Progress Report – March 2015

Progress Report – March 2015

The month was fairly sparse in terms of postings as I needed to concentrate on schoolwork and wholly original works.

Posted Works

QuillI added Report Card, The Black Widow, It’s a Small Universe After All, Loss, Milk, and You Make Me Want to Scream to the G & T Show forums.

In memory of Leonard Nimoy, I added a new Times of the HG Wells piece, Timeless.  In order to respond to the monthly prompt about mentors, I added a JossDr. Morgan story, Colleagues.

Progress Report – March 2015
The handprints of Leonard Nimoy in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

On Wattpad, I finished posting Intolerance, and then moved onto Barely Tolerable, Pacing, The Gift, and Voice of the Common Man. I then began spinning out Together.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I continued to work on the wholly original book, The Badge of Humanity. The end was in sight, and I was rather inspired, so a great deal of writing time and energy was devoted to that story.

Prep Work

I continued working on means for getting Untrustworthy out and in front of reviewers, trading reviews with some independent authors.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

School at Quinnipiac was the main issue. I had a lot to do even though the mid-semester break occurred in the middle of the month.
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Review – Completely Hers

Review – Completely Hers

Background

After his parents’ death, Declan first cares for an aging Melissa and Norri and then, after their deaths, he returns to Earth to visit Europe.

Review – Completely Hers
Paul Bettany as Declan Charles Reed

He goes to London and Oxford University (where he is an artist in residence, so that trip does have some actual business attached to it) and then France and the water lilies at Giverny, where Monet painted. This is where he meets Rebecca Shapiro again, and they fall in love.

Plot

There is only one tiny catch, and it is something that even Rebecca does not care about. But Declan does. She is Jewish, and he is not. And so he decides that, in order to give himself up over to her completely and without reservation, he will convert.

Review – Completely Hers
Keifer Sutherland as Tommy Digiorno-Madden

The sole plot of this drabble is Declan calling his brother, Major Thomas Digiorno-Madden, and asking if Tommy knows any rabbis. The date is May the 6th of 2213, so the occasion for the call is Tommy’s birthday. He is turning 53. There isn’t enough space in a drabble (they are supposed to be exactly 100 words long, and this one is) for them to exchange pleasantries or for Tommy to mention what he is doing or anything like that. Instead, the quickie story line has to get right down to business, and it does.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The introduction of this small plot twist (I had not planned it when I wrote Fortune) proved to be the pathway to another story, Faith. And so this drabble is, in a way, more than just a drabble.

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Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley

Origins

I wanted a hippie chick for Richard Daniels to hook up with in 1970 Kent State, and for him to meet at a protest. Enter Windy.

Portrayal

Windy is portrayed by Melanie Mayron.

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette “Windy” Bradley in 1970

I love how authentic she looks, particularly in the image I have selected, which is from a film called Girlfriends.

She is not meant to be knock out beautiful.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette Bradley Pollan, an older image that Rick sees in an alternate history

Casual and a bit cynical, Windy is the kind of woman who Rick often ends up with. She is free with her sexuality but also friendly and sympathetic. In 1970, just before the shootings at Kent State University, they talk about the possibility of him being sent to Viet Nam to fight in the war. They go to bed together having known each other for only a few hours. He leaves in the morning when the shooting starts, but their parting is at least somewhat cordial.

When he and Sheilagh Bernstein return in order to repair the issues with the timeline that they themselves have created, he has to leave a lot more abruptly, and ducks out before she wakes up. Angry at him, and at herself for being so free with her body, Windy at least pays lip service to the idea of maybe not having sex quite so quickly, and choosing her partners a bit more carefully.

She never learns that he is a time traveler.

Relationships

Windy’s hookup with Rick can hardly be called a relationship. In the alternate timeline, her married name is Pollan (named for Back to the Future‘s Michael J. Fox‘s real-life wife, Tracy Pollan), but there is nothing about her husband or whether they remain wed for life.

Theme Music

Of course Windy’s music is the Association’s Windy. The song was popular three years before 1970 and it is the kind of bouncy, optimistic song that a girl of maybe 16 – 18 years of age would like and want to use as her nickname.

Mirror Universe

There is no reason why Annette can’t exist in the Mirror Universe. But I don’t think she’d call herself Windy.

Portrait of a Character – Annette (Windy) (Pollan) Bradley
Annette in the Mirror Universe

I feel she would be like a lot of the Mirror Universe women I write – overly dependent on men for their happiness, safety, and well-being.

Quote

“Right. It all seems so sterile. If we could really see the times, you know, somehow insert ourselves into history and really be there, man, that would surely be amazing.”

Upshot

For a woman who Rick never sees again, he does remember her, and even keeps a souvenir – a pair of quarters she had saved up for her laundry.


