Tag Archives: Star Trek: The Original Series

Portrait of a Character – Sarek

Portrait of a Character – Sarek

Sarek Origins

Sarek the character is, of course, canon.

Sarek Portrayal

Sarek
Ben Cross as Sarek (image is provided for educational purposes only).

As in canon, Sarek is played by Ben Cross when younger and, when older, by Mark Lenard.

Personality

Relationships

Amanda Grayson

The Sarek and Amanda marriage in TOS is perhaps the best-realized love relationship ever in the history of Star Trek. Even though he is emotionally unavailable to Spock (and probably also to Sybok), the same cannot be said of Amanda. Because Vulcans have touch telepathy, and they are often touching, they must be sharing their thoughts nearly all of the time.

Perrin

After Amanda’s death in the prime timeline, Sarek eventually weds Perrin, another human. Because he is older, she is a lot more protective of him and, perhaps, a little too much so.

Mirror Universe

Sarek must exist in the Mirror Universe because Spock does.

Sarek
Mark Lenard as Mirror Universe Sarek (actually, this is an image of the actor as a Romulan Commander; image is provided for educational purposes only).

Like most denizens of the Mirror, he is tougher and is probably more emotional than a Vulcan should be. The idea is interesting and I might write it.

Quote

Sarek
Mark Lenard as Sarek (image is provided for educational purposes only).

“I see the humans are mostly on one side, and my fellow Vulcans are on your own side. Yet this dinner, and this week, they have been set aside for you to meet one another. And you are not doing so. And I have been speaking with two persons who were wrongfully sent to Canamar Prison. And you apparently rarely speak with them as well.

“I understand that there is an Earth saying. It is something like this – beggars cannot be choosers.

“And my understanding of what that signifies is that we are a small band. And we have few options for meeting others. The humans and our other allies have done what they can in order to accommodate and assist us. For without them, we would be most vulnerable. And our species, I am certain, we would die out. For our natural processes, they are slow. I have heard humans refer to Vulcan customs about marriage as moving at a glacial pace. And that is true. But the glaciers, they must be rushed. And wombs must be rented. And we must live in places such as this, for our own safety, and to make friendships among our people. And to, perhaps, meet new mates….

“My understanding is that this is a holiday for family. And our families have all been sundered. And so we must make new ones. And they might have red or blue blood, rather than green, in their veins. They might have emotions. They might eat meat. But consider this. …

This is my child! He is a Vulcan! And it is he who will help to rebuild our race. He and thousands like him are our future! And these good people, they are, they are no replacement for the ones who are gone. But they are my family now, if they will have me.”

Upshot

As an indispensable part of JJ Abrams universe, this character is also a necessary component of Eriecho’s world. He might even go to her wedding.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Christopher Pike

Portrait of a Character – Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is a terrific character in any timeline.

Christopher Pike
Bruce Greenwood as Captain Christopher Pike (image is provided for educational purposes only)

I am still trying to figure out if I want Shelby Pike to be related to him. But why the hell not?

Hell, maybe she should be.

Christopher Pike Origins

In the Original Series, he is a handsome, intelligent captain . He is just as impulsive as Kirk. But Pike has a tragic accident yet gets a kind of illusory happy ending. In the JJ Abrams universe, he dies heroically.

Portrayal

As in canon, this character is played by Bruce Greenwood and, after he suffers his disability, by Jeffrey Hunter.

Personality

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Christopher Pike Disabled
Christopher Pike, Disabled

Like most of us, Pike does not consider what might happen if the unthinkable were to occur. But it does.

So in the prime universe, he is rather badly injured. Just how conscious and aware is he? I write him as being heartbreakingly conscious of the world around him. Plus this is so much so that he flashes Morse code.  And it is better than any therapy when Nyota Uhura understands him.

Relationships

Pike’s only known canon relationship is with Vina, from The Cage and The Menagerie. However, given the illusory nature of the setting, that ‘relationship’ seems a bit unreal, too.

Mirror Universe

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

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Mirror Christopher Pike
Mirror Christopher Pike

Like many Mirror Universe men, I would have him sporting the Y Chromosome Skew. Hence this would make him more powerful . Furthermore, he would be much more interested in women, but also a much better father.

Quote

There was a series of beeps. “He says,” Nyota explained, “that’s he’s very happy to have such beautiful company.”

Upshot

Pike, like the main character in Johnny Got His Gun, deserves to return.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – Another Piece of the Action

Review – Another Piece of the Action

It’s another piece!

