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PostPosted: December 1st, 2017, 5:29 am 
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What I particularly liked about this one (and I probably shouldn't say it, because I wrote the thing, but I'm going to do it anyway) was that Carl and Kevin seemed like the same two people having the same kinds of discussions/arguments as in the main series, except that Kevin was a lot more confident about standing up for himself and his ideals, doubtless as a result of three and a half years of both mental and physical growth. Kevin is clearly very close now to coming to terms with exactly what 'being Kevin' does mean in every conceivable way, and I hope it's starting to come across as a very good thing to be.

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PostPosted: December 10th, 2017, 10:19 am 
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Christmas Special: Being Kevin - Part 2, by me.

Carl passes judgement on the new tenant, Kevin receives two pieces of important news and Kylie receives an unexpected visitor. Later, Carl finally reveals to Kevin his true feelings about his own father.

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Last edited by KevinsMensPyjamas on December 24th, 2017, 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 11th, 2017, 9:26 am 
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This chapter is loaded with revelations and significant moments. The conversation about Wesley was worth waiting for (not that I did actually have to wait); Kevin waits for Carl to ask direct questions before he'll give anything away, and even then he gets around certain things without telling a direct lie.

Overall, I think Carl is to be seen here on his best behaviour yet, adding credence to what Kylie says about him to her unexpected visitor.

Pagan's nighttime habits remind me starkly of our last cat. I wish our current one went to bed so well! (As far as I remember, Pagan's next scheduled appearance is inspired by some of her little ways...)

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PostPosted: December 11th, 2017, 10:11 am 
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Yeah, some interesting stuff in this one. Spoilers, for those who haven't read it, so you're warned:

Carlos and Beth having another kid? That was sure a surprise, as it's something that didn't happen in GBOT fan fic. And mentioning that she/he'll be as younger that Kevin as Eduardo is from Carlos sets up an interesting parallel.

As with the Spengler Twins (well, you didn't actually say it was them, but I'll take the chance and assume so), Conchita (assuming again that's who Kylie is now pregnant with) is born later in this continuity. And it seems will have a cousin about the same age. This could be interesting.

Carlos admitting that he thought Alberto was a "bully" was very interesting. On the one hand, Kevin and definitely Eduardo would have said the same about Carlos at times. On the other, Kevin is still a bit shocked by it--Alberto probably was on his best behavior around Kevin, as grandparents often are around their grandchildren. (I never found out how much a sarcastic cut-up my maternal grandfather was until long after he was gone--again, "best behavior around the grandkids").

Still, one other sign that Carlos is mellowing with age is his behavior to his pot smoking tennant: it's becoming less and less of a problem with the populace as a whole now, but was much more stigmatized c.2004 or so (and is still illegal in most of the country in 2017). Carlos c. 1997 would have hauled Wes off to jail the minute he smelled the stuff, no questions asked.

It makes one wonder how Kevin would have thought of Alberto had he lived longer. Was he indeed mellowing with age as Carlos is, it's just that Carlos--being so stuck in his own ways--didn't realize it, and Al didn't live long enough to go further? I guess we'll never know, but it's interesting to think about--which is a mark of a very good story.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2017, 5:21 am 
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So many great comments to respond to, for which I'm very grateful!

I'm pleased that the change in Carl is coming across successfully. As a true believer in the Rivera family relationships that we've been exploring, I've always wanted to see Carl and Kevin manage to struggle to a place of love and understanding of a sort (and the same is true of Carl and Eduardo) and I think we can see from this whole Wesley incident that Carl has become a more thoughtful and caring (or at least tolerant) person, or in other words he has become more 'Kevin'.

I believe that Carl opening up somewhat about his father is another important part of this change, and the conversation between him and Kevin about dear old Alberto was completely inspired by a discussion the three of us had much earlier in this thread about that very issue. Kevin's potential relationship with his deceased grandfather (if he wasn't deceased) is one of many issues that I've always hoped would be interesting to think about when reading these stories, and while I think this is the last time it will be mentioned specifically, it should nevertheless be interesting to keep in mind for the future.

Another issue that I originally wanted this story to leave you thinking about (but not knowing for sure) is the question of the exact nature of Kevin's sexuality. My point was that this should really be a non-issue for the reader (although not for Kevin himself, of course) as whatever 'being Kevin' involves, it definitely is (as Lucy points out in this instalment) a really fantastic thing to be. However, I think my own boundless enthusiasm for Kevin's romantic involvement with a certain other character has completely superceded that particular piece of ambiguity, but anyway, there's more about that in the next chapter.

And now for the babies. There's a recently added Easter egg on Our Timeline that should nullify the need for any assumptions about the identity of Kylie and Eduardo's unborn sprog, and you can also find out the name (and very easily infer the gender) of Beth and Carl's. The Collinsverse has been inspired in no small way by some of the GBOT stuff (you may have noticed, for example, that Mood Slime [as in Oscar's band] was mentioned for the first time in the previous instalment) as well as many incidents and observations from our own lives, and various bits of TV, movies and other media that we enjoy and/or find interesting. It is therefore very reasonable to infer that Janine has given birth to a new version of the same kids she has in the other universe, although this too is very much open to reader interpretation, to fill in exactly as the reader wants.

