Progress Report – November 2015

Progress Report – November 2015

November 2015 worked out for me for continuing works. Hence there was little new stuff.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | November 2015

It was a month for continuations, and not really for starting anything new. So on Wattpad, I continued posting Fortune. In addition, on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post A Long, Long Time Ago. Finally, on the G & T Show forums, I continued to post Reversal.

November 2015 Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

Main work was done on wholly original fiction as Star Trek fanfiction took a backseat to NaNoWriMo. And I do not mind that one bit, as NaNoWriMo is very important to me. As a result of the push I got from NaNoWriMo, I wrote a book called The Enigman Cave.

Prep Work

The month began with the end of the 24 Hours of G & T and I got a chance to talk writing! It was great fun and will be on YouTube soon.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

NaNoWriMo!

Which technically isn’t a productivity killer at all; it’s more that I was productive, but it sure as heck wasn’t for fanfiction. Instead, I worked on an original science fiction book, The Enigman Cave. I ‘won’ NaNoWriMo on the 20th by making it to 50,000 words and then I continued as the story was only maybe one-half to two-thirds completed by then. This cushion will come in very handy at editing time.

Furthermore, I had schoolwork as I was looking to get as much accomplished as possible in preparation for the end of the year. I am already set to take some time off from my internship. It’s enough already. I am pretty burned out and God I want school to be done with already. Feh!

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Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Origins

Shapiro was written specifically for the Tripp Tucker end of life story, Day of the Dead.

Portrayal

Herbie is played by Jesse Eisenberg (although Herbie would be wearing glasses, this is how I see him).

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Herbie Shapiro

It’s important to me that Herbie be played by a Jewish actor. Further, I think Eisenberg could convincingly be the voice of reason during a lot of the weirder changes that occur during Day of the Dead.

Personality

Intelligent and compassionate, when Herbie sees Milena Chelenska, her sister Noemy, and Mrs. Klinghofer while liberating Dachau, he immediately decides to try to help them. It’s possible that Herbie’s actions help Milena to survive long enough to meet Richard Daniels, thereby making him vital to the integrity of the timeline.

Relationships

Herbie says he has a girl, but she is never actually mentioned by name. But he marries someone (and not necessarily her), as he is an ancestor to Ethan – and, by definition, Rebecca.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Mirror Herbie

There are no impediments to Herbie existing in the Mirror Universe. For the Mirror, prior to First Contact, life had to be even shorter, more brutal, and nastier. For Jews in the Mirror, as I write them, if Herbie was to practice his faith at all, he would have to do so in secret, much like the Mirror Universe version of Leah Benson. I doubt he would be called Herbie, either. He might even change his first name in order to fit in better (but not his last name, as he is an ancestor to the Mirror Ethan, who is one of Doug‘s kills). Perhaps he’d be Henry.

Quote

“No, that’s not true. I got a letter from my mother. She saw on the newsreel when Auschwitz was liberated, back in January. …

“Nothing much, Tony. But we had heard rumors, you know? I got a cousin who got out in ’37 and he said he heard they was burning bodies in these places. My mother just wrote that it was, it was confirmed, y’see. Arbeit macht frei. I bet that’s a big old Nazi laugh.”

Upshot

For a somewhat throwaway character, I feel Herbie packs a punch. He’s memorable, and not just for his place within the overall timeline.

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Review – It Had to Be You

Review – It Had to Be You

It Had to Be You!

Background

This short story comes from a prompt of the same name. It all hinged on emphasizing the last word in the sentence.

Plot

For the Original Series Mirror, Mirror episode, I always wondered why Janice Rand wasn’t in it.

Review – It Had To Be You
Marlena Moreau

Of course I know the real-life reason. It was that actress Grace Lee Whitney had lost her job with the show. But what about an in-universe reason?

