Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, NaNoWriMo 2012, Novel Excerpts, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing, Writing in Freedom, writing prompts, Writing Sample

The Scent of Inkberries: #SoCS and #NaNoWriMo2017


“But let us return to the story.” She lifted a hand, fingers lightly closed. “Each of the Nine came to Mother, each sharing the same core of truth. Two daughters would be born.” She lifted a finger to give the words the weight of a list; another thing about her that had nay changed with time. “One would carry the blood of Tacivaar, and the other of Canivaar.” A second finger joined the first. This one bore the stains of her inkberries, minding Niaan of those nights when she would wake to the sound of Konii’s quills scratching away at vellum, or scraps of fabric paper Rachyl sometimes wove and bound into books for her. They had had long whispered talks, oftimes, about what Konii was learning in the archives, and what Niaan was learning in the Huntlands, and how it ever seemed more real than anything they were learning as part of Mother’s lessons.

That early closeness had faded, but the scent of inkberries, or their stain on the Mouse’s fingers and shift, was still enough to bring the memory of it surging, bringing warmth and trust –

“You have stopped listening, little sister.”

What do inkberries smell like?

What is the rest of this story?

Do you want to read more?

This stream-of-consciousness snippet was written for Among the Firestars, Volume Five (I think) of my epic fantasy Trueborn series-in-the-making, and my current NaNoWriMo novel-in-progress.


Meanwhile, in real life…

Well, as they say, nothing is written in ink, or in stone – including that people who married each other a little over 20 years ago will get to live to grow into old age together.

My husband has metastasized pancreatic cancer. The first suggestion of the realities to come was the day after our twentieth anniversary on August 23. He was having abdominal pains – sharp and shooting, and, after most of the day thinking maybe it had more to do with the rich dinner we’d had at the oyster bar the night before, we were finally concerned enough about the possibility of appendicitis that we headed to the emergency room.

An ultrasound revealed the culprit was likely his gall bladder, and that he might need to be more careful of rich or dairy foods. But there was also a spot on his liver “Probaby fatty tissue,” we were told, but it was recommended that he see his primary care physician sometime the next week to be sure.

He didn’t go. We were between insurance plans, money was tight as we were launching a small business, and he didn’t want to pile up bills that would make things even tighter. He decided to wait for his regular appointment a few weeks later.

But he wasn’t feeling great. Digestive issues became chronic. In the back of my mind, I worried. He was tired, and his belly hurt. When he saw his doctor, she confirmed a mass on the larger lobe of his liver, and he came home to tell me there would be a series of tests and treatments, starting with a colonoscopy, and ending with the surgical removal of the alleged fatty tissue.

A day or so before the Thursday colonoscopy, his leg started hurting. He limped out of the appointment. The pain didn’t abate, and it swelled. On Monday, he went to the emergent care, because he’d been told they had the equipment to do an ultrasound on the leg. They didn’t, so they sent him on to the emergency room – and, there, they diagnosed a deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot running the length of his leg.

Then there was the bloodwork, which showed proteins indicative of cancer in his blood. The ultrasound that showed the liver mass, and a node on his pancreas. The biopsy that showed pancreatic tissue in the liver mass. The diagnosis, and the prognosis: six to twelve months. Inoperable. Incurable. Radiation won’t help. Chemotherapy will give him maybe more time, and better quality of life. But it won’t cure this.

Only death will.

Things aren’t written in stone, or in ink. But maybe I can change that – find a way to use indelible ink to etch these last twenty years and however many months, weeks, days – maybe even years, if we get very lucky – into my soul.

Maybe ink isn’t needed. Maybe the indelibility is right here with us, in our children, in our home, in our minds and memories –

And in every moment we’re all still here, and living, and loving…


This post is my dip into Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt is “ink.”

Read more SoCS posts right here.

Want to join in? Here are the rules.

Remains of the Last Supper of Our Old Normal, Aug. 23, 2017.


Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, SoCS, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

Surprises for #SoCS (A day late)

Standard disclaimer:

 I don’t own them; I don’t profit from them. They just tell me to write, and I do as ordered. They both outrank me, after all!


“Which is it, T’Pol?”  Trip put his hands on his hips and got too close; that always seemed to trigger her a little, but, just like these dust-ups they seemed to keep on having, herkind of got the feeling that she liked it as much as he did.

