Tag Archives: Crackerjack

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker

Origins

When I first got the idea of writing Crackerjack, it was not supposed to be a romance. It was to be a story for a young (I believe he was aged 12 at the time) fan. As I developed the story, though, I realized that I wanted Geordi and Wesley to have an ally on the ground. And so Rosemary Parker was born.

Portrayal

Rosemary is played by Oscar winner Halle Berry.

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker
Halle Berry as Rosemary Parker

I don’t believe I have ever seen this beautiful and sharp actress in a period piece. I bet she’d be great.

Personality

Kind and friendly, but also trying to be independent within the confines of her time period, Rosemary is the sort of person who was probably dismissed by the people of her day. When her father angrily tells her to finish secretarial school and then find herself a husband with prospects, she knows he’s only looking out for her future. But she resents that all the same.

Relationships

Geordi LaForge

A big part of Crackerjack was putting them together. The talk freely and their candid conversations seem more relaxed than Geordi  ever had with a woman in canon.  Of course it is not meant to be, but they enjoy each others’ company, and he trusts her enough to show her his eyes (the story takes place pre-ocular implants).

Warren (first name uknown)

In Play, which has not yet been released as of the writing of this blog post, Geordi mentions Rosemary, and he says, “She, uh, after 1941, all I know is that there was a woman named Rosemary Parker Warren who was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1964. She gave her profession as schoolteacher.” Hence Rosemary weds. She has to – she’s an ancestor of Lakeisha Warren Crusher.

Theme Music

Crackerjack is loaded with period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Rosemary herself.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Rosemary Parker
Halle Berry as Mirror Rosemary

There are no impediments to Rosemary existing in the Mirror Universe. But her circumstances would be far different. It’s highly unlikely that her father would be a preacher, as I write Mirror religion as being secretive. You don’t want to be indicating in any way that you’re not thinking of the Emperor or Empress 24/7.

Rosemary would be tougher and sexier and nowhere near as sweet. Would she find a man? Possibly; such a beautiful woman would not go unclaimed for long. As for whether it would be a love match or she would be treated well at all, that’s hard to say.

Quote

“I get it, it’s because we’re all individuals. Some people are kind, some are not, some are confused, some don’t know what to do, and still others are clumsy but they mean well. It takes all kinds, you know.”

Upshot

I was happy to bring her up a few brief times in the Barnstorming series. Rosemary gets arrested with Martin Luther King! But I’m not so sure I can bring her back for any other purposes. She’s a lovely character, but where can I put her?

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Review – Imprecision

Review – Imprecision

Background

For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about nightmares, I went with a dream that evoked a memory that was imperfectly realized.

Plot

Wesley Crusher has been, at the start of the story, spending time in the company of the The Traveler.

Review – Imprecision
Wesley and The Traveler

This is a canon situation. However, also in canon, Wesley eventually leaves The Traveler. In order to dovetail with Crackerjack, this event precipitates Wesley taking his leave.

At the start of the story,  Wes wakes up from a nightmare. He remembers his parents fighting, and his mother throwing something. It’s awful; he recalls being a small child at the time, making it even more heart-wrenching.  Speaking with The Traveler afterwards, it is determined by them that Wes actually wants to return to a regular life. This is a marker, an indicator that there is unfinished business out there for him. Furthermore, he wants to find out about that memory, which he realizes is something that he suppressed.

Review – Imprecision
Beverly Crusher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wesley is essentially beamed to his mother’s quarters. He has been gone longer than the regular passage of time would indicate, an idea I had because his time with The Traveler has to be odd and unique and special. For Beverly Crusher, this is sort of a dream, and sort of not. She tells him that it’s a few hours before Will Riker and Deanna Troi‘s wedding (another canon event).

