Month: February 2014

Progress Report – February 2014

Progress Report – February 2014

February 2014? Oh. My. Gawd!


Progress Report – February 2014

On February 4th, I learned that Untrustworthy had won Riverdale Avenue Books‘ first-ever NaNoWriMo competition! So they sent over a contract, and I signed it! I AM GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!

Stop the Presses, Part II

Revved Up is going to be featured on Wattpad, starting the second week in March!!

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | February 2014

First of all, on Wattpad, I finished posting The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat. Also, in response to a request for valentine poetry, I put together the three sonnets from Intolerance and called it The Golden Lady and the Knave. Plus I combined Complications and The Best Things Come in Pairs into a short story for Valentines’ Day and called it Loving the Alien.


Furthermore, I posted the two TOS Mirror Universe stories, That’s Not My Name and It Had to be You, as one work, called The New Captain’s Woman. Because these smaller groupings of stories seem to get the best reception, I added the four slash-type stories, under the general name, Future Matches. So those stories are Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation, The Way to a Man’s Heart, There’s Something About Hoshi, and There’s Something Else About Hoshi. And in order to add to the read counts for the Gina Nolan universe, I started spinning out Hold Your Dominion, which will also include Good-Bye.

To round out Clockworks: Times of the HG Wells, I added Calendar Turning Event #3111, Mirror Masquerade, Paradox, kes7’s Survey Says …, Stocking Stuffers 2013 (Auld Lang Syne only), and Meeting of the Minds. Hence this finishes up context for the time being for that series. For the monthly challenge, which is about the origins of holidays, I posted Legends.

In addition, for Valentine’s Day, I added Finnan Haddie to Archer’s Angels.

On, I continued posting Flight of the Bluebird.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished posting The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat. I also made a promise to post the Emergence series next as there was interest in it. I decided to begin with Intolerance, as that is essentially a prequel. This is the M-rated version of that story.


He Stays a Stranger made it to 10,000 combined reads! On TrekBBS alone, Reversal went over 5,000 reads! See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I worked on the wholly original story, The Obolonk Murders. I started a wholly original short story, Truth in Advertising.

Prep Work

I worked on the website and brought the lists of wholly original fiction and Mirror Universe stories here to the blog. I shared my big news with pretty much everyone, too.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

In addition, I continued at school at Quinnipiac University and that naturally took up a great deal of my time.

I was also genuinely bowled over by all the attention I got from getting a publishing contract. So I’ve been livin’ the dream.

And I’m still shoveling snow.

Progress Report – February 2014

This isn’t me, but it could be

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Progress, 2 comments

Portrait of a Character – Miva

Portrait of a Character – Miva

Miva is more important than I originally planned her to be.


Miva, a Calafan, started off as the criminal, Baden’s, nighttime lover, in Reversal in my Star Trek fan fiction. She was a doctor, although I did not have a handle on the type of doctor she would be. By the time of Together, I needed for Lili to have an obstetrician, so that decided her specialty. Her name, a reference to Steven Culp‘s character on JAG (Clayton Webb), means clay.


Portrait of a Character – Miva

Julianne Moore as Miva

Miva is portrayed by actress Julianne Moore.

I like the actress’s looks but also that she ages (as we all do) yet doesn’t seem to be afraid to show at least a limited version of that in public.


Friendly and gregarious, Miva is a pleasant, positive person to be around. She’s also got a heavy Lafa V accent, which sounds a lot like an Irish brogue.

She and Lili become fast friends and she even stands up for Lili and Doug at their wedding, in A Kind of Blue. By the time of Fortune, she’s looking for a new nighttime lover, and sets her sights on Jonathan Archer. In A Hazy Shade, they’re an old married couple.



Miva is only shown with him at the end of his life, as he dies in a crossfire when Doug, Lili, both versions of Jennifer and both versions of Tripp defeat Polloria, in Reversal. She gives him some depth and, I feel, makes him at least a bit of a sympathetic character, certainly less evil than Polloria.


Miva’s first husband is never seen. She refers to him when she first meets (and hits on) Jonathan, in Fortune. The Calafan view of love and loyalty is somewhat troubling to Jonathan, but he does join her, at least that evening, for a dream. As to what happens, I leave that to the reader’s imagination.

