Progress Report – October 2014

Progress Report – October 2014

Posted Works

QuillI started the month finishing The Canadian Caper, the Postmodern Jukebox adventure which is highly likely to be the first popfic ever written about the band. On Wattpad, I finished Before Days by adding First Born. I also finished The Social Media Guide, and began to post Reversal. I submitted eight works to the #Wattys2014 (The 2014 Watty Awards):

On Fanfiction.net, I continued spinning out The Three of Us. On Ad Astra, I added a response to a prompt about discoveries. Because it was the first of the month, I called it Linfep Linfep Linfep. I responded to a prompt about embarrassment by posting a MelissaLeonora story, Red. I posted Theorizing.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished spinning out Recessive and added Across the Universe.

Milestones

With over 75 stories with at least 10 reviews and 1000 reads,  I am beginning to see some real benefit from this kind of popularity. At this point, the In Between Days collection is the third-most read story on Ad Astra, so it benefits from being listed under the Top Ten. In Between Days is also the fourth-largest series on that site, and is the single most-reviewed series. I am the third-most prolific author and may very well hit second place before the end of the calendar year. On Wattpad, I’ve exceeded 500 followers and am looking to get 1,000 as I believe I will get a lot more reads there once I do, as it seems to be an identifiable milestone that is respected there.

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

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

Prep Work

I entered the title of The Polymer Beat into the NaNoWriMo site. I have entered as a so-called rebel, as I don’t have the time to start something new this year.

I created a Facebook Author page to promote my work.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Progress Report – October 2014
English: Logo for Quinnipiac University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In preparation for beginning to take two courses at a time at Quinnipiac (to be started in January of 2015 and going for all three semesters of that year), I continued working hard to get ahead on work such as keeping the Twitter stream filled, etc. I also worked on social media for the G & T Show.

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Review – Flight of the Bluebird

Review – Flight of the Bluebird

Bluebird Background

As my Emergence Star Trek fan fiction stories were going to be ‘published’ on Issuu, I didn’t like the fact that I really didn’t have an ending to the series. While this story  doesn’t really end the series, it does bring it to a somewhat satisfactory point. But I will definitely write more in this series, as I just enjoy it so much.

Plot

Review – Flight of the Bluebird
Flight of the Bluebird

For Captain Malcolm Reed and his new ship, the DC-1505 USS Bluebird, they’ve left space dock and gone to Andoria. But now it’s time for their first true mission. And that’s to observe the elections on Daranaea.  Complicating matters is the fact that the two leading candidates seem to be polar opposites. Boestus, the conservative standard-bearer, would keep the Daranaeans traditional. Vidam, the son of the legendary Dratha, is the liberal candidate. But his earlier attempt, to introduce a bill to give Prime Wives the right to vote in Daranaean elections, was laughed out of the Beta Council chamber.

Meanwhile, his half-sister, Seppa (she’s on the cover of the book) is traveling with her husband, Brantus, and their family. But Seppa is a third caste female. Eventually, she’ll be euthanized, a fact that doesn’t sit well with Reed, or with Jonathan Archer, who has maintained a correspondence with the young woman and is rather fond of her.

At the same time, Dr. Trinning, half-brother to both Seppa and Vidam, is fighting to cure Thylacine Paramyxovirus. His test subjects are third caste females, a fate that’s not much better than mandatory euthanization after menopause.

This warp-capable culture is in a strategic area, near Klingon space. Will they be allowed into the Federation? Do they even want to join it?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I was pleased to be able to continue the Daranaeans’ story and try to give it some happiness, and to follow Seppa, Vidam, and the others. Boestus even gets to return later, in Bread. I also liked that not everything is a triumph. Some things work out, but there’s still a lot more to do. And that’s reality.

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Portrait of a Character – Dash Nolan

Portrait of a Character – Dash Nolan

Origins

In Shell Shock, Malcolm needed a lawyer. Plus I wanted Gina and Gabrielle Nolan to have an ancestor, and a connection to the In Between Days series.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Dash Nolan
Judge Advocate General of the Navy Rear Admiral meets the cast of JAG

I like David James Elliott for this role. That’s Elliott all the way on the left in this photograph. Plus the actress I have playing Melissa, Catherine Bell, is in the picture.

