Review – Worry

Review – Worry

Worry is, well, worrisome, I suppose.

For a prompt with the same name as the title, I wanted to do a little drabble about T’Pol and her sometimes uneven relationship with a certain crew member.


Review – Worry

Worried T’Pol

In canon, T’Pol’s relationship with Porthos is a bit rocky. In the beginning, she is bothered by his smell and cannot adjust to the idea of a pet being an appropriate presence on a starship. Because Jonathan Archer is so wrapped up in the dog’s well being, and T’Pol and Jonathan do not get off on the best footing in the beginning of the series, there might be some carry over. That is, maybe T’Pol has issues with Porthos because she has issues with Archer. Fortunately, she warms up to both of them.

A part of T’Pol’s journey as a character is to understand and accept both of them. Love or hate These are the Voyages (hate it!), the scene where he stiffly hugs her has some merit.

So now she has cause to have concern over Porthos. And I feel this would ring true as well.


It’s just a little thing, but Porthos is sick. T’Pol has already rushed him to Sick Bay. The little drabble just covers her fretting and asking Phlox about his condition.

Story Postings


The story has a K rating.


Porthos has a value to the crew that T’Pol only begins to understand later in the series. To my mind, it made sense for that understanding to happen during the E2 alternate timeline as well. For her, he has become more than just the captain’s pet. And he’s more than the odd addition to the crew she initially didn’t much care for. Now, she cares for him a great deal. I was glad to be able to showcase that.

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Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Interphases series, Review, 0 comments

Recurrent Themes – 42753

Recurrent Themes – 42753



What is it about this particular number?

I have no idea why this number became my go-to number. I just like it. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | 42753 It’s easy to type on a keypad, as the 4 and the 2 are typed diagonally from left to right. And then the 7, 5, and 3 are typed diagonally in the same way, but from one row higher.

So it’s a zip code in central Kentucky and really has no significance in my life whatsoever.

Yet it creeps into my Star Trek fan fiction all the same.


The Puzzle, A Tale Told in Pieces

When Travis is kidnapped for an alien experiment, he meets several people, including a ‘defective’ (not overwhelmingly alluring) Orion slave girl who has no name. But they only know her as a number. So that number is 42753.

The Three of Us

In The Three of Us, Jay Hayes reveals that 42753 is his serial number.

Hayes dogtags

Hayes dogtag

Yet he only gives out this number while the Imvari are torturing him.

The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

So this story includes a scene of reading Porthos’s microchip. The number is 2149-42753.

The Tribe

In The Tribe, when Mary Reed is trapped in a transport that isn’t working, the number of the car she’s in is 42753.

Multiverse II

So in Multiverse II, 42753 is the panel number for where Branch Borodin has to place the pulse shot collector.

Level 2 multiverse

Level 2 multiverse

Later, the number also refers to the last message Levi sends to Maren O’Connor before his PADD dies.

Untrustworthy (Original Fiction)

So one rather long designation includes this particular string of numbers.

Things to come

Play contains 42753 in two places. First, it’s the number of a secure channel Admiral Alynna Nechayev uses. The second time, it’s at the end of a string of numbers denoting Dana MacKenzie’s radiation band. So this proves that she has some Mirror Universe ancestry.


This quirky number will be back. I guarantee it. Like this post? Tweet it!

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Themes, 1 comment

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Future cat?


Tarisian Dreams suggested that I somehow find a way for Spot and Porthos to meet. The only methods were, I felt, either time travel or a holodeck simulation. I chose the former.


It’s during the Xindi War, and Lili has only recently been hired. While starting dinner, she brings Porthos to the galley. He sits, hoping that’s she’ll drop something tasty. Will comes in and scolds Lili, as this is a Health Code violation.

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

English: This is an orange/yellow tabby cat.

He insists that she return the beagle to Captain Archer‘s quarters. Lili does so, and departs as the ship is hit by a spatial anomaly. This creates a hull breach on B Deck. But this anomaly is temporal as well as spatial, and so it also results in Porthos being whisked away. And it’s over a century into the future, to the Enterprise-D, where Data, Spot, Geordi, Wesley Crusher, and Captain Picard all are.

Review – The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

On the NX-01, they fear Porthos is deAD. On the Enterprise-D, they try to get him home.