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Review – Equilibrium

Review – Equilibrium

Background

Equilibrium. And we all know how elusive it can be. After the end of Together, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa, and Leonora are ready to start the arrangement and live their lives in tandem.

Review – Equilibrium
In Between Days

Essentially, Lili and Doug will have an open marriage and each take a lover, and Melissa and Norri will open their relationship but only Melissa will take a lover.

But the problem was that I had forgotten all about one person within the family unit and had not accounted for him or his feelings in any way – Joss.

Plot

Hence after the ordeal of Lili and Doug’s kidnapping in Together,  and in anticipation of a new little sister, Joss regresses a tiny bit. He wants his parents with him. This means some co-sleeping.

Living in a system that is significantly psionically charged, Lili and Doug (and all of the Calafans, actually), are able to share dreams as a kind of alternate secondary reality. This is a big part of what makes the extramarital arrangements work in the first place. But of course Lili and Doug are not going to expose Joss to anything untoward. Joss will not be a witness to any sort of a primal scene.

Hence they decide to share with him a small child’s most perfectly excellent dream, ever.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

From the picnic to the train ride to the old-fashioned baseball game, the dream is everything Joss and his proud parents could ever want. Therefore, I simply adore this little story.

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Inspiration – Childhood

Inspiration – Childhood

The mechanics of creation

Star Trek canon and Star Trek fan fiction are of two minds, it seems, when it comes to childhood.

Inspiration – Childhood
Star Trek film premiere at the Sydney Opera House. From left to right: Karl Urban (Leonard McCoy), Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Bryan Burk (Executive Producer), Zachary Quinto (Spock), J.J. Abrams (Producer, Director), Eric Bana (Nero), and John Cho (Sulu). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Either it is Shakespearean-level difficult, like in the JJ Abrams films, where the alternate timeline version of James T. Kirk is mistreated by his stepfather; or the child is some sort of super genius, like Wesley Crusher. There does not appear to be a place for anyone who is in between.

And that is a crying shame, as nearly everyone has a childhood that is somewhere in the middle.

My own childhood was in the middle. I was not mistreated and, while I am an intelligent person and was as a child, I was not so incredibly off the charts that I would have been considered a Mozart-style prodigy.

As the younger of two, I am more than familiar with sibling rivalry, and so I made Marie Patrice Beckett a big time proponent of it. Empy is not the youngest in the clan, but she is the only daughter and so she is a little spoiled. Hence her younger behaviors continue a bit into adulthood.

Teenaged behaviors such as getting into mild trouble and then getting out of it are reflected in Lili O’Day‘s teen years, mainly showcased in Flip. Lili is given a chance to turn her life around and she leaps at it. But, at the same time, she is overly annoyed at her hovering grandparents and their reminders, which feel like nagging to her.

Doug‘s childhood is somewhat different, but that is the essence of the Mirror Universe. In Paving Stones, Doug’s early life is rather Dickensian, but that is in keeping with my vision of the other side of the pond. Doug’s life also somewhat parallels what life was like for the young in ancient Sparta.

Upshot

Childhood is a part of everyone’s life. For those of us lucky enough to live far beyond its end, it can often serve as a prelude to our own personal futures. But Star Trek canon rarely seems to show anything other than extremes. It has been my mission to show what’s in the middle.

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Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown

Origins

This character is canon, although he was rarely seen and only had a first initial.

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
MACO Victor Brown

What is always interesting and challenging for me is to try to put some flesh and blood onto bare bones canon characters.

This character is without a doubt one of those.

Portrayal

As in canon, Victor is played by stunt performer Yoshio Iizuka.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
Yoshio Iizuka as Victor Brown

In the E2 timeline, Victor is one of the men who behaves rather badly. However, when he’s backed into a corner, he ultimately does the right thing, mainly to repair his marriage.  When accused, he (and Neil Kemper) confess to Captain Archer and are given lighter sentences than the others, in the matter of the attack on Patti Socorro.

Relationships

Cassandra Lester

Cassie is even less defined and I have very little on her, except that she is a Navigational Crewman.  They do not have children in either iteration/kick back in time.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
Mirror MACO Victor Brown

This character exists in the Mirror Universe.

There is very little about him in the Mirror, although he is injured in the attempt to capture Slar (a Gorn), an attempt that causes Ian Reed to lose an eye. As for what happens to Victor afterwards, it’s anybody’s guess.

However, given the horrific medical care that I write for the Mirror Universe, and the fact that he is a lower level crew member, he would likely be patched up quickly in order to fight another day, but with few niceties. Would Empress Hoshi have him on her ship?

Only if he could prove loyalty to her, and no loyalty to Reed. And even then, maybe not. Far as she’s concerned, he’s cannon fodder and nothing more.

Quote

Chang is saying that it’s not going to matter what we do or say, but I think it does matter. And even if it does nothing to my sentence or whatever the captain has in mind, it may make a difference with Cassie. And that’s all I really care about. I gotta repair my marriage. I am gonna break this code of silence.