Wesley is hurriedly given a uniform, and it does not necessarily show his correct rank (that is canon, in the film, Nemesis). A little bored with the proceedings, his eyes alight on a young girl playing the French horn for the Starfleet Academy band, which is providing the music for the event. With some confidence mustered up, he talks to her, and realizes that this is why he left The Traveler. It is to meet Lakeisha Warren and begin a new phase of his life.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

I truly enjoyed being able to bring Wesley’s character in line and bring the canon of the Nemesis film together with fan fiction in the form of Crackerjack and the Barnstorming series.

Review – Imprecision
Horn (instrument) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being able to write the first-ever meeting of Wes and Lakeisha was a treat to write, too.

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Best Genre Treatment 2

Best Genre Treatment 2

Let’s take a look at my best stories in four more genres. These are what are (to me) my best Star Trek fan fiction stories in particular writing genres.

Historical

There can only be one.

Best Genre Treatment 2
Concord

While I also love Crackerjack, and all of the HG Wells stories, I believe that, by far, my best historical fiction story is Concord.

I have never, ever worked so hard to get a story right, than I did with Concord.

From its cover (that’s the bridge leading from Lexington to Concord and, yes, there was an engagement on it), to determining whether men would tip their hats to women (yes), to figuring out Colonial Era market prices, to even deciding what one of the cows would be named, Concord is an absolute labor of love.

The premise of the story is an interphase: Malcolm is transported to April 1775 Lexington, Massachusetts, and takes the place of an ancestor, just as a future time traveler, during the time of the Genesis Project, takes the place of his own ancestor, who is fighting alongside Malcolm’s ancestor. Injured in the fighting, Malcolm and the time traveler, Robert Lennox, are quartered in a home, where they meet, among other people, Benjamin Warren.

IDIC

Best Genre Treatment 2
Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation (Future Matches)

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations brings to mind LGBTQ story lines. In this genre, my favorite (which is also a reader favorite) is Detached Curiosity & Idle Speculation.

Working as both a prequel to There’s Something About Hoshi and a sequel to the E2 stories, Detached tells the story of how Dave Constantine and Frank Todd started dating.

With what is almost 20/20 hindsight, the men know that they were together and that their relationship worked out. But it’s still tentative and a little strange. But when they kiss, you want to cheer.

Romance

This was easily the most difficult decision, to figure out which was the best of these many stories.  Three stories get an honorable mention here. First is The Reptile Speaks, which is a Gorn romancing a Cardassian.  I loved the idea of putting together a rather different couple, and how someone who looks so menacing could, at bottom, be a truly good person.

Reversal has to be mentioned, as it is not only the love of the dark stranger for the light, but it’s also an amazing kick-off story. A ton of roads lead straight to Reversal.

The Honky Tonk Angel also deserves to be mentioned, as it’s another odd couple type of story, as Kevin O’Connor and Jhasi Tantharis go on their first date.

But the winner, the best one (and I might change my mind tomorrow) is The Three of Us .

Best Genre Treatment 2
The Three of Us

All of the E2 stories were labors of love, but Three is really the big one. That is also due to, in part, its size.

Characters move from misbehaving and acting childishly, to acting criminally, to eventually maturing. Kindness, friendship, and togetherness, lead to more.

As might be expected from such a title, the relationship is an unconventional one.

But the parties persevere, and grow, as time pulls them along and they experience not just romantic love, but also brotherhood, fellowship, parenthood, and, ultimately, tragedy.

Best Genre Treatment 2
The Sparrow and the Blue Jay

This image becomes particularly important, and is a part of one of the story’s many high points.

I love this story, from its tentative, scared, damaged people, to its criminals, to its hopefulness, to its sorrow. As Lili O’Day says in Fortune, “There is something there.”

Tragedy

Nothing really comes close to Seven Women, when it comes to tragedy.  From the very start, the reader is told that Tommy Digiono-Madden is going to die. A fireball is coming, the fire door is closed, and he cannot outrun any of it. He knows this is it. But instead of having his life flash before his eyes, Tommy instead thinks of seven pivotal women in his life. They range from the three women he called mother, to his first girlfriend, and more.

