Tag Archives: FanFiction.Net

Review – Equilibrium

Review – Equilibrium

Equilibrium. And we all know how elusive it can be.

Background

After the end of Together, Doug, Lili, Malcolm, Melissa, and Leonora are ready to start the arrangement and live their lives in tandem.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Equilibrium
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Essentially, Lili and Doug will have an open marriage and each take a lover, and Melissa and Norri will open their relationship but only Melissa will take a lover.

But the problem was that I had forgotten all about one person within the family unit and had not accounted for him or his feelings in any way – Joss.

Plot

Hence after the ordeal of Lili and Doug’s kidnapping in Together,  and in anticipation of a new little sister, Joss regresses a tiny bit. He wants his parents with him. This means some co-sleeping.

Living in a system that is significantly psionically charged, Lili and Doug (and all of the Calafans, actually), are able to share dreams as a kind of alternate secondary reality. Hence this is a big part of what makes the extramarital arrangements work in the first place. But of course Lili and Doug are not going to expose Joss to anything untoward. Therefore, Joss will not be a witness to any sort of a primal scene.

Hence they decide to share with him a small child’s most perfectly excellent dream, ever.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Ao from the picnic to the train ride to the old-fashioned baseball game, the dream is everything Joss and his proud parents could ever want. Therefore, I simply adore this little story.

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Review – Barely Tolerable

Review – Barely Tolerable

Barely Tolerable fills in a missing scene.

Background

After writing Intolerance (which is kind of an odd story within the original five-book In Between Days series), I wanted to add something considerably lighter that would showcase Captain Archer a bit.

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | IBD Arrangement | Barely Tolerable
In Between Days, the Arrangement

Furthermore, he behaves like a perfect gentleman in that book, whereas some of the other men do not quite measure up as well. However, I wanted it to be a case where he would look at Blair and Pamela and bemoan the fact that he absolutely would not be allowed to touch.

Hence the idea humanizes him in a big way, I feel. After all, he is the captain, yes. But he is also a flesh and blood human being and, as such, he has desires.

Plot

The story barely has a plot and is really a lot more like a drabble. And essentially, Jonathan Archer, like all of the other single straight men on the NX-01 Enterprise, is a bit taken by both Pamela Hudson and Blair Claymore.  As a person who is unattached, there is nothing stopping him from looking. But he knows he will need to hold back, as they are both quite a bit younger than he is, and he is the captain of the ship. For him, it would probably be seen as improper.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

At the time that I wrote this story, I did not realize it, but it is truly a foreshadowing (actually, it is more of an afterword or afterthought) with respect to the E2 stories, where I have Captain Archer also looking and not touching, desiring but never actually going through with anything.

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Review – Entanglements

Review – Entanglements

Entanglements was not originally a work I had planned.

Background

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Entanglements
Entanglements

The idea was to go straight from Reflections Down a Corridor to The Three of Us. But Reflections ended up being way too long. I like where and how it was split, though, as it serves the title themes moving from individuals to couples to a threesome. Hence this book achieves a kind of bridging effect.

Entanglements is mainly about coupling, both romantic and erotic, and the tangling of fighting and also getting involved – for better or for worse. Just as Reflections is about individual exploration, Entanglements begins to show people colliding with each other. Naturally, there is a great deal of collateral damage from these collisions.

Plot

The story opens with Captain Archer announcing the wedding of Tripp Tucker to T’Pol.  As he makes the announcement, the single men in particular are beginning to notice that it affects them. Part of it may be some desire specifically for T’Pol, but it is also because this is the second wedding on the Enterprise. This generational ship is starting to slowly, inexorably, convert itself into the equivalent of a flying small town.

But the real crisis arises from a different relationship. When Josh Rosen proposes to and, eventually, marries Karin Bernstein, it puts fellow Jewish crew member Ethan Shapiro onto a steep downward spiral. That sequence was one of the first parts of the story that I knew I wanted to write and, once I got to it in the plot, it flowed quickly and smoothly.

Music

Dusty Springfield | Entanglements
Dusty says it all

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated M.