Plus I tell the whole thing from the perspective of Porthos, including his conversations with Spot.

Does Porthos get back to the right time period? Who helps him? And what happens to him and Spot, before he departs?

I guess you’ll have to read in order to find out.

Story Postings


The story has a K rating.


I love writing animals’ points of view, and Porthos is always great fun. Spot was much more of a challenge, but readers have told me that I got cat POV correct. That was rather satisfying to read. Will they return? Absolutely, although I have no idea as to how to (if ever) get them back together again.

Posted by jespah in In Between Days series, Interphases series, Review, 13 comments

Progress Report – January 2014

Progress Report – January 2014

January 2014 had kind of a theme going on.

Posted Works

This month was all about Porthos, Wesley Crusher, and Eriecho, it seemed.

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

First of all, I finished spinning out The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat on Fanfiction.net, and also added the story to Fictionpad. For the In Between Days Collection, I added The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat, In Memory of Kelsey Haber, and Confidence. For Hall of Mirrors context, I added Ceremonial. I finished posting Crackerjack on Wattpad and finished posting Crackerjack on the G & T Show’s forums.

Progress Report – January 2014

In keeping with the Wesley Crusher theme, I added Imprecision, Overture, The Adventures of Porthos, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment and the beginning of The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat to Wattpad, and to G & T Show’s forums, as a single topic, Imprecision/Overture, plus The Adventures of Porthos, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment and The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat.

I began adding Flight of the Bluebird to Fanfiction.net. For Valentines’ Day, I combined The Best Things Come in Pairs and Complications into one story on Wattpad, and called it Loving the Alien.

Progress Report – January 2014

In response to my own monthly prompt about YOLO (You Only Live Once), I posted the Eriecho/Sybok story, Across the Universe.

I added a Stats page to capture all read and review data.


The Stats page has all significant read counts. No new milestones were attained this month.

WIP Corner

I continued to work on Time Out, and on the wholly original story, The Obolonk Murders.

Prep Work

I overhauled the website and the blog considerably, adding all of the casting information here on the blog. This did not just bring more information directly to where I am getting the most views and feedback. It also served to help declutter the index for the site. I added a little to the Star Trek Expanded Universes Wiki, too.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Apart from working on the jespah website, I also worked on my own professional website and did some social media blogging. It was a snowy January, and snow shoveling tends to give me wrist pain, thereby making it difficult to type. Furthermore, I started social media classes at Quinnipiac University.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, Progress, 3 comments

Recurrent Themes – Animal Lovers


Animal lovers exist in my fanfiction. I am a big-time animal lover and so that of course creeps into my writing.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Animal Lovers What may also be of interest is the fact that my first fiction writing, when I was a young girl, was animal adventure stories. I didn’t write much. Instead, I would draw crude pictures and then in my head I could add the details of a particular scene. Furthermore, I was probably about four or five or so when I started writing these. I recall my grandmother giving me old appointment books for bygone years, as that was scrap paper that nobody cared about. So I would draw floppy-eared dogs or whatever and the occasional tree or happy shining sun and from those little things and such humble beginnings, I would generate stories. I have forgotten them all and the old drawings are long gone.

But animal lovers are in my fiction all the same.

Animal Lovers Appearances

Jonathan Archer

While everybody seems to love Porthos, it’s only canon character Jonathan Archer who is really responsible for feeding or walking the little guy.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Adventures of Porthos | Animal Lovers

The Adventures of Porthos

Even Porthos himself acknowledges that most people like him, but it’s Alpha (Archer) who’s really in charge of his well-being.

Any time Archer needs to be away from the ship for a significant period of time, he makes sure to entrust the dog to someone. Usually this is Hoshi or Phlox. And while they care about Porthos, this seems to be simply more work for them. At least that’s how I’ve often seen it.

Joss Beckett

Probably my biggest animal lover character is Doug and Lili‘s eldest. As a child, in Fortune, Joss pays more attention to Cindy Morgan‘s Boston Terrier puppy, Fenway, than he does to Jia Sulu. Joss eventually follows his bliss and becomes a veterinarian.

Karin Bernstein

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, once the crew get dogs from the Phnom Penh live market, Karin (along with Captain Archer) is one of the people responsible for training the dogs. This includes following simple commands, herding and some protection for the ship’s herd of procul.