Elliott’s presence is not only an acknowledgement of his role on JAG, but it’s also another shout-out to his costar in that series, the actor Steven Culp.

Personality

Smart, detail-oriented, and driven, Dash doesn’t fool around. He opens with a bit of a family joke – his twin sister is named Dorothy. For Dash (Dashiell), the twins were, of course, Dot and Dash.  This joke family name is actually not original – I got it from a story told by Dash Crofts of Seals and Crofts, who really does have a sister named Dorothy (although he is actually named Darrell).

But that’s his only moment of levity. Then he gets down to the business of clearing Malcolm’s name, in the sexual assault and near-murder of Ruby Brannagh. Dash asks the tough questions of Malcolm and demands the whole truth – no matter how embarrassing that is to the ultra-reserved Brit.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Dash Nolan
Mirror Dash

Dash could absolutely exist in the Mirror. There are no impediments.

I see him as being smart, to be sure, but also as being as driven by justice as his Prime Universe counterpart. This could make him a fugitive and an expatriate in Empress Hoshi‘s Terran Empire. The idea intrigues. I should write this some day.

Quote

“I want you to understand something. I am in fact-finding mode right now. But I am also in the process of starting your prep. Because they are gonna ask you things like that. So I ask you again – do personal confrontations bother you?”

Upshot

Oh, I like this character, but he’s been a bit lost in the shuffle of so many original characters. I’d like to bring him back, but I’m not so sure where I’d put him. Malcolm certainly doesn’t want anything else to do with him, not really, as he’s a reminder of too many bad things.

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Spotlight – Dark Matter/Energy Drive

Spotlight on Dark Matter/Energy Drive

Background

Spotlight – Dark Matter/Energy Drive

In order to hop between the two main universes, I needed a semi-mysterious means of getting around. Without having to be dependent upon a worm hole, or cranking the engines up to crazy numbers like Warp 50, I needed something else.

Thought Experiment

In order to fix this problem, and to add some drama and, admittedly, some technobabble to the HG Wells series, I hit upon the idea of a dark matter or dark energy drive (I have called it both, although I realize that the terms, in truth, are not interchangeable).Spotlight – Dark Matter/Energy Drive Because dark matter and dark energy are a large percentage of our universe (this is the current state of our understanding), fuel would be abundant. A time traveler would be able to gather it pretty much whenever and wherever he or she needed, so long as the collector was working properly.

I also gave it a bit of a fun spin, the sort of thing that engineer Kevin O’Connor in particular would love. I decided that the encroachment of dark energy was a byproduct of the aging of the universe (the graphs at right would seem to support that hypothesis), but that using the drive would, in a slight way, reverse it. And that would put off the eventual destruction of the universe by a few seconds or so.

How it Works (Kind of)

The concept is, essentially, that the time traveler creates a mini-worm hole at will. The ship then flies through it and enters the other universe. In Multiverse II, Levi Cavendish mentions to Maren O’Connor that it’s possible to travel to other universes by simply adjusting the radiation band being aimed at. This would include #49, the home of the best pumpkin pie in any universe.

Upshot

This bit of technology will be back. I guarantee it.

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Review – The Point is Probably Moot

Review – The Point is Probably Moot

Probably moot? With paraotria, maybe.

Background

Review – The Point is Probably Moot
The Point is Probably Moot

First of all, continuing the story of Rick Daniels and the Temporal Integrity Commission‘s fight against the Perfectionists, I wanted to cover 1980s music in particular. I had to hunt around for a good historical event to ‘correct’. Furthermore, when I found the assassination of Anwar Sadat, I decided that his restoration would cause an oil price shock that would ripple through time.

Furthermore, I was alive during the 1973 oil shocks and so the idea of something like that really ripping the fabric of time was irresistible.

Plot

First of all, as the Perfectionists make sure that Sadat lives, Otra‘s visions show a global economy in ruins.