Jonathan Archer

Upon Darywev’s death, Jonathan thinks he should stay away as that would be more respectful, but Miva insists on having him close by. He does move slowly and cautiously, and waits a good year before making his move. During the time of Flight of the Bluebird, he’s still a single man, pursued by the tabloids.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Miva

Mirror Miva (Julianne Moore)

In the Mirror Universe, Miva is the mirror Baden’s nighttime lover, and she is also a doctor. However, during the temporal dislocations in Temper, she becomes a slave of the Terran Empire, and works as a field hand, picking tomatoes at a farm on Mimas.

Once the prime timeline is restored, it is presumed that the mirror Miva is restored to whatever her earlier life was really like. As a physician, she would probably have a better life than most women. And as a non-human, so long as the Terran Empire remained distant, she could potentially get better treatment than most human women with her level of education and wealth.


“Allow me to explain what is going on here, although we all know what is happening. I just feel it might help to get the message across to you both. Your endowment is greater than most human males. Your wife is the same size or smaller than most human females, despite having had one child already. In order to accommodate your dimensions, your wife has had an operation to clear space. Otherwise, your parts do not fit, and you can injure her – which has happened in the past. For both of her pregnancies, I have reversed the operation so that your children could develop properly. You were all right with Jeremiah, and you waited. Why are you unable to wait when it comes to your second child?”


I’d like to showcase her marriage to Jonathan Archer some more, and not just in the very twilight of their lives. Readers will see her again.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, 13 comments

Review – The Way to a Man’s Heart

Review – The Way to a Man’s Heart

The Way to a Man’s Heart turns an old trope on its head.


Review – The Way to a Man’s Heart

As a sequel to Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation, I wanted to follow Frank and Dave a bit in their relationship.

While the story was written considerably later than There’s Something About Hoshi, this story takes place earlier than that one.


Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Way to a Man's Heart

The Way to a Man’s Heart

The premise was a ship-wide (and, most likely, Starfleet-wide) celebration of diversity.

This included all sorts of nods to non-mainstream expressions of sexuality. Several films are mentioned, including Personal Best, the film that inspired me to cast Mariel Hemingway as Eriecho. Because of the mentionings of films, Chip shows up. Hoshi also announces the revival of the book club, a feature of the E2 stories.

In order to do something nice for his new beloved, Frank Todd asks Lili to make a special dessert for Dave Constantine. When Lili realizes that Dave likes blueberries, and recalls that the recently-deceased Jay Hayes did, too, it sets off a fit of crying.

Frank performs an act of kindness when he sees how much Dave loves the blueberry pie that Lili has baked. Remembering that Major Hayes was always the last one on the chow line – likely because he had wanted to share some short conversations with her – he vows that, from then on, he’ll always be last in line.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


I love this relationship, and I particularly think my treatment of it has improved over the years. Instead of being the slightly campy lovesick guys of There’s Something About Hoshi, the two men are here, instead, more like true partners, even though their relationship is still very new. They will be followed along as I think up new adventures for them, both large and small.

Posted by jespah in In Between Days series, Review, 11 comments

Portrait of a Character – Saddik

Portrait of a Character – Saddik

Saddik came together quickly.


Eriecho needed a benefactor in Star Trek fanfiction, a person who could care for her as a child. Her first caregiver is Saddik, who essentially becomes her adoptive father. Like Eriecho, Saddik is a product of the Kelvin timeline, where Vulcan is no more.

He is a falsely accused prisoner at Canamar, with no hope of release until the destruction of Vulcan spurs the Federation to look for Vulcans anywhere they may be in the galaxy. This ends up including prisons.


Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Saddik

Saddik (image of Mandy Patinkin is for educational purposes only)

Saddik is portrayed by actor-singer Mandy Patinkin.

For a character whose name comes from the Hebrew word for righteous, but is actually an ex-convict, this actor fits well.

This photo manipulation was done by the terrific ArtItUp! on the STPMA.


When the reader first sees Saddik, he’s wondering what to do about Pon Farr, as H’Shema is dead and the only other female at Canamar is Eriecho. It feels odd to him (as it should to the reader), but he’s going to have some very real needs. He doesn’t want to fulfill Pon Farr with her, but he recognizes that he might not have much choice when the time comes. But they escape from this fate when the two Vulcans are released from prison and brought to one of the many sanctuaries set up for Vulcans by the Federation. The idea is to protect people who have essentially, overnight, become a sentient endangered species.

