Tag Archives: Trekkie

Review – We Meet Again

Review – We Meet Again

We Meet Again Background

We Meet Again – Just after the NX-01 is decommissioned in 2162, Travis heads to Philadelphia to mourn Tripp Tucker and think about his next career move.

Plot

In canon, there is virtually nothing shown about anyone’s recovery from Tucker’s untimely demise.

Review – We Meet Again
In Between Days

It is as if it never mattered in the first place.

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about entertainment, I decided to go dark and most decidedly not fluffy.

The story begins with Travis feeling a little lost. Very briefly, it is mentioned that the final movie night has been held on the NX-01 prior to its being decommissioned, and that the film chosen by Chip was the first James Bond movie, Dr. No.

He has little to do or think about, and his family is on the freighter, anyway. With no one to visit and just a little bit doubtful as to whether Captain Archer wants him back for the DC-1500 USS Zefram Cochrane, Travis goes to a nearby station and visits a ticket agent. He gives her an undisclosed amount of cash and just asks, “Where can this take me?” She gives him a few options and he chooses Philadelphia.

Review – We Meet Again
8th and Market Street, showing the Strawbridge and Clothier department store, 1910s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did not choose Philly for any particular reason. I just like the city (I lived outside it for a few years as a child) and it is a readily recognizable place which would still exist during that time period. But Travis has no ties to it whatsoever. For him, it’s just a means of getting away from it all.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I could probably have spent more time on this short story, particularly with what Travis does in the City of Brotherly Love.

Review – We Meet Again
Cover of Dr. No (Two-Disc Ultimate Edition)

Otherwise, the experience feels somewhat rushed. But when he returns to Starfleet, the phrase, of course, is: We Meet Again, Mister Bond.

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Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo

Origins

For Doug‘s confession to Lili (in the Star Trek fan fiction book, Fortune) to be at all credible, there needed to be a history behind each of the fourteen men he had killed in the Mirror Universe. Furthermore, just like the death of the Mirror Norri, I wanted at least one of those murders to be for the flimsiest of reasons or at least be hard to take because the person would scarcely be remembered.

Then, when writing the 2013 ficlet flash dance story Conversations With Heroes, I needed a filmmaker. Carlos works for both.

Portrayal

I see Javier Bardem for this character.

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo
Javier Bardem as Carlos Castillo

I wanted an intelligent, versatile actor. It was also important to me that he be of Latino descent.

I also liked the idea of someone who has played both heroes and villains, as Carlos has a place on both sides of the pond.

Personality

In the Prime Universe, Carlos the independent documentary filmmaker is essentially looking for an easy paycheck. He is given an assignment to speak with the crew of the NX-01 and get their personal takes on the end of the Xindi War. While he does talk with everyone, he only records the following in the story: Jonathan Archer, Maryam Haroun, Lili, Jennifer, and Malcolm, who talks about Jay. For the first and last chapters of the piece, it is Carlos’s own words about the film and also about the people he interviewed. While he remains somewhat neutral, he is far from unaffected. At the end of the piece, he ends up angrily and frustratedly pitching his coffee cup against a wall.

Relationships

There are no known relationships, but there had to have been someone for Carlos, as he is Marisol‘s ancestor.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Carlos Castillo
Javier Bardem as Mirror Carlos

Carlos is barely even known by name in the Mirror. Doug did not know his name until after he was killed. During wartime, Doug grabs the person closest to him and uses that person as a human shield. That unfortunate person turns out to be Carlos, who Doug never knows and never talks to.

Quote

“But it’s hard to not be affected, or to see what could have happened if one thing, or another, was different. These people certainly see it that way. And the reality is that this is, for the most part, just a ship full of damaged people. I know that there are those who are happy and excited about the conclusion of this war. I can’t say that I haven’t felt my own sense of relief, for I most certainly have. But I think we, as humans and citizens of Earth, I think we need to keep these people’s thoughts and aspirations and guilt and personal pain in our heads as we wave our flags and sing the United Earth anthem. We need to remember that these heroes come complete with consciences, and miseries and regrets. This victory did not come without a price. Thank you.”