Another Piece of the Action Background

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Another Piece of the Action
Another Piece of the Action (cover by thebluesman)

During the time period just after You Mixed-Up Siciliano, in January of 3110, Kirko, Spock and the boys join Temporal Agents Richard DanielsSheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman in handling Bela Oxmyx and his cronies. This is a collaborative story with the bluesman.

Isn’t the cover just fantastic? Justin made it. I have a copy (signed by him) hanging in my computer room.

Plot

As a means of getting back to the story, we decided on time travel. The Temporal Integrity Commission would have to fix the problems which Kirk and company had compounded at the end of the canon episode, when someone left a communicator behind.

I decided to use Richard Daniels, Sheilagh Bernstein, and Deirdre Katzman as my part of the cast. These characters would have the specialties needed, e. g. a jack of all trades like Rick, a computers person like Sheilagh, and then Deirdre would be the engineer.

Justin (the bluesman) opted to mainly handle the canon characters as we wrote the story. Together, we weaved a story whereby the plot would be fixed, our characters would happily cross over and work together for a common cause, and we even got to throw in a little humor and flirting along the way. Plus Sheilagh tells Spock his computers are primitive.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

We had a blast with this collaboration. I would have loved to have done it again. But sadly, Justin passed on, on December 22, 2016.  He was a dear friend and a kind, talented, patient, and generous collaborator. I miss him.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

Portrait of a Character – Martin Madden

Martin Madden should be canon, dammit!

Origins

The character is technically canon although the scene of his introduction ended up on the cutting room floor. In the ‘lost’ footage, William Riker plays a nasty, passive-aggressive prank and Madden is the butt of the joke. I disliked the scene so much that I felt Madden needed a measure of justice. He is the reason that Melissa has her last name, as she is his forebear, via her middle son, Neil.

Because Marty is also Doug‘s descendant, his radiation band is slightly less than it should be, betraying a partial origin in the Mirror Universe. As the Barnstorming series unfolds, the family’s importance increases. Doug’s descendants hold a key in their DNA that could alter the fate of both universes.

Portrayal

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Martin Madden
Martin Madden

As in canon, Madden is played by actor Steven Culp. I like this actor a great deal. He was also exceptionally gracious when I wrote to him, asking for an autographed photograph and the answer to a few questions as I was writing The Three of Us and looking to add some verisimilitude to my details about Jay Hayes.

Culp wrote back, said my questions were interesting (I asked things like what is his favorite story to read to a child) but whatever I came up with would be fine. He also wished me luck with my writing. His framed picture is hanging in the room where I do my writing and it helps provide some inspiration.

Personality

Lonely, brilliant, and bored, Marty is near the top of his profession but wants something more. He is only close to one person, and that is not only hurting him in his career, it’s also, in general, making him miserable. Furthermore, the incident with Riker got him off on the wrong foot with Captain Picard. A bit of a perfectionist, Martin is appalled by what happened and scrambling to make it right.

Relationships

Tamsin Porter

With one disastrous date, this is really not a relationship. Tamsin likes him, but he can’t stand her; he had only asked her out in order to get his mind off Dana. Tamsin takes it the wrong way and tries to get him to sleep with her.

When he refuses, she stretches the truth to its breaking point, and files a sexual harassment charge against him. The charge is groundless and is quickly dropped. But it gets worse, as she is distantly related to him. As a part of the family (through Joss), Tamsin is not so close to Martin Madden to prevent a relationship, plus she’s somewhat aggressive. It’s a complete turnoff to him, but she is family and so, in some ways, he’s stuck with her. But he doesn’t have to date her.

Dana MacKenzie

With a language all their own, Martin Douglas Madden and Misty Dana MacKenzie – the MDM Twins – are made for each other. There’s just one small problem. She’s his second cousin.

That would not seem like much of an issue, but I write an unjust Second Cousin Marriage law, forbidding such marriages where the parties share at least one great-grandparent. The purpose behind the law is to prevent too much Daranaean inbreeding and the introduction of younger and younger child brides. But the law fails miserably as it is mainly just a bad political compromise.

When Dana is imprisoned at Canamar, it is only Marty who continues writing to her after her parents die. With the letters kept from her as a part of her unjust punishment, her reading of those letters is one of her first acts after getting out.

His love for her is one of the few things that sustains him. It is one of the underlying themes of the series, along with the concept that the Digiorno-Madden-Hayes-Beckett-O’DayReed family endures forever. There is power in this love, and it cannot be denied.

Mirror Universe

I’m not so sure that Marty can exist in the Mirror Universe.

