Review – Loss

Review – Loss

Loss happens to all of us eventually. So my idea was about how someone who does not really have emotions would react to it. And for Commander Data, his study of emotions has not exactly been good preparation for this.


Yet again, the prompt and the story have the same name.


Barking up the muse tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Loss

How does Data handle the inevitable loss of Spot?

Geordi and his friends help Data deal with a significant loss.

As a result, this little story is for anyone who has ever had to bury a beloved pet. I have, several times. And that feeling never really leaves you. In addition, for many people, it can feel as awful as the death of a child.

So I originally wrote it as more or less on a lark. In addition, I am more of a dog person than a cat person and so the death of the orange tabby had about as much of an effect on me about as much as it did Data in the beginning of the story.

But later, after having written The Continuing Adventures of Porthos, I decided I kind of like Spot after all. As a result, I truly hope this little story gives her her due. Most noteworthy and surprising to me is how people like this little story. In addition, people have had deeper emotional reactions than I had originally thought would happen. To cry, over this short tale? However, if we are to believe readers’ stated reactions, that has happened, and more than once.

Story Postings


This story is rated K.


Finally, the story is pretty well received wherever it goes, although that may  be at least partly due to the inclusion of Data, who a lot of people feel is a beloved character.

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Posted by jespah in Barnstorming, Fan fiction, Review, 0 comments

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Geordi LaForge got a bum rap in canon.


The character is, of course, canon. In canon, he has a lot of trouble with women and never seems to really find anyone. His blindness is clear canon and people treat him and his different ability with respect. However eventually, in the films, he gets implants. The reason is because it probably made for easier storytelling.


Geordi La Forge

Geordi La Forge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As in canon, Geordi is played by actor Levar Burton.

This intelligent actor could have usually used better scripts.  Also, I would have liked to have seen him confronting prejudice, for one thing. It’s one of the reasons I wrote Crackerjack in the first place.


Very smart and responsible, and uber-nerdy, Geordi is an affable guy who always seems to be in the friendzone.


Geordi has canon relationships but I won’t enumerate them here.

Rosemary Parker

During the events depicted in Crackerjack, Geordi and Rosemary share a brief romance. He pays enough attention to her life to look her up. Hence he learns that she was arrested with Martin Luther King, Jr. after she married a man with the surname of Warren. This rather neatly makes her an ancestor of the woman I write as becoming Wesley Crusher‘s wife, Lakeisha Warren.

Theme Music

Crackerjack has a ton of period music, but nothing really speaks to me as a theme for Geordi.

Mirror Universe

It’s hard to say whether a Mirror Universe Geordi could exist at all.

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

Portrait of a Character – Geordi LaForge

He would be extra-smart, to be sure, but I write the MU as being leery of physical weaknesses and imperfections – and blindness would be right up there as a not so small problem.

If he could easily and seamlessly be fitted with ocular implants, perhaps as an infant, then he could survive and maybe even thrive on the other side of the pond.


“No, that’s all right. But the young lady who is with us, maybe she would like to do that. I can’t figure these people out. Some of them wouldn’t be caught dead being anywhere near me, while others are going out of their way to be kind or even charitable in their own way.”


One great bit of fun I had was, in the Barnstorming series, to find a place for Geordi in the HayesBeckettO’DayReedMaddenDigiorno family. His place is as secure as Richard Daniels‘s. He’ll be back (he has to; he’s canon).

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

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

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