Finally, on the G & T Show forums, I posted nothing as none of that has settled down yet. I have no idea whether the show will come back or change or anything of the sort. Since there have not been any forums for quite some time, it seems silly to even consider it.
See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.
I continue to work on Mettle. I already won NaNoWriMo so it was time to continue and get some finesse in there. My main goals are to edit both it and The Real Heart of the Universe, and start to get the final story in the Hub series outlined if not off the ground in 2018 (possibly for NaNoWriMo). I still don’t quite have a name for that last one. It might be something like The Real Power of the Universe although I confess I would prefer a word starting with ‘H’ for the third word in the title. That word might turn out to be ‘honor’.
Next year, I will only be writing these progress posts at the end of every quarter. It strikes me as being far easier and more interesting to have more to report. Plus I have no idea if anyone even reads these any more.
This Month’s Productivity Killers
Work and the holidays, mainly. The end of the last quarter of the year is always strange and a mixture of people goofing off plus people working like dogs to get everything done so that they can goof off.
To you, the readers. To the professionals who create this great show, and to anyone who has stumbled across my blog and my work, even if you didn’t care for it.
Thank you anyway.
But now it’s time to scale back, big time.
Because I just cannot do this anymore.
This does not mean I stop posting! Oh, no. It’s more that a monthly blog post and even the twice weekly posts are just not going to happen anymore. Not unless things change rather drastically in my life. And I would rather they did not.
So, what does this mean, really?
Life has changed for me, big time. If you have been following my journey at all, then you will have seen how I grew from someone who could not wait to fling fan fiction goodness out to the ether, to someone with writer’s block. And a published author as well. And an avid NaNoWriMo participant as well.
I also got a job in there. In January, I will have been blogging here for six years. Holy cow! I think I’ve only worked at a job once for longer than that, no lie.
So I was bound to change. And here is how things are changing.
My Blogging Plans
It will take a lot – and I mean A LOT – for me to write any more fan fiction of any sort. It’s not that I don’t care for it. I love it! But I’ve grown beyond it.
However, there is still plenty to post at both Fanfiction.net and Wattpad. I will run out of new fanfiction to post at FF.net long before I run out on Wattpad. So I estimate I will finish on FF.net this year. As for Wattpad, maybe in 2019? I’m not sure.
Hence this blog will scale back to only once every quarter for these progress updates. I’ll have more to write about per post, which should presumably be of more interest. And I will be able to save some time.
Some musings on creativity
I have written well over a million words of fan fiction (I haven’t tallied up every single story but I will). That’s a lot of words. However, writers are often told that our first million or so words are garbage. I had written perhaps a total of 100,000 before I got to Star Trek fan fiction writing, so I like to think I hit my stride right about the time 2014 or 2015 started.
This is just about when Untrustworthy was accepted for publication, so I suppose that works. I also wrote Revved Up during this period, and I revisited the Obolonks and continued and finished their story. I even went to graduate school and created a Facebook author page.
As for fan fiction, that was about the time that I mainly worked on the Barnstorming series with a few short stories in the HG Wells universe but nothing else and that’s pretty much the way it’s been ever since.
Untrustworthy isn’t really the gold standard, but it was published so there’s that. I truly think I have gotten better and I can really see the seams in that work now. One thing that has proved fascinating is that folks from Europe seem to prefer it. Perhaps I should market it there more aggressively.
The Obolonks could use an overhaul. I know that trilogy drags in spots. The Enigman Cave has been professionally edited – and that was kind of costly – so I would like to get it out there, somewhere. I may end up self-publishing that one. A big thank you to Roberta, the best editor in the multiverse.
The Real Hub of the Universe is a good series but it needs an ending. And Mettle needs an ending, too. But those are both far better. If I shop another story to publishers, it will be either Mettle or I will try for the Hub series. We’ll see.
2018 Writing Plans
I fully intend to change the way I write and submit. To that end, these are my plans although work and life might derail them, and they probably will.
Write like for NaNoWriMo every odd-numbered month, and keep a tally. These would be short stories and longer form pieces.
Write like Ray Bradbury, which is – you just get out 2,000 words or so every single day no matter how you’re feeling. Fortunately, I have a jar of writing ideas and a ton of prompts. This would, again, only be during the odd-numbered months.