This was a character I had only written little snippets of, and very few as an adult.  As readers got to know Tommy, so did I. The best decision I made in that story was to not bow to internal pressure to give him a happy ending.

Spoiler alert: he doesn’t get one.

Upshot

The best romance story was easily the hardest of these decisions to make. Tune in; I may do this again next year.

Progress Report – January 2014

Progress Report – January 2014

Posted Works

This month was all about Porthos, Wesley Crusher, and Eriecho, it seemed.

Progress Report – January 2014
Quill

I finished spinning out The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat on Fanfiction.net, and also added the story to Fictionpad. For the In Between Days Collection, I added The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat, In Memory of Kelsey Haber, and Confidence. For Hall of Mirrors context, I added Ceremonial. I finished posting Crackerjack on Wattpad and finished posting Crackerjack on the G & T Show’s forums.

Progress Report – January 2014

In keeping with the Wesley Crusher theme, I added Imprecision, Overture, The Adventures of Porthos, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment and the beginning of The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat to Wattpad, and to G & T Show’s forums, as a single topic, Imprecision/Overture, plus The Adventures of Porthos, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment and The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat.

I began adding Flight of the Bluebird to Fanfiction.net. For Valentines’ Day, I combined The Best Things Come in Pairs and Complications into one story on Wattpad, and called it Loving the Alien.

Progress Report – January 2014

In response to my own monthly prompt about YOLO (You Only Live Once), I posted the Eriecho/Sybok story, Across the Universe.

I added a Stats page to capture all read and review data.

Milestones

The Stats page has all significant read counts. No new milestones were attained this month.

WIP Corner

I continued to work on Time Out, and on the wholly original story, The Obolonk Murders.

Prep Work

I overhauled the website and the blog considerably, adding all of the casting information here on the blog. This not only brought more information directly to where I am getting the most views and feedback, but it also served to help declutter the index for the site. I added a little to the Star Trek Expanded Universes Wiki, too.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Apart from working on the jespah website, I also worked on my own professional website and did some social media blogging. It was a snowy January, and snow shoveling tends to give me wrist pain, thereby making it difficult to type. Furthermore, I started social media classes at Quinnipiac University.

Progress Report – December 2013

Progress Report – December 2013

Posted Works

Progress Report – December 2013
Quill

The month started off with creating and posting a completely unexpected holiday story about Carmen and Levi, called Calendar Turning Event #3111. To celebrate the holidays, I added Stocking Stuffers 2013 and Advice From My Universes to Yours. In response to a prompt about family, I added the Levi-Otra-centric Meeting of the Minds, where Marci Cavendish is first seen in any context other than a dream. In response to the favorite things challenge, I posted The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat.

Progress Report – December 2013

On Fanfiction.net, I finished spinning out Take Back the Night. In order to fill in some stories I had written but not posted there before, I added Gossip, gossip and In Memory of Kelsey Haber. I then returned to the Daranaean Emergence series and added Temptation, Some Assembly Required, and Debate, and began to spin out The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat.

Gossip, gossip, Take Back the Night, In Memory of Kelsey Haber, Temptation, Some Assembly Required and Debate were imported into Fictionpad.

I added There’s Something About Hoshi and There’s Something Else About Hoshi to my slash topic on The G and T Show. The reception was so good there that I began adding Crackerjack. I added The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat to TrekBBS.

On Wattpad, I finished posting the wholly original comedy, Revved Up. I also added Freak School. I added Alien Encounter, and began spinning out Crackerjack.

Milestones

For individual read counts, the following stories have 20,000 or more on one URL –

For individual read counts, the following stories have 10,000 or more on one URL –

All of these were accomplished on Ad Astra.

The following stories have between 5,000 and 9,999 reads on one URL –

Combined Read Counts

Apart from the others at over 5,000 reads for just one URL, the following combine to 5,000 – 9,999 reads when all postings’ URLs are taken into consideration –

WIP Corner

I finished the first draft of Play and began the next book in the Barnstorming series, Time Out.  I also worked on an original story, The Obolonk Murders.

