Progress Report – September 2014

Progress Report – September 2014

Posted Works

Quill I began the month in Star Trek fan fiction by adding to The Three of Us on Fanfiction.net and The Social Media Guide on Wattpad.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished the Daranaean Emergence series by posting Confidence. I then started posting the Eriecho series, with Release, Beats, The Mundane World, A Gathering, Double Helix and began to spin out Recessive.

On Wattpad, I continued adding the the Before Days series with Waiting;  If You Can’t Stand the Heat; More, More, More!, and Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

Progress Report – September 2014
Postmodern Jukebox

Because I’m a silly fan girl, I also got permission from Scott Bradlee and started to post the first-ever (far as anyone can tell) popfic about singing group Postmodern Jukebox! It’s called The Canadian Caper.

On Ad Astra, I responded to the “on my word” challenge with Promise, a TravisJulie story. In response to a prompt about school, I added a short Inta-centric story, Education.

I added Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before to the Delphic Expanse after some minor tweaking by the beta reader.

Milestones

On combined URLs, over 100 stories have 1,000 or more reads, and over 25 stories have 5,000 or more reads. 15 stories have over 9,750 reads on combined URLs. Twelve individual story URLs have over 10,000 reads. Over 30 have over 50 reviews on combined URLs.  Six have over 100 reads (half of those are on individual URLs). See the Stats page for individual read and review counts for Star Trek fan fiction and other works.

The Fanfic profile on Wattpad added three of my stories to their Star Trek reading list: The New Captain’s Woman (a combination of That’s Not My Name and It Had to be You), Biases, and Before Days (the prequels in the In Between Days series).

WIP Corner

I continued to work on The Polymer Beat, the second book in the wholly original Obolonk series.

Prep Work

I added a little to the Star Trek fan fiction wiki but didn’t really have time to go in depth.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Class at Quinnipiac (I’m going to start taking 2 classes at a time next semester), and managing The G & T Show’s many social media accounts took up a great deal of my time. The show was also in the midst of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

Progress Report – September 2014

Plus we went on a short vacation to Cape Cod in the middle of the month.

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Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

If stories about terrorism trigger you, you might want to back out now.

Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

Background

Where is it that the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain? Why, it’s Oklahoma, of course.

To continue Richard Daniels and the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s investigations in time, I decided the Perfections would prevent a truly horrific act, and then the commission would have to, sadly, put it back.

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain
Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

9/11 was (and still is) too close in time, and felt wrong. But this event isn’t too much better, and I can understand if a reader finds it a distasteful topic for Star Trek fanfiction, still.

For anyone who does not know the musical, the title of the piece refers to Oklahoma! And so the story line can only be about one thing.

A lot of writers, when tackling a subject like this, focus on the Kennedy assassination. But I wanted something more contemporary. And this particular terrorist act is even worse, given the high number of lost innocents.

This is the last of the stories in the Complications subsection of the HG Wells timeline (the first part is Repairs; the last part is Unravelings).

Plot

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

As Rick recovers from meeting Milena (and falling for her), the Perfectionists, an opposing faction, pull off their most audacious act so far. But preventing the Oklahoma City bombing means that a number of people will live who aren’t supposed to. And this includes several preschoolers. Hence the timeline becomes horribly damaged.

At the same time, in an effort to distract musician time traveler HD Avery, the  Perfectionists avert a 1977 plane crash that killed half of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd.

And as a third piece of the temporal shenanigans puzzle, the  Perfections prevent the 1983 assassination of Benigno Aquino.

Temporal Issues

So as a result of these changes, the NX-01‘s pilot is not Travis Mayweather; it’s Shelby Pike. She works as the ship’s Botanist in the Prime Timeline. In this alternate, she and Tripp Tucker have a relationship, and Otra D’Angelo sees Pike pregnant with Tucker’s child.

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

Yet another temporal alteration concerns Wesley Crusher‘s death from a plague. So this causes the destruction of the Enterprise-D by a Borg cube because Jean-Luc Picard cannot stop playing a game and Robin Lefler cannot save the crew by herself.

Hence due to the ever-present Borg threat, the Federation obtains rather expensive help from Dawitan, Otra’s home world. The Federation pays tribute every year. However, the masses are kept appeased with generous daily rations of fortified wine.

Review – Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain

But protesters, including Anthony Parker, break into the USS Saint Eligius in order to destroy the wine casks (they’re behaving a lot like real-life temperance advocate Carry Nation). However, in the largest of the crates they smash open, they find an emaciated Otra. She has been kept imprisoned by the Perfectionists. Upon the eventual restoration of the timeline, Otra ends up back prison but retains a phaser that Anthony has given her.

