Portraits of Characters – Time Change Pawns

Portraits of Characters – Time Change Pawns

Time change pawns are the people caught in the temporal crossfire, when history is jiggered.

Eleanor Daniels, one of the time change pawns
Eleanor Daniels, one of the time change pawns (image of Cate Blanchett is provided for educational purposes only)

Origins

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.

Portrayals

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.

Christopher Donnelly  changes in Rome when Ebola virus kills him, years before that should have ever happened. He is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His parents are Gene Donnelly (Mark Harmon) and Marion Donnelly (played by Virginia Madsen). His sisters are Gail  (Emma Watson)and  Leslie (Camille Guaty). Angela Libertini is another earlier than expected Ebola victim. Ornella Muti plays her.

Diane Evans (played by Marsha Thomason) and Sherry Wilson (Christina Milian) change during the incident at Kent State.

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.

Barnstorming Series

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.

First of all, the following are Klingons: Cilla  (Ellen Pompeo),  Inshar (Chris Jericho), and Krosh (n/a).

Also, these characters are Xindi sloth: Lethar (Kyle Chandler) and Reskin (Salma Hayek).

In addition, these characters are Imvari: Grosk  (Vinny Del Negro) and Skoloth (David James Elliott).

Also, these characters are Orion: Anchel  (n/a) and Rinchak (Mark Calaway,The Undertaker).

Finally, these characters come from other species, including human:

Personalities

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.

Relationships

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.

Mirror Universe

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.

Quotes

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 todayas 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.”

Barnstorming Series

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.”

Upshot

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.

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Review – The Dish, a Passive-Aggressive Short Story

Review – The Dish

Background

The Dish - Barking Up the Muse Tree
The Dish

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.

Plot

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.

Story Postings

This story is only available on Wattpad.

Rating

The Story is Rated K.

Upshot

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.

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Portraits of Characters– The Crusher Clan

Portraits of Characters– The Crusher Clan

The Crusher clan does not end with Wesley. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Wesley Crusher of the Crusher Clan
Wesley Crusher of the Crusher Clan

Origins

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.

Portrayals

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.

The non-canon portrayals go as follows:

Personalities

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.

Relationships

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.

Mirror Universe

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.

Quotes

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.

Upshot

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Review – The Canadian Caper

Review – The Canadian Caper

Background

The Canadian Caper - Barking Up the Muse Tree
The Canadian Caper

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.

Plot

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.

Music

So as should be expected, the story is chock full of music.

The first song is Robyn Adele Anderson singing Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg’s Wiggle.

As the team assembles, the next song is Von Smith singing Magic!’s Rude as he romances his girl.

So it was great fun turning tiny Ashley Stroud into a professional kickboxer. The next song is her singing Iggy Azalea’s Fancy.

Next up, I turned Cristina Gatti into a video games aficionado and computer hacker. Here she sings Stay with Me by Sam Smith.

In addition, ecology maven Morgan James doesn’t taken any guff from the loser she’s been dating, and lets him have it with Really Don’t Care by Demi Lovato.

Once the team assembles, they’ll need disguises, so it’s off to the Thrift Shop, a cover of the (Grandpa Style) Macklemore song, as sung by Robyn Adele Anderson.

In keeping with the somewhat corny plot thread, our heroes win a singing contest in a small town when Robyn sings Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.

As they thwart their enemies, our heroes sing Ellie Goulding’s Burn.

After a brawl (hey, it’s noir fiction!), PMJ sings Lorde’s Royals.

Finally, for the last chapter, as romance blossoms and PMJ gets everything they ever wanted, Scott gets the girl, and Robyn sings Katy Perry’s Birthday.

Story Postings

This story only exists on Wattpad.

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

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.

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