Musings in the Dark: 2011


2011 Reflections

Me.  Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

I started blogging April of 2010 at the behest of Ankhesen. Before that time, I was an online recluse doing very little outside of research.  I did not have a clue as to blogging, what to do about it or with it, or even what to say.  I blogged about random shit: athletes, movies, stuff that I don’t have nearly enough feeling for to blog on.  Therefore, I didn’t blog that much.  Later in the year, I considered giving up the venture because I felt it to be a waste of time.  I mentioned this to Ankh, and her advice was simple yet powerful.  “You need to find your identity.”

She told me that my blog was my space where I could talk about anything I wanted.  But what I had to do first was figure out who I was in terms of a blogger.  I had to spend a little time thinking about that; because while I know who I am as a whole, I can only blog about certain parts of me.  Once I understood that, I could focus on blogging about subjects I like and that which I love above everything else.

So in January of this year, I gave my blog the first of two makeovers and started focusing on women, relationships, writing and storytelling.  I met other bloggers like myself and learned more about what I could do with my little forum.  I didn’t know if I’d get followers and/or fans, but I don’t blog for glory and so it was okay.  As I was inspired, I began blogging about different subjects, including television and pop culture.  Recently, my blog gave birth to two sub-blogs: one for my original fiction and one for my fanfiction.  Clearly, I’ve found my voice.

This year, I published my first novel, Corruption.  It’s also my first Blasian novel.  I am so proud of my book; it means everything to me.  At last check, it had 3 reviews on Goodreads & Amazon, and a solid 4-star rating.  You can get your own copy of Corruption from Middle Child Press.  Just click the link to the left.

Last year, I introduced the fanfic world to two original characters born out of the fanfiction that started all this mess: Sheila &K’avir.  They became so popular that fans wanted them to have their own story.  What ended up happening was that, much like Jordan and Mahogany, K’avir and Sheila have far too much life to be restricted to three short stories.  Ankh made another one of her brilliant suggestions and Blade Dancer was born.  From that, three more book concepts about K’avir’s family, The Velimirs, came to fruition with the help of my magnificent, gifted friend Noob.  I finished the first draft of Blade Dancer back in October and I outlined In the Pale Moonlight over the summer.  Work on both books will commence at the end of next month and God willing, Blade Dancer will be published around December of 2012.

This year, I came to terms with being bipolar.  While I have no choice but to live with it, learning how to do so was a bit difficult.  The meds are designed to reduce the extremity of the shifts.  What I gain in stable emotions, I lose in my ability to write at a particular level.  Since I don’t like restricting access to my muse, I take the bare minimum of medication required to maintain.  So there are times when I’m hysterical, but I can live with it (and the necessary self-imposed isolation that comes along with it) if it means I can write.  Make no mistake: I can live with this.

2011 represents the first full year that I’ve been natural.  I did the big chop last summer and have spent the last 16 months trying to get to know my hair.  I’ve tried a slew of products designed for natural hair and spent hundreds of dollars, but nothing ever truly satisfied me.  The Afro isn’t a look I prefer, but it was the look that always resulted.  Then I got into reading the labels on the “organic” products and that changed things for me.  Most of that shit in those products is just that: shit.  No wonder why my hair was a mess.  Noob directed me to a YouTube channel, Naptural85, and it changed everything.  Naptural85 makes her own products, shows styling methods and techniques, and offers wonderful advice on how to be a glamorous natural and love your hair.  Since then, I’ve been making my own moisturizer and pomade.  It's only been one month and it’s made all the difference, including saving money.  My hair looks great; thick, glossy and healthy.  I highly recommend Naptural's channel.

I have great expectations for 2012.  The first is that I’ll finally graduate with a terminal degree, and the second is that, with said degree, I can finally live abroad.  I’m ready for a change; a chance to live a different lifestyle and appreciate other cultures not like the one I’m in.  I’m wide open.  I’ve applied for overseas jobs, and I’m willing to go just about anywhere.  I have nothing keeping me in the US, and for all other stuff, there’s Skype and Facebook.  Those are the biggest things happening for me.  What I also hope to accomplish in 2012 is the publication of my next two books, the aforementioned Blade Dancer and Adrenalin, my second Blasian novel.  If I am able to achieve any combination of these expectations, I’ll be very pleased.

*raises a glass of Moscato* Here’s to 2012, my friends.  May you have a happy and blessed New Year.   See you on the flip.



Over At the Bar, Ankh posted a writing challenge titled "Midnight to 4 a.m."  We have to use the following characters:  Bianca Lawson, Sujata Day, Michelle Krusiec & Jana Mashonee.  I added another actress to round out the cast: Chrystee Pharris.  We must churn out a possible TV screenplay idea using the following construct:

1) What are their names?
2) What are their individual backstories?
3) How did they meet?
4) Why are they friends?
5) Do they live together or apart?  Why?
6) Where is their story set?
7) What's their genre?
8) What would be the plot of the very first ep?
9) What would be the theme of the first season?
10.) How did each lady end up living in the apartment house?

I accepted.  Here is my submission.


Show Title:  "Nightingales."  It's on HBO; in the 8:00 slot. Takes place in Atlanta, Georgia; in Atlantic Station.  It's contemporary, with a dash of horror and a pinch of supernatural.


Jocasta Dallas
Bianca Lawson is Jocasta "Jo" Dallas.  Jo is 27; likes to drink, smoke, party and fight. Jo is happily single and has intense random encounters with both men and women.   She’s a gothic bartender and works nights at a club.  Jo is a member of MENSA and randomly sits for standardized exams just to find the mistakes, but does not allow her superlative smarts to go to her head.  She was raised by her father after her mother died, and she writes fluffy poetry and pens romance novels under the pseudonym of Eden McIntyre.  Jo rides a motorcycle; a Ducati.
Line: "Hey asshole! Would you like a punch in the face with your Mojito?"