Since it is canon that people in the Mirror often kill their superiors in order to get ahead, it makes sense that Marlena Moreau would do the same. This would be when it came to becoming the new Captain’s Woman. Because in a brutal society, that would work the best. It also worked as a retcon to make it so that Rand would have been the previous person to hold that position. Shatner and Whitney had great chemistry and that was another reason Whitney lost her job. Shatner (Kirk) was supposed to remain the bachelor captain. Hence I had another reason to make Rand the original Captain’s Woman.

However, the twist to the story was the addition of an investigator. I write Mirror Universe justice as being essentially nonexistent. So there had to be a compelling reason for an investigation into Rand’s death. I decided that she would have a connection to the Emperor. In my fan fiction, that man would be a descendant of the Mirror Tripp Tucker and Elizabeth Cutler.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

I loved putting together Moreau, Kirk, Rand, and the investigator. I should revisit this story line!
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Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker

Origins

When I first got the idea of writing Crackerjack, it was not supposed to be a romance. It was to be a story for a young (I believe he was aged 12 at the time) fan. As I developed the story, though, I realized that I wanted Geordi and Wesley to have an ally on the ground. And so Rosemary Parker was born.

Portrayal

Rosemary is played by Oscar winner Halle Berry.

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker
Halle Berry as Rosemary Parker

I don’t believe I have ever seen this beautiful and sharp actress in a period piece. I bet she’d be great.

Personality

Kind and friendly, but also trying to be independent within the confines of her time period, Rosemary is the sort of person who was probably dismissed by the people of her day. When her father angrily tells her to finish secretarial school and then find herself a husband with prospects, she knows he’s only looking out for her future. But she resents that all the same.

Relationships

Geordi LaForge

A big part of Crackerjack was putting them together. The talk freely and their candid conversations seem more relaxed than Geordi  ever had with a woman in canon.  Of course it is not meant to be, but they enjoy each others’ company, and he trusts her enough to show her his eyes (the story takes place pre-ocular implants).

Warren (first name uknown)

In Play, which has not yet been released as of the writing of this blog post, Geordi mentions Rosemary, and he says, “She, uh, after 1941, all I know is that there was a woman named Rosemary Parker Warren who was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1964. She gave her profession as schoolteacher.” Hence Rosemary weds. She has to – she’s an ancestor of Lakeisha Warren Crusher.

Theme Music

Crackerjack is loaded with period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Rosemary herself.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker
Halle Berry as Mirror Rosemary

There are no impediments to Rosemary existing in the Mirror Universe. But her circumstances would be far different. It’s highly unlikely that her father would be a preacher, as I write Mirror religion as being secretive. You don’t want to be indicating in any way that you’re not thinking of the Emperor or Empress 24/7.

Rosemary would be tougher and sexier and nowhere near as sweet. Would she find a man? Possibly; such a beautiful woman would not go unclaimed for long. As for whether it would be a love match or she would be treated well at all, that’s hard to say.

Quote

“I get it, it’s because we’re all individuals. Some people are kind, some are not, some are confused, some don’t know what to do, and still others are clumsy but they mean well. It takes all kinds, you know.”

Upshot

I was happy to bring her up a few brief times in the Barnstorming series. Rosemary gets arrested with Martin Luther King! But I’m not so sure I can bring her back for any other purposes. She’s a lovely character, but where can I put her?

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Focus – Vulcans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus on Vulcans

Vulcans are the backbone aliens of Star Trek.

Focus

A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Vulcans (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.

Vulcans – Background

Because the series that speaks to me the most is Enterprise, I have had to deal with Vulcans all along. The truth is that I always found T’Pol to be wooden. As for Spock in the Original Series, I have read far too much of him in fan fiction. I never got into Voyager, so my experience with writing Vulcans was limited and difficult. That is, until Eriecho and the Alternate Original Series. Thank you, JJ Abrams.

Occurrences

Aviri

Focus – Vulcans
Joanna Cassidy as Aviri (actually an image of the actress as T’Pol’s mother, T’Les, courtesy of Memory Alpha)

Lili is admitted to the Mars Culinary Institute based upon the strength of a meal prepared for Admissions Director Aviri.

