Community News

Witty Wordsmith: Writer’s Block

“Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.” ~P.D. James

Writer’s block is something that every writer deals with.  Sometimes it goes hand in hand with real life stress or exhaustion.  Sometimes ideas just don’t flow.  Sometimes you just sit looking at the posts, knowing you should write something but nothing comes to  mind.  But any good writing game is built on having players contribute, and the more you participate in the story the more your character can grow – and the more fun you will have!  So let’s look at tips for overcoming writer’s block and getting back in the swing of posting when your ideas run dry.

Try getting up early and writing first thing in the morning OR late at night right before bed.

Mornings can be times of great energy, free of distractions that accumulate over the course of the day.  Also you are most likely to remember and be inspired by what your dreamt last night early in the morning.  Late nights tend to be the point where most people wind down and let their minds relax.  Either one of these periods may trigger new and creative ideas.


Top Sims Run-Off Round 3, 2014

This is a run-off poll, where our general membership will choose from the top sims of 2014 Rounds 14-20 to find the best sim that will proceed to the final round of the contest.

Please read the sims below, which were chosen by a panel of judges (one from each ship) to find the best sims from each round of Set 3:

Vote for the sim which is best written. We recommend looking for strong characterization and evocative or descriptive scene-setting.

Polling closes at 11:59pm on Sunday, October 5th.

Good luck to the nominees!


July Recruitment Stats

Each month, the Publicity Team posts the number of applications our community received for the current year and how those applicants found our group. That summary will give you an idea of how we are reaching new applicants and how we can improve our efforts to reach new audiences. If you’re interested in helping with our publicity efforts, click the link above to check out the Publicity Team’s wiki area, and then the link to the Publicity Team’s Google Group where you can sign up to be a part of the team.

We also want to keep you apprised of the number of graduates from the StarBase 118 Academy. Unfortunately, not all applicants graduate from the Academy because they either do not respond to roll call or do not complete the Academy requirements. The Training Team makes every effort to involve all applicants and to encourage them to complete the training.

July2014 Apps July Recruitment Stats

July2014 Graduates July Recruitment StatsJuly2014 Source July Recruitment Stats


Podcast: The Ladies take the helm!

After a brief summer hiatus, and for the first time in its history, the women have taken over the UFOP: StarBase 118 podcast. Regular host Lieutenant Commander Velana was joined this month by guest host Lieutenant Commander T’Mar of the USS Gemini.

On the discussion agenda was not just the depiction of strong female characters in Trek, but how depictions of female strength shouldn’t be limited to physicality, i.e.- there is more than one way to be strong. The commanders also talked about their experiences as women in the wide world of fandom, the good, the bad and the hilarious, as well as their shared love of conventions. Velana got a little jealous upon learning that T’Mar has met Connor Trinneer – famous as Trip Tucker from Star Trek: Enterprise, and the rules of convention meet-and-greet etiquette were laid out. They also let off a little bit of steam about what was bugging them about Trek. Previous hot topics have included Geordie LaForge’s attitude to Scotty, Star Trek technology in Into Darkness, and not forgetting Deana Troi’s ever-changing-accent. However, even those things that bug us about Trek actually show much we love the franchise and want it to be as good as it can be.

Moving along, the Commanders gave the usual nod to promotions in the preceding month, and highlighted the exciting news of the launch of not one but TWO new ships – the USS Columbia under Commander Ben Livingston and the USS Victory under Commander Nugra. Epic times lie ahead!

To round off the episode, the team welcomed Lieutenant Alora DeVeau of the USS Garuda who, with the help of her Mother, reminded us all about the monthly fleet chat – a great place to get to know your fellow simmers in a relaxed environment.

Ready to listen? Head to the forums now to download the podcast, or listen via YouTube!

The podcast is always looking for new contributors. If you’re ready to get involved, check out the podcast forum.

Art by Dylan Meconis. Source.


Congratulations Captain Raj Blueheart

The Executive Council of UFOP: StarBase 118 is pleased to announce the promotion of Commander Raj Blueheart to the rank of captain. Captain Blueheart has been the commanding officer of the USS Atlantis since January of this year.

Commander Blueheart was a long-time member of the Discovery before that ship was decommissioned and her crew split between the Gemini and Atlantis. Over the course of his long tenure with the group, he received a number of awards, including the Silver Palm and the Sheathed Sword.

Be sure to offer Captain Blueheart your congratulations, and we wish him the best of luck as he moves forward with his command career!


July plot summary for the Victory

The USS Victory, NCC-362447, had been in orbit around G-2210-C, known by the local region as Paksos, for a few hours and their investigation in to the Hunger had already hit snags. With two away teams out, one on the surface of the jungle world lead by Lieutenant Commander Eerie and the other on the orbital station led by Commander Alucard Vess, they both faced a crisis.