The end of the story also prods  a horribly distraught Tom Grant to confess his love to Eleanor Daniels.

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

I liked putting this one together, as it ended up quite a puzzle. Daniel Beauchaine‘s actions have to be accounted for. In addition, I had to research and write dialogue for Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. As a piece of the Complications subsection of these stories, the book lives up to the idea of being complicated all right. But it sometimes seems overly so.

Hence numerous strands, from the three temporal alterations, to all of the consequences, need correction. But it ends up a lot for a reader to follow, and I admit I probably rushed through this one too much.


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Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu

Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu

Origins

I wanted a character who would be loyal and loving, and would leap into the BeckettMaddenDigiornoO’DayReed family without even looking.

Portrait of a Character – Jia Sulu
Faye Wong as Jia Sulu

Further, I wanted someone to be with Malcolm at the very end of his life. This person would outwardly seem to be a bit detached, as Malcolm is often portrayed in canon. But the connection would still be there, under the surface. The idea of detachment would be an illusion.

Finally, I wanted someone who would be one of the many living embodiments of just how different the Mirror Universe is from our own.  Because Jia’s father is Doug’s last male human kill in the mirror, a counterpart for Jia may or may not even be possible.

Portrayal

Jia is played by singer and actress Faye Wong. This beautiful woman is often described by the press as being a diva.

Personality

Kind to everyone, Jia is the extra daughter that the family never had. She supports Joss in everything, and is up for whatever he has to offer. He is her world.

Her most important moment in the series (so far) is that she is the only one present when Malcolm dies of old age, in Fortune.

Relationships

Joss Beckett

There can never be anyone else for Jia apart from Jeremiah Logan Beckett. They are the kind of couple who meet as children and never, ever look at anyone else. There is never anyone else.

Mirror Universe

Jia cannot exist in the Mirror, as she is born in 2157, but her father, Geming, was killed by Doug in 2152. She doesn’t even really have an analogue, like Marie Patrice and the other blood relative family members do.

Quote

“Father, when my own father died, my mother, she had the same visions. She would think he was out back clipping the hedges or at work. I guess it makes it easier.”

Upshot

Wherever Joss goes, Jia is sure to follow. She’ll be back at some point, I’m sure.


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Review – The Gift

Review – The Gift

Background

As a Star Trek fanfiction follow up to Pacing, I wanted Doug‘s second Christmas gift to Lili to be a huge surprise (as of the writing of this blog post, I have not yet written their first Christmas together).

Review – The Gift
In Between Days

For Lili, this will be the culmination, as her dreams truly do come true and she gets what she’s always really needed, ever since she was nine years old – a home.

Plot

Review – The Gift

Lili is sleep-deprived and anxious, as Joss is still a young baby. She’s barely functional, like a lot of new parents are.

Doug hands her an article wrapped in paper, which she opens. Annoyed, she announces that her gift is a wooden spatula. She then proceeds to place it into the holder with all of her other wooden spatulas. It seems the essence of a thoughtless, last-minute gift. She is getting upset. Doug is going to have to salvage the situation.

Then Doug tells her that the spatula does not matter in terms of the present; instead,  it’s the paper it’s wrapped in.

That paper turns out to be his own crudely-drawn plans for their house.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like this short story as a direct sequel to Pacing, as it fulfills the promise of the earlier piece. Both stories also prefigure a great deal of the In Between Days series, and begin to set the stage for more of the series. I like how it turned out.


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Spotlight – Azezans

Background

This wholly original species was one of the first ones I ever created.

The Adventures of Porthos
The Adventures of Porthos

For The Adventures of Porthos, I was still at a stage in my Star Trek fanfiction writing where I was mainly just looking at one-off characterizations and species of the week. The Azezans were a part of that.

Characteristics

Yellow badge Star of David called "Judens...
Yellow badge Star of David called “Judenstern”. Part of the exhibition in the Jewish Museum Westphalia, Dorsten, Germany. The wording is the German word for Jew (Jude), written in mock-Hebrew script. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peaceful to a fault, the Azezans allow another species, the Olathans, to run roughshod over them, to disastrous consequences and results. This vegan species is so peaceful that they don’t fight back when a far more powerful species comes in and takes over. The Olathans enslave them and have the Azezans self-select the Olathans’ next victims, in a sickening reminder of the Nazi Judenrat.

In terms of physical characteristics, the only thing I gave them was purple skin, with lightening shades of purple if the skin is sliced or bitten into. Other than that, I had no descriptions for them whatsoever.

