Month: July 2013

What Do I Like to Read?

What do I like to read?

As a part of The Twelve Trials of Triskelion, the program is coming to an end, but we on Ad Astra are looking to keep it up. As a result, we’re looking to expand blogging. And now there’s a new book club, called Boldly Reading, with its own blog!

So – the first prompt is – what do you like to read? what fanfic story type/era/character and heck even name an author here you gush over do you like to read?

And so I’m thinking.


While I love the Star Trek Enterprise and The Original Series eras, that doesn’t necessarily define what I read. More often, I go looking for a good story, and then whether it fits into my own personal era preference doesn’t truly factor into it. Good stories are good stories.

I also have great respect for people who put themselves out there for the challenges, in particular, the monthly challenges. For newer authors in particular, it has got to be daunting. It presents the old what if they don’t like me? fear that I suspect all authors have inside us.

Once I’ve read a challenger (even if they don’t win, and even if I didn’t love their story), I try to look at more of their works. Sometimes people are just off, and one story didn’t hit its marks but that doesn’t mean that others won’t. But if I have disappointment enough times, I’m done. That is, unless it’s for a monthly challenge. And I can’t honestly say exactly when that moment occurs, but I know it when I see it. Then I’ll read all of the entries because I don’t think I can vote in good conscience without reading all of that month’s entries.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to love the author who has disappointed me. Unfairly or not, that person now has more of a hurdle to climb over in order to get my love. But it’s not an impossible hurdle.


For authors not involved in monthly challenges, I am looking for good characters. I love action sequences, but the truth is, they’re hard to write. Sometimes what you’re thinking of just does not translate well to pixels. But characters can. Someone who is not a Mary Sue. And someone who doesn’t just get a description in some huge data dump. It’s as if the author were picking the character out from a police lineup. Someone who I can hate or love or be repulsed by or laugh with or at or want to hug or kick. Someone who stays with me.

Give it up for Templar Sora!

One author whose works I have loved pretty much from the beginning has been Templar Sora.

Star Trek Online read

Star Trek Online (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two of his characters I have particularly enjoyed are Jessica St. Peter and Seymour Sonia. Jess is an unlikely leader. She’s a person thrust into the role when everyone around her falls down on the job. Or they are too scared or damaged or inexperienced to step in. And, as a young leader, she deals with something that a lot of young leaders in fan fiction never seem to have to deal with – insubordination by people who think she should not have her place.

Enter Seymour Sonia, the consummate jerk. Everything from hitting on Jess (before she gets a command) to openly being hostile to her, he’s a fun character to despise. The beauty of this character is his passive-aggressive nature. I have found that often jerk characters are written as utterly one-dimensional, as authors might feel they have to stack their decks. After all, who could possibly hate a Starfleeter?

Try me.


I love a lot of what I’m reading. But to really hit the stratosphere, give me a character where all I want to do when I see him in a scene is yell, “Bite me!”

Posted by jespah in Boldly Reading, Fan fiction, Meta, 4 comments

Progress Report – July 2013

Progress Report – July 2013

July 2013 was busy.

Posted Works

I began the month by posting a weekly free write on dreaming Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | July 2013 about Eriecho, called Beats.  In addition, I added an IDIC gay first kiss story, called Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation. I finished spinning out Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. Plus I contributed to the Multiverse II Round Robin story. I added a story for SL Walker’s Arc of the Wolf series, a short humor piece called Victory in Maine.

Also, I added the following stories to In Between Days context: Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation, Bribery, Equilibrium, Complications and Consider the Lilies of the Field.

I added the following stories to Times of the HG Wells context: Briefing, One Last Gift, Shake Your Body, He Stays a Stranger, The Sweetest Universe, Another Piece of the Action and Happy Stuff 3111.

On, I added Equilibrium; Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation; Saturn Rise; The Play at the Plate, All You Need is Love, The Best Things Come in Pairs and Complications.

On Archer’s Angels, I added Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before.


Individual Read Counts

For individual read counts, the following stories have 10,000 or more on one URL –

All of these come from Ad Astra.

More Accomplishments

The following stories have between 5,000 and 9,999 reads on one URL –

Again, these numbers are all coming from Ad Astra. More than a Will to Live is closest to 10,000 of this group.