Neveyah Austin-Malone
Jana Mashonee is Neveyah Austin-Malone.  Neveyah is also 27.  She writes music, plays piano and sings.  She’s also an exotic dancer at the club where Jo works.  Her stage name is "Sugar Fantasy." Neveyah is an heiress; but she’s got issues with her mother and stepfather that she has little interest in resolving.  Neveyah was once engaged, but now exclusively and deliberately dates men who are in relationships with other women and she collects dolphin-themed accessories, knick-knacks and gifts.   Jo and Neveyah are roommates because they’ve known each other for years; they met in high school.  Neveyah’s friendship with Jo started out as another rebellious act, but they found that they have a lot in common and they’ve been besties ever since. Neveyah drives a black Camaro.
Line: "Baby, Sugar will give you diabetes. Get your insulin."
Cressida Brinton
Michelle Krusiec is Cressida Janelle Brinton. She goes by Cress. Cressida is a 26-year old arrogant former model and homecoming queen.  She’s got several sugar daddies and dreams of nothing more than being taken care of and maintaining her looks and lifestyle.  Cress is very smart with a head for business but she plays the role that’s expected of her by her beaus to ensure that she gets the life she wants.  She is a kept woman, and she ends up in Atlantic Station because she convinced one of her lovers who owns some property there to give her an apartment in the same building as the other girls. Michelle drives a S65 AMG Mercedes, a gift from one of her lovers.
Line: *waves hand over face and body* "Sweetheart, all of this costs."

Elysie Blake
Sujata Day is Elysie "Lee-Lee" Blake. Lee-Lee is a 24-year old graduate student working on a master’s degree in literature.  She is the middle child with an older, perfect sister and a younger brother and her parents have her on a tight budget.  Lee-Lee works very hard to make good grades and is jealous (sometimes vocally so) of Jo’s brilliance.  She has a tentative boyfriend that her mother dreams of her marrying, but Lee-Lee isn’t so sure she wants the life her parents want for her.  Because she’s on a budget, Lee-Lee has to ride the bus if she doesn’t get a ride from her roommate.
Line: "I'm so tired of being compared to that prissy bitch or that little punk brat!"
Monica Tierney
Chrystee Pharris is Monica Tierney. Monica is Lee-Lee’s roommate and a second-year law student.  She and her brother were raised by her mother and had to struggle.  As a result, Monica has worked since she was sixteen and cannot abide laziness or missed opportunities. She has a cynical nature.  She likes Lee-Lee, but sometimes cannot handle her family issues.  She has a part-time job at a local convenience store and drives a beat-up Honda Accord. Monica likes to read books by Eden McIntyre during her down time. Lee-Lee and Monica are friends because Monica’s mother works for Lee-Lee’s father, and Lee-Lee convinced her parents that it would be a good idea for her to move out of the house to be closer to the university. 
Line: "Oh no, not the kid...You ain't gettin' me!" 

Atlantic Station:

These women met because they live on the same floor. Jo and Neveyah are best friends.  Lee-Lee and Monica are friends.  Cress is an acquaintance.  Due to the issues of their shared floor, they form an alliance in order to find out what’s happened.

What would be the plot of the very first ep?
A crash introduction into their lives; when Cressida noisily moves into an apartment recently vacated due to the untimely death of the previous occupant; the other ladies did not know said occupant.

What would be the theme of the first season?
Getting to know each lady and figuring out what happened to the previous occupant in Cressida’s apartment; it’s haunted.  

How did each lady end up living in the apartment house? 
Jo & Neveyah moved in together after Neveyah’s engagement abruptly ended.  Monica let Lee-Lee move in with her to save money on rent and utilities.  Cressida likes the apartment building and surrounding community .


A Genuine “WTF” Moment

As you know, I conversate regularly with acquaintances of mine about aspects of their relationships; whatever they’re willing to share with me.  They know that at some point, I’ll incorporate snippets of their stories into one of my novels.  It’s all fodder for me.

So one of my acquaintances, whom I’ll call Stephanie, shared with me an utterly hilarious story about what was supposed to be the establishment of a “friends with benefits” situation.  She and this guy met a few weeks ago and they went out twice.  The dates weren’t really serious; it was a guy she enjoyed talking to and interacting with.  Stephanie has said many times that she wants to engage in a casual sex relationship, and she’s honest about it.  So when she met this guy--I’ll call him Jeffrey--she thought that she could have such a fling with him, especially since the first two dates were great.

Jeffrey was apparently on the same wavelength, because he initiated talk about wanting to be intimate with her.  Stephanie, relieved that he was honest enough to own up to it, and told him that they should have dinner one night and then go to a nearby hotel to get things started. She wanted to have dinner to establish the parameters of the FWB situation, and talk openly about expectations.  She told Jeffrey to pick the day and time, and he chose a Friday night, nine-o-clock, at a restaurant near her place of residence.

At nine, Stephanie was at the restaurant. She said that she was ready; had an overnight bag, and was looking forward to having a night of fun with Jeffrey.  However, Jeffrey sent her a text at about 8:55, telling her that he was running late. Stephanie told me that she texted him back and asked him how late he would be, and it took him a while to respond.  Irritated because she’d been up all day and didn’t know how long it would take for him to arrive, Stephanie went back home.  Jeffrey called her and told her his location; he would be at least 45 minutes late. Steph told him to go back home and not bother with meeting her at the restaurant.  He insisted on it, and she eventually gave in, but said: “All we’re going to do is get a bite to eat.  I’m upset and I don’t feel like doing anything else.”

