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Reviewer: camcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 26 Mar 2016 12:11:57 AM Title: Part 15A

Any chance the next section will be posted soon?



Author's Response:

Hi camat, 

 

Sadly I'm not quite ready to post, but I am working on the next part... I just work slow and am easily distracted.  But the reminder that there's someone out there who still wants to know what happens next will definitely help spur some writing. :-)

 

Thanks!

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Jul 2015 1:05:39 PM Title: Part 15C

I'm...so late to the party, so like a late party guest, I'm just going to barge in and say a bunch of things I think and hope they make sense. Oh, and should say I'm happy to be here, enjoying the party, I like all the details and interesting contrasts, but also some parts are a bit heartbreaking. And like someone doing a late tour of a party, I'm going to focus my thoughts on various people there. Like:

Quote: "Mornin', sunshine," Jake drawled sarcastically, pushing his way into the house. He looked his friend up and down. Dhuwalia was, in a word, unkempt. His eyes were bloodshot, he needed a shave, and while his hair wasn't exactly a mess, he'd clearly slept on it at one very odd angle. He was barefoot and wearing jeans that really needed to be washed, paired with a Chicago Bulls t-shirt that proclaimed that the team had won the 1998 NBA championship. Over this, he wore a black hoodie that Jake was fairly certain had once been his. But of course, everything that Dhuwalia owned was hand-me-down; he'd arrived in Jericho with, literally, nothing but the scrubs on his back. "So, when did you last have a drink?" Jake demanded.

Poor Kenchy. I've probably said it before, I think he's the most heartbreaking character. He's probably way luckier than many in the country, but also much less lucky than most of the ones we get to know, and he has no support system. Well, he does, but it's a thing making people more alienated from him (and a pretty unreliable one at that). And then here he's in such a bad place, and people are dragging him out of it because they need him, and then...okay I won't project too far ahead about how it'll turn out and if/when he gets a win/finds a way to find himself again. Just...heartbreaking situation within a heartbreaking situation, am I right?

Though...

Quote: "Good," Drake had declared. "That's what I'm tryin' for. People listen to you, and right now I need 'em to listen to me." Ahead of them, the ceiling lights had flickered to life and Drake had stalked the three feet to the nearest switch, slapping it off. "Okay people!" he'd shouted, "Here's the deal! No lights allowed until further notice."

The crowd had rumbled again, a male voice protesting, "But what about -"

"No exceptions!" Drake had bellowed before adding, more quietly, "Live with it or leave."

Support system, working and in place. I like Drake and I am enjoying seeing him somewhat...rebuilding himself? With the help of the aforementioned system. Or maybe he's coming into his own (since I don't see him in flashbacks, maybe this side of the tragic stuff he's been through, once he's coming out of the most traumatic of it, will be his best, strongest self ever). It is neat to see and a continued part of the “young adult characters making themselves into selves during a time of turmoil” that I've mentioned a few times before, especially around the Mikey/Jeff/Drake trio.

Quote: Eric held up both hands in a sign of surrender. "No way," he denied, shaking his head. "You're not gettin' me up on that thing, sorry Jim. I ride horses, not bulls, mechanical or otherwise," he insisted. "But any time you want to put in a karaoke machine...."

"Karaoke?" Heather questioned, surprised. "Really? You're a karaoke fan," she chuckled. "Wow. My brothers are all major karaoke fiends."

"Well, sorry to say, Eric, but it's gonna be over my dead body that a karaoke machine ever gets into Bailey's," Jim informed him. "So," he continued, clearing his throat, "Are you waitin' for Jake, or can I get you something to drink?"

What? Come on, Jim! (I guess if I were a Jericho citizen at this time, I'd be heading over to whatever neighbouring town did have karaoke. I'd hope it isn't New Bern). In seriousness, I enjoyed this whole sequence at the bar, with the origin story of the mechanical bull, and this group of characters having an amiable night during more carefree times (aspersions on karaoke aside).

Also,

Quote: "Jake's joining the church softball team?" Mary asked as she placed a basket of fries - the last item of their order - in the center of the table. "Wow. Don't tell my dad, he's trying to get the Main Street Merchants Mickey Mantles going again this year - you know it's always hard to get enough women, but Colleen says she's playing, so...."

"The Mickey Mantles? Do all the teams have better names than the Sluggers?"

"Stop trying to change the subject," April ordered, pointing a fry at Heather. "So Mary, A, B or C?"

"Or D," Heather reminded.

"Okaaaay," Mary stalled while she finished collapsing the stand she'd been using. "So, religious conversion, exercise -"

"And, fresh air," Heather mumbled.

"Fresh air and exercise," Mary amended gamely, "Impressing you, or all of the above, right?"

"Correct," Eric confirmed, reaching for his burger.

Hahaha. I like all the little world building moments in these flashbacks. It's valuable to hear about what's going on in various parts of the universe during the apocalypse, but these parts give a nice counterbalance to those parts, and your going back and forth lends them an emotional meaning. Like a time travel effect – making happy things also sad and sadder future things...bittersweet, I guess.

Quote: "It's fine," Constantino had assured, his lip twitching softly. "I always enjoy watching democracy in action."

"So," Gray inquired, once everyone was assembled. "What're we talkin' about?" he asked, glancing sideways at New Bern's sheriff and mayor. "Couple hundred pounds?"

Constantino looked simultaneously annoyed and amused. "For the first one, maybe," he informed them, glancing quickly over at the wind turbine that stood in the middle of the flower bed, tantalizing, almost ready to go. "But you want more," he reminded, "So no, we're gonna need a lot more than -"

"Wait a minute," Gray interjected, frowning. "I think we're entitled to the 'friends and family' discount here, Phil. It was our idea, our designs. Your people came here and consulted with my team -"

"Drawings on the page aren't what's gonna power your clinic," Constantino countered. "New Bern built that," he reminded, pointing at the wind turbine, "When Jericho couldn't, when all you had were a couple of technical drawings done by a third grade teacher." He glanced at Johnston, his tone lightening for a moment as he added, "Beautifully drawn, you be sure to tell Heather that. But still... we're the ones who made it happen."

Oh Phil. Not even really trying for non-menacing sincerity here, are ya? Poor team Jericho, so stuck before this deal is started that they can't really heed the red flags I assume they're observing. I continue to...like is not the right word. Appreciate your creepy Constantino. So smarmy and icky and condescending (to people who aren't even there!) but I guess he's doing a good enough job at reaching his objectives. In a sort of contrast,

Quote: Gray relaxed visibly. The mine and salt, those were the mayor's true comfort zone, his natural fit, much more so than town politics where he had to listen to and consider everyone else's arguments, where votes had to be taken, and where his word was not actually law - or at the very least official company policy, in the best interest of every employee to obey. But the citizens of Jericho were exactly that; citizens, not employees, and at least for now, Jericho still operated under its charter first established in 1887, a fact that Gray had - slowly - come to terms with.

