Tag Archives: Libba

Portrait of a Character – Libba

Portrait of a Character – Libba

Libba takes on a life of her own.


In The Cure is Worse Than the Disease, I wanted a kind of sandwich wife, who would get the worst of both worlds. Enter Libba.


Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Vizsla Libba
Libba (image of a Hungarian Vizsla is for educational purposes only)

Like nearly all Daranaean characters no one really ‘plays’ Libba. This is an image of a Hungarian Viszla. Readers are encouraged to use their imaginations.


Timid, oppressed, not very bright, and more than a little frightened much of the time, Libba is the very definition of stuck. Her position as a secondary wife requires her to do much of the reproductive heavy lifting. At the same time, she is also in charge of homeschooling the children. She is tired and weakened from her burdens. All she wants is for it to stop already.



Like all other Daranaean women of her time, Libba marries once and that’s it. There are no other options or prospects for her. If Elemus predeceases her, she will not have an opportunity to remarry.

Mirror Universe

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Mirror Universe Libba
Mirror Libba (Vizsla)

I have never explored Mirror Universe Daranaean women.

The idea of the women possibly being in charge or assertive is intriguing and I may write it some day.


“I will, one of these days, I will die. I keep getting more and more tired, and weaker. The last time, it was less than a month from when I gave birth to when I became pregnant again. I was sick and weak and still pouch feeding, but already moved onto this one,” she indicated the baby in her pouch. {and} “I do not think I can do this anymore. I don’t want to do it anymore.”


At the end of Flight of the Bluebird, things have considerably improved for the third caste women. But secondaries don’t get a lot of improvements to their lives. To Dr. Nguyen, Libba looks tired. She undoubtedly is.

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Review – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

Review – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

The Cure is Worse Than the Disease was the kick off for a series.


In response to a prompt about diseases and their cures, the title, as a phrase, lodged itself into my head and would not get out.

Review – The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

At the same time, I read an article about the marsupial wolf (this extinct creature was also called the Tasmanian tiger). A scrap of paper held the tiniest of plot bunnies – smart kangaroos.


Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cria | The Cure is Worse Than the Disease
Cria, a tween secondary female Daranaean

At the conclusion of Intolerance, Pamela Hudson is poised to leave the Nereid Medical Academy. Will Owen is distraught and is about to be kicked out, but Blair Claymore, Mark Stone, and An Nguyen are still going to be there. What happens to those newly minted doctors once they graduate?

I decided that An would graduate at the top of his class. And he would get a job with Erika Hernandez and become the Chief Medical Officer on her canon ship, the USS Columbia (the NX-02).

While on a routine voyage, they come across a pleasure craft which is emanating a distress call, a medical emergency. When they answer it, they come upon a most curious species, the Daranaeans.

It seems that there’s already a physician on board, Doctor Rechal. So, why isn’t he treating the sick individual? Because she’s a second-caste female, and he doesn’t treat their kind. As An, Erika and the remainder of the Columbia‘s crew learn, there is institutional sexism in this species. Everyone seems to be in on it. The men look down on the women. The Prime Wife looks down at the secondary. The secondary looks down on the third-caste female. And the women are kept barefoot and pregnant.

Doctor Nguyen loses a lot of his innocence then, as he learns that even a species that could be an ally can have some rather nasty personal practices.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K+.


The story was so well-received that fellow authors demanded a sequel. I wrote a few, and created a series for the Daranaeans, called Emergence. And it all sprang from this one story.