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 #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 fanfiction.net 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.

“WithinMyOwnMadness”

YoureleasedmeTLysmyownorisitthatyouarenolongermyownwhatcouldbeyourmotiveinreleasingmeifyoutrulyaremyownorhasitbeentrueallalongthatyoudonotexistanywherebutwithinmyownmadness?

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 Blog Hops and Fests, Kifo Island Chroincles, Novel Excerpts, SoCS, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekly Features, Writing Samples

Empty Places for #SoCS August 19, 2017

(brand-new badge from J-Dubs)

 

Note: This post contains suggestions of adult material. PG-13.

Empty Places

Did she want to be alone? To live here, by herself, without Tim? Stay here, and not run off to Devin, asking him to fill the empty places inside her?

“Well, why not?” Her voice sounded strange in the room – different and more echoing without Tim’s things. Or was that all in her head?

So many questions, and really no answers. That was scary in the same way it had been every time she left the courtroom in her mother’s custody. She’d always known she’d end up back in the courtroom, then a foster home – and, sooner or later, back in another courthouse, leaving with her mother again, with no one asking her if that’s what she wanted, because it was cheaper for the state if she wasn’t a ward of it.

Maybe that’s why she and Tim had worked. He didn’t know anything at all about that part of her life, or how fast she’d been willing, once upon her time, to drop her pants for anyone who’d let her get in what was in theirs. It didn’t matter whether they were men or women – or even how many there were, sometimes.

It was only about the empty place. Only now, years later, did she see the truth.

She’d been trying to fill herself, exactly the way her mother had. Only, what she had done with sex, her mother had done with heroin.

She’d always blamed her mother for that, for the destructive addiction that had eventually killed her, and left Drea parentless. But she was the same. Her destructive addiction just hadn’t killed her.

But who was to say it wouldn’t, if she didn’t find a healthier way to fill the voids?

Will Drea find a way to heal her emptiness?

Who is Tim, and where has he gone?

What’s next for Drea?

This snippet comes from my novel-in-progress, The Last House, from my Kifo Island series. I expect to finish this draft by the end of the summer.

This post is my entry for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consicousness Saturday (#SoCS), where the weekly prompt is “pant,” used any way we choose. To read more unedited stream of consciousnes pieces, click on our brand-new badge at the top of the post, or right here, for post listings.

Posted in #8Sunday, A Round of Words in 80 Days, A Round of Words in 80 Days 2017, Challenges and Contests, Enterprise fan fiction, Life Writing, Novel Excerpts, Round Three 2017, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, WIPpet Wednesday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

Growth, Diversely; August 6, 2017

Hey there!

Ever have lots of things you want to do – but only a couple of things Well, most of my week was spent between Chef Bluebeard’s Flavor Enhancement Sauces and homeschool administration.

Sometimes, that’s how things go. Most of “my own things” were set aside while I was occupied with those – but the admin is winding down now, until the next, less intensive round is due on December 1, and I’m getting closer to a point when I can put the business matters on more of a maintenance schedule….both of which will, obviously, allow more time for my writing and other projects.

If you’d like more details on the week just past, I’ve written and photographed bits and pieces of it in my #weekendcoffeeshare post.

So, though I didn’t get to many of my goals this week, I’m feeling good, because I’ve freed up more time to work on them through the rest of the month.

How do you deal with the times when life pulls you toward some things, and away from others you really want to dive into?

  • Trueborn Series: Add 3,333 words/week to Foul Deeds Will Rise (until draft completed). 1,120/3,333. Primary goal; some progress.

Mayhap there was something in that which she could learn from.

“But not this night, old one.”

“I am scarce a hand older than you, my little rabbit, my Kai.” It was a warm and welcome whisper in her ear, only for her, even with all the Tribed ears so near. Sparks leaped and danced.

