Date: 30 Jun 2013 06:39 Title: Distant Horizons
Anything I could have said about this was blown away by the perfect and unexpected ending. Great writing all the way through, very descriptive ... but that ending. Every time I think I'm getting to know Scotty, you show a new side of him, shine up a facet I haven't seen before and cause it to catch in the light. Excellent work.
Author's Response: Someday, I think it comes out somewhere that when he crawled back out of the ocean, cold and soaked, he laughed himself stupid. And I think it might have been the first time in his life where he really got to, too. Thank you. He still surprises me, even today.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 06:35 Title: Processing
This was a fun read! THE LAB COATS. OMG. I love the husband/wife team, and that the dentist handled Scotty's freakout so well. I know the background on this because of the TToT ficlets, I think.
I also LOLed at the psych eval being multiple choice, and his relief and then also being disturbed by that. A solidly understandable reaction.
And his having his own place, even if for a night ... that got to me. He's been through a lot, and this moment of pure freedom was hard earned.
Author's Response: That dentist deserves a medal. And yes, I think you've got at least some understanding of it. Thanks so much.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 06:17 Title: Torn
Poor thing doesn't really understand himself any better than anyone else does. He only thinks he does.
Good background info in this piece that keeps the overall arc going, but the snow outside and his palpable exhaustion and the waitress's concern really grounds it in the now. I feel for him ... it's hard to do what you want when the things you want are at odds. He wants engineering and Starfleet ... and he wants to please his Mom. He can't really do both. Tough moment that a lot of people have to face, and you've captured it well.
Author's Response: No, he has not worked it out yet. All instinct. And your insightfulness and clever realization of the theme? Totally amazing. Thank you.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 06:02 Title: Junkyard Dogs
Gorgeous story. It kills me that he never told Scotty, but I see why he felt it wasn't his place. It was an unselfish way that Jay cared for his son throughout this piece. The relationship between Jay and Caitlyn is painful. So much to regret on both sides. You are very, very good at drawing family and emotional dynamics, both the good and the horrific. Nicely done.
Author's Response: Aye, that it was. Painful, I mean. Cait Scott is a mess, I think; a high-functioning mess, but a mess. And Jay was young, and dumb, and made exactly the wrong choices. Thank you for reading it.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 05:36 Title: Junkyard Dogs
This is great. Jay, the father who never got to be, taking a chance with his "boy" in his own way now. And I like that he never openly admits it here, can't seem to really bring himself to acknowledge the relationship with words, but it's obvious from the little realizations that he quickly shies away from that he KNOWS.
I have to wonder if Scotty knows, too.
Author's Response: Thank you! Yes, Jay refusing to even say it in narrative wasn't any attempt to hide it from the reader, but just unable to acknowledge it. Scotty doesn't, though; he never figures that out, at least so far as I've written. If he does, it'll be when he's far, far older, and I imagine he'd have some exceptionally mixed feelings about it all. Thanks so much.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 05:27 Title: Now
I'm trying to put together the clues (and write a review that isn't a mass of spoilers). I'm seeing, missing pieces. Of the article being investigated (and maybe repaired, maybe not). And of Scotty.
Some part of him, physical, mental, maybe both, is as broken and missing as a wheel off a wagon or a broken switch in a piece of electronics. And the attempt to fix is an attempt to get some control and order in the universe, to understand and to improve it, even if that mission is, ultimately, futile.
Lovely and poetic.
Author's Response: Physical, in this case. That little Scot has a mantra, and it comes out later: "I'm not broken." He has a very good reason to say exactly those words, and they are words layered a thousand fathoms deep. And you nailed it exactly -- he's trying to do the one thing he can to make the universe make sense. Thank you, so much.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 03:06 Title: Wait
This was an inspired idea. Scotty, Spock and McCoy, as children, and it should feel contrived but doesn't, at all. I love how the kernels of their personalities are here: Scotty's pride, Spock's quiet curiosity, McCoy's wit and sharp tongue. What a fun piece to read.