Brian (no last name)

During You Mixed-Up Siciliano, while Sheilagh is trying to figure out whether she wants to continue working for the Temporal Integrity Commission, she ends up jogging to a local park. She comes across a guy who’s taken his elderly poodle, Beau, out for some exercise. They exchange first names and talk a little, and he gives her some advice about whether to stay at her job. He further reveals that Beau is a retired show dog, although not a terribly successful one.

Charlotte Hayes

Concord‘s mistress of the Hayes Farm is not squeamish when it comes to slaughtering animals, including a veal calf. But when Malcolm drives the horse, Phoebe, Charlotte urges him to be gentle while slapping the reins. The hens are also permitted to retain two eggs in each clutch, although that is partly for the purpose of having more chickens to eat or sell.

Jay Hayes

Even overly driven Jay has the time to scratch Porthos behind the ears.

However, in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment, Porthos points out that Jay would refer to him as Spike, an inside joke referring to Tripp Tucker‘s original nickname (never used on screen). Porthos believes that the reference is to another dog, from Jay’s past.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Sparrow and the Blue Jay | Animal Lovers

The Sparrow and the Blue Jay

In The Three of Us, Jay sends Lili an image of a sparrow and a blue jay together, but the meaning is that the two of them should be together romantically.

Bruce Ishikawa

Deirdre Katzman‘s boyfriend is a dog trainer.

Lili O’Day

Porthos loves Lili, as she always smells like food and often has it and will share. During The Stilton Fulfillment, when she attempts to lure him into a Sick Bay crate for his own safety, she refers to steak. Porthos wisely knows she doesn’t have any, but goes in all the same, as he realizes things are dicey.

Joshua Rosen

Porthos briefly refers to Josh throwing a ball for him to fetch. With a broken left arm, in The Stilton Fulfillment, it’s likely that ball-throwing will have to happen for later.

Gregory Shaw

When I was originally writing time travel stories, this role was considerably larger. I meant this character to be a kind of animals whisperer, able to calm and communicate with all manner of less-sentient beasts. Shaw would have the ability to ride, tame and lead most critters.

The way the stories worked out, I never got a chance to use this character, except for a brief reference when a time change gave Shaw a very different role. In The Point is Probably Moot, with the Federation turned into a theocracy, Shaw becomes Pope Gregory XXXII.

Shaw is also intended to be a descendant to Eriecho series characters Juliet Parker and Jack Shaw.

Crystal Sherwood

Crystal is a dog owner, with a Jack Russell Terrier named Petey.

Jim Warren

Charlotte Hayes’s employees are all kind to animals, but Jim is probably the kindest, even kinder than his father, Benjamin. This does not prevent Jim from joking to Malcolm about the proper way to milk a cow.


Not every characteristic is Starfleet-oriented, not every preference is written in the stars. Some characters have rather down to earth interests in common, and being an animal lover is certainly one of those. Animal lovers matter.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Themes, Times of the HG Wells series, 11 comments

Inspiration – Pets

Pets and Origins

Pets inspire. A lot of my characters come from, in one way or another, people I have known. But some come from animals.


I am a dog person and make no secret of the fact. The first dog character I wrote in Star Trek fanfiction was the Star Trek: Enterprise canon character, Porthos, in The Adventures of Porthos.

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Cria | Pets

Cria, a tween secondary female Daranaean

Caitians of course are canon, and they are felinoid. So the idea was to respond directly to that, with a canid species. I had been reading about the marsupial wolf and so the two ideas were combined, and the Daranaeans were born.

 A Dog’s Eye View

Their personalities tend to be canine, too, from their pack-like hierarchy to their desire to sleep communally to the lower castes’ need to serve. The pack structure is shown off in The Cure is Worse Than the Disease and Beta individuals challenging the Alpha are shown in Take Back the Night.

In the upcoming Barnstorming series, their sports are even doglike, including mazes (based upon lure coursing), ring throwing (based upon frisbee) and staggered relay (based on agility).

The hyperactivity of the press parallels, in particular, terriers that I have known. The sentient marsupial canids are great fun to write.


M'Roan, a Caitian | Pets

M’Roan, a Caitian

I am allergic to cats and have never had one as a pet. However of course I have known plenty of felines as pets. For Caitian character Parenelsa, her shyness is absolutely based on shy and withdrawn cats, as in The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment. But Ambassador Gopalahr, and the explorer, M’Roan, are a lot more adventurous. M’Roan was shown off to quirky effect in A Single Step.

