Tag Archives: Fan fiction

Review – Victory in Maine

Review – Victory in Maine

Victory in Maine came about quickly and with little thought.Victory in Maine

Background

Victory in Maine was written for Steff and takes place in her Arc of the Wolf series and universe. However, the truth is, these days I feel it ended up as a bit too flip. Furthermore, I was trying to be too clever by half and also provide a ‘cheer you up’ type of story rather than anything with any sort of a recognizable, coherent, consistent, or compelling plot. And that does not make for a good story at all.

Plot

So with very little plot, the story mainly centers around one of the few events I knew had happened in Steff’s timeline and in her universe – Corry and Scotty more or less just shooting the breeze. Furthermore, the prompt image felt kind of silly and I had to work within those confines.

Therefore, I learned one big lesson from this one: an odd prompt generally does not a good story make. In fact, while odd prompts may feel original and even clever, they just do not work well for decent story telling.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Because the prompt image really just weirded me out, I had very little to go on. Furthermore, some of that ended up being my own damned fault as I did not perform enough research on the characters or on Steff’s overall story line. While her own true story line interests and often dazzles, my own feels pale in comparison. While I do not hate this particular story, I also, most certainly, do not love it. Not one of my better efforts, not by a long shot.

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Recurrent Themes – Victims

Recurrent Themes –Victims

Victims exist throughout my fan fiction.

Loomis Victims
Loomis – one of my Star Trek fan fiction victims

Background

Victims. For every conqueror, some gets the short end of the stick. Hence a victim needs to exist, and Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Victimsoften more than one does. Because they can be such great plot drivers, a common trope is to create a superior style of person, organization, or species, and pit it against whoever it has victimized.

Furthermore, look at the subjects and you will understand their rulers.

Victims and Their Appearances

I’ll only go with the highlights here as the list stretches rather long.

Leland Loomis

Dovetailing with canon, Loomis ends up in a psychiatric facility after claiming he saw a bunch of lizard people and a ‘chick with a ray gun’.  While he maintains his sanity to the ancestor of the Dr. Morgan known best in my universe, Morgan still doesn’t see fit to release the guy. Loomis will live and probably die in custody, a prisoner in every way but the name of the holding facility.

Phlox (Mirror Universe only)

For an alien doctor, canon holds some nasty fates in the Enterprise time period. Phlox was earmarked for death anyone. So in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, I show it.

Aidan MacKenzie (Mirror Universe only)

Originally, Aidan‘s comeuppance was supposed to be complete. However, after a while, I realized I had really hurt the character, and I kind of liked him, particularly as a pal to Chip Masterson in both universes. Hence babysitter Aidan, disgraced in Reversal, eventually gets his due in He Stays a Stranger.

Travis Mayweather (AU and MU)

In the nasty AU story, The Black Widow, Travis‘s death occurs off-screen and even before the action starts (spoiler alert: T’Pol has killed him). However, in Temper, MU Travis is fragged by his own troops.

Inta I

While both the original Inta and her son are both victims of Arnis’s wrath, it’s Inta who perhaps suffered more, as she could see what was happening to her. Furthermore, truthfully, all Daranaean women are victims in some fashion.

Anthony Parker

Finally, in the deep future, Anthony loses his life because the Perfectionists no longer have a use for him as an assassin and time traveler.

Upshot

Finally, whether they rise above it or get their revenge, die, or sink into oblivion, victims have their place in the Star Trek universe, too.

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Progress Report – April 2017

Progress Report – April 2017

April 2017 turned out as yet another quiet month for Star Trek fanfiction writing.

Posted Works

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

First of all, on the G & T Show forums, I posted nothing. Because at that site, the forums were removed a few months ago, due to the influx of spammers. And at this moment in time, the replacement blogs have not yet been created or started. Hence, still nada!

However, at this time, I still have no replacement, and neither do they. Therefore, I posted very few stories and, as a result, the read counts did not advance too much.

And on Fanfiction.net, during April 2017, I finished posting The Point is Probably Moot. And then I started Shake Your Body. Because I had finished a book, I decided to update Fictionpad. As a result, I added A Long, Long Time Ago; Ohio; You Mixed-Up Siciliano; Spring Thaw; Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain; and The Point is Probably Moot to that site. While I receive nearly no read counts from that site, they still seem better than nothing.