Spend the even-numbered months doing all the ancillary stuff – editing, researching, querying, and promoting.
Cultivate more beta readers and work closely with them. I have a few but what I would really love is a writing partner, someone who I can trade with regularly. But those can be a lot like a marriage. It’s not easy to find a writing soulmate, as it were.
Get something else professionally edited, and that something is probably going to be Mettle if I can get it finished and beta read. If not, then I might get started on the Hub series. I’m not sure.
Get together a great 2018 NaNoWriMo book. That might turn out to be the third Hub book.
Apple Carts Were Meant to Be Upset
Yeah, about all those plans? Who knows how well I’ll be able to do any of them.
Work is reportedly going to go a lot closer to full-time. I have been enjoying only working about 20 – 25 hours per week but that may have to change.
My other issue is family stuff, and to see what happens with my elderly parents and mother in law. Of course I am hoping for the best all around.
As for my own health, it’s better than it was a few years ago.
This is where I leave you – temporarily – with possibilities. My next post will be the progress report for this month, and then nothing until the end of March. Onward and sideways. Or as characters have said:
“Let’s go steal from the nuns.” – Elise Jeffries, Mettle.
“We communicate in stories. And so I want to tell you this one.” – Marnie Shapiro, The Enigman Cave.
“Have courage, Ceilidh Aisling. Muster up those reserves from when you first left for America.” – Ceilidh O’Malley, The Real Heart of the Universe.
Untrustworthy is my first-ever published novel. Much like Reversal, it begins with a dream. And that makes perfect sense, as a dream inspired it.
As Tathrelle begins the part of her life related by the story, the reader sees flashbacks of what seems like a dream and then seems like an earlier existence. However, the older life gets cut short in favor of the new. Tathrelle’s life, instead, centers around her wife Ixalla, and the children they are about to have.
The Cabossians, a species made up by me, can have children in any combination, so long as both parties are fertile. Hence both mpreg and all varieties of marriage (same- and mixed-sex) figure in the plot.
Furthermore, Tathrelle’s new job drives a lot of the action, as she has won an election and represents the people in what obviously starts off as a military dictatorship. Also, in the background, a disembodied voice tells the people what to do. The first statements come out more as helpful hints and requests, such as to thank the public transportation driver or set the thermostat to a particular setting.
But that’s all about to change.
The inspirational song for this book is Bastille’s Pompeii. Years later, and I am still incapable of hearing the song without thinking of the book, and vice versa.
Unlike any other works in this blog (as of now), this story is for sale and is not truly ‘posted’ anywhere. Even on the NaNoWriMo site, all you can find is a short snippet.
The story is Rated T.
Without giving away more of the plot, I think the story is okay but the truth is, I have written better since then. However, it is a great first effort for publication. Furthermore, I feel it works in some ways to get me into the publishing game, but then what? I feel the book was promoted pretty well but not very well. I know it has more reviews than a lot of other indie works, but not as many as others. Sales come few and far between.
In the meantime, I write about different things. Can Untrustworthy serve as an entree for diverse works such as the space opera of The Enigman Cave, the science fiction detective stories in The Obolonk Murders and its two sequels, the Victorian urban fantasy of The Real Hub of the Universe and its two sequels, or the odd science fiction dystopia of Mettle?
Stay tuned, and thank you, as always, for your kind and unwavering support.
Portraits of Characters – The Saviors of the Vulcan Race
The Vulcan Race is saved by a lot of people. Because I have already covered Jack Shaw, Julie Parker, and Theo Carter, I won’t go into them again. Eriecho and her kind have other benefactors.
First of all, Bruce Kimura – I see Ninomiya Kazunari as him, to dovetail with both Takashi Kimura (Hoshi‘s canon husband) and Bruce Ishikawa, Deirdre Katzman‘s boyfriend and eventual husband.
Takara Kimura – I see Zhang Ziyi as her, to dovetail with Takara Sato Masterson, but also Marie Helêne Archer from the E2 timeline, Takara Kimura (Hoshi and Takashi’s daughter), and the cloned women, Trea Hoshi, Trea Aqili, and Trea Mirana.
T’Moona does not have an associated actress as she is only mentioned and never seen. I use this name (which means ‘picture’ in Hebrew) for Sybok‘s mother.
Finally, Vir’ajen – I see Colin Ford as this young Suliban boy.