Upshot

This story is more transitional and so the beginning and the end are a tad more abrupt than for the other three in the E2 series. But I like the bookending of the Tucker/T’Pol announcement with the Jenny/Aidan wedding, and was particularly pleased to be able to use Jenny’s wedding song again – and to denote that Aidan isn’t quite the right partner (in the prime timeline, she marries Francisco).

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Review – Biases

Review – Biases

Biases gave me a chance to create a new character. Bridie Kelly came out of whole cloth and, unlike nearly everyone else I’ve created for Star Trek fan fiction, she does not connect up to the Reed-Madden-Digiorno-Beckett-Hayes-O’Day family.

Barking Up the Must Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Biases
Biases

Background

So I wrote this short story in response to a prompt of the same name. Being here in Boston, you can hear the Irish brogue on most days. Hence I kept hearing the phrase, ‘No Irish Need Apply‘ as I thought of what would become this story.

Plot

For Bridie Kelly, it’s the chance to get a new, decent job. She is a highly skilled nurse’s assistant and caregiver. But she’s tired of seeing sick and dying children (her earlier posting was at a children’s hospital). For Soval, he’s getting up there in years, even for a Vulcan. His aides don’t quite know what to do with him, as he needs care. Plus he’s lost his logical focus and, instead, is impatient. He might also have a bit of the Vulcan equivalent of Alzheimer’s (which is not canon although I think it should be).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Much like Flip; Confidence; A Long, Long Time Ago; Gainful; and Voracious, this is a job interview story. I like the interactions, in particular how Bridie conducts herself and pushes past her doubts. I’ve had people ask for a sequel, or there are even people who ‘ship her and Soval! I think that’s nuts. This is a job interview and nothing more. People can certainly get along without romance becoming a part of it. Not every story merits an extension, or should end with a kiss in front of a sunset backdrop.

Sometimes, a story is just a story.

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Review – Gainful

Review – Gainful

Gainful comes from a prompt about first jobs.

Background

I wanted to show someone who wasn’t so young entering the workforce for the same time.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Before Days | Gainful
Before Days

I particularly wanted to pay tribute to my maternal grandmother. She had only worked outside of the home for a few years, and that was all during the Second World War, as a part of the war effort.

Yes, my grandmother was a kind of Rosie the Riveter type (she worked in the Brooklyn Navy Yard).

Enter Mary Reed.

Plot

Review – Gainful
We Can Do It poster for Westinghouse, closely associated with Rosie the Riveter, although not a depiction of the cultural icon itself. Pictured Geraldine Doyle (1924-2010), at age 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I figured Mary would be as driven to help out during the Earth-Romulan War as my own grandmother had been during World War II.

But Mary seemed to not be as strong as my part-Polish grandmother, so it would be more of an intellectual pursuit. Furthermore, this is the future of Star Trek, and so brute force or assembly lines would not be in the cards.

I recalled a character I had created while writing two pieces for Dispatches from the Romulan War – pop singer Kurt Fong. I hit upon the idea of Fong needing a new person to help open his mail and respond to it, and so I was able to attach Mary and her diplomatic skills to this project. It would be a fun job for her, but also a challenge. She would be reminded, as others wrote to Fong, that Malcolm could be injured or killed at any time, too. Her boss, Ehigha Ejiogu, would be a Nigerian man young enough to be her son. Her coworker, the Tellarite Cympia Triff, would have an impressive beard.

Sharp-eyed readers will recall that Ejiogu and Fong are, in the Mirror Universe, two of Doug‘s kills.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really like how this one turned out, and was  pleased to write a sequel, The Tribe. As for whether I’ll revisit Mary at work, the question remains up in the air.

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Review – Legends

Review – Legends

Legends – As a companion piece to Voice of the Common Man, this is the story of the changing of the guard for the religious half of the Calafans‘ religious constitutional monarchy. For these highly spiritual people living in a psionically charged system, the changing of the religious guard is as big a deal as the changing of the political guard.

Legends Background

Therefore here,  the predecessor chooses a new High Priestess. Whereas in the other story, the people democratically elect a new First Minister .

As I recall, the prompt was probably the same as the title of the piece. The idea of myths and mythology dovetailed rather nicely with the concept of the four original Calafans. These are people who are seen as larger than life. They are possibly divine, and their lives, certainly, are exaggerated.