This makes a lot of sense. Gray grappling with this situation where he thought he was a good leader, because he (probably? Seems like) he was a good leader in his business world, and signed on to this campaign during peace time, and then somehow got more determined to try to lead after the bombs and his harrowing experiences on the road, and then found himself so ridiculously in over his head. And I think he genuinely does want to take care of the town, does care about the people, but this is the worst kind of on the job training. But then again, everyone's in over their heads. Like, everyone at this negotiation. Neither town can survive on their own, let alone the individuals. I like that Gray is reckoning with all that, realizing Johnston is his best resource and ally, and they're doing their best. And I liked the little touches in this chapter that brought Gray's more human, wanting to be helpful sides to the forefront.

Quote: Johnston had glanced around the room then, taking it all in. The window blinds had been closed, despite the fact that it was still light - though overcast - outside. There had been piles of bedding everywhere, leading him to surmise that they were all sleeping in the great room, around the fire, which had been banked, but at least - he'd thought, relief flooding through him - they had one. Their clothes had hung on Janine's and Lorrie's frames, and Lorrie, who'd always been lithe - had practically been swimming in her borrowed cold weather clothing. The little girls had looked healthy - skinny, but not emaciated - though their faces had been pale and dirty, their lips chapped, their hair snarled in places. "Where's Alex?" he'd asked, looking around the room for the eight year old.

"Working off some energy in the basement," Janine had sighed. "Kendra and Brian are down there with the boys, letting them ride the bikes around. They don't last long these days, but they're still boys," she'd shrugged

At that moment it had occurred to Johnston - his throat immediately going dry - that this was a group under siege, wary of going outside, or even betraying their presence by letting the fire burn to warm the house during the day. But his question - and he'd been struggling with how to phrase that question - had died on his lips when he'd heard his sister-in-law's voice.

Okay, so this section. I read this part last (of course), and wanted to write about it first, but I had a hard time gathering my thoughts coherently so I'll just jump and see where it takes me, alright?

I thought that was a good quote to start what I wanted to think/talk about. I really appreciated this further glimpse into a place beyond the confines of these two towns that we get to see, a place where people are again, like Kenchy, probably luckier than some (or a lot), but less lucky than our heroes (who, I guess had to be the luckiest people possible just for longevity of the show, like that enough would survive and have energy to get involved in plots every week). It's kinda weird I guess, how well off everything was for the main characters of the show, but I guess sort of a far enough mind trip for a first world audience to imagine, a difficult enough set of conditions to survive and not be totally hopeless (and exist in a fun speculative fiction show). But...it is possible to survive in so much worse and so many people do every day. And have, in war times (and peace times). Like, humans are so tough and resilient and resourceful (though also so fragile at the same time). I like that you gave us a bit more of a glimpse of that here. Actual desperate survival, confined to one family in one house. I know a lot of our stories (and the show's stories) veer towards the soap side of things, all the love stories and such (I wanted to make a joke about that once – of course they're taking time for their love lives, they're in a Jericho story), but I feel like this is an important side of the material and important to think about. And you painted a vivid, tragic portrait that I think is an important piece in the bigger mural of your story. So, nicely done.

Also, just had to mention,

Quote: "No! No!" Johnston had declared loudly, "Jake's home - he's home. Got back the night - the night everything happened. Typical Jake.

Haha. Yeah. It's pretty weird isn't it? I bet this odd timing thing is like, a central storytelling point for the rest of his life. Like, “What kind of life path have I been on? Well, this one time I went home and the same night...” I'm not sure how to explain my reaction here. I guess it's like, Jake has been designed the luckiest of the lucky (to go with my earlier ramblings), so as to be able to be the protagonist I suppose, but it's weird and astronomically, well, lucky. And it's not often really mentioned by everyone, so it amused me here.

Also,

Quote: Lorrie's exclamation had derailed his explanation, but Johnston had hardly minded. "Lorrie, darlin'," he'd smiled, striding across the great room to envelope his niece and great-niece in a hug. They had been snuggled together under a sleeping bag, sitting on one end of a couch, the other of which was occupied by Janine and five year old Zoey, buried in a pile of at least three quilts. "I'm - I'm so sorry about Weijin and your dad," he'd murmured, kissing the side of her head. "So sorry," he'd repeated, taking a half step back as Marissa had squawked in protest over being squished between them.

I wanted to mention that I liked seeing this gentle side of Johnston. I always really liked that about his character, that he acts in a lot of ways like the stereotypical “masculine” man (like gruff, strong silent, etc), but he does have that gentle side dealing with others sometimes, especially dealing with his kids, and a sometimes surprising emotional vulnerability. I really liked that it was him who went on this trip here and encountered these relatives. I don't think any other character could've had this same exact reaction, and I thought it was a really nice way in for us readers. He has a relationship with each of them, but he can be like our voice too, in a way, and he's seeing and offering compassion but not really able to change the situation (much as he'd like to). It is quite poignant.

Also, the O'Briens were an interesting addition to the story. A lot of names to keep track of at first, but you always do such a good job of filling in these family trees and giving us ideas of their relationships with each other that a picture starts to form. Nobody's left unaccounted for, kinda. It'll be interesting to see what they were like in happier times 5 years earlier. I guess we're being introduced to them in the opposite direction we've met the Lisinskis. Tragedy ahead for the Lisinskis, (comparative) lightness ahead for the O'Briens, but with the double, time travel thing where both are both. If that makes any sense at all.

Well done and I look forward to seeing where you take us next (though at this moment I'm hoping it's Bailey's circa Birth of the mechanical bull, since I'm leaving off on such a sad note)!

 

 

Reviewer: Mellyissa Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Jul 2015 8:25:17 PM Title: Part 15C

In honor of you adding a new chapter to the series, I decided to read the entire 15 parts over again (which took me a couple of weeks!). I really love the relationship and bond between Jake and Heather and their interactions with the entire town in the past and present. 

 

In addition, if you could save April and or the baby next chapter that would be greatly appreciated. Her relationship with Heather is so strong it would be so devastating to everyone. 

 

Great Work!

 

Melissa




Author's Response:

Aw, thank you Melissa!  I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your re-read, and that you like my version of Jake and Heather.  I'm rather partial to them myself, ;-)

I don't want to spoil anything about what's coming, so I will just say that I am trying to do justice by April and leave it at that.

Thank you again for reviewing.... reviews totally keep me going, especially when I start fighting with the characters about what they would and would not do or say.  They are so opinionated!

