Posted in Blog Hops and Fests, Life Writing, slices of life, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing prompts, Writing Sample

So Far for #SoCS: Stream of Consciousness…Sunday?

So far….

So far, it’s been not quite two months since Jim died.

So far, the kids and I are all right.

So far, I still don’t know how I’m going to get the roof, ceilings, and floors repaired.

So far, I haven’t quite managed to file the life insurance claim.

So far, I’ve done a little cooking, but not as much as I would like.

So far, there’s far more to be done than there is me to do it.

So far, I’ve started reclaiming my bedroom, but I’m still not quite in the habit of using my new workstation with the dual monitors, because I have such a long history of sitting on my bed with my laptop – which is just what I’m doing right now.

So far, I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around the reality of Jim’s death.

So far, I’m keeping things mostly together, even if the garbage didn’t get picked up last week because I didn’t get that bill paid in time.

So far, we’re making plans a few months ahead, and dreaming a bit further.

So far…to go, and so far from where we were a year ago, when we couldn’t see any of this coming, when Jim and I thought we’d grow old together, in some time that was still so far away.


This Stream of Consciousness Saturday post was brought to you by the prompt “so far.” Check out other posts, or submit your own!

I miss this face…and the man it belonged to.
Posted in Life Writing, Parenting, Short Stories, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, writing, writing prompts, Writing Sample

Fairy Tales for #SoCS, February 10, 2018

“Hey, you little maniac! Stop biting the dog’s tail and get your ass over here!”

My throat is paying me back for all the screaming I’ve done tonight, but Finlay doesn’t even seem to hear me. Or, if she does, she’s flat-out ignoring me.

I wonder for a second whether wishing the dog was less good-natured about being chewed on makes me a terrible mother. But I don’t have time to follow through -we’re already fifteen minutes late for the baby’s doctor’s appointment, and his cough sounds croupy.

I shake Fin’s at her, but she keeps on chewing on Rascal’s tail as though I don’t even exist.

She’s going to make me come after her.

I take one step, trip over her shoe, and fall flat on my face. I open my eyes and I see a book – Fairy Tales for Little Princesses.


This post is serving double duty – something I’m doing as often as I can in these days where I am both navigating a path forward for my two teens and I, while at the same time negotiating  the reams of administrative details that go along with Jim’s illness and death.

As for this little passage, it’s both my entry into this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday, where the prompt is tale/tail; and the rough draft of a story start for Holly Lisle’s Writing Flash Fiction That Doesn’t Suck workshop. I’ll be revising this bit and eventually expand it into a complete tiny story of about 500 words…

But, for now, this is all there is to it, and, since that can soon be said of today, as well, I’m going to wrap this post up before Saturday shows me its tail, and I end up telling you all a tale of woe tomorrow.

Until next week, may you be well, and all your tales be happy ones that – well, set your tail to wagging!*


Gently down the Stream of Consciousness….


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.

Posted in Enterprise fan fiction, Fan fiction, Flash Fiction Pieces, slices of life, SoCS, Star Trek: Enterprise, The IDIC Romance, Weekly Features, writing, Writing in Freedom, writing prompts, Writing Sample

A Gift From the Ocean: #SoCS for 1/20/18

Hello there, and welcome to

Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  

It’s been several weeks since I made it here. From the time my husband was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer on November 13, life became more and more about his illness and impending death, and all the millions of details that needed tending.

I’d like to say we had everything done when he died on January 12 – but I would be lying. In many ways, I will be digging us out and flying by the seat of my pants for quite some time to come, it seems.

But it’s been more than a week since Jim’s death, and I do have a better handle on where we are and what comes next, at least in the short term.  I’ve found that returning to some of my former routines helps, and so here I am, in the later part of Saturday, to share my first #SoCS post of a trying new year.  This week’s prompt was to use a word that begins with the letters “oc” – with bonus points for starting and ending with appropriate words.

As always, the standard disclaimer applies. I don’t own the characters in my fanfiction, and I earn no money for these stories. Simply a gift of love…

A Gift From the Ocean

“Oc -a -tee- oh?” Trip wiped away the delighted smile; his companion had been touchy just lately, and he’d come here to try to get on her good side…

Or into her bed, if she’d even consider that.

Probably wasn’t very logical.

T’Pol made some tiny shift in the muscles of her face, and let out her breath a hair too fast and forcefully. Sure signs of Vulcan impatience; he’d let himself get distracted by her.


“Ocotillo,” he told her, making his voice distinct and a touch slower than normal, without making any comment at all about the way she’d butchered the word. “It’s got other names – Flaming Sword, for one. I kind of like that, but I’ll bet you’d rather call it candlewood.”

“That nomenclature is illogical.” But she was stroking one of the flowers very gently, so maybe there was room in there somewhere for human fancies. She popped the bubble with her next words, though. “What is its genus species identification?”

“Fouquieria splendens.” He had a feeling that he’d made as big a mess of the Latin as she had the Spanish. But T’Pol had better manners than to point it out. She simply nodded, and Trip settled in on her bench, where he could watch the rare show of T’Pol enjoying the plant – as a scientist and a woman, at the same time.

He smiled when she set the pot down on her little meditation table. “Thank you,” she said simply.

“I thought you might like it. It’s one of your colors, after all, and it’s a desert plant, after all.” He didn’t mention that it was also both lovely and prickly, kind of like a Vulcan scientist. He wasn’t sure how she would take that.

“Take off your shirt. You arrived late, and nearly three minutes has been wasted in this discussion.”

