part of another word. And #weekendcoffeeshare, hosted by Emily at Nerd in the Brain. To learn more about either challenge, click on its title, or the associated icon to beam on over.

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

A Pile of Moments 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. 


Hello there, fellow WIPpeteers – and, to those just along for the ride – welcome! Hop in, get comfy…but don’t leave popcorn in the center seat!

I’m getting into this very good habit of setting this post up early – it’s Thursday night as I type this (and Saturday morning, early, as I finish it up in my blog template). I’ve found that, when I wait to do these small blogging tasks, life tends to suck up the time, and, before I know it, I’m rushing to get things done.

Now that I really realize that the problem is the assumption that I’ll find the time, rather than a serious flaw in my motivation and commitment, I’m starting to learn how to work with it.

I even managed to read last week’s posts before they went away!

These are just two of the benefits of my taking the month of June to focus on drafting for my blog. There are many others – but that’s not the point of this post, and it’s not why you’re here, so let’s get on with the business of the day, shall we?

It’s time for another installment of my finally-getting–sassy-TnT fan fiction story, adapted from Humanity’s Enterprise . It’s a patchwork of stories, written in different styles, at different times, and for different projects. 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.

Recap:

Trip’s “Vulcan Surprise Package” has just walked into his life for the second time –and he’s seeing lots of possibilities….

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 June 28, 2017.
  • I have 6 paragraphs for you today – for the month.

A Pile of Moments

Then again, she was right there in front of him, and the rear view was – well, completely worthy of this sweet little ship. The strangely patterned one-piece outfit she wore covered her from neck to boots, but it didn’t do a damned thing to hide those lush curves and taut lines that had grabbed hold of his imagination a year ago. How in hell could the Vulcan High Command send her to a ship whose crew was two-thirds human males, dressed like that, and expect anyone to focus on work?

Not very damned logical, was it?

He thought of Soval, and Mr. Velik, his visiting sophomore biology teacher, and how dry and passionless both were. Then again, maybe the Vulcans never considered how taking this lovely young woman out of her robes would affect the crew. Maybe they didn’t even notice…

Come to think of it, Jon didn’t seem to notice how tempting she was, either – and he wasn’t exactly “extending her every courtesy,” or anything else. She made a tiny little sniffing sound, and he responded tersely, “Is there a problem?”

“No, sir.” Her voice was guarded, walled off – but Trip just heard her whispering her mantra while she clutched a light pole, and remembered her wide, unshuttered eyes pulling him into her while Silas played –

Now might not be the time, but they had eight days, and a simple taxi run – okay, a taxi run into the unknown, but still, there would have to be a pile of moments they could use to get to know each other a whole lot better.

Will Trip get the chance to explore those moments with her?

Will they live up to his fantasies?

What history does Trip have with this woman?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page, or go directly to my Story A Day May drabbles  – a loosely-connected serial of 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 Blogfest Entries, Enterprise fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writing Samples

“Hey, T’Pol?” for SoCS

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.

“Hey, T’Pol?”

“Mind if I join you?”

“No.”

“What are you reading?”

“I have a new language lesson from Ensign Sato.”

“Well, you look a little confused.”

“I am. Your language is most imprecise, Commander.”

“Tell me about it. On the other hand, don’t.”

“I already have. I can’t undo the action now.”

“You could if you talked to the Cap’n’s friend, Daniels.”

“That is illogical. The Vulcan Science Directorate has determined that time travel is impossible.”

“Hey, T’Pol?”

“Yes, Commander?”

“Wanna know something?”

“If it is something of significance?”

“Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.”

“What did you wish to tell me, Commander Tucker?”

“I’ve determined that the Vulcan Science Directorate having a single imaginative thought between them is impossible.”

“It’s not their duty to pursue imaginary thoughts, Commander. It’s their duty to advance scientific theory.”

“Whatever you say. You want help with the lesson?”

“I’m uncertain that will be possible.”

“Are you criticizin’ my command of my native tongue, Sub-Commander?”

“Not at all. You seem to communicate well with your fellow humans, despite what Ensign Sato has intimated.”

“Let’s come back to what Hoshi said about me later. If you don’t think I’m incompetent, why don’t you think I can help you?”

“Because my difficulty is with the illogical nature of the material, not with your proficiency. You can do nothing to alleviate that problem.”

“Wanna bet?”

“If you’re proposing a wager, Commander, you must first name the terms.”

“Looks like you’re almost out of tea. If I can’t make some sense of whatever’s got you stymied, I get the refills.”

“And it you are able to provide clarification, Commander?”

“You put the PADD down when I bring the next round, and we just talk until it’s gone.”

“Your wager is acceptable.”

“Okay, then. Show me the part that’s tripping you up.”

“It is this: ‘Rain. Reign. Rein.’”

“I can see why that would be tricky – honestly, that one got me a lot when I was a kid, too.”