As a descendant of Doug, who left the Mirror and had never fathered a child on that side before he did, then Marty’s existence in the Mirror is technically impossible. However, I write a Mirror Tamsin (called Jennifer), explaining that the analogue is imperfect but very close. After all, if most other forebears fall into place, or close relatives such as siblings or first or even second cousins take the place of the originals, after a time span of a few centuries, the differences become negligible. This isn’t a bad theory for why there are so many MU counterparts, and I might explore it at some time.

But if the same incident occurs, he wouldn’t just be miffed at Riker and embarrassed by him – Marty would have knifed the man.

Quote

“I can’t exactly get away when everyone else can. Understand something, all right? Whatever Riker did, whatever he could do, whatever he tried or got away with and however he acted, that was him, all right? He probably got himself here for lunch somewhere between 1200 and 1330 hours nearly every day, am I right? … But that’s not me. But, uh, I get the feeling there’s one more item on your list of Things Keeping Martin Madden from Making Friends on the Enterprise-E. Am I right? Care to share it with me if I am?”

Upshot

I am really enjoying writing this character, a kind of combination of Jay’s discipline and Doug’s zest for life, with a bit of Malcolm’s pre-Lili tortured loneliness. The Barnstorming series is not done yet, and Martin Madden is a huge part of it.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Progress Report – August 2016

Progress Report – August 2016

August 2016 was another month where I wrote very little fan fiction. Instead, my focus was on original writing and blog writing. Because I was starting freelance blogging, and my Master’s degree was finally coming to a close, I was simply too busy. I just did not have enough bandwidth.

Posted Works

On the G & T Show forums, I continued posting Together.
Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | Quill

On Wattpad, I posted Who Shall Wear the Robe and Crown? This ended the Later Days collection. I then posted Eight, which is a kind of mixed bag of stories. I started posting Clockworks, and added Desperation, Recruitment, The Honky Tonk Angel, Briefing, and Auld Lang Syne from Stocking Stuffers.

There was a new prompt to flip perspective on Ad Astra. Hence I posted I Do Again (And Again).

And on Fanfiction.net, I continued to post Spring Thaw. Unfortunately, that story has not managed to garner any reviews on that site.

Milestones

See the Stats page for individual read and review counts. Reversal has over 80,000 combined reads! This is simply incredible and has exceeded my wildest expectations.

WIP Corner

Currently, both The Obolonk Murders (all three books) and The Enigman Cave are both within the realm of works in progress. They are both wholly original stories, but the beta readers are not yet finished with them.

I also have a few short stories which are being sent to anthologies. I am, right now, waiting for them to be either accepted or kicked back or published. One of those anthologies may end up on hold, so I might repurpose my submissions.

Prep Work

As before, I worked on researching The Real Hub of the Universe. This will be my NaNoWriMo project this year, so I want to make it as good as I possibly can.

I have also spent time on Lonely Writer, in an effort to fix its problems and see if there is any way to monetize it in the future. I like the idea of it, and I feel this niche is woefully underserved. However, the niche of independent authors is also rather small!

This Month’s Productivity Killers

In addition to the issues mentioned above, I also worked for the G & T Show podcast to report, blog, and schedule their interviews from Star Trek: Las Vegas.

Plus school ended. I graduated with a 4.0.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Review – That’s Not My Name

Review – That’s Not My Name

Background

This story comes from a prompt of the same name.

Plot

I had already written the sequel to this short story, It Had to be You.

Review – That's Not My Name
Marlena Moreau

The idea I had was that the Mirror Universe Jim Kirk would not necessarily have gotten together with Marlena Moreau in a conventional way. After all, it’s the Mirror.

I had also wondered why Janice Rand wasn’t shown in the Mirror (the real reason is that the actress, Grace Lee Whitney, had left the show). For an in-universe explanation, it made a lot of sense for Marlena to be Janice’s killer.

Music

The prompt (which I wrote) comes from a Ting Tings song.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated T.

Upshot

There had always been chemistry between William Shatner and Grace Lee Whitney. If Whitney had been around when the Mirror, Mirror episode had originally aired, it would not surprise me if there would have been a similar explanation about Janice.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers

Recurrent Themes – Plant Lovers

Background

Botanists and plant lovers are canon. In the original Star Trek series, Sulu and Rand both attend to plants. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Plant Lovers In The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Keiko Ishikawa O’Brien is a Botanist.

For an older ship like the NX-01, I felt like there absolutely had to be a Botanist.

Appearances

Naomi Curtis

Only seen during If You Can’t Stand the Heat, I’ve retconned her and now consider her to be the first Botanist on the NX-01 Enterprise. Much like Preston Jennings is shifted over to Navigation and Lili O’Day is hired for the Xindi War, Naomi is thrown over for the better skilled and more versatile Shelby. A pity for Chef Will Slocum, as she’s an early love interest for him. But they do get to fight off the Darvellians together.