Prep Work

I sent out my first-ever query letter! This was for Untrustworthy, my NaNoWriMo winner, and the letter was sent to Riverdale Avenue Books. It was for a competition. That site publishes eBooks, and only nine are listed in their HSF imprint (horror, science fiction and fantasy). We’ll see; I should hear by the first of February. I’m not expecting the moon.

I also spent time looking for more possible places to submit Untrustworthy, and learning about how to improve my query letter and otherwise increase my chances for publication.

I split up the timeline pages a bit more as they had gotten rather huge and unwieldy.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

The holidays loomed large, at the same time that I was both looking for work and trying to learn new and better ways to try to become a published author.

Review – Detroit Rock City

Review – Detroit Rock City

Background

Loomis
Loomis

For the first fan fiction challenge on Archer’s Angels, I decided on a theme called “A Thousand Words”. A few images were gathered up and, because a picture is worth a thousand words, people were asked to write up to a thousand words about a particular image. For Star Trek: Enterprise, this is the image that was chosen. This is the character Loomis from the canon Carpenter Street episode.

I decided he needed an ending to his story.

Plot

At the end of the canon episode, Loomis is hauled away in handcuffs, screaming about “lizard people” and a “chick with a ray gun”. At that point, the murders of various people from the Blood Bank are being tied to him. It looks like he’ll be going to jail.

Review – Detroit Rock City

In my story, he is never found competent enough to stand trial in the first place. Hence, instead, he is sent to a psychiatric treatment facility intended to evoke the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It is not a pleasant place to be.

While there, he stands in the medication line with a small cast of characters, including Lakeisha (meant to evoke Lakeisha Warren Crusher, from Crackerjack), Ogden (a lot like Big Chief in Cuckoo’s Nest) and Phyllis.

At one point, a new doctor, Morgan (meant as an ancestor to both Dr. Cyril Morgan and Dr. Pamela Hudson), begins to speak with him, as he protests that he is, indeed, sane. Morgan reminds Loomis that it might be boring at the facility, but if he’s found competent, he’ll be heading to the State Penitentiary, where things are even worse. Loomis accepts this, and takes his medication without incident.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This twitchy character needed, I felt, a little closure. In some ways, I’d like to revisit him, although I’m unsure how to accomplish that without repeating myself. As of the writing of this blog post, this is the first chronological story in the In Between Days series. Concord and Crackerjack have scenes that take place earlier, and Richard Daniels goes to earlier times as well, but this is the first in-history story where all of the action occurs so early. The day it takes place, in fact, is the day that I originally posted the story.

Will I go back to this era? Possibly, but I’ll have to think of how to do that, as the HG Wells series was all about time travel and I’d rather not have yet more time travel in a future series. However, there’s no reason to not add some fill-in stories for Daniels, Crystal Sherwood and others, plus Eleanor can also talk about our time period.

Review – Concord

Review – Concord

Origins

Review – Concord
Concord Cover

The prompt was about “a page from the past”. I had long thought about dropping a Star Trek: Enterprise character into the extreme past, and had even done this with a pair of TNG characters, in Crackerjack.

But I wanted to go back even further, so I hit upon the start of the American Revolution and a local pair of battles – Lexington and Concord.

And what better person to toss into that pressure cooker than someone who would be in trouble the minute he opened his mouth?

Enter Malcolm Reed.

Plot Points

The Premise

Reed is unceremoniously dumped right into the middle of the Battle of Lexington, and that’s only the start of his troubles.

An Injury

Because he’s wholly unprepared for this form of warfare, he becomes injured, but not horribly so. However, in 1775, infected injuries could easily result in a loss of limb or life. I deliberately made it so that the surgeon in the regiment had already died, and the village doctor had joined the militia. These absences meant that Malcolm would have to be treated in some other fashion.

