Monday, May 28, 2012

What happens when you grow up on Star Trek?

I love history and 19th century fashion, the Civil War, the Victorian era, lace and patent leather, curly hair and red lipstick. Swing music, the Andrews Sisters and jitterbugging. But that's only one side of me. You see, when I was about six, I had my first crush.

On Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Not Patrick Stewart the actor. Captain Picard the character. See, my dad's been a Star Trek fan since he was a teenager. Star Trek: The Next Generation (or Nitro as it's known our house) debuted in 1987, just before my fifth birthday. I remember watching it with him some and getting mad at my youngest brother when we had to stop watching it for awhile because it was giving him nightmares.

My mom doesn't understand science fiction. She's the only person in the house who still doesn't understand what's happening in Star Wars, though she's seen them all more times than she count. Papa passed on his love of science fiction to all four of his kids. My sister and I got the Star Trek bugs, and my brothers got the Star Wars bugs really bad. I mean really bad. This past Saturday my youngest bro was watching cartoon voice actors read the script for Episode IV. My other brother's favorite video game is Lego Star Wars and my dad plays both Star Trek Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I grew up on Star Trek. When the SciFi Channel premiered, Papa stayed up all night watching The Twilight Zone. Thanks to the original SciFi Channel, our science fiction world expanded. Quantum Leap, Seaquest DSV, Tek War, Earth 2, Sliders, the short lived but lots of fun The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, The Twilight Zone and countless others no one shows anymore. And then, in 1999, Farscape, via Australia. Best. Space Opera. Ever. Our entire Friday night for four years revolved around Farscape. We just about cried when it was canceled, leaving us hanging with the hero and his fiancee turned into little crystal balls and scattered on the floor of an ocean.

I've continued soaking up science fiction, mostly of the Star Trek variety, throughout my life. I still love me some Captain Picard and it's not unusual for my sister and I to "argue" over who's hotter, Kirk or Picard. She says Kirk. I say Picard. Our last father-daughters date was May 2009, when the JJ Abrams Star Trek movie came out. We're counting the days until the next one.

A blog post is not enough space to go into the whole Doctor Who obsession currently running rampant through the house. Thanks to Netflix and my dad, who's been watching it since the late 70's. Suffice it to say September can't get here soon enough! Also, stay calm and DON'T BLINK.

Eventually, when you take in massive quantities of TNG, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Doctor Who and Farscape, it apparently does something to your brain. Now, I watch science fiction and love it. But I've never read it, despite the house being full of it and it being 95% of what my dad reads.

So what on earth am I doing writing it? I don't know. But on the night of Wednesday, May 16th I had a dream. Not unusual for a dream to spin out a story idea. It turned into an alien humanoid race who had their home world taken from them and it's been lost in the mists of time. They've been enslaved. Anyone familiar with science fiction at all knows it's a common theme, especially of the Star Trek variety.

No one was more surprised than me when the next thing I knew there was a whole galaxy to go with it and a story of one man's search for what freedom really means. You're reading this on Monday, but I wrote it Sunday afternoon and my word count was 22,000. I've set and broke THREE new personal records for most words in a day. Currently it's around 4200. In ten days. With no pre-plotting, no character development studies, nothing. Just sit down and it pours out.

I've decided to run with it. Probably won't stop until it's done. And I'm having so much fun!


  1. Count me in as another historical writer with a secret sci-fi obsession. Like you, I grew up with Star Trek and have recently become fascinated with Doctor Who. Netflix is wonderful, isn't it?

    Have fun with the new story!

    1. Netflix is the best! But it doesn't have the most recent Christmas special and it's possibly missing one other new episode too.

    2. I bought the Christmas special on my kindle fire. It was only a couple of bucks and it was SO good. Lots os Narnia references.

  2. Cute explanation, Rachel. But sadly, no, I'm not a Sci-Fi fan in the least. I wish you well though. :-)

  3. Some of my favorite Star Trek episodes involve time traveling back through earth history!

    1. Mine too! I love the San Francisco two-parter with Mark Twain and Jack London. And I love all the Doctor Who time travel episodes, particularly the Agatha Christie ones and whenever Churchill shows up.