Shelby Pike

Pike is the best-realized of my botany and plant-loving characters. Her talents range from growing food crops to keeping everyone sane with flowers, colorful fruits, and other pleasant reminders of home.

Eriecho

A true gardener and homebody at heart, Eriecho grows yellow peppers. It’s at her garden patch that she and Sollastek first scandalously hold hands.

Von

Recurrent Themes – Plant LoversA Ferengi engineer at the Temporal Integrity Commission, Von is also an amateur gardener, and gives Sheilagh Bernstein a yellow tulip while she’s deciding whether to join the commission.

Michael Nolan

Gina Nolan‘s late husband is in his Beijing lab, studying Bajoran dicotyledons, when he’s killed during the Breen attack on Earth.

Other Characters

The Hayes family and the Warren family farm during Concord, but that’s more a matter of survival and economics rather than study. Many of the Daranaean women also garden, and in particular they will grow Krivian weed, which is shaped into a type of boxwood-style hedge. But that’s not just for beauty’s sake; Krivian weed can be chewed in order to determine the gender of a fetus a pregnant woman is carrying. In the E2 timeline, Esilia and the other Ikaaran women farm as a part of their obligation to their government.

Upshot

They may have their heads in the stars, but their feet are on the ground; they’re the gardeners, Botanists, farmers, and plant lovers of Star Trek.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

Portrait of a Character – Skrol

Origins

Portrait of a Character – Skrol
Slar, a canon Gorn

How do you make Gorn likable, or at least relatable? After all, they’re reptiles, and have always and only been shown in Star Trek canon as hissing, over the top villains.

Portrayal

Skrol is played by actor James Franco.

Portrait of a Character – Skrol
James Franco at the premiere of Spiderman 3 in Queens, New York. This is a cropped version of File:James Franco by David Shankbone.jpg. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like the idea of getting a good-looking guy into a big rubber suit and having an actor (and the audience) rely on voice and physical presence, rather than looks or basic makeup.

Personality

Skrol is like about half or so of all teenaged boys I knew from High School. He’s a horndog.

But he’s also funny and kind when he wants to be. He and Bron are extremely good friends, and he does care about Tr’Dorna in his own way, although he also really, really wants her to flip her tail for him.

He also, sometimes, is a rat. In Losin’ It, he lies to Tr’Dorna and the others in order to try to get her to flip tail.

Relationships

Tr’Dorna

Will they stay together? It’s hard to say. It’s a High School romance and, as such, the odds are not great. Plus he has not always been straight with her. As for him being true, that might be due more to a lack of appropriate opportunities than any sense of loyalty. After all, Etrina and Tr’Dorna are the only Xindi Reptilian girls at Picard High School, and they’re roommates. Even a potential player like Skrol would be hard-pressed to justify going after both of them.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Skrol
Actor James Franco attends “Shorts #1 – GSA Shorts” screening on October 9, 2010 at United Artists Theater in East Hampton, New York. (Photo © Nick Stepowyj) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t suppose there’s any reason why Skrol can’t exist in the Mirror Universe.

A lot of people write the Mirror as being the complete opposite of our universe, and so they would write sneering villains as angels and vice versa. I’m not so sure what would happen although I see that entire universe as being tougher. Even as a teenager, Skrol would have to be. He’d probably be pushed into a military school, much like Doug is at that age.

Quote

“Listen, the warmies don’t have tails. At least, not the kinds I know about. And lemme tell ya, there is nothing like a scaly tail.”

Upshot

I like writing the fun, silly teenaged reptiles. They’ll be back at some point.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Recurrent Themes – Computer Technicians

Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Sheilagh Bernstein's file photo at the Temporal Integrity Commission | Computer Technicians
Barking up the Muse Tree | jespah | Janet Gershen-Siegel | Sheilagh Bernstein’s file photo at the Temporal Integrity Commission

In time travel in particular, someone will have to be able to deal with computers. They are such a pervasive part of our lives that I cannot imagine sending a time travel contingent to any time past about 1985 or so without giving them the ability to work with computer systems.

Further, Star Trek has always had a somewhat ambivalent relationships with computers and, truly, all forms of technology. The Original Series (TOS) in particular often showcases a dichotomy between over reliance on computers versus good old fashioned human know-how. In The Next Generation (TNG), Data is so human-like that there is a question about whether he should have the same rights as a member of a naturally evolving sentient species would.

Background

Amusingly enough (and highly reflective of the mores of the time), Original Series actors are shown really only using computers for work. Barking up the Muse Tree | Janet Gershen-Siegel | jespah | DNA | Computer Technicians The same seems to be true for the Next Generation, except when it comes to the use of the fantasy-fulfilling holodeck. Then, it’s no holds-barred.

You need to get to Star Trek: Enterprise (ENT) before you start to see people using computers for leisure pursuits. In the Catwalk episode, a crewman does a crossword puzzle on hers. Jonathan Archer even seems to use his for reading (although Malcolm Reed appears to prefer paper books).

Appearances

Hoshi Sato

As in canon, Hoshi (with the help of T’Pol) is often tasked with not only handling the ship’s database, but also in interpreting aliens’ databases.

Charlotte Reed-Hayes Archer

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, it is Charlotte, a descendant of Jonathan, Lili, Ebrona, Jay, Malcolm, and others, who sends the first kick-back’s full database to Hoshi. This changes the second kick back in time’s experience rather dramatically, as people already know who they ended up with.  When the second kick back in time meets the prime timeline version, there isn’t enough time to load the entire database, and so the prime timeline is left with only knowing what we learned in canon, and never knowing that there were two involuntary trips back in time.

Sheilagh Bernstein

The specialist in ancient computers is a mid-level Temporal Agent working with Richard Daniels. In Another Piece of the Action, she ends up inadvertently insulting Spock a little, when she refers to his beloved computer system as being primitive.

Upshot

As we move closer to real-life Star Trek types of experiences, I fully believe we will use computers more and more. They will converge, probably, and smart phones and tablets will likely become more or less the same devices. Through it all, someone will need to handle them. I will undoubtedly write about more people just like this.

Like this page? Tweet it!


You can find me on .

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

In order to dovetail with my recent blog post about the Trek Blogging Community, here’s a post about the Writing Blog Community I hang out with that isn’t Trek.

There are non-writer bloggers who I follow, too (well, of course everyone who blogs is actually a form of writer, but what I’m really talking about here are bloggers who also dabble in fiction writing). But this post is only going to be about fiction writers who blog – with one notable exception. These aren’t really in any particular order.

Puckishwird’s Blog

Joshua C. is an experienced blogger – he’s been doing this longer than I have! I love the old-timey look to the pages. The prose is fascinating, but the writing samples are even better. Very well-organized, this blog is clearly the work of someone who’s been doing this for a while, and loves it. I know Joshua from a NaNoWriMo group on Facebook.

The Frog Blog

Katrin Hollister is a friend from Wattpad who is new to the blogging scene.  She’s a far busier student than I am, and is balancing a new blog, Pinterest, Deviant Art (she is also an artist), and of course her studies. One great use she recently made of her  new blog was for a cover reveal for her Wattpad epic, The Windcaster.

RAvishing Thoughts

Miriel of Gisborne is a writer who I’ve seen on several sites, both Star Trek and non, over the years.

Blogging Community (non-Trek)

Currently, she’s immersed in writing Bilbo/Thorin Hobbit slash, and so her Tumblr blog is devoted to actor Richard Armitage.

Like most Tumblr blogs, hers is very visual. There are some great images of Armitage, mixed in with terrific covers that she has made herself. The blog also links directly to her fiction and acts as a cross-promotional vehicle.

Howlarium

SeeThomasHowell is another Wattpad friend. On Wattpad, he doesn’t just write, read, and review. Jason also conducts interviews of fellow writers. A lot of these interviews end up on the Howlarium, which is a mix of his own writings and promotions, interviews, and promotions of others’ work. It’s a grand and generous collection of cross-promotions.

Alex Karola

Another Wattpad friend, and another brand-new blogger, Alex is both a writer and a teacher. She is looking to break into the YA market.

Maniac Marmoset

Jessica B. is another NaNoWriMo Facebook pal and another new blogger. Her blog has been mainly devoted to writing snippets and all sorts of original poetry.  She is currently in the query part of the process of becoming a published author.

Special Guest Star Blogger

Give it up for my publisher, Riverdale Avenue Books!

A mix of promotions, announcements, and guest blogs, RAB’s blog is intended as a cross-promotional vehicle for their books. This blog feeds a number of their other social media enterprises, such as their GoodReads page.

Beyond Blogging

For me, this kind of a blogging community advances more than one purpose. It’s a place to cross-promote works, of course.  But it’s become more than that. For me, it’s become another vehicle to making friends. It’s a joy to be able to, just like with my Star Trek friends, be able to talk to these people about a lot of things. And for them to immediately get it.