Finally, on Wattpad, I finished You Mixed-Up Siciliano and added Souvenirs. Also, I started to post the next fanfiction piece from The Times of the HG Wells. And that turned out to be Spring Thaw.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

Because I finished and won NaNoWriMo in 2016, I sent The Real Hub of the Universe our for beta reading. And that has proven more difficult as usual, as people are just plain busy. Furthermore, this wholly original science fiction work takes place in Victorian Boston. As a result, I have mainly outlined the first sequel and as I have tried to get it started (and I even wrote a few chapters, but now I’m stuck again). However, I would like to put off writing the second book until I get at least a modicum of feedback on the first one, and that has proven elusive.

Also, the editing for The Enigman Cave is finished and it is ready for querying. However, it has proven hard to get psyched up to do that. It can sometimes be difficult to be able to mentally handle what can often be a lot of rejection.

I also wrote a short story (which currently has no place for posting) called The Escape Violinist. And I have a pretty well-formed idea for another one which will probably end up the length of a novella.

Prep Work

I next created a Wattpad draft for the following fanfiction piece from The Times of the HG Wells. And that turned out to be Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

As always, sometimes the muse just takes a vacation. And that can be extremely frustrating! I ended up working for five separate companies and that, of course, made me rather busy indeed. Furthermore, I wanted to take something of a break. The Real Hub needs editing and beta reading. Hence that means I need to take any changes into consideration before I can really start  the sequel. In addition, I must get psyched up to query The Enigman Cave as it is ready and all I just need to pull the trigger.

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Review – Brazen

Review – Brazen

Brazen is a kind of odd duck story. It does not really go along with anything I have written.

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

Background

The idea was a drabble (a drabble is a very short story that has to be exactly one hundred words long) based upon the title word.

Of course, most people do not see the word in any context other than ‘hussy’. Hence I went with that.

Plot

Breaking my own fan canon, I told a short tale of Malcolm Reed bringing home a decidedly different girlfriend from Lili. Truth is, this could have been Ruby Brannagh. After all, their ‘relationship’ is a canon one.

Furthermore, just like in my fan canon, I made the girlfriend pregnant. Because I like to dicker with Reed and give him a child born out of wedlock. The truth is, I have never given him a fully conventional relationship. I don’t put him in situations where marriage comes before children.

However, I told the story from the unnamed woman’s point of view. And she is a bit tearful. Furthermore, the drabble makes it clear that she has at least made an effort. While she has already asked what to do which would impress the Reeds, Malcolm’s silence on the matter does not help.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K+.

Upshot

As any drabble, the story is just plain too short to have any real substance. Furthermore, it does not fit in with any of my fan canon. However, the concept of placing this within the Mirror Universe (and, therefore, Ian Reed rather than Malcolm) could really flip the story. If that is the case, then the woman could be a Mirror Ruby (I have never written her) or even Mirror Universe Liz Cutler. After all, I have already written her. Plus at the time of Ian’s death in Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Beth (AKA Liz in our universe) does Ian a brief, final kindness. Readers have suggested there was a prior relationship there.

Maybe this is it.

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Progress Report – December 2016

Progress Report – December 2016

December 2016 was another month where I posted only older stories. Because I was busy with finishing up this year’s NaNoWriMo project, I could not work on new Star Trek fan fiction.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill
First of all, on the G & T Show forums, I posted nothing! Because Russian spammers continued attacking, we decided to take the forums down. However, the good news is that I will be reposting as blog posts. However, this meant the read counts ground to a  screeching halt and I won’t have a good way to check them. By making this change, Temper was left unfinished on that site. And as of the writing of this blog post, the replacement does not yet exist. Hence postings will become even more curtailed.

And on Fanfiction.net, I posted the end of Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain. So then I was able to start to post The Point is Probably Moot.

Finally, on Wattpad, I posted the last of A Long, Long Time Ago and then segued into posting Ohio.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

This month was all about finishing the November 2016 NaNoWriMo book, The Real Hub of the Universe.

Prep Work

I spent some time getting prompts together for the @WattNaNo profile on Wattpad. The idea is to make next year easier. Hence as I think of prompts, I just add them. And I have been asking other people to help me with making the prompts. However, the real issue is getting someone to post the daily prompts during November, when I am slammed.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Between finishing the NaNoWriMo book, podcasting, blogging for two podcasts, the wedding blog, the nursing blog, and my own health management, there was simply no time for fan fiction! Oh, and I also looked for work. In addition, I was saddened to learn my one-time collaborator, Justin Miller, passed on.

