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Portrait of a Character – D’Storlin

Portrait of a Character – D’Storlin

D’Storlin has troubles.

Origins

Spock was always such an incredibly well-adjusted person, given his circumstances and birth. And I always felt that that made little sense. Even with a genius IQ and half-Vulcan blood, I always figured it would make infinitely more sense for him to have been more unhinged. Enter D’Storlin.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | D’Storlin | DStorlin
D’Storlin

I see the actor Vincent Kartheiser in this role.

He’s got somewhat interesting credentials, including Mad Men and time on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff, Angel.

I like that he’s got a background of playing weaselly characters. Because D’Storlin has major issues.

Personality

Penitent, but with a hot temper and a lack of patience, D’Storlin is angry at the world. And it is for how a dead baby crocodile is treated in his Biology class (the animal is a subject for dissection).

Relationships

D’Storlin has no known relationships.

Mirror Universe

I don’t have a Mirror Universe counterpart for D’Storlin, but there are no impediments to his existence.

Portrait of a Character – D’Storlin
Vincent Kartheiser as Mirror D’Storlin

For what he did to John, he wouldn’t be sent to a school for troubled children. Instead, he’d get a promotion.

Quote

“I see the egg tooth, you know, the one you use to get outta the shell? I don’t remember coming out of the shell, of course, but I remember seeing my little sister – she and I weren’t in the same clutch. {and} I remember seeing her struggle and struggle but she finally made it and my parents and my clutch brothers and sisters, we all cheered. And then we had hamburgers, I remember. Funny, the things you remember.”

Upshot

I like this creepy character, but I do not know where to put him next.

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Review – Red

Review – Red

Red plays on the color and on Norri’s hair. Because this character has the least amount of development of all of the main characters in the In Between Days series (even Pamela Hudson has more depth and detail to her), it works to give Norri her due. And, again, the title plays on words as well, putting the color together with mortification.

Background

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Norri | Red
Norri D’Giorno

Hence for a prompt about embarrassment, I went with not only the color of your face but the color of Norri Digiorno‘s hair.

I had some hints about the first meeting between her and Melissa Madden in Fortune, but had not written it. The opportunity presented itself on a silver platter, so I went ahead with this sweet little story about love at first sight.

Plot

As Norri vacations on Ceres just after graduating from Oklahoma State with a BA in English Literature, pilot Melissa hangs out at a hotel bar with her pilot friends.

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Norri| Red
Norri

So Norri is checking out Melissa, big time. Melissa is playing it a little cooler. Finally, when Melissa’s friends leave, she crooks her finger just once, and Norri comes running. And, as Norri herself says on her deathbed in Fortune, she (Norri) never left. This love, much like the loves throughout the family and the series, is eternal. She really means forever.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

It was an irresistible story to write, to get these two crazy kids together for the first time. For the main characters of In Between Days, their first meeting and first ‘date’ are the most normal.

This one was a joy to write, and hopefully readers find it a joy to read as well.

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Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist

Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist

Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist
MyAnna Buring as Ingrid Nyqvist

I liked the idea of having another super light-colored woman on the NX-01, someone who would very superficially resemble Lili. Because Lili is selected by the Calafans in the Prime Timeline, there is some reason or another why Ingrid, who looks even more like I think Calafans should, is not selected.

The easiest explanations are either that she is gone from the ship after the return from the Delphic Expanse (which is what happens to Quartermaster Sekar Khan), or she is not psionically gifted and, therefore, is not seen as suitable by the Calafans. I think I prefer the latter explanation although I haven’t had an occasion to test or explain either hypothesis in my Star Trek fan fiction.

Origins

Because Malcolm seems to prefer blondes, I hard-wire that as a preference for him, particularly for the stories based on the E2 episode. As he and Lili circle each other (and she also circles Jay), Malcolm does consider Ingrid as a possible mate, except he really doesn’t know her at all.

Portrayal

I liked the idea of a Scandinavian actress, so I selected MyAnna Buring, who has been on Doctor Who.

