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Captain’s Corner – Randal Shayne, USS Arrow

Each month, we interview a captain or first officer of the fleet to gain more insight on what it takes to command a ship and learn more about how each of these staff members found their way into these roles.

This month, we’re interviewing the Commanding Officer of the starship USS Arrow,  Commander Randal Shayne. 

GALVEN:  Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

SHAYNE: Sure thing! My name is Quinn, and I’m a resident of Chicago, Illinois. I joined the group in 2015, and I haven’t looked back since. 

When did you become interested in Star Trek and where do you get your inspiration from in terms of books/movies/TV shows?

I was raised with Star Trek- indeed, I couldn’t get away from it. Much of the time, I watched through squinted eyes because the contents of the screen, even with 1960’s special effects, were terrifying to me. But I quickly grew to love it, and as time passed, I began looking toward it as a place of strength and a spiritual aspiration of sorts. To say that Star Trek inspires me doesn’t quite do it justice. That said, I am the product of an insatiable desire for books during my scholarly years as well.  They were my escape, and I devoured the exploits of Horatio Hornblower, and whatever Trek crew was contained within the mutilated rags of the secondhand novel I’d been able to scrounge that week, with gusto. 


Lower Decks Interview: Lieutenant Junior Grade Kudon, USS Resolution

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community. The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

This month’s interview is with the writer behind Lieutenant Junior Grade Kudon playing a Vulcan male Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Resolution.

GALVEN: Thank you for accepting to do this interview with me! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself for our readers out there?

KUDON: Happy to share!  I live near the Boston area in Massachusetts.  I’m 41 and I teach high school history and economics.  I grew up and went to college and grad school around Boston and am finally starting to branch out with some travel outside New England, which sadly COVID has put a limit on for now.  When it’s over I want to go back to Montreal.  But right now I’m using my summer as a teacher to do my simming, take some online classes in French and acting, and get some reading done that I often do not have time for when the school year starts.

You don’t play the typical Vulcan and write him figuring out emotions. What do you set your style of character development with when you begin writing? 

It was challenging at first, because I was not quite sure how much about my character I should plan in advance.  But you and others in Starbase 118 OPS both gave me great advice to let the character unfold naturally.  Acting classes I have taken in the past year and a half actually helped a lot, since when I was writing my first sims, rather than thinking too cerebrally, I would just ask myself questions like “How would Kudon react to this situation?”,  “What kind of things would he say?”, or “How would he talk?” and my emotional instincts basically carried me along to develop a more consistent character.  He has decided to explore emotions, but he never had role models, since growing up on Vulcan, just about everyone suppressed emotions.  So what I did at the start, and still do now, is think to myself “How would someone behave who had little guidance regulating emotions and had to figure it out on his own?”  A large number of my sims flow from how I answer that question.


Lower Decks Interview: Ensign Lephi, USS Atlantis

The title of this column is “Lower Decks,” hearkening back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Lower Decks,” in which junior officers aboard the Enterprise-D speculate on the reasons for recent unusual actions taken by the command crew near the Cardassian border.

We’re here with another interview with a newer member of our community! This month’s interview is with the writer behind Ensign Lephi playing a Ferengi female Engineering Officer assigned to the USS Atlantis.

GALVEN: Thank you for accepting to do this interview with me! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself for our readers out there?

LEPHI: Thanks for sitting down with me for this interview! My real name is Daphne, and I live on Canada’s East coast. I’m a freelance writer at this point in my life since my workplace is still shuttered. I used to have my pilot license and I’ve traveled a fair bit, doing a bit of everything in life along the way.

Do you take any inspiration from movies/TV/books when writing for your character?

There’s a couple of good podcasts and books out there that have really fleshed out the nuance of Ferengi personality, so I pull from there but of course I put my own spin on it to make her uniquely Lephi. 


Odd Jobs of Starfleet: Second Lieutenant Anthony Meeks, Company Commander

In “odd jobs” we examine some less traditional posts and the characters and writers behind them to inspire you to investigate potential for your own character.

Today, we have the pleasure of speaking to Second Lieutenant Anthony Meeks, a Marine Human male from Starbase 118 Ops.