Reviewer: merryann Signed [Report This]
Date: 19 Jun 2015 9:18:40 AM Title: Part 15C

Now you've done it! You have a slew of new characters that will eventually need sorted ( you do have a spreadsheet, don't you?!). And a lot if circumstances that will need addressed. Looking forward to seeing how you handle all of this! Reminds me of the corners I perpetually write myself into, lol! Always fun to unravel  Also, our poor April is still stuck in the cliffhanger!  Hoping and praying for a miracle there :). Looking forward with great anticipation to the next chapter!!  If you find time on your hands, I would love for you to take a look at my stories over at ff net.  Best Regards, merryann




Author's Response:

LOL, merryann.  Yes, I do have a spreadsheet, plus a set of family trees done in Visio!  

I had to pull that trigger and write in the O'Briens (and the Gallaghers) because eventually we will go visit Auntie Bridget for a wedding dress and of course they all want to come to the wedding.  So really, it was time to start introducing them. :-)

The April part is the thing that makes my writing slow-going at the moment -- and the reason I keep taking trips to visit other parts of this little world, like the happy past.  

Thanks for reviewing!

Reviewer: merryann Signed [Report This]
Date: 17 Jun 2015 5:25:06 AM Title: Part 15B

Clearly I am as behind in reviews as you are in writing. Or perhaps I was miffed that you left us with a cliff hanger :P. Great story, as always! Looking forward to the next chapters!!




Author's Response:

Thanks for coming back and checking in, merryann!  I do appreciate it. :-)

 

And, while I apologize for the cliffhangers, I have to admit that there will probably be plenty more of them before I manage to tell the whole story of Different Circumstances.

Reviewer: camcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 14 Jun 2015 6:07:30 PM Title: Part 15C

Thanks for posting.  Can't wait for the next installment.  Glad to her the muse is smiling once again.




Author's Response:

Thanks, camcat!  

Never fear, I am plugging away on the next installment, which is already out of hand at 40 pages.  It still needs lots of work though, so it will be a bit before I can post unfortunately.

 

Reviewer: camcat Signed [Report This]
Date: 06 Mar 2015 10:28:32 AM Title: Part 15A

I lopve this story!!!  I have finally gotten through everything you have written.  The style of your writing just pulls me in.  I love how you go back and forth from the past to the present and how it seems you have it all planned out as litle tidbits noted in the present sections about the past are latter brought up and fully explained in the past sections.

I hope to read more from you soon,  Thanks for sharing your amazing work!!

Amy




Author's Response:

Thank you, Amy!  It was a great surprise to get notification of your review.  And I do appreciate it.  I am (unfortunately very slowly) working on the next chapter of this story, and your review has helped spur me into getting a little more done, which is good.  :-)

I'm glad you enjoy my little gimmick of moving back and forth between the past and the present.  And trust me, there's lots more to come -- I have many, many chapters of this story left to tell.

Thanks again for reading!

Reviewer: Ninlil Signed [Report This]
Date: 03 Aug 2014 2:13:42 PM Title: Part 15A

Jericho was a great show but I always felt like it was such an ensemble with so much going on that they could never capture all the deatails on TV. I was reminded of this when I recently binged on the first season so I went looking for fanfic.  This story was mentioned in an another author's note on fanfiction and I am so glad that it was. For the past couple of weeks, every chance I got I was reading this story. And getting to the last updated chapter today just left me wanting more! I really hope you keep this going. The richness of the details is fascinating and has me hooked.

 



Author's Response:

Aw, thank you Ninlil.  I am always excited to hear from an interested reader -- and it's great for stoking my writer's fire. :-)

 

I promise that I am working on the next chapter (though sometimes I stray to a few of the subsequent chapters) and I will keep plugging away at it.  Rest assured there is plenty to come in this saga.

Thanks again, your note made my day yesterday.

 

Marzee

Reviewer: TXDrEa8377 Signed [Report This]
Date: 23 Jun 2014 5:06:01 PM Title: Part 15A

OKAY!!  I know that I am way behind on the entire Jericho scene but... I am DYING for you to keep writing this story!!   I have been checking every day, praying, hoping, wishing, that you have posted another chapter!!   PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT STOP!!  First of all, you are a GREAT writer!!  Secondly, this story is AMAZING!!  I have looked all over the internet to find something comparable to this, and there is NOTHING!!  There are a lot of Jericho stories out there that are great, but nothing like yours!!  The way you portray Jake and Heather's characters in this story is FANTASTIC.  The back story, the re-writing of their life together...  I don't know what else to say...  I LOVE IT!!  I just REALLY hope that you continue on with this!!




Author's Response:

Aw, thank you, TXDrEa!  Your note totally made my day (and a couple of days since -- I've had a busy week, but somehow I found time to go back a read your review a few times since you posted it, so it is the gift that keeps on giving for me).

 

Trust me, there is not much chance that I will stop writing this story.  It's taken up residence is a good portion of my brain and it won't let go. It just takes me a long time sometimes to get it all out on the page the way I want it to.  So, I hope you will stick with me and forgive the long lapses in time between posts.  I will keep them coming, I promise.

 

Thanks again!  Like I said.... MADE MY DAY! :-)

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 18 May 2014 10:10:10 PM Title: Part 15B

Wow – reading this is a little bit like watching this episode, but with a weird sort of added dramatic irony (at least in this one part). As in, I enjoy all the details you include that really do some neat world building here, but I also just really feel for April. My thoughts are kind of muddled but here are some of them:

I liked the part with Gail trying to deal with the once automatic doors, and the tiny bit of backstory about her becoming a health educator and putting her earnings into her European vacation fund. Nice bit of the reminder/contrast between life that was/is, as you often include.

Quote: Jessica rolled her eyes. "I'm allergic to bachelor pads."

Yay! I think Jessica's a great character, so this yay is for her appearance here and her snark. It's really fun to see her interacting with Jeff and the others, and it was neat for this whole chapter, seeing how the whole 'medical team' is interacting. I did feel bad for Kenchy though – does anyone actually know what he saw/went through in Rogue River (something I wonder about/feel in all versions of the Jericho universe really)? Good set up all around though I guess, for how the group dynamic will work/progress through this part.

Quote: "That's really kind of amazing, you know," April sighed. "I mean, before you, Jake's attitude was always kinda 'screw this town'. He didn't care what people thought. And now, he's trying to thwart the gossips. Which just goes to show how much he loves you," she concluded.

Haha – has April seen that sheriff's station jail cell? In seriousness, I enjoyed reading past April, being all conversational doctor-friend like. It's neat to see female friendships get some focus/development, and I did enjoy the interactions throughout between April and her closest friends.

