Preface: I haven't given up on writing. Unfortunately, writing seems to have given up on me. I'm wandering in the wilderness without a muse or a compass, so forgive me for my on-going absence. However, I have pondered what I would do differently were I able to go back in time 7 years and start the Bluefin saga afresh and anew . . . 1. I would stick mostly to short stories. It's obvious that I have trouble maintaining momentum and enthusiasm for long tales. 2. My stories would focus on missions appropriate for the Border Service. I think I have drifted much too far into Starfleet-level tasks using a small ship and crew. "Cascade Effect" was probably the one story that did not suffer from some degree of mission drift. 3. Fewer officers / more NCOs. Bluefin's crew of 120 has WAY too many officers (high-ranking officers, at that). Consider: Joseph Akinola is a full captain, Inga Strauss a full commander, ditto T'Ser (before she transferred), then you have Delta Simms, Gralt and Dr. Castille all lieutenant commanders, a bevy of senior lieutenants - Nigel Bane, Fralk, Sarnek, and more than a few jay-gees and ensigns. Now if Bluefin were a Galaxy-class ship, that would make sense. But on a cutter that size, the C.O. would probably be a commander, perhaps only a lt. commander, with a couple of lieutenants, a jay-gee or two and an ensign. The rest would be non-coms and enlisted personnel. This has really begun to bother me in recent years, but aside from a full reboot, there's not much I can do at this point. 4. I wish I had stuck more with Bluefin and not strayed into other story-lines (Endurance/Yeager, Excalibur/McAfee, Merlin/Parker, Pamlico/Nor'Huren, Sargasso/Porter, etc.) I think I'm a bit ADD when it comes to story-line discipline. I admire those of you who can stick with a single ship and crew. Apparently, I cannot. A character flaw, I suppose. 5. FINISH THE #@&*! STORY before starting to post, whether on the TrekBBS, Ad Astra, TOT11F or some random brick wall in an alley. 6. I'm rethinking the whole concept of Star Stations as separate from Starbases. If the Border Service is relegated to using old, worn-out ships for their primary mission of rescue and interdiction, how the heck did they get a dozen huge state-of-the-art stations dedicated to Border Service use? I would keep the names (Echo, Freedom, India, etc.) but designate them as Starbases and operated under the authority of Star Fleet. The Border Service squadrons would share space with the varsity. 7. The cutters would have fewer armaments and defenses as compared to Starfleet vessels. Border cutters would depend on speed and superior sensor capabilities with perhaps a single phaser bank/strip or single torpedo tube (small yield, no quantum torpedoes or Alpha weapons). If you compare the largest present-day Coast Guard cutter against the smallest Navy frigate, there is no contest. The Coastie boat would be toast. Different missions, different hardware. Starfleet = long-range exploration and defense. Border Service = short-range rescue and interdiction (law enforcement). Am I right?