Progress Report – November 2016

Progress Report – November 2016

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | QuillSo this was yet another month where I just did not have enough time or energy to post anything new. Hence, all of the works posted are older ones.

First of all, on the G & T Show forums, I started to post Temper.

And on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain. Because the stories there are getting even fewer reads and reviews, I am debating about continuing. However, I suspect this is a problem inherent in the Times of the HG Wells series, in that, if you know Daniels, you ‘get’ the stories. Yet if you don’t, then the stories fall flat.

Finally, on Wattpad, I continued to post A Long, Long Time Ago.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

November means NaNoWriMo and so I am finally getting to write The Real Hub of the Universe! I am enjoying it a great deal although I have little time these days. Hence sometimes that kind of stress turns into writer’s block.

Prep Work

I really need to go back to preparing for the next stories to be posted. And this includes, in particular, setting up more of the HG Wells series for Wattpad.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Oh my gosh, you name it.

In late October, at the G & T Show, we held our second annual ’24 Hours of G & T’ marathon. And it really wiped me out at the end – so much so that I had trouble with wakefulness for nearly the entire following week. In addition, I volunteered to be the one to get the blog posts out (yes, that was not a smart move on my part) as others were handling YouTube and distributing the prizes. Eighteen blog posts later, I still had to take care of NaNoWriMo.

And that was not all of it. The Axanar case also heated up with a number of lengthy documents, and I needed to blog about them for Semantic Shenanigans. Furthermore, this is the height of the season for the wedding blog, as more people get engaged in the last three or so months in the year than at any other time except for Valentines’ Day.

So do you like this page? Tweet it!


And you can find me on .

Review – A Gathering

Review – A Gathering

A gathering can be an occasion for all sorts of meaningful activities.

Background

So many holiday Star Trek fanfiction stories are about Christmas. I wanted one to be about Thanksgiving. And who would be more grateful than Eriecho and Saddik, the ex-convicts from Canamar Prison?

Plot

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

At the Martian sanctuary, Jack Shaw hosts a massive Thanksgiving dinner. However, more importantly, gets to spend some time with Juliet Parker. And Shaw wants everything to be perfect.

I was pleased to be able to follow their romance a little, particularly as I had only briefly mentioned her in Release.  So in A Gathering, I show just how Jack is utterly jumping the gun in their relationship, which isn’t really a relationship at all. She barely remembers him, whereas he had actually been considering putting money down on a house. But she is a generous soul, and sees that he might not be a terribly romantic guy. However, she could not possibly ask for a more loyal and invested partner. Julie, to her credit, accepts his invitation to a private dinner.

As for Eriecho, she and Sollastek make sure to meet some of the surrogate mother volunteers. And there’s also a very special guest ….

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

So I will have to get back to Jack and Julie at some point. I have not yet decided whether they work in the prime timeline. Should they? The idea is an odd one, seeing what the Kelvin timeline does to the Star Trek universe overall. However, wholly original characters such as Jack and Julie might be something that could work. Furthermore, given that the Vulcan sanctuaries are also a wholly original situation, that might also help.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

Origins

T’Pau, a canon character, is a part of the Star Trek: Enterprise Vulcan arc.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau
Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

As in canon, a young T’Pau is played by actress Kara Zediker.

I liked this portrayal a lot more than the one in the Original Series. This T’Pau has passion and fire, even as an allegedly emotion-free Vulcan.

Personality

Ruthless and efficient, T’Pau, in canon, is ready to force Captain Archer to submit to a mindmeld if he won’t go willingly. I see no reason for her to be any different in fanfiction.

Relationships

Kefris

Thrown together several times, T’Pau and Kefris bond at least a little bit over their shared fates.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – T’Pau
Portrait of a Character – T’Pau

In the Mirror, because Vulcans are an oppressed species, I write T’Pau as a slave.

This is the main place where I write T’Pau.  In Temper and in He Stays a Stranger, she is referenced as being someone who performs calculations and looks things up for the Empress. Without being named, she is one of the two Vulcans referenced (Kefris is the other) in Escape, as surviving the shuttle crash that kills the Mirror Melissa Madden and leaves Andy Miller bereft.

Quote

As of the writing of this blog post, I don’t have a quote from her!

Upshot

Mentioned peripherally but barely seen, I should do more with this character.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Loss

Review – Loss

Loss happens to all of us eventually. So my idea was about how someone who does not really have emotions would react to it. And for Commander Data, his study of emotions has not exactly been good preparation for this.

Background

Yet again, the prompt and the story have the same name.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Loss
How does Data handle the inevitable loss of Spot?

Geordi and his friends help Data deal with a significant loss.

As a result, this little story is for anyone who has ever had to bury a beloved pet. I have, several times. And that feeling never really leaves you. In addition, for many people, it can feel as awful as the death of a child.

So I originally wrote it as more or less on a lark. In addition, I am more of a dog person than a cat person and so the death of the orange tabby had about as much of an effect on me about as much as it did Data in the beginning of the story.