Quote: "It's not always our fault," April defended, giggling. "I mean, last September, coming home from my parents', we got the last room, the one they try to never, ever rent. And the desk clerk warned us that the elevator equipment was on one side of the room, and the pool equipment was on the other," she explained, groaning softly at the memory. "It was as bad as they said. Worse. So, we decided to make the best of the situation, that's all. Plus hit the McDonald's drive thru at three AM," she recalled with a smile. "Not that I didn't totally pay for it the next day at work…. But still, given the right set of circumstances, I'd rent room one twenty three again," she laughed.

Funny, but it also kind of sounds like a hotel room that could potentially be part of the setup in a Stephen King story (maybe it's the fact that it's room twenty-three). I like the everyday life vibe this part of the story had, in contrast with the life or death turn April's story is taking in the post-bombs timeline.

Quote: "We must all hang together," Johnston had countered, quoting Benjamin Franklin, "Or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Gray had simply stared back at him, smirking. "Know what, Johnston? I'm pretty sure we're sayin' the same damn thing."

I really liked the Gray/Johnston conversation and bonding. It makes sense that they would each come to see a little more of the other's human side over time, and they both do seem to care about their people and protecting their town, so I liked this pause for that time for them here.

Quote: "I know I'm not supposed to say you're 'glowing', right?" Constantino joked, glancing between Russell and Johnston. "That's like a rule these days," he nodded to himself, "Used t' be, you could tell a woman who was with child that she 'glowed' and it was considered a compliment. But, not anymore," he sighed. "So, I'll just hafta settle for telling you that you're looking as lovely as always, and that Jake is one very lucky man."

And enter Constantino, huh? I guess it is true to form for him to start out being icky. But I hope he's not actually going for diplomacy/winning hearts and minds here (though I guess that means I hope he's already planning to just violently invade? He is pretty good as a villain I guess). I like how you're giving us a bit more of the Green/Constantino backstory they hinted at in the show. Probably why I find this conflict much more interesting really than any of the other ones we got (like ones with Sarah Mason or government sponsored Goetz, who are higher up and totally mostly untouchable for ordinary people) was the real personal connection element that made going to war have such intimate, immediately tangible, completely turning your world upside down stakes for both towns. Neat little counterpoint of this that Mindy Henry is alive and well in New Bern and sending gifts.

Quote: "Actually, it's the power generating wind turbine," Russell informed them, taking a step toward the machine. "To be technical."

"What are you getting for output?" Heather demanded excitedly.

"About fifteen hundred watts an hour," Russell answered.

Heather made a delighted noise. "That's amazing. I was only hoping to achieve like sixty, seventy percent of that," she admitted, moving to stand next to Russell. She reached out, placing a tentative hand on the turbine blade and sighing. "It is truly beautiful to behold."

Science Heather! I always like seeing Heather get an opportunity to use her smarts/enthusiasm for science and technology to contribute something specific or unique to a story so this was a neat moment.

Quote: Michael nodded. "Right, nine. But the idea of Jake with a man-purse is fun, too," he joked, smirking at his brother-in-law.

Also, yay for Mikey's appearance! I think it's neat actually that all three of the med student boys will be joining the scenes at the clinic – they provide some moments of light-heartedness at the same time as lending more emotional weight because of their relationships with April and the others. I was thinking about Kenchy and Jessica, and the boys' journey to town, how this whole medical team is made up of individuals who've been through such different traumas out there, and then there's this which is April's darkest hour, probably, and could be for some them too, all while they're all having different experiences and reactions and choices. I guess it's a neat...web of parallel but also different survivor stories.

Quote: "Mrs. Nolan was my neighbor on Green Street," Heather reminded, "So take good care of her, Dr. Lisinski." She smiled at the title, admitting, "I just wish Dad could hear people calling you that. He'd be so proud."

"Hey, maybe one day he will," Jake offered, resting a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It could still happen."

That would be cool!

As always, I am interested to see what other unique and thought-provoking story dynamics you bring us next.  




Author's Response:

Quote: Wow – reading this is a little bit like watching this episode, but with a weird sort of added dramatic irony (at least in this one part). As in, I enjoy all the details you include that really do some neat world building here, but I also just really feel for April.

 

Thank you, Penny.  I share your concern for April.  Her fate is the one thing that makes writing this part a hard slog and slow-going.

 

 

Quote: I liked the part with Gail trying to deal with the once automatic doors, and the tiny bit of backstory about her becoming a health educator and putting her earnings into her European vacation fund. Nice bit of the reminder/contrast between life that was/is, as you often include.

 

I have so much backstory for everyone, and I do look for places to fit it in.  I was struck by Gail's … desperation during this episode, and I wondered if it might have roots that went farther back than just her worry over April's health after she collapsed.  (Not that that wasn't enough!)  So, I submit for the reader's consideration a Gail who comes into this day not exactly in a good place as she struggles with many worries.

 

 

Quote: Yay! I think Jessica's a great character, so this yay is for her appearance here and her snark. It's really fun to see her interacting with Jeff and the others, and it was neat for this whole chapter, seeing how the whole 'medical team' is interacting. I did feel bad for Kenchy though – does anyone actually know what he saw/went through in Rogue River (something I wonder about/feel in all versions of the Jericho universe really)? Good set up all around though I guess, for how the group dynamic will work/progress through this part.

 

I always thought it was too bad that Jessica was in 2 episodes and disappeared, so I wanted to give her a little more page/screen time here.  As for Kenchy, I really do think he went through hell, and while April can't really know what that was, I would like to think that she recognized his pain and was sympathetic to it.

 

 

Quote: "That's really kind of amazing, you know," April sighed. "I mean, before you, Jake's attitude was always kinda 'screw this town'. He didn't care what people thought. And now, he's trying to thwart the gossips. Which just goes to show how much he loves you," she concluded.

Haha – has April seen that sheriff's station jail cell? In seriousness, I enjoyed reading past April, being all conversational doctor-friend like. It's neat to see female friendships get some focus/development, and I did enjoy the interactions throughout between April and her closest friends.

 

LOL.  Well, I don't know if April's seen the holding cell in the sheriff's station, but obviously I have.  :-)

 

 

Quote: "I know I'm not supposed to say you're 'glowing', right?" Constantino joked, glancing between Russell and Johnston. "That's like a rule these days," he nodded to himself, "Used t' be, you could tell a woman who was with child that she 'glowed' and it was conesidered a compliment. But, not anymore," he sighed. "So, I'll just hafta settle for telling you that you're looking as lovely as always, and that Jake is one very lucky man."