Charles Tucker IV

Focus – Vulcans
Charles Tucker IV (actually an image of an infant Spock, from a deleted scene in Star Trek 2009)

In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. Charlie becomes captain after Jonathan Archer’s death.

Eriecho

Focus – Vulcans
Mariel Hemingway as Eriecho

My favorite Vulcan, Eriecho never learned true emotional suppression while at Canamar Prison, and only tries it in a mistaken effort to please Sollastek.

Kefris

Focus – Vulcans
Kefris (this image is from the Star Trek Online wiki)

This character is named but rarely seen, and is often paired with T’Pau when I write Mirror Universe Vulcans. In the prime universe, he is T’Pol’s eventual husband.

Lorian

Canon character Lorian is seen during the second E2 kick back in time.

Focus – Vulcans
Lorian

Saddik

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

Eriecho’s foster/adoptive father cares for her as if she were his own.

Sarek

Spock’s father is overwhelmed by the changes wrought by Nero in the JJ Abrams timeline, but he rises to the occasion and accepts his new child.

Focus – Vulcans
Ben Cross as Sarek

Sollastek

Focus – Vulcans
Sollastek (this image is from the Star Trek Online wiki)

Eriecho’s mate is a lot younger than she is and was not a good student. Leaving class early saved his life during Nero’s attack on Vulcan. He witnessed the death of Amanda Grayson.

Soval

Focus – Vulcans
Gary Graham as Soval

When Soval is a lot older, he experiences difficulty in maintaining emotional control, as I show him in Biases.

Spock

Iconic and sometimes hard to pin down, I do better with this classic character in the JJ Abrams universe than in the prime timeline.

Focus – Vulcans
Spock

Sybok

Focus – Vulcans
Sybok

Spock’s canon half-brother is redeemed in the Eriecho universe.

T’Les Elizabeth

Focus – Vulcans
T’Les Elizabeth (this is actually an image of Elizabeth Tucker from Star Trek: Enterprise)

In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. T’Les is Charlie’s twin.

T’Pau

Often paired with Kefris in the Mirror Universe, T’Pau is brought aboard Empress Hoshi‘s ship when she proves she is a genius in mathematics and physics.

Focus – Vulcans
Kara Zedicker as T’Pau

T’Pol

Focus – Vulcans
T’Pol

This canon character is easiest for me to write when I remove her emotional control.

Valeris

Saddik’s love interest also catches Sybok’s eye. In the JJ Abrams timeline, Valeris acts as a Pon Farr comforter, a kind of Vulcan sex worker.

Focus – Vulcans
Valeris

Others

E2 timeline

  • Jolene Tucker Hodgkins
  • T’Mir Ryan
  • Daphne Tucker

All of these characters are on the older version of the NX-01.

Freak School

  • Stellak – Rayna Montgomery’s love interest.
  • T’Bek – one of Rayna’s teachers (I’ve used this name in a few other places).
  • T’Mia – one of Rayna’s classmates.

Eriecho universe (JJ Abrams timeline)

  • T’Moona – in canon, Spock is the child of Sarek and a Vulcan princess. Her name is  the Hebrew word for picture.

Upshot

For a species that I often have difficulty writing, I’ve sure got a lot of instances. Maybe I’ll get this species right someday, without having to strip them of their emotional control.

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Review – That’s Not My Name

Review – That’s Not My Name

Background

This story comes from a prompt of the same name.

Plot

I had already written the sequel to this short story, It Had to be You.

Review – That's Not My Name
Marlena Moreau

The idea I had was that the Mirror Universe Jim Kirk would not necessarily have gotten together with Marlena Moreau in a conventional way. After all, it’s the Mirror.

I had also wondered why Janice Rand wasn’t shown in the Mirror (the real reason is that the actress, Grace Lee Whitney, had left the show). For an in-universe explanation, it made a lot of sense for Marlena to be Janice’s killer.

