Progress Report – May 2016

Progress Report – May 2016

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | QuillMay 2016 was  yet another sparse month as I graduated from Quinnipiac University but was not quite done with class work. With a Capstone project due, and the summer to do it in, my focus understandably shifted, and it was far, far away from new fan fiction writing. Instead, I posted older works, as I have been doing for some time now.

On the G & T Show forums, I began to post Together.

On Fanfiction.net, I continued posting You Mixed-Up Siciliano.

On Wattpad, I finished posting Flight of the Bluebird and then added  Equinox, Confidence, and Education as parts of Later Days.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

As my Capstone project ate up my life, it was not easy to write much of anything outside of that. Instead, I concentrated on preparing for NaNoWriMo and performing some research.

Prep Work

As noted, I worked on some NaNoWriMo research mainly. I did spend some time getting drafts into Wattpad in order to make my life easier for posting. I just check everything one last time, and out it goes. Very convenient and easy!

This Month’s Productivity Killers

School! Graduation! Podcasting! I was pushed, hard, in directions that were rather far away from writing either wholly original work or Star Trek fan fiction.  We also went on a short vacation to Cape Cod just before my graduation, and we attended a Red Sox game later in the month.

I cannot honestly see June getting any better. I think it is going to be like this until I hand in my Capstone project, which is due on August the twelfth of this year.

In the meantime, I just need to keep my head above water. It is not easy!

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Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir

Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir

Origins

As I wrote Concord, there needed to be a way to get Malcolm back from 1776. There had to be a reason he was there in the first place.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir
Aarti Mann as Monisha Padir (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Monisha is played by actress Aarti Mann.

As is often the case with non-white characters who I write, it is important to me that they be ‘played’ by people of the correct ethnicity. I also like this lovely actress, who has good comic timing and seems to be very intelligent. I have ‘cast’ her in some of my original fiction, too.

Personality

Smart and creative, Moni is a historian. In 2285, as a way of testing the potential of time travel, she and Makan Sinthasomphone attempt to send Agent Robert Lennox to the April 1775 Battle of Lexington. But things don’t go according to plan. In part, it is her creativity that helps to put things right.

Relationships

Monisha has no known relationships, and she is not seen long enough to establish any.

Mirror Universe

There don’t seem to be significant impediments to Monisha existing in the Mirror Universe.

Portrait of a Character – Monisha Padir
Aarti Mann as Mirror Monisha (image is presented for educational purposes)

A beautiful woman in that rough place probably wouldn’t be a historian, though.

Unfortunately, the way I write Mirror Universe women is that they are often overly sexualized. Monisha probably would be, too, particularly as the study of history isn’t exactly valued there, except in the context of conferring greater glory on despots.

Quote

“I wonder what they would have seen. I hope it wasn’t just poor Agent Lennox being jettisoned into deep space with neither a ship nor an EV suit.”

Upshot

I would love to be able to pull in her and Sinthasomphone again some time, although I am unsure of when and how I would do it. But the development of reliable time travel has the potential to be a rather interesting story.

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Review – Marvels

Review – Marvels

Marvels are, a bit, relative.

Background

For a prompt about the marvels of technology, I again decided to go in a somewhat different direction and write, instead, about the marvels of a far simpler age. In this case, it was 1417. In this case, I wanted an era that was thoroughly unfamiliar and would not be tainted by thoughts of knowing about Christopher Columbus or Ferdinand and Isabella or anyone else from our history books.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Marvels
Clockworks

In 3102, Temporal Agent Richard Daniels and a historian are accidentally sent to 1417 Cordoba instead of 1616 Padua, and Rick meets Irene of Castile.

The original time period chosen, 1616 Padua, was to observe Galileo. Instead, the time portal malfunctions, and Rick and the historian are instead sent almost two hundred years earlier and some 1800 or so kilometers to the southwest.

However, they are in luck. There’s a small acting troupe. Even more amazing is the fact that there is an actress (I did not realize, until after I had released the story, that an actress during this time period and in this particular place would be nigh well impossible).

The troupe performs a kind of pastiche of play acting, slapstick, and singing. And then the townspeople pay them with food, including a chicken, that they roast over a campfire. Afterwards, Rick wastes no time in seducing the troupe’s sole actress, Irene, who tells them all about the most incredible piece of technology she has ever seen – a horizontal grinding wheel pulled by a pair of oxen. It’s a far cry from the time portal. Irene, too, is more enchanted by the tech she’s seen, whereas Rick is more blasé.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

I liked the idea of making the grinding wheel, for Irene, to be the most incredible thing, ever. Furthermore, I think we take our technology for granted at times. I revisited Irene, in The Stranger.

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Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich

Origins

The character is canon. The truth is, I forgot about him for a while. Sorry! But this was a character who was seen exactly once, and very early in the show’s lifetime. And so I created a character named Ethan, and completely forgot about this character until the E2 timeline.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich
Henri Lubatti as Ethan Novakovich (image is courtesy of Memory Alpha and is provided for educational purposes only)

As in canon, Ethan is played by actor Henri Lubatti.

