Posted in #atozchallenge, April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, Blogfest Entries, Blogging from A toZ April Challenge, Just for Fun!, Life Writing, My Poetry, poetry, slices of life, Writing Sample

L is for Laughing Our Way to Death – and Beyond: #atozchallenge, Day 12

Marriage Within Truth

We laughed a lot when we were brand-new

We laughed our way into a marriage

Marriage that began with a slew of in-jokes

Marriage that produced two laughing children

Children whose giggles were balm to our souls

Children whose chortles were our favorite music

Music that filled our little home with delight

Music that told us we were getting this right

Right and left up and down laughter everywhere

Right from the beginning laughter filled the air

Air carrying mirth everywhere we went

Air lighter and brighter for our merriment

Merriment we shared with every passerby

Merriment offered freely and given with glee

Glee that swelled and filled our lives

Glee that sustained us when sorrow came

Came to take from us our precious second son

Came to show us the even then we could laugh

Laugh at gallows humor when that’s all we had

Laugh even through the tears we shed

Shed the mourning shrouds to tend to the living

Shed the numbness of grief with the best medicine

Medicine that offered healing no anti-depressant could

Medicine that nurtured bright living for our surviving son

Son who gave us so much reason for joy

Son whose happiness became precious treasure

Treasure each breath and tiny toddler joke

Treasure the dimples the giggles the squeals and smiles

Smiles we found again when our daughter was conceived

Smiles we clutched when told she might not live to be born

Born into this family fractured and remade

Born heathy and strong and ready to embrace hilarity

Hilarity she brought from her earliest days

Hilarity that made us a new kind of whole

Whole arsenal of humor our family shares

Whole of our secret weapon against life’s cruel snares

Snares like cancer we never saw coming

Snares that snatched away that big laughing man

Man whose barrel chest produced such wondrous guffaws

Man who once kissed a fish to make his girl giggle

Giggle our way through more than twenty years

Giggle like crazed children until we were in tears

Tears flow now for all that’s been lost

Tears that season our laughter with new sorrows

Sorrows eased by the humor we find

Sorrows unshadowed by little jokes left behind

Behind this great loss is even greater truth

Behind this darkness is a long laughing light

Light

Truth

Jim and I laughed. Before we were lovers, we were friends, and we laughed. Once we were dating, the hilarity escalated.

One night, I called from work because he was going to give me a ride home. We lived at the edge of the Grand Canyon then, and I worked with a woman he’d casually dated before we met, and who was sensitive about his moving on. When he picked up the phone, and gruffly said, “Yes?” (Jim hated the phone!), I responded, “It’s me.”

“Me who?”

“Me me.”

A pause. Then, “Mimi? I told you never to call me here.”

Part of the reason I married Jim were his jokes (mostly off color), and his ridiculously improbable stories.It was during the one about the pomegranate that rolled up the hill that I knew I wanted to be with this man forever. Here was a man who could be silly with me, and would. But, when life was serious, he’d take me that way, too.

It got serious in 2003, when our second child suffered a brain injury at birth. It was Jim who made me laugh the first time, as he was getting ready to bring me home from the hospital where three-day-old Elijah was lying in a coma in the NICU. His joke was wildly inappropriate – but it fit a situation for which we had no rules, and I clung to it until life offered something better to laugh about.

Even when he was diagnosed, he still found things for us to laugh about. “Most of my life, I’ve worried about my weight,” he said. “But now I’ve got a magic wand. The weight just comes off!”  He joked about his terminal cancer as a “free pass” to eat and do what he wanted, because there weren’t going to be any repercussions worse than death.

His last joke came about a week before he died. I’d helped him with a shower I knew would be the last one, even though I don’t think he realized that he’d be bedbound from that point forward. He was lucid less and less by then.

I was helping him dress – something else he could no longer do on his own, and he caught our reflection in the mirrored closet door.

“Look,” he said, conspiratorially. “My wife’s here.”

I miss him – but we’re determined to carry on the laughter in his honor.

Come on back tomorrow, when

Marriage Metamorphizes with Metastasis.

Looking for more lovely L posts?

