Category Archives: Progress

Progress Report – June 2012

June 2012 Posted Works

June 2012 was busy.

On Ad Astra, I began by answering a weekly prompt Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | June 2012about making things worse (called “fanning the flames”). Except for Richard Daniels, I had not written too much about the back stories of the characters from Times of the HG Wells, so I decided to introduce Otra, with a small tale from her childhood, Desperation. Plus I answered a prompt about “sock drawers”, setting it in the EriechoSaddik JJ Abrams Universe. I named it The Mundane World. Also, I answered a prompt about obstacles with The Play at the Plate, a Mirror Universe story taking place after Fortune. I answered a prompt about a finish line rather literally, with a tale about a 5K race called The Medal.

Context

Also, I added a number of stories to the IBD Collection so as to place them into context, namely: A Kind of Blue, Demotion, Party on Risa, Penicillin and The Mess. These are all Reversal prequels. In addition, I added Local Flavor, the direct Reversal sequel that had until then only been available on Trek BBS. I then placed Local Flavor into context. Pacing was added in context – it is a story that takes place between Intolerance and Together. The Facts and The Play at the Plate were also added in context. Those are both post-Fortune stories. At this point, the IBD Collection is mostly up to date.

For the Ad Astra monthly challenge about former enemies working together, I prepared and submitted Wider Than the Sargasso Sea, which takes place in the post-Dominion War Gina Nolan universe.

More Sites

On Star Trek Logs, they had a small “holiday”, Andorian Week. Therefore, I wrote an Andorian story, Half. As the holiday came to a close, I added a second story, about a wholly new character, an Andorian spy. That one was called Recruitment and takes place as a prequel to the HG Wells stories.

For the Trek BBS’s monthly challenge on first contacts, I submitted A Single Step, which takes place in the movies universe, more specifically, it’s a sequel to Star Trek: First Contact.

On Trek United, I added It’s a Small Universe After All and And the Livin’ is Easy.

WIP Corner

Work on the E2 stories continues, as I finished up the third and began the fourth, which should be the last in that grouping.

Prep Work

I created an HTML version of Spring Thaw. I created an HGW Collection draft as there are now some stories that would benefit from that sort of treatment.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Looking for work really heated up at the end of May (I had a few in-person interviews, plus I wrote a paper for one opening), and the pace did not let up at the start of June. My parents visited from June 7th through the 10th, so I was busy seeing them and spending time with them.

In addition, I worked on updating and improving the design and workability of my father’s engineering consultancy website.

Progress Report – May 2012

May 2012 was a month for experimenting.

May 2012 Posted Works

This month saw several additions on Star Trek Logs as I simultaneously pulled back from posting all but the essentials at Trek BBS. The Trek BBS has, to its credit, a lot of users, so there’s the potential for a greater audience there. But I’m just not getting a lot of comments. Hence it’s discouraging and, frankly, I’ve got better uses for my time right now. For me, it makes more sense to respond to challenges there and attempt to build more of a readership. Then I may go back to posting more of my backlog there. But not right now. I finished spooling out Together and that will be it for my backlog there, as of now.

Star Trek Logs

Postings on Star Trek Logs included Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | May 2012a diverse collection of mostly stories from the In Between Day series although there were a few different items tucked in there. From the In Between Days backlog, I posted Voracious, Harvest, First Born, Apple, A Kind of Blue, Brown and Friday Visit. New In Between Days stories were The Rite, Party on Risa, Penicillin, ProtocolsPacing and Cobbled Together.

An In Between Days offshoot story was a somewhat revamped version of There’s Something About Hoshi, which now dovetails a bit better into my E2 universe. I added a quickie story filling in a missing scene from the Two Days and Two Nights canon episode, called Party on Risa. The Gina Nolan/post-Dominion War universe (Hold Your Dominion) was advanced with Good-Bye.

And I followed up It Had to Be You with That’s Not My Name, which is a prequel to It Had to Be You. I also finished Reversal and began posting Intolerance. Because there have been so many stories posted there, I will finish Intolerance and then hold off for a while so that readers can catch up a bit.

