Tag Archives: Charlotte Lilienne O’Day

Review – Fear

Review – Fear

Fear is one of the most important motivators for any person.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Interphases | Fear
Interphases

Background

Furthermore, in this very short story,  I used this rather particular and unpleasant motivation in order to get two rather disparate people to connect.

Plot

During the E2 timeline and more specifically during the events of The Three of Us, Lili is required to take a shuttle flight test.  Actually, everyone has to do it. While the pretense (on paper, as it were) for this is a need for the characters to cross-train and understand more about the overall workings of the ship, my true motivation was to get Lili alone for a moment and then get her and Jay alone in order to have the Imvari capture them.

As a result, this little scene is absolutely necessary. Travis tests Lili on how to fly a shuttle. And she fails the test. Hence the scene accomplishes its task. But I wanted more, so I ended up making it also about Lili’s fears. Furthermore, I was able to make it about Travis and him missing his family. This also gave me something I was able to use later in Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.  It can be kind of funny how some small, seemingly throwaway scenes can help out a writer at a later date, eh?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked this little scene so much, it became a part of the far bigger book. Lili’s fear is directly used to showcase a certain level of vulnerability. Travis shows the fear his mother had and, by extension, his fear that he will never see her again. For both of them, this powerful (and powerfully negative) motivator rules the scene.

Love may make the world go ’round, but we all share fear.

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Review – Cough

Review – Cough

Cough?

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | In Between Days Cast | Cough
In Between Days Cast

Background

It seems such an unpromising word. Yet there was a call for a drabble with this word as its title. Hence I decided to revisit Penicillin. And my idea was to write a far shorter version of the same story. So this was to get it in front of a different readership.

Plot

When Lili sees Jay coughing in the hallway of the NX-01, he quickly covers it up. But she realizes he is sick and so she makes some chicken soup to treat his symptoms.

But there’s just one catch for Jay. Lili wants payment. And her payment isn’t in the form of money. Instead, it’s for him to smile more. While he agrees to do so, there is a slight difference between Cough and Penicillin. Unlike in the longer story, Jay briefly turns out his pockets. I feel it’s a nice little touch which gives him some personality, e. g. that he’s in a bit of a joking mood despite them being at war, and foreshadows the relaxed loving relationship they will have.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Drabbles are tiny and they often suffer because of that. And this one is no exception. So while I love the Penicillin story (and it turned out to be a linchin in the E2 storyline), the drabble version just plain isn’t as good. Therefore, there’s just no chicken meat on those bare bones.

However, the readers did like the story. Hayes is an enigma, even to his creators and to his actor. Hence I feel any insight into his character is generally going to be welcome. Otherwise, he is simply a cipher.

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Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Review – Advice from My Universes to Yours

Advice for all! Well, kinda.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Advice From My Universes to Yours
Advice From My Universes to Yours

Background

As a holiday gift, I decided to put together a number of disparate characters. Since these are characters of my own invention, I could and did have them say nearly anything. The idea would be to act as a kind of helpful team but with the same quirkiness a reader might have come to expect.

Plot

Six characters land in some odd place. And for sharp-eyed readers, they might recognize a similarity to The Puzzle. This was deliberate, as I wanted a storyline similar to Travis‘s. Furthermore, I have far better writing skills than I did then. Hence I felt this would be a better story, and I believe that to be the case.

Background

When Jay and Lili (in the prime timeline), Dratha, Eriecho, Levi, and Branch land, they have no idea what is in store for them.  Because this takes place more or less right after Penicillin, Jay is still rather gruff but he’s trying. For Levi and Branch, this is later in their timelines. Eriecho is already on Mars. And Dratha’s husband, Arnis, is already incarcerated.

Serious Help

The characters then proceed to help out ten characters created by others. The first is kes7’s John Quigley, who gets help (sort of) in his love triangle. Then Bethany Reeves (trekfan’s character) is up, and the characters talk to her about her parents separating in one of the few serious vignettes. The next caller is Jessica St. Peter (Templar Sora’s character), and the so-called experts kind of, sort of, help her with asserting authority.

Not So Serious Help

For Andrew Corrigan (SLWalker’s character), it’s all about how to spend his first date with Abby (I managed to get in a sushi as bait joke).  Aurellan Markalis (Enterprise1981’s character) also has a problem with a date but it was probably, the advisers agree, for the best that it ended early. Srena (CeJay’s character) comes up next. She is told how to create a calming ritual to help her get to sleep at night.

Mysterious Help

Then Jasto Dax (CaptainSarine’s character) calls. While most of the group doesn’t even know what a Trill is, Dratha provides good information about how to essentially pick your battles. She tells him not to answer every single summons. The next caller is Dr. Veronica West (thebluesman’s character); she learns she should become more creative. Then Spock calls (while this is a canon character, the gift was for littleblackdog) about a canon situation, the end of the TOS episode, Requiem for Methuselah. The last caller is Emmylou Galyaski (FalseBill’s character). She talks about mourning her late husband and, in their own odd ways, the so-called experts help, at least a bit.

Departures

Then it’s time to leave. Dratha volunteers to go first as it looks dangerous. Eriecho leaves next. Jay and Lili leave together and she touches his arm. Then Branch and Levi depart, and the following graffiti is shown:

As the last of the reluctant travelers/advisors departs, the room disappears and is swallowed into the vast vacuum of space, leaving but one final thought.

 Happy holidays across all galaxies, all timelines, all universes and all realities.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I liked showing off the weird characters and trying to get them to work together. As a bonus, I was able to cross over just a little bit with others’ works.

