The Barnstorming series was edited a bit, particularly the first story. I also worked on the next Multiverse adventure, calling it Multiverse Mini.
I finished splitting up The Three of Us for eventual posting on Fanfiction.net. I contributed to the Star Trek Expanded Universes wiki as I get some traffic from there. I performed a ton of SEO work on the blog and the site, too.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
I continued with school work at Quinnipiac. I was also looking for work rather intently. As stated above, the heat also affected my productivity. Sometimes it was just not easy to get comfortable.
I decided to not include monarchs in this group. Instead, these are people who have been elected to office.
Currently, they are all male, although that was not my intention, to only have elected male rulers. A lot of this skew can be explained by the fact that most of the politicians showcased herein are Daranaeans.
In the elections for Alpha in Flight of the Bluebird, Vidam represents the liberals on Daranaea, and is known to the electorate as the man who, during Debate, first brought to a vote the issue of granting the vote to Prime Wives (he lost, by an overwhelming amount).
I need to write some female (and nongendered) politicians and political leaders, I think!
Tough but fair, Shaw is responsible for a ton of Vulcans and they are an endangered species. But underneath, he’s a bit of a softie. He watches over his charges like a mother hen. And he pines for reporter Julie Parker.
When we first meet Shaw, one of the things he is doing is mulling over a house that Julie loved. With no ties to her, he puts a payment stop on it. It’s a foolish thing, a lark, and he has no hope of anything happening between them. But he does it all the same. And when she learns he has done this, she is amused and then touched.
There are no impediments to Shaw existing in the Mirror Universe, either in the JJ Abrams timeline or the Prime Timeline.
I like to think he would be more relaxed, and would maybe have a family, despite the harsh conditions on that side of the pond.
“I’m lousy at this. But I don’t drink to excess, not any more than a beer or two after work. I don’t gamble. I don’t run around. And I, uh, I won’t look at anyone else. Hell, I haven’t since I met you.”
He could be better explored, I imagine. At some point, where Eriecho goes (and at some point I will marry her off to Sollastek), Shaw will follow. He’ll be back.
You Mixed-Up Siciliano! So back when I was originally writing a time travel series, I hit upon the idea of a vacation in 1960 Italy. However, this would be where everything would inadvertently go wrong. Hence, playing off the lyrics of Rosemary Clooney‘s song, Mambo Italiano, and the old Fellini film, La Dolce Vita, the title came to me as did much of the story line.
Because she can already tell that she’s going to hate letting good people die.
Carmen and Richard suggest an alternative. While consulting with Otra, they ask her where she would go, and when, if she could. So Otra, being a nice Italian girl, suggests 1960 Italy and the film and song as outlined above. And then Crystal outfits Sheilagh in “fabulous clothes” and they’re off.
However, things don’t go quite as planned, as Marisol Castillo also takes a side trip to 1960 Rome.
You Mixed-Up Siciliano Music
So reflecting 1960, the music is often horn-driven. The Twist refers not only to the dance, but also to the plot. El Paso was a serendipitous find, and references Marisol rather neatly.
Finally, I love the music in this one, the costumes and the scene settings. As for the crime and the mystery, it is in this story where things stop being a mystery. They settle, instead, into the characters trying to figure out what’s going on, and the overall arc begins to segue into Spring Thaw. I like it although I think I would have slowed down the crime a bit.
I wanted a bit of an author surrogate here. I loved this spelling of Sheilagh ever since I saw it in the old book, The Harrad Experiment. That was about the only thing, other than the sex scenes, that was interesting about that book, but I digress.
Sheilagh was written to be a specialist in ancient computer systems, as time travelers would need that sort of expertise.
I like the actress’s look, she seems brassy and I feel that Sheilagh would be a bit like that. Smart but also maybe a little pushy.
A genius, but often isolated, Sheilagh is older and could use some friends. When things trouble her, she has no one to talk to and, in Ohio, ends up talking to a random guy in a park.
Sheilagh was born on September 19, 3062. She lives on Mars. While growing up, she had a Mastiff named Jake. She is an only child, born in New Brasilia, on Callisto.
While some flirting goes on in Ohio, it isn’t until You Mixed-Up Siciliano that they hook up. The relationship is mainly physical and they often meet in each other’s bunks in the middle of the night. Just before Spring Thaw, Rick ends it, and Sheilagh does not object.
In Shake Your Body, after seeing some difficult things, they get together. HD has been interested for quite a while, referring to her (when speaking to Daniels) as being, “the best one”. In He Stays a Stranger, Branch Borodin states that HD and Sheilagh eventually marry. A quick scene of them dating is showing in Happy Stuff 3111.
Although the spelling is wrong, this song works. It’s from 1962, so it’s a little bit after Ohio.
In Ohio, Sheilagh confirms that she has a Mirror Universe counterpart, who is a government official.
I see this woman as being smart, yes, but even more withdrawn than the Prime Universe Sheilagh. After all, who can you trust?
“Home is, is on Mars. Yeah! I’m one of those little green men you’re all so worried about. Uh, little green woman. And him? He lives near Saturn! We come from the future to, to eat your Pasta Alla Puttanesca and drink your Campari!”