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Progress Report – November 2016

Progress Report – November 2016

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | QuillSo this was yet another month where I just did not have enough time or energy to post anything new. Hence, all of the works posted are older ones.

First of all, on the G & T Show forums, I started to post Temper.

And on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Where the Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down the Plain. Because the stories there are getting even fewer reads and reviews, I am debating about continuing. However, I suspect this is a problem inherent in the Times of the HG Wells series, in that, if you know Daniels, you ‘get’ the stories. Yet if you don’t, then the stories fall flat.

Finally, on Wattpad, I continued to post A Long, Long Time Ago.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

November means NaNoWriMo and so I am finally getting to write The Real Hub of the Universe! I am enjoying it a great deal although I have little time these days. Hence sometimes that kind of stress turns into writer’s block.

Prep Work

I really need to go back to preparing for the next stories to be posted. And this includes, in particular, setting up more of the HG Wells series for Wattpad.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Oh my gosh, you name it.

In late October, at the G & T Show, we held our second annual ’24 Hours of G & T’ marathon. And it really wiped me out at the end – so much so that I had trouble with wakefulness for nearly the entire following week. In addition, I volunteered to be the one to get the blog posts out (yes, that was not a smart move on my part) as others were handling YouTube and distributing the prizes. Eighteen blog posts later, I still had to take care of NaNoWriMo.

And that was not all of it. The Axanar case also heated up with a number of lengthy documents, and I needed to blog about them for Semantic Shenanigans. Furthermore, this is the height of the season for the wedding blog, as more people get engaged in the last three or so months in the year than at any other time except for Valentines’ Day.

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Progress Report – August 2016

Progress Report – August 2016

August 2016 was another month where I wrote very little fan fiction. Instead, my focus was on original writing and blog writing. Because I was starting freelance blogging, and my Master’s degree was finally coming to a close, I was simply too busy. I just did not have enough bandwidth.

Posted Works

On the G & T Show forums, I continued posting Together.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill

On Wattpad, I posted Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? This ended the Later Days collection. I then posted Eight, which is a kind of mixed bag of stories. I started posting Clockworks, and added Desperation, Recruitment, The Honky Tonk Angel, Briefing, and Auld Lang Syne from Stocking Stuffers.

There was a new prompt to flip perspective on Ad Astra. Hence I posted I Do Again (And Again).

And on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Spring Thaw. Unfortunately, that story has not managed to garner any reviews on that site.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts. Reversal has over 80,000 combined reads! This is simply incredible and has exceeded my wildest expectations.

WIP Corner

Currently, both The Obolonk Murders (all three books) and The Enigman Cave are both within the realm of works in progress. They are both wholly original stories, but the beta readers are not yet finished with them.

I also have a few short stories which are being sent to anthologies. I am, right now, waiting for them to be either accepted or kicked back or published. One of those anthologies may end up on hold, so I might repurpose my submissions.

Prep Work

As before, I worked on researching The Real Hub of the Universe. This will be my NaNoWriMo project this year, so I want to make it as good as I possibly can.

I have also spent time on Lonely Writer, in an effort to fix its problems and see if there is any way to monetize it in the future. I like the idea of it, and I feel this niche is woefully underserved. However, the niche of independent authors is also rather small!

This Month’s Productivity Killers

In addition to the issues mentioned above, I also worked for the G & T Show podcast to report, blog, and schedule their interviews from Star Trek: Las Vegas.

Plus school ended. I graduated with a 4.0.

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Focus on the Terran Empire

Focus on the Terran Empire

The Terran Empire is a huge part of my fan fiction.

Focus

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Terran Empire

A focus (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.

Background

A lot of what happens in the Terran Empire absolutely defies logic (Vulcan pun only partly intended). Even in a multiverse with seemingly infinite (or thereabouts) universes with infinite variables, it makes no sense that our heroes’ counterparts would all be serving together.

Okay, so it’s really just a vehicle for tossing a bunch of evil twins onto the screen. Let’s run with that.

In order to make it all work, I decided on a few helper characteristics which would explain things better. Of course the real reason why there are a lot of men in the Mirror Universe is because of who was hired, particularly during the TOS era. For a show and a premise that were touting sex and violence, men would have to be hired in order to up the violence ante. For my fanfiction, I explain this away with the Y Chromosome Skew.

