Progress Report – September 2016

Progress Report – September 2016

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | QuillAs has been the case for a while, I did not post much new Star Trek fan fiction. I did not have the time and I was, frankly, not that inspired to do so. Instead, I have been working on my own personal brand. Plus I have been trying to make some money.

At Wattpad, I updated Clockworks and added Preparations and The Stranger.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished posting Together. I then added Broken Seal, Movie Night, Equilibrium, Ceremonial, Tumult, and Achieving Peace.

On Fanfiction.net, I finished posting Spring Thaw. I then started to post Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

Right now, I am still working on getting The Enigman Cave beta read.

Prep Work

I spent a lot of time getting The Real Hub of the Universe ready for this November.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Yet again, I am horribly overextended. And it is my own damned fault.

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Review – Beats

Review – Beats

Beats came about partly as a play on words. In addition, I wanted to fill in a gap in Eriecho’s saga. And this would be her memories of incarceration.

Background

For a prompt about dreams, I imagine my fellow Star Trek fanfiction writers thought I would write about Lili. Instead, my thoughts turned to Eriecho. Because I wanted the night of her and Saddik‘s release to bring on a nightmare, where she would, in her subconscious, show her fear of being returned to Canamar Prison. In addition, the dream would showcase just what sorts of abuses she and Saddik would have suffered. Darkness into light.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Beats
Eriecho Series

The night of their arrival on Mars brings a nightmare for Eriecho.

The idea behind the dream, which is wholly without dialogue, was to show the regimentation of prison life. It would be a festival of tramping feet and the same awful food, over and over again, mixed in with occasional gropings and other indignities.

I had not really explored what had happened to Eriecho at Canamar, but she had to have been raped, and probably repeatedly. I had already hinted at her adoptive mother, H’Shema, having probably traded sexual favors in order to get food and clothing for Eriecho. Upon Eriecho’s maturation, and H’Shema’s eventual death, the attacks on her person had to have become worse and increased in frequency.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

This story (which is also a part of Recessive) is the only exploration of Eriecho’s prison life on any day other than her last day there. I may revisit this at some time although it is certainly a troubling scenario to explore.

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Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan Yarin

Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan Yarin

Origins

I needed for Mack MacKenzie to have an attorney to help with the technical issues of owning and running a barnstorming sports team. The idea of marrying the future Boris Yarin and the past Cyril Morgan was one I could not pass up.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan Yarin
Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan Yarin

Yarin is played by actor Michael Caine.

I love this actor’s accent, his pleasantness, and that he seems to be an intelligent person. I can absolutely see him playing Dana MacKenzie’s lawyer.

Personality

Intelligent, down to earth and highly skilled, Cyril is a cross between the older Cyril and Boris.  That is, he is kindly like the elder Cyril but also, maybe just a little, nervous like Boris.

Relationships

Cyril has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to his existence in the Mirror.

Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan Yarin
Portrait of a Character – Cyril Morgan Yarin

Just like any other intelligent person, he would be ruthless and would probably rise up in the ranks pretty quickly. He could even, potentially, be a lower or even mid-level politician on the other side of the pond.

Quote

“All right. Now, you and I have full attorney-client confidentiality. I am not going to go to the authorities if you tell me something illegal is afoot, unless you or anyone else is in relatively immediate physical peril…. So if your engineer finds something that is, shall we say, off the grid, you can tell me. In fact, I would prefer it if you did, so I’d have an idea of what to expect.”

Upshot

Misty, like every other team owner, needs a lawyer to handle the messy business of player contracts. For her, an ex-convict with a ship that barely skirts legality at times, the need is even greater, and Cyril fits the bill rather neatly.

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Review – The Mundane World

Review – The Mundane World

The Mundane World brings a garden to space. In addition, I saw it as an opportunity to carry over some of Eriecho’s prison behaviors to the sanctuary on Mars. After all, prisoners often tend gardens and I wanted for Eriecho to have a similar experience. A garden could be, potentially, her only solace on Canamar. As a familiar and comforting thing, and as a memory of H’Shema, Eriecho would want to carry on and continue.

Background

For a prompt about ordinary life, I decided to make Eriecho an amateur gardener. This made some sense, as prisoners these days and in the past have certainly tended gardens, either as a part of their rehabilitation or as trusty work or even to just get better food by growing it themselves.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | The Mundane World
Eriecho Series

At the Martian sanctuary, Eriecho tends her garden.