Bruce Kimura, Takara Kimura, Angela Righetti, and Leah Robinson mainly work as big-hearted volunteers. With the Vulcan race near extinction, they volunteer their homes and bodies. This task would be difficult even under the best of circumstances, but teaching a child to not really have emotions when the adoptive parents do? That would be an uphill climb.
Furthermore, with Bruce and Takara raising Ambassador Sarek‘s son, Selek (a shout-out to the Animated Series), they would have to take even greater care. Their second child (for they are doing this twice) turns out to rather conveniently be Sollastek‘s. As for Leah, she’s carrying Eriecho‘s child.
The only marriage is Bruce and Takara Kimura. Angela Righetti and Leah Robinson are both single.
Because these characters come from the Eriecho series (and, therefore, the Kelvin timeline), their development differs from the prime timeline. Does this mean they can’t have counterparts? Not necessarily, although the odds seem to diminish. After all, even counterparts within the prime timeline should be rare. Also, the Kelvin/Nero/Jellyfish kick back in time probably only happened on one side of the pond. Hence the possibility falls drastically.
Angela Righetti: “I’m the only one in my area, but there are others on Proxima. We used to get together, yanno, tea and cake and complain about your swollen ankles, that kinda thing. We even had a baby shower for one girl. I forget what she really named her baby. But it wasn’t – isn’t – being used. I saw them not too long ago, and she called the kid Maureen.”
Takara Kimura: “It’s over a year. It’s worth it and I love Selek. But I wonder, you know, how is he gonna grow up? I mean, really? I mean, these kids are all supposed to have Vulcan names, but you know there are people who just give them a Vulcan name, but they’re called something else at home. And how the hell is this crowd gonna accept a Vulcan who’s used to being called Butch or Missy?”
Bruce Kimura: “And this is Selek. We came in from Lafa II. We’re on our second.”
Leah Robinson: “Well, they want to raise these kids as Vulcans. I guess I can’t really blame ‘em, except I don’t think anybody really thought it all through. I mean, in less than a decade, a few thousand kids will be separated from the only family they’ve ever known. It doesn’t seem right, as I think about it.”
To save an endangered species, a million things must happen, and that’s for non-sentient ones. But what about for a sentient species? And what about the fellowship of the Federation itself? I went with surrogate mothers and adoptive-style families because, to my mind, they made more sense than a lot of genetic engineering and artificial wombs. This also, of course, ended up as one of the drivers of Eriecho’s own story.
There is a Road originally came about as a response to an image prompt on the old Trek United. However, I do not have the rights to use that image, and Trek United is a mere shell of its former self.
The original image was a dreamy almost black and white, very shades of gray type of image. It was a wooden pathway into the woods, bending and seemingly with no ending.
The narrator is never named. She talks about her grandmother’s death from smoking, and her father’s from a transport accident. She mentions aliens and flying. Hence the time must be the future, and perhaps it is a rather deep future versus right now.
And then the narrator talks about making art. As she describes her process, the reader begins to understand that the narrator has screwed something up royally. Whether there has been an explosion or a fire, it hardly seems to matter. Because all that matters is that (spoiler alert), the narrator numbers among the dead.
This story is odd and dreamy and probably a little too spiritual for regular consumption. Also, there is just no way it could ever get a sequel or the like. Could I take it off Wattpad and submit it to an anthology? I suppose I could but, frankly, I do not think it stands as one of my better works. The piece is old and the seams do show. Still, it is an interesting premise, and perhaps I should rework it one of these days.
Time change pawns are the people caught in the temporal crossfire, when history is jiggered.
So it hardly seems worth it to go back in time without actually changing something or other. Hence this gave rise to otric theory. However, sometimes people unwittingly change due to temporal shenanigans, and that spells trouble for the overall timeline. I will not go into the real people who were affected. Instead, this blog post covers my own characters.
Times of the HG Wells
Phyllis Benson changes during a training run. She is played by Mayim Bialik.
Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii (Keira Knightley) serves as one of Rick’s conquests.
Martha Fernandes (Catalina Sandino Moreno) and Bruce Ishikawa (Ninomiya Kazunari) both change during the Temporal Integrity Commission’s own time period. Ishikawa starts off as a dog trainer and, for a while, is a sideline reporter. So does Darragh Stratton (Molly Sims), whose changes end up being the most significant.