But what about the Terran Empire? First off, the TOS era would have undoubtedly showed a white man in power. Certainly, in canon, the person in charge is a man. But then ENT comes around, and Hoshi Sato declares herself Empress.  To my mind, she would have a need for a successor and she could succeed as Empress if she operated under Machiavellian principles.

Hall of Mirrors and the Succession

A review of the Mirror Universe stories I have written creates a semblance of a decent history of the place. The first story is The High Cost of Dissidence, where Lili‘s counterpart’s family dies. Under Emperor Phillip (tyrant Phillip Green in our universe),  Charlotte’s father is arrested as a dissident for daring to speak his mind.

Next is Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions, where Doug, a mere child, is sent away to a brutal school.

After ENT Canon

After the canon MU episodes comes Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, where Hoshi kills off all rivals (including T’Pol, Ian, and Phlox) and the Emperor, and consolidates her power ruthlessly.

In between, Hoshi and Rick Daniels hook up during The Stranger, and she becomes pregnant. His death is faked and she gives birth to Jun.

In Reversal, the Empress Hoshi is ensconced in power but is bested by Doug as Jennifer, Tripp, and Beth also escape.

Next up is Brown, where Hoshi is pregnant for a second time (by Aidan), and Chip holds back while José and Frank sniff around her.

In Ceremonial, Tripp and Beth have their own child, Charlie, as they become citizens of the MU Lafa System.

By the time of Coveted Commodity, she is pregnant by Travis.

Next is Gilded Cage, where Aidan is further disgraced and is planning to leave. The Conspiracy advances that subplot.

In Temper, when Travis is killed, Hoshi taps Andrew to take his place. When Andy meets Melissa for the first time, it’s shown in The Play at the Plate. He plans his escape when Melissa dies, in Escape, a deed that is seen from another angle in Shake Your Body.

Fortune shows more of the Mirror, including fast-forwarding ahead to not only Melissa’s death, but Norri‘s as well.

At about the same time as The Play at the Plate, Susan is looking to give up drinking, in The Pivot Point.

Much later, in Bread, a Mirror Leah Benson escapes to Andoria and is reunited with Diana Jones.

HG Wells and the Terran Empire

The royal family is reunited in He Stays a Stranger.

The Empress’s less than dignified death is shown in Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? She is succeeded by Jun and Kira.

During TOS, the Captain’s Woman, Janice Rand, is killed by Marlena Moreau in That’s Not My Name. The crime is investigated as Rand was allegedly the Emperor’s niece, in It Had to be You.

And finally, in Mirror Masquerade, Travis and Hikaru Sulu are switched, and it’s up to the Temporal Integrity Commission to put everyone back where they belong.

Upshot

With my fanfiction, Hoshi’s life reads a lot like Caligula’s or Nero’s, and that was by design. In bits and pieces, it ended up being a somewhat epic saga. It could use more development in later years. In the Barnstorming series, I add a Mirror connection, but the Empire is supposed to be gone by then. But I  like it and will find a way to bring it back.

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Focus – Vulcans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus on Vulcans

Vulcans are the backbone aliens of Star Trek.

Focus

A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Vulcans (unlike a spotlight) is an in-depth look at a Star Trek fanfiction canon item and my twist(s) on it.

Of course, all of fan fiction is like that, but the idea here is to provide a window into how a single canon concept can be used in fan fiction.

Vulcans – Background

Because the series that speaks to me the most is Enterprise, I have had to deal with Vulcans all along. The truth is that I always found T’Pol to be wooden. As for Spock in the Original Series, I have read far too much of him in fan fiction. I never got into Voyager, so my experience with writing Vulcans was limited and difficult. That is, until Eriecho and the Alternate Original Series. Thank you, JJ Abrams.

Occurrences

Aviri

Focus – Vulcans
Joanna Cassidy as Aviri (actually an image of the actress as T’Pol’s mother, T’Les, courtesy of Memory Alpha)

Lili is admitted to the Mars Culinary Institute based upon the strength of a meal prepared for Admissions Director Aviri.

Charles Tucker IV

Focus – Vulcans
Charles Tucker IV (actually an image of an infant Spock, from a deleted scene in Star Trek 2009)

In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. Charlie becomes captain after Jonathan Archer’s death.

Eriecho

Focus – Vulcans
Mariel Hemingway as Eriecho

My favorite Vulcan, Eriecho never learned true emotional suppression while at Canamar Prison, and only tries it in a mistaken effort to please Sollastek.