And enter Constantino, huh? I guess it is true to form for him to start out being icky. But I hope he's not actually going for diplomacy/winning hearts and minds here (though I guess that means I hope he's already planning to just violently invade? He is pretty good as a villain I guess). I like how you're giving us a bit more of the Green/Constantino backstory they hinted at in the show. Probably why I find this conflict much more interesting really than any of the other ones we got (like ones with Sarah Mason or government sponsored Goetz, who are higher up and totally mostly untouchable for ordinary people) was the real personal connection element that made going to war have such intimate, immediately tangible, completely turning your world upside down stakes for both towns. Neat little counterpoint of this that Mindy Henry is alive and well in New Bern and sending gifts.

 

I go back and forth when I think about Constantino's motivations here (and later in this part) but I was at least going for smarmy/icky, so I'm glad that came across.  Certainly, a little later on Johnston is/was shocked to find out how conniving his old pal is, so I was interested in exploring what that relationship might have been.  We certainly know it was a good enough friendship for Phil to get invited to Eric's and April's wedding (and in DC – Jake's and Heather's).

 

 

Quote: Science Heather! I always like seeing Heather get an opportunity to use her smarts/enthusiasm for science and technology to contribute something specific or unique to a story so this was a neat moment.

 

Trust me, I was annoyed I had to let Gray say his own line in this part because clearly Heather would be the one asking about the turbine!  But I was glad to get the opportunity for Science Heather (and Competent On Screen Heather) to appear.

 

 

Quote: As always, I am interested to see what other unique and thought-provoking story dynamics you bring us next.  

 

 

Aw, thanks!  I am muddling through the next part, but it's a heavy, emotional set of scenes and so I am taking my time in order to make sure I'm doing things right.  Thanks as always for your feedback.  It's invaluable. :-)

Reviewer: Kshar Signed [Report This]
Date: 27 Feb 2014 7:14:09 AM Title: Part 15A

I was so excited to see a new chapter!  It makes me realize how much I've missed the characters.  I love seeing Heather and Jake and everyone interacting again, although admittedly I am still worried about April :( I really hope she gets a happy ending here.  (I think I may have asked you about this once before and you were undecided how her story would go but I am still fiercely Team April.)

I liked Heather and Stanley's conversation about Star Wars--they DO both seem like they would be EU fans.




Author's Response:

Thanks for the note, Kshar!  It has definitely helped stoke my writer's fire.  :-)

I'm not going to spoil my own story by addressing the April issue now... you'll just have to stay tuned.  All will be revealed soon-ish.

And of course Heather and Stanley are both big Star Wars fans. ;-)  I've never doubted it!

 

Thanks again,

Marzee

Reviewer: Shadowflame Signed [Report This]
Date: 30 Jan 2014 5:45:55 AM Title: Part 15A

Finally! I have read the first part of that chapter several days before but then I had to stop and have not found time to read more until today! So sorry I left you waiting... *hugs*

Is it wrong that I would want one of those cookies, too? ;)

That was a sweet ceremony in the dark future... I'm glad that the Greens have such a wonderful family and friends around them...

As for Eric... *sigh* It is so complicated... I really like Mary in the show, but I like April, too! So much! And I hope you will find a way not to let her die...

The Flashback to Jake's birthday 5 years ago was so nice! I love all that bantering between Jake and Heather - and between the Greens, too! Makes me all smile...

So Heather in 7 month right now, huh? Well... I'm, too! Very surprisingly I'm pregnant with a 3rd child right now, and this one will be a girl... *beams*

Can't wait to read more!




Author's Response:

Thank you for taking the time to review, Shadowflame.  I really, really appreciate it.:-)

 

Quote: Is it wrong that I would want one of those cookies, too? ;)

LOL.  Probably not.  I've made cookies over a campfire on a canoe trip, so I know it's possible.  Of course, ours were from an "add water and eggs" mix though, so I'm hoping that Heather's cobbled together recipe turned out well.  At least in my mind it did -- I mean Jake liked 'em :-)

 

Quote: That was a sweet ceremony in the dark future... I'm glad that the Greens have such a wonderful family and friends around them...

 

Aw!   Thank you!  I have to say that my concept of Heather is that she is a person for whom these ordinary but important life events are really important.  And her husband's birthday is one of the most important.  Not that Jake doesn't reciprocate... because remember her birthday is next. ;-)

 

Quote: As for Eric... *sigh* It is so complicated... I really like Mary in the show, but I like April, too! So much! And I hope you will find a way not to let her die...

 The April/Eric/Mary triangle is EXTREMELY complicated, and not the easiest thing to write, either.  So stay tuned, more to come.




Quote: The Flashback to Jake's birthday 5 years ago was so nice! I love all that bantering between Jake and Heather - and between the Greens, too! Makes me all smile...

Glad you liked it. To be honest, the Before The Bombs parts are usually my light-hearted, fun to write parts, and they really will have to be from here on out as things are going to get worse in Jericho before they get better.  Then again, it should be fun to write Jake and Heather and the rest of the Greens during this engagement period and wedding. :-)

 

 

Quote: So Heather in 7 month right now, huh? Well... I'm, too! Very surprisingly I'm pregnant with a 3rd child right now, and this one will be a girl... *beams*

Congratulations!  That's so awesome, and congrats too on getting your girl. :-)  

Of course I first posted the very first part of Different Circumstances 7 years ago, so poor Heather has been pregnant for 85 - 90 months in real time.  Luckily, fanfic time stands still when we need it to, so yes, she's 7 months along :-)  

 

Quote: Can't wait to read more!

I'm working on it!  Hopefuly I can post some more before your little girl shows up. 

Reviewer: Penny Lane Signed [Report This]
Date: 24 Jan 2014 6:27:19 PM Title: Part 15A

Nice as always to see another chapter, Marzee! Okay, so as we've talked about, I sense the beginnings of something kicking up in this chapter (aided mostly by my knowledge of the other universe), so I thought it was a neat choice to have it start out with these two birthdays, a little microcosm of human dynamics confined to a few indoor spaces, a not exactly calm before a storm hits. Here are some memorable moments I wanted to highlight:

 

Quote: "Gee, I wonder what I'll be wishing for," he returned before blowing the flame out. There were, of course, hundreds of options if he wanted to be specific in his wishing, but Jake didn't feel the need to be detailed, and settled for simply requesting that 'everything be all right', leaving the interpretation of 'everything' up to God or the universe or some imaginary birthday fairy.

 

A good wish I think for the circumstances. I like this present day celebration and how it highlights the simplicity of such events in these times of total bleakness, and how little wishes are actually so huge, but so are little moments of happiness and taking stock of what you have, too, I think.

 

Quote: "Well, I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant," Michael opined from behind April.

 

LOL. Obligatory moment of Mikey appreciation. He always makes a time less bleak doesn't he?

 

Quote: "You're still the world's best hugger, Stanley," April laughed when he finally let her go. She glanced at Mimi, smiling and telling her, "I'm totally jealous of you for that."

 

He so is! I like how in this at home scene, the friendships are on display and Stanley's best qualities – he's got a great, goofy sense of humour, cares deeply for his friends and sticks by them, and actually brings a level of emotional maturity under all the jokes that people might not expect – are highlighted.

 

Quote: "You're right, it was," Mimi confirmed, smiling. "Plus, we always did something fun," she added. "And Jake, Stanley, I'm a little bit older than both of you," she admitted, demonstrating 'a little bit' by holding her thumb and index finger about a half an inch apart. "So I hope that makes you feel better. And, Heather Green," she dismissed with a wave, "We're not even gonna talk about what a baby you are."

 

Is it repetitive if I just say Mimi's the best? Like Stanley, I like how her good qualities – her wry sense of humour and observation skills, her adaptability, and despite her frequent (or sometimes intermittent) complaining I think she has a lot of tenacity and an ability to keep trucking on, which she herself is maybe not always aware of – come to the forefront this chapter.

 

Quote: "I traded Stephanie like a month's worth of lesson plans," Heather interjected.

 

Lesson plans as a currency, interesting. It sounds very teacher to be trading the plans (though I've only experienced a plans for plans trade), but this made me wonder what all the erstwhile students are doing, and what the longer term education plan going is, and the paper and printing and all that – like, little moment for outside questions intruding. I like it.

 

Quote: "You know, Grandpa used to talk me down whenever I started threatin' to ship you off to military school," Johnston recalled, "So I can probably do the same for you and my grandchild."

 

Aw. He's going to be his Lorelei Gilmore. In seriousness, I like Johnston's reflecting on his changing family role and the generational shift occurring.

 

Quote: He waited until she was done before he continued. "I like Mimi, too," Jake told her. "She's smart, funny, and, you know, she probably saved my life. Plus, Stanley's madly in love with her –"

 

Another aw. I like this observation and acknowledgement. This is a nice chapter for interpersonal dynamics in this group.

 

Quote: "Well, nothing that will get us hospitalized, dead or arrested," she cautioned, pointing a fry at him for emphasis. "And remember, it'll be my birthday next."

 

Good distinction. I liked the humour in the back and forth scenes between Jake and Heather. As in other moments of the DC story, it's neat to see the things that stay the same between time periods and the changes that stand out when juxtaposed.

 

Quote: He pulled back a few inches, smirking softly at her indignant expression. "You know, when I was a little kid and my aunt Bridget caught me doin' something wrong, she always made me give her a kiss. Eric too," he added, "But me, more, 'cause I probably got in trouble more," he admitted. "And I always hated it. That was punishment," Jake insisted, once again moving toward her. "And this so isn't," he finished, capturing her mouth with his own.

 

I like how you manage this feat of introducing characters we've never met and making them seem real, fitting into a web of personal relationships. Aunt Bridget already sounds like an interesting character and I anticipate meeting her.

 

Quote: "You're always eight," Heather informed him, leaning in to brush her lips over his. "When you tell me stories about you growing up, you're always eight."

"Musta been a big year for me," Jake returned, stroking his thumb over the back of her hand. "I don't know," he continued, clearing his throat, "You like eight year olds, so when I try to figure out how old I was…."

 

For some reason, this strikes me as really funny and neat, in this story about storytelling, in a way, and the significance of different moments in the past when recalled in these life changing moments in the present. This says something interesting about Jake, I think, about where in the past he locates himself and his childhood adventures.

 

Quote: "Heather, this is my sister, August," April proclaimed. Though the truth was, August needed no introduction; she was so obviously a version of April – the same delicate frame, the same porcelain skin, the same luxurious, red hair – that no one could have ever mistaken the two Glendenning sisters for unrelated strangers. "August," April continued, "This is Heather."

"The girl who stole Jake from me," August declared dramatically as she jumped to her feet.

"August," April and her mother, Karen Winter, intoned in simultaneous disapproval.

 

And here's August! I really like this introduction, of again, a character I have only heard about but who I already feel like I know interesting things about. August was a lot of fun in her scene and I'm left again wondering about her fate. I also liked meeting Karen and Paul here. They seem to have a calm presence that I imagine must have influenced April's own often even-keeled demeanour.

 

Quote: Eric, who had been sitting with Stanley, Bonnie and August on the couch, got up, crossing the room to join his wife. "Okay, if that's what pets are for, we may be doomed, doc," he teased, resting both his hands on her shoulders. "Remember what happened to the goldfish."

 

April made a face, her nose wrinkling. "Oh, the goldfish," she muttered before declaring, "Well, I hafta believe that we'll be better with a mammal."

 

LOL. Scary but pretty relatable. I do think mammals are easier too. They provide more incentive for taking care of them or something.

 

Quote: The laughter turned to guffaws now, though it was still kind. Jake kissed the top of Heather's head before resting his chin there. "Okay, so Ma, you're not nearly the 'city girl' that Heather is," he conceded. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," he added quickly when his fiancée protested this remark, dislodging him as she turned her head to glare at him. "Tell you what, babe – I promise you never have to eat rabbit unless you want to," Jake assured her, "'Kay?"

 

Aw. As someone who's been around a lot of pet bunnies, I have to go with Heather on this one.

 

Quote: "You know what that's a sign of," Stanley intoned from his spot halfway down the table. "It's a sign that you're getting old, man. You too, Eric," he snorted. "Twenty eight!" he declared, shaking his head in feigned sympathy. "So, so old."

Eric rolled his eyes. "Stanley, you're fifty five days younger than us. That's not even two months," he reminded.

 

I kind of love that Eric knows the number of days. He's got his own style, in this repartee, for sure.

 

Quote: "Fine," he conceded with a sigh. "But I'm sure as heck never gonna run for mayor. You want it, you go get it," he advised.

"Thankfully – for us all – Eric has the temperament to be mayor," Grandpa Green opined from his seat between Stanley and Johnston.

"And Jake does not," Jake assured his family. "All those council meetings and neighbors fighting over whose leaves end up on which lawn and what color so-and-so repainted their house...." He made a face and a strangling noise.

 

This is funny, but I like how it sort of also is underscored by a bit of tension and awkwardness (at least I think), that way things are in families and siblings and parents. Something I really liked in the show is how they portrayed this family having undeniably strong bonds but also a lot of undercurrents of dysfunction and strangeness – something that makes them seem real and relatable I think. I think you've hit on that with your characterization, and I mean that as a complement. Families are messy aren't they?

 

 

Quote: "They were both so cranky, and we were up half the night, walkin' 'em around," he continued. "Finally, at one in the morning, I knew I needed some sleep, even just an hour – I was teachin' school in the morning, and the first bell was at seven forty five. So, even though it was the middle of the oil crisis, and I only had 'bout an eighth of a tank, and I had an even license plate number so I wouldn't be able to get gas until the day after, we bundled them up in their snowsuits and decided to drive 'em around, see if that helped."