She straightened her spine – how the hell did she manage to make it straighter than it already was? What the hell kind of witch was she, and what was going to happen if Starfleet Command ever saw her doing that? Probably have every human in Starfleet breaking their backs trying to do the same thing.

“Commander Tucker.”

“Yeah?” He sent the shiver of arousal at the way she said his name right back to her; her eyes were zeroed in on him, just him, and he wanted to keep them that way. Woman had the sexiest damn eyes – not quite as dark as they looked in a jazz club on a Tuesday night, and he thought he could get lost in the little flecks of green and gold –

“You are obstructing my path, and preventing me from determining the answer to your query.”

Damn. Her chin was up, and she enunciated each word. He could tell she was getting “agitated,” as she put it. If he pushed her any further now, he was going to push her away, and he didn’t want that.

No, he didn’t want that at all.

What he wanted was to get a hell of a lot closer to his Vulcan Surprise Package, now that they were both officially assigned to the same ship.  And that meant unwrapping a few surprises of his own.

He faux-glared at her for another second and a half, then shrugged. “Well, since I’m apparently just getting in your way, Sub-commander, the station is all yours. Never mind that this is Engineering, and I’m the Chief Engineer, since I’m sure you were playing with more complicated toys than this before you cut your first tooth –“

“I have never injured my teeth, Commander Tucker. And you are still blocking my access to the diagnostic display.”

“Well, then – I guess I’ll just go get a sandwich, since I’m not needed here.” He spun around and walked off, but turned to face her way when he went down the ladder. She was still standing in the same place, but she’d turned her head to watch him go, and it was a little tipped in that adorable way that said that just maybe he’d surprised her.

Trip started to whistle, imagining how much more surprised she was going to be when he brought her back a cup of chamomile tea.

This Star Trek: Enterprise TnT fan fiction is brought to you courtesy of Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where this week’s prompt was “Which/witch/wich;” beginning with “Which”, and using all three versions, but NOT the old “Which witch is which.” As always, no editing (beyond typos).

You can find more of my fan fiction on my page.

Wade into more SoCS posts!

Add your own (here’s the rules!)

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Short Stories, SoCS, Star Trek: Enterprise, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

“It Is Not My Name”: #SoCS for October 21, 2017

“Pepperpot, you gotta let me go –”

“What is the meaning of that nomenclature, Trip?”


“On several occasions, you have addressed me as ‘Pepperpot.’ It is not my name.”

“If I promise to tell you after I use the head, will you let me go do that before I embarrass myself?”

“Only if you promise to tell me immediately after.”

“You drive a hard bargain, Pepperpot. Do I get to wash my hands first?”

“That depends.”

“On what?”

“Upon whether you wish to touch me while you –“

“Yes, I want to touch you. Haven’t you figured it out yet? I pretty much ALWAYS want to touch you.”

“Humans tend to be unpredictable. I can’t simply discount the possibility that you will at some point choose not to touch me.”

“Not in here, when we’re off duty, and no one’s watching but us chickens.”

“We’re not chickens, Trip –“

“I know that, T’Pol.”

“There have also been many occasions when you haven’t wanted to touch me or be in close proximity to me.”

“Damn. Now I can’t walk away and leave you here with that look in your eyes. C’mere. I didn’t understand you – what you needed, and how you Vulcans….well, tick, when it comes to this kind of thing. Now that I know, and know what you need – honestly, I find it pretty damned sexy, how much you want to touch and be touched, even if your kind of touching is different from what I fumbled around with as a kid. Just makes you more challenging – and I like a challenge.”



“Why do you call me ‘Pepperpot’ when it’s not my name?”

“We had a deal. I tell you AFTER I pee – unless you’d rather I just let go right here and now.”

“I would NOT.”

“Then keep your shirt on a minute. Be right back.”

“I’m not wearing a shirt.”

“Or anything else. It’s a figure of speech.”

“It hurts my ears when you speak loudly from that distance –“

“What’d you say? Couldn’t hear you.”

“Please refrain from raising your voice. I can hear you perfectly.”

“Sometimes I forget these are as functional as they are pretty. Sorry.”

“Have you washed your hands?”

“I wouldn’t be touching your sexy ears if I hadn’t. I’m a gentleman, remember.”

“That depends on how one defines ‘gentleman.’ You’re breaking your promise.”

“What – oh. The ‘Pepperpot’ thing.”

“Yes. As you say,’ the Pepperpot thing.’”

“It’s a nickname.”

“Vulcans don’t employ nicknames.”

“Well, humans do. It’s a sign of affection to give one’s lover – or mate, in your case – a nickname. Besides, T’Pol is a bit formal for in here.”

“It’s my name, Trip.”

“Yup. The same one everyone else calls you, out there. We need something special for in here.”

“Everyone aboard calls you Trip.”

“Yeah, but you don’t need to give me a nickname. Your terms fit: t’hy’la, ashayam. But, much as I love you, you’re not a sweetheart, a darling, or a dear. I wouldn’t like you nearly as much if you were.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Look up those words later; you’ll see I’m right. But you ARE a little like pepper. Spicy, potent, versatile, enchanting – and sometimes, you even make me sneeze.”

“That is a falsehood.”

“That’s true – but if variety is the spice of life, woman, you’re still my favorite seasoning.”

I’ve had a tricky time posting here the last few weeks. Life has been interesting, with many new things, and growing things, and learning things. But today I have an unexpected day off, and, while I’m deep in two ongoing courses and a brand-new class, plus doing the administration and marketing for my husband’s hot sauce business, plus planning and plotting my NaNoWriMo novel…I decided to come and spend a little time exploring Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness waters. You can dip your toes into other posts, or wade in yourself.

This week’s prompt is “season/seasoning”, either as the words, or using seasonings, with bonus points for beginning and/or ending with seasonings or the prompt words.

And, as always, the standard disclaimer. I don’t own them; I make no money from them – I simply love them enough to share them! =D



Posted in Business Startup, Challenges and Contests, Life Writing, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features

I Think It’s Safe to Say….#SoCS

I think it’s safe to say that we have a successful small business.

Okay, it’s still not bringing in enough cash to meet our expenses, but it’s growing, and building a reputation, and we’re gradually expanding, while at the same time trying to save ourselves the headaches of goig ino debt to finance the business.

But Chef Bluebeard’s hot sauces are a going concern.

That’s a little dizzying to me, considering that we launched our sales in late June, and, at the time, we had one battered car we sweated taking the 5 miles to the one local farmer’s market we worked each week.

It’s now just over 3 months later, and I’m typing this post from our county fairgrounds, where we’re working a swap meet and bike show that’s attracting clubs from all over the state. We’ve made back our booth rental, and we’ve got three hours left to go for this event. We tend to do a bit better as the day goes on, and this event includes alcohol which can be carried throughout the venue. It’s also cool and overcast, with showers – good weather to think about warming up your taste buds!

I actually stopped for a while in the middle of the last sentence. Met a very nice couple, and sold them two bottles of sauce. And stopped again after that sentence to sell another. That makes our count a respectable 8 for the day, so far, and still a bit over 2 hours to go.

So, as I said, we’re finding our pace, and hitting our stride. The next adventure is going to be contacting a woman I ran into outsidea craft store yesterday; by some coincidence, we struck up a conversation, and she organizes craft shows and associated events. So we may have more opportunities in 2018 than we can handle. =)

Also on the agenda – getting the sauce into stores. I finally have a better label solution – since we began, I’ve been printing the labels on regular paper, two to a page, and Jim has been cutting them out and taping them to the bottles. I found sticker sheets, though, and they print fine. It’s still an interim solution – the job is getting to be a bit much for my aging printer, and it’s one of those things I’d happily delegate to a local small business – but, until I have the time and energy to find a printer willing to take on some custom work, sticker sheets should yield 3 labels per page, and, now that we have UPC codes, we are ready to start querying local independent stores. We’re especially looking for those who deal in specialty or related items – and there are quite a few in the area, many of which cater to tourists in the summer season.

We’re still at the beginning of things, still feeling our way along…but gaining confidence as we go, and learning all the time.

P.S. We got to 11 bottles, by the time the event wrapped up – and rumor has it that it was a very slow year. Tomorrow, we’re off to a craft fair….and more sales. =D

What can you safely say today?

This has been a stream-of-consciousness post to Joey’s prompt: “save/safe” for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the rules here, or visit more posters here.

Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, fantasy, Flash Fiction Pieces, SoCS, Star Trek: Enterprise, Story a Day, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, Writing Samples

Fiery Contrasts for #SoCS and #StoryADay

Hi there!

Today is Saturday, and that means it’s time for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. This week’s prompt is “cold/hot.”

Since I’m in the midst of another busy weekend as a hot sauce vendor with Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces (craft fair today, and a farmer’s markets tomorrow and Monday), I’ve decided to combine the prompt with my two Story A Day pieces for today. The first is a battle between two sisters who have been fighting since childhood. The second is a character trying to sell another character on something. Both were written in stream-of-consciousness style (almost) without editing.

For Solemates (Trueborn Series): This novel chronicles the long-awaited coming-together of a starfaring man and a planetbound woman who have shared a deep telepathic bond since they were children – but have never actually met.

“Fiery Weaving”

Niaan shivered, despite her coat. The cold and dark were soaking into her, tasting of ashes and a mate she couldn’t feel.

Did Kaivelt yet live, or had her burned to ash while his ship moved toward them, bright as a firestar in the night?

“We must nay stop, sister.”

But Niaan did nay listen. She could nay. All was the searching after Kaivelt, in her mind and in the sky. The firestars held her with their cold heat, and she could nay move forward – until she saw the lifepine.

It was nay near as tall as Osiraan, but it would allow her to see the firestars, and search the skies for the first signs that Kaivelt’s ship was coming – and mayhap some proof that he yet lived.

“Do nay go into the trees, Niaan.”

Vaara moved to stand before her, teeth bared and ruff lifted. She would fight, if Niaan allowed it – but, in that breath, Kaivelt surged into her, and she was aflame, scorched by his Burning. Hotter than the firestars was the force of his being in hers, and it demanded without words or thought.

It needed, with the instinct of Huntlust and the need to survive.

She cried her need, his need out into the night, and drove down and beneath Varaa’s belly, snapping up as she passed, so that the Canivaarii would be distracted and unable to set fang to her. Then she was past, and near to the trunk, barely scaping the snarling jaws of her half-twin and gaining the tree.

Up she went, with nay a care for the wolf below; Vaara would nay climb, even for this, and so she was safe, and alone, and Kaivelt’s flames filled her, seared her blood and her breath with slicing talons of need.

No time for a bower, now. They were all flame, all need, hot fire and cold night air. She found a crook in the tree’s trunk, and wedged herself into it.

And then she gave herself to Kaivelt, and to the fiery weaving between them.

For “Highly Classified Drabbles”, a young woman must come to terms with an irreversible act she committed seventeen years before, and which she was later compelled to forget. I used the prompt words listed below.

  1. bomb
  2. signal
  3. afford
  4. unpack
  5. smell
  6. name
  7. discreet
  8. hot
  9. cold

Standard Disclaimer: I don’t own them, or profit from them; I just tell their stories, and share them.

Cut Short

“T’Pol?” Jonathan Archer stands by the door, watching her. “Why do I get the feeling you’re about to unpack a bombshell on me?”

His name was Jossen, and she had killed him. She can smell the fetid jungle, and the scent of his charred flesh, and she represses the need to retch.

She shivers despite being hot. Illogical that her guilt is a cold thing within her.

“T’Pol? You’re giving all the signals of a person who can’t afford to keep this to yourself. You brought me along because you trust me, and I’m discreet.”

Jossen’s cry echoes, cut short.

For more #SoCS posts, visit Linda’s prompt post.

Posted in #STaD 2017, Blog Hops and Fests, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, fantasy, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Novel Excerpts, Short Stories, SoCS, Star Trek: Enterprise, Story a Day, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Hard News for #StoryADay/#SoCS

Hi there, and welcome to my joint #StoryADay/ Stream of Consciousness Saturday post.

The #SoCS prompt for this week is “vol.” I used three “vol” words, and a list of prompt words from a worksheet created by my friend and NaNoWriMo ML, Shannon Kauderer. Those are listed before the TnT drabble. I confess to editing that one to maintain the 100 word limit, so you can consider it a bonus if you’d like.

The first post is completely unedited.

I haven’t been posting my #StoryADay writing on a daily basis, but it fit so well here, I couldn’t resist. Learn more about StoryADay September 2017.

“You Have News” 

(Preparation for my upcoming Trueborn series epic fantasy series WIP, Solemates.)

“So, sister, you have news you have nay shared with me yet.”