Upshot

At some point, I would like to find another place to showcase Carlos, as there has got to be a spot for a filmmaker. I will try to bring him back.

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Spotlight on Dark Matter Flare

Spotlight on Dark Matter Flare

Background

In order to resolve the issues in Temper and bring everyone back to the correct side of the pond, I needed for there to be some way to signal Richard Daniels.

I particularly wanted to make the technology not look like anything special, and have it potentially work in other areas of Star Trek fan fiction, in case I ever needed it again. I am not a big fan of technobabble, so I wanted the technology to not turn into something that the typical reader would not understand. While it is not necessarily the most plausible piece of fictional technology out there, it is certainly easy to understand without having to go into any long, drawn-out explanations.

Spotlight on Dark Matter Flare
Dark Matter Flare (really a black Christmas cracker)

Hence I hit upon the idea of Christmas crackers, except these would be black.

Doug  is given a pair of these before he and Lili are sent forward in time and to the Mirror Universe.  The first one is a signal to Rick Daniels to bring them from the Mirror to the Prime Universe and also back from 2178 to 2166. The second dark matter flare used is to signal Rick to bring the family back from 2166 to 2161. However, in the second instance, the only traveling is in time as the family is already on the correct side of the pond.

Upshot

I like the idea of something so small and simple. Adding to the dramatic tension is the tiniest sound of snapping. Lili and Doug can barely hear it, and it almost feels as if it did not work. But Rick senses it with his far more sensitive instruments. These little devices get the family home.

Now I am wondering where I can possibly use them again.

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Review – Movie Night

Review – Movie Night

In November of 2159, Malcolm takes Melissa to Movie Night.

Review – Movie Night
Movie Night

Background

In response to a Star Trek fan fiction prompt about fraternizing, I decided to go with a date that would not really be a date at all. Instead, it is a bit of a cover. Melissa is pregnant with Tommy, but has not yet been ordered off the Enterprise. But that time is drawing nearer. Melissa’s plan is to go home to Ceres and Norri and await Tommy’s birth there.

Plot

Review – Movie Night
Robert Strauss (Animal/Stanislaus Kuzawa) in Stalag 17

The story opens with Malcolm carefully getting ready for the evening. But he then smacks his own forehead – he’s forgotten the flowers. So he visits Shelby Pike in Botany and is provided with a colorful bouquet with the understanding that the flowers and the ribbon can be any color except for blue. Hence it should be obvious to sharp-eyed readers that this is a reference to Lili. I also spell out that the date is not with his true beloved.

While in the lift with Tripp, Tucker asks if he and Melissa are getting serious. Therefore, Malcolm confides that it is all for show, and he is taking care of her as a friend (and as a part of the Doug/Lili open marriage arrangement), but he does not have romantic feelings for Melissa.

However, he arrives to find the door to her quarters locked, but he can hear Melissa retching. He uses (rather, he oversteps, really) his authority and bypasses the lock. He holds back the flowers, unsure if they will set her off again. Then he also scolds her, and then realizes that that is not his place. Not his child, not his girl. A bit tentative, she insists on going out, and the story ends with them going to see Stalag 17 together.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I liked the little touches in this one, as Malcolm seems like he is suiting up for a date, to Melissa’s complaining about being sick all the time, to the colors in the bouquet and then the film, which is also referenced in Day of the Dead.

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Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre

Background

When I first began writing again, I had fairly recently read Jane Eyre in its entirety for the first time. DNA This triggered the addition of that story, at times, into my Star Trek fan fiction. Lili O’Day and Reversal, in particular, are in some ways a space version of at least parts of that story.

The idea of bringing together two people who are from rather different walks of life or at least professions, and giving them a future (but not giving them an immediate happy ending) was a challenge. For the heroine to not be a great beauty, but to still be independent and insist upon a relationship on her own terms was irresistible. These threads can be seen in any number of places in my work.

Appearances

Paving Stones Made From Good Intentions

In Paving Stones, a young Doug is taken away from his parents and sent to a rough, unpleasant boarding school by a Mr. Brocklehurst.

Reversal

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre (2006 miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Lili and Doug first get together, her situation is quite a bit like Jane’s. She’s a low-level crew member and is isolated, and is not very attractive.

As the quietly serving one who cleans up, Lili is supposed to be the sort of below decks person who fades into the background. And she often does. For the ship to send a search party out for her, and to nearly have an interstellar incident with the Calafans when she is abducted, is a big, big deal. This is a person who most of them underestimated, who turns out to be rather important indeed.

Fortune

At Norri‘s deathbed, she gives away her paper books, including Jane Eyre, which is given to Marie Patrice, because Empy is the “strong, independent heroine of her own life.”

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

When clearing out Malcolm‘s quarters, Lili comes across the book and takes it, vowing to read it.

Flight of the Bluebird

Seppa reveals that Lili and Malcolm sent books to the young Daranaean girls, including this one.

Wider Than the Sargasso Sea

Recurrent Themes – Jane Eyre
Toby Stephens in 2006 Jane Eyre miniseries on Public Television

Several years after the Breen attack, Gabrielle Nolan stars in this play, with Desh, a Breen, playing opposite her as Mr. Rochester.

But can Gabby act opposite a boy whose father fought in a devastating war, as her enemy? And what about the townspeople? The Breen are kept in a separate section, which Gabby’s mother, Gina, dismisses as a ghetto. Is this any way to normalize relations?

Advice From My Universes to Yours

When providing advice to Aurellan Markalis, Lili suggests reading a classic love story like Jane Eyre. Jay comments that he doesn’t read such things.

Upshot

I really loved weaving this story line into my own fiction, with little shout outs that are almost like literary Easter Eggs. Jane Eyre will return.

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Review – Imprecision

Review – Imprecision

Background

For a Star Trek fan fiction challenge about nightmares, I went with a dream that evoked a memory that was imperfectly realized.

Plot

Wesley Crusher has been, at the start of the story, spending time in the company of the The Traveler.

Review – Imprecision
Wesley and The Traveler

This is a canon situation. However, also in canon, Wesley eventually leaves The Traveler. In order to dovetail with Crackerjack, this event precipitates Wesley taking his leave.

At the start of the story,  Wes wakes up from a nightmare. He remembers his parents fighting, and his mother throwing something. It’s awful; he recalls being a small child at the time, making it even more heart-wrenching.  Speaking with The Traveler afterwards, it is determined by them that Wes actually wants to return to a regular life. This is a marker, an indicator that there is unfinished business out there for him. Furthermore, he wants to find out about that memory, which he realizes is something that he suppressed.

Review – Imprecision
Beverly Crusher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wesley is essentially beamed to his mother’s quarters. He has been gone longer than the regular passage of time would indicate, an idea I had because his time with The Traveler has to be odd and unique and special. For Beverly Crusher, this is sort of a dream, and sort of not. She tells him that it’s a few hours before Will Riker and Deanna Troi‘s wedding (another canon event).

Wesley is hurriedly given a uniform, and it does not necessarily show his correct rank (that is canon, in the film, Nemesis). A little bored with the proceedings, his eyes alight on a young girl playing the French horn for the Starfleet Academy band, which is providing the music for the event. With some confidence mustered up, he talks to her, and realizes that this is why he left The Traveler. It is to meet Lakeisha Warren and begin a new phase of his life.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K+.

Upshot

I truly enjoyed being able to bring Wesley’s character in line and bring the canon of the Nemesis film together with fan fiction in the form of Crackerjack and the Barnstorming series.

Review – Imprecision
Horn (instrument) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being able to write the first-ever meeting of Wes and Lakeisha was a treat to write, too.

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Inspiration – Childhood

Inspiration – Childhood

The mechanics of creation

Star Trek canon and Star Trek fan fiction are of two minds, it seems, when it comes to childhood.