Combined Read Counts

The following had combined read counts of 10,000 or more, in addition to the three above which did that on just one URL –

  • Fortune
  • Intolerance

Apart from the two others at over 5,000 reads for just one URL, the following combine to 5,000 – 9,999 reads when you consider all the postings’ URLs –

WIP Corner

I continued working on The All-Stars.

Prep Work

I shared the first chapter of These Are the Destinations, in an effort to unblock the writer’s block I have been suffering with regards to that particular story for the past – no exaggeration – 18 months. So I was able to draft a second chapter, and both were well-received. I have the semblance of a skeleton of an outline, but it has been difficult to make any more headway on that story.

And I also found out that there was fan information on some of my work, at a wiki, including on Lili. I began to work on filling in the blanks there as much as I could, as it is clearly a good way to attract more of a readership.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Finally, there were more family issues, and they often curtailed productivity and creativity. I also had to really throw myself into looking for work. Working on the wiki, too, would at times derail my other creative efforts.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Progress, 1 comment

Portrait of a Character – Sandra Sloane

Portrait of a Character – Sandra Sloane

Sandra Sloane is a bitch with a long history.


I wanted a Star Trek fanfiction crew member who would be bitchy and nasty and, at times, crossing the line into prejudice. Say hello to Sandra.


Sandra is played by Leighton Meester.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Leighton Meester | Sandra Sloane

Sandra Sloane (image of Leighton Meester is for educational purposes only)

I wanted an actress who doesn’t look like she’s mean on the outside, someone who seems to be keeping it together. After all, if Sandra’s nastiness was obvious from the get-go, Starfleet never would have hired her in the first place.


Brittle, impatient and trying, Sandra does not suffer fools gladly. In There’s Something About Hoshi, she loudly and rudely complains that the Arisians won’t ask for directions or help and just take things – like, in her opinion, typical males. The others may be thinking it, but she’s the one who says it.

In Demotion, she nearly has a midday encounter, but rejects the fellow when she sees and hears him being dressed down by Jay, his superior officer.


Portrait of a Character – Sandra Sloane

During the first kick back in time, she becomes clinically depressed. But in her, the manifestation is of an increase in aggression. When Malcolm comes onto her, she loudly and angrily declares him to be closeted and, as a result, he loses a great deal of his confidence. She also creates and passes along a number of rumors, enough so that Frank Todd feels the need to publicly come out, in order to assure the other gay crew members that they are not alone and should not be afraid.

Her increased aggression also leads to a significantly increased sex drive, and she ends up essentially seeing a demand and fulfilling it, as a kind of ship’s comfort woman. Even though she’s on the birth control shot, she becomes pregnant, but does not know who the father is until Phlox performs an amniocentesis test.

In the second kick back in time, she heads her own depression off at the pass, at least at the beginning. Also, she reveals her stepfather had been racist and homophobic. Hence she had picked up on that as a child, and that it had an influence on her behaviors.


Daniel Chang

When her unborn child is revealed to be Dan‘s, they somewhat reluctantly end up together. They marry in order to raise the child, Kimberly, but Dan is not only untrue – he ends up committing a foul act. Dan and Sandra are both found guilty and are both sent to Paradise to work. When Sandra’s sentence ends (hers is shorter than his), she gets a divorce.

Brooks Haynem

During incarceration on Paradise, Sandra and Brooks bond. Brooks had been married to Sandra’s only friend, Sophie Creighton, but he and Sophie had gone through a divorce by then. With Brooks, Sandra has a better life – probably the best possible life that she can have during either kick back in time.

Tristan Curtis

When Brooks prematurely dies during the second kick back in time, and Tristan does not, they end up together. They have a daughter, Penny, but things are not right and they separate before Sandra’s own untimely death.

Mirror Universe

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Leighton Meester | MU Sandra Sloane

MU Sandra Sloane (image of Leighton Meester is for educational purposes only)

There is no reason why Sandra would not exist in the Mirror Universe.

Given her nastiness here, it’s entirely possible that she’s the opposite there. And she may even be as kind and moral as anyone can be there.

I don’t know; I never wrote a Mirror Universe version of Sandra.


“I won’t pretend that I’m Miss Congeniality or anything. That I’m nice. ‘Cause God knows I’m not. I don’t suffer fools gladly. But I didn’t know what they were really being used for, the anonymous messages. Now you can believe me, or not. I only care insofar as I’d rather not be kicked off the ship. Even Paradise is a problem ‘cause there’s no medical care and no entertainment.”


Someone has to be the bad guy, and Sandra is always a delight to write, as she often says and does the things that everyone else is thinking. I know this is not the last of her.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 6 comments

Review – The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

Review – The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

A Stilton fulfillment? Don’t worry; I will explain


After The Adventures of Porthos, there was a call for a sequel.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

I got the chance to provide one when the Trek BBS had a monthly challenge in December of 2012 for ironic wish fulfillment. Porthos would get what he always wanted – more cheese – but it wouldn’t quite agree with him.


Review – The Further Adventures of Porthos - the Stilton Fulfillment

The Caitian Ambassador and his family are coming to the NX-01 for dinner. The captain is anxious for everything to go right, and wants to perhaps convince the ambassador to become a more formal ally. The ambassador’s young daughter. Parenelsa, is shy and sweet, but she warms up to Porthos, who begs at the table. And so she feeds him.

And feeds him and feeds him.

The problem arises when Porthos has a reaction. That is, he breaks wind. Malcolm, who is at the dinner and is bored out of his mind, volunteers to take the dog to Sick Bay. For Malcolm, it’s also a chance to get his own treatment, as he is lactose intolerant, a revelation I first made in Intolerance.

And then the ship is attacked.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


The story works out well. A lot of little players get shout outs, including the idea that this is something of a sequel to A Single Step, too. Lili even makes an appearance.

My peers agreed with me, and the story won the monthly challenge.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 7 comments

Spotlight on an Original Planet – Paradise

Spotlight on an Original Planet – Paradise

Paradise is a lovely original planet.


In the E2 Star Trek fan fiction stories, it becomes obvious very quickly that the Enterprise needs a planet.

Ceti Alpha V Paradise

Ceti Alpha V

Because, in Reflections Down a Corridor, they have gone back in time, to 2037. So the Delphic Expanse is not like it was. They learn from a Xyrillian, Tre’ex, that there are a few planets which no one has claimed yet. One of them, known in the prime timeline alternate (the ENT episode, Twilight) as Ceti Alpha V, they claim and hold a contest to name it. The top vote-getter is José Torres‘s choice, Paradise.

In Star Trek canon, the planet is barely habitable. But that serves the prime timeline and an alternate. I like to think that, a good century before, things may have been better.

The planet is also, in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as being the exile location for Khan Noonien Singh and his followers, during the prime timeline.

Paradise in the Delphic Expanse

There is no reason why the NX-01 can’t have a beautiful planet. It does work out a lot of plot points. This includes how to get the crew and their descendants to survive for the ensuing century. And also how to get them to live, and live well. This is without detection by either the people on Earth or the aliens of the Delphic Expanse and elsewhere.

The planet has to be habitable in case the ship becomes overcrowded. It has to be arable. And it must be the kind of place where you can grow a lot of different kinds of foods. But I didn’t want things to be too easy or perfect. Hence the Enterprise needs to claim a second planet, Amity. But Paradise works out well just the same.

Highlights of Living and Working on Paradise

Of course, crops are grown there. Malcolm gets his pineapples. And Shelby grows oranges, too, which Will wants. An elaborate tree-planting ceremony happens on August 29th of 2037. The participants dig holes in the ground. They plant an orange tree and a coconut palm. This is amidst slips of real paper on which the crew write their anonymous wishes.

During Entanglements, T’Pol suggests that more permanent settlements might be desired on Paradise, as the male to female ratio remains uneven and it might alleviate some of the sniping.

The Three of Us opens with a baseball game on Paradise, and then, eventually, it becomes the location of the first phase of criminal punishments. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Paradise cannot be visited too often, as that would interfere with the NX-01 from the first kick back in time. But there is one secret mission there, all the same.

By the end of Everybody Knows This is NowhereParadise survives. But there is no more evidence of civilization. This protects the prime timeline rather neatly.

Return to Paradise

Spotlight on an Original Planet – Paradise

Because of the connection with the Augments, and the eventual damage to the planet, there can be no return. At least, not unless a lot of terraforming work happens. In the Times of the HG Wells, Admiral Carmen Calavicci and Rick Daniels do talk about Ceti Alpha V, so it is not completely gone. Perhaps, by then, there is repair and restoration.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Interphases series, Spotlight, 4 comments

Portrait of a Character – Craig Willets

Portrait of a Character – Craig Willets

Craig Willets has various fates. It depends on the timeline.