“Nay – I speak to he who rests there,” she pointed to the pyre, and Xanaas’ body upon it. “He has earned respect, and his rest, and better than to have the Huntleader gone when it is his time for Final Welcoming.”

“I’ve been listening to stories, my Kai. It seems that he would far rather have you here, than the one called Tacivaar.”

  • Story A Day September: Choose themes for main stories (Solemates, my November NaNoWriMo project) and TnT fanfiction drabbles; plot to the degree possible. Put out general call for word prompt lists. In the simmering stage for the main stories. Primary goal; a bit of progress.

Trip might think he’d imagined the whole thing, or had the wrong Vulcan.

Except for the way she smelled. Her scent was even more potent than he remembered. It filled the small space, and it was definitely doing things to him that Jon would notice if he looked, and Trip sure as hell didn’t want to try to explain that.

Social Media:

  • JuNoWriMo blogpost drafts: Organize and schedule raw material for completion and revision. Spend 1 hour/ week on this project. No organizing, but a #writingcrew sprint gave me the idea for how to do it! Simmering. Secondary goal.

  • Other Platforms: Spend 3 hours/week with my Facebook Writer page; Instagram; and Pinterest, and Patreon. Continue with Twitter #writingcrew and #AllStarTrek sprints/chats regularly. Dabble in other social media (LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Wattpad, etc.) 1 hour/week. 1/3 hours; mostly Patreon, for monthly post; one post each to Instagram and Facebook Writer page. Played a bit on Quora. Stretch goal; good early progress.

  • Unschooltending: Draft kids’ 2017-2018 IHIPs (Individualized Home Instruction Plans), due Friday, August 4, and draft fourth quarter reports (due September 15), since those are easier to do in conjunction with each other; submit Lise’s test results, which got lost in the hustle. IHIPs are submitted to school district. Reports are complete, pending final proofing, which will happen Sunday. Excellent progress.

  • Hometending: Complete 3 hometending sprints/day 5x/week; an additional sprint in all rooms except the kids’ (since they don’t want me in their rooms); and 3 yardtending sprints/week. 2/5 hometending sprints complete; study. Not the best week for hometending; the focus was on paperwork and business that took us away from home. Very modest progress.

  • Selftending: Spend time with my beloveds, friends, and myself; get at least one hour of physical activity 5x/week, and two hours of strenuous activity weekly (including Baby Steps to 5K); meditate and journal 8x/week. Carrying over from last month’s busy-ness. This month will be better for selfcare; I’m important, too! Activity 2/5; Strenuous: 1hr/6 min/2 hours. Meditate/journal 7/8. Moderate progress.

Kait Nolan’s ROW80 –

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life!

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

Farmer’s Market Table from July 31, 2017. Chef Bluebeard is open for business!
Posted in Blogfest Entries, Just for Fun!, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom, Writing Samples

A Music of Their Sorrow for #SoCS August 5, 2017

High above, the venting holes for the cookfires showed the stars. Niaan remembered a time when she’d lain on the ledge, demanding to see the stars. Kaivelt’s stars. Xanaas had stood for her, even against the Huntleader’s wishes, made walls of furs so that she could see, and still be warm and tended.

She’d dreamed of Kaivelt – but he was absent from her mind, now, as he sometimes was.

She needed him now, but he was out there somewhere circling a small yellow star on a planet called Earth, or Terra 3. Strange, faraway names. Would that world sing to him, as Aletris once had for her?

If the stars were lower, closer to the ground of her world, could she reach up, and dance her way back to Kaivelt, as she had when she was a child, and so was he?

Would they ever come together, truly?

“Huntleader?”

“I’m not your -” But she stopped herself. She couldn’t continue to refuse the name they’d given to her, or the role it assigned to her. Tacivaar was gone, stalking her as his prey. Shinjao was gone, off to seek what was needed for the days to come. Xanaas was gone to the End Hunt – or whatever awaited a healer who had served long and with compassion. Sylain and Teslyn did as much as they could – but they were not Hunters, and not Trueborn, and had not the knowing that came of all those lessons trapped in the stifling little room in Mother’s Keep, meant to make a Kai out of her while Vaara was hidden away in a forgotten chamber.

