I Got Married to the Widow Next Door is a bit of fluffy silliness. It came about because I was in a jam. But music saved me! Thank God.
I got an assignment to write a story in trekfan’s universe. And I was utterly stumped as to what to do.
Henry Harrison, known as Hank, is a truly romantic character. But he does not get the girl until a lot later in life. Instead, his teen years are fraught with teenaged boy perils. These are familiar to most people.
I truly loved the idea of using Mary-Kate Olsen for the nasty Queen bee character, Jolinda Fredericks. The character makes for a harsh contrast to how I ‘cast’ her identical twin, Ashley Olsen (spoiler alert: I ‘cast’ Ashley as Jhasi Tantharis AKA Josie O’Connor).
Hank is basically minding his own business in high school when Jolinda decides to use him to make her boyfriend jealous. Furthermore, she gets to humiliate Hank and she even gets in a dig at Hank’s dream girl, part-Andorian Bethany Reeves.
Oh, Jolinda is a nasty one. And this story gives her a comeuppance. However, by the end, Hank is humming the song and congratulating himself on how his life turned out, versus hers. Because Jolinda is the epitome of the selfish, spoiled brat. Then she takes shortcuts and expects everyone else to fall in life. But life does not work quite like that. And Daddy’s connections do not impress either adulthood or Starfleet. I loved this nasty character, and should try to find another place for her.
Hub of the Universe is a gift to a Star Trek fan fiction writer who goes by the moniker of funngunner.
Boston is often called that. So I played on the title and the imagery. The character has a description as being from Boston but little else. He did not even really have a look to me. Seth McClusky’s main description was ‘barrel chested’ and nothing more. He was the kind of forgotten third of a love triangle as well. Hence I decided I would shake that up. Seth would get a back story. And he would get a friend and a rough family life. I wanted to give him a personality and a history.
Just after World War III, Seth McClusky thinks about leaving Southie and hitches a ride with Jennie from the block, AKA Jennie O’Connor. Sharp-eyed readers will pick up on Jennie’s surname. Because she is a consanguineous ancestor of deep future engineer Kevin O’Connor.
And even sharper-eyed readers will notice her widow, Milagros Torres. Because Torres is a consanguineous ancestor of José Torres. Furthermore, in both cases, the characters are linked to future engineers, as is fitting, for Jennie herself is an engineering apprentice when she dies in Brazil in the Xindi attack on Florida and South America. As a result, Jennie’s little story is almost a harbinger of future In Between Days events.
I love this title so much, I am more or less reusing it. But this time, for the 2016 NaNoWriMo novel, the circumstances are rather different. Hence that novel is called The Real Hub of the Universe.
However, the accents are admittedly a little difficult and may be hard for some readers to get used to. But I wanted Seth and Jennie to be real Southie people, and that meant more than just the occasionally dropped R.
As for the story, Seth’s original creator loved it.
Hearts in Time was born from a collaboration between me and trekfan.
trekfan and I decided his character, Hank Harrison, would go on a blind date with one of my characters. Being the silly gal that I am, I paired him up with a Daranaean, Inta II.
Hank is looking for love and to start a family. Inta is looking mainly for someone ‘to be kind’. She is a secondary Daranaean female, so she has some privileges, but they are just not enough. Since this story ends up taking place before her admission to Oxford, her art is a kind of unrequited love in her life.
Hank is taken aback at the look of his blind date. At least she is humanoid, but otherwise he just plain cannot wrap his head around dating her. But they have a good chat and manage to enjoy each other’s brief company. They even give each other a little advice before they part.
Along with determining that Inta is an artist, I also learned, for the first time, what a Daranaean kiss is like. It’s the tiniest of licks, much like we would get from a real live puppy.
This was the first time I had ever written Inta II as an adult. And it was also the first time she became an artist. It was a great find, and that led directly to her attending Oxford with Declan Reed.
We wrote the story in a chat, and it all went down rather quickly. If I were writing it again, I would probably spend some time outside of chat. Furthermore, I think we would have done better to have allowed for some time to elapse and for some editing. But it is a decent story, and it is certainly, on balance, a rather sweet one.
Coulamine exists because of a back-formation from my own original drug, tricoulamine.
Furthermore, it also exists because I screwed up the start of a round robin story.
First of all, in order to get soldiers to fight (in real life, even!), ordinary people need training and discipline. However, World War III was supposed to be a time period without even those sorts of niceties. Hence, for Multiverse II, the concept changed and the soldiers would be ordinary people with no training. Hence, like opium addicts and the like before them, they had to be hooked on something or other.
As a result, I created coulamine. When Otra turns evil for the story, I accidentally landed her in Maine. However, the action was supposed to take place in Montana. Therefore, I decided that a drug distribution trail would get her from point A to point B. Furthermore, because the other writers were stretching the story out in some ways, this allows for character development and some truly wicked scene settings.
The common people, therefore, would be coulamine addicts, and the drug would be referred to as ‘candy’. And that proved to be a fascinating and horrific idea.
Hence Otra kills a trucker in one of her first acts in the story, and then takes his truck. The truck’s built-in GPS system contains presets to get her to various fueling stations. And as the trip takes her farther and farther west, the food gets scarcer and poorer, the radiation levels climb, the rubble gets worse, and the addicts become more and more desperate.