Inspiration – Childhood
Star Trek film premiere at the Sydney Opera House. From left to right: Karl Urban (Leonard McCoy), Chris Pine (James T. Kirk), Bryan Burk (Executive Producer), Zachary Quinto (Spock), J.J. Abrams (Producer, Director), Eric Bana (Nero), and John Cho (Sulu). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Either it is Shakespearean-level difficult, like in the JJ Abrams films, where the alternate timeline version of James T. Kirk is mistreated by his stepfather; or the child is some sort of super genius, like Wesley Crusher. There does not appear to be a place for anyone who is in between.

And that is a crying shame, as nearly everyone has a childhood that is somewhere in the middle.

My own childhood was in the middle. I was not mistreated and, while I am an intelligent person and was as a child, I was not so incredibly off the charts that I would have been considered a Mozart-style prodigy.

As the younger of two, I am more than familiar with sibling rivalry, and so I made Marie Patrice Beckett a big time proponent of it. Empy is not the youngest in the clan, but she is the only daughter and so she is a little spoiled. Hence her younger behaviors continue a bit into adulthood.

Teenaged behaviors such as getting into mild trouble and then getting out of it are reflected in Lili O’Day‘s teen years, mainly showcased in Flip. Lili is given a chance to turn her life around and she leaps at it. But, at the same time, she is overly annoyed at her hovering grandparents and their reminders, which feel like nagging to her.

Doug‘s childhood is somewhat different, but that is the essence of the Mirror Universe. In Paving Stones, Doug’s early life is rather Dickensian, but that is in keeping with my vision of the other side of the pond. Doug’s life also somewhat parallels what life was like for the young in ancient Sparta.

Upshot

Childhood is a part of everyone’s life. For those of us lucky enough to live far beyond its end, it can often serve as a prelude to our own personal futures. But Star Trek canon rarely seems to show anything other than extremes. It has been my mission to show what’s in the middle.

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Recurrent Themes – The Art of War

Recurrent Themes – The Art of War

Background

As a bit of background for Jay Hayes and Empress Hoshi, Sun-Tzu‘s classic text proved to be the perfect manual for Star Trek fan fiction (not to be confused with Keith R. A. DeCandido‘s great book, The Klingon Art of War).DNA

Appearances

Recurrent Themes – The Art of War
The Art of War

This book has been everywhere, or at least it sure seems that way. I particularly like it as warrior shorthand, that the people who are reading it are looking to go into battle. But the battle might just be The Battle of the Sexes.

Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

This story is loaded with quotations from two separate books, this one and The Prince by Machiavelli. Empress Hoshi’s moves are calculated, everything from killing off Ian and Phlox, to overpowering T’Pol while at her weakest, to turning the loyalties of Emperor Phillip‘s men, including Andrew, José, and Brian. The book is presented as more or less a user’s manual for overthrowing a regime and installing one’s own brand of tyranny.

Advice from My Universes to Yours

In Advice, the book is mentioned briefly in passing when trying to convince a socially awkward person that perhaps they could read romantic fiction in order to understand people better. The book is mentioned and, of course, rejected immediately.

The Three of Us

In The Three of Us, Jay is shown reading and rereading this book, and he’s even reading it when Lili visits him in his quarters for the first time.

Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

In Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Jay provides two bequests. The lucky nickel goes to Lili, while this book goes to Malcolm.

In Memory of Kelsey Haber

During In Memory of Kelsey Haber, Malcolm refers to this book, and tells Hoshi that it was a bequest from Jay. Malcolm further notes that he had vowed, at that time, to get to know the people under his command, but he fell down on the job with Kelsey and never did.

Upshot

This little book gets around as much as Jane Eyre! It’ll be back.

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Review – Reflections Down a Corridor

Review – Reflections Down a Corridor

Background

I had wanted to explore the E2 timeline for quite some time.

Review – Reflections Down a Corridor
Reflections Down a Corridor

The first of four Star Trek fan fiction books covering that era was this one. The title refers to not only the subspace corridor where the Enterprise was hit by a Kovaalan particle wake (and thereby thrown back in time over a century); it also refers to personal reflections.

Personal reflections include the mirrors that we hold up to ourselves (this is, for once, not a reference to the Mirror Universe), the relationship a person has with himself or herself, and reflection in the pure sense of thought. As the NX-01 can no longer perform too many exploratory duties, it’s too early to be defensive and go after the Xindi, and going to Earth is out of the question, exploration begins to come from within.

Plot

For the crew of the USS Enterprise, the stars are all in the wrong places. The story opens with beginning to understand just what happened. This includes learning just what the date really is, as they can’t just up and ask the Vulcans. Immediately, Captain Archer figures out that there are going to be some uncomfortable restrictions on movement and communications. He enlists the help of not only the regular senior staff (e. g. the other canon characters), but also begins to lean on some heads of the smaller departments, such as Chef Slocum in Food Service, and Shelby Pike in Botany.

Navigating his own depression, and the crew’s, while honorably stepping back as the women begin pairing up with others, Archer in particular is affected. But others’ feelings begin to surface. Ethan Shapiro, Andrew Miller, and Josh Rosen begin cautiously circling the only female Jewish crew member, Karin Bernstein. Maryam Haroun asks Phlox‘s help in deciding between the two Muslim male crew members, Azar Hamidi and Ramih Azar. Lili O’Day does her best to keep it together, but also believes rumors about Jay Hayes and Malcolm Reed.

And then there are Daniel Chang and Sandra Sloane ….

Music

The Belle Stars – Iko Iko

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated T.

Upshot

These four books really were a labor of love, and they were great fun to write. This one, I feel, aptly kicks it all off.

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Progress Report – September 2014

Progress Report – September 2014

Posted Works

Quill I began the month in Star Trek fan fiction by adding to The Three of Us on Fanfiction.net and The Social Media Guide on Wattpad.

On the G & T Show forums, I finished the Daranaean Emergence series by posting Confidence. I then started posting the Eriecho series, with Release, Beats, The Mundane World, A Gathering, Double Helix and began to spin out Recessive.

On Wattpad, I continued adding the the Before Days series with Waiting;  If You Can’t Stand the Heat; More, More, More!, and Throwing Rocks at Looking Glass Houses

Progress Report – September 2014
Postmodern Jukebox

Because I’m a silly fan girl, I also got permission from Scott Bradlee and started to post the first-ever (far as anyone can tell) popfic about singing group Postmodern Jukebox! It’s called The Canadian Caper.

On Ad Astra, I responded to the “on my word” challenge with Promise, a TravisJulie story. In response to a prompt about school, I added a short Inta-centric story, Education.

I added Where No Gerbil Has Gone Before to the Delphic Expanse after some minor tweaking by the beta reader.

Milestones

On combined URLs, over 100 stories have 1,000 or more reads, and over 25 stories have 5,000 or more reads. 15 stories have over 9,750 reads on combined URLs. Twelve individual story URLs have over 10,000 reads. Over 30 have over 50 reviews on combined URLs.  Six have over 100 reads (half of those are on individual URLs). See the Stats page for individual read and review counts for Star Trek fan fiction and other works.

The Fanfic profile on Wattpad added three of my stories to their Star Trek reading list: The New Captain’s Woman (a combination of That’s Not My Name and It Had to be You), Biases, and Before Days (the prequels in the In Between Days series).

WIP Corner

I continued to work on The Polymer Beat, the second book in the wholly original Obolonk series.

Prep Work

I added a little to the Star Trek fan fiction wiki but didn’t really have time to go in depth.

This Month’s Productivity Killers

Class at Quinnipiac (I’m going to start taking 2 classes at a time next semester), and managing The G & T Show’s many social media accounts took up a great deal of my time. The show was also in the midst of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

Progress Report – September 2014

Plus we went on a short vacation to Cape Cod in the middle of the month.

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