Progress Report – March 2016

Progress Report – March 2016

So March 2016 proved to be another quiet month as school, work, and the G & T Show podcast took up a lot of my time. As a result, there was no new fan fiction created during this calendar month. However, a lot of my older works were distributed to wider and wider audiences. I am grateful for the recognition I have been getting for some of these pieces.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | March 2016On Wattpad, I continued to add to Later Days, and therefore I posted Some Assembly Required; The Facts; Linfep Linfep Linfep; Consider the Lilies of the Field; In Memory of Kelsey Haber; If I Could See; Colleagues; The Pivot Point; About Nine Months; Debateand Half.

In addition, on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Ohio.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished posting Reversal. I then started  with a new compilation, In Between Days, and added An Announcement, Dear Captain, Apple, and Local Flavor.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I worked even more closely with beta readers on The Enigman Cave, getting it more polished and ready for querying. The story is almost there and I hope it does well.

Prep Work

So I continued to work on the upcoming 2016 NaNoWriMo wholly original story, The Real Hub of the Universe, getting to know my main characters better and fleshing out the secondary characters a lot more. As a result, the project is looking really good and I am happy to be getting ready to write it.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Work, school, the podcast, family stuff, you name it! I was busy or tired for much of the time, and often both. Hence, there was little new stuff to add.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Trea Hoshi

Portrait of a Character – Trea Hoshi

Origins

First just seen as an embryo, barely a few hours old, Trea Hoshi is the embodiment of the hopes of the Arisian people. As the first female conceived since the elimination of women on that world, she is meant to begin a new era where the population again becomes regularly two-gendered. Her title, which is the title of the other girls (who are identical to her), means ‘Mother of the World’. Her very existence is owed, in There’s Something About Hoshi, to the female hormones of Hoshi Sato.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Trea Hoshi
Ziyi Zhang as Trea Hoshi (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Trea Hoshi is played by actress Zhang Ziyi. I really loved the idea of using the same actress for Trea Hoshi as I had for Takara Masterson Sato Tucker, as the characters are similar in some ways. I have barely described the Arisians; they are essentially ‘forehead aliens’, with a pattern to their foreheads but otherwise little to distinguish them from humans.

Personality

Originally, I had not intended to write a sequel, called There’s Something Else About Hoshi. The opportunity presented itself when I was prompted to write to set a scene. But then there was the matter of an almost-grown Trea Hoshi herself.

She is somewhat schoolgirlish, and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by all of the attention that is continually showered on her and the other cloned girls.

Relationships

Her relationship is utterly unknown. At the end of There’s Something Else …, it’s Milit’s engagement to Trea Aquili that is announced. But there is, of course, someone for Trea Hoshi. Perhaps I’ll write that story one of these days.

Mirror Universe

I cannot see her as existing in the Mirror Universe, as her origins are dependent upon Hoshi Sato. I just do not see the Empress as having the time or interest or the sympathy for such things.

Quote

“Trea Aqili and Trea Mirana and I often speak of such things. The governmental ministers are most interested. They bring gifts, much like you have been provided with today.”

Upshot

As one of many clones, Trea Hoshi isn’t meant to be easy to know or distinguish from the other clones. The storyline might need to continue; it could say a lot about sexism, I imagine.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Seven Women

Review – Seven Women

Seven Women in memory, love, and loss.

Background

In Fortune, I established that Tommy Digiorno-Madden dies in the service of his captain. In Seven Women, I show exactly how that happens.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Seven Women
Seven Women

The story (which was written as a one a day ficlet challenge) opens with Tommy making it clear that there is a fireball coming, and it’s got his name on it.

The fire door is closed, he’s trapped, and there  is no getting out of this one. Except he says this with no fear, no regrets, and no sorrow. It is just a simple fact. Since he sees his fate, he knows he is about to die.

In order to pass what little time he has left, he has visions. But he does not see his life pass before his eyes. Rather, he sees seven influential women from his life.