Upshot

There are a ton of these extra performers who had few lines. It is often a fascinating challenge to give them some depth. I hope I’ve done Victor some justice.

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Review – Barely Tolerable

Review – Barely Tolerable

Background

After having written Intolerance (which is kind of an odd story within the original five-book In Between Days series), I wanted to add something considerably lighter that would showcase Captain Archer a bit.

Review – Barely Tolerable
In Between Days

Furthermore, he behaves like a perfect gentleman in that book, whereas some of the other men do not quite measure up as well. But I wanted it to be a case where he would look at Blair and Pamela and bemoan the fact that he absolutely would not be allowed to touch.

The idea humanizes him in a big way, I feel. After all, he is the captain, yes. But he is also a flesh and blood human being and, as such, he has desires.

Plot

The story barely has a plot and is really a lot more like a drabble. Essentially, Jonathan Archer, like all of the other single straight men on the NX-01 Enterprise, is a bit taken by both Pamela Hudson and Blair Claymore.  As a person who is unattached, there is nothing stopping him from looking. But he knows he will need to hold back, as they are both quite a bit younger than he is, and he is the captain of the ship. For him, it would probably be seen as improper.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

At the time that I wrote this story, I did not realize it, but it is truly a foreshadowing (actually, it is more of an afterword or afterthought) with respect to the E2 stories, where I have Captain Archer also looking and not touching, desiring but never actually going through with anything.

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Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole

Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole

Origins

The character is, of course, canon.

Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole
Noa Tishby as Amanda Cole

She is a MACO Corporal and, in canon, had a bit of a fling with Tripp Tucker, as they both had the destruction wrought by the Xindi prototype weapon, and Floridian childhoods, in common.

Furthermore, in canon, in the E2 episode, she and Phlox marry and have nine children.

Portrayal

As in canon, Amanda is played by Israeli actress Noa Tishby.

Personality

Brash and maybe a little pushy, Amanda is the kind of person who goes after whatever she wants. If I were writing more of a prelude to the E2 stories, I probably would have included a confrontation between her and T’Pol.  That might happen in the future; I’m not sure.

Relationships

Phlox

During the first kick back in time, in 2037, Phlox is recruited to play Santa Claus. Unbeknownst to him, the members of the crew stand in line to request gifts (the first two children haven’t been born yet, so the lineup is solely composed of adults) and Amanda is first. Surprising him, she sits on his lap, an act that he finds pleasing. Her sexual aggressiveness is what kick starts their relationship.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole
Noa Tishby as Mirror Amanda Cole

I do not believe that there are any impediments to Amanda existing in the Mirror Universe. She was not shown during either of the Star Trek: Enterprise canon Mirror Universe episodes, but that does not mean that the character was necessarily not there.

I write most Mirror Universe women as being overly sexed and beholden to men. I think Amanda would be. Here, she’s the touch MACO. There, she’s yet another sexpot, looking to snag a strong man before her looks fade, someone to protect her and her eventual children.

Quote

“Sure. Captain, I wanna tell you, I want to thank you for, for this, this opportunity. … I just, I never thought I’d become a mother.”

Upshot

This is a character that wasn’t used too much in canon, and probably should have been. I suspect that real-world issues changed that, as the show was facing cancellation during that season. If it had not been, and she had been seen a few more times, who’s to say what would have happened, and where the writers would have taken the storyline? As is the case with many things with Enterprise – Star Trek fanfiction to the rescue!

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Review – Friday Visit

Review – Friday Visit

Background

For a look at Doug and Lili‘s early married life, from even before Joss, I went with what was essentially a scene missing from Together.

Review – Friday Visit
In Between Days

In that story, Lili is already in possession of the Cuff of Lo.

But how did she get it in the first place?

Plot

Newlyweds Lili and Doug are talking in their rented home on Lafa II as the story opens, and Doug reminds Lili to take it easy and get some rest. She is pregnant and they have recently opened Reversal. Her pregnancy also isn’t as easy as it could be. She is being run ragged.

But she reminds him that they are going to visit Treve and his family. Because this is after the events of Reversal, Chawev is in prison. Yipran is out of the medical center, but is shaky. Chelben is still a little boy, and Yimar is still a fairly young tween.

When Yipran predicts that the cuff will go to Lili’s third child, Doug and Lili look at each other in some surprise. It seems as if Jeremiah Logan – Joss – would be something of a miracle child, given Lili’s age and the fact that Doug is actually a Terran and not, truly, a human. It does not seem to make any sense that there could be two more in the future. But they are polite and do not dismiss Yipran’s prediction out of hand.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked putting together a little slice of Calafan life. It seems that, often, Star Trek fan fiction does not fill in the blanks when it comes to civilian living, or to the lives of aliens. I hope I have filled in the missing pieces a bit with this story.

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