Saddik takes it all in stride. Things are far better than they had been at Canamar, so he’s not one to complain. All he really wants is to have his own mate and for Eriecho to have one as well. But he won’t complain about the sanctuary. His life has improved in the extreme. He’s not about to upset the apple cart.



This elderly Suliban woman was the only other female in Canamar Prison, and helped to care for Eriecho. The three of them lived as an approximation of a family unit, and H’Shema assisted Saddik during his bouts of Pon Farr. Did they love each other? Eriecho clearly loved H’Shema like a mother. I’m not so sure about how Saddik felt about H’Shema, although he was certainly grateful for her existence, her compassion and her resourcefulness. In Release, he does mourn her a bit, in his own way.


In Recessive, as Eriecho is bonding with Sollastek, Saddik looks around at the various single women at the sanctuary. He’s interested in all of them, but the one who really catches his eye is this much younger Pon Farr comforter who has recently been transferred from another sanctuary. As a fellow misfit, she and Saddik have that in common. So as that story ends, the two of them are only beginning to get to know one another.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Saddik

Mirror Saddik

There aren’t any impediments to Saddik existing in the Mirror Universe (or even in the prime timeline, for that matter).

He would very likely not be a prisoner and would probably live a more or less normal Vulcan life. In fact, he could very well be one of the few of my characters whose lives would be better in the Mirror Universe than in the prime universe.


“She is my daughter.”


So for a character who starts off as a bit of a horny Vulcan, he turned into someone who could be Eriecho’s true father. He cares for her and listens to her problems, and helps to shield her from the worst of the disapproving glares and statements of the Vulcan matrons who also live at the sanctuary. He’s had to step up again and again, and he has, even if he’s a little skeptical of his own abilities.

He’ll be back.

Posted by jespah in Eriecho series, Fan fiction, Portrait, 13 comments

Lessons from Fan Fiction

Personal Background

Lessons? Yes.

I have been writing (with considerable time off), in some form or another, for the past 4 1/2 decades, no exaggeration. My initial writings were crudely drawn images in old calendar books that would have otherwise been discarded. Inevitably, they were all about more or less the same thing – anthropomorphized dogs going on adventures.

I used to own (many of them used to be in my parents’ house) little plastic farm animal toys.



Plastic animals

Many of these came from my father’s business trips to Munich, and they were fairly well detailed. When not drawing picture books, I would play act stories for these toys. Usually, it was some sort of journey.

The toys still exist, but the old calendar books are long gone, in some landfill somewhere (they were discarded before recycling was really mainstream).

As a teenaged girl, I had diaries, but all of those are also gone to a landfill. I did not get back to writing anything resembling fiction until my senior year in High School, when I had an AP English teacher who encouraged such things. I took Creative Writing in college, and a Law School boyfriend also encouraged me to write. Then I set it all aside until maybe 2000 when I did some short works and then started writing fan fiction in 2004.

After a few more short works, I set it aside until 2010. Ever since starting up again (with Reversal), I have written something pretty much every day, whether it’s Star Trek: fan fiction, wholly original works, blogging and/or fiction outlining.

Lessons Learned (in no particular order)

Write to keep writing

While I suffer from writer’s block, just like every other writer, I suffer from it less than I probably should, because I make an effort to write nearly every single day. This keeps it all going.

Take and Keep Notes

I have a large timeline for fan fiction, spanning a few millennia. I have other timelines for wholly original fictional universes. These are kept with MS Excel. Timelines are incredibly useful, as you immediately know things like ages, and if character lifetimes overlap.

Fiction Stacks lessons

Fiction Stacks

I keep wikis (more like informal detailed outlines, as I am the sole contributor) for all major series, and separate ones for wholly original fiction. These are for world-building, and they contain everything from character heights to birthdays to naming conventions for various items. It’s all decided once and the references are at my fingertips.

I also keep a list of plot ideas, which also contains possible titles, species ideas, possible character names, etc. (Eriecho was originally going to be Klingon). This ‘parks’ new ideas so that I can concentrate better on the story I am trying to finish.