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Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Review – Dear Naurr, Dear Lili

Dear Naurr – Can I help you with cooking? I’m willing to help. Let me know. – Lili

Dear Naurr, Dear Lili Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Dear Naurr Dear Lili
Dear, Naurr/Dear, Lili

After seeing Naurr the Cajun Caitian chef for the first time, I was hooked. The best part about him, to my mind, beyond the fact that he was a walking mass of malapropisms and weird immigrant-style unfounded assumptions, was that he was native to the ENT time frame.

That meant he was alive at the same time as Lili. I hit upon the idea of Lili giving him a little friendly advice. I had already answered the letters from home prompt, but I gave it another go and this one proved to be just as satisfying albeit rather different.

Plot

On February 17, 2158, Lili gives a little advice to a new chef.

Married to Doug and pregnant with Joss, not to mention opening up Reversal on Lafa II, Lili is one busy lady. But she needs to confide a bit in someone. Treve, her business partner, has a friendly ear but he is not a chef. Lili needed someone who could more or less understand about recipes. This person would also understand some of her cooking frustrations.

Further, the story provided an opportunity to revisit a favorite time period, where Doug and Lili are newlyweds and it is before Malcolm and the beginning of the open marriage and what they, along with Melissa and Norri, refer to as the arrangement. Sometimes, it’s good to just write a far simpler relationship scheme.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really enjoyed getting them together, at least virtually by means of an essentially epistolary novel. This led to Bomb(e) as a sequel.
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Review – Bombe(e)

Review – Bombe(e)

Bombe! Oh, no! Relax; it’s a bombee glacee.

Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Bombe
Bomb(e)

As a follow up to Dear Naurr, Dear Lili and to provide a holiday gift for Naurr’s creator, False Bill, I wrote this trifling bit of silliness.

The Cajun Caitian chef would be a hero, fighting off Romulan invaders in a boarding party. Therefore, in keeping with canon, Naurr could not see them, so I have him hit over the head. Hence he will not have much of a memory of, well, anything afterwards.

This works fine for my purposes and adds to the fun. Also, given the head injury and Naurr’s propensity for malapropisms, no one can figure out where the bomb supposedly is. Naurr is going to get a medal for this, for sure.

So long as the ship, the Ariane, isn’t blown to smithereens.

Oops. That would be bad.

Plot

On June 3rd, 2158, Naurr makes a bombe glacee and fools a mysterious boarding party into believing it’s an actual bomb.

A big part of the joke is just waiting for the joke to happen. I also had some fun adding two characters of my own to the story. One is the doctor, Bernardine Keating-Fong. Sharp-eyed readers will recall her as the instructor in Intolerance. Plus there is a guy set to defuse the so-called ‘bomb’, Tim Randall. Think back, alert readers! Tim, in the Mirror Universe, is one of Doug’s kills.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

The story is cute and silly. Also, the fun part is not so much the punchline as that is rather obvious. It’s more that the reader does not know just when the punch line is going to happen. So I enjoyed writing this one very much! Viva Naurr!

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Review – Seven Women

Review – Seven Women

Seven Women in memory, love, and loss.

Background

In Fortune, I established that Tommy Digiorno-Madden dies in the service of his captain. In Seven Women, I show exactly how that happens.

Plot

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Seven Women
Seven Women

The story (which was written as a one a day ficlet challenge) opens with Tommy making it clear that there is a fireball coming, and it’s got his name on it.

The fire door is closed, he’s trapped, and there  is no getting out of this one. Except he says this with no fear, no regrets, and no sorrow. It is just a simple fact. Since he sees his fate, he knows he is about to die.

In order to pass what little time he has left, he has visions. But he does not see his life pass before his eyes. Rather, he sees seven influential women from his life.

Melissa Madden

The first woman he remembers, naturally, is his mother, Melissa Madden.  As he talks about her in the initial chapter, and he mentions her descent into Irumodic Syndrome dementia, he mentions Doug Beckett, too. While he recognizes that his half-brother, Joss, looks the most like Doug, it is he, Tommy, who is the most like their shared father. Because Tommy is a soldier.

Leonora Digiorno

The second woman he recalls is Norri, who he reveals he had a crush on. He remembers her teaching him to read and that, at her death, she said she saw a bridge and the doomed Kevin. And then he reveals that he’s seeing Kevin, too, and feels the brother who never had a chance is somehow there for him and is acting as a kind of spirit guide.

Cindy Morgan

His next memory is of Cindy Morgan, who he reveals (this was my own first inkling of this) was his first girlfriend. Unlike Joss and Jia, they did not work out.

Takara Masterson Sato

Fourth on his list is Takara Masterson Sato Tucker.  In Fortune, I established that they made dream contact as children, but didn’t know if they had pursued it after that. However, the character spoke to me, and so dreaming with Takara became something that Tommy had done for his entire life.

Lili O’Day

Then his next revelation is about Lili O’Day, and he remembers her not only as Doug’s wife, but also her singing Arroz con Leche to him (a scene from Temper) and making empanadas, a detail that is also from Temper.

Erika Hernandez

The sixth woman is his old boss, Erika Hernandez. While Tommy is too young for Flight of the Bluebird, he is definitely there with Erika during later voyages, and is probably a part of patrolling the Neutral Zone.

The Last Woman

I won’t reveal the seventh woman. So you’ll just have to see for yourself.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I really loved giving Tommy some dimension, as he really didn’t have much beforehand. Joss and Neil and Empy and Dec (and even Kevin) seemed to have had more screen time.

But it’s Tommy who ends up becoming the most important person, ever, to the new timeline. And no one but the reader knows.

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