At the next plot, the youth Sollastek does the same. When he accidentally touches her hand, she senses his attraction to her.

As a result, they trade some of their produce and agree to meet and discuss gardening, even as the Martian sanctuary’s contingent of Vulcan matrons look on disapprovingly. This is the start of true romantic affection for Eriecho, a new experience.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Sollastek did not exist before this story was written. He was a great, defiant character to introduce, an unexpected ally for Eriecho and Saddik. In addition, this story introduced the beginning of the Eriecho-Sollastek romance. I had considered a character like him in Release, but that character had no name.  The young male Vulcan in that story is not necessarily Sollastek. He does not have to be.

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Focus on the Destruction of Vulcan

Focus on the Destruction of Vulcan

The destruction of Vulcan is a huge event in the Kelvin timeline.

Focus

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Destruction of Vulcan

A focus (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.

Background

This canon concept is one of the cornerstones of the JJ Abrams universe and timeline. To change a founding species into an endangered one is a hell of an idea.

When I responded to a prompt about writing in the nuTrek universe and timeline, I had not yet seen the 2009 film and clutched the idea like a life preserver. It created an irresistible idea for me, that Vulcans would be kept in sanctuaries for their own protection, much like we put pandas into zoos today.

This also led to the idea of pulling in Vulcans from everywhere imaginable, and that led directly to the concept of grabbing convicts. Hence Eriecho, Saddik, and their clan were all developed.

Occurrences

Beginning with Release, Eriecho and Saddik are pulled from Canamar Prison where they leave H’Shema’s grave behind and are sent to Jack Shaw‘s Martian sanctuary.

A dream that night is recounted in Beats. Eriecho and Saddik are allowed to go to a Suliban helix where they meet H’Shema’s mother, L’Cultura, in Double Helix.

In The Mundane World, Eriecho meets Sollastek while gardening, and in A Gathering, they and others meet Sarek.

In Recessive, Eriecho tries to change herself to please Sollastek. Then, in Across the Universe, she meets Sybok.

At some point, I will probably write the Eriecho-Sollastek wedding.

Upshot

The story of the destruction of Vulcan ended up being the story of this character. But readers love Eriecho, so I feel it was a good way to focus this canon condition.

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Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

Origins

This character was originally going to be a regular cast member but I didn’t really have room for her. So she showed up during The Point is Probably Moot in an alternate timeline.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent
English: The actress Alice Eve at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 Italiano: L’attrice Alice Eve al San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alice is played by Star Trek: Into Darkness actress Alice Eve. Of course she has Star Trek cred from that.

Personality

Personable and polite, Alice in the regular timeline is a manners and protocols specialist. She is interviewed by the Temporal Integrity Commission as a possible companion agent for Rick Daniels. Paired together, they could conceivably cover historic state dinners, which is exactly what they end up doing.

In the alternate timeline, she is an Islamophobe.

Relationships

Alice has no known relationships. Rick does not hit on her as he is already realizing that he’s in love with Milena Chelenska.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to a Mirror Alice existing, except that all true counterparts have smaller chances of existing.

Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent
Portrait of a Character – Alice Trent

This is due to the passage of time and the addition of more generations (and, therefore, more variables).

Regardless of what she’d be doing in the Mirror Universe, it would have nothing to do with manners and fish forks.

Quote

“Why would you want to help those infidels? Are you all nonbelievers?”

Upshot

I have no place for this character, and I wish I did, as she could potentially be compelling. Maybe Carmen hires her after the events of He Stays a Stranger.

Now there’s an idea.

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Review – Recessive

Review – Recessive

Recessive grew out of not just the concept of rare blond and blue-eyed Vulcans (and humans, for that matter), but also from the concept of the rare emotional Vulcan. Of course, that is Eriecho. The term also works as a measure of her reticence.

Background

Continuing Eriecho‘s story, I had a few shorter stories which I wanted to combine into something more. This story proved to be a great vehicle for doing that. It was also a way to comment on some Vulcan snobbishness seen in the Enterprise series. I had always liked that bit of canon, as that species had often seemed, to me, to be overly perfect.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Recessive
Eriecho Series

Connections of genetics and memory bring a silver lining to a horrible tragedy.

Eriecho and Saddik have been living at the Martian sanctuary for a few months.