Kefris

Focus – Vulcans
Kefris (this image is from the Star Trek Online wiki)

This character is named but rarely seen, and is often paired with T’Pau when I write Mirror Universe Vulcans. In the prime universe, he is T’Pol’s eventual husband.

Lorian

Canon character Lorian is seen during the second E2 kick back in time.

Focus – Vulcans
Lorian

Saddik

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Saddik
Saddik

Eriecho’s foster/adoptive father cares for her as if she were his own.

Sarek

Spock’s father is overwhelmed by the changes wrought by Nero in the JJ Abrams timeline, but he rises to the occasion and accepts his new child.

Focus – Vulcans
Ben Cross as Sarek

Sollastek

Focus – Vulcans
Sollastek (this image is from the Star Trek Online wiki)

Eriecho’s mate is a lot younger than she is and was not a good student. Leaving class early saved his life during Nero’s attack on Vulcan. He witnessed the death of Amanda Grayson.

Soval

Focus – Vulcans
Gary Graham as Soval

When Soval is a lot older, he experiences difficulty in maintaining emotional control, as I show him in Biases.

Spock

Iconic and sometimes hard to pin down, I do better with this classic character in the JJ Abrams universe than in the prime timeline.

Focus – Vulcans
Spock

Sybok

Focus – Vulcans
Sybok

Spock’s canon half-brother is redeemed in the Eriecho universe.

T’Les Elizabeth

Focus – Vulcans
T’Les Elizabeth (this is actually an image of Elizabeth Tucker from Star Trek: Enterprise)

In the E2 timeline, during the first kick back in time, Tripp and T’Pol have twins. T’Les is Charlie’s twin.

T’Pau

Often paired with Kefris in the Mirror Universe, T’Pau is brought aboard Empress Hoshi‘s ship when she proves she is a genius in mathematics and physics.

Focus – Vulcans
Kara Zedicker as T’Pau

T’Pol

Focus – Vulcans
T’Pol

This canon character is easiest for me to write when I remove her emotional control.

Valeris

Saddik’s love interest also catches Sybok’s eye. In the JJ Abrams timeline, Valeris acts as a Pon Farr comforter, a kind of Vulcan sex worker.

Focus – Vulcans
Valeris

Others

E2 timeline

  • Jolene Tucker Hodgkins
  • T’Mir Ryan
  • Daphne Tucker

All of these characters are on the older version of the NX-01.

Freak School

  • Stellak – Rayna Montgomery’s love interest.
  • T’Bek – one of Rayna’s teachers (I’ve used this name in a few other places).
  • T’Mia – one of Rayna’s classmates.

Eriecho universe (JJ Abrams timeline)

  • T’Moona – in canon, Spock is the child of Sarek and a Vulcan princess. Her name is  the Hebrew word for picture.

Upshot

For a species that I often have difficulty writing, I’ve sure got a lot of instances. Maybe I’ll get this species right someday, without having to strip them of their emotional control.

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Progress Report – October 2015

Progress Report – October 2015

So October 2015 kept me going. And I needed that!

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | October 2015First of all, on Fanfiction.net, I posted The Stranger. I then added A Lesson and began to post A Long, Long Time Ago.

In addition, on Wattpad, I began to post Fortune.

So then on the G & T Show forums, I posted Letters from Home, Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Paving Stones Made  From Good Intentions, Bribery, The Light,  First Born,  and Waiting. I then started to post Reversal.

Finally, on Fictionpad, I posted the Clockworks collection, consisting of: A Lesson; Briefing; Candy; Desperation; Marvels; Pat the Bunny; Preparations; Recruitment; The Honky Tonk Angel; and Where O Where. I also imported Faith, Seven Women, The Decision, and The Stranger.

Hence there were a lot of changes although admittedly many of them were pretty damned effortless or close to it.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

There is a lot going on. However, the Barnstorming series is mainly on hold as I work out NaNo and do schoolwork.

Prep Work

So as the month wound down, I got caught up in getting reading for this year’s NaNoWriMo. Also, this meant more work on The Enigman Cave, including naming many of the characters and the ships in that fleet. Because these are small decisions, but they can really slow you down if you don’t get them done, I am happy to have them all set in advance of the first of November!

This Month’s Productivity Killers

School work and travel! In addition, my cousin got married in the middle of the month and that of course changed my routine. We also put together the 24 Hours of G & T and that kept me busy. I was one tired pup!

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