“I’m neither a young human, nor an immature member of the goat family, Commander Tucker.”

“Yeah. I know that, but that’s a whole different thing. I’m not ready to start working out idioms with you. That would be like pulling your eye teeth.”

“I wouldn’t advise attempting it -”

“You don’t say.”

“I just did.”

“Forget it.”

“Unlikely.”

“I mean let’s change the subject, before you give me a headache.”

“Are you unwell, Commander? If so, there’s no need to attempt to assist me. Perhaps you should return to your quarters and rest.”

“I’m fine – it’s that damned language barrier again. Or the brain barrier. I’m not tired; I need something to figure out. So c’mon. Hand it over. Hmmm…so what is it about those three that’s catching you?”

“The words are each spelled differently, and have different meanings. I further suspect that there are nuances of meaning, in each case, which I don’t understand. For instance, rain. Your language database contains a remarkable diversity of words to define liquid precipitation, all of which are essentially variations on several easily quantifiable conditions . Would it not be more efficient to identify the forms by those measures?”

“Well, I guess that’s true enough – but that’s just not how we do it. It wouldn’t be useful to me unless I was conducting some kind of experiment.”

“Why not?”

“Let’s circle back to that one – I need to think it over a little. How about the other two?”

“I would rather focus on precipitation now, Commander. It seems likely that Ensign Sato will be able to adequately explain my difficulties with the other versions of ‘rain/reign/rein’ when I next consult her.”

“Okay, so what do you want to know about rain? I mean, what can I tell you that you don’t already know first-hand? Defining rain by measurable variables doesn’t say anything about the way ir feels on your face, you know?”

“No.”

“No, what?”

“No, I don’t know. I have seldom felt rain in that manner, and have never had the leisure to explore the sensations associated with it.”

“You mean you were never an adorable tiny little pointy-eared pixie with great big eyes turned up to the sky in a rainstorm? Not even once?”

“No. It seldom rains on Vulcan, Commander, and virtually never in the region where I was raised. When rain occurs, it never reaches the ground.”

“Never? What – is the whole planet a desert or something?”

“No. One point six percent is not.”

“And so you never felt rain when you could just be there with it?”

“No.”

“Well, then – that’s why all our names for rain don’t make sense to you. You don’t have a frame of reference.”

“That is unlikely to change.”

“Now, wait a minute. We can’t exactly just step outside and take a walk in the rain, but there’s a way you could get an idea why we have so many way to describe rain. Play with the adjustments on your shower; Starfleet assigned something pretty dull, but I went all out and made sure every shower head on this ship has enough variety to simulate at least a few dozen types of rain, more or less – you’re not saying anything.”

“I’m considering the concept, and devising an experiment to test the theory.”

“Well, while you do that, I’ll get the refills. It’s up to you now – did I win my bet, or not?”

Trip grinned as T’Pol set her PADD to the side, decisively. Now all he had to do was not let on how much he was fighting imagining her in the shower.

This post is for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is rain/reign/rein, one or all, used any way we like.

Wade into the Stream of Consciousness right here!


Posted in #8Sunday, Blogfest Entries, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

More Than Perhaps for #WeWriWa #8Sunday

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors’

Eight Sentence Sunday!

It’s the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! We’ve got a variety of genres and talented writers just waiting for you to come sample their wordy wares. Come read one, or all!

If you’re inclined to share your own 8-10 sentence snippet, follow the link and sign up. It’s a great community to be a part of! =D

Monday Morning Coffee” has been with me since I was sixteen. A local boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event. Several days later, he was found, deceased.

From that story came this one – the connection might not be clear to anyone but me – but it’s there.

Context:

A new connection between a shabbily dressed man and a commuter is interrupted by her train’s arrival

More Than Perhaps

Jeremy feathers kisses across my forehead. “May you have a day as beautiful and charming as your soul and your smile, dearest Rose, fellow human.”

“I don’t want to go.”

He folds his newspaper. I will carry a fresh one, tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…I’ll carry the paper, and come early to the station.

“You have your life, dearest Rose, and I mine. Perhaps time and life will bring us together again, and perhaps not.”

“I want more than perhaps,” I say, and then can’t bear to see if it was too much, and far too soon.


What will Rose do now?

Will she ever see Jeremy again?

Does Jeremy have a better answer than he’s given?

Any guesses?

Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler.  Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and use it as my initial self-published offering.

After last week’s chaos with the car breakdown, this week, so far, has been calm – and yet – exciting. Things are happening. Important things. Potentially life-changing things. They have to do with my Accomplice’s business, finally beginning to launch in a very soft manner, and in my own transition from writing as avocation to writing as profession. And also in the growing of our children, and a sunny Tuesday that follows a stormy Monday.

I’ll have more to say on those things in coming weeks.

Find more #8Sunday right here!