In The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat, I confess I was a bit nervous about writing Spot, Data’s cat.


We had an iguana when I was very young. So I have thought a bit about Iggy when creating reptile characters.

A Xindi Reptilian

A Xindi Reptilian

These include Skrol and Bron, D’Storlin and my favorite, the best-realized one, Kevin O’Connor.

I have tried to play against type with all of them, giving them more warmth and depth and trying to stay away from the simple idea of ‘coldness’.


Inspiration is all around; you just have to know where to look for it. You might even be scratching it behind the ears right now.

Posted by jespah in Inspiration-Mechanics, 0 comments

Review – The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

Review – The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

A Stilton fulfillment? Don’t worry; I will explain


After The Adventures of Porthos, there was a call for a sequel.

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

The Further Adventures of Porthos – the Stilton Fulfillment

I got the chance to provide one when the Trek BBS had a monthly challenge in December of 2012 for ironic wish fulfillment. Porthos would get what he always wanted – more cheese – but it wouldn’t quite agree with him.


Review – The Further Adventures of Porthos - the Stilton Fulfillment

The Caitian Ambassador and his family are coming to the NX-01 for dinner. The captain is anxious for everything to go right, and wants to perhaps convince the ambassador to become a more formal ally. The ambassador’s young daughter. Parenelsa, is shy and sweet, but she warms up to Porthos, who begs at the table. And so she feeds him.

And feeds him and feeds him.

The problem arises when Porthos has a reaction. That is, he breaks wind. Malcolm, who is at the dinner and is bored out of his mind, volunteers to take the dog to Sick Bay. For Malcolm, it’s also a chance to get his own treatment, as he is lactose intolerant, a revelation I first made in Intolerance.

And then the ship is attacked.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


The story works out well. A lot of little players get shout outs, including the idea that this is something of a sequel to A Single Step, too. Lili even makes an appearance.

My peers agreed with me, and the story won the monthly challenge.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 7 comments

Review – The Adventures of Porthos

Review – The Adventures of Porthos

Porthos has such fun adventures!


When I was first starting to write Star Trek fanfiction,

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | The Adventures of Porthos

The Adventures of Porthos

I seized upon an idea to write about the five senses. More, More, More is about hearing; There’s Something About Hoshi is about touch; If You Can’t Stand the Heat is about taste; The Puzzle is about vision; and The Adventures of Porthos, as would befit a story where a dog is the star, is all about smell.


The story starts off with Porthos narrating the action. Because he is a dog, he’s not too communicative in terms of language. Instead, the world divides into good smells and bad ones.

Review – The Adventures of Porthos

Most of the Enterprise is on the side of what Porthos refers to as good smells, everything from Sick Bay to the remnants of a cheeseburger that Hoshi ate for dinner. He listens to Captain Archer (Alpha) make plans about meeting a species called Azezans. Being Porthos, he doesn’t pay attention to every single syllable. He has acute hearing but, let’s face it, like many dogs, he sometimes only listens to what he really wants to hear.

The same scene is then repeatedly normally, and the story goes on that way throughout.

Porthos sees action when Archer learns that the Azezans are the victims of oppression. Captain Archer finds their predicament uncomfortably familiar, but he is initially unsure as to exactly why that is so. This ends up as one of my first links to Jewish characters and the Holocaust, as the reference is painfully close to the Judenrat.

Story Postings


The story is Rated K.


I love dogs and I believe that they truly think quite a bit like this, paying somewhat selective attention and continually being distracted by the various aromas around them. They apparently understand some 200 – 350 or so words, so it would follow that a lot of what Porthos hears is just so much semi-random noise to him.

Furthermore, the emphasis on scents prefigures the Daranaeans, and the switching between the scenes was altered to great effect in Reversal. I like the story but don’t love it; the Alien of the Week plot could have been stronger, I feel. But the story had an unexpected, award-winning sequel, The Further Adventures of Porthos – The Stilton Fulfillment. And, as I have explained, it showcases some concepts and techniques that I have improved over time. I think it’s a decent older story.

Posted by jespah in Fan fiction, In Between Days series, Review, 8 comments