Tag Archives: Star Trek Enterprise

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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Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers

Recurrent Themes – Unintentional Time Travelers

Background

Time travel is such a great trope that I just had to cover it. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Unintentional Time TravelersThe most fun was when time travelers didn’t really want to go, but something or other swept them along anyway.

Appearances

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel |  Times of the HG Wells logo courtesy of TemplarSora
Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Times of the HG Wells logo courtesy of TemplarSora | Unintentional Time Travelers

Unintentional time travelers are such a fun idea to explore that I’ve gone to this well several times.

Concord

Concord is all about unintentional and intentional time travel.

Robert Lenox

Lenox, the real time traveler, is testing out a new device when Reed is accidentally swept along, and Reed’s ancestor is also displaced, as is Lenox’s own ancestor.

Malcolm Reed

Right before the start of the Xindi War, Malcolm is accidentally transported to 1775 Concord, Massachusetts.

Crackerjack

In Crackerjack,  inadvertent time travel occurs because the errant pulse shot from Empress Hoshi (and the Temper story) hits Wesley and Geordi’s shuttle.

Wesley Crusher

For Wesley, the trip to 1941 Washington, DC is a voyage that he would rather not have taken.

Geordi LaForge

For Geordi, the voyage to Washington, DC in 1941 is the occasion to meet Rosemary Parker, although he also feels the effects of the prejudice of the time.

Day of the Dead

The Traveler is to blame for Chuck McBride and Tripp Tucker traveling in time.

Chuck McBride

McBride the jokester is yanked out of Upper Bavaria, but it’s never made clear as to exactly where and when he ends up.

Tripp Tucker

Tucker’s personal temporal displacement gets him to the 1944 liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

The Continuing Adventures of Porthos – The Future Cat

Another pesky anomaly sends Porthos forward in time, in The Continuing Adventures of Porthos.

Porthos

The NX-01‘s resident quadruped takes his  temporal displacement in stride, and makes friends with Data’s cat, Spot, although Porthos does miss Archer.

E2 Timeline

For both kicks back in time, the entire ship unwittingly travels in time.

The Entire NX-01

No one is left behind when the Enterprise is kicked back in time.

Theorizing

In Theorizing, whatever is leaping Sam Beckett around does it to Jonathan Archer, too.

Captain Jonathan Archer

Archer’s mission is to help Sam Beckett’s wife, Donna Elise, move on with her life.

Dr. Sam Beckett

Dr. Beckett’s mission is to convince the Xindi Humanoid, Degra, that the deaths of millions of humans like Lizzie Tucker should be on his conscience.

Upshot

I adore this trope so much that I am continually trying to figure out another way to shoehorn it into my fan fiction.

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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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Review – Theorizing

Review – Theorizing

Theorizing was an irresistible concept.

On October 12, 2153, Captain Jonathan Archer and Doctor Sam Beckett reciprocally leap in time, in this Quantum Leap crossover.

Background

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

Others have had the idea of crossing Dr. Sam Beckett and Captain Jonathan Archer. That much is for certain. I had wanted to do this for a while, and then the opportunity suddenly presented itself.

Plot

The story opens with Beckett materializing onto the NX-01, and meeting Jennifer Crossman.  The time period for Quantum Leap is after the end of the series, so Sam has been leaping about in time under all sorts of odd circumstances and those include going past the beginning and end of his natural life span. The show’s creators had said that, if the series had continued, the leaps would have gotten odder, and so going to ancient Rome or even to the taming of fire by primitives would certainly fit the bill there.

Review – Theorizing
Donna and Al

As Beckett meets Crossman, he seems (she still thinks he’s Captain Archer) a bit faint. She gets him to Sick Bay, where he yells in alarm when he sees Dr. Phlox.  It’s explained to him, eventually, that Archer was in the midst of early negotiations with the Xindi, Degra. Beckett, feeling this is his reason for being on board the Enterprise, asks to be debriefed and vows to attempt the mission.

Meanwhile, on Earth, and a good century previously, Admiral Al Calavicci is trying to work with a somewhat agitated Jonathan Archer. As Tina, Gooshie, Verbena Beeks, and Sammy Jo Fuller all help Jonathan figure out what he needs to do, Donna Eleese stays back.  Eventually, Jonathan realizes that the reciprocal leap is a lot less about Degra (although Sam does confront the Xindi) than it is about Donna.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really loved putting together two of my all-time favorite shows, in an effort to make them both work together like a well-oiled machine. Did I pull it off? Let me know in the comments!

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Focus on Andorians in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Focus on Andorians

Andorians are just plain fun.

Focus

A focus Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Focus Magnifying Glass | Andorians (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.

Star Trek Enterprise did one thing extremely well, which is that it gave audiences a good, solid look at Andorians, a canon alien species that has been around back to The Original Series, about fifty years ago.

Background – Andorians

The look of Andorians has changed over time, as advancements in makeup and prosthetic technology have made the blue-skilled antennaed aliens look more and more real.