A mutual favorite song for both Jim and I:

Posted in April CampNaNoWriMo 2018, CampNaNoWriMo, Just for Fun!, Novel Excerpts, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing, writing prompts, Writing Sample

The Key to Freedom: #SoCS and #CampNaNoWriMo

 

Passive-aggressive behavior was something Serrah felt she’d elevated to an art form – but Donovan Nash didn’t leave her any openings to use her craft.  He just offered her options, without seeming to have any stake at all in how she used them.

While it appealed to her, the way he was, and the peace he seemed to feel, it was also frightening. What would it be like, to have that kind of freedom? To not be trying to find any little way she could to get out from under the iron-willed control Mom and Dad held over her? To stand braced on her own two feet, the way he was standing, and hold herself tall beneath the ocean sky?

Was she strong enough?

That was a question she’d avoided asking herself. It was easy, back home – other than the crazy risk she’d taken in running away and coming here to find out about the dead baby who belonged to her hostage heart, she’d never really had the chance to find out whether she was strong enough to make a choice for herself.

She’d thought she was trapped; but now, Serrah thought maybe there was a strange kind of freedom in it. With Mom and Dad making all the decisions, all she’d really had to do was decide if she was going to go along quietly, or complain to herself and find tiny, inconsequential ways to rebel. Or, as was more often the case, just dream of rebelling.

She’d been wasting her life, and she’d told herself it was Mom and Dad’s fault.

But it was her life, and there was a lot she could have been doing that she hadn’t, until she came here.

Now, she was responsible for herself, and for her own decisions, and that was a trap she’d never seen coming – because Serrah Eleanor Reed, whose middle name was for a woman who hadn’t waited around for permission to do things, even though she lived in a time when women weren’t allowed to do nearly what men could, had almost no practice in the art of living.

“Will you show me, Donovan?” Suddenly, learning tai chi seemed to be the key to freedom and power in her own life.

“All right. The first thing you’ll need to know is how to set your stance. This first one is called the bow stance.” He stepped out with his right leg, and turned his left foot out at an angle. “Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your tailbone should be tucked. If you can imagine a string connecting the top of your head to the sky, your posture will be better.”

**

The above was a snippet from the rough draft of Still Nameless, a Kifo Island Chronicles novel I’m working on for this month’s April CampNaNoWriMo.

It’s also my entry into this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday blog hop, where the prompt is “passive/aggressive”, with bonus points for beginning the passage with one of those words.

Learn more about CampNaNoWriMo here.

Find other SOCS posts here.

 

Posted in Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Just for Fun!, Uncategorized, Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

A Little Higher  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 Wrayburn.


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!

Two weeks in a row – yay, me!

I feel like things are starting to settle into something like a rhythm…not quite a routine, which is fine, because I’m not the kind of person who enjoys having each day play out the same. But we are getting to a point where there’s a normalcy about being a family of three and not four; where Jim’s absence, though still acute, isn’t quite as raw. I’m not feeling as though I’m fumbling and stumbling along nearly as often…and, once or twice, I’ve even felt as though I’ve got something that approaches a handle on things.

Which doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a tremendous amount to learn and do…only that I’m starting to feel like, eventually, I’ll crest that mountain and be able to scan the horizons that await us…

On to the WIPpeting!

It’s time for another installment of my TnT fan fiction story, adapted from Humanity’s Enterprise. It’s a patchwork of sorts, 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.

I’ve decided to use this story, once revision gets to a point I’m comfortable with, as my initiation into Wattpad. So please don’t hesitate to let me know if something’s not working for you – it will make a better story in the long run!

Recap: 

Trip Tucker has something he needs to say to Enterprise’s brand-new Vulcan Science Officer, but she’s not exactly making it easy when she says she doesn’t expect any better of a human.  We pick up immediately after my last TnT post, A Vulcan Question Mark,

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 March 21, 2018. I added the two digits of the date to offer 3 short paragraphs.

 “What the hell’s that supposed to mean?”

The words burst out before he could catch them. Her eyebrow slanted up a little higher, and she regarded him coolly. There wasn’t any need at all for her to say even a single syllable in response.

Trip could see it in her eyes. He’d just proven her point.

What point did Trip prove?