I asked her why she gave in, and she said she didn’t know why.  I asked her was it possible for Jeffrey to talk his way back into getting some nooky, and she said no, because she was annoyed that he had disrespected her time.  I asked her why she bothered taking a meal with him if that was the case, and Stephanie, being a hothead, said that she wanted to let him know why she was upset.  I said that he probably thought that she’d get over her irritation and they would still have sex, because that was what he expected and what they agreed to.  She said that she expected to be dicked down by ten-fifteen, not meeting him at the restaurant.  

Anyhoo, she said they met at the restaurant and had dinner.  She explained why she was upset and the dinner conversation was very light.  She told me later that Jeff crossed several lines--he tried to touch her face and kept calling her “baby” even though they had not established that kind of familiarity.  He told her in no uncertain terms to get over it, and that she had to learn to be patient. He also gave her some weak reason as to why he was late, and her gripe was that he should have contacted her via text immediately when he realized that he was going to be late; not wait 45 minutes to do so.  

I cracked up at this, because I know how Stephanie is.  I imagined Jeff got his ass handed to him at that moment.  But I think he realized that he truly fucked up, because when dinner was over, he tried to compliment her and sway her, and she wasn’t trying to hear it.  She thanked him for dinner and got in her car.  He had the testicular fortitude to ask if she’d changed her mind, and she told him that she let him know that to be the case when he called her earlier, and she was too tired and too irritated to want to give him some.

Then she told me he had the nerve to get salty about it.  When she left the parking lot and was on the road, he called her and told her he had “something” for her, and if she wanted to come back and get it, or he could bring it to her.  Stephanie told him that she’d get it later because she was already driving.  She said he got salty once more and hung up before saying good night.  Stephanie said that when she got home, she blocked his number, and she was pissed that she didn’t get to get off.  I asked her why she didn’t just take him straight to the hotel, and she said she wanted to take the time and talk about expectations and little intimate details so that the encounter would be mutually enjoyable.

I made her tell this story several times because I could not believe it.  It has always been my understanding that men will do damn near anything to have NuPussy, including driving long distances and paying money in the form of dinner and/or a date.  And when it’s a mutual understanding that both parties knew they would be fucking, and that it was likely to be on a regular schedule, then it made it all the more worth it.  I expected Jeff to use his degree from Swag University (Stephanie said that he’d demonstrated exceptional confidence their first two outings, and it was something she found highly attractive) and smooth talk his way into a night of NuPussy.  I thought Jeff was going to say whatever needed to be said to make sure he got what he drove 40 miles and paid almost $100 for.  Apparently Jeff was a Swag University dropout.

I thought that for the chance to get some NuPussy, Jeff would have made sure that he was at the restaurant on time.  I thought that when he was in danger of not seeing Stephanie, he would have used his charm to encourage her to meet him at the restaurant, and that when she ultimately did, he would pull out all the stops and use every trick a Swag University degree calls for to talk her out of her panties.  I expected it.  I expected it.  Almost every woman understands what NuPussy is and what it can make a man do.  That Jeff fucked everything up was completely unbelievable.  I’m still stunned by it.  It was clearly the biggest WTF moment I’ve had all year.  


The Craft: Author vs. Writer

During a discussion with Denny Upkins, author of Hollowstone, the subject of what we do came up, as it tends to since we’re both published authors. The text of the conversation is as follows...

Me:  “I understand how refreshing it is to connect with like minds.  It's rare.  Ankh and I are storytellers, which is why we get along so well.  Through her, I met you, and you're a wordsmith just like us.  It's so great because we can talk about certain things.  I wish I knew more real authors like us.  I know plenty of writers, but very few authors.”

Denny:  “Girl you ain't never lied. One of my friends was talking about this.  She's critiquing my next novel and she stated something that really struck a chord. She said she loved critiquing me because my objective is to tell a great story and not be known as a great writer. Because there's a huge difference.  I think with us, we're working towards something more meaningful in our narratives which is why we strive to be great authors because we're serving an ignored audience that is black women, women of color, POCs and LGBTQs.”

Me: You're so right.  So right.  Soooooooo right.  I'm more concerned with telling a balanced, solid story than I am with being portrayed as a good writer.  The second can't happen unless the first does.”

To which Denny co-signed.  This was also a subject addressed in part on the Blasian Narrative as well.  I also discussed this to some extent in my interview At the Bar. After Denny’s and my conversation, I decided to define for myself the difference between an author and a writer.  Now, under no circumstances am I an expert in anything, but I am qualified to express my opinion on my blog.  You may disagree, and that’s fine too. Educational discourse is always welcome.

An author begins as a writer, but then somewhere along the line, the vision changes and becomes all-encompassing.  I knew I was going to be an author by age eight because I saw my name on the spirals of books, and I could imagine what my book covers would look like, and even who would be my publisher (Viking, Scribner, Random House...hey, I was eight).  I illustrated my stories and bound them in 3-ring binders or loose pages glued together with rubber cement.  I included copyright pages and stuff like that because I studied books by other authors.  It was about the story, but then it became about the story and letting the world know about it.  I knew that it would happen one day and I never had a moment’s doubt.

But it was always the story itself, first and foremost.  How to make the words on the page match the images in my mind?  How to interpret what I was seeing into the vocabulary (albeit extensive) of a kid?  How to finish what I started?  How do I end it?  How do I end it?  How do I end it?  These aren’t easy questions when you’re a novice.  You want the words to be perfect when you first put pen to paper. It just doesn’t happen that way.   Nor will you pen a 250-page novel your first time out.  As with all things, the key to getting better is consistent practice and learning who you are as a writer.  I kept writing (and reading) to improve my overall understanding of how to tell a story to completion, and all I wanted to do was get better and better at keeping up with my muse; who if I allow free reign, will always see me through to the end.