Melissa Madden

The first woman he remembers, naturally, is his mother, Melissa Madden.  As he talks about her in the initial chapter, and he mentions her descent into Irumodic Syndrome dementia, he mentions Doug Beckett, too. While he recognizes that his half-brother, Joss, looks the most like Doug, it is he, Tommy, who is the most like their shared father. Because Tommy is a soldier.

Leonora Digiorno

The second woman he recalls is Norri, who he reveals he had a crush on. He remembers her teaching him to read and that, at her death, she said she saw a bridge and the doomed Kevin. And then he reveals that he’s seeing Kevin, too, and feels the brother who never had a chance is somehow there for him and is acting as a kind of spirit guide.

Cindy Morgan

His next memory is of Cindy Morgan, who he reveals (this was my own first inkling of this) was his first girlfriend. Unlike Joss and Jia, they did not work out.

Takara Masterson Sato

Fourth on his list is Takara Masterson Sato Tucker.  In Fortune, I established that they made dream contact as children, but didn’t know if they had pursued it after that. However, the character spoke to me, and so dreaming with Takara became something that Tommy had done for his entire life.

Lili O’Day

Then his next revelation is about Lili O’Day, and he remembers her not only as Doug’s wife, but also her singing Arroz con Leche to him (a scene from Temper) and making empanadas, a detail that is also from Temper.

Erika Hernandez

The sixth woman is his old boss, Erika Hernandez. While Tommy is too young for Flight of the Bluebird, he is definitely there with Erika during later voyages, and is probably a part of patrolling the Neutral Zone.

The Last Woman

I won’t reveal the seventh woman. So you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I really loved giving Tommy some dimension, as he really didn’t have much beforehand. Joss and Neil and Empy and Dec (and even Kevin) seemed to have had more screen time.

But it’s Tommy who ends up becoming the most important person, ever, to the new timeline. And no one but the reader knows.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods

Origins

As I was writing the E2 stories, one thing I wanted to have happen was for some of the relationships to not work out. One, in particular, would be a cuckolding, not found out until the birth of a child. Making matters more interesting, the child would be mixed race.

With canon character W. Woods (I gave him the first name of Walter), a rather dark-skinned man, the premise proved to be irresistible, a kind of secondary ‘three of us’, but a far from positive one.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods
Ricky Lomax as W. Woods (image is courtesy of Memory Alpha)

As in canon, Walter is played by background actor Ricky Lomax.  I don’t believe he uttered a line in the entire series (although he was seen in the background of a lot of episodes in the series).

Personality

Lonely and caught up in the moment, but ultimately decent, Walter never means to hurt Victoria.

Relationships

Diana Jones

Before he asks out any of the other women, Walter first goes after Diana, who informs him that she is a lesbian. She points him in the direction of Vicki.

Victoria Dietrich

When Walter and Vicki are dating, in The Three of Us, he expresses his joy about their relationship. However, all is not quite right, although he technically never cheats on her. Once she hears about Mara, she kicks him to the curb and ends up with Mara’s ex, Robert Slater.

Mara Brodsky

Just before beginning to date Victoria, Walter is Mara‘s affair partner while she is married to Robert. In denial, she insists, and he agrees, that she is pregnant with Robert’s child. But once the baby is born, the jig is up.

They raise Jeffrey together, and end up together. They also have a daughter, Tanya.

Mirror Universe

Walter exists in the Mirror Universe, in canon. As is the case with every even halfway decent-looking man on the ISS Defiant, Empress Hoshi sleeps with him.

Portrait of a Character – Walter Woods
Ricky Lomax as Mirror W. Woods (image is courtesy of Memory Alpha)

But he isn’t high enough in the ranks for her to have his child.

I don’t have him challenging the status quo, and probably won’t write anything like that.

Quote

“I, I, Gods. I just got caught up. The, uh, the last time, it was less than a week before Victoria and I got together for the first time. And I, yanno, I was happy. So I just kinda swept it under the rug. And I figured, well, she couldn’t be pregnant by me. It had to be your kid. Had to!

