All Perfectly Normal: An IDIC Gift for my WIPpet Wednesday Birthday!

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It’s hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel, maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys! She‘s our fearless shepherd…or something like that, anyway

Well, hello, July 29! Fancy meeting you here, as my life clicks over on another year filled with lovely chaos…

Riiiggghhhtttt…happens every year, at this time. And, since I’m not one for birthday parties or fussing (too close to July 25, which is important to me for very different reasons); and since I might not get to many WIPpets till after the weekend, because Camping (Yay, CAMPING!!!!), aI thought I’d give you all a gift, instead of the other way round…

Here you go!

Yup, I DID draft over 75K in 17 days….*pinches self; then looks at word counts again, to be sure* More than that; there are more than a few good words and meaty parts to develop – and I’ve still got a ways to go…

But I’m taking it easy, for the rest of the month, to play with other things, like:

  • Water,
  • my kids,
  • our friends,
  • revisions,
  • plotting,
  • prepping,
  • critiquing….

Oh, and did I forget?


WIPpet Math:

  • Today is July 29, 2015.
  • I was born at 6:59am, July 29, 1969. Obviously, I have an affinity for the number 9….
  • Which also happens to be 3 squared – and three is my favorite number. =D
  • So, by the power invested in my by WIPpet math and being the Birthday Girl, I add 9+3 to give you a dozen sentences.

Before you read on, a disclaimer:

I don’t own Star Trek (I’m really not sure anyone truly can, at this point, despite what legal documents may say), and I have no intention to attempt to make any money off my favorite Vulcan and the brave human who dares to love her. It’s just that they keep dragging me into their lives, and they’re both rather intransigent about it…

For those keeping track, this story comes from my discards from last year; in its original form, it was backstory and development for this poem. I brought it out of the trash bin a few weeks back, and you can find the other installments of this story, which I’m revising piecemeal as I go, by following these links:


For those too busy to click those links, here’s the deal –

Captain Jonathan Archer approaches the Situation Room, and hears Trip and T’Pol having a standoff about sitting. Jon intentionally ‘doesn’t notice’ all the little intimacies between his second and third in command, but he does notice that T’Pol seems exhausted – too exhausted even to butt heads with her favorite human sparring partner. Trip’s giving her some kind of massage, and, very unexpectedly, T’Pol seems to find comfort and solace in the contact, even in public, and on duty.

We pick up from these lines:

Vulcans weren’t humans; T’Pol was entitled to her own brand of grief. And all the better, if she’d let Trip support her even a little – helping people was just his nature, and had been as long as Jon had known him

All Perfectly Normal

Jon decided to let well enough be well enough, and not notice the way Trip put one leg out behind him, using his foot to hook the chair. Or T’Pol’s uncharacteristic relaxation; she clearly found whatever the engineer was doing ‘agreeable’. Was this that neuropressure they’d started, back in the Expanse, when Trip couldn’t sleep?

He wanted to ask, but he remembered in time that the Vulcan discipline was considered intimate. If T’Pol needed it enough to accept it here, in the Situation Room, it would be foolish and maybe even unkind to point out to her that he knew it.

Instead, he acted like all this was perfectly normal. “All right then – what have we got for today?”

“Plomeek broth,” Trip said, as Hoshi came around the corner with a steaming cup presumably filled with the traditional Vulcan breakfast. “And the chair – didn’t think I forgot about that, did you?” He wrapped his arms gently around the First Officer; now both Jon and Hoshi were working hard at not noticing, so they looked at each other, darting glances to the other two as Trip maneuvered T’Pol into the chair. “There, now, that feels better,” he told her, as though he knew it was true. “Now, with the Cap’n’s permission, you’re going to have some breakfast before you fade away into nothing.”

Will T’Pol stay in the chair?

Will the Captain OK her impromptu meal?
Will T’Pol eat, even if he does?

Is Trip going to be sorry for being so presumptuous?

I’ll be posting the next few lines from this scene for #8sunday,  if you’d like to learn more…

Looking for WIPpet Snippets where people notice things, and no one’s making anyone sit or having a birthday or plying them with Vulcan soup? You can find those, or add your own date-related excerpt, by following the little blue froggy from WIPpet to WIPpet!