Don’t be afraid to solicit feedback, but make sure it’s from reliable sources.  You’ll want to find someone willing to edit your work, and here I stress the need to find another writer who’ll do it (especially if it’s reciprocated).  Do not be afraid if the feedback isn’t positive.  Feedback is essential, and people need to understand the nature of it.  When I wrote my fanfic, I got a lot of “good job, keep going,” responses. I also got a lot of, “This is horrible; you should never write again,” replies as well. Those comments do absolutely nothing for authors.  We have to know specifics: what’s good about the story, what’s bad about it, things of that nature so they can be addressed. And negative feedback is still feedback.  The reviewer may not have liked what we wrote, but what we appreciate is when they can tell us in detail what it was they didn’t like, and what they did like.  Such commentary is what gets us to our next book.  And for authors, there’s always a next book.

The point here is to keep writing, keep practicing, keep making attempts to get better, including doing research on your subject, characters and plot specifics. Writers write what they know, but it is a measure of growth if you make serious attempts to move out of your comfort zone.  For instance, I never wrote anything other than black women paired with black men because that’s what I knew.  But I branched out and wrote a Blasian novel, and I learned so much; enough that I know I’ll continue down the Blasian path, as well as branch out into other genres like steampunk, mystery, sci-fi & dark fantasy. It requires a wealth of research, but the endgame for me is always a solid, readable novel, and so it’s worth it.  You also need to know the audience for which you write because everything isn’t for everybody.

To this regard, I’m also making a concerted effort to branch out with character orientations.  Never have I read a novel with a LGBTQ protagonist, and Denny assures me that there are very few books (good or bad) with such characters.  I’m heterosexual, and I’m always concerned about authenticity in my storytelling.  My characters believe in having sex, and so intimate encounters are a legitimate concern of mine.  I know that I can do it, but research and time are required to make it believable.  The last thing I want is for a LGBTQ consumer to read my novel and say, “A straight woman wrote this shit.”  The last thing I want for anyone reading my novels is to question their authenticity and/or call them shit.  So best believe I will use every resource available to get it right, including, but not limited to, conversations, interviews and reading books by LGBTQ authors.  I’ve also made a serious attempt at writing slash in some of my fanfic, and have been mightily encouraged to keep going by fans of the genre.  Baby steps, y’all, baby steps...

Another topic is the issue of book covers.  Before I talk about this, I have to make an important point; one which Denny pointed out.  Authors who sign with standard publishing houses typically do not have control over the cover their book receives. The author is at the whim of the publisher, who may decide to use an absolutely horrendous cover that does no justice to the book itself.  The idea that someone else can decide how my book is presented to the world horrifies me enough that I will strive to always maintain creative control.  For those of us who self-publish, this is completely possible.  So I will limit my discussion on artistic book covers to us.

There is a continuous debate on the Narrative about book cover quality.  Since a lot of people (me included) decide whether we want to read a book based on its cover, it behooves the author to produce a quality book jacket.  It’s not enough to photoshop random images and throw up a title...what you oftentimes get is a hot visual mess that detracts from what may be a really good story.  Take a look at some of the book covers on the Narrative and you’ll see what I mean.  Denny has also touched on this very same topic.  

When I invest years into the writing of a novel (Corruption took a year; Blade Dancer, 2 ½; In the Pale Moonlight, 3), I will not slack off by getting a weak-ass jacket to wrap my baby in.  I will invest money into getting a beautiful and appropriate cover by a professional graphic artist or a superlative art student.  If you’re a true visionary, you already know how you want the book to look and this last part is fairly easy.

Under no circumstances am I dissing writers.  Absolutely not; I started out as one. As far as I’m concerned, the internal switch that turns a writer into an author does not go on for everyone.  And there is nothing wrong with writing for yourself, which I think most writers do.  I’ve met quite a few who are honest about their desire to write for themselves and only themselves.  They haven’t made efforts to publish because the endgame for them is seeing the story in their head put to paper.  I’ve also met writers who claim to be authors, but are not serious about the craft.  They produce stories, but can’t handle constructive criticism about their work, even though they’ve put it out there for others to read.  They haven’t made strides to protect themselves.  When I ask about specific attempts at novelization or publication, I always get some kind of bewildered or bullshit expression; as if penning the story itself takes care of everything, including sales of the book. Again, somewhere within, that switch hasn’t yet turned on, or probably won’t.  Being an author is about far more than just writing a story.

I belabor the point, but I feel like I always should provide context so that you’ll know where I’m coming from.  Said point is:  Writers can see, but authors are visionaries. Writers write stories, but authors produce books.  Writers tell stories without the intent to publish.  Authors go through great lengths to produce a publishable product.  For my storytellers out there, ask yourself…are you a writer or are you an author?  What is your objective when you put pen to paper?  Who are you?  Which are you?  What I’ve tried to say here is merely my opinion; feel free to state your own and share your ideas with me.  

For those of you new to the craft, I hope that my diatribe is of some use to you; feel free to contact me if you have specific questions.  Either way, happy writing!