Jack Shaw has been doing his best to accommodate them. Eriecho even has, sort of, a beau, the youth Sollastek.  Saddik has even met someone, Valeris.

But all is not right, as snooty matrons dismiss Eriecho as being overly emotional and too much like a human. Hence Eriecho and Saddik seek solace with the only real family they can truly relate to – H’Shema’s. H’Shema, the late Suliban, served as mother to Eriecho and lover to Sollastek. Upon their release from Canamar, it makes sense to them to meet the Sulibans and see if they are amenable to becoming family.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like the interplay, and I think readers appreciate the shout out to the canon character Valeris and certainly sympathize with the put-upon Eriecho, who is only trying to make her way.

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Portrait of a Character – Trinning

Portrait of a Character – Trinning

Origins

The Daranaean Trinning started off as a teenaged boy, one of Mistra‘s children. In later stories, I realized I needed a doctor character, so he was elected. He also ended up sympathetic, a family man with a loving home life for all three of his wives.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Trinning
Stock image of Anubis

Daranaeans aren’t really ‘played’ by anyone. I see Trinning as looking a bit like a Doberman with uncropped ears. As an adult, I picture him as resembling the Egyptian god of the dead, Anubis.

He could be a rather handsome Daranaean.

Personality

Kind, intelligent, and loving, Trinning sees curing Thylacine Paramyxovirus as being his life’s work. But he comes home to a rousing, loving family life, where he does his best to treat his three wives as equally as possible. Even his third caste wife is treated with dignity and respect.

Relationships

Kathalia

Trinning’s Prime Wife is a high class Daranaean woman, and is a daughter of Acreon, their war hero. Sharp-eyed readers will remember her from Some Assembly Required, and her father from Take Back the Night.  In Some Assembly, Kathalia shows a particularly enlightened attitude by referring to her half-sister Morza (who is a secondary female) as her sister and dropping the half- prefix.

Jamae

In Some Assembly Required, this secondary confesses to her friends that she thinks Trinning smells the best of any boy. In Flight of the Bluebird, he refers to her as his first love.

Tamira

This third caste female is only seen in Flight. She is niece to lab ‘volunteer’ Fyra and mother to Erda, who is a toddler.

Mirror Universe

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

Portrait of a Character – Trinning
Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god of the dead

Because the Y Chromosome Skew is only confined to human (Terran) males, the Daranaeans would not necessarily have a population skewing heavily male (in the prime universe, their population skews heavily female, hence their caste system).

Therefore, it’s possible that he would have only one wife on the other side of the pond. Without a caste system (I have never written MU Daranaeans, but the idea is of some interest to me), he might just marry his first love, Jamae.

Quote

“The table has four legs, and none of them are any longer than the others. If they were, the table would fall. You are one of my loves, regardless of your caste.”

Upshot

When the first Daranaean stories were written, it seemed as if the men would invariably be the bad guys. Trinning, instead, is a hero.

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Review – Double Helix

Review – Double Helix

The double helix of DNA also refers to the double bond of Eriecho to both Vulcan and Suliban culture.

Background

So after posting Release, there was a call for a sequel. Readers wanted to know what had happened to Eriecho and Saddik. And I was only too glad to oblige. The characters had grown on me, too, and I wanted to give them something beyond just a bewildered start on a new life out of the hell of Canamar prison.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Eriecho Series | Double Helix
Eriecho Series

Therefore, a couple of months after arriving at the Martian sanctuary, Saddik and Eriecho visit people who are, in a way, their family.

They meet up with Enkir and his mother, L’Cultura. And these Suliban are the brother and mother, respectively, of Eriecho’s adoptive mother, H’Shema. Hence, by extension, she was also Saddik’s lover while they were in prison at Canamar. H’Shema held great importance for both of these emotionally damaged ex-convict Vulcans. All they want to do is show their appreciation but also to latch onto someone who can be family to them. Eriecho, in particular, could use some gentle taming.

Enkir is a little reserved, but L’Cultura seems overly fragile. It is Eriecho who perks her up and, ultimately, gives her a reason to go on. For L’Cultura, Eriecho gives her the opportunity to be a grandmother and to embrace the good which H’Shema has done in the universe. For a disappointing addict and convict of a daughter, to know that H’Shema did so many kindnesses and was so resourceful, is a source of great wonder to the Sulibans. And some pride as well.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I enjoyed revisiting these characters so much that they got their own series!

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