Review – The Point is Probably Moot

Also, oddly, Alice Trent ends up being hired as a byproduct of this major change.

Further, Branch Borodin arrives in our universe as Josie, inexplicably, is also restored, just as Kevin O’Connor is finally beginning to emotionally heal and take his relationship with Yilta to the next level.  And so Kevin is torn, and has to say good-bye to Josie all over again. His exacerbated heartbreak is another bit of collateral damage that arises from the Perfectionist faction mucking around in time indiscriminately.

Music

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

Finally, I think my favorite part of this story is the moment where Kevin goes to sleep with one woman, and wakes up next to the other. That moment, I feel, becomes the big payoff for writing that series.

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Portrait of a Character – Polloria

Portrait of a Character – Polloria

Origins

For a villainess character in Reversal, I wanted someone who would be utterly ruthless, but who would also bide her time and be careful about how she’d do the deed. Enter Polloria.

Portrayal

TV Guide #1430 (flap open)
TV Guide #1430 (flap open) (Photo credit: trainman74)

Polloria is played by veteran soap actress Genie Francis. I like how this attractive actress has some versatility.

She’s also got a great Star Trek pedigree – she’s married to TNG actor Jonathan Frakes. I would have loved to have seen her somewhere on Star Trek, and she was evidently being considered for a guest spot during the second season of TNG. But for whatever reason, that didn’t happen.

Personality

Ambitious and mean, Polloria is cutthroat. She will do anything to get what she wants, and that means authorizing Dr. Baden to begin injecting Yipran with potassium, which will cut off Yipran’s dreams. Once she is found out, she still doesn’t give up, and tries to become the Mirror Yimar’s regent, and even attempts to turn Doug through a shared dream.

Relationships

Chawev

In both universes, they carry on an affair, but it’s really just to get Polloria into position so that she can become the next Calafan High Priestess. She doesn’t care for Chawev at all, only for her naked ambitions.

I haven’t decided, yet, whether she got Baden to help her with any sort of sex or relationship, or whether it was just bribery. Baden’s dream woman is Miva, but there’s nothing yet on what his relationship with Polloria was, if anything, prior to Reversal.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Polloria
Mirror Polloria

Unlike a lot of other characters, Polloria in the Mirror Universe isn’t much different from her Prime Universe counterpart. They’re both determined, driven, and utterly evil.

In both universes, Polloria is sentenced to potassium injections, which leave her dreamless and comatose. But in the alternate timeline brought about in Temper, the Mirror Polloria is temporarily freed, as Empress Hoshi has essentially opened up the prisons.

Quote

“Everyone, remember, any words you say to her, she’ll pick up on. So choose carefully and don’t say much. In fact, just let your father and I do all the talking, all right?”

“This situation cannot be sustained. But dispatching this one in public is not gonna happen; there’s no time. It’ll have to be done today. Then you’ll bring Yimar in front of the people and we’ll, we’ll take her under our wing. Nurture and guide her and tell her what to do.”

Upshot

I liked creating this villain character, and even redeeming her a bit in Temper. Will she return? Possibly for a prequel story. I’m not sure.

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Review – Legends

Review – Legends

Legends Background

Legends – As a companion piece to Voice of the Common Man, this is the story of the changing of the guard for the religious half of the Calafans‘ religious constitutional monarchy. Here, a new High Priestess is chosen by her predecessor, whereas in the other story, a new First Minister is elected by the people.

As I recall, the prompt was probably the same as the title of the piece. The idea of myths and mythology dovetailed rather nicely with the concept of the four original Calafans. These are people who are intended to have been larger than life, possibly divine, and certainly exaggerated.

Plot

Review – Legends

With Yipran nearing her death, a successor High Priestess must be selected by her, before she is unable to do so. Sharp readers will recall that a large part of the plot of Reversal was to try to jigger the succession and undermine the correct process. There is a fear that any more of a delay will result in her death before the power transfer, and the natives are afraid that things could become chaotic in the interim.