Enterprise’s Involvement

Normally, there would be no involvement whatsoever. Under the Prime Directive, it’s likely that such a system would have been bypassed entirely, as I never added any information as to whether they were Warp-capable. Instead, the Azezans are offered by (secretly) the Olathans as slave laborers, as Azezi Prime is overpopulated.

Jonathan Archer watches the exchange between First Governor Siont (an Azezan) and Settlement Engineer Dar (who is secretly an Olathan), and determines from their body language that they don’t enjoy working together. As they are questioned about the work arrangement, Siont doesn’t appear to be believing any of the platitudes he’s sprouting about cheerful, healthy workers, whereas Dar is more than happy to talk profits.

Phlox enters with Porthos, in order to provide a quick break. Siont pets the animal, who seemingly without cause bites Dar in the ankle. The ruse discovered, Dar takes  what is very much like a cyanide capsule, also a reference to the Nazis.

Siont explains that to return with a dead Dar means that he and his entourage will be suspect. Archer, suspecting that there are more hidden Olathans, probably working as informants and Fifth Columnists, ends the matter with assuring that he will have humans sent as advisors with a number of hound dogs. The dogs, presumed to be primed to behave just like Porthos just has, should quickly rout the Olathans. It’s an imperfect and slow solution, but at least it’s a relatively peaceful one that the Azezans can condone.

Upshot

I have never written a sequel to this story, and it’s high time I did.


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Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

Origins

This character is, of course, canon to The Next Generation.

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher
Wesley as an Ensign

A lot of Star Trek fans dislike this character intensely, and see him as a male Mary Sue. I agree that the writing for this character was not the best.

But that’s what Star Trek fanfiction is for.

Portrayal

As in canon, Wesley is portrayed by actor Wil Wheaton. There is no one else, so far as I’m concerned, who can possibly play this character.

Personality

Shy and nervous, but smarter than everyone else in the room, Wesley has to learn to rein in his intelligence a bit. It’s not that he needs to dumb things down. It’s more that he’s just not getting a lot of social capital for always being the first one with the right answer. He needs to step back and give others a chance, even though he knows that he can do better most of the time.

Relationships

Robin Lefler

This canon relationship is briefly referred to in Imprecision, when The Traveler asks about an earlier dream. Wesley admits he was dreaming about having sex with Robin, and that he sometimes regretted that not having happened in real life.

Lakeisha Warren

When Wes meets Lakeisha, it’s pretty close to love at first sight.

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

She’s playing the French horn in the Starfleet Academy band, which has been asked to play at Will Riker and Deanna Troi‘s wedding.

But all Wes can think of, all he can see and hear, is the lovely dark-skinned girl with chocolate brown eyes.

Yes, Lakeisha and Wes aren’t the same race.

They marry, and are together for the remainder of their lives. As an old grandfather, Wes talks about her in Crackerjack.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Wesley Crusher

There are, so far as I am aware, no impediments to Wesley existing in the Mirror. Frankly, I’m surprised that this scenario doesn’t seem to have been explored in Star Trek official fiction and it’s been barely explored in fan fiction.

I like the idea of him being less obsessed with duty, and see him as being a lot like, well, like Wil Wheaton himself has become. E. g. a guy who does some acting but is also a force for good in the geek world. Maybe a Mirror Wesley could be the kind of positive force for good that is lacking in that universe.

The idea intrigues, and I may explore it at some time.

Quote

“Are you telling me you wanna leave the Enterprise and all of that and just stay here? Is that it? Because if it is, well, do me a favor and help me get the Monongahela working again. I’ll leave you here, if that’s what you really want, and I’ll take my chances out there with that, that infrared pulse! And I’ll tell Captain Picard and the others that we got caught by an infrared pulse and you lost your freakin’ mind!”

Upshot

I like redeeming Wesley, and maybe, in some small way, I have. I’m not sure. If I can get on a roll again with the Barnstorming series, he’ll be seen again, with Lakeisha, as he embraces young adulthood, love, and the world of work, like many young people do.


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Review – The Conspiracy

Review – The Conspiracy

Background

The Conspiracy was another instance of trying to surprise readers.

In response to a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the Seven Heavenly (Theological/Cardinal, too; the prompt was not about getting into the minutiae of theology) Virtues (which are the counterpart to the Seven Deadly Sins; I had already written about pride, in Before the Fall), I decided to tackle the somewhat obscure prudence for my next Star Trek fanfiction story.

Review – The Conspiracy
Hall of Mirrors

To up the ante, I went with a setting where virtues would be all too rarely seen – the Mirror Universe.