Personality

Mainly withdrawn and private, Ingrid isn’t well-known. I don’t cover her life too closely, like I do with tertiary characters like Meredith Porter. Instead, Ingrid’s main event happens during The Three of Us.

Going after Lucas Donnelly initially, Ingrid is a bit disappointed to learn that he’s gay. However, in order to help out his roommate, Mark Reilly, Luke tells a fib, and claims that Mark is unusually well-endowed. The hype gets Ingrid interested, but also Sandra and other women like them, like Kate Shelton and Colleen Romanov. With sexual tension running high in the ship, the women physically attack each other, thereby starting a small riot in the Observation Lounge. Beyond the obvious disciplinary issue, this also gives the single men an opportunity to intervene. Sometimes this is to try to break things up, but it’s also an excuse to grope the women a bit.

Relationships

Mark Reilly

In the first kick back in time, after the riot, they end up together. Despite the fact that Mark cannot live up to the hype, she still selects him.

Robert Slater

In the second kick back in time, Ingrid and Victoria Dietrich switch, and she instead marries Robert. This is somewhat to her advantage, as Mark dies young in the second temporal displacement.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Ingrid Nyqvist
Mirror Ingrid

There are no impediments to Ingrid existing in the Mirror.

I write Mirror Universe women as mainly being suppressed, so Ingrid probably would be, as well. A gentle discipline such as stellar cartography would only be useful in the context of preparations for conquest and war, but the Empress Hoshi Sato would likely not want such an attractive potential rival on board. But it’s unlikely that the ISS Defiant, the technologically advanced flagship of the Terran fleet, would be used for mapping missions. Hence perhaps Ingrid would be on a different ship, working the same job, but for the greater glory of the Empire.

Quote

“I saw him first!”

Upshot

The character is admittedly a bit of a cipher. The idea of a second Terran Empire ship, working as a means of clearing the way for the Empress, is a decent idea, and perhaps I will explore it in the future.

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Review – Dishing it Out

Review – Dishing it Out

Dishing it out is a crossover.

Background

Barking Up The Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Lili| Naomi Watts | pregnant | Dishing it Out
Lili (image of a pregnant Naomi Watts is for educational purposes only)

False Bill and I wanted to put together a funny crossover story where both of our universes could collide.

Complicating matters was the fact that his chef character, the Caitian Naurr, disappears during the Romulan War in his fan fiction.

Therefore, there were some temporal limitations. This required that Lili be pregnant with Joss, but it also gave us an idea about temporal shenanigans.

Plot

Three storylines occur at what, to the reader, is the same time and place. But the reality is that they cover three separate years and two universes.  In one storyline, the Mirror Universe version of Erika Hernandez works as a chef for the Empress Hoshi Sato. Hoshi is mulling over her next conquests and angry about the food on the ISS Defiant. In 2158, a very pregnant Lili, along with Naurr, is cooking at Reversal. Doug tells her to take it easy, and some of the interplay between them foreshadows later issues in Together and Fortune.  The third storyline is in the deeper future, in the HG Wells timeline, as Rick Daniels, Carmen Calavicci, Otra D’Angelo, HD Avery, Levi Cavendish, and Kevin O’Connor all celebrate at a year-end banquet with some of their mirror counterparts, which are characters created by False Bill.

A dispute and a small prank pushes one of False Bill’s characters to send unauthorized cookbooks to Empress Hoshi’s time period. But the temporal transporters are only working to send people forward in time but not back! What to do?

Send in the chefs!

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I like how the threads came together. We also had a  lot of comedic fun with the story, adding an invading mouse army and a bit of slapstick humor. Others agreed, and it won the crossover challenge during the 2014 Twelve Trials of Triskelion on Ad Astra.

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Progress Report – August 2015

Progress Report – August 2015

August 2015 was a bit more of the same as before.

Posted Works

On Fanfiction.net, I posted Seven Women. Tommy gets his due and the In Between Days series is getting close to its current end point.

