Progress Report – December 2015

Progress Report – December 2015

December 2015 Posted Works

Progress Report – December 2015December 2105 was a fairly quiet month as I was loaded up with schoolwork and it was burning me out something fierce.

On Wattpad, I finished posting Fortune. I posted Day of the Dead. Because longer stories with short vignettes work better there, I created Later Days. This included The Truth About Doug (from Eight) and To Wish, To Want, To Desire.

On the G & T Show forums, I continued to post Reversal.

On Fanfiction.net, I continued posting A Long, Long Time Ago.

On Fictionpad, Clockworks was imported, so the following stories ended up on that site: A Lesson; Briefing; Candy; Desperation; Marvels; Pat the Bunny; Preparations; Recruitment; The Honky Tonk Angel; and Where O Where.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

In December 2015, I continued to work on The Enigman Cave. I ended up with over 118,000 words and the story was sent to three beta readers before the holidays  began.

Prep Work

My main task was to work on the Enigmans and get that book in shape for beta readers. This included eliminating a lot of the extra words which I had added at the beginning of NaNoWriMo in order to make the word count requirement. I also attempted to tighten up the prose.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Final papers! It seemed as if everyone wanted me to write one. I have also been working for a second blog, so that takes up some writing time. I spent a lot more time in front of a screen than usual, and it took a toll on my creativity and sometimes on my patience. I was very glad to finish the semester so I could relax a bit. The end is in sight at Quinnipiac, and that is very encouraging.

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Review – Calendar Turning Event #3111

Review – Calendar Turning Event #3111

Background

As the real calendar turned from 2013 to 2014, I hit upon the idea of having the Temporal Integrity Commission celebrate a bit. This celebration, because it’s the TIC, would have a bit of a twist and adventure to it.

Review – Calendar Turning Event #3111
Review – Calendar Turning Event #3111

Plot

Otra D’Angelo is throwing a new year’s party, and everyone in the TIC is invited, not just the Human Unit. Admiral Carmen Calavicci has her charges together, but Levi Cavendish has not thought ahead part enough to bring her a gift. Carmen is well aware that he has Adult ADHD and is squirrelly and has human relationship problems even on his best days. But she still feels that’s rude. When the gifts go missing during a transport, and then Carmen and Levi do as well, they have to work together in order to get back.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like this little look into the Commission but also into how difficult Levi really can be, and how Carmen makes a lot of allowances for his brilliance.

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Review – You Make Me Want to Scream

Review – You Make Me Want to Scream

Background

For a prompt of the same name, I could not get a rather earthy idea out of my head. The trick was to make it all about unexpected people.

Review – You Make Me Want to Scream
Miles and Keiko

Plot

The short story is told in first person, entirely from the perspective of a woman. She frankly talks about sex with her husband and owns up to being rather loud. She also admits to having a fondness for a certain slightly unconventional methodology. She doesn’t mention her man’s name or even the act at all.

The couple is revealed when he  says her name aloud – and tells her that her scream during orgasm woke up their baby daughter.

Oops.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

I love this little silly story. Why should the leading men and women get to have all the fun?

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Portrait of a Character – Sophie Creighton

Portrait of a Character – Sophie Creighton

Origins

Sandra Sloane needed a roommate, someone she could bounce things off. Because Sandra is a homophobic individual, it made a kind of ironic sense to make her roommate a person of color.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Sophie Creighton
Jennifer Hudson as Sophie Creighton

Sophie is played by Academy Award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.

I like this smart, multi-talented performer. I don’t have Sophie sing, though (Meredith and Rex do).

Personality

Generous and big-hearted, Sophie takes care of Sandra and Dan’s daughter, Kimmy, when nobody else will. This becomes a source of friction with Brooks, who wants Sandra to take responsibility for the child.

Relationships

Brooks Haynem

During the first E2 kick back in time, Sophie marries canon character Brooks Haynem. But when Brooks helps Chang and the others to perpetrate an attack on Patti Socorro, Sophie and Brooks divorce, which frees Brooks to hook up with Sandra Sloane.

Jobiram

After divorcing Brooks, Sophie ends up with one of the two Ikaaran men that the ship takes on board during the first E2 kick back in time.

Gary Hodgkins

In the second kick back in time, Sophie and Gary get together and have a son, Leo.