He could be disappointed in how short-lived her interest was, but these neuropressure sessions with her were the high point of his day. She warmed her hands, and he stripped out of his shirt, shivering just a bit at the spicy-smoky scent in the air and the thought of her amazing fingers on his bare skin…

Was it just his imagination that she looked forward to it, too? That her fingers trembled just the tiniest bit when she touched him? She had started letting him try out what she showed him on her, and, when he did, he thought her body quivered, too, low and deep inside her.

Did all that add up to attraction? Or desire?

He just didn’t know.

But, as T’Pol’s fingers played a symphony with his nerves, and Trip relaxed more and more into the touch, and her quiet candlelit nest, he noticed that she kept pausing to look over at the little potted ocotillo plant, and her touch would feather across his skin for a second, before she settled back into the familiar pressure.

Trip Tucker was an engineer. He didn’t know yet what all that meant, but he knew it wasn’t just business, and he was willing to bet it meant that she liked the gift he’d brought her – the same way she’d liked the peaches he brought her last week. But was it the gifts – or the person bringing them? Did he mean anything to her, besides being a colleague in need of her assistance?

Well, he was an engineer, and he could find out. She liked the taste of peaches; maybe they reminded her of Vulcan fruit. She liked the octotillo, but that was a desert plant.

Next time, he was going to bring her something she couldn’t mistake for being from home. He was going to bring her a gift from the ocean.

Will Trip bring T’Pol a gift from the ocean?

If he does, how will she react?

Any guesses?

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill over at Life in Progress. Stop by and see this week’s entries, and maybe even add your own.

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 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!

Posted in A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Life Writing, Parenting, Round Three 2017, slices of life, Star Trek: Enterprise, Story a Day, The IDIC Romance, Unschooling, Writers' Resources, writing, Writing in Freedom, writing prompts, Writing Samples

Momentous Growth: September 6, 2017

Hey there!

I wrote this on Sunday: Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally old enough to drive.

Today, I’ll add: Yesterday, I became the mother of someone legally able to drive.

That’s right. Jeremiah fulfilled a years’ long dream, and earned his New York State learner’s permit. He didn’t miss a single question on the permit test, and he did most of the prep work of gathering, printing, and filling out the required forms – made his mom’s life pretty easy, and learned a lot about administration. He even made the decision to sign up as an organ donor. Since his dad and I have both made the same decision, this makes me very honored to be his mom. He’s always been a generous soul – but this is generous on another level.

My boy is growing up, becoming a man, and outgrowing the need to be parented. It’s exactly as it should be – and somehow, it’s heart-filling and amazing when it’s happening to this boy, whose lifetime has been so permanently and intricately bound up in my own…

It feels momentous, and more than a little staggering.

Has anything staggered you, lately?

Now, on to my Keep It Simple September goals progress!

This barbaric, bellicose side of you is a bit disturbing.” He’s got a split lip, and Trip grins savagely as Malcolm starts to circle, feeling him out more cautiously this time.

We’re just sparring.” Trip lunges in with a stiff-armed drive he’s seen T’Pol use, and Malcolm goes down again.

When did you morph into a barbaric tyrant, Trip?”

  • Trueborn Series: Add 2,222 words/week to Trueborn: Foul Deeds Will Rise, until complete. 1,072/2,222 words. Secondary goal; just under halfway to target.

Even that was nay enough to put fear in the man’s scent, or his manner. He simply sat, his acceptance like another garment over those he wore.

  • Story A Day September: Continue call for TnT word prompt lists. Plot as needed to achieve drafting goals. Drafting in my head and on the fly; it’s working thus far. Prompt words coming in a few at a time. Primary goal; on target.

  • Explore Duotrope; compile list of 25 paying short story/novella markets. Choose 5 to research in greater depth. Renewed subscription; did first search; base exploration turned up 5/25 markets. Primary goal; one-fifth through primary step.

  • Blogging: Revise/maintain regular blogging schedule for September. Outline/draft working schedule for October/November. Sunday #ROW80 posted Monday; #8Sunday (The Thorn) completed (excerpt follows). Primary goal; mostly on target.

The thorn is made of money.

Not the twenty I gave you, Jeremy, please!” My whisper rasps through the quiet. I meant the money to offer him comfort; I don’t want it now, if it means that he’s hungry and cold.

  • Connecting: Visit at least 3 posters/week from every hop/challenge I participate in. Visit at least two other Story A Day posters/day, on average. Touch base with other social media platforms at least once weekly. Visited all posters on the #ROW80 Facebook page for Sunday update. #8sunday/ #weekendcoffeeshare and StoryADay still pending. Stretch goal; 25% completed.

  • Va-Va-Video Course: Complete the three week session, and keep current with the Facebook Page 3 times/week. Skimmed Facebook page; read through; interaction; and Challenge Two still pending. Stretch goal; very modest progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 1.5 hours of hometending/week. 30 min./1.5 hours for blended week. 33% of goal.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least 8 hours physical activity/week, (including finishing Baby Steps to 5K/) beginning Run 5K programs); meditate and journal 8x/week. Activity: 2.25 /8 hours. Meditate/journal:journal; 3/8; meditate 4/8. Just over 25% of activity goal; a bit under target for journaling; on target for meditation.

  • Paying It Forward: Spend 3 hours/week on back business for local crit group (until caught up); and 3 hours/week on beta projects Spellfire’s Kiss and Stained Blood/ related material . Crit group: .5 /3 hours on Moon Murder Chapter 3. A little slow to reach goal.

Kait Nolan’s  ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Jeremiah Burton, first time (parking lot) driver!