The actor has found work since Enterprise, including some recurring work on 24.

Personality

Shy and a bit studious, Ethan is a bit of a plant nerd. Given the chain of command, he should be working for, first, Naomi Curtis, and then Shelby Pike, in the Botany Department. The truth is, I barely wrote him and so he is a bit of a mystery to me, too. His quote isn’t even that interesting.

Relationships

Colleen Romanov

They get together in both iterations. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Colleen reports that he is shy and she had to attract him by claiming to have found a new life form in one of the cargo bays.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Ethan existing in the Mirror Universe, although the character is not present in the canon MU episodes.

Portrait of a Character – Ethan Novakovich
Henri Lubatti as the Mirror Ethan (image is presented for educational purposes)

Shyness practically equals death in the Mirror, so he would have to be considerably more assertive. If he is with Colleen, then the circumstances of their relationship starting would be far different.

Quote

“One of the orange trees seems to be dead.”

Upshot

Should this character return? The truth is, I just can’t see it.

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Recurrent Themes – Jokers

Recurrent Themes – Jokers

Background

I like the idea of lightening up a story with some joking. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | JokersTruly, when I have written comedies, it tends to be prank wars. In particular, there are the pranks shown in Broken Seal and Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before.

Appearances

Aidan MacKenzie

In Gerbil, Aidan is a part of a prank whereby a goat statue is stolen from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and beamed to the front yard of Starfleet Headquarters. While Meredith, Judy, Liz, Michael, and Tripp are all a part of the theft (er, borrowing), it’s Aidan who brings a pistol and heats up the bolts, thereby allowing the statue to be stolen in the first place.

Chip Masterson

Probably the king of all of my joker characters, Chandler has a flair for the goofy. In Gerbil, while he gets help from Jenny, José, Derek, Josh, and Brooks, Chip is the one who actually steals the stuffed gerbil toy from Tucker’s quarters.

In Broken Seal, he and Aidan are actually innocent, but he’s terrified of losing his rank. In Brown, in the Mirror Universe, he and Aidan passively allow Empress Hoshi‘s ship to be overrun by mice. And finally, in Together, he dreams of doing standup comedy in a little Risian nightclub.

Travis Mayweather

Travis acts as Hoshi’s accomplice during Broken Seal, but he’s never the instigator.

Malcolm Reed

Along with Tripp, Malcolm pranks Hoshi by telling her that there’s been a slight transporter malfunction, and a birthmark has moved. This dovetails well with canon, as the Vanishing Point episode had her fearing that exact issue. Unlike Tucker, though, he apologizes immediately.

Hoshi Sato

Infuriated by the prank, and affected by a small spatial anomaly, Hoshi goes into full-on revenge mode, eventually switching the films at Movie Night.

Tripp Tucker

While others willingly take part in the shenanigans that go on during Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before, Tripp (along with Aidan and Chip) is one of the instigators. A big part of this is because he wants to get his stuffed gerbil, Stella, back. But for him, it’s also fun. He’s also not above giving Hoshi a hard time in Broken Seal.

Upshot

There will always be a place for comedy in my Star Trek fanfiction!

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Review – Preparations

Review – Preparations

Preparations works as a kind of ‘curtain going up’ story. When I first wrote it, it was one of the only Times of the HG Wells prequel stories.

Background

As a prelude to understanding Rick’s first seduction (Lucretia Crossman), and as a way to showcase Crystal and her talents, I decided to show a little bit about how Richard would get ready to go to Penn’s Woods.

Furthermore, the prompt was about non-officer characters. Crystal fit the bill rather neatly as she is a civilian when the story takes place. But even after her hiring, she really isn’t even an Ensign. She represents one of my ultimate outsider characters. And the truth is, Lili is one, too. I love the idea of this sort of a fish out of water being a part of Starfleet or at least the Star Trek universe. Yet that makes sense, as I would certainly be just as much of an outsider if, somehow, I were suddenly a part of the canon. Furthermore, I think most of us would be.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Preparations
Clockworks

So in early 3101, Temporal Agent Richard Daniels is prepared for his 1699 Penn’s Woods trip by Crystal Sherwood.

This is before Crystal gets a job with the Temporal Integrity Commission. Therefore, it was a good opportunity to demonstrate why he would recommend, in A Long, Long Time Ago, that she be hired for the open Quartermaster position. Crystal has talent, and it shows.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I love Crystal and I enjoyed showcasing her in her element, particularly as she pushes Rick around a little.

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Portrait of a Character – Victoria Dietrich

Portrait of a Character – Victoria Dietrich

Origins

During the E2 timeline, I wanted to showcase a bad marriage, where the husband would be cuckolded and it would not be discovered until the birth of what he thinks would be his child. But instead, the child would be of a different race. At the same time, I also needed a teacher character to handle the children. And so Victoria was born.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Victoria Dietrich
Rooney Mara as Victoria Dietrich (image is presented for educational purposes only)

Vicki is played by actress Rooney Mara.