Plot

Barking Up the Must Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Legends
Legends

With Yipran nearing her death, a successor High Priestess must be selected by her, before she is unable to do so. Sharp readers will recall that a large part of the plot of Reversal was to try to jigger the succession and undermine the correct process. There is a fear that any more of a delay will result in her death before the power transfer, and the natives are afraid that things could become chaotic in the interim.

As  Calafans and humans gather, Treve and his siblings tell the legendary story/myth of Lo, Abic, Fep, and Ub, as Yipran can no longer do this. Finally, after a short period of meditation, she chooses her successor, a most unlikely woman.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Finally, it was rather satisfying to be able to pull in this aspect of a Calafan power transfer. Plus I was able to underscore just how bad the undermining of the power transfer would have been in Reversal, if things hadn’t turned out the way they did.

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Progress Report – September 2014

Progress Report – September 2014

September 2014 was a time of preparations.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | September 2014 I began the month in Star Trek fan fiction by adding to The Three of Us on Fanfiction.net and The Social Media Guide on Wattpad.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished the Daranaean Emergence series by posting Confidence. I then started posting the Eriecho series, with Release, Beats, The Mundane World, A Gathering, Double Helix and began to spin out Recessive.

On Wattpad, I continued adding the the Before Days series with Waiting;  If You Can’t Stand the Heat; More, More, More!, and Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

Progress Report – September 2014
Postmodern Jukebox

Because I’m a silly fan girl, I also got permission from Scott Bradlee and started to post the first-ever (far as anyone can tell) popfic about singing group Postmodern Jukebox! It’s called The Canadian Caper.

On Ad Astra, I responded to the “on my word” challenge with Promise, a TravisJulie story. In response to a prompt about school, I added a short Inta-centric story, Education.

I added Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before to the Delphic Expanse after some minor tweaking by the beta reader.

Milestones

On combined URLs, over 100 stories have 1,000 or more reads, and over 25 stories have 5,000 or more reads. 15 stories have over 9,750 reads on combined URLs. Twelve individual story URLs have over 10,000 reads. Over 30 have over 50 reviews on combined URLs.  Six have over 100 reads (half of those are on individual URLs). See the Stats page for individual read and review counts for Star Trek fan fiction and other works.

The Fanfic profile on Wattpad added three of my stories to their Star Trek reading list: The New Captain’s Woman (a combination of That’s Not My Name and It Had to be You), Biases, and Before Days (the prequels in the In Between Days series).

WIP Corner

I continued to work on The Polymer Beat, the second book in the wholly original Obolonk series.

Prep Work

Also, I added a little to the Star Trek fan fiction wiki but didn’t really have time to go in depth.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Class at Quinnipiac (I’m going to start taking 2 classes at a time next semester), and managing The G & T Show’s many social media accounts took up a great deal of my time. The show was also in the midst of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

Progress Report – September 2014

Plus we went on a short vacation to Cape Cod in the middle of the month.

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Progress Report – July 2014

Progress Report – July 2014

July 2014 was hot!

Posted Works

The month began with a rather hot week. It could be tough to concentrate on Star Trek fanfiction at times.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | July 2014

First of all, I continuing posting Entanglements on Fanfiction.net and Flight of the Bluebird on the G and T Show Forums.

In addition, on Wattpad, I continued posting The Social Media Guide and My Favorite Things (like kibble). I also added The Tribe, Voracious, Harvest and Protocols to the Before Days collection. For a one-shot science fiction contest, I entered Biases.

Also, I had Theorizing beta read and submitted it to the Delphic Expanse to see how it would do there.

In addition, I started to post The All-Stars on Ad Astra to see if I could get some help with some plot issues I was having. Plus I also posted the teaser copy for Multiverse Mini.

Milestones

Everybody Knows this is Nowhere, A Long, Long Time Ago and The Three of Us all made it to over 10,000 reads on just one URL. Together made it to 20,000 reads on just one URL.

At this point, there are 11 stories with at least 10,000 reads on one URL, and three more (Reflections Down a CorridorTake Back the Nightand The Point is Probably Moot) have over 10,000 reads on combined URL read counts). Three of those are at 20,000 reads or more, plus two (Intolerance and Fortune) have over 20,000 reads on combined URLs. Reversal now has over 40,000 reads on combined URLs. See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

The Barnstorming series got some editing, particularly the first story. I also worked on the next Multiverse adventure, calling it Multiverse Mini.