Announcement: Web Series

So fellow author and blogger Denny Upkins has done an extensive review on a plethora of web series.  As many of you may know, TV sucks shit through a raggedy straw, and many audiences have turned to the internet to find their entertainment.  Also, writers and producers who can't catch a break in Hollywhite have found the 'net to be a favorable medium to display their products and build their fanbases.  Denny has provided a list (with links) and summaries of web series that he has watched (or is watching).  He also provides recommendations.  Some I plan to watch are the following:

Disappointing Gay Best Friend
Status Kill

I appreciate the effort that it takes to conceptualize and produce a show on a peppermint budget.  We have to tell our own stories because for damn sure no one else will. Or will be bold enough to tell them right.

I avoid TV as much as possible with the exceptions of The Walking Dead & American Horror Story.  ESPN is my default setting, simply because I love sports and require background noise as I go about my daily life.  I have not yet watched any of these shows, but I do plan to shoehorn a few in between working, writing, and reading extra-dull research on the state of education in America.  *sigh*  Anyway, I'll be providing my own commentary on some of these shows after I've watched them.


I'm Not Easy

Recently, I went out on a date with a nice guy who I’ll call Jerry.  I met Jerry through a mutual acquaintance.  He’s handsome, cultured and educated; a great conversationalist and knowledgeable about a lot of things.  He’s a gentleman of the first order; respectful, kind, courteous and complimentary.  Naturally, we hit it off.  He appealed to me in a way that Mr. Passive and the Handyman didn’t.

Jerry and I had two outings; both of which were initiated by me.  I didn’t mind this; as I clearly had control of the situation from the beginning (I had his number, but he didn’t have mine).  But during our second outing (coffee at Starbucks), his interest was obvious.  Mine was too, but I’m extremely wary about showing my hand.  You have to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em; you should always hold them early on.  As I was dazzling (and being dazzled by) him, he asked me some very pointed questions:

1.      What are you looking for?
2.    Do you want to have children?
3.    What do I have to do (to win my heart)?

         I respect the fact that he was up front about what he wanted, and I respected him by answering.  I told him that I wasn’t really looking for anything.  I also let him know my basic requirements of what kind of man should be interested in courting me.  I told him that I didn’t want children and had absolutely no interest in being a mother, and I told him why.  I also added that I wanted to see the world and am already making plans to move out of the country sometime next year.  And when he asked me what did he have to do to win my heart, I told him that as a grown man, he’d figure it out.  I’d already given him the baseline information he needed, but when it comes to courtship, I’m not about to tell anyone how to go about it to get me. 

Men are natural predators; the instinct to hunt or pursue prey is hardwired into their brains.  When it comes to dating women, that imperative is no different.  Women shouldn’t make it easy for a man to have them.  If he hasn’t put a lick of effort into winning your heart, then he’s not going to respect it because he hasn’t had to work for it.  He won’t cherish it and protect it because he hasn’t had to invest time or effort into it.  Why should he?  You’ve already shown your hand.  

A lot of men I happen to know think that if she’ll give it up that easy to me, she’ll do it for any other man that comes along.  But if he’s had to put on a pair of sneaks and chase you down for any significant amount of time, he’s not trying to let you go.  His decision to pursue you has come at a cost he’s willing to pay.  I know; some of you are thinking, “We can’t win for losing.”  But you can, if you know your worth and what you are willing to tolerate and refuse to settle for anything less than that.  It’s the same principle as spoiling a child.  Kids don’t take care of anything they haven’t had to work for.  Men don’t either, and yes, it works both ways.

          In a discussion over At the Bar, I stated that I don’t date because I have a hard time believing what a guy says to me.  The sheer decline of quality partners makes it hard for a woman like me.  So many women have made it easy for men that they expect for every woman to make things easy.  They’ve mastered the art of saying what they think are all the right things to make a woman want to be boo’ed up by the second or third date…or that takes the shortest amount of time to get some nooky. 

Jerry told me that while he understands the culture from which he hails, he doesn’t embrace every aspect of it.  While that makes sense, I am of the belief that it does not apply to a significant feature of his culture; that of the role of the woman in a relationship.  I’m convinced that he was saying it because he thought it would please me to think that he had no interest in trying to corral me into a role that does not suit me at all.  I have no proof of this other than my gut instinct calling bullshit on it.

My last outing with Jerry was last week.  I haven’t heard from him since then, not even a text message.  I’m not upset about this.  While I have no doubt that he is/was interested in me, he realized that we didn’t have the same goals and there’s no point wasting time in being with someone who doesn’t share the same objectives.  He wants a family.  I don’t.  He’s ready to settle down.  I’m ready to shake things up.  He comes from a culture with very traditional roles.  I’m not trying to hear that shit. 

I know some of you are probably wondering why I let a man with Jerry’s appeal get away, especially when I pontificate about how hard it is to move my interest thermostat.  That maybe my expectations are unrealistic and rigid.  That maybe being with Jerry will change my mind about settling down.  My answers are, in order:  (1) It’s a waste of time because we don’t have common objectives.  (2) My expectations are not unrealistic; I will not settle for anything less than I deserve, and if I have to wait for it, I have no problems doing so.  (3) I’m a grown woman.  I know exactly what I want and don’t want, and settling down isn’t something I’m willing to compromise on; I don’t give a damn how appealing a man is.  Being anchored and/or trapped scares the hell out of me.

So it’s best that Jerry and I go our separate ways, unless he is willing to relinquish his own standards to have a woman as fabulous as me in his life.  Considering that a lot of men feel that they don’t have to, I doubt it.  


The Hunt (4/?)

Captain Spock agreed with Gerri’s temporal assessment and ordered that the ISS-E head towards Razmou Ohndri.  If they arrived before K’avir’s pon farr, they would merely orbit the planet until it happened.  Spock also assured Sheila that the ISS-E would remain in orbit until it was done.  He would not leave her on the planet for any extended amount of time; she would require medical attention once K’avir’s fever passed.

