To Boldly Go Where No Writing Consultant Has Gone Before
Melanie Griffin is a first-year writing consultant whose all-time favorite tv show is “Star Trek: Voyager.” First as a college student and then as a writing consultant, Melanie has found many opportunities to empathize with the starship’s fearless Captain Janeway. For starters, Melanie began her career as college student extraordinaire as a music major, then somehow, she’s not quite sure how (although an alien anomaly is a distinct possibility), she suddenly found herself double majoring in English and Latin / Greek. Just as Capt. Janeway quickly discovered that there aren’t that many career advancement opportunities while you’re stuck in the Delta quadrant, Melanie is learning that when one majors in dead languages one shouldn’t expect there to be too many job offers after graduation.
Then there’s the bit about exploring the Delta quadrant. Being the only Starfleet captain around for about 70,000 light-years definitely has its perks, like making first contact with a new species on the average of every three episodes. Specializing in archaic and somewhat erudite areas can be just as advantageous as Capt. Janeway’s position; after all, it’s not any college senior who gets calls from campus organizations asking her to translate the club’s old Latin motto which, incidentally, dates from circa 1932. So that doesn’t happen as often as Capt. Janeway gets to make first contact, but you get the idea. Placement and specialization is everything.
And, of course, good ol’ Kathryn loves to read, especially old earth literature. Moreover, she shuns the cold, impersonal computer pad that all the other characters so love and turns instead to reproductions of actual books. In fact, she even owns a real (not replicated) copy of Dante’s Inferno. Talk about a meeting of like minds: Melanie hates to read off of a computer screen. In fact, when she has an assignment to read that can only be found on the Internet, she prints a hardcopy. Incidentally, she also owns a real (not replicated) copy of Dante’s Inferno, one with the original Italian (which she hopes to be able to read one day, as it is one of her aspirations to study Medieval European languages) and a facing English translation.
So what do Kathryn Janeway, starship captain, and Melanie Griffin, writing consultant, not have in common? For starters, Captain Janeway gets to give the orders. If she wants to fly off and save a ship full of Borg drones, her trusty first officer simply nods and carries out her orders. Melanie, on the other hand, is here to listen and ask you, the writer, what it is that you want to work on. After all, it was Captain Janeway’s ship, while the project that you bring in for some feedback is yours.