Author's Response: Thank you! I figured that it was possible, if nothing else.
Date: 30 Jun 2013 02:57 Title: Best Smile
Oh, this is a heartbreaking look at a gifted, misunderstood child. He's his own person, and an enigma to those around him and maybe even to himself, if he thought it was important to think about such things. And yet the rest of the world is a mystery to him, too. But the mechanics of things ... that, he understands. And he clings to it. I think any child who grew up gifted, or an outsider, can appreciate this piece.
It did break my heart that the mechanics of his life have already sunk in. Cry = frown. Therefore, do not cry. *Hugs baby Scotty*
Author's Response: Thanks. He's definitely his own person, even this young.
Date: 27 May 2013 08:10 Title: Best Smile
First thought: Scotty!
Second thought: Poor Scotty.
The poor little guy is already super advanced, beyond his classmates, able to take things apart and put them back together. He’s so there in terms of intelligence and awareness, but he still needs the one thing every child needs: love.
Here, he’s almost begging for it. He wants it, badly, he wants his mother to stay, he wants her to be proud of him but Cait is, as usual, focusing more on herself and her career than young Scotty. And Scotty knows it, in his own way, and it just hurts to read as he stands there and listen, plans on how to fix the things.
It’s not a matter of he wants to so much that he HAS to in my view. It’s how he deals with his mother’s absence, how he deals with his feelings of, I guess, abandonment, and totally is devoid of human interaction really. He just wants to fix the things.
There are more than a few reminders here of another character I know and how he too got into mischief in trying to deal with his own feelings.
I just feel bad for Scotty here and I wish he got everything he wanted from Cait, but he didn’t. In the end, Scotty never quite was able to smile truly for a long time, not until he met Corry anyway really. But even that wasn’t the same kind of smile he would have given his mom if only she was there.
Author's Response: "It’s not a matter of he wants to so much that he HAS to in my view." And you got it in one, my friend. That is exactly it. He has to. It's how he deals -- he buries his head in a machine, and he sticks with what he can understand and predict and repair. Thanks. <3
Date: 24 Oct 2012 16:22 Title: Distant Horizons
The tone of this is still Scotty and very true to his character, but it's a bit more mature, a bit more centered, even as he runs. I also like how he seems surprised at how good he is at everything. I'm glad you have him going through command school, and it clearly paid off--in TOS, when we see him in command, he's smart and clever and bold. He'd've been a great commander, if he hadn't loved his engines so much.
Author's Response: Mister Self-Confidence, he was not. He was getting there, though! Thank you! The Command School actually came from the novel Kobayashi Maru, and I consider that one canon for the series; it was also where the Perera Field Theory got put to use during said Kobayashi Maru. He actually did really, really well, too.
Date: 24 Oct 2012 16:10 Title: Processing
Wow, an introvert's nightmare! Poor Scotty! I loved the line about the psychological testing--"Scott wasn't sure if he was relieved by the fact that he wouldn't have to go through any mindgames a shrink would put him through, or if he was deeply disturbed that this was all the psychological screening that would be required to get into Starfleet." This was both fun and poignant, and a beautiful look into Scotty's character. I like how these short stories are building on each other. Well done.
Author's Response: Basic was a big deal for him. It was where he picked up his nickname, from one of his squad-mates, and it was where he first started reaching for his own goals, instead of trying to dodge disapproval 24/7. Thank you very much!
Date: 23 Oct 2012 04:52 Title: Torn
I'm glad he's sticking to his plan to go into Starfleet--although obviously we knew he would! I hate seeing him unhappy, but it kind of explains why we only see him happy when he's tinkering with his engines, and why his "bairns" have become the only family he has. A beautiful and poignant story.
Author's Response: Thanks! He does eventually reconcile some with his birth family, and he does sort of build his own eventually, but right now, he's just a kid from the not-quite-wrong-side of the tracks trying to figure it all out.