Sheila informed Trisha of the transport plans and Trisha’s engineers kept the coordinates locked in the computers and synched with K’avir’s communicator so that he could be beamed off the ship immediately.  The plan was for her to go to her quarters so that she could get her bag and change into her old uniform, and then get beamed down to the planet two kilometers away from wherever he would be.  She studied the topographical maps and devised what she hoped would be a reasonable course of least for the first day.  When she and K’avir had their combat sessions, she worked extra hard to build up her stamina.  He always concluded each lesson with her having to try and get out from under him.  It was frustrating because she could not figure out how to move in such a way to get her torso and hips free.  There was no way that he would trap her with her legs closed; the situation would have been easier if he did.  She wriggled, she struggled and did the best she could.  But her husband was a solid mass and an immovable object.

In the confines of their quarters, she voiced her frustration.  “I’m going to be trapped underneath you for three days.  I’m going to starve to death.”

Ashaya, you will figure it out.  You must.”

“Glad to know you have faith in me.”

“You do not want to perish, and I will not survive if you do.”

Sheila tried to stay on alert to notice any subtle changes in K’avir’s behavior.  But she was distracted by so many little details unrelated to his pon farr.  There was her duty in sickbay, her duty to Nyota and the baby, and her irritation at not being able to figure out how to get out from under K’avir.  She studied diagrams and models of Vulcan physiques, but it was the mere fact that Vulcans were stronger than humans that stonewalled her.  But K’avir believed in her, and the situation was unavoidable.  Every second of free time she was able to get, she agonized over the problem.

One night, Sheila realized that K’avir was watching her intently while she took a sonic shower.  He was not in the bathroom with her; he was studying her through a mirror.  When she was ready to get out, he was there with a towel and he was serious about drying her off.  He did it whenever he could, but their schedules were so erratic that it had been some time since he was last able to watch her bathe or dry her off.  But tonight was different.  He picked Sheila up and carried her to their bed.  She was still damp and curious as to what he was doing.  That it might have been a signal of something deeper did not register.  He was not doing anything he’d never done before.

          He started sniffing her.  Sheila watched in growing horniness as her husband fondled and smelled her.  He moved over her at will, sniffing her breasts and navel and neck, between her legs and cheeks, her back...everywhere.  She was amused and aroused.  She knew he liked her scent; whenever she was near him, his nostrils flared ever so slightly.


“I am taken...with your scent,” he said.  “It arouses me.”

“Have you always been taken in this manner?  You’ve never been this brazen.  I mean, my scent hasn’t changed.  As far as I know, anyway.”

“It is different now; stronger,” he said. “It is powerful.  I like it.”

Sheila lay back and he spread her thighs wide.  K’avir buried his face between her thighs and instead of eating her, he smelled her.  Curious, she asked him what she smelled like.

          “I cannot describe it; there is no flower or nectar or anything that comes close to it.  It is you, ashaya.  There can be no other who smells as you do.”

          Sheila stared at the top of his head, feeling her stomach do flip-flops simply because K’avir had his nose between her thighs.  What he was doing was primal, but horribly sexy.  It occurred to her that it might be an indicator that he was nearing his time.  She did not say anything, but reminded herself to be watchful of other indicators.  They made love, and in regards to that, Sheila did not notice any changes; it was as intense and as passionate as always, and K’avir was as devoted to her pleasure as always.

The next day, she was running physicals on members of the crew.  It was commonplace for the captain to debrief his senior staff in the mornings, and they did it over breakfast in the officer’s dining room.  Sheila sat next to K’avir, who always sat on Spock’s right.  After breakfast, he walked her to Medical Bay and she did not see him again until the end of her shift.  When it was possible, he met her for lunch, but it did not happen often.  So it was a surprise for her to turn and see him in the doorway of sickbay.  Sheila looked at him.


He looked at her.  Sheila cocked her head.

“K’avir, are you all right?”

A moment passed, and then he said, “I am fine.”

Sheila looked at Shawn, her assistant.  “How many more patients are waiting that I need to see?”

“Two, but they’re currently in prep.  Vanessa and Rhona are running tests.  But I can see them.  You haven’t taken a break all morning; go on.”

Sheila smiled.  “All right.  Thanks.”  Then she looked at K’avir, whose eyes never left her; not once.

“Come into my office.”  She turned and he followed.  Once in, she asked him to close the door.  She put her PADD on her desk and turned to face K’avir, who was right up on her.


He put his arms around her and drew her close.  Sheila smiled; this was something new.  He buried his face between her neck and shoulder and she heard him sniffing and felt his lips press against her skin.

“Honey...not that I mind, but what brought this on?”

He didn’t speak.  Sheila sighed and held on to K’avir, appreciating the wonder of him.  His hands wandered over her ass and she groaned.  He was aroused and actually pushed her up against the desk.  Sheila moved and put her hands on his cheeks and turned his face to hers.

“K’avir, did you actually come by sickbay to get some nooky?”

He was learning her weird little synonyms for sexual intimacy.  “You are my wife,” was his response.

“I know,” she said.  “But I never see you until the evenings.  Aren’t you supposed to be in Security or with the captain?”

“I am with you at the moment.”  He grabbed her waist and sat her on the desk.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Sheila said.  “I don’t mind a little afternoon delight, but...”

This morning, she opted to wear her blue one-piece, as she had not worn it for some time.  Sheila soon realized that it might not have been the best decision, as K’avir shoved her skirt up around her waist and gently pushed her down on her back.  Sheila tried to sit up, wobbling on her elbows and trying to get her mind around the fact that her husband was actually getting ready to fuck her.  In her office, during the middle of the unheard-of concept.