  1. Ah, I love these two. I’m enjoying seeing them from outside their perspectives. The whole “not noticing” thing is brilliant. I can imagine how awkward that is!

    • I like seeing them through Jonathan’s eyes, too – especially since he has his own ideas about the lady in question…

      Awkward anywhere – but in the contained environment of a starship, when it’s your second and third in command you’re trying not to notice….awkward and then some!

      Glad you enjoyed!

    • You can PM me or post here with guesses…but I still might not tell, cause I’m a little evil that way! 😉

      It is definitely necessary to not notice some things – especially if you don’t want your illusions burst…

        • Yup. Pretty much. In this case, though, it’s the Captain whose bubble will be inevitably burst, because he’s got ideas about the lady that just can’t happen….

          • Oh, really? Not having watched the series, I did not know that. Poor Captain. But I’m sure there are plenty of pretty young crew members who’d adore a night or dozen out with him.

          • It’s a bit of an undercurrent, except this one night…but this story takes place in a six-year gap in the series (how’s THAT for a bad idea?!), and there have been a couple of incidents that I believe he’s feeling a deepening and surging of those old feelings…not so far-fetched, from his point of view, since he and T’Pol are good friends, and share a positive working relationship and a mutual respect.

            But he was too late for this one the day he first saw her…

            And, yeah…I think there’s at least one someone aboard who would love to be closer to her Captain, but he’s a little distracted, and hasn’t exactly noticed it.

            I’m wondering what’s going to happen there, but, thus far, Jon’s oblivious, and the lady’s a little more than a little shy…

          • It was canceled in 2005. =(

            The producers thought it would be a good idea to do a particularly awful finale, when, for my money, the two part episode that preceded it was just perfect, and they should have stopped right there.

            Instead, they jumped forward six years, and managed to mess up nearly everything, so that fan fiction writers have had to be mightily creative in order to deal with that episode and still keep to canon and give our favorite inter-species couple a happy six years…

          • Why do producers do stuff like that? Smallville was Beloved’s show and they did this thing at the end (no horrifically tragic deaths) but the series finale interrupted Clark & Lois’ wedding day. Well, it all gets resolved, but at the end, they jump ahead another seven years for the actual wedding. O.o Why? If my wedding were interrupted by bad guys, I’m sure as shootin’ not waiting another seven years to do it over.

          • Amen to that!

            Enterprise’s producers went one worse – they framed the whole episode by clumsily sandwiching it into an existing Next Generation episode (but enough later that it was clear the actors had aged).

            Things happened in that episode that had me scratching my head all the way through…like they say TnT haven’t been intimate in nearly six years…but they never say why, and they certainly seem intimately connected…

            And then there’s the Very Bad Thing That Made No Sense At All….

            I think I’ve figured out a way around it. Haven’t written it yet, but I think it can work and even add to the story….

          • TnT have been joined at the soul for six years but they haven’t done anything? O.o They were essentially married, weren’t they? At any rate, I like reading your version. 🙂

          • That’s what they want us to believe. Now, if it was handled properly, I could see T’Pol wanting to wait, six years being a shorter time for someone who could easily live to be over 200 years old.

            Thing is, we get no explanation AT ALL….and, even worse, T’Pol is talking openly about it, which isn’t remotely something she’s likely to do – about Trip, or anything personal.

            And yes, the bond is generally recognized to be essentially a marriage. In my version ***spoiler alert!*** they have a human ceremony as well, though I’m not saying when yet…

            But I can’t see them not together for those six years. Not exactly happily ever after, but definitely TOGETHER, as a couple, still working things through, and still making mistakes and making love…er…mating….er exploring…

            I’m glad you like reading it, because I certainly love writing it!

  2. Camping. Hurray. 😀

    I will admit, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in this snippet — probably because I missed last week’s. Still, you capture these two so well, and I love that we’re seeing them through other eyes, too.

    • Big hurray for camping!!!!

      What’s going on is that the Captain overheard an exchange between Trip and T’Pol, and hung back a bit to listen. Trip wants T’Pol to sit; he says she’s not eating, sleeping, or even trying to meditate. She doesn’t dispute that, but claims to be fine and not hungry.