Plot

Review – The ConspiracyIt’s New Year’s Day of 2161.

And a few people meet, furtively. They are: Josh Rosen, Aidan MacKenzie, Andrew Miller, Chip Masterson, and Lucy Stone.  There’s one more member of the cabal, Francisco Ramirez, but he can’t get away, as José Torres has put Gary Hodgkins on to watch him.

While they would probably not mind killing Empress Hoshi, the cabal’s real thoughts are of escape. So as a prelude to Temper, Lucy and Chip mention that an attempt is going to be made to cross over to what we call the Prime Universe, as Hoshi wants another advanced ship. And they also mention that Andy will be sent to Vulcan to pick up slaves who can perform calculations, a neat prefiguring of Fortune and the Mirror Universe‘s Melissa Madden‘s death in a shuttle crash.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I used this story as a kind of bridge between Together and Temper, but on the Mirror side of things. And I think it works out well and helps to fill in some of the gaps in the Mirror Universe timeline.


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Portrait of a Character – Rayna Montgomery

Portrait of a Character – Rayna Montgomery

Origins

A call was put out, on Trek United, for short stories for a newsletter. I was currently writing more basic fare such as More, More, More!

Portrait of a Character – Rayna Montgomery
Freak School featuring Rayna Montgomery

Then something turned in my head, and I came up with this odd character, a kind of Klingon Valley Girl.

Meet Rayna.

Portrayal

Amanda Seyfried as Rayna Montgomery
Amanda Seyfried as Rayna Montgomery

I like Amanda Seyfried for Rayna, particularly without heavy makeup.

But the truth is, Rayna could be played by a lot of young actresses.  Certainly Kaley Cuoco or Holly Marie Combs would have been fine in their earlier days.

Personality

Gawky and out of place, Rayna is as unsure of herself as many teenaged girls are. The difference is that Rayna, being half-Klingon, can do some serious damage if she becomes angered. Failing in school, she is taken out by her concerned parents and is moved from Connecticut to the Archer Academy on Oberon, where troubled hybrid teens can go as a kind of last stop before Juvenile Hall.

But Rayna is also smart, and her poor grades are more a reflection on her not fitting in than on any lack of ability. Once she gets to the Archer Academy, she begins to blossom, particularly in English. But she still can’t quite get the hang of advanced Math. But that’s okay; she’s about to get a tutor.

Relationships

Stellak

I haven’t decided whether this will actually go anywhere, but I like the idea of Rayna having a fellow in class who she can relate to, or at least strive for. Because not only does she want to fit in; she also wants to get the guy and, at the same time, defeat her arch-rival, Tellifa.

Mirror Universe

There are really no impediments to Rayna existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Rayna Montgomery

I like to think she’d be more graceful, and maybe even beautiful.

But she’d still be crafty.

Quote

“If I had more Klingon in me, I guess I’d be more intimidating, but most of the time I’m just a creampuff with cranial ridges. I swear I have never told anybody that before. Group is useless, but I feel I can at least mention it here.”

Upshot

I love this character but I really haven’t done enough with her.  After Freak School, she was mainly forgotten, which is a shame. I’ll have to find something to do with her one of these days.


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Review – Pacing

Review – Pacing

Review – Pacing – Background

As I began to put together Doug and Lili‘s life after Reversal, the question began to arise, namely, where would they live?

Review – Pacing
In Between Days

I decided that I wanted them to have a home, which would be a house not too different from a house that a present-day couple would live in.

When a Star Trek fanfiction prompt about the natural world was put forward, it provided the perfect opportunity to show Doug planning this very important present, which culminates in the successor story, The Gift.

Plot

Review – Pacing

The short story begins with Doug waiting for a realtor, on Lafa II. He’s got an old-fashioned piece of paper and a pencil. But first he jogs up a little rise and likes the view. Sharp-eyed readers will recall how the rise fits in with both Temper and Fortune. However, the realtor, a native Calafan, tells him that the land up the rise is considerably more expensive than the land that Doug was initially considering. He decides to go with his original plan.

Doug then proceeds to sketch and measure, as well as he can,  the dimensions of the planned home. He’s not meant to be an engineer, artist, or architect, so the drawing is a crude one. All the while, he talks to himself, thinking out loud about how Lili would love a big kitchen and the view and the quiet remoteness of the area. He takes into account a room for the baby – Joss – and even a guest room. He wants everything to be perfect.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love this little story, as it rather neatly prefigures a lot of the later In Between Days story line, from the rise, to the location of the kitchen, to how Doug tries so hard to please Lili and, even, their financial concerns.


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