Don’t Throw Anything Away

Character names from 1986 have shown up in fiction written in 2011, no lie. A quarter-century later, and in a different universe, the names still work.

Your Work Should be Shared

I belong to several writers’ groups online, both for fan fiction and for wholly original work.

Fan fiction in the making lessons

Fan fiction in the making

There are a lot of people who are terrified of sharing their work with others. These are not people holding back because it’s work they want to try to have published. They just plain aren’t ready to share anything.

And that’s unfortunate, as their work can stagnate with no feedback. Fiction isn’t meant to be hidden away, locked in a drawer somewhere.


Constructive Criticism is Gold

English: Crystaline Gold lessons

English: Crystaline Gold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone providing constructive criticism of any sort is fantastic. Being told that I need to define a character better, or provide more details, or that a scenario is not credible – any and all of these criticisms makes me a better writer. Learning to take constructive criticism graciously was an enormous lesson for me.

Destructive Criticism is Dirt

While not everyone will love what I have written, I’ve learned to separate critiques into constructive and destructive, and can tell the difference.

Vermont dirt, up close. lessons

Vermont dirt, up close.

There are those who go into reading a fan fiction who are biased against a particular series, or character or character pairing, etc. They might dislike a certain plot point (e. g. not everyone likes time travel), or they just might dislike all fan fiction.

Most of what these folks say is not worth reading, or repeating. Fortunately, I haven’t run into too many of these folks in my travels.

As for those who engage in personal attacks, they should be blocked without a second thought. No one needs to be trashed in order to be effectively critiqued. Ever.

Do Your Research

In one of my first-ever fan fictions (There’s Something About Hoshi), I misspelled MACO as MAKO, and a reader corrected me. At the time, I was overly sensitive and felt it was petty. I have since come to realize that of course this person was correct. They were only trying to help me get better.

Pay it Forward by Reading and Reviewing Others’ Work

Sitting back and expecting everyone else to do the heavy lifting of reading and reviewing is pretty selfish. Writers, of course, should take care not to steal from each other, or plagiarize. But the building, nurturing, and sustaining of writer communities means that you, the writer, need to also become the reader, and the critic. Always be a constructive critic.

Practice and Edit

Not writing does not make you a better writer. Only writing, and reading, can make you a better writer. So do both.

Don’t Crowdsource Your Ideas

I see this a lot, where potential writers, terrified that they have a bad idea, ask their peers for a judgment about whether something is a ‘good’ idea.

This is bass-ackwards. Instead, writers should be writing. Their ideas are, likely, perfectly fine. Why do I say this? Because most ideas are fine; it’s their execution that demonstrates quality, or the lack thereof. Consider the following story idea.

Kafka lessons


A suddenly disabled man is late for work one morning. Ignoring his new infirmity, he tries to go to work, as he is the sole supporter of his mostly ungrateful family. When they become, by necessity, more independent, they abuse and neglect him and, unappreciated, he eventually dies. They go on without him.

Don’t know that plot? It’s Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, easily one of the top 100 (if not 50) works of fiction ever written. Ever!

But that plot summary isn’t too promising, eh? It’s in the execution where Gregor Samsa comes to life.

Your ideas are fine, except for the idea that you need others’ approval before you can start writing. Nonsense! Write anyway.

You’re Better Than You Think

Unless you are out and out plagiarizing someone else’s work, there is probably someone out there who will like your writing. That leads to my next point.

Find Your Ideal Audience

Sites which cater to, say, only Star Trek: Enterprise will not appreciate Star Trek: Voyager fan fiction as well as sites that focus on it. That may seem obvious, but it’s a point that people sometimes seem to miss. If your work isn’t being read, try other sites. You might do better elsewhere.

Fix Your Technical Problems Before Posting

Always look over spelling, punctuation, capitalization, word choice (e. g. make sure you are using the right words, and they mean what you think they do), and grammar. A few stray errors are fine, but try to fix most of it before posting. This is a courtesy to your readers.

Not Everyone Wants to read your entire Saga

Readers’ time is as precious a your own.

Busy lessons


Their not wanting to read your entire 10 million word saga is less a reflection on your abilities (or their love of your work), and more on their own busy lives.

Expecting your audience to read your entire saga is a discourtesy. You are not being respectful of their time. Respect their time by mixing in some short stories as most people can find the time to read something less than 10,000 words (even better, less than 5,000).