“K’avir, I can’t do this now...I’ve got patients...please honey.  You can get as much as you want to lat--”

He knelt and shoved his face between her legs.  Sheila squirmed, as he had not bothered to remove her panties or shove the crotch to one side.  She gripped his shoulder, trying to get his attention.

“K’avir...I’ve got two patients...oh shit...!”  In seconds, her legs were over his shoulders and she bit her lip to hold in her sounds.  He had never behaved like this before, and moments later he stood, unzipped his trousers and entered her after finally yanking her panties to one side.  It was quick, dirty, and she had to admit, immensely satisfying.  When it was over, he cleaned her up and straightened her uniform and stole a kiss before leaving her in her office.  Sheila got herself together and realized that what had just taken place was a definite indicator that K’avir’s pon farr was soon.  A random afternoon fuck?  Her husband was duty-bound; for him to leave his post to have her spoke volumes.

K’avir normally escorted her back to their quarters when her shift was over.  But she left a half-hour earlier after grabbing some packages from the stockroom.  Once in her quarters, she removed her panties, rolled them up and slipped them into one of the thick plastic bags she got from sickbay.  She used an air pump to vacuum-seal the bag.  Quickly, she stuffed the pack into her bag.  Sheila went into her bathroom and used a damp cloth to wipe down the insides of her legs and put on a fresh pair of panties.  She’d keep as many soiled pairs as she could to use while down on the planet.  Then she contacted Captain Spock to let him know that they had to get to Razmou Ohndri as soon as possible.  He acknowledged.

Sheila wondered if they would have dinner in the dining room, or if K’avir wanted to do something else.  She sat in the chair and waited for him to come in.  When he did, there was a look on his face that she’d never seen before.  Sheila stood up as he walked over to her.

“K’avir, I’m starved.  Let’s go eat.”

“Why were you not in Medical Bay?”

“I had to run to our quarters for a moment, and then I thought I’d just wait here for you.  I’m tired; your unexpected visit drained some energy.  I’m starved.  Let’s go eat.”

She decided not to give him a chance to respond.  Sheila grabbed his hand and led him out of their suite.  K’avir followed and Sheila found herself babbling.

“Was there any reason that made you suddenly decide to come by and get a little piece this afternoon?”

“I want you,” was his response.

“You abandoned your post, K’avir.  You never do that.  Please tell me you were in Security and not with the captain.”

“I was in Security, and all is well.”

“I don’t want you getting in trouble with Captain Spock.  You’d better not shirk your duty for a piece of ass, K’avir.  Especially when you know it’s available to you at any other time.”

He didn’t respond and they entered the mess.  It was dinnertime, and it was crowded.  Sheila led her husband over to the doors that led to the officer’s dining room.  Trisha came over to her, followed by a handsome Native American male.

“Sheila.  I wanted to introduce you to Arvi Charman.  He’s on assignment from Starbase 255.3.  I don’t think you’ve met him, but he may be spending a day or two in Medical Bay, doing observations.”

Sheila extended her hand to Arvi.  “I’m Sheila Stephens, and this is my husband K’avir.  What will you be observing?”

Arvi smiled at her.  “Husband?  A pity.”

Arvi reached to take Sheila’s hand and to her utter surprise, K’avir stepped up to him and growled.  Arvi glanced up at him.  K’avir bucked in his direction and growled again.

“What’s your problem?”  Arvi asked.

Trisha looked at Arvi and gave one hard shake of her head.  Sheila didn’t even look at K’avir.  “Trisha, get him the hell out of here right now,” she said through her teeth.  

“Come on, youngun,” Trisha said, grabbing Arvi’s arm and ignoring the startled look on his face.

Quickly, Sheila punched in her access code and the dining room doors swished open.  She grabbed K’avir’s hand again and led him inside.  The doors closed.  To her relief, the dining room was empty.  She let him go and glared at him.

“K’avir, what is wrong with you today?”

He did not say anything.

“K’avir, you cannot antagonize men in the crew!  I’m the CMO...I’m going to have to deal with them.  You can’t be growling at them just because they introduce themselves!  I won’t put up with it.”

K’avir stared at her calmly, as if her words meant nothing.

“Do you hear me?  K’avir, are you listening?  You better be, so help me!”

He made his way over to the serving buffet.  “Would you care for Vulcan cuisine or human?  They are also serving Klingon and Romulan entrees this evening; though I do not care for gagh.  You may like the oozl twists, for they are tart and I know you do not care for very sweet foods.”

Sheila was aghast.  “K’avir, did you just ignore me?”

“You must nourish yourself, ashaya.  It is time for our evening meal.”

“To hell with eating,” she said.  “You just ignored me.”

“I heard what you said, Sheila.  I would never ignore you.  You do not wish for me to antagonize male crew members.”

“It will make my job harder if you do, and I need that not to happen, all right?”

“As you wish, k’diwa.  They have falafel and vegetable lasagna and those rolls you like.  What would you care for?”

Sheila sat down, suddenly tired.  “Whatever, K’avir.  I’m hungry and I’m exhausted.”

A few minutes later, K’avir set a plate down in front of her and sat across from her just as Trisha, Marlena, some department heads and the captain entered the dining hall.  Sheila started eating quietly, oblivious to the fact that her husband watched her intently as he took his meal.  Spock came over and sat next to Sheila.  K’avir turned his gaze towards the captain.  He growled softly and his eyes narrowed.  A moment passed, and he acknowledged.  “Sir.”


“Sir,” Sheila said, disturbed that K’avir had actually growled at the captain.

