%@ Page Language="C#" %>
These are memories and reflections on Star Trek stories I’ve written, going
backwards in chronological order. I’ve skipped quite a few, because I
remember absolutely nothing about them -- Charlotte Frost
This was a story that I was a bit flustered that it was published in a zine
that wasn’t particularly popular, and I thought it was a good story.
However, even as I say that, I’m aware that it’s a good story,
not necessarily a good K/S story.
There is slash, and I think the relationship between Kirk and Spock has an
appealing tenderness. But what I’m particularly proud of is the overall plot
and how it meshes together.
This story came about when the U.S. was preparing for Desert Storm. Only…
nobody was sure if there was going to be a war or not. Troops were building
up in Kuwait (I think it was), and many of those young members of the army
were rather appalled that they might have to actually fight. It had been so
many years since America had gone to war, after all.
Anyway, the media was all over the place and the tension could be cut with a
knife. Was all the build-up for not? When would the first shot be fired? If
we went to war, how long would it last?
So, while watching the news and feeling the tension, my imagination went to
work with the backdrop of an unknown planet.
I also did something rather unique – at least for the time (though not
necessarily for the ST series, even in the 60's.) The main military general
in the story was a woman. Her “sidekick” was also female – a “recorder” who
was writing a biography of the general in “real time”, as that was the
custom for their culture. What it just now occurs to me is how there’s some
similarities to Xena and Gabrielle, though no such series existed at the
This was my last K/S story and it got very little notice. Ironically, in a
recent issue of KS Press,
the letterzine of the fandom (that I started the forerunner to, way back in
1989), somebody gave some feedback on it. I actually got out the zine and
re-read the story. I still think it’s a decent, solid short story (probably
qualifies as a novella by modern standards).
And I still think it deserved more appreciation than it ever received in the
13 years since its publication.
know those “teddy bear” blankets that were popular in the late-80’s? They’re
so soft and cuddly. That was the inspiration for this little story. No
rocket science here.
I do remember that it got a mention in a letterzine where a reader was
exasperated because Spock was being held hostage and “all Kirk wants to do
is go cuddle with his blanky” (or something like that). Well…. As I recall,
there really wasn’t anything Kirk could do to help matters along. Though the
reader was correct that Kirk is a man of action… and he wasn’t here.
PLAYING WITH FIRE
I think this mirror universe story was inspired by the idea of Spock
coughing while he and Kirk are trapped in a cave. The kind of thing that can
get on an impatient man’s nerves. I don’t know what happens after that, but
I assume sex eventually ensues. *g*
had always wanted to do a story based on the episode “The Tholian Web”, and
an editor was doing a 25th anniversary zine and invited me to participate.
Cool! Except… I just couldn’t make this story into much. All I remember
about it was that it was very short and I was rather disappointed in myself.
One of those “let’s over-psychoanalyze ourselves to death” stories. My
recollection is that this is a story where every reasonable thing Kirk says,
Spock contradicts. And I don’t think it had anything to do with sex. I
remember one of the co-editors saying, “I was exhausted with them”. I assume
the readers probably felt the same way… if they managed to read
WHEN TOMORROW COMES
think this might have been my “slave” story. Only, it was more a rebellion
against a certain aspect of slave stories. It really, really bothered me
when poor Spock (usually) would get kidnapped, turned into some evil
person’s sex slave, and then when he was rescued and continued to behave
like a slave (because of his conditioning) Kirk would get *aroused*. Okay,
I’m not a guy and I can’t claim to know what it’s like to have a penis. I
just find it rather unbelievable that, rather than being appalled, Kirk
would get a hard-on at seeing his friend being so submissive (especially
while out of his head). I’d read one too many stories like that and had to
try my hand at a creative rejection of the concept.
I remember a fan friend scolding me, “I can’t believe you wrote such a trite
story as that!” Well…. I wanted to get a point across, even if the
surrounding story was kind of lame.
Don’t know if the point translated to the readers; I don’t recall ever
hearing much about it.