      She does not sit down, but hangs onto the Situation Room’s display table as though for dear life.

      Trip gets behind her as the Captain walks in and starts not noticing things – the ring T’Pol’s been wearing lately: the way Trip brushes his paired fingers over the backs of T’Pol’s touching that ring; the way he pressed in on her back, and she sighs and relaxes at the touch; the way Trip whispers and calls her pepperpot…when he tries to tell an obviously wilting T’Pol that she can take leave time, after all that’s happened, they both say together that they’re not ready to talk about it. T’Pol adds that neither leave time nor medication will change what’s happened, so, logically, she’s going to do her duty- and that’s about where this bit starts.

      Hope that helps! =)

  3. Happy birthday! That’s an amazing amount of words in so little time. Looking at some of my files tracking word count by chapter plus worked-on dates, I’ve probably written as many words in that kind of time at least once, even if I weren’t deliberately counting words at the time.

    I love the relationship you’ve developed between these two. They seem like such a good match, in spite of their difficulties.

    • Thanks, Carrie-Anne!

      I’m still a little bewildered by the number. I did do 50K in ten days on purpose, once, because I had a lot of homeschooling paperwork to do, and wanted to get my drafting in. But, that time, I put aside most everything else, and just focused on the writing.

      This time, life was fairly busy, in addition to that drafting…so I think this may be a new personal best…

      I’m happy, either way. And it feels good not to be drafting today (although i may do a session or two later, depending on how well things are going with camping and blogging prep).

      YOu are a word count wizard, IMO – and you do far more in-depth research than I do, whiso your counts simply astound me!

      As for the relationship between Trip and T’Pol – I can’t claim credit for developing it. What the series writers and producers, but especially Connor Trinneer and Jolene Blalock, who had a lot of leeway in how they portrayed and developed Trip and T’Pol, gave me lots of wonderful material, and a very real relationship…

      They are an extremely good fit for one another. The difficulties are, in essence, the same ones any two people attempting a meaningful relationship need to deal with – they’re magnified by being from different species and different worlds with very different cultural worldview…but, their personalities are more similar than it seems like they are, on the surface.

      At first, there’s a clear attraction, but also a near certainty that they’ll be vocally and intensely on opposite sides of any issue.

      Once they start to develop a mutual respect for one another, as officers and people, they gradually become a team, and then friends, and from there…well, it takes four years for them to get to the point they’re at in this story…

    • Thanks, Ruth! And I’ll confess – posting a TnT post today was as much a present for me as it was for everyone else!

      I’m taking some time, during this hot last day before camping, to rewatch a few episodes, while I work on setting up blogposts and prepping for tomorrow.

      Meanwhile, in the back of my head, my FDWR characters are plotting to get my attention back….

  4. Happy birthday, and yay camping! I hope you have a great time. 🙂

    And yaaaay NaNo winner! Congratulations! That’s a phenomenal amount of words, and 17 days! Brilliant! 😀

    Haha, more ‘not noticing’, and it seems to be catching too. 🙂 I love how Archer’s so delicate about it, even despite his own thwarted feelings… and it sounds like Trip is lucky T’Pol is feeling a bit out-of-it, because she really does not strike me as the kind of lady who normally likes being manoeuvred around!

    • Ah, at long last, I found this comment. You got caught in the birthday/camping whirlwind… sorry.

      At the moment, Jon was delicate about it… but even starship captains have their breaking point, and I daresay TnT are going to be testing his, even though neither of them really mean to…

      And, yes…as a general rule, T’Pol could easily stop anyone maneuvering her anywhere. Even know, she might be able to – although it could get messy for her co-combatant…

      The thing is, I’m not sure she truly objects to Trip’s attentions or intentions just now – I think, despite herself, she sees the logic in them, and finds his take-charge attitude more than a little comforting besides…as for why, she’ll only say that she has her reasons….

      Sorry I lost you, and happy I found you at last! =D

    • Not sure if I answered this..but I’m very glad you clarified, T’Pol being the jealous type even if she claims she doesn’t experience any such emotion…

      Fortunately, the poor woman is more than a little indisposed at the moment, so you’re probably safe….probably….

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