GALVEN: Thank you for accepting to do this interview with me! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

MEEKS: Ya know, that is the hardest question I think there is. ::Chuckles:: I live in the beautiful State of Oregon on the West Coast of the United States. I’m married and have three grown children and five grandchildren. I’m a United States Army veteran and a 20 year law enforcement officer. I’ve been writing with Starbase 118 on and off since 2011.

Your character is the Company Commander in the Marines Department, could you tell us what that posting looks like on a day-to-day basis?

Meeks: Anthony Meeks has a lot of me in the character. For me, it’s always easier to write about something familiar. The Starfleet Marines are based on the United States Marine Corps and the Royal Marines, but because the duty posting isn’t necessarily canon, there is a lot of artistic license for the posting. This means the Marine doesn’t have a particular set of rules to play by, which opens up a lot of avenues for the character. The Meeks character is the Company Commander for Delta Company, which is a Search and Rescue team. Because of that, Anthony has the opportunity to be a soldier, a medic, a tactician, and really anything.


Duty Post Award Winner – Quentin Collins, USS Arrow (Cochrane Award)

Learn more about how to be a great simmer in this interview with a winner of a Duty Post award from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony!

Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters, and this month we’re interviewing the writer behind Lt. Commander Quentin Collins, playing a Human male science officer assigned to the USS Arrow. He won the Cochrane Award which is awarded to those science officers who have contributed greatly to the advance of science in the midst of their Starfleet career, by staying knowledgeable about their field, participating in the community of science, but most importantly, by placing their knowledge at the service of their ship and its mission. 

GALVEN: First off, It’s an honor and a privilege that we could sit down together for an interview and answering a few questions. Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

COLLINS: THE HONOR IS ALL MINE. As people have surely seen by now on the Discord, I could talk forever, so this is WONDERFUL for me.  My name is Justin and I am a full-time/freelance writer from the north of Texas! I’ve been writing full time for a living for about ten years now. Mostly I focus on feature writing and criticism, mainly comics and movies BUT I’ve started to put in a number of pitches for work-for-hire comics and audio scripting. To try and “level up” as it were in my writing career.

I found the 118 toward the end of 2018, was given my first posting shortly thereafter,  and it’s been just a delight and privilege to get to hone my prose and create here with so many other wonderful writers and creatives.


Duty Post Award Winner – Romyana Casparian, StarBase 118 Ops (Phoenix Award)

Join us for another in a series of interviews with winners of Duty Post awards from our recent 2020 Awards Ceremony. Our goal is to give you insight into how our fleet’s best simmers write, and imagine their characters.

This month we’re interviewing the writer behind Ensign Romyana Casparian playing a Vulcan/Human hybrid female engineering officer assigned to StarBase 118 Ops. She won the Phoenix Award: “This award goes to those Engineering officers who continue this tradition of excellence in the field of engineering. By performing their tasks with enthusiasm, imagination and diligence, by managing to make their equipment perform above and beyond its rated capacities, the officers meriting this award further the mission of their ship by their superior know-how. In short, miracle workers.”

GALVEN: Thank you so much for accepting my invitation for you to be interviewed! Could you tell us a little about yourself for our readers out there?

CASPARIAN: Hello! My name is Rebecca and I write for a character called Romyana Casparian. I’m a born and bred Dutch, 35 year old, lady who currently lives and works in Germany. I’ve been with SB118 now for four months and before that I only scribbled down a few fan fiction stories to pass the time between university classes, but never any serious role playing. 

The boring cold winter evenings made me look for something I could do that didn’t require any special gear (like most sports do) or supplies (like most crafts hobbies do), and it had to be something that I could fit flexibly within the day. So writing was the perfect solution and Star Trek the perfect theme. I browsed the web for the possibilities of sharing my writing creativeness with others and found SB118. The rest is history!

Congratulations on receiving the Phoenix Award for your amazing work! Could you provide for us how you prepare yourself when preparing to write for a scene?

When I write I need everything around me to be quiet – no distractions. This way I can completely immerse myself into the story – sometimes I even close my eyes and picture the events before me –  and then write them down. In case of action scenes, for example during missions, I also like to put on some epic film music that will help set the general mood.