In addition, on the G & T Show forums, I posted Conversations With Heroes. On Wattpad, I posted Temper. Hence both of these sites were moving much deeper into my universe and my fan fiction characters. Plus of course Conversations includes some LGBTQ (subtle) character work. And for both of these books, Lili figures rather prominently.Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill | August 2015

Milestones

Please see the Stats page for individual read and review counts.

WIP Corner

I kept on working on the last book of the Barnstorming series, Overtime. I also created and began to populate a Wiki for this year’s NaNoWriMo story, The Enigman Cave (a lot of that work consisted of getting together character names and figuring out the departments and chain of command on the ship). Because that story has a great deal of complexity already, I predict it will take me far, far beyond the end of November before I finish it. And that is perfectly fine, of course! However, it will most likely keep me from writing any new Star Trek fan fiction for the time being.

Prep Work

I put together separate chapters in A Long, Long Time Ago for posting on Fanfiction.net. Hence that one is ready to go.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

During the first week, I had final projects due for school (at least the following semester does not start until August the 31st). I started volunteering as an Ambassador for Wattpad. Because that takes up some time, the time has to come from somewhere. And right now, it comes from Star Trek fan fiction writing time. So sorry!

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Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed

Origins

This character is canon, but he’s probably still called Malcolm. He is the Mirror Universe counterpart to the original canon character.

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

I didn’t like that, so I switched his name to Ian. I really liked the idea of the character attempting, but ultimately failing in life, to reinvent himself.

Because he cannot reinvent himself in life, I allow him to do so in death. During the events of Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Ian becomes a kind of spirit guide for Lili.

Portrayal

As in canon, Ian is played by actor Dominic Keating. Keating is the only person I can see in this role.

Personality

Portrait of a Character – Malcolm (Ian) Reed
Ian Reed (Dominic Keating)

Ruthless and nasty, Ian has very little to recommend him. In Fortune, Beth Cutler and Tripp Tucker refer to him as “cruel and sadistic”. But there is another side to Ian, at least at the time of his death. In Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses, Ian is partly blinded and knows that he’s got very little time left. His remaining life is pain and misery, as he has been mauled by a Gorn. Plus Hoshi Sato is running wild and has declared herself Empress.

Ian decides that he doesn’t want to be called Malcolm anymore. He decides that he will be Ian and he wants to return to Terra, to live out the remainder of his days. He hopes for some small measure of peace.

But Hoshi can’t allow that.

In a fit of Machiavellian pique, she ruthlessly murders everyone on the senior staff except for Tucker and Mayweather. Cutler is moved over to Sick Bay, and Hoshi hires a new doctor (Cyril Morgan). But before Ian’s death, Cutler is given two lethal syringes and is presented with Ian and Phlox. She has to kill both of them. Which one gets which syringe (one of which will be faster and somewhat painless)?  Cutler helps her fellow human, and gives Ian the marginally better death.

Relationships

Did Ian and Beth have a relationship? I’ve been asked this and, frankly, I’m not sure. The truth is, his best realized relationship is as a guide for Lili. When Ian holds her, comforts her, and otherwise cares for her, without any expectation of return, it allows him to advance in his atonement and move toward a modified state of grace.

Quote

“There’s the time, and I am sorry to be so mysterious. But tonight was to tell you who I am. That way, when you are next visited by me, you won’t be quite so alarmed.”

Upshot

For me, this is a beloved character. I’ll have to figure out a way to bring him back.

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Review – Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

Review – Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown?

So, who shall wear the robe and crown? I mean really?

Background

For a prompt about famous last words, the idea of Empress Hoshi‘s final words being ridiculous was a hard one to shake.

Plot

Barking Up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Hall of Mirrors | Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown
Hall of Mirrors

It is, actually, the canon launch date for the NCC-1701 Enterprise.

The scene is a  sumptuous bedroom.

The Empress isn’t doing so well. Her family surrounds her. However, as would befit someone of her age, she doesn’t always remember who’s who. She grouses about Ubvelwev, the Calafan boyfriend for her son, Takeo. She claims that Takara‘s husband, Charles Tucker IV, is polluting the Sato genome with inferior blood. Arashi is ordered to run the treasury. And she verbally abuses Izo as well.