Commander Eerie’s team had been unknowingly infected with a virus that has caused varied, but extremely painful symptoms among the team. Commander Vess’ group discovered that the orbital station was semi-sentient and did not appreciate them being there. The Victory herself had been caught in a gravimetric field that was going to shred them apart if they could not escape and had a Tholian squadron enroute to their position. The situation looked hopeless.

That did not stop the crew of the Victory. Discovering that quantum torpedoes could temporarily disrupt the energy field entrapping their ship, the bridge crew was able to implement a plan that allowed them to beam their crew to safety and also disrupt the field and escape. For the first time on the mission, something went according to plan and the Victory was able to get away.

Now on course for Starbase 118 to rest and recuperate, there is an ominous feeling that though they learned a bit about their ancient enemy, there was more to be found in the tempest sector.


Poll of the Week: Robin Williams and Star Trek comedy

As I sat at home, devastated by the death by apparent suicide of Robin Williams, an actor/comedian that I had met and whose career really spans my generation, I thought about the comedy of Star Trek. As serious as the series are at times, being often a commentary on social norms of the time in which they are made, each and every episode has its funny little moments.

This week, in tribute to Robin Williams, we will start a series of polls on the comedy of Star Trek. To kick it off, we will be looking at the original series.

What are your favorite funny moments? Here are a few of mine. If you have others, share them!


July plot summary for the Apollo

With the emergency escape pod hurtling towards the USS Aegis, NCC-74323, Lieutenant Williams stopped it from crashing into their shields with a tractor beam, and once it was confirmed that there was a living being in it, they brought it to the shuttle bay.

Once the shuttle with the away team arrived, Faranster ordered LtJG Aidonna Danara, Ensigns Ar’jin and Nyals to go down to the deck to find out what was in the pod. It was quickly discovered it was LtCmdr. Jalana Laxyn, and she was taken to sickbay where she was examined by Ensign Dial before returning to duty.

Laxyn used the Captain’s ready room for reports, and was upset by the actions included in other team member’s reports. Apparently Ensign Damian Rayne, assigned as Security for the team, had not done his job, which allowed the team to be attacked. She was also aware that LtJG Patrick McLeod had to be talked out of disobeying a direct order.

Meanwhile, Williams and LtJG Catrova Torv, and Ensign Chandni Kapoor worked to try to find the virus that Rapture had inflicted on their ship. But, before they could isolate it, the virus deleted all the data on the aliens, their ship and disappeared. The stasis pod became the only reminder of the aliens, which Ensign Ar’jin performed tests on.

After dealing with that, the crew all relaxed at a Bolian painting party that was thrown as a Welcoming party by the Bolian nurse, Dial.


Background Check: Andrus Jaxx

::A pale white light appears through the darkness in the distance. Gentle sounds of low-pitched chimes and haunting plucked strings echo softly. The camera slowly zooms in on a shadowy figure wearing black who is looking down at the ground. Percussion builds and in a dramatic wash of cymbals the man looks up to the camera. He keeps a stoic expression and speaks with a sense of urgency as he faces the camera head on..::

Jorey: No one, no matter how hard they try, can escape their past. ::The camera angle changes. We are above him. He looks up at the camera and continues.:: To understand our present and predict the future, we must first understand our history. ::Jorey looks down toward the ground at a floor camera and the angle changes once again.:: This rule applies to everyone – criminals, masterminds and even our most celebrated heroes. We are not born, we are made. ::The camera swings up and begins to move out as the music builds to a final climax. A blurry mess of gold lettering fills the screen and slowly comes into focus revealing a graphic of the show’s title.:: I am Brayden Jorey… ::He raises an eyebrow.:: and this… is Background Check.


New Academy Graduates

Please welcome our newest Academy graduates to the UFOP: StarBase 118 fleet: Arthur Baker, Leigh Bryant, and Tatash!


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Today’s Stardate

- stardates are the way in which the current date is formatted within a sim. More information.

Fleet Activity List

Looking for something fun to do? We have a whole list of fleet activities that are looking for members like yourself! You can participate in our monthly Writing Challenges, our Top Sims Contest, a Guild (for Readers, LGBT players, and those who play Vulcans), help recruit new players on our Publicity Team, or help write the Community News. Check out the Fleet Activity List today to see where you can help!

Inspiration

The tears that you spill, the sorrowful, are sweeter than the laughter of snobs and the guffaws of scoffers. -Kahlil Gibran, “A Handful of Sand on the Shore”

Simming Tips