Mrs. (no first name given) Klinghofer changes when Prague Spring ends late although she most likely dies from cancer either way. However, no one plays her.
Cameron Petraeus (John Goodman) changes during World War III.
Because this series has never really been completed (as of the writing of this blog post), the changes occur in a story not yet posted anywhere, Time Out. Furthermore, a second story, Overtime, shows that the changes Richard Daniels wrought turned out to not be quite enough to restore the timeline. However, Overtime remains unfinished, and probably will stay that way. Nearly all of these characters are aliens.
Also, a lot of the actors are duplicates of actors I had already used, probably for me to save time. For others, they seem to have been picked out of a hat. Since this series ground to a screeching halt, that serves as another symptom of burnout on my part.
Most of the Barnstorming characters had little definition (which is one of the reasons the series ended up being abandoned). Majira is a kind physician with empathic healing abilities, and M’Belle is a fluffy, sweet Caitian. Both of them are in Mack‘s inner circle. Tag is kind of a jerk a lot of the time (and he sleeps with the Calafan spy, Y’imspi). However, those are the only even partly-defined personalities in Barnstorming.
As for the Times of the HG Wells, Phyllis Benson is a soldier but is overly sensitive. Octavia is kind of flighty (she’s a teenager when Mount Vesuvius kills her). The Donnellys are a military family, and Sherry and Diane are just classmates of Windy‘s. I don’t have much on Ishikawa except that he’s a dog trainer. Darragh Stratton gets a lot more airtime and is the socialite wife of Boris Yarin. However, in several alternate timelines, she becomes an Empress Consort or the like. Mrs. Klinghofer doesn’t have a lot to her. Finally, Petraeus is just a weasel who Otra kills quickly in Multiverse II.
There are few known relationships in this mixed bag of a group. The Donnellys of course are married (and their son, Christopher, is Luke‘s ancestor). However, apart from Tag hitting on a lot of people, I didn’t give most of these characters much depth or romance. Oh, and Ishikawa dates (and eventually marries) Deirdre Katzman, and Boris Yarin and Darragh Stratton are married.
Many of these characters do not have impediments to existing in the Mirror. In fact, Phyllis Benson must, as she is an ancestor of Leah Benson. However, I have not explored any of the other family trees in detail. Since that probably won’t happen, this is what I’ve got.
Times of the HG Wells
There are only a few characters with real and decent quotes so I will only list those here.
Phyllis Benson – “God forgive us. How can we be so selfish and stupid?”
Octavia Caecilia of Pompeii – “Who are you; that you knew of this?”
Martha Fernandes –“There was heavy bombing in Teheran and Omaha today, as western forces repelled eastern incursions. In other news, a manned mission to Mars resulted in a safe landing on the red planet. Astronauts expect to walk on that world in a day or two.”
Cameron Petraeus – “Chicago’s a lot closer’n Millinocket, Twiggy. But get a bath, or you’ll be out ‘fore Augusta.”
Unfortunately, many of these characters were a good idea at the time but were not really developed. Hence I’ll do the same as for the Times of the HG Wells characters, and only quote the big ones.
Darren (Tag) Shaw – “Aren’t you supposed to be encouraging us, Coach?”
Majira – “Can you tell me how you handle losses?”
M’Belle – “It might provide some confidence, for I am sorely lacking in that area, when it comes to the water.”
Because I switched over to more original work and more or less dropped the Barnstorming series, it unfortunately suffered for that. Time-changed individuals can be a hoot to write, as a mild-mannered schoolteacher is instantly transformed into a snarling attorney. I wish I had done the Barnstorming folks more justice.
The Dish came from a dirty plate in our kitchen sink. Therefore, it proves you can get writing inspiration from just about anywhere.
Also, without a doubt, it serves as an utterly passive-aggressive study of human nature. Essentially, you first. No, you. I insist. I’m not gonna until you do it first. Etc you get the idea.
The main concept behind this plot serves to almost warn couples but also provide a bit of a primer on how to really be passive-aggressive. The narrator is never named and is only barely described as being female but there is nothing else.
Hence she remains a cypher, as does the cause of whatever the argument was initially all about. Also, the husband remains a cypher.