Ad Astra

On Ad Astra, I cross-posted Cobbled Together, Protocols, The Mess and Good-Bye. I posted Harvest (which was cross-posted onto Star Trek Logs, see above). The Facts was also posted, as was the continuation of the Bron-Sophra romance, entitled Truth. In response to the monthly challenge, I posted Equinox, a story that made me a bit nervous but it was well-received so I’m pleased.

I also added And the Livin’ is Easy and First Born in context, and began to spool out You Mixed-Up Siciliano. My response to the monthly challenge (about former enemies working together) is in the Gina Nolan universe and is underway. It’s called Wider than the Sargasso Sea.

More Postings

Furthermore, on Fanfiction.net, I finished spooling out Intolerance and began to post Together. Once Together is finished, I’ll probably fill in some more of my K- and K+-rated backlog before tackling Temper.

In addition, on Trek United, I added Brown as a part of releasing more of my backlog there. Publishing there is more difficult because of the way their posting software is configured. This can create frustration, which is why I rarely post longer material there these days.

On TrekBBS, I decided to respond to their challenge about civilians with Local Flavor. The story is about Doug and Lili’s first day on Lafa II.

In addition, Kirok of L’Stok has a draft of Flight of the Bluebird and is planning to release it on Issuu with the remainder of the current Daranaean stories, except for Hearts in Time.

WIP Corner

My works in progress include the E2 stories. I am close to being finished with the third of four books. Plus there’s various amounts of tweaking that go on in the earlier books, in order to make them work better.

Prep Work

I’ve worked on my website and on cleaning up stories for publication on sites like Trek BBS and Fanfiction.net. However, I am a little worried about Fortune as it contains quotations from the earlier books and some of those may have changed.

I formatted You Mixed-Up Siciliano for HTML. I also created a PG version of Temper.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

The search for work, as is to be expected, continues to cut productivity time. In addition, the blogs were down for a while. Hence I was unable to draft blog entries as far in advance as I like to. I have the time (and inclination to) now, though. Furthermore, my husband and I went to Cape Cod for our 20th wedding anniversary. So we spent time offline, plus there was only one computer between us (my laptop).

Progress Report – April 2012

April 2012 Posted Works

April 2012 was another busy month.

I continued spinning out Reversal on Star Trek Logs. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | April 2012

I added Broken Seal to Trek United, as I hadn’t put anything out there in a while.  Also, I updated There’s Something About Hoshi and posted it to Star Trek Logs. In addition, I started spinning out Together on Trek BBS and Ohio on Ad Astra. I also created The Facts on Ad Astra and The Rite on Star Trek Logs as a response to its first-ever prompt (I am running the prompts there, at least for now). Both of the latter two were ficlets brought about in order to flesh out some of the scenes in Fortune.

WIP Corner

I keep writing the E2 stories. And I continue to find points to stress or loose ends to tie up and some of those will end up in the fourth book, rather than the third one in that series. I think this will make it a better and more balanced series overall.

Plus I worked a lot on a Daranaean story called Flight of the Bluebird. I didn’t have as coherent a plan for it as I should have, but Kirok of L’Stok wants to put the Daranaean stories onto Issuu. Hence I had to get cracking, so the E2 stories were set aside in favor of finishing up Bluebird.

At this point, I also have my response to the Ad Astra prompt about sacrifices. The title is Equinox. It covers several scenes left out of Fortune.

Prep Work

I spent a lot of time making the website a lot more coherent and getting more of the In Between Days stories into correct chronological order.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Looking for work continues to cramp my writing style, which I suppose is amusing but is also a tad serious. It can be difficult to get inspiration if you’re worried about continuing income.

Ad Astra’s forums were also down for a bit. That’s generally better for productivity for me, but I do miss the interactions, not to mention the prompts.

Progress Report – March 2012

March 2012 was productive.