Upshot

This character, much like Patti Socorro, has been kicked around a lot.  I don’t see him in a leading role but I do like him as a kind of background character, much like the actor really has been.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Spotlight on an Original Species, the Varg-i-yeh

Spotlight on an Original Species, the Varg-i-yeh

Background

As almost a Mirror Universe version of Branch Borodin, I wanted to create an ultimate villain species which would be a race of shapeshifters who would use time to their advantage and as a means of crossing long spatial distances and, perhaps, attempting to live forever.

They would also be utterly ruthless, not caring at all about whoever got in their way.

As a counterpart to Keanu Reeves (who plays Branch), I wanted someone female who would also be able to do blank expressions, and hit upon the idea of Kristen Stewart.

Spotlight on an Original Species, the Varg-i-yeh
Kristen Stewart (image is presented for educational purposes only)
Being a shapeshifting race, the Varg-i-yeh can be nearly anything. Stewart is really more of a placeholder than anything else.

Upshot

I like that they were evil, but the truth is, I was tired of writing the series by then, and probably had them defeated a little too quickly. I could have done better by them, I know.
Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – The Decision

Review – The Decision

A decision changes Norri, Neil, and Declan’s lives the most.

Background

In May of 2206, the family gathers on Lafa II to make an important decision about Norri and Melissa‘s future.

Plot

"Barking

There’s been an accident. An elderly Leonora Digiorno has fallen, and broken her hip. Her lover, Melissa Madden, has her own issues with Irumodic Syndrome. It’s becoming obvious that Norri can no longer care for Melissa on her own. What to do?

The story opens with a crack, as Marie Patrice Beckett slaps an Andorian model across the face and then fires the blue woman. Why does this happen? It’s because the model has the nerve to point out (and this is a fact, by the way) that, “It’s not like either of them are related to you.”

For Empy, who is an often selfish and flighty character, the slap is a confirmation that, when the chips are down, she will do right and will stand with her family.

The family gathers, from various postings, including Tommy, who is with Starfleet. In order to dovetail with Fortune, Declan Reed assumes the burden of caring for the two aging lesbians. He does so voluntarily, even before anyone else can suggest it. This story takes place before he meets Rebecca Shapiro again, and so he is free and has little else going on in his life. He’s divorced from Louise Schiller and is an artist in residence at Oxford University. But this is the future. He doesn’t have to physically be present in England in order for them to call him an artist in residence.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Much like Empy’s slap, Declan volunteering evokes the ironclad bond that the family has. Everyone steps up. Everyone agrees to do something. No one is left out, and no one wants to be. At the same time, no one tries to weasel out of their responsibilities, either. May we all be cared for that way in the future.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Tina April

Portrait of a Character – Tina April

Origins

To play up just how much of a rat Rick Daniels is at the beginning of the Times of the HG Wells series, he had to have a girlfriend, who he would be cheating on. Enter Tina, who is named for the girlfriend in Quantum Leap and for canon starship captain Robert April (in fact, her father is named Bob).

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Tina April
Amy Smart as Tina April (image is provided for educational purposes only)

Tina is played by actress Amy Smart.

I wanted a lovely, younger actress who would be a bit out of Rick’s league.

Personality

This intelligent and sophisticated schoolteacher is not above using tears to try to get her way (she doesn’t succeed).

Relationships

Rick Daniels

Tina and Rick meet when Eleanor introduces her friend to her brother. It’s one of the initial drivers of Temper and is part of how the deep future part of that storyline gets kicked off. The relationship is mainly sexual; Rick breaks them up when she starts to insist on knowing where he is going and that she wants him to meet her father.

Troy Scott

During Spring Thaw, they start dating.  Tina pushes for things to become serious a lot more quickly than Troy does.