Prep Work

I finished splitting up The Three of Us for eventual posting on Fanfiction.net. I contributed to the Star Trek Expanded Universes wiki as I get some traffic from there. Also, I performed a ton of SEO work on the blog and the site, too.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

I continued with school work at Quinnipiac. I was also looking for work rather intently. As stated above, the heat also affected my productivity. Sometimes it was just not easy to get comfortable.

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Progress Report – June 2014

Progress Report – June 2014

June 2014 was busy.

Posted Works

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | June 2014 This was another productive month and I wrote a ton of Star Trek fanfiction! It started with adding Legends, Seven Women to In Between Days context. For the Steal All the Toys challenge, I wrote a story in funngunner’s universe, called Hub of the Universe, and one in FalseBill’s universe, called Bomb(e).

Extras

In  addition, in response to a prompt about the natural world, I returned to the Multiverse II universe with a sequel featuring Rita Spinelli, Sky (Speranza Memoria) Spinelli, and Donald Janeway, called Oh My Darling. In addition, I added a fundraiser story ($5/drabble) called New Toy, which is set in the HG Wells universe. FalseBill added a Daranaean story, called Third Worth More than First. For the daily prompt challenge, I followed Declan Reed’s spiritual journey, with Faith. Plus I posted the Daranaean novel, Flight of the Bluebird. FalseBill added another letter to the epistolary work we’re writing together, Dear Naurr, Dear Lili, which takes place in the period between Reversal and Intolerance. Together, he and I collaborated and created Dishing it Out.

More Extras

Also, I finished posting Reflections Down a Corridor on Fanfiction.net and began to spin out Entanglements. Reflections had the most reads and the most reviews (and the most follows, so people were truly engaged) of anything I had ever posted on that site, so I made sure to tell my readers that the next story was Entanglements in order to try to get as many as possible of them to read the sequel as well. So far, that has been paying off, and the new story is averaging about 92 reads per chapter. The first one averaged just over 179 reads per chapter, so Entanglements is still ramping up, I believe.

On Wattpad, I continued to post the Social Media Guide. I added The High Cost of Dissidence, Detroit Rock City, Gainful to the Before Days collection. On a lark, I added a little contest story called My Favorite Things (like kibble). I also added A Perfect Note to the Future Matches collection.

In addition, on G and T Show forums, I finished posting Take Back the Night. I posted Some Assembly Required, Temptation, and Debate. I started posting Flight of the Bluebird.

Finally, on the TrekBBS, I answered their Other Universes challenge with the Quantum Leap crossover story, Theorizing.

Milestones

Revved Up exceeded 20,000 reads. The Social Media Guide received over 200 reviews for only a little over 1,000 reads. See the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I did some work on the wholly original story, The Obolonk Murders.

Prep Work

I split up Entanglements into chapters for posting on Fanfiction.net.  Also, I did a small amount of work on the Star Trek Wiki. In addition, I worked on SEO a lot.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

So as ever, school work at Quinnipiac took a lot of my time. I also spent a great deal of time correcting and perfecting the SEO on my professional social media blog.


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Review – Dear Captain

Review – Dear Captain

Background

In response to a prompt about letters from home, I decided to go full throttle in the direction of mail that, most decidedly, is unwelcome.

Review – Dear Captain

Namely, spam.

The idea was to create a small comedy piece that would, as I often do, zig rather than zag.

Plot

There is not too much of a plot; this is mainly a collection of obvious spammy messages sent to our intrepid future heroes. Because no one is mentioned by name, the messages could have been sent at any time, to anyone. Hence the story doesn’t really fit into any time period or series, and could cover any or all of them. I am not even certain as to which captain it is referring. It could be any or all of them, I suppose.

When I have absolutely needed to categorize it (a necessity at some fan fiction posting sites), I tend to come down on the side of it being a part of the In Between Days universe, which takes place during Star Trek: Enterprise. This makes some sense, as those people are the closest to use chronologically. They can maybe still be using email, and I write them as doing just that. Hence it all fits together rather nicely.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

As a bit of comedy, I think the piece works. It’s not meant to be anything more than a bit of fluff, and fluff it is.


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