March 2012 Posted Works

I began the month by answering a prompt on Ad Astra about seasons. I had thought a bit about all four seasons but I was stuck a little on spring and autumn. But I liked winter, so I posted A Hazy Shade, which is a reference to the old Simon and Garfunkel song,  A Hazy Shade of Winter. That one will go in context at some point. I also added a story about the summer, called And the Livin’ is Easy. That, too, will get some context.

I also started to post A Long, Long Time Ago on Ad Astra. This is really the start of the Times of the HG Wells series, although I had also written a prequel, First Born, which I posted on Ad Astra, Trek BBS and Trek United. On the former two forae, I entered it into their monthly challenges. It did not win either challenge, but did receive some votes. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | March 2012

Furthermore, I finished Reversal on Trek BBS and also spooled out Intolerance. Reversal and Intolerance have both gotten some very nice comments there, and a lot of views.

More Postings

The same has happened on Fanfiction.net, e. g. I’ve finished Reversal and am beginning Intolerance there. As on Trek BBS, these are the T-rated versions of the stories.

I also created responses to monthly challenges and posted them. These stories are A Kind of Blue (for Ad Astra’s Bring the Sunshine challenge) and The Black Widow (for the Trek BBS What if …? challenge). As is perhaps obvious, the two works took me in rather dissimilar directions.

Furthermore, I joined the Star Trek Logs forum and began adding fan fiction almost immediately. The reception has been good so far. I have added Voracious, Onions, Letters from Home, Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions, The Light , Waiting, There’s Something About Hoshi and Reversal (in progress) this month.

WIP Corner

In addition, I continue to draft the E2 stories. I am in the midst of the third book, and there should be four. It’s threatening to become about the same size as the Wells series. I have had a lot to say, and the characters have taken me in a lot of unexpected directions, for which I am grateful. So I am now beginning to circle back to some of the initial points that I had wanted to cover. But those chapters are rather long, and take a lot of time to write.

Prep Work

Prep work consisted of creating a bowdlerized version of Together and an HTML-coded version of Ohio.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Looking for work continues to be both a boon to my writing (no real work distractions) and a hindrance (being home all day, I hear every little noise, plus of course I have to look for a job).

I also switched to Internet Explorer 9. While that fixed problems I was having with Flash and Java, it created other problems. So now I can no longer post in the Ad Astra archive, or put reviews there, or respond to reviews. Hence I use Chrome whenever I go to the Ad Astra archive. This eats up time.

Furthermore, my parents visited for a few days, in order to watch my husband and me run the first 5K of the season. Fun but of course, there isn’t a lot of computer time when we’ve got company.

More Distractions

Joining a different forum meant more time spent posting stories (and posting so as to get to know the other people on that board) rather than creating. Plus I overhauled my website a bit in order to better handle links to sites where my work is posted. However, I believe that the changes I’ve made in the website have made it easier to work on when I join more forums. One thing I have to remember is that not every story needs to be posted everywhere.

Progress Report – February 2012

February 2012 actually began on January 31st, in the sense that that’s when I last put out a progress report. And it’s ending on the 28th, so, well, welcome to jespah time, I suppose.

February 2012 Posted Works

The first new work was a response to the Ad Astra weekly free write about making a first impression, and is called Voracious. I have a more expanded view of that story in mind, but that will be presented at some later date, if at all. I then produced two separate ficlets for the Kill Your Darlings prompt. The first one is called Remembrance. The second, much darker one, is called One Last Gift.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | February 2012

Next I worked on the monthly challenge. This is a gauntlet that I had thrown down, about decisions and how they affect timelines. The natural subject, for me, was the Temporal Integrity Commission and the Empress Hoshi Sato. It was a great opportunity to better bridge the In Between Days and Times of the HG Wells series. Hence I imagine it must look as if I had had the idea in mind when I instigated the challenge, but I truly did not. I just tossed out the challenge and then … hey … I’ll write about that. That one is called First Born. And I ended up being able to post it on Trek BBS for their challenge, too.