Compete With your Peers

This ups your game considerably. Put yourself out there, and don’t expect to win. Competitions are also a great way to get more people to read and review your work.

Keep Track of your Stats

You don’t have to be as analytical as I am, but it pays to at least have a handle on what’s popular, and what isn’t. These findings will probably differ from site to site, and having objective data means you’ll have a better idea of whether a story will go over well or poorly at a particular site.

Use Your Time Wisely

We all have lives, so writing time often has to be rationed. Determine what you want and need, and how well various sites satisfy those wants and needs. Do an informal cost-benefit analysis – does a site offer ease of posting? Better critiquing? A bigger audience? A better-matched audience to your work?

Build a Readership

Book reader lessons

Book reader

When I learned I was going to be published, I told pretty much everyone in my network. A lot of people said they were excited about potentially seeing my wholly original work in print. This is not only ego-gratifying, it’s also, potentially, a source of reads (and even sales) and reviews for professional work. I’m not saying to become a writing mercenary.

Rather, cultivate and nurture your most loyal fans.

That doesn’t just mean being kind to them (which should be a given), and thanking them (another given); it also means listening to them. Do they want to see more original characters? A new horror story? More time travel? Do they think your last book dragged in the middle? Take them seriously. They are really trying to help you succeed. Let them.


I have come a long way from picture books that I showed to no one, and stories that I left to rot in a trunk and are no more. Fan fiction has improved me as a writer, and has taught me to believe in myself. It has led me to becoming a published author. I owe it a lot.

Thank you.

You can find me on .

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Inspiration-Mechanics, Meta, 6 comments

Spotlight – Witannen in Star Trek Fan Fiction



Witannen were a fun creation. Back when I was writing a non-Star Trek time travel series, I had an idea for an alien who would be helping the group.

She would be a member of the first species ever to make contact with humans, and her name would be Otra (she didn’t get a last name until later), and she would be the girlfriend of the leader of the group, the rather non-charismatic Levi Cavendish. She was supposed to be a bit out of proportion to humans, in that she’d have longer legs than we normally do. Otra would also be a light lavender color.

Things have changed

About the only thing she really had which transferred over to what became the Witannen (Wit-ah-nin) is that her hair would be replaced with green vines that would move independently of her. She would be unable to control the vines, and they would be in some sort of a symbiotic relationship with her. The species did not have a name, but their first contact had been preceded by an odd form of prepping the Earth for their arrival – they had sent broadcasts for a good year beforehand, including a popular soap opera. Hence when the aliens arrived in that older series, they were more or less known to humans, and were famous.

Then the species was added to my Star Trek fan fiction, and it got even more interesting.

What Happened to the Witannen

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Otra | Witannen

Otra, a half-Wittanen. Drawing by SL Walker.

When I began writing Together, I wanted a villain who would be more of a business person than an actual evil being. Ferengi had already been seen in canon Enterprise, so I felt that would be a bit much, to have a second encounter with the Ferengi, without that name being known in the Starfleet database.

Hence they were out. I remembered my strange alien, so I performed some modifications on her.

First, the character in Together would not be Otra at all, who I reserved for a time travel series, Times of the HG Wells. But I really liked the idea of having the character be female, so I created Quellata (Kell-uh-tuh) instead. Quellata would be full-blooded, whereas Otra would be half-human, and so she would get a surname.


To differentiate between the full and half, I decided that full-blooded Witannen would have little vestigial wings. It isn’t until Multiverse II that it becomes clear that Otra just has long lines on her back, where her wings would have been.

The wings would be vestigial, far too small to propel anyone. Hence Quellata would be grounded, and the wings would be more decorative than anything else. This also made it possible for her to wear more or less recognizable clothing.

The proportions were also corrected for human sizes, so that a human actor could conceivably ‘play’ a Witannen. I also dropped the idea of a light lavender complexion, preferring to make them a little less alien in exchange for making them an easier species to picture an actor or actress playing.


A bit brittle, with a superiority complex, Witannen are from the Delta Quadrant. They have good reason to feel good about themselves, as they’ve had Warp Drive for centuries. This makes it easier to look down at Johnny-come-lately species like humans. Quellata refers to her human captives as slime molds, but then again, she’s nasty to everyone.