When Rita finally arrives, she comes across as a tough soldier type, a kind of a survivalist. However, her arms are loaded with track marks. She’s an ex-candy addict.
Coulamine worked so well that it got an even deadlier version: bicoulamine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a part of a Star Trek fanfiction competition, fellow writer kes7 and I decided to collaborate on this time travel mayhem-style crossover novel. Levi, the most squirrelly and ADHD-addled person in history, nervous and quirky to a fault, would be tasked with saving humanity.
By having to be socially acceptable or at least in the realm of socially competent.
Yeah, I agree.
In which humanity’s survival depends on Levi Cavendish’s social skills. Takes place in 3110.
kes7’s original character, Maren O’Connor (who we decided would be related to Kevin), and canon character Icheb, are an item in her universe. At this stage in their development, they are building their own time traveling device. But this is rather early in the engineering process, and the device is imperfect. It threatens the multiverse and humanity (because why not make the stakes super-high?) and the Temporal Integrity Commission has got to stop them.
Reluctantly, Carmen sends Levi and Otra. However, Otra does not have permission to go to the surface although she can communicate directly through Levi’s implanted communicator. As she feeds him information, he becomes even more confused. It does not help that a girl named Marci is flirting with him, big time. Which is Levi’s mother’s name.
It helps even less that Otra has finally realized that she is in love with him.
We had a lot of fun writing this one, but we will both admit our resolve sometimes wanes. The story remains unfinished after a few years. We need to finish this one. I want to know what happened. Don’t you?
Isn’t the cover just fantastic? Justin made it. I have a copy (signed by him) hanging in my computer room.
As a means of getting back to the story, we decided on time travel. The Temporal Integrity Commission would have to fix the problems which Kirk and company had compounded at the end of the canon episode, when someone left a communicator behind.
I decided to use Richard Daniels, Sheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman as my part of the cast. These characters would have the specialties needed, e. g. a jack of all trades like Rick, a computers person like Sheilagh, and then Deirdre would be the engineer.
Justin (the bluesman) opted to mainly handle the canon characters as we wrote the story. Together, we weaved a story whereby the plot would be fixed, our characters would happily cross over and work together for a common cause, and we even got to throw in a little humor and flirting along the way. Plus Sheilagh tells Spock his computers are primitive.
We had a blast with this collaboration. I would have loved to have done it again. But sadly, Justin passed on, on December 22, 2016. He was a dear friend and a kind, talented, patient, and generous collaborator. I miss him.
Small Universe Syndrome. It seems to be everyone in Star Trek, and more particularly in Star Trek fanfiction. This story was written in response to a challenge to put together two characters who really should not go together, or would not normally be seen together. Both of these are canon characters; it’s based on who one of the characters reminded me of when I first saw her.
The first time I saw Krios Prime’s Kaitaama in Star Trek: Enterprise, I couldn’t help but to realize she was actually a tired retread of Elaan of Troilus from the Original Series.
The whole episode is one big, fat trope. It was yet another beautiful, haughty princess who looked human enough that looking at her sexually would not make the audience feel too weird about things. A red-blooded spacefaring guy would not be able to help being attracted to her.
Of course, assuming she was still youthful, Kirk would hit on her. But how to get them together?
I decided to lift the plot of Two Days, Two Nights. Risa would still have a crime problem. But instead of Malcolm and Tripp being tied up in a basement, it would be Captain James T. Kirk and Kaitaama.
I am not so sure I would ever write a story like this again. I have enough problems keeping my own creations from suffering from coincidences and small universe syndrome. It would be far worse if I did that deliberately with more canon characters!
So this story was written as a small crossover gift to kes7. As a result, I wanted to turn a pair of her characters into a couple so important to the timeline that the Temporal Integrity Commission would do everything it could in order to assure their first meeting would go smoothly. Therefore, there would be a mission to make certain that it happens and all goes according to Hoyle. Kind of.
While Tom is on his honeymoon; HD and Sheilagh are on vacation together; and Polly and Rick are on assignments, Carmen sends Crystal on a special mission. And the department’s Quartermaster, while not a professional time traveler, is still a rather resourceful gal all the same. She gets the job done with flair.
Crystal finds Icheb, a former Borg drone, and gives him a bit of a makeover by growing his hair slightly longer, replicating him some hair gel, making him a new shirt, and getting him to loosen up a little bit. Crystal, being perhaps a little silly, even gets a tad emotional and hugs him before sending him off to meet Maren O’Connor and his destiny. In addition, this was about when I realized Crystal should sound like she is from Queens, New York. Er, Noo Yawk.
So I really liked this cute little story, which managed to showcase Crystal rather neatly and also put a smile on kes7’s face. Plus a sometimes overlooked character got some time in the spotlight, and was able to really shine. Finally, the sometimes overly serious relationship at the heart of this short story got a blast of comic relief. Mission accomplished!
A dispute and a small prank pushes one of False Bill’s characters to send unauthorized cookbooks to Empress Hoshi’s time period. But the temporal transporters are only working to send people forward in time but not back! What to do?
I like how the threads came together. We also had a lot of comedic fun with the story, adding an invading mouse army and a bit of slapstick humor. Others agreed, and it won the crossover challenge during the 2014 Twelve Trials of Triskelion on Ad Astra.