Mirror Universe

There is no reason why Tina can’t be in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Tina April
Amy Smart as the Mirror Universe Tina (image is presented for educational purposes only)

She would have to be sexier and tougher. Since I have already established the role of ship’s teacher, Tina could be a much later version of Susan Cheshire, but without the alcoholism.

Quote

“You’ve got an implanted communicator. You’re quiet about what you do – and don’t think I haven’t noticed when you’ve oh so artfully changed the subject whenever I’ve asked you anything. I know more about what you think of Plato’s Republic than I do about what you’ll do or where you’ll go when you leave this apartment.”

Upshot

This initially throwaway character provides some grounding to Rick, at least in the beginning, and a person for Eleanor to confide in. But I don’t know if she’ll be back.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Faith

Review – Faith

Faith is an exceedingly personal thing, and not just for us real people. It is for characters, as well.

Background

This story was written in response to a week-long series of seven prompts. I had wanted to explore Declan and his later life and his conversion to Judaism, and then when the first prompt was ‘in the beginning’, the telling became easier and almost imperative.

I firmly believe that ‘Faith of the Heart’ means all faiths (even questioning and the absence of same), and also all hearts. This story brings those two ideas together.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | Faith
Later Days

Declan Reed‘s conversion to Judaism, and his relationship with Rebecca Shapiro, are explored in depth. Along the way, I also touched on his relationship with Norri Digiorno, Joss Beckett and Jia Sulu, Neil Digiorno-Madden and Ines Ramirez, Marie Patrice Beckett, and Tommy Digiorno-Madden.

Declan asks for advice, he learns Hebrew, and he eventually participates in the rituals of conversion. He also spends time with the family and with Rebecca, who shows that she is just as ready, willing, and able to commit as he is. He even contacts his nasty ex-wife, Louise Schiller to tell her that he’s remarrying. A glimpse at Louise reveals a selfish, self-centered individual. In many ways, Louise is Pamela Hudson but without a heart. She ends up being very hard to take.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like how the rather disparate prompts were able to come together into a whole. I got to know a bit more about Louise Schiller, too, who I had only shown as a child before, in Saturn Rise. The story gave me the opportunity to see her more clearly, too.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Pawel Balcescu

Portrait of a Character – Pawel Balcescu

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Pawel Balcescu
Dragos Bucur as Pawel Balcescu (image is used for educational purposes only)

Milena Chelenska reveals that Pawel met Noemy at a transit camp after they were liberated from Dachau, which would put their meeting as immediately after the end of the events depicted in Day of the Dead. Time traveler Rick Daniels meets him when he (Rick) is tasked with making sure that Prague Spring, like in the original history, ends.

Portrayal

Pawel is played by Romanian actor Dragos Bucur. It was important for me for this character to be played by someone who is actually Romanian.

Personality

Bereft, shy, maybe not too intelligent, but full of heart, Pawel is utterly in love with Milena‘s younger sister, Noemy. But they are at a stalemate, still far too damaged to commit after the horrors of Dachau. Milena reveals that Pawel and his family were not Jews. Rather, they were imprisoned because his parents were Communists.

Relationships

Noemy Chelenska

Pawel’s sole known relationship is with Noemy. After Rick leaves, they marry, and eventually have two children.

Mirror Universe

There is no impediment to Pawel existing in the Mirror.

Portrait of a Character – Pawel Balcescu
Dragos Bucur as the Mirror Universe Pawel Balcescu (image is presented for educational purposes only)

I still haven’t decided whether the Holocaust actually happened in the Mirror Universe. It may seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is, I am unsure. I write Jews in the Mirror (including Leah Benson), and of course the Mirror is a rather rough place. To zig rather than zag, and for there to have not been a Holocaust, is an idea that intrigues.

Quote

“I suppose enough time has passed, and we can bury the dead once and for all.”

Upshot

I like this damaged but ultimately sensible guy who drives a milk truck and is the glue that holds the Chelenska sisters together. Pawel, much like Frank Ramirez in particular, is a man you can count on.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .