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Brothers and Sisters

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Slackbot, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Oh! I read Janken's fan-fic posts and stories before. Very interesting! Thanks, Mokey! Is it okay if I just call you Mokey?
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  2. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all, glad you liked this segment. It was a lot of fun to write. Red and Skeeter definitely have chemistry. But then, so do nitro and glycerin.

    I have never been able to predict people's reactions to my stories. Elements that I didn't think were all that important will resonate with others, and the bits I liked most will seem to slide under the radar. It used to annoy me, but after 20+ years I'm used to just being on a different wavelength. I didn't think people would notice Sage so much, and I was prepared for a reaction to Scooter and Janken finally having a scene that showed them clearly being more than "just friends." (Relief at seeing evidence that they are indeed a happy couple, or disappointment that I didn't show more, or "Ew, I really didn't need to see that.") What the heck, as long as people enjoy the story and I don't perpetrate too many ghastly, cinderblock-ish errors, I'm happy.

    Point of trivia: Sage cooked a rolled omelet, the recipe for which I have on my bento site. It's a fun variation on the regular type. I especially like adding food coloring for a rainbow effect.

    Thanks! That was a hard scene to set up in my head, but once I got to the point of writing it it was fun. We're gonna see more action between those two, believe me.
    I imagine Boober would be quite happy to share the mystery and drama of laundry, and he likes it when people respect his cooking skills.

    Here be a pic based on the race. Drawn a few months ago; the nature of the cliff changed, but clearly the contestants' attitudes didn't.


    Hee hee, I know I've already posted this pic in my "Slackbot Draws Stuff" thread, but I love Skeeter's miffed expression.
    GopherCoffee and The Count like this.
  3. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Yep... *Sits over here, folding clean clothes. Even though someone else has to say what goes to whom and help me with mine, at least it's something I know how to do.
    And when it comes to food, well, there's a reason why I love watching Food Network shows. Not all of them mind you, but enough to develop something of a knowledge if I can't really cook for myself either.
    *Wonders how long before :sigh: comes up with veg pizzas.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  4. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    As of the final episode of Fraggle Rock the Fraggles had no idea what pizza is. Doc gave them one, and we saw it tacked to the wall of Wembley and Gobo's cave; they thought it was a wall hanging. (Wembley also thought a doughnut was a pillow, and Red and Mokey wore a dog bone and some crackers as accessories.) I can see Boober getting interested once the concept was explained to him, and experimenting in his kitchen when nobody was around.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  5. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Well, yeah, if you hand them anything silly creature related, they'll think it's something else... Like how a smoking pipe's a dinglehopper.
    But if Boober made blueberry flatcakes, how long would it take him to figure out with a bit of sugar he's got his own brand of filled pastries we call snackcakes, doughnuts, zeppolis, crullers, etc.? Or conceive the notion that if he makes the bread flat enough, dress it with eggplant/tomato juices, then layer it with sliced vegetables from the Gorg's garden, then sealing it away in his makeshift oven he's got a pizza factory?
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  6. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I think you and Boober are gonna have to have a talk.

    Actually, I wonder why Janken hasn't told Boober about these things. Perhaps he is being really careful about bringing Silly Creature culture down to the Rock. Or maybe he just doesn't want to hurt Boober's feelings. Janken can be a bit overcautious at times.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  7. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    :insatiable: Hey, as long as me get me chocolate chip or raisin cookies, me one happy monster. Even if they Fraggy Newtons.
    Save some room for the ratatouille, that stuff's good too. Along with a side of fanfic update of course.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  8. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Boober always has some cookies on hand! Potato cookies and sesame & honey cookies are favorites.

    I've never had ratatouille. I've heard it's good, though, and one of these days I'll find a recipe that's simple enough and try it out. It sounds like something that Boober would make.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Ratatouille is good, my mom made it a couple of weeks ago. The recipe Boober's got in the story isn't that far off. Slice and cook up an eggplant as the base, then add whatever veggies you've got on hand. The one version I remember from Food Network is EZ-POT: eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. I think the one my mom made was without the zucchini, because of having used the others for a second recipe which was Cod a la Biscaina (codfish casserole). And even if it's not a perfect recipe as dictated by any cookbook, it's a recipe made your own, and that's what matters. Now you've gotten me :hungry:, gotta wait for dinner though.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  10. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Boober would need tomato for ratatouille. I didn't have him ask Mokey for one because it wouldn't fit the song (I hope the tune was recognizable to Fraggle fans), and it's safe to assume that he keeps some produce in his pantry.

    I don't use tomatoes in my cooking. Got nothing against them, they just haven't been part of my repertoire. I ought to give 'em a try.
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  11. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    We eat them tomatoes almost daily. But if you haven't got 'em/don't cook with 'em, the recipe should still work anyway.
    :o Tomatoes? *Nervous glance.
    Don't worry, noone's throwing tomatoes your way.
    :o Too bad, I could make a salad with them. *Weak smile for a weak joke
    :boo: The only thing we throw the bear is abuse!
    *Ominous look at the duo, meaning if they're not careful, that theater balcony box will become their burial box.
    *Hecklers quiet down.

    More fic please?
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  12. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    For some reason, I only get the urge to post when I'm walking out the door and don't have time to do so, and that just doesn't seem fair. So, since today will mostly be devoted to doing laundry, I figure I'll do some serious commenting on this story while I'm waiting to change loads.

    First of all, I love Janken sticking his head out the car window. Looks like Rowlf's been teaching him some bad habits! Tee hee.

    I'm glad I decided to re-read all of this while replying so that I wouldn't forget to comment on anything. Somehow on my first read-through I missed most of this sentence:

    I just love that comment on Janken's wilderness knowledge. Living in the wilderness, as a part of nature, is an entirely different skill set from just camping there Silly Creature style. The way it's phrased here makes it sound like knowing how to live in the wild marks a significant lack of knowledge, which it obviously isn't. Anyway, my point is that this is funny, but the more you try to explain why something is funny, the less funny it gets, so I'm going to move on now.

    Funny! I love the idea of Janken imitating other Muppets.

    Oh yeah. He's a Fraggle. No question. I love the brief discussion of chlorine before he jumps in; I recall reading in another story how he learned the hard way that it wasn't something he cared for.

    I love the wet rat discussion, too! But what I really like is Skeeter insisting that Scooter and Janken not hide anything during the trip. Isn't it funny how the "I don't want anything to be awkward" conversation is always really awkward? But I like that everyone in the scene is nice and open and honest, which can be really hard with that sort of conversation--even moreso, I think, when it's with a close family member.

    And then, because these are Muppets (and a Fraggle), we very smoothly transition into comedy. I love Scooter's surprise at Skeeter quoting Muppets Take Manhattan, and then the entire conversation and spit-taking from "Why, are you pregnant?" Ah, such fun and shenanigans! Cheap effects are sometimes the best kind. And I like Janken's explanation about the Fraggle take on marriage. Of course, it also makes me want to watch "Ring Around the Rock" and over-analyze every possible aspect of Gobo's reaction to/perception of the Gorgs' marriage... but that's just what happens when you combine a Fraggle nerd with an English major: extreme over-analysis. And I have every intention to do just that... but I'll finish commenting here first.

    I love that moment of "Oops" when Skeeter realized she'd accidentally admitted to owning a cell phone. I would not be surprised if that was a... hm, not a bone of contention, exactly, but something the twins had discussed on more than one occasion. A nice little touch for the subtleties of a sibling relationship.

    You're really good with details. Janken feeling a bit overwhelmed and awestruck at the view of the mountains, for instance. That kind of view is amazing... But adding in the realization that Janken probably had never seen that far before in his life? No wonder he had to step back a bit. Midwest girl that I am, I'm used to seeing some pretty long distances just from being on top of a hill. I don't think it would occur to me that a Fraggle wouldn't have too many opportunities to stare out at an open horizon.

    And then, I love the conversation between Scooter and Skeeter about their childhood--remembering Nanny's socks and voice, but not her face. Gee, can't imagine why that would be... ;) Very nice. I like how Janken excuses himself, too-- "The water's still wet, and I'm still a Fraggle." I'd say that about sums it up. But really, the twins' conversation... SO much going on there. A good heart-to-heart. I like that.

    And then, well... the little disturbance in the night. Right from THIS point, here:
    Just at the mention of "small brown and white," I thought, "Oh I HOPE that's Uncle Matt." And I figured that was a pretty far-fetched idea, but I still thought it would be SO cool... and I pretty much left it at that, and had to wait for the next chapter.

    And then, well, the next chapter came along, with Matt and Gobo exploring Outer Space, and I was THRILLED! How exciting! I was RIGHT! And I just LOVE the interaction between these two. It seems so contradictory in so many ways, like they're constantly switching who's braver, who's smarter, who's following whom. I like how you've written them here, with Gobo mentally complimenting and second-guessing his uncle in a single breath, and the brief mapping debate. I will say that I'm a little surprised at how hesitant Gobo is about Outer Space. I'd think that after spending so much time talking with Doc, he'd be a little more familiar with some of it, have some more experience of his own with it... But I suppose that wouldn't necessarily be the case, and there would probably always be that initial trepidation with first stepping out of the Rock. Gobo is an explorer, but he also has a certain reluctance to leave home for very long. I like that about him. It's a fun balance.

    I also like that Gobo decides the water is safe because it has things living in it. Isn't that exactly what would keep so many Silly Creatures away from swimming in that water? "Eww, there's stuff in there! Gross!" That must be why we prefer swimming in "poisoned" water. (No wonder they call us silly!)

    I'm fascinated by Matt's explanation of the "Cloth-Cave Creatures." And then we see another perspective of what we saw in the last chapter... and Gobo and Matt briefly switch roles regarding bravery and leadership, and then switch back, with no dignity lost. I suspect they've had a lot of practice at that over the years.

    Next chapter--I love the comment on the birds sounding pretty if you didn't know what they were saying. That's just fun. And then, of course, Janken falls into the river. Hey, he's a Fraggle! He doesn't get much swimming in Outer Space, and he's gotta make the most of it while he can! And then, a good camping sort of breakfast with hot chocolate. That brings back memories... Although breakfast on my family's camping trips was usually either french toast or something involving pudgie-pies. Yum!

    Anyway, I like Janken's optimism about the crab apples. But THEN! Into the cave! WHOOPIE! I love how Janken is so excited while the twins are just baffled and have NO idea what he's talking about... but they trust him anyway, and happily I dance around the room. (Or something like that.) Of course, I don't blame the twins for not understanding what Janken's saying. I wonder if he has any idea how much he sounds like a certain old crush of his when he rambles about a living cave that's there because it's supposed to be there.

    Another something I didn't notice on my first read-through:
    Amazing how much meaning can change just by swapping the order of two words, isn't it? Very nicely done! I love little language stuff like that. (Again, the English major thing.)

    I hope taking a picture of the tunnel works to help them find it again. If it doesn't... well, they'll have an interesting time getting back, won't they? And then, then--oh, I give in! FULL-ON QUOTE MODE!

    WHOOPIE! I know that Fraggle! I know that Fraggle! Goodness, what is it with Skeeter and Uncle Matt sneaking up on each other? Two chapters in a row now!

    I love that he recognizes the yelp. I mean, Traveling Matt does have a very distinctive yelp... But I figure Janken's heard it more than a few times in his life, too. So of course he recognizes it!

    <Snicker> Uh-huh. Joke. Uncle Matt exhibiting abject terror is always, obviously, a joke. I'm so glad that reasoning goes over better with his great-nephew than it once did with his nephew.

    HI GOBO! Oh, and that sounds just like him, too. I can see and hear that perfectly. Knee-jerk reactions, though seemingly simple and basic, are a very easy way to mis-step when writing a pre-existing character, but you do such a great job of getting them just right.

    Isn't it so fun when you manage to out-step your parents, even by accident? I love that Janken savors it. Who wouldn't?

    And then Gobo just takes it all in stride, of course, which is why Janken has to savor that moment of surprise. With just about any other Fraggle, it takes a much smaller surprise to get a much bigger reaction than with Gobo. He's just so stable.

    I love how Janken preps the twins for being in the Rock and has them put away their technology. I'd never heard of cargo cults before reading this, but I did some looking afterwards. Interesting stuff. Anyway, I suspect the whole Wish-Granting Creature incident isn't exactly a pleasant memory for the Fraggles, so I can see why Janken would want to avoid any sort of repeat of it, even without the possibility of being embarrassed by his family.

    And speaking of the family, oh, goody! I hope Scooter's ready to meet his "in-laws," so to speak! I love how casually Gobo leads them into Boober's cave. And oh, Boober!

    Oh, that's happened before, eh? (Also, nice description of the cave and the Fraggle.)

    I just LOVE that sort of reaction. The initial, "Oh, this is normal. Hey wait--NO it isn't!" And in this case, that's followed (surely) by some very well-contained panic.

    Hi Sage!

    You know, Sage's entrances and greetings are always so quiet and subtle, it's a wonder anyone ever notices she's around. :coy: I love how she always greets Janken this way, and how she's always so excited to see her big brother. It reminds me of how my cousin and I used to always run and squeal when we got to see each other.

    I love Sage's fascination with the Fraggle-sized Silly Creatures, how Scooter takes that fascination right in stride, and of course Boober's protectiveness. I'm kind of impressed at how quickly he--verbally, anyway--welcomed the twins to the Rock. Probably for the best that he had to go be a medic right away and couldn't (/didn't have to) stick around and try to have a conversation right away, so he had some time to adjust to the idea.

    And then, this exchange:

    For a Muppet, it's sometimes surprising how uncomfortable Scooter is in his own skin. With something like this, he's just not used to being himself in front of so many people, especially people he doesn't really know. Tough spot for him to be in. Isn't it amazing how hard it can be to just be you? I hope Janken's patient with him about it.

    But on to the Fragglethon!

    SO true, on both counts. I love that Gobo respects Red's athletic talent--not that he'd ever say so to her, of course--just like she respects him and, again, would NEVER tell him so. (Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE their relationship?)

    Aww, Sage is such a good little apprentice medic! For such an energetic little Fraggle, she's got a lot of Boober in her. Actually... I guess she's about what Boober would be like if he didn't keep the Sidebottom side on the bottom.

    You've put a very fun image into my head of Boober saying very sternly, "Now LISTEN, all you Fraggles! As long as I'm medic here, you are all FORBIDDEN from dying! You hear me? I will NOT allow it!" Had to share.

    I love that Gobo doesn't quite agree, and doesn't quite disagree... just waits to see which way Red's pride will take her.

    I love that Red only takes a brief moment to celebrate her victory before rushing to cheer for her daughter. Looks like she's found a great balance between being competitor and mommy. I also love that little Poncle is even competing!


    <Giggles!> Oh, Janken is MUCH better at the "subtle approach" thing than his sister. And cute little Poncle doesn't even think twice about the fact that her big brother just sorta showed up.

    I have been snickering about this for WEEKS now. Just so you know. I just get such a kick out of thinking about Wembley's son saying that to him.

    Please excuse me for a moment while I gush over the little one. PONCLE IS SOOOOO CUUUUTE! <Ahem> I love how quickly she goes from shock at the lack of fur and tail, to pity, to "Look what I can do!" Awww, just so adorable!

    Then the start of the Skeeter/Red interaction, which I've been looking forward to ever since I saw a couple drawings of yours... I do so love the "house on fire" description for them.

    And then, we have some wonderful interaction between Red and Gobo, with Poncle interrupting to be cute, and just about everyone landing in the pond--which seems to be how Red and Gobo settle about half of their conflicts, the other half being resolved with some sort of race or chase. So everybody's wet, and in Fraggle Rock, that means everybody's happy! (Well, unless you're a Doozer, but that's another story...)

    Again, I'm glad I decided to re-read this, because the first time around I just didn't realize how much I love Poncle. So cute! And I love seeing Red being a mom... and still being so very Red.

    I love Skeeter's reaction to hammock-thwacking! I'd imagine that here in Outer Space, a parent even making reference to "thwacking" their child would potentially lead to an investigation by DCFS, especially if someone didn't know what it meant. Fraggles, on the other hand, have a different standard of where "fun" ends and "danger" begins.

    I also like Red's explanation about creatures other than Fraggles participating in Fraggle events... Although, in terms of rock-climbing Doozers, I'd say Cotterpin did a pretty decent job scaling a stalagmite in "Red's Club." Of course, we have no idea how long it took her to do so, and then she couldn't get down... Oh, also, about Schist Cliff? I just have to say that I always loved the vocabulary associated with Geology. Schist might top the list, but on the other hand... who doesn't like talking about a mineral's cleavage, hmm?

    Also love the conversation about towels and changing. Fun to see both perspectives on that! Technically, I can think of at least one occasion when we've seen Red using a towel to dry her hair after a swim, but it's still a fun conversation. And besides, who's to say Fraggles would call that a towel?

    All that aside, I love that Mokey immediately gives Skeeter her sweater and says, "What are friends for?" They've just met, but Mokey wouldn't even think of not calling Skeeter her friend automatically... especially since Janken referred to Skeeter as his friend.

    Then Janken wants Scooter to meet the Storyteller! I love that Scooter asks what her name is, and I love Janken's answer. And then... Sage! Right HERE, she seems pretty happy and care-free... and Janken doesn't MEAN to snub her...

    I love seeing Janken take Scooter on this meandering sort of route, and I love how you describe each of the caves. And then the Storyteller! I love the relationship you've created between her and Janken. It's so... comfortable. I also enjoyed Janken's thoughts on Scooter's method for drinking pond water.

    YAAAAAAY! That's good! Good Scooter. As a reward, you get to see Belching Boulder, which I've always thought was one of the more amusing landmarks in Fraggle Rock.

    At THAT point, I knew she'd been waiting for Janken... But if you set aside the waiting, I love the image of a Fraggle hanging out at the edge of the Fraggle Pond that way, half in the water and half dry, just lazing away for a while.

    And THIS is where I want to give her a hug, and also where I started getting a feeling on my first read-through that hers just might be my favorite plot line of the story. I know you've said that you're kind of surprised at the reaction she's gotten, so let me put it this way... As the youngest in my family, I kinda know how it feels to get left behind, even by accident. Of course, Sage doesn't necessarily realize that Janken doesn't mean to leave her out... which just makes it even harder for her. Poor cutie. But I trust it'll work out by the end of the story.

    <Snicker> I wonder if she actually agreed to that... or got thwacked before she knew what was happening.

    And before I start on the next chapter, here's a comment I've been meaning to reply to for quite some time now:

    Dull. Or possibly "post-modern," <shudder> but let's not go there. Either way, it's not something I'd use to describe your stories. Moving on, though...

    Aww, now see, isn't that sweet and adorable? What a good little sister! See, here, I think she'd be entirely fine with everything, if... Janken stops seeming to ignore her...

    ...And it just ain't in the cards.
    See, she doesn't really seem angry here. She's just... hurt. And Janken doesn't realize it... and why would he? She's being the wonderful little sister she always is, even washing his pajamas for him so they'd be freshly cleaned--and you know they weren't sitting around dirty somewhere.

    NOW she's angry, because Janken isn't there being nice about ignoring her (which he doesn't know he's doing), so she's got time to sit and stew about it. I'm glad Papa Boober's there for her, and that he's perceptive enough to know why she's upset... But of course, sometimes the best advice you can get is the last thing in the world you want to hear. Still, I like Boober's wistfulness for when he could solve all her problems with a cookie. And, actually, no matter how old you are, a cookie can still go a long way to fix a lot of problems.

    I like that Janken conveniently neglects to mention the other purpose that room can serve. Sleeping there when nobody's sick probably wouldn't faze a Fraggle, but for a Silly Creature? Well, that's different. We get squeamish about such things. But of course Scooter... doesn't seem convinced. Janken, you got some s'plainin' to do!

    I love the tail holes in the pajamas, and Janken's amusement at Silly Creature modesty. And the frisking conversation... Again, talking about not being awkward makes everything awkward! <Giggles>

    But this paragraph here:

    First, I LOVE that explanation about sleeping together/eating together. That is just so wonderful and accurate and true! But then, the fact that he spares a thought for, "Hmm, I'd usually be with Sage now. This is odd." Only a passing thought... But just enough to show how much he loves his little sister and loves spending time with her. Pity we, as the reader, can't pass that along to Sage.

    I love that Sage did move to Boober's bed, and that she's so eager to help him with breakfast. The fact that she decided they should make Janken's favorite--sort of reaching out to her brother again, like washing his pajamas, trying to get him to notice her.

    And he DOES notice! See, Sage? He misses you, too.

    <Snicker!> Oh, I LOVE these two. Gobo's specifically being all calm and reasonable about the whole Fragglethon JUST to get Red riled up, isn't he? <Giggles!> Oh, they're such fun.

    Aww, rejected twice in a row. (Of course, having read the rest of the chapter, it's a darn good thing Sage DIDN'T come along ;)... But of course, if she had, the itinerary would've been altered.)

    Oh, Sage. Janken will never have any idea you're upset if you don't say something. At this rate, you're just going to explode at him eventually, and he'll have no idea where you're coming from... Ah, well, she's gotta learn it on her own. Hopefully she'll figure it out a little quicker than I did.

    And in the meantime, Janken and Scooter get some nice cozy one-on-one time that they wouldn't have had if any of their sisters had come along. And the rest of us get to see some rock-climbing! I love how Red got Poncle to "compete" without actually competing. And then there's this:

    I was SO happy to see this, because I'd actually just been thinking about writing a scene with Red wishing Gobo were competing so she'd actually have some competition... and here you are doing just that! Must be a good idea, then. After all, winning is only fun if you have to work at it. I like that she slowed down out of courtesy to the others... Not something you'd expect from such a fierce competitor, but something you would expect from a Fraggle, and Red certainly is that.

    I love Fraggle cheering. It's kind of like Fraggle partying. Who really cares what the reason is, as long as you do it?

    I am so proud of Skeeter for catching herself about being mad at Red. Maybe it's because she's on company manners... But I liked that whole exchange.

    And instead of getting mad... Skeeter just conveniently baits Red into another competition. Oh, this is gonna be good...

    And this review took me the whole day to do. If I commented more often, a single post wouldn't take me all day... Ah well. Someday I'll learn, right? Bottom line is that I'm loving this story, and I look forward to reading more just as soon as you can post it!
    GopherCoffee and The Count like this.
  13. mostlikemokey

    mostlikemokey Well-Known Member

    It's definitley ok! *sings* I have a nickname! I have a nickname! *dances around*
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  14. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Originally posted by Lisa of the Three Minds, and the Review of Doom: "Oh, also, about Schist Cliff? I just have to say that I always loved the vocabulary associated with Geology. Schist might top the list, but on the other hand... who doesn't like talking about a mineral's cleavage, hmm?"

    :news: In a related story, the National Parks Council has requested the Grand Teatans have their name changed... Or at the very least be covered up.
    *Camera background image switches to a mountain chain capped with giant-sized overimposed bras.

    Sorry, that's an old SNL joke, couldn't help myself. :zany:
    GopherCoffee likes this.
  15. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Mokey Great singer too! Count, um I love your old SNL joke. On a related story, two people requested that they saw furry creatures that live underground. Carmera then shows a group of Fraggles (the five main fraggles to be exact.) Hahahahah! I thought that would cheer you up, Count.

    :sigh: Very funny!

    Well, it's a joke I made up and... Oh forget it! I knew it was an awful joke I made but I was trying to cheer anybody up. Well, please post more story. I'm an impatient muppet fan here.
  16. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Fist of all, wow! I'm very pleased that you took the time to type out this long, detailed reply. It made me smile on a day when I really needed a pick-me-up.

    You are I are on the same wavelength. I like to analyze what I see and figure out cultural patterns. It comes naturally to me; I find psychology and anthropology to be fascinating topics, hence my referencing such obscure things as cargo cults. That's led me to some odd conclusions, or at least nor common among fanfic writers, such as the way Fraggle families are structured (or not structured).

    English major, eh? "What do ya do with a B.A. in English?" True story: I have a degree in art. The entire time I was in college I tried to get into writing classes. I wanted to improve my writin' skills. But did I ever succeed? Nope. Following the instructions of my Academic Advisor, I'd sign up for this and that class, only to find myself in another "Let's discuss Ode to a Grecian Urn" class. ARRGH!
    Actually, the "oops" was that she had a cell phone with her, since she'd just twitted Scooter about leaving the tech toys at home. I didn't get specific about that, though.
    Thanks! Little details that show a character's perceptions help make a story more vivid, and they're fun to write, especially when the perception is just a little alien. I read, long ago, about some member of a jungle-living tribe being taken out into some other area, and thinking at first that distant features were close enough to touch because he had never seen anything that far away. So, that's where that came from.
    Thanks. I like Skeeter, and I want her in my fics and in her brother's life, so they needed to re-establish their relationship. (Gah, that sounds so self-help-book-ish.) BTW, the Nanny reference doesn't make Muppet Babies part of my stories, as I see everyone coming from different homes and meeting as adults. The backstory for them is that Scooter & Skeeter's mother died, and their father was...well, who knows? The twins don't. So uncle J.P. inherited a pair of toddlers and, having very little skill or instinct for parenting, hired a nanny to take care of them. Fortunately, he hired a pretty good one.
    By this time Gobo is past worshiping Matt and then being disappointed when Matt doesn't live up to his expectations. Gobo knows what Matt is like and accepts that, Matt no longer feels (as much) need to be blustery and defensive, and they've both fallen into comfortable patterns.
    Pudgie pies? What be those??
    He probably isn't aware of that, but he would be pleased if you pointed it out to him. He still, ahem, greatly admires Cantus, and think he's the wisest Fraggle who ever lived, even wiser than Papa Wembley. While traveling with Cantus he got a sense that things happen for a purpose. He got overwhelmed after traveling a while and stopped at a Fraggle colony, then was trapped in Outer Space by a rockslide, where he just happened to land in the hands of people who would help him. They got him into a college, where he met Scooter, who helped him become fluent in Silly Creature society, among other things (ahem). Is it any wonder he thunks there's a great plan to everything, and if an opportunity shows itself it's practically your duty to take advantage of it?
    Thank you! I'm always pleased when little things like that get noticed. ;)
    Yes, it is. I first started reading about them after reading Dream Park by Niven, Barnes, and Pournelle. The book was fascinating enough that I bought some of the bibliographic materials, such as Road Belong Cargo and The Island of Menstruating Men. No, I am not kidding.
    For those who remember ReBoot, the first CGI cartoon series, Sage's greeting is called an Enzotackle, after the way Enzo Matrix used to knock Bob to the ground, then sit on his chest and jabber a mile a minute.
    When, all your life, you've been told that certain things are bad and wrong, you can't just shake that conditioning, even though you know it's baloney. For Scooter, the default option is putting up a "just friends" act. Skeeter had seen it enough to know it for the act it was and tell him to cut it out. However, Scooter is comfortable around the Muppets, so he doesn't put on an act when it's just them. He might be absent from the morning breakfast rush, or sometimes Janken might be there too.
    Bingo. That's how she's developing. She wants to be just like Papa Boober, and thankfully by the time she was born he was over the worst of his gloom and paranoia. I considered a story in which she was trying too hard to be like Boober, to her detriment, which held up a mirror to Boober, and he didn't like what he saw. I decided not to write that because I want Sage to be more upbeat.
    Heh, Poncle is inspired in part by my nephew Zoe. She's adorable, and knows it, and can sometimes get away with murder because of it. Poncle has a lot of Zoe's energy and showoffiness, minus the tantrums.
    Definitely. Humans have an idea that the world should be 100% safe, all corners padded, and if something bad happens they should sue someone. Fraggles, who aren't insulated from nature, don't expect the world to be hazard-free, and thus grow up learning how to deal with danger. They learn how to take a fall, what to do if they're hurt, how to aim for the water when thwacked, and most of all to stick together.
    Because Janken loves Scooter, and Skeeter is Scooter's sister, then of course she's part of the family in Mokey's opinion. She's probably the one Fraggle who doesn't find anything odd about the situation. What a hippie, eh?
    Ahh, that makes sense. I was the older sister, so I know what it's like to be on that side. Well, sort of...divorces and remarriages and redivorces and temporary step-siblings do make for weird family dynamics.
    Yes, exactly. She wanted them to be all fresh for him, and she used a special mossie so they'd be extra nice. The thing is, she is empathic enough to understand why Janken is paying more attention to Scooter than to her, and young enough for it to still hurt her feelings.
    That's one big difference between Sage and her papa. If she's unhappy, she's going to do the sensible thing and try to fix it rather than moping. She may not know how, just like Janken didn't in "The Mamas and The Papas," but she'll try.
    That was based on a scene from real life. Once, when I was playing Guitar Hero, my then-6-year-old nephew was watching and wouldn't stop jabbering, which is fatally distracting when you're playing a rhythm/music game. To keep from snapping at him, I asked him to help me by singing along softly with the music. That would help me play the game and I'd get a better score. And, believe it or not, it worked! He proudly told my sister, his mother, that he had helped me play the game and do really well. *chuckle*
    Red might disagree with that, after the fact of course. Or maybe she wouldn't admit to anything. Hee hee.
    Thank you! I'm pleased that you like this story enough to spend so much time commenting on it. I appreciate it. And if you have any constructive criticism, please feel free to say so. I know my work isn't perfect, and I can't see my own blind spots.

    More story to come!
  17. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    Slackbot, you are absolutely perfect. I understand that you are not perfect, eh? Well, I appreciate to have most updates please.
  18. TogetherAgain

    TogetherAgain Well-Known Member

    Well, so far, what I do with a BA in English is sit around a lot, read and write mostly fanfic, and apply to jobs while staring at bills that seem to be multiplying and thanking my lucky stars that my parents refuse to throw me out of the house based on some random principle. I also mentally correct a lot of grammar, but politely keep most of those corrections to myself. (Besides, if I try to correct my dad's grammar, he will purposely make it worse.)

    Thank you for making me really, really glad that I only saw an academic advisor twice in my college career: once when it was required for class credit (yay "Freshman Seminar"), and once because you couldn't get into Senior Seminar without an advisor's clearance. I relied entirely on the requirements listed in the course catalog I got as a Freshman, which felt pretty good when my advisor said, "Okay, you need Senior Seminar, this one gen. ed. requirement, and... seven more credit hours of... whatever." So I took Anthropology, a third course in Children's Literature, a class about the evolution of language and dialects that could have been awesome with a better professor, and... bowling.

    That was my second guess. Either way, I still love that "oops."