Fleet Captain Sal Taybrim mentioned in their presentation that the moment you stepped aboard SB118 Ops during a mission, you were able to bring your skills and quick thinking to the table. Do you take any inspiration from any of the Trek shows/books/movies or anywhere else when you begin writing for a scene?

My inspiration for trek related things in the scenes, such as the looks of the environment or the technology used, I take from the Star Trek tv series I watched as a child; TNG, DS9 and Voyager. The rest I take from everyday life or from my own Aerospace Engineering knowledge, which I then spice up a tad to make it fit seamlessly into the Star Trek universe, just like the original creators used to do.


It’s time to chat! Join us today for our special OOC fleetwide trivia party

Join us in the chat room for our monthly OOC chat today (Sunday, July 12th) at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern / 6pm London / 3am+1 Sydney (AUS). (See your timezone here.)

Click here to join the chat on Discord. It’s fun and easy, and only takes a minute to get set up if you’ve never signed up on before.

Our monthly chats are a place to meet other members of the fleet, catch up on current fleet events, share stories, and talk about Star Trek. Especially if you’ve never attended a chat before, we hope you’ll participate this month!


Our yearly trivia chat is this coming this Sunday

We invite all members of our community to join us in the Discord chat room this coming Sunday for our yearly trivia chat. Test your skills!

The chat starts on July 12th at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, 6pm UTC and Monday, July 13th at 3am for Australia. Click here to see the start time in your zone, and add this event to your calendar.

This chat is open to all and casual, so feel free to come and go as you please. See you there!


You'll Always Be My Number One

First Officer in Focus – Serala, USS Atlantis

Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.

This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Atlantis, Lt. Commander Serala, a Half-Romulan  female. 

GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind Serala. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?

SERALA: Well, I am from the capital city of the great state of Texas. I have been an avid fan of Star Trek my entire life (which is very nearly as long as the series has existed, having been born while the original series was still being produced). When I am not simming, I work from home (currently) as a supervisor for a call center for a major automobile manufacturer handling Lemon Law claims. I also play a lot of Elder Scrolls Online. I do love to play all forms of tabletop RPGs, but I am not currently part of a group. And finally, I love doing photoshop and other graphics type work, which led me to join the Image Collective, where I have learned a lot of very valuable tips.

Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?

That’s a great question. I doubt I am unique in how I do things, but essentially I utilize a word processing program. In my case, I prefer Google Docs. I start a document each new mission or shore leave and pretty much keep a string of posts going. When the other writers in a scene send their posts, I add their responses, make note of any scene details they have added and rewrite everything from Serala’s perspective. Then I will add my own responses, some more details and narrative, and try to include at least three open tags for each person in a scene.


You'll Always Be My Number One

First Officer in Focus – Sky Blake, USS Veritas

Each month we interview a First Officer or Commanding Officer of the fleet as part of our “First Officer in Focus” and “Captain’s Corner” columns to get to know them better, and learn more about what their positions entail.

This month, we’re interviewing the First Officer of the starship USS Veritas, Lt. Commander Sky Blake,  a Brekkian/Betazoid hybrid female.

GALVEN: Tell us a little about the writer behind Blake. Where do you hail from, and what are you up to when you’re not simming?

BLAKE: I live in Australia, and when I am not simming, I am studying as a cloud student for a Bachelor of Arts. I earned my Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing in 2019, where I was also able to edit and publish a fairly hefty student anthology of works, as well as put together a demo memoir I released that November.

Between writing and reading for my degree and simming, I also consume a fairly unhealthy amount of Netflix, AnimeLab, Playstation games, and iced coffee.

Tell us more about your writing style. What’s your process for putting together a sim?

It depends on how much time I have. If I’m on a tight schedule, I’ll actively look for Blake-specific tags, throw them into a Gmail draft and focus on adding dialogue first, then examine the scene more closely for Blake’s physicality — ie. how is she presenting herself, how is she feeling, is she cold, etc — reactionary type things. After that, I go back through and do a basic edit alongside a pass with ProWritingAid and send. That usually takes me about 15 minutes to a half hour.

On a good day when I can spend up to hours working on a sim, I work properly on narration, backstory and thoughts. I can double check to see if everyone has been included in a scene and add relevant tags for those who may not be. These sims will typically be much longer than my rush jobs, have been formatted properly, edited, and may have about three times more the narration.


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