Context

I also gathered up In Between Days weekly free writes to place them into the archive with some chronological coherence. I put them hereVoracious, Onions, Letters from Home, Waiting, Apple, Brown, Friday Visit, The Gift, Movie Night, All You Need is Love, Biases, Debate, Hearts in Time and Remembrance have been added. Plus longer stories like Paving Stones, The Light, Reversal, Intolerance, Together, Broken Seal, The Cure is Worse than the Disease, Take Back the Night, Temper, Coveted Commodity, Temptation, Some Assembly Required and Fortune have been linked to, so as to provide better context. So I like this idea and will probably do something similar once I have more free writes in my other series, such as the Daranaean Emergence Series or Times of the HG Wells.

More Writing

I also added a new chapter to Hold Your Dominion, called Stage Eight – Rituals. I hadn’t added to that one for quite a while, but the idea of Valentine’s’ Day appealed to me.

Speaking of Valentine’s’ Day, the prompt on February 14th was to do crossovers, so trekfan and I collaborated on what turned out to be a little time traveling dating service story called Hearts in Time. The whole thing emerged in perhaps three hours, which included chatting, editing and lunch. I love how well it all worked out. I suspect that that dating service could be conjured up again for another crossover, either wholly within my own universes or with another writer again. trekfan was a joy to work with.

For the altered states prompt, I posted an E2 ficlet called Fear.

Challenges and the Like

On Trek BBS, I received four votes for Coveted Commodity, for their January challenge. This was not enough to win or even place, but I was glad for the recognition just the same, as it was my first time responding to a challenge there. I continued spinning out the PG-13 version of Reversal. I also added First Born as a response to their February challenge.

On TrekUnited, I added Paving Stones to their fan fiction section.

On FanFiction.net, I continued adding to the PG-13 version of Reversal.

TrekEmpire has closed, so I will migrate my few story topics (these were already posted on Ad Astra) to TrekUnited.

WIP Corner

The E2 stories continue apace. I’m still not happy enough with them to start spinning them out on Trek United, but I’m getting there. There’s a lot of research and a lot of interweaving between canon and my fanfiction, so it’s somewhat complex. My inspiration level for them has improved, too, but I also want to make sure I’m not writing myself into a corner. Right now I am cooking along in the middle third or so of the second of three planned books.

One idea that is also kicking around a little is to gather up all of the mirror universe stories I have, of any era, much like the IBD Collection, in order to show the progression. The tentative title is Hall of Mirrors.

Another idea kicking around is a redux of These Are the Voyages. A lot of people hated the TNG holodeck framing device used on TATV, and I am one of them. I just feel that it detracted from the storytelling. Hence I have my own ideas. They are in a very rudimentary stage, and it is looking like it will be a multichapter work. I am holding off, for now, in favor of the E2 stories as they came first. Plus I am rather inspired in that area right now. But this story (which is right now just called TATV Redux although I will undoubtedly change that) is also in my head.

Prep Work

I hunted around for a cover for Coveted Commodity, and I found an image I really liked. Fortunately, the ENT covers I have are pretty easy. There are top and bottom pieces that I just reuse, and then I put the actual image in the middle. Hence that one is all ready to go.

I also found some great pictures for Daranaean stories, and now have Vidam as an adult and Trinning as a young boy.

Plus I created a PG-13 version of Intolerance (it was easier than I had feared), so I am ready to post it on Trek BBS and Fanfiction.net once the PG-13 version of Reversal is finished in both places.

I spent some time on blog housekeeping and updating, including adding quotes to the side bar.

For the E2 stories, I began to find images that I should be able to cobble together into an image of a malostrea, although I might just attempt to draw one. That’s a preview – the name is Latin for evil oyster.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

My husband was sick with a monster cold and so, of course, I eventually was as well. Otherwise, the only issues were with being at home and hearing too much of the telephone and standard neighborhood noises. I was also looking for work, so that took up a good chunk of my time, too.

Progress Report – January 2012

January 2012! This is the first progress report, but I will only cover this month. Going into the gory details of everything that I’ve posted or drafted up until now would just be tedious. It can always be found through my own site.

January 2012 Posted Works

On Ad Astra, I posted nearly all of Fortune (except for the Afterword, plus a few chapters from before the start of the new year).