But later, after having written The Continuing Adventures of Porthos, I decided I kind of like Spot after all. As a result, I truly hope this little story gives her her due. Most noteworthy and surprising to me is how people like this little story. In addition, people have had deeper emotional reactions than I had originally thought would happen. To cry, over this short tale? However, if we are to believe readers’ stated reactions, that has happened, and more than once.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

Finally, the story is pretty well received wherever it goes, although that may  be at least partly due to the inclusion of Data, who a lot of people feel is a beloved character.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers

Recurrent Themes – Childcare Workers

Background

While regular ships generally don’t have children on them, generational ships most certainly do.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Childcare Workers

For all of those times when someone had to look after a kid, there are some similar threads that run through my fanfiction.

I am not including the Daranaeans here, mainly because their acts of childcare are generally a part of parenthood and not as unrelated professionals.

Appearances

Maria Elena Torres Archer

In Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, Maria Elena, daughter of Lili and José, steps in when Victoria is killed.

Beth Cutler (Mirror Universe only)

When Reversal begins, Beth has the unenviable position of babysitter to the Empress Hoshi Sato‘s lone royal brat, Jun.  Without being able to escape, Rick Daniels eventually reveals Beth would have been the first person killed by Jun.

Victoria Dietrich

Part teacher and part babysitter, Vicki cares for the children during Entanglements and The Three of Us, eventually giving some of the babysitter duties over to others.

Aidan MacKenzie (Mirror Universe only)

After the conclusion of Reversal, Aidan is tasked with siring the Empress’s second son, Kira, and is also made to become the royal babysitter. Embarrassed, catcalled, and humiliated, Aidan lays low for the most part. With Chip, he gets a small degree of revenge in Brown. But in Gilded Cage, the Empress essentially gets him back by placing him under house arrest. In the alternate timelines in Temper, and in the correct timeline in He Stays a Stranger, it’s revealed Aidan stayed on as the sitter although, as the children grew up, he became one of their only de facto parents, along with Susan. Susan is never really a sitter and instead is a skilled teacher, even in the Mirror Universe and even during alternate timelines.

Ethan Shapiro (alternate timeline only)

During Entanglements, after Ethan‘s suicide attempt, he can no longer adequately perform tactical duties. As he recovers, he becomes capable of working with the Quartermaster, Sekar Khan, and also performing some minor babysitter duties. This only happens during The Three of Us and not during Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

José Torres (alternate timeline only)

As Ethan recovers, José becomes his roommate, and takes on babysitting duties as a means of trying to attract female attention. As with Ethan Shapiro’s connection to childcare, this only happens during The Three of Us and not during Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

Upshot

Childcare is of course still needed in the future, and I’m pleased and proud that it’s a profession tackled by any gender.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Origins

The character is, of course, canon. In canon, he has a lot of trouble with women and never seems to really find anyone. His  blindness is established and is basically respected, although eventually, in the films, he gets implants. It probably made for easier storytelling.

Portrayal

Geordi La Forge
Geordi La Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As in canon, Geordi is played by actor Levar Burton.

This intelligent actor could have usually used better scripts.  I would have liked to have seen him confronting prejudice, for one thing. It’s one of the reasons I wrote Crackerjack in the first place.

Personality

Very smart and responsible, and uber-nerdy, Geordi is an affable guy who always seems to be in the friendzone.

Relationships

Geordi has canon relationships but I won’t enumerate them here.

Rosemary Parker

During the events depicted in Crackerjack, Geordi and Rosemary share a brief romance. He pays enough attention to her life to look her up, and he learns that she was arrested with Martin Luther King, Jr. after she married a man with the surname of Warren (which rather neatly makes her an ancestor of the woman I write as becoming Wesley Crusher‘s wife, Lakeisha Warren).

Theme Music

Crackerjack has a ton of period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Geordi.

Mirror Universe

It’s hard to say whether a Mirror Universe Geordi could exist at all.

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge
Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

He would be extra-smart, to be sure, but I write the MU as being leery of physical weaknesses and imperfections – and blindness would be right up there as a not so small problem.

If he could easily and seamlessly be fitted with ocular implants, perhaps as an infant, then he could survive and maybe even thrive on the other side of the pond.

Quote

“No, that’s all right. But the young lady who is with us, maybe she would like to do that. I can’t figure these people out. Some of them wouldn’t be caught dead being anywhere near me, while others are going out of their way to be kind or even charitable in their own way.”

Upshot

One great bit of fun I had was, in the Barnstorming series, to find a place for Geordi in the HayesBeckettO’DayReedMaddenDigiorno family. His place is as secure as Richard Daniels‘s. He’ll be back (he has to; he’s canon).

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Good-Bye

Review – Good-Bye

Good-bye to whom? When Gina Nolan reminisces about Michael, she can finally let go and move on with her life. As a result, so can Gabby and everyone else in her orbit. Michael’s memory remains as vital as ever but with a lot less associated horror and pain.