A WING AND A PRAYER
unique story for a number of reasons. 1) The zine covers associated with the
story (which came before the story) were gorgeous and to die for. 2) This
was the only time I’ve written a story “on request”, so to speak. The editor
of the zine it appeared in had a plotline all figured out, based upon the
gorgeous covers, but she didn’t want to write it. She asked me to do the
writing and relayed her plot idea over the phone. I had fun with it, but… 3)
This is a blatant story where the slash aspect made no sense. Even as I was
writing it, I was aware that there really wasn’t any reason for Kirk and
Spock to have sex with each other. But the idea of writing a non-slash story
was appalling to me at that time. (My, my, how times have changed!)
I was impressed that one reader did pick up on the fact that the slash
aspect didn’t “follow” with everything else that was going on.
My sole K/S novel. I am rather appalled at all the typos that were in the
final copy; I think it was a rush job on the editor’s part, in order to have
the zine ready for the next con.
I remember this being satisfying to write and touch upon various things –
some concerning the relationship, some not – that were important to me
(though I’ve forgotten what most of those things were. I do remember it was
gratifying to give the “bad guys” reasons to be bad, so that once those
reasons were resolved, they weren’t bad anymore. The true spirit of Star
It really turned me off, in TV and movies, when someone is about to get
killed and somebody else shouts “Wait!” – and the bad guys wait!!! I mean,
when you’re evil and are going to kill somebody, would you really stop
because somebody says, “Wait!” ??
So, I had Spock on the verge of getting killed, Kirk frantically crying,
“Wait! Wait!”… and Spock gets killed anyway. But all turns out well.
There are certainly other novels more famous in K/S, especially considering
all the years since PORTRAITS’ publication. But I was quite satisfied with
the amount of attention it received. Even now, it sometimes still gets
mentioned in a positive way.
Three poems that I was the co-author of. I didn’t/don’t consider myself a
poet. (Though my one professional success, at the age of 12, was receiving
one dollar from a magazine for a poem.) I got to corresponding with a fan
and she said, “I’ll show you how to do poetry.” So, I had fun with it,
though I didn’t pursue it after that.
The other author was rather quite disliked in fandom, so I was rather amazed
at the number of people who would tell me that the good things in the poem
were “obviously” my doing, as though they couldn’t stand to give any credit
to the person who was so disliked. I would attempt to correct their
impressions, but doubt I made a dent.
story gives me a chuckle. Nobody wanted it! Over the course of a year or so,
I sent it out to at least six different editors. Even those who had never
had a C Frost story before – and would have liked one – rejected the story.
In between rejections, I would sit down and think, “Okay, I’m going to fix
this so that somebody wants it.” And I would read it and not find anything
that needed fixing.
You know the famous fanon “double ridges” of Spock’s penis? I got to
thinking how annoying it would be if he got a little germ in between there,
and it itched and itched….
Zine editors were not amused. One person later explained to me why the story
gave them the willies. This was at a time when AIDS had been around less
than ten years. The idea of a germ concerning the genitals… it just didn’t
sit well with people.
One day, at a con, somebody told me that she was going to publish her own
little zine called REJECTION SLIP, because she had a novella that got
rejected and, by God, she wanted it published. (It was actually quite a good
story. I think it got rejected by an editor who had already accepted a story
with a similar theme.) So, I told her about my six-times-reject, and she
said she would be happy to publish it. There was also one other little story
that was included.
So, “The Cure” finally saw print. Don’t think I ever heard from any readers
about it. I doubt the zine had much in the way of circulation.
My vague recollection of what this story is about – it’s a mirror universe –
would probably give it a bdsm label today. We weren’t so obsessed with
labels back in the olden days. Anyway, I don’t remember much, except there
being that thin “rape” line.
THE BLENDING OF TWO
was surprised to see how far down the list of K/S stories, in order of
publication date, this novella ended up. It was actually my very first K/S
story – and, therefore, my very first fanfic story. Of course, it included
horses, complete with a detailed mating between equines. *g*
I remember that, by the time it saw print (I think I first sent it to
editors for a zine that never actually came to fruition, and back then it
took many months, and sometimes years, for zines to happen), I felt
apologetic about how “stupid” it was. I wanted the editors to put something
in the editorial, saying it was my first story. They did, but made the point
that they felt “no such apology is necessary”.
think Kirk gets drunk. Or is it Spock?
is the theme of my existence, and this was my first attempt at tackling a
theme that (before I knew about such a thing as fandom) I thought would be
the dominant subject of all my writing.