Spock studied K’avir as he addressed Sheila.  “How are you faring, Dr. Stephens?”

“Just fine, sir.”

“We shall arrive at our destination within the next 48 hours.  Will that be sufficient?”

Sheila shook her head.  “I don’t know, sir.”

“Be vigilant.  I can increase our speed if necessary.”

Sheila looked at her husband, who stared back at her.  “I think it may be necessary, sir.”

Spock looked at his security chief.  K’avir hadn’t taken his eyes off Sheila.  “I think you are correct, Dr. Stephens.”

The next morning, the senior staff were having their usual briefing with the captain in the dining room.  Spock announced that they were in orbit around Razmou Ohndri, and that they would be conducting yellow- and red-alert drills for the next few days.  Sheila noticed that he would glance at K’avir every minute or so, but K’avir didn’t realize it because he was staring at her.  Last night after dinner, they returned to their quarters without a word and she immediately began to disrobe to take a quick shower.  She closed the bathroom door in hopes that he would leave her alone.  But she wasn’t sure; she knew that his pon farr was near.  They had not yet arrived at Razmou Ohndri and she could not get him off the ship.  

She stowed her bra and panties into another vacuum pack and slipped it into her bag.  While she showered, she started thinking about her plan of action.  During lulls in Medical Bay, she studied Gerri’s data and knew she would carry her PADD with her just in case it was necessary.  She also knew she would have to make a trip to the armory to get another knife in addition to the one that was a part of her uniform.  As soon as she got out of the shower, she was going to send a message to Trisha so that she could be on alert.  

When she got out of the shower, he was waiting for her; naked, erect, and actually leaking while staring at her with that same calm eerie gaze.

“What if I say that I don’t feel like it?”

“Do not keep yourself from me, Sheila.  I do not like it.”

“But would you leave me be if I asked you to?”

“I would not like it.”

“But would you do it?”

He stood quietly for a moment.  “If you wish.”

Sheila smiled at him.  “I don’t wish it.  I was just asking.”  Perhaps if she gave him some, it would take the edge off.  She hoped, anyway.

Nyx mentioned during their conversation that a possible indicator of K’avir’s pon farr being imminent was if their intimate encounters became more intense.  “Harder” was the word she used.  Considering that he’d actually made a visit to sickbay just to fuck her, she felt that the ensuing encounter was just that.  He smelled her again and gently bit the insides of her thighs and her buttocks.  He sucked harder, thrust harder, pulled harder, and she felt as if it took longer for him to be sated.  But even with that, it was obvious that her pleasure was paramount.  He slept with his arm around her.  It took longer for Sheila to fall asleep, even though she was tired.

Sheila started increasing her caloric consumption not long after her conversation with Nyx, and she counteracted possible weight gain with her intense workouts.  She knew that it was necessary, and so enjoyed her lavish breakfast and ate all she could.  Marlena and Trisha joked about it, as did Nyota whenever she saw her.  She finished her first glass of tenaberry juice while still standing in front of the drink dispensers.  Tenaberry juice was loaded with nutrients and antioxidants and Sheila grinned when Marlena walked over to her, holding half of a pomegranate.

“Sheila, guess what!  The chefs finally got their hands on some pomegranates.  I’ve been begging for these ever since we left Dantouine II.  Apparently, they got them from Starbase 238.2, but waited for them to ripen before serving.  You’ve never had a pomegranate before, so you must try one.”  She handed her the dark red-seeded fruit.

          Sheila smiled and took the fruit.  She cracked the half into two smaller portions and looked at it.

          “It’s going to stain your fingers and tongue red, just so you know.  Bite into a seed cluster.  You’ll need to spit the seedlings out, but it’s going to explode in your mouth like an Andorian jujubee.”

          Sheila bit into the fruit and closed her eyes as it did exactly what Marlena said it would do.  “Omigod,” she moaned.  “This is fantastic.  Tell me they have more.”

          “Plenty, but they go fast.”

          Sheila wiped her mouth as juice dribbled down her chin.  “Marlena, this is excellent.  So juicy.”

          “You’ve got juice all over your lips, girl.”  Marlena said.  “I told you it stains.  But nothing a little water won’t fix.  Wiping it with your fingers only spreads it around.”

          Sheila took another bite, enjoying the fruit, oblivious to the fact that her husband’s breathing became labored and that his mind was now as red as the fruit she was eating.  The only thing in his mind was the brilliant white light of her scent.  He stared at her and his hands curled into fists.  Sheila sucked pomegranate juice from her fingers and licked her now-red lips.

          “Marlena, this is messy but absolutely wonderful.”

          Marlena agreed.  “Told you.”

          K’avir stood up.  Spock tapped his communicator.  “Commander Baker, lock onto the security chief’s communicator and prepare to beam him to the coordinates I gave you.”

          Sheila turned just in time to see K’avir stalking towards her, growling.  Marlena gasped as he violently kicked a chair out of his way.  Sheila dropped the fruit and headed for the door, glancing over her shoulder.  K’avir gave chase just as Spock gave Trisha the command and K’avir disappeared in a swirling beam of light.

          Captain Spock looked at Sheila, who was suddenly terrified.  “Go, Dr. Stephens.  Get your things and go right now.  Be careful.”

          Sheila ran out of the dining room and to her quarters.  Once there, she quickly put on her red sarong, a pair of utility boots, tied her hair in a red scarf and grabbed her survival kit and knife.  She tapped her communicator.

          “Trisha, it’s Sheila.  Beam me down to Razmou Ohndri, stat!”

          It was time for the hunt.

“Angel,” “Sly,” “Five Man Army,” & “Better Things”