Background

So in response to a prompt of the same name, I decided to revisit Gina Nolan, Kittris, Freela, and Gabrielle, and let her say farewell to Michael. So for Gina, this ending is somewhat bittersweet but it also opens up other doors. If she can let Michael go, then she can fully embrace Kittris and their new life together. In addition, the endless anniversaries can finally become less important to her as the hurt recedes and her life fills with promise and possibility.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hold Your Dominion | Good-Bye | Goodbye
Hold Your Dominion

Gina Nolan can finally let go.

On the tenth anniversary of the Breen attack on Earth, widow Gina Nolan is interviewed by the local news. And she finds the courage to allow her late husband, Michael’s, memory to recede and to finally, truly, get on with her life.

Hence even for a woman who has remarried, the pull of her first husband remained strong. The hurt was still fresh, until this particular moment of reflection and release. And if Gina can heal, then maybe everyone else can as well.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

So the Hold Your Dominion series is a reflection of 9/11 and, as such,  it follows what really happened in our world. Pregnant widows rose to the occasion and became stronger than they ever thought possible. And, eventually, they made their peace with things and carried on.  Therefore, eventually, so does Gina.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Yi’imspi

Portrait of a Character – Yi’imspi

Origins

When I first began to write Yi’imspi (spoiler alert!!!), I did not picture her as being the villain of the piece. She was just another Calafan, although she was a part of the Barnstorming series. The idea was to give this beloved original species a future. But then things took a turn.

Portrayal

Portrait of a Character – Yi’imspi
Portrait of a Character – Yi’imspi

Yi’imspi is played by actress Tilda Swinton.  I really love this actress’s exotic look, which I feel shows off the Calafans well. I also feel she could convincingly be both an athlete and a model.

And a double-crossing spy.

Personality

Secretive, intelligent, and seductive, Yi’imspi is out for only one thing – to promote and improve the life of Yi’imspi. But for Section 31 and other factions trying to use her, she cares little. It doesn’t matter to her who wins this political tug of war.

Relationships

Tag Shaw

A quick hookup and nothing more, Yi’imspi and her fellow team member meet unintentionally while the team is on break and he is taking a spiritual pilgrimage to see the Great Plume of Agasoria.

But Tag (Darren) has been hitting on other female team members, including the Caitian, M’Belle. He isn’t looking for anything, and neither is she.

The third sex team member, the Imvari named Grosk, is interested, but they are sexually incompatible. She is kind to him, though. I had not conceived of her as the villain yet, so she’s pleasant there.

By the time the alternate timeline is created by her own actions, the Emperor of the Terran Empire takes a shine. Then again, he is in dire straits at the time. She only wants one thing from him, and that’s information. She doesn’t want to sleep with him.

Mirror Universe

There are no impediments to Yi’imspi existing in the Mirror.

Tilda Swinton, arrival for press conference of...
Tilda Swinton, arrival for press conference of “Derek” at the Hyatt Hotel, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I write Mirror Universe women as being as ruthless as the men, but often needing protection. After all, the percentage of women is smaller than that of men. But that’s really only true for Terrans. Is it true for Calafans?

Not necessarily.

As a double-crossing spy, she is already a lot like a Mirror Universe denizen. There might not be too much of a difference.

Quote

“I thought I saw you hitting on M’Belle. I believe I have also seen you hitting on Cilla and maybe also Adeel.”

Upshot

Villain characters are always fun to write, but this series was not well thought out when it was started. Hence her behavior has to change, almost in the middle of things. I am sure there are better ways I could have handled this character.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Alien Encounter

Review – Alien Encounter

An alien encounter would probably scare a lot of us. This one really should.

Background

For a similarly-named prompt, I wanted to explore the idea of what happens when our weirder-looking and somewhat frightening allies end up in sticky situations with us. And for many people, this particular situation is fraught with fear. Furthermore, so is this type of alien. Hence I put the two together in order to see just what would happen.

Plot

Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Alien Encounter
Alien Encounter

Keith Paris finds himself trapped in a stuck lift with an unexpected someone.

And that someone, it turns out, is a Xindi Insectoid. Eek!

The Xindi, though (this is just after the conclusion of the Xindi War), recognizes that the situation is an uncomfortable one. So in a small way, the alien provides a measure of reparations, and apologizes for its species’ actions during the war. The Xindi did not have to do that. In addition, looking back on this rather short tale, that feels like a cliché. Because why the hell should an ordinary citizen apologize for the actions of his or her government?

Excuse me, its government.

I say ‘it’ because, prior to breeding, I name Xindi as ‘the one who’ versus ‘she who’. This naming convention works for me but it is not canon.

Story Postings

Rating

This story is rated K.

Upshot

So the story is perhaps too compact and short, but I currently have no plans to update and expand it at this time. As a result, it feels way too ‘pat’. I could have expanded on it and given everyone a lot more depth. However, that is just not going to be happening.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .