Monthly Archives: January 2018

#SoCS — Oc(a)

This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday comes to you from the letter O and C and an idea perpetuated by Linda G Hill.  Additional support can be found at The Friday Reminder for SoCS, January 19.


Varieties of Oca from Pintrest

Oca is the “oc” first word my computer dictionary (Wordweb) gave me.  Kind of obvious, really. What wasn’t obvious was that it was a traditional Andean food, though…  when you say the word, it feels right.

What I found interesting was that Oca is a kind of wood sorrel, the same group of plants commonly sold as Shamrocks (not the same as a true shamrock, which is actually a clover).  They do have pretty flowers, though the variety we find around here are very sour to the taste (from the oxalic acid in the plant, a mildly compound that can cause damage to the kidneys in high doses).

If you’re hungry though, it’s high in vitamin C and fiber and other nutrients.  The tubers are starchy (they weren’t imported to Europe as a substitute to the potato without reason).  Another common weed, like (the very tasty tubers of) nutsedge, that I explored for “survival foods” for a time when two of my characters must journey in the wilderness for a few years.

Oca…  it’s an interesting word.  It inspired a lot more thought than the first one that came to mind: occipital

Not Smiling

MjAxNC04ZjBlYTU5ZmNiZjdiZjY4Yeah… I think they did. That means it’s time for another bit of a recent Work In Progress from yours truly.

I don’t have a name for this piece yet. Unlike my recent pieces (from Courting The Swan Song), this is just something I whipped together from a brainstorming session I had last Thursday. I suspect, given the time period it’s cast in, this will follow in one of my sandbox pieces like the Was Long Variation, The Dots or even Phuque Yew. Right now, it’s more of a way to work on ‘Listii’s character, particularly ‘Listii when he is really off his game.  Of course, most people would be in this situation.

I’m starting at the beginning (or at least where I started, with pretty much the raw text I wrote (edited for readability). Nine sentences for the month (January=1) and the date (1+7).

What was it with the nightmares lately?

Valistii looked woefully at the cup in front of him, wishing it held something stronger than coffee to help drive the last of the week’s exhaustion from him. He pushed it toward the middle of the table, as one of the trainees came by with a carafe. “Another half, if you would, darling.”

He didn’t try to smile, sure that any expression he tried to make right now would look like a snarl. He didn’t event try to meet the lass’ gaze at all.

Any normal day, he’d have been happy to stare. Today he wasn’t even sure he could call her a pretty thing. She just was prettier than most anyone else in the barrack’s mess, or she would be, if she didn’t look like his dead sister.

If you enjoyed that and would like to see more post of this type, head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. We are hosted weekly by the delightful Emily Wrayburn.

#SoCS: The 6th,7th & 8th

I almost didn’t do a SoCS post today, but as it’s my week off from the Weekend Writing Warriors, I figured I should post something for the weekend.  That, and…  given this week’s quirky prompt and the piece of paper next to me (the summer camp form for Shakespeare & Co.), it seemed a fun fit.

And…  some fun would be a good thing for today.  It’s been a very…  different day.

Anyway, here is the SoCS prompt from Linda Hill’s blog:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is as follows: read closely. When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

Just so you know, I fudged here, since the 8th “word” was actually 2018. So instead I took Riotous, Company, and Enrollment as my three words.


Instead of getting this post out sooner, I spent over eight hours in a crowded event hall with a riotous bunch of middle school kids while engineers and judges prowled between aisles of tables and chairs, asking questions, getting photographs…  it was the regional competition of Future City, and my son was part of his school’s team.

What’s that saying?  Neither rain nor snow nor heat…  Well, it seems those are child’s play when it comes to designing the city of the future for some.  This was the first year our son’s school didn’t offer the competition as a general elective for the 6th, 7th and 8th graders (it’s odd that this prompt fit today in so very many ways!) but instead made it a volunteer after school activity.  Seems that playing SIM City 4 and having to write an essay on what would be your ideal future city wasn’t cool…  and then all that designing a model?  That’s some hard stuff there…  especially the democratic process these kids had to use to get their ideas from the page onto the display.

At least, the sleet and freezing rain only made us late for the competition.  It didn’t damage the kid’s project, and no one got hurt getting there.

The competition was fierce.   We didn’t win, but… our little Catholic School won two awards for the great transportation our kids designed.  Maybe news like that will help increase enrollment in the program next year.

After that, a few families headed out to Five Guys for burgers and company...  and to discuss the projects we saw, the possible awards to aim for next year, and the upcoming basketball game at the school later in the evening.