"It worked," Gail said, picking up the story, "Though your father ran out of gas over on Green Street – in front of the Berry's house actually, Heather – and we had to hoof it the five blocks home, each with a baby tucked into our coats," she laughed. "Which is funny now, but was absolutely nerve-wracking back then. For the next week I was sure they were both gonna come down with pneumonia."

Jake's and Eric's gazes connected across the table and they offered twin shrugs. "Sorry," they mumbled in unison.

 

This was a fun and cute story (well, since I knew the babies didn't get pneumonia). It was a nice image of young parents Johnston and Gail, and not yet at each other's throats Jake and Eric (well, as much as Eric says it was Jake's idea). I did find it interesting that Jake isn't interested as much in wishing his twin happy birthday, just because the twins in my family tend to make a huge deal about their birthdays together. But then again, they (both pairs) are very close and so they see it as a celebration of their debut in togetherness, so I get that this pair of twins, who are a little more antagonistic, would not be as into it.

 

Quote: Bonnie had been watching August – she'd continued to helpfully sign the gist of the conversation to the younger girl even after they had all sat down at the table – when Stanley had made his surprise announcement. August had abruptly stopped translating, leaving Bonnie hanging. "What did you say?" she demanded, tugging on her brother's sleeve. "What did you say?" Bonnie repeated, her voice growing louder.

 

Grinning, Stanley answered his little sister, enunciating clearly so he was sure she could read his lips. "I said I could never marry Autumn, but I would marry August."

"Yes!" Bonnie crowed, smiling widely as she glanced at August and then back at Stanley. "Yes! Marry Augus', marry Augus'. Please, please, please!" she begged, grinning at August. "Marry Stanley so you can be my sister."

 

Aw. And Bonnie gets her say! I don't get to go on about her as much usually, but Bonnie is also my favourite so I liked seeing her included here. I think it's a neat picture of her here – she's included but by necessity (she's younger than everyone and most comfortable in another language) she's a little separated from the group, but determined to have her voice acknowledged. I thought her bond with August was sweet too (though I have to say I'm glad she didn't get her wish here).

 

Quote: "Personally, I prefer that she move home rather than pile a bad marriage on top of motherhood," Karen argued. "And, dinner at the steakhouse?" she questioned, shaking her head. "If you're right, and I'm paying up, that's not really fair to your sister the vegetarian." Karen paused a moment, letting out a deep breath and then pasting on a smile over her frown. "But I really don't think that this is a conversation for Eric's and Jake's birthday party," she declared. "So, Heather, Gail says the wedding plans are coming along nicely?"

 

I have to say, poor Autumn, so I was glad to hear her mother eventually stand up for her. It's hard to be the talked-about one not there to defend yourself, and though it happens in families, it's also nice to have someone step in.

 

Quote: "And while my mother-in-law was shocked that her son would want to marry a Catholic girl," Gail told Heather, "Your mother-in-law is not so secretly delighted that you are – and that some of her grandchildren will be Catholic, too. I happen to be looking forward to attending first holy communions and confirmations that look like the ceremonies I went through as a child."

 

As a Catholic (though probably more of a Gail Catholic than a for-sure recommender of churches), I really liked this. The traditions and community events around milestones are something I feel connected to and enjoy about my background and I hear the same from others, so I think that'll be really nice for Gail to have continued in her life and share with a daughter-in-law and grandkids.

 

Quote: "You hafta forgive him sometime," Johnston repeated, exasperation coloring his tone. "Or you're gonna lose him," he argued, "We're gonna lose him. And I, at least, don't want that. He's our son."

 

I felt for Johnston and Gail in this scene, dealing with grief and loss and conflict in different levels. I appreciate the different sides in this dynamic, it seems true to life, and I do think they'll both (all) have to work through this for a while longer (whether by their own volition or by circumstances outside of course). I also liked how you showed, in Johnston and Gail's scene, that they have these different angles they come at the situation with, but then there's the care and support they share with each other and their bond, with so much history, they can fall back on in tough times.

 

Quote: "Well, feel free to worry about me, turnin' blue in the shower all you want," Jeff instructed, snorting. "'Cause I'm goin' in," he declared, taking a step away from the fire.

"I'm going to bed," Drake added, moving to follow. "I can take a shower in the morning. Always a chance the water will be warmer then," he joked.

Jeff waited for his friend to catch up, throwing an arm around his neck and noogying his head. "Oh sure, the shower will be warmer in the morning," he accused, elbowing the door to the kitchen open.

"Ow! Le' go!" Johnston and Gail heard Drake protest, but he was also laughing and groaning as Jeff dragged him into the other room.

 

Grinning, Johnston shook his head at their antics. "It's like having Jake and Eric, circa 1989, around again." He offered his hand to his wife.

 

And a nice appearance from Jeff and Drake here at the end. I like that they provided a bit of levity, while still also echoing the sadder family dynamics of the present by way of a flashback to earlier Jake and Eric, in simpler times. I liked too the ongoing glimpse into this other demographic in town, young, single people trying to contribute and be useful and find some kind of life for themselves and, as Jeff touches on, really, a purpose and meaning to their lives. And poor Jeff! Though of course I'm sure in the long run this will not seem the end of the world.

 

So now that you've set up where this group exactly is at this moment (well, for the most part, as we haven't seen everyone that I assume will be playing a part here in this segment), I'm interested to see how things will progress (though also of course proceeding with wary, for you know, reasons).

 




Author's Response:

As always, Penny Lane, thank you for the detailed review.  It warms my little fanfic writer's heart and stokes my writer's fire, even if I am currently have a bad case of Writer's Attention Deficit Disorder.  Hopefully I can find some focus soon.  As you suspect, this is the calm before the storm of Winter's End, but this is where things seemed to fit in the calendar (the DC calendar anyway) and I thought a couple of parties might be in order.  Of course the chance to illustrate 'Before' and 'After' is also hard to pass up.

I'm going to try to not quote your whole review, so some of my responses will be without reference.

 First, you as the biggest Mikey booster around are always welcome to appreciate him.  He appreciates you muchly right back. :-)

As for the great qualities of Stanley and Mimi, I absolutely agree.  And personally, I enjoyed the opportunity to put them into a social occasion and give them the chance to laugh.  It was a nice bit of levity that I sorely needed. 

 

Okay, so I resisted 4 or 5 opportunities to quote.  Now I can't.

 

Quote: Lesson plans as a currency, interesting. It sounds very teacher to be trading the plans (though I've only experienced a plans for plans trade), but this made me wonder what all the erstwhile students are doing, and what the longer term education plan going is, and the paper and printing and all that – like, little moment for outside questions intruding. I like it.

I have wondered about this throughout the airing of the series and then as I've written Different Circumstances (and Bizarro World).  So I can say that at least in DC, Heather is doing what she can for her former students. She wanted to start the home schooling clinic back around Black Jack and I think she has.  But also, this is one of the many things she has to offer in the new world, and I have to believe that there are parents in town who even in a time of crisis want to make sure their kids learn how to read and write and do enough math that they can plan how to build something or how they're going to plant a big enough garden come spring.  So that's where I am going with this.... and also, rest assured, school will be back in session in DC Jericho at some point.  (Side note -- I think many things about Season 2, most are not flattering, and this isn't either, but I think of it as the season of "where have all the children gone?"  Suffice to say, I think there will be lots of kids in Jericho in the future and Heather's skills will be just as in demand as Jake's or Stanley's or Eric's.

 

 

 

 

Quote: "You know, Grandpa used to talk me down whenever I started threatin' to ship you off to military school," Johnston recalled, "So I can probably do the same for you and my grandchild."

Aw. He's going to be his Lorelei Gilmore. In seriousness, I like Johnston's reflecting on his changing family role and the generational shift occurring.

What can I say?  I adore Johnston, and I love Johnston and Jake interactions and growth.  :-)

 

Quote: "Well, nothing that will get us hospitalized, dead or arrested," she cautioned, pointing a fry at him for emphasis. "And remember, it'll be my birthday next."

Good distinction. I liked the humour in the back and forth scenes between Jake and Heather. As in other moments of the DC story, it's neat to see the things that stay the same between time periods and the changes that stand out when juxtaposed.

:-) Well, thank you kindly.  Jake and Heather are the bread and butter of Different Circumstances so I'm always interested in what parts stand out to readers.

 

Quote: He pulled back a few inches, smirking softly at her indignant expression. "You know, when I was a little kid and my aunt Bridget caught me doin' something wrong, she always made me give her a kiss. Eric too," he added, "But me, more, 'cause I probably got in trouble more," he admitted. "And I always hated it. That was punishment," Jake insisted, once again moving toward her. "And this so isn't," he finished, capturing her mouth with his own.

I like how you manage this feat of introducing characters we've never met and making them seem real, fitting into a web of personal relationships. Aunt Bridget already sounds like an interesting character and I anticipate meeting her.

:-D  Bridget will finally appear on page soonish.  She's pretty funny in my head, so hopefully that translates.  Though I will remind you that she first appeared in a story Gail told during DC 9.  15 year old Bridget said that Gail's engagement ring diamond was so small it needed to grow a little before it could really be called a diamond.  So clearly, she has opinions ;-)

 

I'm glad to hear that August did not disappoint, and that you liked Karen and Paul, too.  So many people have taken up residence in my head (including poor, much-discussed Autumn) and they are important to me and influence how I write the other characters we know better, so it's fun that you can make those connections too.  I must be doing my job!

 

 

Quote: The laughter turned to guffaws now, though it was still kind. Jake kissed the top of Heather's head before resting his chin there. "Okay, so Ma, you're not nearly the 'city girl' that Heather is," he conceded. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," he added quickly when his fiancée protested this remark, dislodging him as she turned her head to glare at him. "Tell you what, babe – I promise you never have to eat rabbit unless you want to," Jake assured her, "'Kay?"

Aw. As someone who's been around a lot of pet bunnies, I have to go with Heather on this one.

Well, I must confess that I threw this part in as (a) a person who's had a pet bunny, and (b) because back in DC 13, April was hoping that Jake and Stanley (and Mimi) had at least gotten a rabbit.  I'm guessing that in After The Bombs Jericho, Heather might deign to eat rabbit.

 

Quote: This is funny, but I like how it sort of also is underscored by a bit of tension and awkwardness (at least I think), that way things are in families and siblings and parents. Something I really liked in the show is how they portrayed this family having undeniably strong bonds but also a lot of undercurrents of dysfunction and strangeness – something that makes them seem real and relatable I think. I think you've hit on that with your characterization, and I mean that as a complement. Families are messy aren't they?

That's pretty much what I was going for, so THANK YOU!!

 

Quote: Aw. And Bonnie gets her say! I don't get to go on about her as much usually, but Bonnie is also my favourite so I liked seeing her included here. I think it's a neat picture of her here – she's included but by necessity (she's younger than everyone and most comfortable in another language) she's a little separated from the group, but determined to have her voice acknowledged. I thought her bond with August was sweet too (though I have to say I'm glad she didn't get her wish here).

:-)  I was glad to have the opportunity to bring young Bonnie in again.  And is it awful of me to say that I didn't want to provide Stanley with a more viable romantic interest since he should save himself for Mimi? 

 

Quote: "You hafta forgive him sometime," Johnston repeated, exasperation coloring his tone. "Or you're gonna lose him," he argued, "We're gonna lose him. And I, at least, don't want that. He's our son."

I felt for Johnston and Gail in this scene, dealing with grief and loss and conflict in different levels. I appreciate the different sides in this dynamic, it seems true to life, and I do think they'll both (all) have to work through this for a while longer (whether by their own volition or by circumstances outside of course). I also liked how you showed, in Johnston and Gail's scene, that they have these different angles they come at the situation with, but then there's the care and support they share with each other and their bond, with so much history, they can fall back on in tough times.

Thank you for this comment.  As you might guess, this was a delicate scene to write, so I appreciate your comments and feel good about how that somewhat harrowing scene came across.  They are all in a tough spot that they never thought they'd be in, and they are all still reeling.  And yes, there is still lots to work through.

 

Quote: And a nice appearance from Jeff and Drake here at the end. I like that they provided a bit of levity, while still also echoing the sadder family dynamics of the present by way of a flashback to earlier Jake and Eric, in simpler times. I liked too the ongoing glimpse into this other demographic in town, young, single people trying to contribute and be useful and find some kind of life for themselves and, as Jeff touches on, really, a purpose and meaning to their lives. And poor Jeff! Though of course I'm sure in the long run this will not seem the end of the world.

:-)  I have to smile at that comment, because I didn't think of half of that when I wrote it in.  But, it all makes sense to me!  So thanks for telling me something about my story.

 

Quote: So now that you've set up where this group exactly is at this moment (well, for the most part, as we haven't seen everyone that I assume will be playing a part here in this segment), I'm interested to see how things will progress (though also of course proceeding with wary, for you know, reasons).

 

Absolutely.  Hence my Writer's ADD.  I'm plugging away when I can, writing scenes out of order and generally trying to make the story I get on the page have half the detail and feeling that it has in my head.  Wish me luck!

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