I needed a character in my Star Trek fan fiction who would be a little lovesick, a little nerdy and as young as Brian Delacroix. Enter Craig Willets.


Craig Willets is played by Michael Cera.

Michael Cera as Craig Willets

Michael Cera as Craig Willets

He is believably nerdy, and very young. He looks like the lowest-level Engineering crewman, easily the kind of guy you could see scrubbing plasma conduits.


Portrait of a Character – Craig Willets

Shy and withdrawn, Craig is in danger of being completely left out of the E2 genetics sweepstakes. It does not help his cause when, in The Three of Us, he commits a mildly disturbing act.

So in the prime timeline, he rooms with Richard Daniels until Daniels reveals that he is a time traveler and leaves the ship. In November 13th, a far older Craig reveals in his memoirs that Daniels accidentally ended up with a pair of his (Craig’s) boots. This was due to Craig (this is canon!) being a rather messy roommate.



So in the first kick back in time, he and the Ikaaran engineer end up together. But I mention very little about their relationship.


During the second kick back, he marries Dakiza, who is also an engineer. They have a son, Jeris. But this marriage is a little less happy. So Craig very nearly strays.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Craig Willets

Mirror Craig

While I have never, specifically, written a Mirror Universe version of Craig, there are no impediments to his existence. So I believe he would be considerably more assertive.

Or he might still be withdrawn. But I don’t know yet.


“All I know, is that we’ve been ignoring them. But that damned message it, it brought it all back that they are right there. I got old logs, too, yanno. And I read them sometimes. I wonder – I can’t help it – was I better off with Trenia? I could just reach out – if only I could. If they would only let us!”


Whither Craig Willets? I’m unsure. But I think even space travelers can be lacking in confidence. And even the future will have underage crew members. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him just yet.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 2 comments

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

If You Can’t Stand the Heat is an old, old story.


When I was first writing Star Trek: Enterprise fanfiction, I began with an idea about writing stories about the five senses.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | If You Can't Stand the Heat

If You Can’t Stand the Heat

This story covers taste.

I despised the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, These Are The Voyages, but I had no problem whatsoever with Jonathan Frakes playing the NX-01‘s chef. An older man seemed right for the job.


Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

The chef (originally named Paul Mayer – in later fan fiction, I call him William Slocum) starts  preparations for dinner like he would any other day, by deciding that he’ll make roast chicken. This is before Lili O’Day is hired and after time traveler Richard Daniels departs, so his main helper is Preston Jennings. The Xindi War has not yet started, so he has a multitude of assistants.

When he can’t find his assistants anywhere, and he needs a lemon, so he contacts the ship’s first Botanist, Naomi Curtis (Shelby Pike, like Lili, is brought in after the start of the Xindi War). She doesn’t know what’s going on, either. Because her own helpers are gone, too. So she heads to the kitchen. And when the door slides open it’s obvious that the hallways are freezing. Plus they smell vaguely of rotten eggs.

What’s going on?

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


Without giving away spoilers, the story does prefigure goings on in later stories such as The Mess and Reversal. One thing I do like about the story is that, although it’s really an alien of the week one-off, it does introduce Slocum pretty well, and it also provides the reader with some context about how things were before the Xindi. E. g. the Enterprise had unnecessary personnel. Replacing Naomi with the more skilled and versatile Shelby makes sense, as does moving Jennings to Navigation and replacing him and anyone else working for Will, with Lili.

As an older story, I can see the holes in the plot and would have emphasized the cooking a lot less.

Recipe for Roast Chicken


1 (6 pound) chicken
also, 1 bunch of celery
1 small bag of baby carrots or 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into half lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika to taste
1 lemon, halved
1/2 head garlic
1 medium white onion, quartered, plus 1 onion, sliced in rounds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken with cool water, inside and out. Lay the sliced onion, the carrot and celery on the bottom of a roasting pan. Season the bird all over with paprika, salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and the quartered onion. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.

Turn down the heat to 350 degrees F. and cook for 20 minutes per pound. Hence for a 6 pound chicken, that’s 2 hours.

Review – If You Can’t Stand the Heat

Roast chicken

The chicken has finished cooking when an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F when you insert it into the thickest part of the thigh. The legs of the chicken should wiggle easily from the sockets, too. Finally, remove the chicken to a platter and let stand for 10 minutes, so the juices settle back into the meat before carving.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Recipe, Review, 9 comments

Inspiration – Friendship


It’s difficult to write about friendship in general terms without it being just a collection of well-worn phrases.

Handshake with Crown

Handshake with Crown (Photo credit: DivaLea)

Complicating matters is the fact that most alien makeup on Star Trek is meant to be light.

After all, the audience will be better able to sympathize with a character if he or she is at least superficially humanoid. Plus recognizable guest stars (and their agents!)  want performances to be memorable. It’s not impossible to do that if an actor is all but unrecognizable, but it sure does raise the degree of difficulty.

So instead I’ll go with what I know.

Canon friendships

Malcolm and Tripp

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Malcolm and Tripp | Friendship

Malcolm and Tripp

Perhaps the best-known friendship in Star Trek: Enterprise is that between Tripp and Malcolm.

Yes, yes, I know about the Tripp/Jonathan friendship. But that is more of a relationship of unequals.

When it comes to Malcolm and Tripp, I feel that they could have been much more of a source of comic relief. Actor Dominic Keating in particular is a real-life cut up, so it could have worked, certainly in the first two seasons of the program. I have revived that, a bit, particularly in Broken Seal, where together they pull a small prank on Hoshi.

Hoshi and Travis

Less cultivated and less explored was the friendship between the two ensigns.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hoshi and Travis | Friendship

Hoshi and Travis

In Broken Seal, the two of them work together in order to prank Tucker back, as Reed has already apologized.

It is easy and, I feel, a bit of a cop-out, to just ‘ship them and call it a day.

Friendships seem to be more complex, and perhaps truer. After all, how many of us romance our coworkers – particularly if we are stuck with them, more or less 24/7. And we can’t resign, even if we want to?

Other Friendships

There are, of course, other friendships, and other series. In particular, I think the friendships between Data and Geordi, and between Geordi and Wesley (although that one is more of a mentor/protegé setup) are very believable in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Furthermore, the friendships among Bones, Spock and Kirk in the original series have spawned tons of slash.

But sometimes a friendship is … just a friendship.

Fanfiction Friendship

Possibly my best-realized friendship is that between Aidan MacKenzie and Chip Masterson. It is quite the bromance, on both  sides of the pond.

Aidan MacKenzie | Friendship

Aidan MacKenzie

Aidan is the good-looking guy, the Tactical Ensign with a fine career ahead of him. It is fully-realized, too, as he eventually becomes a captain in Equinox.

In Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, Aidan is already slated for Tactical. For the project to improve the inertial dampers, he is brought in for one real purpose, to do the presentation. Because otherwise he doesn’t know a thing about engineering. He is also an eager participant in the second prank that occurs in that story.

Up in the Air premiere - Ryerson Theatre - Sep... | Friendship

Up in the Air premiere – Ryerson Theatre – September 12, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chip, on the other hand, is much more of a jokester. In Together, he dreams of doing standup.

As the self-appointed ‘movie guy’, he selects the films (Aidan is the projectionist), and many of the choices on screen reflect his taste . But he is not above silliness and, in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, it’s his initial prank that sets the events in motion.

The two are even pranksters in the Mirror Universe. In Brown, they are tasked with removing a rodent infestation from the ISS Defiant. But things don’t go according to plan, as they are both fed up with the Empress.

 Personal Friendships

My own friendships creep in, on occasion. Part-Gorn Kevin O’Connor is based on a person of the same name. Andrew and Lucy‘s daughter is named for a dear friend of mine, as are Jay Hayes’s sister (Laura), M’Roan (in a way), Eleanor Daniels, Crystal Sherwood, Hamilton Roget, Mindy Ryan, Stacey Young and Darragh Stratton. Some are closer than others, who would likely be surprised if they were told that they were being included in some small way.


Relationships between people do not have to always mean lust and romance. Friendship is, truly, just as beautiful, and just as sustaining, and should not be dismissed lightly.

Posted by jespah in Inspiration-Mechanics, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter

Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter

Meredith Porter shows up in all sorts of places.