Date: 22 Oct 2012 21:32 Title: Junkyard Dogs
This was so moving. I liked Jay, and being closer to his age than Scotty's, I felt deeply for him. Nothing can tear us up like our kids! But I also liked this look at Scotty's beginnings, and his ongoing loneliness. It made me both sad and proud, sort of like Jay, I guess. Beautifully done.
Author's Response: Thanks! I liked Jay, too. He wasn't perfect, but once he had the chance to do something good, he did the best he could. I always felt for him, too. I'm glad you liked it!
Date: 22 Oct 2012 06:43 Title: Junkyard Dogs
I love this look at Scotty's life and character development through a very interesting window character. I also generally like stories about prickly relationships that eventually find their groove. Nice...start...off to read part 2!
Author's Response: Thanks! Looking back, I'm rather proud of how this one came out. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Date: 21 Oct 2012 21:02 Title: Best Smile
Aw, that's sad. Poor little guy. No wonder he doesn't want to start relationships. I wonder where his mom goes...
Author's Response: She's a professional chef and does a lot of travel in the course of work. She could take him -- as he gets older, she does some -- but Cait is... very career-focused, more than being Mom-focused. Thanks for the comment!
Date: 29 Jul 2010 23:28 Title: Distant Horizons
Wow. Scotty falls in love with the sea and with the freedom of running with his thoughts or running freely with no thoughts. I didn't imagine it as a fit for him, but it obviously is an exercise in whihc he can lose himself, can think, can not think, can stop, can keep on running, can choose his own direction. Wonderful, wonderful.
Author's Response: Thank you much! I was surprised with this piece myself when I wrote it, and I'm glad all of that came cross. <3
Date: 29 Jul 2010 23:24 Title: Processing
Well what an ending - Scotty having his own little space to call his own. :D That did make me smile. It's almost a win moment after his traumatic day. Certainly, a big moment and one that snuck up what with the processing, the tests, the doctors and the dentist! Yipes. So with Scotty here on the whole evil dentist thing! Nightmare. No wonder Scotty is going to revel in the little private space. Alas tomorrow brings the barracks and lack of privacy and ownership again. Aw.
Author's Response: I figured that it would probably be quite a hair-raising experience for him. And that if it weren't so important to him to go forward, he would probably bolt the other way. XD But it was a decent ending; I owed him that much! Thank you for reviewing it!
Date: 05 Aug 2009 15:07 Title: Torn
Aw! Poor Scotty. It's awful when things are just not working out at home. For Scotty it's the limitations being put on his dreams and the objections to chasing them. Life can be cruel and horrible. Scotty certainly is getting things rough at this stage. Yes he'd come to face maybe worse things in his future career, and yes others suffered more so - like Kirk seeing those things on Tarsus [?] - but at that particular moment and time, things are not going too good for Scotty. But the one guiding light in all of this was that a strager offered kindness and words of empathy and sympathy and some advice. And we also know that in the end things do come good and Scotty gets to fulfill his dreams and wishes. He gets to the stars and gets to crawl in among engines. So I'm going to take heart from that today.
Author's Response: I dunno; I don't think you can really compare suffering. For instance, Jim Kirk had Tarsus and it definitely changed him. And it was horribly traumatic. But all other accounts were that (in TOS) he had a loving family, which gives you a different foundation. Scotty was more... left to mostly raise himself, and paid the price for his mother's indiscretion almost from birth, both in being mostly shoved to the side or even outright attacked for a crime he didn't even know about let alone commit himself. He has a different foundation, then; that of something that knows everything comes at a cost, and you can't trust anything. Maybe not even yourself.
They're really different people. Is one horrific incident better or worse than years of more quiet suffering? There's no way to measure such things. It's impossible to quantify or qualify, only feel for the facts as they stand.
Thanks for the review! And yeah, one moment of empathy. And one kid who can't understand the kindness. But, we all know that yeah, he makes it.