I like a chameleon-like actress, and Mara certainly fits the bill.

Personality

A bit gossipy and maybe a little haughty, Vicki seems like a standard crew member. Until she gets caught up in the drama of the Slaters’ divorce.

Relationships

Walter Woods

During The Three of Us, they start going out. All seems well, until Mara Brodsky’s baby is found out to be Walter’s and not her husband, Robert Slater’s. Humiliated, Vicki kicks Walter out.

Robert Slater

After the divorce, the two of them find mutual comfort, although the captain warns them against rebound relationships. In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Robert and Vicki get together and Walter is bypassed in her affections completely. They are both killed in an Insectoid-Imvari raid on the ship.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Victoria existing in the Mirror.

Portrait of a Character – Victoria Dietrich
Rooney Mara as Mirror Victoria (image is presented for educational purposes only)

However, with Empress Hoshi having Aidan hire Susan, Vicki is not needed for teaching. Hence she would remain in Tactical, most likely, and might not be plain or competent enough for Hoshi to not consider her a threat and/or want her around. Perhaps she would serve on a different ship entirely.

Quote

“But it was possible. And you just figured you wouldn’t tell me that you had slept with a married woman?”

Upshot

I think this character could be rather striking in the Mirror. Perhaps I’ll revisit her, and write that someday.

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Review – Briefing

Review – Briefing

Briefing is a quickie.

Background

Since I had wanted to write a quick drabble, I pulled Rick Daniels into the Temporal Integrity Commission. However I also, potentially, wanted to attract another group of readers. Unfortunately, this did not really work. Hence I did not get the new readers I wanted.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | Briefing
Clockworks

In 3096, Richard Daniels joins the Temporal Integrity Commission as a Temporal Agent.

But in order to get him ready, he gets a bit of a background on his mission. And so the story introduces the commission. As a result, I included a smidgen of world building. The temporal agent gets a support team.

After all, who would have watched Enterprise and thought he wouldn’t have one? Consider the scene where Daniels and Jonathan Archer see a ruined deep future skyscraper? Daniels says he ate lunch in there. An enormous building, by definition, means there would have been people in it. And those people – at least some of them, at any rate – should have been supporting the temporal agent. Otherwise, how could he accomplish his missions, or even select them?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

So the story is understandably short. But I feel that it is fair to middling. Since it’s not bad, but not great, either. And certainly more time could have and should have been spent on this particular event. Perhaps, at some point, I will write more about this and will flesh out the details better. But for now, it feels like more of a snack than a meal.

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Portrait of a Character – Rex Ryan

Portrait of a Character – Rex Ryan

Origins

The character is canon, although he did not have a first name. I’m not even so sure this was a speaking part. I named the character, as yet another reference to actor Steven Culp, after the Desperate Housewives character he played, Rex Van de Camp. Rex is not named after the coach of the New York Jets.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Rex Ryan
Jason Collins as R. Ryan (Rex Ryan) (image is provided for educational purposes)

As in canon, Rex is played by actor Jason Collins. I do not know too much about the actor. It appears that he has gotten some work since the show went off the air. Good for him.

Personality

Shy and reserved, Rex is not the kind of guy who will ever be a leader or really promoted, although I can see him as getting commendations. I don’t send him on the failed missions, either.

Relationships

Meredith Porter

As The Three of Us opens, Rex is one of the men who, it seems, is going to be left out of the gene pool. But he gets an idea, and hauls out his guitar, once he learns that Meredith can sing.  She is older than him, but that doesn’t matter. They also marry during Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.

Do they get together outside of the kicks back in time? It is certainly possible, as they look at each other during the reception at the end of Everybody Knows. I like to think that, just as with Frank and Dave, the strange experience gives them the kind of mental permission they need to go ahead.

Theme Music

Rex’s first number with Meredith is Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land.

Mirror Universe

While the character does not appear in the canon Mirror Universe episodes, there is no reason why he can’t exist there.

Portrait of a Character – Rex Ryan
Jason Collins as Mirror (sort of) Rex (image is provided for educational purposes)

There is even the possibility that he could get together with Meredith. After all, Empress Hoshi doesn’t like competition from the female members of her crew, but she might be all right with the older engineer, and might not see Porter as a threat.

Quote

“Look, I’m gonna bring my guitar to the Observation Lounge every day this week. And you can listen or sing along or just give me the stink eye, whatever you want. Or you can get up and leave the room. And except for you up and leaving, I figure, it’ll be a positive sign. I’ll play, and you’ll do whatever you’re gonna do. And, well, please don’t go.”

Upshot

I like the idea of a shy, reserved tough guy who gets the girl in the end. I think Meredith and Rex will both be back at some point.

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