I like Sheilagh but she’s had few occasions to really work. She did some work in Another Piece of the Action, but the personality was not explored. I need to try to rectify that at some point.
The game is intended to be somewhat similar to paintball, but played with either phasers or even phase bows. Like paintball, it is a strategic type of game intended to, in some ways, mimic warfare. Players form teams and work together to attain an objective.
With few details so far, I can’t say that even I know the rules of phaseball.
I can see it as the kind of game that could conceivably take hours. However, with phased light, instead of paint, no one gets dirty, or at least they don’t get dirty from paint (sweat and dirt from the outside are a different story, of course).
Will it be back? I can’t say. I don’t honestly know a lot about paintball, and Beauchaine ends up incarcerated, so the chances of it returning are currently not so good.
It’s after Mistra has been exonerated, and the newly-configured Daranaean family, with Vidam as the head of the household and his mother, Dratha, quietly helping him, is getting along pretty well. Most of the family has gone on a day outing, except for Mistra, her eldest daughter, Cria, and the baby of the family, Inta. The two eldest boys, Vidam and Trinning, are at the big school. When Cria finishes her home schooling homework, she asks to have friends over, and Mistra agrees.
Cria invites over Kathalia, Jamae, and Morza. The four girls have a wonderful time, until Cria, ever mindful of being a good hostess, goes to procure little cakes (cookies) for each of her guests. But there aren’t enough cookies.
By this time, the boys are home, and Vidam and Trinning figure out why baby Inta has been so quiet and just where those cookies have gone to.
The story is meant to be a gentle family comedy, and I think it succeeds. When I read it to my husband for the first time, he yelled out, “Busted!” when the plot came to its little climax. And that made me laugh.
I have never, ever worked so hard to get a story right, than I did with Concord.
From its cover (that’s the bridge leading from Lexington to Concord and, yes, there was an engagement on it), to determining whether men would tip their hats to women (yes), to figuring out Colonial Era market prices, to even deciding what one of the cows would be named, Concord is an absolute labor of love.
The premise of the story is an interphase: Malcolm is transported to April 1775 Lexington, Massachusetts, and takes the place of an ancestor, just as a future time traveler, during the time of the Genesis Project, takes the place of his own ancestor, who is fighting alongside Malcolm’s ancestor. Injured in the fighting, Malcolm and the time traveler, Robert Lennox, are quartered in a home, where they meet, among other people, Benjamin Warren.
With what is almost 20/20 hindsight, the men know that they were together and that their relationship worked out. But it’s still tentative and a little strange. But when they kiss, you want to cheer.
This was easily the most difficult decision, to figure out which was the best of these many stories. Three stories get an honorable mention here. First is The Reptile Speaks, which is a Gorn romancing a Cardassian. I loved the idea of putting together a rather different couple, and how someone who looks so menacing could, at bottom, be a truly good person.
Reversalhas to be mentioned, as it is not only the love of the dark stranger for the light, but it’s also an amazing kick-off story. A ton of roads lead straight to Reversal.
But the winner, the best one (and I might change my mind tomorrow) is The Three of Us .
All of the E2 stories were labors of love, but Three is really the big one. That is also due to, in part, its size.
Characters move from misbehaving and acting childishly, to acting criminally, to eventually maturing. Kindness, friendship, and togetherness, lead to more.
As might be expected from such a title, the relationship is an unconventional one.
But the parties persevere, and grow, as time pulls them along and they experience not just romantic love, but also brotherhood, fellowship, parenthood, and, ultimately, tragedy.
This image becomes particularly important, and is a part of one of the story’s many high points.
I love this story, from its tentative, scared, damaged people, to its criminals, to its hopefulness, to its sorrow. As Lili O’Day says in Fortune, “There is something there.”
Nothing really comes close to Seven Women, when it comes to tragedy. From the very start, the reader is told that Tommy Digiono-Madden is going to die. A fireball is coming, the fire door is closed, and he cannot outrun any of it. He knows this is it. But instead of having his life flash before his eyes, Tommy instead thinks of seven pivotal women in his life. They range from the three women he called mother, to his first girlfriend, and more.
This was a character I had only written little snippets of, and very few as an adult. As readers got to know Tommy, so did I. The best decision I made in that story was to not bow to internal pressure to give him a happy ending.
Spoiler alert: he doesn’t get one.
The best romance story was easily the hardest of these decisions to make. Tune in; I may do this again next year.
I prefer Rankin for this; I just see a guy who’s a little bit younger.
This has more to do with how I’ve written his successor in Multiverse II than anything else.
Keep in mind, the canon character is Philip (one L) and lives during the earlier part of the Third World War. The character I’m talking about is Phillip (two L’s) and is from a bit later. But the idea that funngunner and I had was that the concept of a Colonel Green would continue as several men fill the role over time.
Ruthless and rapacious, Green has an appetite for the remaining luxuries in the ravaged Earth, power, and women, at least as funngunner and I write him. If absolute power corrupts absolutely, Green is the poster child for that.