Date: 05 Aug 2009 14:49 Title: Junkyard Dogs
Loved the developing personality and traits of Scotty and seeing just where some of those traits [and chin] came from. A truly engaging story with a lot of heart in despite the fact it is a sad story to a degree. I felt completely for poor ole Jay but warmed by his efforts to make everything happen for Scotty's test of the theory and guiding him to make his own decisions and maybe head for the stars. Then cheered by Scotty's sucess and ultimate decision to join up! that was uplifting to read and yet written in a simple manner not paraded and chucked down our throat. Wonderfully balanced story telling.
Author's Response: Thanks! I was trying to bridge the gap between what was definitely a not-so-good childhood, towards the novel Kobayashi Maru (where he then uses Perera's theory to trick the simulator), and then to ONOW, where he finally finds his feet and knows his life's his own to give, or to keep. I'm glad it all came across as starting fairly well here.
Date: 05 Aug 2009 14:37 Title: Junkyard Dogs
Eh? Thought I'd reviewed this. But anyway meant I had the good opportunity to reread. And it again being absorbed into the world of this kid and his awkward way of fitting into life. Jay almost as equally awkward - certainly around the kid. Love the span of the tale and how you use language and beats to move the story on with a turn of phrase or dialogue to indicate passage of time. This passage of time is used effectively to show the two finding their standing with one another and how Jay gradually finds a way of working with the kid and talking to him. Scotty is an enigma but a wonderful puzzle to work out. I love how through Jay we get a glimpse into how Scotty works but also get into Jay's mind too. Richly evoked but with such simple precision. I think the word is just honest writing. [which is more than one word I suppose but honest being the operative word]
Author's Response: Thanks, Miranda. I hadn't actually planned to write Jay's part of the tale (or most of Distant Horizons for that matter) but Teddog gave me this plot-bunny and this was what resulted. It was some interesting writing, trying to capture from an outside perspective what a somewhat feral kid would look like to a more civilized adult.
Date: 12 Jul 2009 23:46 Title: Now
Makes one wish almost to have the same outlook. Things can be fixed and can be viewed as a here and now matter almost as whatever the problem is that presents itself instead of all the meanderings and frets a mind can flit through. So love it and find the quote a neat match to this tale. Simple and effective and affecting. Curse you Steff and your writing's beguiling ways.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review!
Date: 12 Jul 2009 23:42 Title: Wait
Heehee and wow. Love the fact they all met like this. It makes it so almost destined that they should meet again. Love the pride and stubborness in Scotty already.
McCoy and his southern charm, equally so his irrascapable wit and sour notes when things aren't quite to his way. Heehee.
And of course Amanda and her maternal instincts and the wonder of how she juggled that within the Vulcan home. Kinda mindblowing if you let your mind ponder on it. I'm not going to though, I need my mind for tomorrow. Hee!
Author's Response: I hadn't originally liked this one as much when I wrote it, but it's grown on me since then. Trying to balance the children with the adults they'd be. Thanks much!
Date: 12 Jul 2009 23:25 Title: Best Smile
Ok, way eons back I told you the following:
Really brill insight to Scotty's and a child's head. That is exactly the problem when teaching children - people infer reasons to a child's actions but their motivations actually largely go unknown. That was awesome.
That still stands as the case, with this being a wonderful insight and beats us adults over the head for sometimes thinking we have a clue what's going on. Sometimes there is far more and sometimes a lot less. ;)
Gotta say though, the last line is kinda heartbreaking. Funny how children can be so intuitive in certain ways and want only to please and make mammy/daddy happy. Love the concentration of the little tike on his project and how even at this young age he working on things, pulling them apart, trying to see how they work and how they can be put back together and fixed. It's a very marked attribute in him.
Again wonderful stuff, Steff.
Author's Response: Thank you much, Miranda. I was trying to find the reason why Scotty was so painfully worried over disappointing his mother in the novel Kobayashi Maru, and this was where it lead me.