Because I wrote the E2 stories after the Times of the HG Wells series, there were some characters in the later in time series. So I wanted them to have ancestors on the NX-01. One of those was Polly Porter. Hence she would have a consanguineous (e. g. not direct) ancestor, Meredith Porter.


Meredith is played by the real-life wife of Jonathan Frakes (who plays Chef William Slocum), soap opera star Genie Francis.

Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter

I love the fact that she is a beautiful older woman and she has put on a few pounds. After all, not every person’s body looks the same, forever.

Meredith is over forty in the E2 stories, and should look it.


Cautious and by the book, Meredith is more above board than the others in Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before. However, she must run the prototype transporter for a somewhat delicate procedure. Meredith Porter is then mortified when she thinks she’s broken it.

Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter

She does not open up until, in The Three of Us, Jonathan Archer looks for someone to help Victor Brown with the announcing and to sing at the start of the baseball game. She presumably volunteers, and may even have had an audition. I don’t show the process. But she is still chosen. She sings Take Me Out to the Ballgame and America the Beautiful. This is when people notice her. A lot of the men, after all, have been overlooking her. They think she’s past her childbearing years. But she isn’t.


Rex Ryan

When this MACO realizes she can sing, he approaches her and tells her he has a guitar, and offers to play for her in his quarters.

Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter

She puts him off, not wanting to go so fast. He hits upon an idea, and tells her that he will bring the guitar to the Observation Lounge, and he’ll play. She can join in, or not, or even mock him. But he figures anything is positive, except for her either leaving or not showing up at all.

After a few days, she shows up, and they sing This Land is Your Land together.

They marry in both kick backs in time and, both times, they have a son who they name Nicholas.

They sing and play much like a coffeehouse act, but their performances are much rarer in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Meredith Porter

Mirror Meredith

In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, she is also mentioned as studying the transporter, and she is the one to transport Dr. Morgan aboard the Defiant. However, otherwise I don’t show her.


“We didn’t think it made any sense to sing an anthem, so instead I’m gonna sing ‘America the Beautiful’, even though not everyone is from there and this place certainly, er, isn’t America. But it is beautiful here.”


By the time I had finished writing the E2 stories, I found myself really rooting for Meredith, and wanting for the character to have a happy ending. I imagine I’ll write that at some point.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Interphases series, Portrait, 3 comments

Review – Fortune


When I first wrote Fortune, the idea was to tie up the In Between Days series.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Fortune


I was not tired of the characters or of their situations, but it seemed as if they needed an end point. Furthermore, I was thinking about the canon episode, These Are The Voyages, and trying to make some sense of it. I came to the conclusion that the professional writers wanted some end of series closure and they also wanted some ownership of the fate of what was possibly the most popular character.

Therefore, I decided to create some closure for my characters. These would be the main characters only (at the time, Pamela Hudson was still not considered to be a main character), e. g. Doug Beckett, Leonora Digiorno, Melissa Madden, Lili O’Day, and Malcolm Reed. Four of the characters had already had a story more or less assigned (albeit not completely devoted) to them. Lili’s story was in Reversal, Malcolm’s was in Intolerance, Melissa’s was in Together and Doug’s was in Temper. Therefore, this story would go to Leonora.


When Temper ends, Lili has some surprising and wonderfully good news for Malcolm. When Fortune starts, Malcolm is processing it. Jonathan Archer asks him what’s wrong. But nothing is wrong – everything is very, very right, but it’s also rather private. A joyful celebration is held, and the family is then reunited for Declan‘s birth. The family sweetly dreams together, and the relationships are reinforced. These are between Melissa and Leonora, Doug and Melissa, Lili and Doug, and Malcolm and Lili.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Billie Holliday singing God Bless the Child

Billie Holliday singing God Bless the Child

Leonora in particular has a wonderfully vivid dream of Billie Holliday singing “God Bless the Child“.

It seems like everything is right.

But there are storm clouds on the horizon. There is unfinished business, and it needs to come to a resolution before the family can truly move forward.


Story Postings

You can find Fortune here:


The story is rated M.

Upshot or, What’s Your Fortune?

Too many specifics will mean revealing too many spoilers. Suffice it to say, the story does not end the series. I am happy to continue these stories. Because I want to give these characters and their overall family their measures of forever. So that is either in this life or in whatever may or may not come beyond.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

I am proud of this story and hope it does the characters justice.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Review, 108 comments