At the same time, the man next to him, Robert Lennox, is a lot worse off, and may die.

A Place to Go

Review – Concord

The quartering of troops is very real to history, and so I had Malcolm’s commanding officer push for a farmhouse to accept the two injured men. Malcolm is apologetic at the same time that his commander – the true to history Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith – is rude and blustery. The mistress of the farmhouse accepts the two wounded men as she is given very little choice in the matter. She is a colonial and is sympathetic to the revolutionary cause. Her husband has even gone to fight for it. But she is alone and is not about to let Malcolm or Robert die on her doorstep.

Some Soon to be Familiar Names

The mistress of the house introduces herself as Charlotte Hayes, wife to Jacob Hayes. She and her servant, Benjamin Warren, keep the home and assist the two wounded men. Because the Concord story begins right before Voracious, the names O’Day and Hayes are not yet known to the characters. Furthermore, the name Warren also figures in my stories. In Crackerjack, Wesley’s wife’s maiden name is Warren, and in the E2 stories, there is a Science crewman named Nyota Warren, who ends up with canon character Billy Dane. Benjamin is an ancestor of them just like Charlotte and Jacob are ancestors to Lili and Jay (thereby making Jay and Lili distant cousins).

How Did He Get There? And How Does He Get Back?

Without giving away too many spoilers, suffice it to say that Malcolm’s presence in 1775 is due to a temporal experiment gone wrong.  His return can only be effected by the experimenters figuring out the problem, and solving it.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I love how the historical aspects worked out. I did a great deal of research in order to understand how the farm would be put together, what things would cost and any number of other details. The story was extremely satisfying to put together and is easily one of my absolute favorites.

Progress Report – September 2012

Progress Report – September 2012

Posted Works

Progress Report – September 2012
Quill

The month was extremely productive.

On Ad Astra, I added the following In Between Days stories to context – Ceremonial; Shell Shock; The Best Things Come in Pairs; To Wish, To Want, To Desire and Tumult. For the HG Wells collection, I added the following stories to context – A Long, Long Time Ago; Ohio, Fortune and Temper. I also added The Point is Probably Moot. For the Transitions challenge, I wrote the Mirror Universe story, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses. In order to add context to the many Mirror Universe stories, I also created a cover and a series for them, called Hall of Mirrors. I added Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, First Born, Reversal, Coveted Commodity, Temper, Fortune and The Point is Probably Moot to that particular context. I also created an actual contextual piece, called Hall of Mirrors and added Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses.

On Fanfiction.net, I added Voracious and its direct sequel, Harvest. I also added Protocols, which is another Lili-centric prequel and The Mess, which also features Jay. I also added the extreme prequel story, A Single Step.

On Star Trek Logs, because they were celebrating the Mirror Universe there, I added A Lesson, which is an HG Wells story featuring Eleanor Daniels, and The High Cost of Dissidence.

WIP Corner

The E2 stories continued to challenge and perplex. I am working on the fourth book and sometimes it’s not so easy.

I also began working on a new Interphases story starring Commander Tucker. I don’t write him too much so I am learning how to get into that character’s head. This story also briefly brings back HG Wells characters Milena and Noemy Chelenka and their neighbor, Mrs. Klinghofer.

Prep Work

I am beginning to get more than just an inkling of how I want to work on more Interphases stories, as I have been brainstorming quite a bit regarding ways that interphases can actually happen. This has been helpful in terms of getting ideas for more stories in that genre as I am looking to cover not only the entire main canon crew of Enterprise but to potentially branch out into other series (as in Crackerjack).

I also created an HTML version of Shake Your Body, in anticipation of spinning it out in October.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I started off the month by turning 50! All of my celebratory stuff was early, so I was past that and well into production afterwards. The Adult Trek Anthology continues to be a lot of work, but very rewarding. A lot of it is finished or close to being finished, but cover art will likely prove to be a lot more time-consuming. Plus I am still looking for work, and am doing SEO work for a friend.