Focus on Andorians
Shran

Shran is easily the most fully-realized of all Andorians ever shown in the series, if not canon.

One thing that Shran does is, he engages in casual racial prejudice, often referring to Jonathan Archer as “pinkskin”. Interestingly enough, these scenes were never filmed (so far as I am aware) in the presence of Anthony Montgomery or any other non-Caucasian actors on the show.

He even passes his prejudice onto his daughter, Talla, even though she is an AndorianAenar hybrid and is the color of pea soup.

Occurrences

Half

While there are Andorians in the Barnstorming series, the main occasion for showing them is in this short story. To dovetail with Shran’s casual prejudice, I made the entire species (more or less) like that. And so Talla, who is half and half, is bullied at school. In order to shout down her persecutors, she claims that her father still has the Teneebian Amethyst. And that’s when things get difficult ….

Upshot

Andorians are a fascinating canon species, and I’d love to showcase them more. At some point, I’ll try to find a place for them, and not just in contrast to the related Aenar.

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Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong

Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong

Origins

During Intolerance, I needed someone who would be a kind of chaperone to Pamela, Blair, Will, Mark, and An.  Her name had to be gender-neutral. Her surname, like a lot of the other names in that story, evokes Dominic Keating’s earlier career. The Fong portion is a nod to another original character of mine, pop star Kurt Fong. I like to think that she is his sister-in-law.

Portrayal

Bernie is played by actress Michelle Yeoh.

Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong
English: Michelle Yeoh at the Toronto International Film Festival 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wanted an older yet attractive Asian actress. She would also be the kind of person who, during the shenanigans at the beginning of Intolerance, Malcolm might consider as a romantic prospect.

Personality

Extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, Phlox refers to her as a specialist in ancient diseases, a statement that she does not dispute. Until it was time to write others’ universes, I did not really have a role for her beyond Intolerance. However, I had occasion to write a crossover work called Bomb(e) and made her the physician on the NX-04 Ariane. In that story, which is played a lot more for laughs, Dr. Keating-Fong ends up treating a patient who may or may not have planted a bomb on board in order to scare off Romulans who have boarded that ship.

Relationships

Bernie has no known relationships in either universe.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Bernardine (Bernie) Keating-Fong
Mirror Bernie

There are no impediments to Bernie existing in the Mirror Universe.

Because medical care is so devalued over there, as are women, I like to think that she would be tougher. She would have to be, particularly as she aged.

 

Quote

“Naurr, listen to me very carefully. You’re the chef on the Ariane. We’re at war with the Romulans. And I hardly think you were making bombs.”

Upshot

Now that I’ve put her on the Ariane, I suppose she can have some other adventures. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even show her with Kurt.

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Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown

Origins

This character is canon, although he was rarely seen and only had a first initial.

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
MACO Victor Brown

What is always interesting and challenging for me is to try to put some flesh and blood onto bare bones canon characters.

This character is without a doubt one of those.

Portrayal

As in canon, Victor is played by stunt performer Yoshio Iizuka.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
Yoshio Iizuka as Victor Brown

In the E2 timeline, Victor is one of the men who behaves rather badly. However, when he’s backed into a corner, he ultimately does the right thing, mainly to repair his marriage.  When accused, he (and Neil Kemper) confess to Captain Archer and are given lighter sentences than the others, in the matter of the attack on Patti Socorro.

Relationships

Cassandra Lester

Cassie is even less defined and I have very little on her, except that she is a Navigational Crewman.  They do not have children in either iteration/kick back in time.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Victor Brown
Mirror MACO Victor Brown

This character exists in the Mirror Universe.

There is very little about him in the Mirror, although he is injured in the attempt to capture Slar (a Gorn), an attempt that causes Ian Reed to lose an eye. As for what happens to Victor afterwards, it’s anybody’s guess.

However, given the horrific medical care that I write for the Mirror Universe, and the fact that he is a lower level crew member, he would likely be patched up quickly in order to fight another day, but with few niceties. Would Empress Hoshi have him on her ship?

Only if he could prove loyalty to her, and no loyalty to Reed. And even then, maybe not. Far as she’s concerned, he’s cannon fodder and nothing more.

Quote

Chang is saying that it’s not going to matter what we do or say, but I think it does matter. And even if it does nothing to my sentence or whatever the captain has in mind, it may make a difference with Cassie. And that’s all I really care about. I gotta repair my marriage. I am gonna break this code of silence.

Upshot

There are a ton of these extra performers who had few lines. It is often a fascinating challenge to give them some depth. I hope I’ve done Victor some justice.

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Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole

Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole

Origins

The character is, of course, canon.

Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole
Noa Tishby as Amanda Cole

She is a MACO Corporal and, in canon, had a bit of a fling with Tripp Tucker, as they both had the destruction wrought by the Xindi prototype weapon, and Floridian childhoods, in common.