Mirror Universe

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

Portrait of a Character – Sophie Creighton
Jennifer Hudson as Mirror Sophie

I write Mirror women as having few options, and generally being treated rather poorly. If Sophie really can sing (I haven’t decided  yet), then maybe she does that. It sure beats the alternative.

With Hudson’s extraordinary pipes, Sophie could survive and even thrive in the Mirror, so long as Empress Hoshi wasn’t jealous of her popularity.

Quote

“He doesn’t even realize that my full name is just Sophie, and not Sophia. I don’t think he really gives a damn about either of us. He’s just spraying his shots, hoping to hit something, but without any aim.”

Upshot

This utility infielder type of character has served me well, but she hasn’t been seen outside of an interphases situation. Maybe that should change.

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Review – Report Card

Review – Report Card

Background

I had enjoyed writing Freak School, the original adventures of Klingon-human hybrid teenager Rayna Montgomery. As a result, I was looking to write a sequel.

Review – Report Card
The Archer Academy at Oberon

Plot

As a sequel and a bit of a complement to Freak School, Rayna’s report card and her class reports are shown. In addition, her parents receive a generalized communication from the Archer Academy at Oberon which includes a month’s worth of menus. Since this is a boarding school, and it quite literally caters to aliens, the foods on offer are canon and fanfiction alien foods mixed with human specialties.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

The idea was a decent one, albeit without much of a plot. I think execution could have been considerably better. Rayna is a fun character, but the observations of her are dry.  Stories about her do considerably better if her Valley Girl-style voice can be heard distinctly, and that simply is not the case with Report Card. Rayna deserves a far better sequel than this one.

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Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers

Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers

Background

Time travel is such a great trope that I just had to cover it. Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time TravelersThe most fun was when time travelers didn’t really want to go, but something or other swept them along anyway.

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers
Times of the HG Wells logo courtesy of Templar Sora

Unintentional time traveling has been such a fun idea to explore that I’ve gone to this well several times.

Concord

Concord is all about unintentional and intentional time travel.

Robert Lenox

Lenox, the real time traveler, is testing out a new device when Reed is accidentally swept along, and Reed’s ancestor is also displaced, as is Lenox’s own ancestor.

Malcolm Reed

Right before the start of the Xindi War, Malcolm is accidentally transported to 1775 Concord, Massachusetts.

Crackerjack

In Crackerjack,  inadvertent time travel occurs because the errant pulse shot from Empress Hoshi (and the Temper story) hits Wesley and Geordi’s shuttle.

Wesley Crusher

For Wesley, the trip to 1941 Washington, DC is a voyage that he would rather not have taken.

Geordi LaForge

For Geordi, the voyage to Washington, DC in 1941 is the occasion to meet Rosemary Parker, although he also feels the effects of the prejudice of the time.

Day of the Dead

The Traveler is to blame for Chuck McBride and Tripp Tucker traveling in time.

Chuck McBride

McBride the jokester is yanked out of Upper Bavaria, but it’s never made clear as to exactly where and when he ends up.

Tripp Tucker

Tucker’s personal temporal displacement gets him to the 1944 liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Another pesky anomaly sends Porthos forward in time, in The Continuing Adventures of Porthos.

Porthos

The NX-01‘s resident quadruped takes his  temporal displacement in stride, and makes friends with Data’s cat, Spot, although Porthos does miss Archer.

E2 Timeline

For both kicks back in time, the entire ship unwittingly travels in time.

The Entire NX-01

No one is left behind when the Enterprise is kicked back in time.

Theorizing

In Theorizing, whatever is leaping Sam Beckett around does it to Jonathan Archer, too.

Captain Jonathan Archer

Archer’s mission is to help Sam Beckett’s wife, Donna Elise, move on with her life.

Dr. Sam Beckett

Dr. Beckett’s mission is to convince the Xindi Humanoid, Degra, that the deaths of millions of humans like Lizzie Tucker should be on his conscience.

Upshot

I adore this trope so much that I am continually trying to figure out another way to shoehorn it into my fan fiction.

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Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Hayes

Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Hayes

Origins

Jay and Doug Hayes both needed a father.

Steven Culp himself had suggested that Major Hayes‘s name was either Jay or Jeremiah. By using Jay for the Major, it made sense to use Jeremiah for his father.

Portrayal

Jeremiah Hayes is played by veteran actor Steven Culp. I love the idea of using the same actor for both fathers and sons, much like Scott Bakula did in Quantum Leap.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Jeremiah Hayes
Steven Culp as Jeremiah Hayes

Rigid and somewhat militaristic in his thinking, Jeremiah orders his child or children (depends on the universe; in the prime universe, he has a daughter, Laura. Laura doesn’t exist in the Mirror Universe).