So, when I hit upon an idea for a suicide story, I wrote it lightning fast.
And I was hurrying to get to the good parts. So, after I sent it off to my
favorite editor, she wrote back and said, “This is a great outline. Where’s
the rest?” *sigh* So, I had more work to do. Thank goodness. The story was
all the better for the fleshing out. I particularly thought the ending was
brilliant, heart-warming, and all those wonderful things (I’m not usually
good with endings.)
But the post-publication was highly disappointing. Yes, I got the usual
feedback, but to me, this was a special story,
and the feedback didn’t give any indication of that awareness. I remember
someone – perhaps the editor – saying, “I bet there’s going to be a lot of
illos of Swans showing up at the cons.” That had crossed my mind too, for
the swan aspect was a wonderful part of the story, especially the
heart-warming ending. But no such artwork appeared.
There’s numerous times where movie actors will talk about how there was a
particular movie they thought was their best performance; yet, the movie was
given little notice by the public. That’s how I feel about “Swan”.
Yet, the last time I tried to read it – years ago – I found myself impatient
with the opening scene and the stilted dialogue (I always saw Spock as
having difficulty expressing himself concerning personal matters.) I started
skimming. So, maybe it wasn’t all that interesting.
Still, within the past couple of years, I was having a rare telephone
conversation with a longtime beta. She happened to mention how special
“Swan” was to her, because suicide had been a prominent theme in her life
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sometimes, it’s years before you
know what readers thought of a story.
THE FACES OF LOVE
I wouldn’t remember anything about this story, except the last time I was
with a small group of K/S fans – in 2004 – somebody mentioned having read
it. So, upon returning home, I pulled out the zine and read it. I still
don’t remember, now, what it was about exactly. I think it was little more
than a warmfuzzy conversation, with Kirk comforting Spock because Spock had
just returned from visiting his parents. Essentially it was a “My parents
suck, it’s amazing I survived, you’ve changed my life” story. I really loved
socking it to parents back then. Took a lot of stories (and well into
another fandom) before I pretty much got past feeling I had to have nearly
every story about Bad Parents, in some form or other.
I felt was one of my very best stories, at the time I wrote it. (Don’t know
what I’d think now.) A mirror universe where caustic characters in an evil
environment struggle to find some tenderness.
What I remember about this is an editor taking out an ill Kirk coughing up
phlegm. “Gross,” she said. Well… yeah.
years after this story was published, the editor would enjoy telling people,
“Charlotte Frost sent me this story and said [insert arrogant tone] ‘This is
the best story I’ve ever written.’”
Hey, what’s wrong with that? It was.
This was the seventh story I wrote. I sent it to a two new publishers who
had announced their intention to produce their first zine. They sounded
ambitious, so I wanted them to have this brilliant masterpiece I’d written.
Months went by. (No email back then.) And then I wrote them and asked how
the zine was coming. They finally returned the story, asked if it was okay
to keep a copy because they loved reading it so much, and said they’d
cancelled the zine, due to lack of submissions.
Okay, great. I then sent it on to my favorite editor, who was very fast at
producing zines. The story was printed and I nervously awaited the reaction.
Back then, one could only get feedback via the zine editor. Within a few
weeks, I got an envelope in the mail with *twenty-three* -- count ‘em,
twenty-three! – letters with comments. It was so, so gratifying to see that
the readers agreed with me that the story was brilliant.
What’s more, there were publications back then that printed zine reviews.
(Fandom used to be so much fun for writers. Nothing like the drab,
dismissive atmosphere it is now.) “The Healing” was prominently featured in
a couple of lengthy reviews. I remember, in particular, one reviewer
referred to it (amongst other wonderful things) as “masterfully crafted”.
But the accolades weren’t over yet. An organization got together to do K/S
awards. “The Healing” was up for Best Long Story. It tied for first place (I
got a certificate!)
And so, the seventh story I’d ever written was my best ever. And I knew I
could never top that. I’d never write an outstanding story again. (Hee!)
