Tag Archives: family

NaNoWriMo, Interrupted

24 Nov

Life is what happens when one is making other plans, or so the saying goes.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (proving yet again I am not psychic), I had to quickly find a job. Fortunately, Amazon.com has a fulfillment center nearby which needs bodies for seasonal positions. Win-win.

Anyway, I am now working overnights. Between the physical demands of a warehouse job and normal family stuff, I have no energy left for writing. I refuse to feel guilty for this. Life happens.

I’ve written 32,000 words of the Baroness’ life, and I will come back to her. She has taken on a life and nobility that compels me. Once I have more than three free brain cells at a time.



To be continued….after Christmas….



Proof of Life, Part 29

1 Oct

September 13, 2131

“It’s been six months, Brother. So far, this belt has more icy asteroids and fewer metallic ones than the Mars belt does. The overall density is less. That, plus the travel time involved, means it won’t be immediately profitable to us. I’ve tagged about nine asteroids that were spectacularly valuable. One appeared to be mostly scandium. Another had an interesting mix of vanadium and germanium. I’ll leave speculation about its origins to the experts. My attached report includes all the information I’ve gathered so far.” She sighed and continued, “I will of course fulfill my contract for a ten-year survey, but I expect it will be more of the same.”

Proof of Life, Part 26

24 Sep

June 26, 2129

“I’m over eight years into this journey, Nassor. It’s been much harder than I expected. Because people make me nervous, I thought I’d be fine alone. Dr. Nwosu has helped me see that my avoidance is a coping strategy. I still need people to, well, avoid or push away. That makes me feel in control, I guess.” She sighed. “We still have lots of work to do. Sometimes, though, I worry that if she cures me too soon before I get back, I will go crazy from the solitude.”

Proof of Life, Part 25

23 Sep

June 26, 2128

“Nassor! I found my old counselor, Dr. Nwosu! She assures me it is possible to root out even neuroses as deeply planted and long lasting as mine. We’re starting with my earliest memories, when I still thought the universe a good place. She has me doing sensory meditation exercises about my family and early childhood. I remember the sound of Father singing in the shower each morning. I remember how our mothers smelled: Maamaa smelled of sandalwood and patchouli; Min of cinnamon, cloves, and curry; and Mathee of the rose petals she scattered in her dresser. ”

Proof of Life, Part 18

11 Sep

June 27, 2126

Nassor’s response opened with the big, booming laugh she loved. “Only you, Hidaya, would lay down a science and communication system worth trillions of dollars and then pirate space on that system to play Settlers of Catan with scientists several astronomical units away! Only you! Very well, I won’t tell Sir Zuberi, but I will tell this story to all my future grandchildren.” He chuckled again, adding, “I’ve started thinking of such things because Aleah is fifteen now, and growing into a fine young lady. And I am very glad you sponsored the girls in martial arts classes three years ago because her first-level black belt intimidates the local boys.”

Proof of Life, Part 14

26 Aug

June 27, 2124

For her holo-call with Nassor and her eight-year-old nephew Rashaad, the communication delay was over an hour and a quarter, but Hidaya enjoyed the visit, even though she spent most of it watching Nassor playing games with his son to keep him occupied.

After Rashaad’s second turn talking, Nassor bluntly stated, “We have to change our format, Sister, due to increasing com delays. What if we each record and send news updates on June 26, then send responses the next day? I need to get Rashaad home now, so please message me your answer. Nakupenda, Hidaya.”

She felt a flare of anger at his suggestion. He couldn’t spare the time to talk with her once a year? For thirty minutes she paced about the cabin, trying to bring her emotions back under control. She had to agree that the time lag between conversation “turns” had become almost unmanageable. Next year, it would take almost two hours for light to carry her image back to Earth. Logic trumped emotion, and she sent Nassor her consent.

Proof of Life, Part 13

25 Aug

June 27, 2123

Hidaya enjoyed her second holographic conference with Nassor and her two nieces even though the conversation lag was now 48 minutes. Since Aleah and Defina were there, she didn’t spend much time discussing the satellite drops or her Greek asteroid field scans. She did reduce the girls to giggles with her description of the exercise fiasco and her imitation of the way she walked for several days thereafter. Before saying farewell, Nassor agreed to bring Rashaad next time.

As she settled into her sleeping web, Hidaya thought about her two nieces. She approved of the job Nassor and his wife Goma were doing in raising the girls. Both were quick, confident, and curious females. Still, “Memre’?”

“Yes, Captain?”

“Remind me in the morning to send a note to Nassor that I’d like to sponsor the girls in some martial arts classes. I don’t want them defenseless when trouble comes.” She paused a moment and added, “And trouble always comes.”

Proof of Life, Part 8

16 Aug

June 27, 2122

Hidaya set up both a 3-D chessboard and a Go board for her planned video conference with Nassor. Today, Earth was closest in her orbit to the Motherlode’s outward path, and the siblings had arranged yearly video conferences to “test the satellites’ video capabilities” and to stay in touch. Even the new high-intensity science-communication satellites she was dropping behind her were limited by the speed of light, which they used to transmit information. The current one-way time delay was around 18 minutes. Communication was possible, but awkward without something else to pass the time.

“Habari, Hidaya!” Her brother’s deep voice greeted her a second before his hologram took shape in her cabin. “How is my image transmission?” he asked first, before launching into a nine-minute family news update.

When Nassor stopped talking and waved his right hand in a gesture that meant it was her turn, Hidaya responded, “I can see your hologram clearly. It formed up shortly after your initial greeting, but now it’s in sync with your voice. The communications satellite seems to be working well with the updates we made to my ship back at Phobos.” She made her initial moves on the two game boards and told Nassor about her trip so far. “My nightmares are gone completely, Brother! I haven’t had a single one in over two months, and I used to have them at least once a week! I told you not to worry. The solitude is obviously great for my psyche.” She talked about her gardens, her gaming, and her needlework for another 17 minutes before stopping and waving for Nassor to speak.

The two alternated monologues and game moves for several hours, and Hidaya closed out their meeting with the plea, “Please bring my nieces Aleah and Dafina with you next time. I don’t want to miss seeing them grow up entirely, Brother. Nakupenda.”