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel |  Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions | January 2012
Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions

Plus I posted the response to the Pathways challenge, Paving Stones Made from Good Intentions. I was pleasantly shocked to eke out a come from behind victory. This is my first win (and the fourth challenge I had entered on Ad Astra). The story will be featured and I get to choose the February challenge topic. I was particularly proud of this because (a) it was a difficult group of entries and (b) it features my original character, Doug, at an early stage of his life. The story works as a prequel to Reversal.

Prompt Responses

In addition, I responded to some weekly free writes. For the TGIF prompt, I released Friday Visit, which is a kind of prequel to Together. For the AWOL prompt, I wrote Demotion, which is a prequel to three works that are still in rather early stages, and are based on the E2 episode. This ficlet is also a missing scene from the Hatchery episode. The Politics prompt brought forth a ficlet called Debate, which is a prequel to the next Daranaean story, currently in progress.

More Postings

Meanwhile, on TrekBBS, I added several pieces. Currently, I am posting Reversal (the PG-13 version). I also responded to their New Beginning challenge, with Coveted Commodity. Voting is up; I have voted there, too. Thanks to all voters.

On Fanfiction.net, I added Waiting and am currently spinning out the PG-13 rated version of Reversal. On that site, because I can upload documents, I am posting small uploads of three chapters at a time, so the posting there of Reversal is often behind what’s happening on TrekBBS.

I did not add any long works to Trek Empire, as I am waiting to see if the word limit for posts can be increased. Right now, it’s rather low, and this would make it difficult to post a story like Reversal, which is over 30 chapters long. I added It Had to Be You, as it’s a short one-off, and it takes place in the mirror universe.

Finally, I got TrekUnited a bit caught up with some of my one-offs and smaller stories. Dear Captain was very well received. I also posted Apple.

WIP Corner

Right now, I am working on E2 stories. There are going to be three books, and I have a good 90% or more drafted of the first one. The second one has a few chapters but is stalling a little. I’ll play with it more when inspiration strikes.

I also have a Daranaean story which, unfortunately, has also stalled. I wrote Debate as a prequel to it, hoping that it would nudge me to do more. So far, nothing yet. I also have an Interphases story which I haven’t touched in a while. That’s one of these stories where I roared through the beginning, know the ending, more or less, and can’t figure out how to connect the two. I’ve found that sometimes it helps to just go ahead and write the ending or at least draft it and then fill in the middle. That may be what I do with the Daranaean story as well.

I’m also drafting blog posts, and that’s interfering just a little bit with writing fiction. But I’ve also found that writing begets writing. Something will push through this little blockage and I’ll be typing away madly soon enough.

Prep Work

There are some things that I do that aren’t writing but relate to it. I converted A Long, Long Time Ago to HTML formatting and created an Ad Astra series called Times of the HG Wells. Plus I played around with Gimp to see if I could make a slideshow about In Between Days. I think it was all right for a first go, but it was a large file and the slides went by a bit too quickly. In addition, I need to adjust placement a bit. I’m really not a visual artist, so everything I do with visuals ends up being a struggle, but I try.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

My contract was not renewed in January 2012, so I’m hunting for work again. There’s always a big push so I am actively doing that. I’m also laying the groundwork for my taxes, but I don’t have all the materials yet. I’ll probably finish them in February or March. The filing date will depend upon whether a refund is in store (doubtful) or we have to pay.

Another thing about being at home is the phone/outside noises. Even with a space heater going (and providing white noise) and the windows and storm windows all closed, I can still hear occasional jackhammering outside. This, plus a ringing phone (and I have to get up to answer it, as it could be career stuff) tends to make me lose my train of thought.

Walking helps to get it back, and then I need to transcribe it. This process tends to work for me, where I think and type, then go out walking, come up with some more ideas and then record them later in the day. I don’t measure progress by number of words, as I place a value on economy of words, but I do try to crank out some pages, at least in draft form, mainly to see where I am with things. Currently, page production is down a bit. I am also working out plot ideas in my head, so some things are not being written, but that doesn’t mean I am not working on them.