Seriously, though, it’s a good thing I got two awards that year. My K/S
stories continued to be nominated, but I never won again. Once I went to S&H
fandom, I wasn’t even on the map until C Frost had been in the fandom for
five years. Stories much loved now were bypassed completely in the
nominations (in one case, not even included on the list of eligible stories,
even though SH was a very small fandom at the time.) In TS fandom, I been
little nominated and haven’t won.
I don’t participate in awards anymore. I’ve been losing for 18 straight
years and can do without the constant reminder that I don’t measure up.
But it was fun winning back in 1988, for stories I felt well deserved it.
Fandom was such a blast back then.
IN HIS IMAGE
editor wanted to do a contest theme zine, based on the cover illo for the
prior zine in the series. I did a story about a rebellious Vulcan (he
rejected logic, etc.) who was a famous sculptor. Spock found him quite
annoying. ;-> Anyway, I’ve always had a soft spot for society’s outcasts, as
I'm well familiar with that feeling. I think this story finished third in
other award winner in 1988. It never got any feedback, because, like many
editors of the time, the publisher wouldn’t pass along feedback from
readers, even though she claimed that she did.
I loved hurt/comfort and I loved slash. Hurt/comfort was in gen zines, and
slash was in slash zines. Why couldn’t they be combined?
So, I combined them. The results was enthusiastically received. Poor, sick
Spock, being lovingly tended to by Kirk. I got an “in person” feedback
comment at a con, from somebody who hadn’t known I was C Frost (I had my
real name on my name tag). That “you’re Charlotte Frost?? You wrote
‘Convalescing?’ ” surprise was a fun moment.
Everyone deserves a moment like that.
At the time I wrote this story, I was sick to death of ill characters having
the infamous “dry heaves”. They squat before the toilet, and vomit… nothing.
Gosh darn it, I was going to have poor Spock vomit real
stuff. He vomited yuck-yuck all over the turbolift.
After that, characters started vomiting real yuck-yuck in other stories.
Not that I can prove it or anything, but until somebody shows me otherwise,
I take credit for being the first fanfic author to have a character vomit
real stuff. That’s my claim to fame (even if I’m the only one who knows it).
and Spock are captured and held hostage. Then they’re rescued. Spock gives
Kirk a massage – or is it vice versa? Anyway, I’m amazed that I remember
that part. Of course, sex eventually ensues.
I remember this story because the editor made me flesh it out – “This is a
nice outline; where’s the rest?” And also because someone gave feedback and
referred to it as a “slave” story, which puzzled me greatly. In K/S, slave
stories were a genre all their own. How does being held hostage make one a
“slave”? Yes, a bizarre thing to quibble about now, but at that time the
distinction was really, really important!
remember this because I decided to write it – including the sex – from
Spock’s first person point-of-view. I thought it was darned clever. Then I
read it later and didn’t think it worked all that well.
It was published in a zine where there weren’t any bylines, and readers had
to vote for best story. I’m pretty sure this finished fourth.
One of those stories that, even when I was still in K/S fandom, I wanted to
cover my eyes in embarrassment when I thought, “I can’t believe that I ever
It’s not that it’s a bad story. It’s hardly even a story. Very, very short.
But the thing is, it’s quite crass. Tacky. Spock is in one of “those moods”
and calls Kirk on the carpet for mislabeling body parts.
THE ULTIMATE FRIEND
So, I decided I was going to try my hand at fanfic. I wrote this story
(which I don’t remember much about). I sent it to an editor, complete with
self-addressed stamped envelope, a staple of all writers (including
professionals). No internet back then, so one shouldn’t expect a potential
publisher to pay postage to return the manuscript they’d rejected.
A couple of weeks later, I go to the mailbox at the U of A (I was in college
then), and there’s my self-addressed stamped enveloped, thick enough to
include the manuscript. Darn. The story was rejected. I sucked. I wasn’t any
good. What a joke to think I could write even amateur stories.
I took my mail back to my dorm room. I opened the big manila envelope and
there was my manuscript, with red corrections all over it. Well, at least
the editor was trying to be helpful.
And then I read the cover letter. The editor said she loved the story and
was very eager to publish it. She was returning my manuscript with her
corrections, so I could approve them.
Somebody liked my writing.
I was going to be published and even receive a contributor’s copy.
I was on my way.
I was A Writer.