“I beg pardon of you, Huntleader -”

Teslyn’s voice was soft, hesitant – lost, as Niaan had never thought to hear it. They were all lost. The Tribeless who had escaped with their lives, and nothing more than those. The wounded, some of whom still might not live, even more so now that Xanaas did not.

All of the Pridekeep, lost, bereft of their Huntleader, so that they put her in his place, and made of her what they had need of from her.

“No pardon is needed of me, Teslyn. I beg mine of you. I heard the child’s missive, and did nay come.”

“I would I had nay need of you. Sleep is what Sylain says Xanaas ordered…but there is no other fit to light his pyre. I thought mayhap you would -”

“Yes. It will be honor to offer him his Final Welcoming.” She pried herself out of the nest. She could smell the fires, and the lingering scent of those Welcomed yesternight, and the two nights before. How many more nights, before there were no more dead to tend to?

She followed Teslyn to the entrance of the Pridekeep, wondering why her limbs felt like the heaviest of Osiraan’s branches.

She heard the Pride before she saw them. They made a music of their sorrow, with all notes woven into the tapestry. Her mind played with the thought of Rachyl weaving this song into patterns and colors – the borders the lowest of the moans and the highest keening wails….

This post is my entry for Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS), where the weekly prompt was “high/low.” It is a brand-new snippet from my novel-draft-in-progress, Foul Deeds Will Rise, part of my Trueborn series.

Posted in Blogfest Entries, Life Writing, Marketing my Writing, Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Weekend Coffee Share, Writers' Resources, Writing in Freedom

Birthday Out on a Limb: #weekendcoffeeshare and #SoCS

Well, by the time I finish this post, it won’t be Saturday or my birthday anymore, but, if we were having coffee, I’d tell you that yesterday was both.

It was also a rather momentous day, in small but personally monumental ways.

You see, I went out on a limb – in a good way.

After months of putting it off, coming to play for a bit here and there, and then going away again, I’ve launched my Patreon page.

My Birthday Leap of Faith! Yup, virtual confetti was definitely in order!

I think I was more afraid of doing well with it, of having people I know, and maybe even people I don’t know yet, offer funds to support my writing dreams. It’s not that I don’t think I’m worth it….not exactly.

It’s bound up in a lot of things said by my parents when I was growing up. Things like “don’t act conceited” that make it tricky to go ahead and “toot my own horn.” Things like attitudes of prosperous people ingrained through my early life. “Rich people are just greedy.”

Since I began taking my writing seriously, and building very gradually (and somewhat hesitantly) toward a writing career, I’ve found that I’m more at the mercy of those old ideas than I’d like to be.

But yesterday I turned 48, and it’s past time to find the way to let them go, replace them with better thoughts – thoughts that can lead to more prosperity – for myself and my family, who have had a very lean year, and so that I’ll have more resources to share with others.

My very first patron…happy birthday to me, and a commitment to honor!

More than that, though – I’ll be finally proving that, when my father was wrong when he insisted that if I didn’t want to be a journalist, I’d only be “just existing,” and that wanting to earn a living with my writing was only a “pipe dream.” I don’t want to prove it to him –

I need to prove it to myself.

It may seem like I’m going out on a limb – but, really, I’m not.

I’m claiming my life, and the skills I’ve built over decades of writing, the vast majority offered for free to anyone who wanted it. I will still offer that; I love my fan fiction community, and sharing generously.

It’s scary-exciting, to have done this thing.

But it was the right thing to do.

Have you ever felt that way?

My Patreon page is here.

This post has been a joint venture for Part-Time Monster’s #weekendcoffeeshare, and Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS), where the weekly prompt was “limb.”