Category Archives: Blog Hop

#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

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#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.

#WIPpet Thursday?!

MjAxNC04ZjBlYTU5ZmNiZjdiZjY4 It’s Thursday, so definitely more than time for me to get this post made. It’s all last-minute writing and planning, as you may be able to guess, given what I had to say for my ROW80 check-in on my other blog.

Actually, I wasn’t so much procrastinating.  Otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to post today at all.  I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I should be.

What little writing I’ve done has been on Courting the Swan Song (again!). I was seriously hoping to get something ready for the Golden Heart Awards this year, but my head just staggered during the holidays and all the emotional baggage that comes with this time of the year. I will be using a different tactic next year.

Here are twelve (pretty much twelve… I fudged a bit on the one-word thingies) sentences for today’s month and day.  This comes from the second chapter of the new rewrite, where we finally meet Alanii. (The new opening has been the thread of my WeWriWa posts: I Didn’t Come To and Puddings; where I introduce Visse and her situation.)

“Hey! Alan! Wakey wakey.”

Alanii blinked into the surrounding blackness in an attempt to force off the sleep that had finally deigned to honor him with its presence. To think he’d asked Val to set up at the foot of his bed for fear he’d oversleep… The way that man had rattled his bed, tossing all night—that he’d gotten any rest was a miracle!

The Fates had a perverse sense of humor. After all, it wasn’t as if he didn’t need to be alert and at his best for the rest of the morning

Reaching under the folded blanket that had served as his pillow and drew out the clothes he’d stashed there, pulling them on quickly to alleviate the night chill. Then only did he creep out of his bed and its warm siren call to shuffle-toe the few steps over to the window of their room.

He shivered whenever more than his toes connected with the icy wooden slats. Alanii feared the chill had nothing to do with the temperature. Knowing how his father would react to his plans would be enough to make any man’s nerve fail.

“Here,” he heard Val whisper as the man passed him his boots. “Hang them about your shoulders.”

I hope you enjoyed this piece. If you’d like more of this sort of thing, head on over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. Thank yous and hugs to Emily Wrayburn, our gracious host.