Their language divides into formal and conversational, both written and oral. Witannen writing is unknown, but their speech is a click language, much like Khoisan and Xhosa on Earth. Their species name does not have a plural, e. g. one Witannen, two Witannen. I’m not sure if I’ll give them any plurals.

Like humans and Vulcans, they are monogamous. And like Vulcans, their pregnancies last longer than ours do.


A lot of them have heads for business. Apart from Quellata, Otra’s own mother, Chefra, also works in the commercial realm, as a dealer in star ship parts. Otra herself is more of a philosopher and missions specialist. An opera singer, a male named Paj Terris, is briefly mentioned in the HG Wells stories.  The only other Witannen I have written so far is Adeel, a female athlete in the upcoming Barnstorming series.

The other main characteristic of Witannen is their symbiotic chavecoi (chah-vuh-COY), which evolved from being vines to being more like flowers. They can change color with mood, a fact that makes them rather inconvenient. A Witannen would make a lousy spy. The chavecoi also drink some water on occasion. Hence a character like Otra will sip tea while her chavecoi will dip into a nearby glass of water. The chavecoi are alarmed by caffeine if they accidentally taste tea or coffee, and they can become drunk if they intake alcohol. Their purpose is survival; in the event of a drought, they can photosynthesize in order to keep their host alive. Further, according to Multiverse II, they can be adversely affected by radiation, but they can be cured (as can their host) by stem cell growth accelerator.


I loved creating them, but the best-realized character is Otra, by far. How well-realized will the others ever become? I don’t know, or maybe another character will be created, perhaps another male.

The species will return, particularly as I continue to explore the Otra-Levi dynamic, but I’m not so sure about going beyond that, as of the writing of this blog post.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Spotlight, 15 comments

Review – Conversations with Heroes

Review – Conversations with Heroes

Conversations with Heroes was a lot like taking dictation.


As a part of the 2013 ficlet flashdance challenge, we were tasked with creating a posting every day of one week, with at least 1,000 words. I decided to tie the whole shebang together with a documentary filmmaker creating a work about the Xindi War.


Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Conversations with Heroes

In Between Days

It’s just after the war has ended, and independent filmmaker Carlos Castillo has an assignment to cover the Xindi War from the perspective of the people who fought it.

Sharp-eyed readers should spot that Carlos is a prime universe counterpart to one of the men killed by Doug Beckett, as is outlined in Fortune.

The prime universe Carlos comes to the NX-01, but he also tracks down crew members like Lili, who are off the ship (as is established in Everybody Knows This is Nowhere). He interviews the following crew members –

  1. Jonathan Archer – he discusses the turning point for this character, a Star Trek: Enterprise canon act where he forced an Ossarian pirate into an airlock.
  2. Maryam Haroun – Maryam mentions her Muslim faith. Also, she talks about the deaths of fellow crew members and feels that her failure to pray may have had a correlation with that.
  3. Lili O’Day – Lili relives killing She Who Almost Didn’t Breed in Time, which was originally outlined in Reversal and The Mess.
  4. Jennifer Crossman – her memory is of the canon act of deceiving Degra.
  5. Malcolm Reed – Malcolm talks about Jay‘s death.

The final piece is Carlos’s own statements about having met the Enterprise‘s crew. And he mentions the effect this assignment has personally had on him.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


The story was  well-received. I also loved the pressure creativity aspect of it. This story also has the third-highest number of reviews of any story of mine (only Reversal and Revved Up have more).

I can’t wait to do this kind of story again.

Posted by jespah in In Between Days series, Review, 11 comments

Portrait of a Character – Yimar

Portrait of a Character – Yimar

Yimar has more of a life than I originally planned.


I wanted a Star Trek fanfiction character who would be kind of compelled to do certain things, even if she didn’t want to. As a child, Yimar fits the bill, particularly in Bribery and then in Reversal, where she’s forced to accept her father’s lover, Polloria, as a family member, even as she and her brother, Treve, despise Polloria and she frets for the fate of her critically ill mother, the Calafan High Priestess, Yipran.


Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Charlize Theron as Yimar (image is for educational purposes only)

Charlize Theron as Yimar (image is for educational purposes only)

Yimar, as an adult, is played by Charlize Theron. I haven’t decided who plays her as a child or a teenager.