As she lays dying, Jun and Kira agree, again, to co-rule after her death. She’s trying to say something meaningful, in Latin (the Empress is, of course, a former linguist). But the reality, in the end, is far different.

Music

The story’s title comes from a lyric in a song I first heard in the Coen Brothers‘ film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

I really loved giving the Empress her final comeuppance. I’ve used a lot of occasions to make her look ridiculous. From the mice in Brown to the changes that are made at the end of the Times of the HG Wells series, Empress Hoshi has been the butt of some jokes and often does not get what she wants. This is the last of such times.

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Spotlight on Olathans in Star Trek Fan Fiction

Spotlight on Olathans

Olathans were an early invention.

Background

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

When I first started writing Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction, I wrote a lot of one-off stories with an ‘alien of the week’ theme to them.

In this instance, I wanted an oppressive villain species, as that story line is a parallel to the rise of the Nazi party here on Earth.

Premise

This species would be hidden and mysterious, but nasty. Their purpose in life would be to suppress their overly-peaceful and somewhat simplistically weak neighbors, the Azezans. While the Azezans were purple in color, the Olathans were green. But otherwise they were to look more or less the same, and I never described them any further (my scene setting and world building skills have improved since that story was written several years ago). This allows for the deception in The Adventures of Porthos to be believable at all.

Spotlight on Olathans
Purple star image from Hubble telescope photographs

For the Olathans, their weaker peaceful neighbors are only good for one thing – exploitation. Azezans are worked to death and families are broken up. The Olathans are excited to meet with humans. They hope to be able to sell slave labor to them, or at least the fruits of slave labor. Porthos can tell that something is very, very wrong.

At the end of the story, Jonathan Archer has hit upon a fairly foolproof scheme to try to thwart the Olathans. The idea is to hoist them on their own petard. In order to root out any of them hiding on Azezi Prime, he proposes a gift of scent hounds and their handlers. Hopefully the act of outing any Olathans will spur the Azezans to drive them out of their home world, once and for all.

Upshot

While Porthos got his own pair of sequels, the Azezans and Olathans did not. Perhaps it’s time I visited Azezi Prime, to see what’s up.

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Portrait of a Character – Lakeisha Warren Crusher

Portrait of a Character – Lakeisha Warren Crusher

Origins

When writing Crackerjack (spoiler alert!), I wanted very much for Wesley Crusher to end up wed to a woman of a different race. Enter Lakeisha.

Portrayal

Lakeisha is played by actress Viola Davis.

Personality

Friendly and personable, Lakeisha is also rather talented.

Portrait of a Character – Lakeisha Warren Crusher
Viola Davis as Lakeisha Warren

She plays the French horn in the Starfleet band. She and Wes meet because she’s playing at Will Riker and Deanna Troi‘s wedding, which takes place during Imprecision.

During Overture, when Wes seeks her out and visits her at her dorm (she’s still at Starfleet Academy), she is in the midst of practicing a new song. She’s a little late starting.

Relationships

Wesley Crusher

Lakeisha’s only known relationship is with Wes. While the young lovers are kept apart for a while as he sows a few small wild oats to work for Mack MacKenzie, they stay together and remain true.

Theme Music

Lakeisha’s theme music is The Who’s Overture, from the rock opera Tommy.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Lakeisha Warren Crusher
Viola Davis as Mirror Lakeisha

There are no impediments to Lakeisha existing in the Mirror.

She would have to be far tougher, as all women in that universe are. Given the time frame, she would likely be beheld to a man for her safety and basic necessities. Does a Mirror Wesley exist? I haven’t explored this yet, and the idea intrigues me.

Quote

“This flag officers’ concert, it’ll be done in a few days. We’ll post mortem it, but it’ll still be less than a week. After that, I’ve got classes and the usual, you know how it is. Confidentially, rumor has it that the whole thing is a front for them coming in and doing some recruiting for Section 31.”

Upshot

I adore Lakeisha and, as I continue to write the Barnstorming series, she’ll be seen more and more.

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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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