As  Calafans and humans gather, Treve and his siblings tell the legendary story/myth of Lo, Abic, Fep, and Ub, as Yipran can no longer do this. After a short period of meditation, she chooses her successor, a most unlikely woman.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

It was rather satisfying to be able to pull in this aspect of a Calafan power transfer. Plus I was able to underscore just how badly it would have been undermined in Reversal, if things hadn’t turned out the way they did.

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Portrait of a Character – Kelsey Haber

Portrait of a Character – Kelsey Haber

Origins

In response to a prompt about memory, I wrote a Star Trek fan fiction story about a crew member whose suicide sparks his fellow crew members to wonder if they ever knew him at all. Once again, I got some mileage out of being a bit of a contrarian. In Memory of Kelsey Haber put forth the premise that the only person who knew him at all, albeit just barely, was Deb Haddon.

Portrayal

Kelsey is played by Chris Hemsworth.

Portrait of a Character – Kelsey Haber
Chris Hemsworth as Kelsey Haber

I like this handsome actor. I particularly wanted a good-looking guy to be playing lonely Kelsey. After all, even handsome and pretty people can sometimes find themselves alone.

This actor also has Star Trek credentials, having played Kirk’ father, George, in the 2009 film.

Personality

A little quirky and very, very private, Kelsey’s got a secret. An IDIC-type secret. While he’s probably heterosexual (the truth is, I haven’t decided yet whether he’s actually bi), he is a cross-dresser.

Relationships

Lemnestra

This Ikaaran Science Officer is passed over by a lot of the men, during the events of Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, because she was a part of a plot to steal necessary medications. As the penultimate woman chosen, she and Kelsey are probably both settling, but the details are never provided. However, when that version of the NX-01 meets the people of the prime timeline, no children are mentioned, indicating that they likely never had any.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Kelsey Haber There are no impediments to Kelsey existing in the Mirror Universe. However, a secret such a his would be less a topic for ridicule and, more likely, a bit of leverage for an ambitious blackmailer.

He might even behave ultra-macho, in order to counteract such an image-breaker. For him to fall in love with anyone, of either gender, it would be a major trust issue. Would he be able to? It’s hard to say. He might just end up as even more of a ruthless killer than Doug is in his early years, as a cover up for his inner life which, in the Mirror, would be a definite Sign of Weakness.

Quote

“This is the part where I’m supposed to say that I’m keeping this for a friend. Where there’s this beautiful girl who’s gonna be given this gift and I haven’t wrapped it yet so it’s in the back of my closet.”

Upshot

Just like the other characters, I barely know Kelsey. And maybe that’s how it should be.

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Review – A Perfect Note

Review – A Perfect Note

Background

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about “the dying of the light”, I decided to create a story where that line would be the first line of a Shakespearean sonnet. I hadn’t written a sonnet in a while, so this proved to be an opportunity to brush up and improve this skill. This was also a chance to write an IDIC story.

Plot

Review – A Perfect Note
A Perfect Note

As Lili cleans up after dinner one night during the Xindi War, Lucas Donnelly sits at a table in the mess, trying to write a perfect note to his object of desire, Dave Constantine.

As this is going on, Ethan is talking about asking Karin to Movie Night, where Chip will be showing Night of the Living Dead, as it’s almost Halloween.

When the ship is attacked, the two men take their posts at the torpedo station, to make sure that the equipment is working perfectly. This station (in canon) is also close to the weapons locker. Ethan and Luke are crewmen, and they will be handing out the weapons if the Enterprise is boarded.

But it can be a little dull. As they stand, minds wander. Ethan tells Luke that Dave is going to Movie Night with Preston.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I particularly like how the sonnet turned out.

Before the dying of the light
All I wish is to hold you near
You would be such a wond’rous sight
Allow me to whisper in your ear

Within the vastness of deep space
Anyone can feel so small
Yet I just want to see your face
Well, I admit, that isn’t all

So far apart, and yet nearly beside
But still intrudes this nasty war
A kiss could start a wild ride
And isn’t that what starlight’s for?

Yet after all this contemplation
It’s just a no-win situation

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