A plate is an odd place for inspiration, but the truth is that a plate had been sitting in our sink and I was getting annoyed by that. However, I didn’t make any moves to take care of this tiny mess. Neither did my husband. We are only talking about a few days here. The plot, of course, takes some liberties with the time, as this is fiction and not reportage.
As I noted previously, inspiration can come from nearly anywhere. And while this little story could perhaps stand some improvement, people tend to like it wherever I have posted it. For I did use it as a sample of my non-scholastic writing for a course when I was getting my Master’s.
By the way, yes, that’s really one of our dishes. And I think I was the one to rinse it off and put it into the dishwasher.
The Crusher clan does not end with Wesley. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
I mainly started with Crackerjack, as I had wanted Wesley to have a home and a loving family. In addition, I wanted him to be a lot older and so the idea of him having grandchildren made a great deal of sense. Because I have already covered Wes himself and Lakeisha Warren, I won’t repeat what I wrote here.
As in canon, Wes’s mother, Beverly Crusher, MD, is played by actress Gates McFadden. His father, Jack Crusher, does not appear, but there is a grandson with that name.
In addition, Wes and Lakeisha’s children are Tim Crusher and Ellen Crusher Farley. Ellen is divorced and has three children, Cynthia and Tara. Tim is also divorced but he has remarried; his second wife is Mei Lin and Mei Lin’s son from her first marriage is Scotty. Tad and Jack (named after the canon character) are Tim’s sons. However, they are of different races so perhaps only one of them is biologically from his first marriage. The other (I think Tad ends up older) would be, perhaps, adopted.
Sharp-eyed readers will also notice that Lakeisha’s maiden name is Warren. Yes, she is a descendant of Benjamin and Jim Warren, and she may have a connection to Rosemary Parker although I am personally a bit unclear on that.
First of all, a big part of the Crackerjack storyline concerns racism. As a result, I don’t show or describe the younger section of the Crusher clan. And that is precisely for this purpose. However, the actors I have chosen have differing races, because Tim is played by a Caucasian actor whereas Ellen is played by an African-American actress. Because Lakeisha is also of African descent, that tells me now, years later, that Tim was adopted. Also, perhaps the younger Jack is as well, for he is of African descent whereas Tad is Caucasian.
Or maybe I just messed up my casting.
The relationships are only as described above. However, both of Wesley’s children had marriages which ended in divorce. So these days, that is a not so uncommon occurrence.
So some of the Crusher clan could conceivably exist in the Mirror. In addition, very intelligent people would score well on the standard examinations, and could conceivably avoid becoming cannon fodder.
Scotty Chen: “What’s a bigot?”
Jack Crusher: “But you and Grammy have always been together!”
Mei-Lin Chen Crusher: “It’s a little warm out there.” (while that’s not very exciting, but this is the only quote I have from her)
Tad Crusher: “More story!”
Tim Crusher: “We should take a picture. It’s a great day for a family portrait.”
Cynthia Farley: “That’s really stupid. I mean, it’s like jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts about somebody. What if you’re really wrong? I know I’d be, like, totally mortified.”
Ellen Crusher Farley: “Well, there’s a little bit more, for you and Geordi changed a bit because of this experience, right?”
Tara Farley: “The Reverend thought Geordi liked Rosemary. You know, like really liked her.”
The Canadian Caper exists as my foray into writing bandfic/real person fiction.
First of all, my true mission here was to try to combat the surfeit of Wattpad band fiction, mainly centering around both One Direction and Justin Bieber. Furthermore, I was really into Postmodern Jukebox when I wrote it. Hence the entire story serves as an attempt to almost newsjack two separate genres and trends. Hence one was the bandfic trend on Wattpad, and the other was the popularity of PMJ on both YouTube and Facebook.
The PMJ Detective Agency has to solve a mystery when Puddles Pity Party, the six foot eight tall clown with the golden voice, is kidnapped.
So as should be expected, the story is chock full of music.
Furthermore, while it was a good idea at the time (I suppose), I grossly overestimated Wattpad interest in Postmodern Jukebox. However the truth is, the two sets of demographics do not really mesh that well at all. However, my attempt at trendjacking was not a completely bad idea. It would have probably done better elsewhere, but there are few places to post wholly original fiction you don’t really want to try to sell.
Finally, the story also became dated fairly quickly when, apparently, Bradlee and Anderson stopped seeing each other. Ah, well. That’s the nature of trendjacking; it never lasts.