Can he recover from this?

Will T’Pol accept Trip’s apology?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page.

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 Blog Hops and Fests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Just for Fun!, Star Trek: Enterprise, Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

A Vulcan Question Mark  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 Wrayburn.


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!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve managed a WIPpet post. There’s so much that needs to happen after the death of a spouse, and I sometimes get pulled away by those realities. I thought  it had only been a week since I posted, but clearly that’s not the case.

But I’m here now, for Pi Day, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

It’s time for another installment of my TnT fan fiction story, adapted from Humanity’s Enterprise. It’s a patchwork of sorts, 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.

I’ve decided to use this story, once revision gets to a point I’m comfortable with, as my initiation into Wattpad. So please don’t hesitate to let me know if something’s not working for you – it will make a better story in the long run!

Recap

Trip Tucker has something he needs to say to Enterprise’s brand-new Vulcan Science Officer.  We pick up immediately after my last TnT post, Uhh…Listen, switching to Trip’s POV.

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 March 14, 2018…Pi Day.
  • Pi is an irrational number. Therefore, I made no count of paragraphs, lines, words, or anything else…I just wrote till I was ready to stop.

She stared straight at him, and there was something in the directness that reminded him of the way she’d looked when she first walked into Fusion – like someone totally out of her element and lost, but either afraid or unwilling to admit it.

And he was the only person she came close to knowing here – except Jon, and it sure as hell didn’t seem like he was going to be even a tiny bit receptive to any problems she might be having.

Hoshi was right. He was an ass of the highest order, and for what? Because she hadn’t wanted to shake his hand?

Get over yourself, Tucker. She needs a friend, and you’re the closest thing she’s got. So put your libido and ego away, and act like a Starfleet officer.

“I’m listening, Commander. However, I have a great deal of work to do, if you have nothing further to say.” She didn’t move, or shift her eyes, but some tiny muscles in her face moved a fraction, giving him the impression she was impatient.

“I shouldn’t have lashed out at you like that.”

“’Lashed out?’” One of her lovely, delicate brows went up a bit, and her head tipped slightly. A Vulcan question mark, maybe?

Trip thought fast, trying to put what he’d done in terms she might understand. “I let my emotions dictate my response. I shouldn’t have done that.”

“You are human. I expect nothing else, Commander Tucker.”

What does T’Pol mean by her comment?

How will Trip take it?

Is this the end of Trip’s apology?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page.

 

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 Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Star Trek: Enterprise, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, WIPpet Wednesday, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

“Uh, Listen….”  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 Wrayburn.


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!

Well, I did manage to get a WIPpet post done last week – my first since my husband died of pancreatic cancer in mid-January.  However, I didn’t get around to visit as many of you as I had hoped to.

This adjusting and resumption of blogging is apparently still very much a work in progress for me. So, with that in mind, this week I have a goal of visiting at least 3 of my fellow WIPpeteers. If you’re here just because you follow this blog and/or enjoy my fanfiction, please consider joining me in supporting the other diverse writers who join the WIPpet bloghop – who knows, you might find a brand new favorite! =D

Now, on to the WIPpeting!

It’s time for another installment of my 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.

I’ve decided to use this story, once revision gets to a point I’m comfortable with, as my initiation into Wattpad. So please don’t hesitate to let me know if something’s not working for you – it will make a better story in the long run!
Recap

 

T’Pol, Enterprise’s new, unwelcome Vulcan Science Officer, is attempting to contain her reaction to a human engineer who presents unique challenges. Now, we see what happens next.  We pick up immediately after my last TnT post, A Further Complication.

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 February 21, 2018.
  • Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of the day I met my husband.
  • I added the digits of 21, and have 3 paragraphs to share with you.

“Uh, Listen…”

That she found the prospect highly unsatisfactory was irrelevant. She was assigned here to assure that the humans didn’t create imbalances in the existing dynamics of this region of space. She was not intended to interact with them other than what was required to attend to that duty.

Commander Tucker made a strange vocalization that was not language, and shifted again. “Uh, listen….Sub-Commander?”

She looked up from the as-yet incomprehensible console and waited for him to speak.

What does Trip want to say to T’Pol?

Will T’Pol spend the voyage in her quarters?

And why is her console incomprehensible?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page.

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 Blog Hops and Fests, Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, Just for Fun!, Weekly Features, writing, Writing in Freedom, Writing Sample

A Further Complication for WIPpet Wednesday


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!

It’s time for 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 Wrayburn.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted here. As some of you may know, my husband was diagnosed with terminal metastatic pancreatic cancer in mid-November. His disease was swift and all-consuming, and he died on January 12, 2018.

For a while, I had no words to write. The last weeks of his life were harrowing, and the last days brutal in ways I’m not interested in sharing yet. I was exhausted, and needed to focus on just what was essential for me and the kids, ages 16 and 13. Then there was a long, long, long list of things I’d set aside or gotten behind on…

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been wanting to get back to the WIPpeteers. In the last few days, I’ve been longing to play with fan fiction.

And tonight’s the night. I’m posting this, and I’m doing it before midnight, even!

Now, on to the WIPpeting!

It’s time for another installment of my 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.

I’ve decided to use this story, once revision gets to a point I’m comfortable with, as my initiation into Wattpad. So please don’t hesitate to let me know if something’s not working for you – it will make a better story in the long run!

Recap: 

Trip just got his comeuppance from Hoshi about the way he treated the new Vulcan Science Officer. Now, we see what happens next. Since it’s been so long, I’m linking my last TnT post, Wholly Illogical.

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 February 14, 2018.
  • I’m not up to considering the significance of this date, this year. So I subtracted 1-4 (using the digits of the day)…and I have 3 paragraphs to share with you.

A Further Complication

She attempted to suppress the reaction until she could meditate upon it – but he remained standing next to the display unit at the Sciences station, watching her. He rubbed a hand over his mouth, and shifted his weight and position several times, but he didn’t speak or indicate that he had any need of her attention, and so she, too, said nothing.

He was a further complication, a distraction from a duty she was uncertain she could perform in any effective way. She was also uncertain that this was not Captain Jonathan Archer’s intent – that she be rendered useless for the duration of this assignment. Perhaps she’d spend the entirety of the journey in her quarters, an unwanted passenger.

There would be peace in that – but there would also be no Commander Charles Tucker the Third.

Why does T’Pol think she has been rendered ineffective?

What does Commander Tucker intend?

Will T’Pol spend the voyage in her quarters?

Any guesses?

If you enjoyed this snippet, and want something more before next Wednesday, you can pop over to my fanfiction.net page. 

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 Blog Hops and Fests, Just for Fun!, Kifo Island Chroincles, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing, writing prompts, Writing Samples

“Mr. Carstairs”: Kifo Island for #SoCS

“Mr. Carstairs”

“Take your medication, Mr. Carstairs.”

“In other words, give my power to you, choke it out while I’m swallowing your control – “

“Mr. Carstairs – “

“My name is Zeke.”

“I’m required to call you Mr. Carstairs.  We’re not allowed to be too familiar with our patients.”

“In other words, they control you.”

“’They,’ Mr. Carstairs?”

“They. The ones we never see. The ones who control everything – only most people never even notice their strings being pulled and twisted.”

“Mr. Carstairs, this is a psychiatric hospital – “

“In other words, a control center. A brainwashing facility. A torture chamber – “

“Mr. Carstairs, you’re alarming the other patients – “

“They should be alarmed! We’re all prisoners here!”

“You’re not. You were homeless and hungry. You’re safe here – but if you alarm the others, I’ll have to isolate you.”

“In other words, I’m a prisoner.”

Will Zeke take his medicine?

Will the hospital employee ever call him by his first name?

Is Zeke right about the purpose of the hospital?

Any guesses?

**

The above freewriting ties into my rough draft novel, Tsunamis, from my as-yet unpublished Kifo Island series. It may or may not ever become a permanent part of Zeke’s story.

  • To “meet” Zeke, read here.
  • To read more from Tsunamis, click here.
  • To read more Kifo Island excerpts, go here.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill’s blog, Life in Progress. This week’s prompt is the phrase , “In other words,” used at least once. Dip your toes in the #SoCS waters here.