I love this smart, beautiful, Oscar-winning actress who has been through a lot in her life.


Dutiful and intelligent, Yimar is an obedient child. But the appearance of Polloria is too much for her, and she and Treve quickly figure out the score. Yimar in particular wants to protect their mother, but she’s essentially helpless. After all, she’s just a kid.

When she becomes a teenager, she starts working as a babysitter for first Joss and then Marie Patrice and, eventually, Declan. Her existence and her willingness to work hard make it possible for Lili to return to work as the chef at Reversal. This also makes it possible for Doug to have a career again. Yimar is particularly helpful during the events of Together.

During the alternate timelines in Temper, Yimar takes on the High Priestess role (she doesn’t do this in the prime universe, in the correct timeline), and is also the leader of the Calafan government in exile. When the line is restored, she’s able to resume her regular life.

As an adult in the correct timeline, she marries and has a daughter, Yinora, who is named for Leonora Digiorno. With Yinora in the role of nighttime woman to Neil Digiorno-Madden, Yimar and her family forge a permanent connection to the Beckett-Digiorno-MaddenReed clan.


Brian Delacroix

During Together, Brian and Yimar bond, as she is stuck caring for Joss and he’s sympathetic to her plight. They are also fairly close in age although she’s only sixteen, and he’s twenty-one. Her frank talk about sex does make him nervous, though.

Josh Rosen

In the Mirror Universe, Yimar and Josh meet during the events of He Stays a Stranger. As much older people who are both alone, they find each other attractive. The colony entity known as Branch Borodin confirms that they end up together.

Theme Music

Brian and Yimar’s theme is Michael Jackson’s PYT

Mirror Universe

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Charlize Theron as MU Yimar (image is for educational purposes only)

Charlize Theron as MU Yimar (image is for educational purposes only)

In the Mirror Universe, Yimar loses her mother as Polloria’s murderous ways garner some success. But Jennifer Crossman has also named her (Yimar) to be the next High Priestess. Polloria originally believes that she will be able to control Yimar and act as a regent. She sees Yimar as her puppet.

But the headstrong teenager has other plans.

One of the mirror Yimar’s first acts is to permanently throw open the doors between the two universes. Calafans can shuttle back and forth without any further assistance. This serves as a plot point in Temper. It also allows for a mixing of the two closely-related species that had been denied for centuries.

Later, in the HG Wells stories, the reader learns Yimar is behind plans to sell Constitution-class starship plans and parts to the Terran Empire’s enemies. Because this a means of assuring some measures of protection for the Calafan people. As matters resolve with Empress Hoshi, Yimar’s main concern is, as always, for her people. She’s a good ruler, even as her system is subjugated and overrun. Plus she does her best to keep her people safe and well-fed.


He’s the cleanest human I’ve ever known.


I really like this character but I haven’t explored her much as an adult in the prime universe. I’ll have to try to rectify that in the future.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Hall of Mirrors, In Between Days series, Portrait, 9 comments

Review – Party on Risa

Review – Party on Risa

Party on Risa is just fluff.


At a much smaller Star Trek site that I really don’t go to anymore, they celebrated once I’d hit a certain number of posts. As a thank you for that, I posted this little party story. It’s only meant to be a bit of fluff. However, I was able to add a bit to my lore. For a long time, this was the first story in my saga.


Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days | Party on Risa

In Between Days

Hence as a fill in for the canon episode Two Days and Two Nights, I wrote this story in order to give a little depth to Travis. After all, in the episode, about all that happens is that he suffers an injury while rock climbing on Risa. But he didn’t start off rock climbing. At least, I didn’t want him to.

Hence, the little bit of fan fiction.

One thing I was able to do with this small story was to bring in Witannen a lot faster and earlier than before. With no statement of the name of the species (and Travis leaves quickly, plus in Star Trek: Enterprise canon he’s knocked out not too long after that), there’s no real first contact. However, for sharp-eyed readers, the stage is set for this species. Hence when the Witannen show up in Together, he really should have remembered them. But with him losing consciousness in canon, it fits that he would either not remember or maybe even suffer just a tiny bit of amnesia.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


The story has little purpose, other than to be a little fluff. It succeeds in that area, to be sure.

You can find me on .

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