Music

The prompt (which I wrote) comes from a Ting Tings song.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

There had always been chemistry between William Shatner and Grace Lee Whitney. If Whitney had been around when the Mirror, Mirror episode had originally aired, it would not surprise me if there would have been a similar explanation about Janice.

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Portrait of a Character – Hamilton Roget

Portrait of a Character – Hamilton Roget

Origins

While writing Take Back the Night, I was struck by an idea that would be strange for Daranaeans – where are the gay sentient marsupial canids? I decided that they would exist. Further, given the female-centric skew to their population numbers, and the male-centric skew to their positions of power, I would think that gay culture would make a great deal of sense. Females would bond as they toiled almost below decks, whereas males would bond almost like the ancient Greek intelligentsia.

Except on Daranaea, no one would ever admit to same-sex attractions and relationships, given the overwhelming pressure to reproduced.

Gay Daranaeans would all be in the closet. Enter Hamilton Roget.

Portrayal

Hamilton is played by veteran soap actor Jack Wagner.

Portrait of a Character – Hamilton Roget
Jack Wagner as Hamilton Roget

This good-looking actor seems to resemble an older David Bowie more as they both have aged.

I wanted someone good-looking but older, a kind of wise counselor to Erika Hernandez. Even more than most humans, Hamilton would be appalled at how Daranaean society is run.

Personality

Aloof but very competent, Hamilton is Erika’s First Officer. He’s got a Tactical background, and somewhat of a counterpart to Malcolm after Tripp‘s death and T’Pol‘s return to Vulcan, and Aidan while Malcolm commands the USS Bluebird. As First Officer, he and Lucy Stone run scientific scanners on Daranaea, so he’s got a bit of a scientific background as well.

Relationships

Hamilton’s partner is mentioned, but not by name. That is his only known relationship.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Hamilton Roget
Jack Wagner as Mirror Hamilton

There are no impediments to Hamilton existing in the Mirror Universe.

Because he would not be in competition for the few women in that universe, he might be able to form decent relationships with men, even heterosexual men with whom he would have no hope of a romance.

That is, he would have, perhaps, a more cooperative life than most. He could rise in the ranks quickly and, like the MU Mark Stone, could find himself in a decent and even a relatively safe position of some power.

Quote

“But what about families where they can’t have children, or maybe they won’t? …

“Not everyone does, or can. My partner and me – if he and I wanted to become parents, we would adopt, or work with a surrogate mother. And we would love our child but, together, we can’t biologically have one. Are we worthless to you?”

Upshot

Intellect and IDIC are valued in Star Trek. Hamilton fits rather neatly into both areas. I should write him more.

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Review – Marbles

Review – Marbles

Marbles captures a quick moment. Blink and you’ll miss it. And the really funny thing about blog posts and SEO is that I need to write a blog post with just about three times as many words as the entire drabble. Hence if I am reiterating things, or seem to be repeating myself, that is exactly why. Sorry!

Background

This drabble comes from a prompt of the same name. As I have done many times before, I got inspiration from a play on words. Marbles led to, of course, the game pieces (toys? What would you call them? Playing pieces, maybe?) but also a marble cake. That got me to thinking about Lili. Furthermore, there is a third meaning – where you wonder if you are losing yours. Hence there is a rather subtle shout out to that as well. Because Charlotte Lilienne O’Day is presiding over barely structured chaos.

Plot

During The Three of Us,

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Three of Us | Marbles
The Three of Us

Lili – very pregnant with Madeline Suzette – bakes a marble cake for Jay‘s birthday. That version of Joss tries to help by taking the name of the cake a little too literally.

Lili’s task, of course, is to keep the steelies out of the cake so that it can remain edible.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I love giving Jay a family. As a result, this simple drabble is a bit amusing and heartwarming all at once. In addition, it fills in some blanks in his E2 life. The steely-eyed MACO commanding officer is not always all business. He has time and the inclination for love and a family as well.

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