    That's actually pretty much exactly the direction I was guessing you were going with that--maybe just because I've gotten the impression from other stories that you put enough of an age difference between Scooter and most of the other Muppets that they couldn't possibly have been babies at the same time.

    Pudgie pies be DELICIOUSLY unhealthy campfire creations that very few people seem to know about. They make pudgie pie irons--although they may be sold under a different name... Imagine sort of like a waffle iron with a long handle, except without any waffle-shape inside. Anyway, you take two pieces of bread, butter one side of each, and put the buttered side down into the iron. Then you put something yummy on the un-buttered side that will be the middle--usually fruit preserves, I think, but with me being the picky eater that I am, I always used chocolate chips. Then hinge the two sides of the iron together, lock it in place, and stick it in the fire in a nice spot by some hot coals. It takes some trial-and-error to get the timing right, but when it's done, the outside should be a nice golden-brown, and the inside should be nice and melty. I was a pudgie pie master back in fifth grade or so, but we really haven't gone camping since then, so I have no idea if I still have the knack for it.

    Ooh, interesting! I understand the reasons for not writing it, but I'd be kind of curious to see that story for Boober's reactions. (But of course, please don't feel obligated to write it just because I said that--I've had plenty of story ideas that would've had some really neat elements, but for various reasons were best left unwritten.)

    Seems like a much more reasonable way to live. It's really no wonder they call us "Silly Creatures." Safety precautions are great, but as with anything in life... there is such a thing as going too far.

    In my experience, it's one of the great ironies in life that the people who are most open to constructive criticism are the people who need it the least. If I come up with any for you, I'll be sure to let you know, but mostly I've been enjoying the story and geeking out over all the awesome little details.

  19. Twisted Tails

    Twisted Tails Well-Known Member

    TogetherAgain, you are a good at criticizing, but I understand that Fraggles do call us "Silly Creatures." Well, I don't mind being called a "silly creature" either. Hee hee! So, I wonder if there will be more story soon.
  20. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Looks like you have as practical a degree as I do. I have a BFA in drawing & painting. What do I do? I'm a computer monkey. I edit and proofread and troubleshoot and move data around and stuff. All my degree has done is prove that I could get good grades for 4 years.
    Oooh, that does sound like a fascinating subject. I love languages. I speak French, can often figure out Spanish based on French and a smattering of Latin, and I've studied Japanese. If I was offered that course I'd have jumped in with both feet.
    That's correct. I imagine Scooter was in his mid-teens when J.P. foisted him onto the Muppets, never imagining the kid would make a career out of it. If you did the math--and I don't, as that leads to madness--you'd realize that there's a very significant age gap between Scooter and Janken. But, as I see it, once Muppets reach adulthood they tend to just stick there.
    Ahh, cool. Actually, I make something similar, a Japanese confection called taiyaki. Same two-sided iron, but it has a space inside shaped like a fish. You fill the fish shape with pancake batter and put in some filling--usually anko (sweeeeet red bean paste), but you can use honey, peanut butter, chocolate, nutella, etc. Mmmmm.
    Yeah. There are a number of stories and subplots I've decided not to write because they struck a sour note with me. When I outlined "A Wandering Heart" I originally planned for Janken to discover en route that Cantus has very poor vision, which is why he rarely seems to be looking at anything. He isn't; he gets more information from his ears. Janken would immediately offer to be his seeing-eye dog, and Cantus would refuse. However, I decided that I didn't want Cantus to seem handicapped at all. In the case of the Boober & Sage story, the problem verged on the issue of an eating disorder, which is linked to body image and insecurity, and those are issues I really didn't want to write about in the Fraggle world. Fraggles got more sense than that.
    I don't find it ironic. Those who don't need constructive criticism have already improved a lot because they've been listening to constructive criticism and using it to improve all along. :)

    And here's a chunk of first-draft that I dashed off today...


    (Scooter said,) "It's been years since I even touched a guitar. Are you sure you want me to play that?"

    Yeah! It's great!" Janken swung his arm with exaggerated enthusiasm.

    Scooter rolled his eyes. "Oh, sheesh. Fine then." He hung the guitar around his shoulders on the strap and began testing the strings, trying to find the notes and chords he would need. After he did he practiced strumming them, getting his hand to remember them so he wouldn't have to think about them while singing. He told the others, "When I was a kid I took guitar lessons. Our guitars are different. For one thing, they have six strings, not three, and the notes are in different places. So, bear with me."

    "We understand. Everyone started somewhere," Mokey said encouragingly.

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