Furthermore, in canon, in the E2 episode, she and Phlox marry and have nine children.

Portrayal

As in canon, Amanda is played by Israeli actress Noa Tishby.

Personality

Brash and maybe a little pushy, Amanda is the kind of person who goes after whatever she wants. If I were writing more of a prelude to the E2 stories, I probably would have included a confrontation between her and T’Pol.  That might happen in the future; I’m not sure.

Relationships

Phlox

During the first kick back in time, in 2037, Phlox is recruited to play Santa Claus. Unbeknownst to him, the members of the crew stand in line to request gifts (the first two children haven’t been born yet, so the lineup is solely composed of adults) and Amanda is first. Surprising him, she sits on his lap, an act that he finds pleasing. Her sexual aggressiveness is what kick starts their relationship.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Amanda Cole
Noa Tishby as Mirror Amanda Cole

I do not believe that there are any impediments to Amanda existing in the Mirror Universe. She was not shown during either of the Star Trek: Enterprise canon Mirror Universe episodes, but that does not mean that the character was necessarily not there.

I write most Mirror Universe women as being overly sexed and beholden to men. I think Amanda would be. Here, she’s the touch MACO. There, she’s yet another sexpot, looking to snag a strong man before her looks fade, someone to protect her and her eventual children.

Quote

“Sure. Captain, I wanna tell you, I want to thank you for, for this, this opportunity. … I just, I never thought I’d become a mother.”

Upshot

This is a character that wasn’t used too much in canon, and probably should have been. I suspect that real-world issues changed that, as the show was facing cancellation during that season. If it had not been, and she had been seen a few more times, who’s to say what would have happened, and where the writers would have taken the storyline? As is the case with many things with Enterprise – Star Trek fanfiction to the rescue!

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Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan

Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan

Origins

For the E2 stories, I wanted the Quartermaster character (the position is canon, but no one was ever named as working in it, in the series) to be rather active.

Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan
Dev Patel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Much like Crystal Sherwood, Sekar (the name is pronounced like ‘shaker’) would be a creative person.

Portrayal

Chandrasekar is played by actor Dev Patel. I like this smart, handsome actor and feel he would play the kind of guy who stays in the background until the E2 scenario rears its ugly head. And once it does, he gets a ton to do, and suddenly becomes a rather important person indeed.

Personality

Pleasant and a bit self-effacing, Sekar mainly stays to himself. He’s a part of the crew during the Xindi War but is wondering what to do with himself. However, once the ship is sent back in time, he becomes busy. Brides need approximations of gowns. Babies need onesies. Fields need to be plowed with … something. Sekar is called upon, again and again, to conjure up new things more or less out of thin air. He does so with creativity and aplomb.

Relationships

Hoshi Sato

Sekar’s only known relationship is with Hoshi. In both iterative kicks back in time, they marry. However, in the first scenario, she dates both him and José for a while, before finally choosing him. Ironically, in the prime timeline, she refers to him as old what’s-his-name when dating Ted Stone, in There’s Something About Hoshi, a strong indication that he left the ship at the end of the hostilities.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Sekar Khan
Mirror Sekar

There is nothing preventing Sekar from existing in the Mirror Universe. I write Mirror artists as being elites, so he would possibly be a rather wealthy man.

Would Empress Hoshi be interested? The idea intrigues. Perhaps I’ll write it someday.

Quote

“I guess it’s a way for the single people to get close. You know that dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.”

Upshot

Sekar was made for the E2 timeline, and I think he served that purpose rather well. Will I bring him back? His portion of the timeline is somewhat limited but it’s not outside the realm of possibility, particularly in the Mirror Universe.

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Review – A Hazy Shade

Review – A Hazy Shade

A Hazy Shade showcases what will happen to us.

Background

For a prompt about seasons, everyone seemed to focus on summer (as did I; I also wrote And the Livin’ is Easy from the same prompt).

Barking up the Muse Tree | Jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Later Days | A Hazy Shade
Later Days

But I also wanted to follow Jonathan Archer at the twilight of his life. Married to Miva, Archer is lamenting the departed of the NX-01, both in a formal ceremony to christen a dedication obelisk, and afterwards.

The story goes along with a number of other older crew member stories, including Consider the Lilies of the Field, Equinox, and There’s Something Else About Hoshi.

Plot

The occasion is fifty years since the last flight of the NX-01. An obelisk is unveiled on Earth (I never specifiy the city) and on it are inscribed the names of the dead from that ship, no matter how or where or when they died. Malcolm and Lili are already named on it. Although no one names her in the story, Melissa would also be on it. Miva points out that Karin and Ethan are still alive, as are Azar Hamidi and his wife, who may or may not be Maryam Haroun in the prime timeline (I have not made a decision on this yet).

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

This is a quiet, slow, measured story, where not a lot happens. But I think that makes sense, that two elderly people at what is very much like a funeral would move a slow, measured, deliberate pace as they would pause and reflect.

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