He isn’t necessarily mean, but he is emotionally unavailable. Jay and Doug both seek their father’s approval. For Laura, there is nearly nothing known about her relationship with her father.

Relationships

Lena Beckett

Jeremiah’s only known relationship is with Lena. He is, without question, the king of the castle.

Mirror Universe

In the mirror, Jeremiah is tough and he tries hard to make Doug tough. This causes Jeremiah to send his only child away to boarding school a few months before Doug has to go. The idea is to toughen Doug up, but it frightens the sensitive child. When Doug is beat up enough times, he becomes tough and unfeeling on his own, and without Jeremiah’s help. It isn’t until Doug meets Lili that he learns to open up.

Is Jeremiah a spousal abuser? There have been readers who have interpreted him that way.  My own personal jury is out. I think that in the Mirror Universe, he treats Lena fairly well. After all, I write MU women as having a tough lot in life. Lena is no exception. But it’s quite the coup for her to have become attached to such a strong man. But Jeremiah isn’t necessarily powerful, and they aren’t necessarily wealthy.

Quote

“No, he will be beaten up for it. Don’t you understand? They will tear him apart if they think they can get any sort of an advantage. Do you not get that?”

Upshot

Given how Jeremiah behaves, and what he says in the Mirror, his early life was a lot like Doug’s. Doug gets a chance to redeem himself, whereas Jeremiah never seems to. In the prime universe, he’s mainly just a rigid military man. But in the Mirror Universe, he’s another casualty.

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Review – D’Storlin

Review – D’Storlin

Background

I recall discussions about Xindi Reptilians, and how we had never seen any younger ones in canon. At the same time, there were also discussions about how well Spock and other hybrids seemed to get along in canon Star Trek society. And all I could think of was – that’s unrealistic.

Review – D'Storlin
D’Storlin

Plot

For a hybrid child, teenaged life is even more fraught with embarrassment, mood swings, and bullying. D’Storlin, a human-Xindi Reptilian hybrid, attends a primarily human school on Earth. Much like Rayna Montgomery,  he has to try to get along with the human majority. In Rayna’s case, she acted out by sleeping around at a young age, and occasionally growling. But for the most part, Rayna’s actions are peaceful ones.

Not so with D’Storlin, when this friendless, bullied child is pushed too far one day.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

When this story was originally posted on Ad Astra, readers asked me whether it was taken from real life. I consider that to be an exceptionally generous compliment. It wasn’t.

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Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day

Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day

Origins

In order to explain why Lili O’Day was so isolated in Reversal, I needed for her family to be gone. As a result, I randomly chose a house fire, at age nine, as being the cause of her orphaning. As a result, Lili needed to have parents, even briefly.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day
Nine-year-old Lili with Marie Helêne

I have no idea who this woman is. The image was taken from Flickr, and I was really looking for a fair-skinned and fair-haired girl of the right age. The woman’s image was a bonus, as was the little girl’s painted face.

If I were to cast Marie Helêne now,  I would choose a middle-aged blonde actress, possibly someone like Mary Stuart Masterson.

Personality

Smart and artistic, Marie Helêne is a potter in both universes. In the Mirror, that makes her something of an elite. In the prime universe, her artistic bent is passed along to Lili and to two of her three grandchildren, who she never sees, Declan Reed and Marie Patrice Beckett.

Relationships

Peter Thomas O’Day

Marie Helêne’s only known relationship is with Pete. They have a good relationship in both universes.

Mirror Universe

In the Mirror, Peter and Marie Helêne have a difficult life, as Pete says something he’s not supposed to, and inadvertently is branded a dissident.

Mary Stuart Masterson as Mirror Universe Marie Helêne Ducasse O’Day
Mary Stuart Masterson by David Shankbone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Mirror Universe, the house fire is deliberately set by him and Marie Helêne, as they have no other options.

Quote

“They’ll never let you come back. And the kids and me, we’ll never recover. Charlotte will end up turning tricks this afternoon, or I will! And Declan will become a thief, if he’s lucky, and he lives that long.”

Upshot

Historical circumstances make it so that this character can’t be seen much more than she already has been. But any time I write Lili remembering her childhood, Marie Helêne isn’t far behind.

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