Review – A Lesson

Review – A Lesson

A lesson in history, and in how time travel can change it.


For a prompt about a lesson, I took the matter quite literally and went with Eleanor Daniels lecturing. I was pleased to be able to dovetail the story well with Rick meeting Tina and the Temper story beginning.


Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Clockworks | A Lesson


In January of 3109, Eleanor Daniels lectures young students on the ways of the Mirror Universe.

Furthermore, Eleanor’s lecture includes information on the Empress Hoshi Sato‘s children and their putative and known fathers. For Eleanor, this is a bit of information that she has to get across as a part of her job. However, for Rick, it’s real life, and yet another reminder of his son, Jun.

In addition, there is a sly allusion to Tina April.  This happens because she is Eleanor’s friend, and Eleanor introduces her to Richard. Furthermore, we see the same kids mentioned in First Born and, possibly, Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain. And usually when Eleanor lectures (at least, in print), history changes. However, this story is one of the few times when that does not happen. Hence history is secure, more or less, during the events of this story.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


For a small story, I think it works pretty well. Here is the part where, if a reader has not yet read through Temper, the story provides an entrée into that aspect of the overall timeline. If the reader has read Temper, then the story slides the reader more or less directly into A Long, Long Time Ago. And I love how neatly and easily it does that.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Review, Times of the HG Wells series, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Crossman

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Crossman

Eleanor Crossman serves one purpose really well.


During Together, I wanted to make Jenny Crossman and Frank Ramirez‘s first dance an occasion for people to feel some true melancholy.

As a result, Malcolm blows his nose to hide the fact that he’s weeping a bit, Lili much more openly cries and Pamela Hudson gives her Malcolm’s handkerchief, Travis and Tripp complain of headaches, Hoshi cries, and Deborah watches Jonathan from afar. Melissa is not there (she isn’t invited to the reception, so she’s with Norri). But what about Doug?

I wanted him (and Jonathan, before him), to be more or less pushed into dancing with the bride’s mother. Enter Eleanor Crossman.


Eleanor is portrayed by Barbara Rhoades.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Barbara Rhodes as Eleanor Crossman (image is for educational purposes only)

Barbara Rhodes as Eleanor Crossman (image is for educational purposes only)

I liked the idea of an actress who has done comedy (Rhoades was on Soap) and, believably, would call out, “Next victim!” when changing partners.


Pleasant and amusing, the widow Crossman likely manages the Crossman Pharmaceuticals fortune.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Eleanor Crossman

Mirror Eleanor (Barbara Rhoades)

More of a floozy, this version of Eleanor is still running Crossman Pharma, but is more likely to be beholden to men.

I have never written her here, but since Jennifer exists (although her twin sister, Claire, might not), therefore, by definition, Eleanor must exist.


“Next victim!”


Mainly a plot device, I think she does the job well. Will we see her again, or in the Mirror Universe? I don’t honestly know. However, if I ever write an early version of Jennifer Crossman’s life, then Eleanor can never be far behind (and neither can Claire, at least in the prime universe).

Finally, I have no idea about Mr. Crossman. Who the hell was he? And when did he die? Once again, these important questions have no answers!

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Portrait, Times of the HG Wells series, 3 comments