In Multiverse II, Liesl is eventually revealed to be the kingmaker, that there have been several versions of Green and Phillip is only one of many. There are even three children, but they aren’t Phillip’s or Liesl’s, so the far-future descendant, Phillipa, who Richard Daniels meets and seduces, as is mentioned in Ohio, has someone else’s genetics.
The relationship with Liesl is more businesslike than anything else. There is no marriage – although she’s referred to as his wife. It is just an arrangement, and the two of them continue to do whatever they like. Donald Janeway eventually reveals that he kept a database of eco-warrior ‘volunteers’ and it was split up by gender, with obviously male names scouted for Liesl, obviously female names for the Colonel, and anyone unknown to be determined. And, once they were determined for sure, they would be set aside for either party. Then images would be scoured for imperfections and anyone imperfect would be eliminated from consideration. Anyone unlucky enough to be physically perfect would be ripe for sexual usage.
When Otra arrives, the Colonel only has eyes for her, and kicks Liesl to the curb. Liesl wouldn’t care, except she wants power. Plus Otra is an alien, and that bothers Liesl quite a bit. And then Otra plunges a knife into Green’s chest, just after he proposes marriage. It’s a nasty business, Chilo possession.
For the Mirror Universe, I go back to Phillip Pine for the portrayal.
In my Star Trek: Enteprise fanfiction, I see him as the Emperor of the Terran Empire, Phillip I. His true descendant, Phillip IV, is Emperor when Hoshi Sato, in canon and in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, declares herself Empress. Hoshi herself assassinates Phillip IV.
“The fool’s paralyzed, and he’s unconscious. He doesn’t need guards or medics; he needs pallbearers.”
It is great fun and more than a little satisfying to write a person who is more or less pure evil. It’s even more satisfying to try to find a way to make him even remotely sympathetic. Green is a trip to write, and there’s talk of there eventually being a Multiverse III. If there is, I want to write him again.
I write in all sorts of genres and wanted to put together what I think are my best treatments of them. This is in conjunction with all of the story reviews I have been posting, and future reviews.
I have written a good 200 or so stories. Choosing what is ‘best’ is subjective and certainly my ideas change over time. These stories, I might add, are not necessarily the ones with the greatest read or review counts. Sometimes it’s just the best in my mind. I don’t always agree with my readership.
One of my favorite genres to write, comedy speaks to me.
From the amusing title, to its start as Chip Masterson is busted by Deb Haddon for keeping Tripp‘s stuffed gerbil toy, Stella, to their romance, to Chip’s nascent to friendship with Aidan, the story celebrates a number of below decks themes.
The basic premise is a prank war, all carried out while inertial dampers are being perfected. This canon piece of equipment is about the dullest bit of Star Trek technobabble, so it was the perfect backdrop for a ton of hijinks. After all, the inventors (it’s a competition) would mainly be bored by their activities. They would be itching for something to do.
And then there’s the goat ….
I write a ton of drama and it can sometimes be difficult to sustain. Right now, today, as I write this blog post, I feel that one of my better, if not my best such stories, is Saturn Rise.
I had wanted to not only showcase more of Pamela and Treve’s relationship, but also to attempt to resolve some of the unfinished business in Intolerance, Temper, and Fortune.
Further, I wanted Malcolm to have to deal with introducing his parents to Lili, and possibly risk their disapproval. Done within the context of introducing them to Declan, I also wanted to present an alternate point of view regarding the acceptance – or not – of Lili and Doug‘s open marriage.
Just as Pamela has to have it out with her mother, Malcolm has to have it out with his parents.
As Ethan Shapiro learns of his great-aunt’s death, young Jewish crew members are brought together. Part of this is to properly mourn the woman’s death, but another reason is a budding romance, as Andrew Miller is looking to ask out Karin Bernstein.
I introduced not only these original characters (plus Josh Rosen), but also covered the subject of the existence of a Starfleet Rabbi, Leah Benson. Because I love these characters so much, they have all been woven into my fan fiction, including the Mirror Universe stories, as they meet dissimilar fates. Leah in particular is very different on the other side of the proverbial pond.
I have never been a fan of slamming doors, zombies, things going bump in the night, etc. types of stories or films. I just plain don’t like being scared for my entertainment. Hence I hit upon an idea, and that was to show what I feel is far, far worse. And that’s the Holocaust.
Taking place over the course of Halloween weekend, Tucker, who in canon is a classic horror film buff, has helped Chip line up a number of classic horror movies. October 31st is devoted to the old John Carpenter film.
Canon characters such as Phlox and Amanda Cole sit through the picture, as do a number of my own original characters. And then Tucker disappears.
As a crossover story, he’s whisked to 1945 Upper Bavaria, and becomes a part of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp, which includes freeing Milena Chelenska, her sister, and their neighbor. Furthermore, he witnesses a war crime, where the managers of the camp (by this time – true story, by the way – they were mainly just kids, as the real management had fled) are shot to death by firing squad, without trials.
It turns out that he’s been interphased rather deliberately, as Wesley Crusher and the Traveler work to get him back, thereby neatly tying into Crackerjack.
Beyond the fact that I think these stories are some of my best work, my peers have agreed. Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before and Day of the Dead are both award winners.