Niaan might have been surprised, once, at the ease with which Rachyl discerned such things, when she had thought them camouflaged and safe from encroachment. But she was sitting on cushions beside a voluminous planting of sensates. She could nay read any but the most basic of the messages the plants made, but Rachyl tended to the plants as to dear friends, and they spoke to her even if she didn’t touch them.

“Are you going to tell it, or hoard it to yourself like you did that fur when you were seven sunrounds, and dragged it into the Great Hall, and would nay let any other touch it or take it from your jaws?”

“Nay – I will tell it. I want none of the flogging Mother gave me when I fell asleep with it.”

“As though I would flog you for simply being as you are, sister. Come, now, you know me better than that. Besides, your fangs are far sharper, and your Huntskills far stronger, than they were then. I value my skin too much to wish it punctured. Even more my breathsource and bloodsource, sister. So, if you will nay tell me now, I will wait on your choice, and hold to my own wonderings.” Rachyl sipped her tea sedately; as though nothing could ever disturb her.

Mayhap it could nay. She was a fine healer, and had been so since she was a child. It was she who had made and applied the salve after Mother’s flogging.

But, if there was that which could disturb her, it was like as nay the news Niaan had to share. It had been so long, near to her lifetime, and many tended to think she had only imagined it in some fever-sickness long past, and that she was merely a fool who chased after dartwings, and would nay release the dessicated carcass of a prey long since dead.

She set her drinking bowl on the flat rock beside her, and studied her sister closely for a moment. “Kaivelt is coming to me, Rachyl.”

Word Prompts for September 16, 2017:

  1. flaky
  2. bloody
  3. well-groomed
  4. bounce
  5. page
  6. cherry
  7. trick
  8. print
  9. embarrass
  10. brother
  11. prickly
  12. finicky
  13. bored
  14. domineering
  15. volatile
  16. voluble

Standard disclaimer:

I don’t own or profit from these characters.

The Hard Way

(Exploration for upcoming chapters of my Star Trek: Enterprise TnT fan fiction story, “Highly Classified Mission,” which is based on S2E7: “The Seventh.” All previous and subsequent Story A Day September Drabbles can (eventually) be found on my page.)

Trip pokes at the flaky croissant, dips it in cherry jam – then puts it back on his plate, uneaten. He stares at the page on the PADD without really seeing it. The print swims; he still hasn’t slept.

Bored with playing a volatile, domineering tyrant so soon?” Malcolm doesn’t look tired enough. There’s still a bounce in his step. He’s well-groomed. “Too finicky for Chef’s breakfast, too, I see.”

Trip is prickly. Malcolm’s too damned voluble. Trip’s brother taught him well how to embarrass someone, and and Malcolm Bloody Reed’s about to learn a trick or two – the hard way.

Posted in Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Short Stories, SoCS, Star Trek: Enterprise, Story a Day, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom, writing prompts, Writing Samples

My Motive Is… Belated #SoCS and #StoryADay for 9/9/17

Hello there!

It’s been a busy week, and I’m capping it off with Tugboat Roundup – a two-day gathering of tugboats for competitions and camaraderie on the famed and historic Erie Canal. Today’s #SoCS posts were written on the fly there, as a matter of fact.

This week’s prompt is “motive”, used however we please. I chose to combine the prompt with my #StoryADay posts for today – with interesting results. One of this week’s prompts was to change the gender of the main character, and another was to “break the rules.” My first story is onesinglerunonword – there are no spaces to be found anywhere!

Standard disclaimer: I don’t own these characters, and do not profit from this writing.



For the second story, I’m sharing my Star Trek: Enterprise TnT fan fiction drabble (a 100 word story). I used the SoCs prompt word and several more prompt words contributed by my fan fiction readers:

  • nimbus

  • plausible

  • savagely

  • forgetful

  • dismissive

  • fanatical

  • morph

“Who Is Jossen?”

T’Pol has no answers for her question, nor an understanding of her own motive in coming here. The nimbus of almost-memory remains; there is no plausible explanation for how savagely she had attacked the crates of plasma injecctors; how forgetful and dismissive of the dangers she had been.

All attempts to comprehend her fanatical behavior fail, nor can she release the question that consumes her:

Who is Jossen?

All attempts to answer morph into images of two men running, leaves slapping her face, the hands, the priest and the stone beneath her.

Who is Jossen?

She must learn the answer.

This post is a belated entry into Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Wade in right  here!