So now we know that 'being Kevin' is going to involve (amongst many other things) being an older brother, which is a concept that I personally find very exciting to explore further. I think we both independently came up with the idea that Carl and Beth should have another baby as a sign that their marriage is (to put it in overly simplistic terms) fixed now, and I mean that as a literary device rather than an in-universe attempt to save the marriage, as I think this instalment makes it fairly obvious that Beth's pregnancy (and, indeed, Kylie's) was not exactly planned, but far from unwelcome nonetheless.

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PostPosted: December 24th, 2017, 9:08 am 
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Christmas Special: Being Kevin - Part 3, by me, with additional material by Rosey.

Kylie compares notes with Beth on their new circumstances, then looks to the past and to the future with Eduardo. Meanwhile, an upcoming school dance and an overdue heart-to-heart leave Kevin and his friends with options to consider.

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PostPosted: December 26th, 2017, 10:27 am 
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KevinsMensPyjamas wrote:
Christmas Special: Being Kevin - Part 3, by me, with additional material by Rosey.

Kylie compares notes with Beth on their new circumstances, then looks to the past and to the future with Eduardo. Meanwhile, an upcoming school dance and an overdue heart-to-heart leave Kevin and his friends with options to consider.


Not a lot I can think of to say about this one--it's mostly setting up for the next chapter and all sorts of payoff to come. Looking forward to it as always.

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PostPosted: December 28th, 2017, 9:55 am 
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The final part of this story certainly marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, whatever that may hold (I wonder if we'll ever find out :P). I remember now doing Kylie's research on caffeine intake for her, and then the conversation she has with Beth making me curious about the average age of first-time mothers at the time. They actually did do a study shortly before this story takes place and, well, I figured Kylie would know about it.

It's probably just as well Carl isn't in this part, as it sees Kevin was slow-dancing with another boy. His interactions with all his friends (except Ella, as it happens) show that he's coming to an important point in his life where he has to figure out his feelings. I think Jandro comes across as about the best friend anybody could have in the scenes towards the end - and there was I thinking we'd never seen him again after he helped get rid of the zombies the created in episode 12 of the virtual season. (Reading about the plans for Jandro's bedroom, I couldn't help wondering if his parents are going to build into the loft, which is what happened to the actual house theirs is based on; if so, Ana had better wait until afterwards to move in.)

Real Riverasers (if there is any such thing) will spot interesting references back to earlier episodes, including the very first one. I thought Donatella was a pretty damn clever name for a (probably) female sea turtle, actually! :D

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PostPosted: December 30th, 2017, 7:12 am 
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Fritz wrote:
it's mostly setting up for the next chapter and all sorts of payoff to come. Looking forward to it as always.

I am very interested to know that it's come across that way, as this story was originally designed (when I wrote the first draft over a year ago) to be the definitive end of the whole thing. Kevin had clearly come to terms with himself at last, and the exact details of what he'd realised and decided to act on were supposed to be left to the reader to fill in as they thought best. The impending babies, too, were supposed to represent a positive but ambiguous future. We then jumped forward almost three decades to close the circle by returning to Cozumel to join Eduardo and Kylie as they saw Donatella again, just as Kylie hoped they would at the end of the first episode of the spin-off.

Despite the fact that we were both inspired subsequently to write more entries in this saga, that epilogue is set to remain as the furthest point forward in time in the Collinsverse that we are going to be presenting. That being the case, I hope that the phrase "the whole family" will continue to contain some element of ambiguity, as any reader might still have their own ideas about just who the whole family might (and might not) include after all the stories have been released.

EGBFan wrote:
I think Jandro comes across as about the best friend anybody could have in the scenes towards the end

I'm extremely glad to read that because I've developed a massive soft spot for Jandro. Kevin's friendships are clearly closer and more enduring than any friendship most of us will ever find in real life, but he has certainly earned them in my opinion, as have the people he's sharing them with.

EGBFan wrote:
Real Riverasers (if there is any such thing) will spot interesting references back to earlier episodes, including the very first one. I thought Donatella was a pretty damn clever name for a (probably) female sea turtle, actually!

When Kylie said she hoped she and Eduardo would see Donatella again, I immediately wanted to look in on them when they did. I suppose the rest of the special built up from there, as I continued to write episodes for the main series attempting to have Kevin and Oscar do things as best buddies (such as save a guy's life and help each other out when they got lost in the woods) but they doggedly kept falling more and more in love with each other, and things went on from there really.

The next release takes a step back in time from this special as we explore some of the things that happened between the end of the main series of The Riveras, and the end of Kevin's junior high career, which is a time period that runs from September 2000 to June 2002. As has been mentioned before, there are eight of these slices of life on the way, and as has not been mentioned before, they will be released every three weeks starting on Sunday 28th January 2018.

That will take us through to June, and then we will be returning to December 2003 to find out what actually happened at the Enchantment in the Sky dance, followed by some more slices of Kevin's life between that time and his trip with Oscar to Mexico during the second half of 2006. These releases will be alternated (still on a three-weekly basis) with a series of stories exploring what Kylie and Eduardo got up to in the summer of 2000. Our Timeline will naturally be kept updated in an attempt to dispel any confusion about chronology.

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PostPosted: December 30th, 2017, 9:21 am 
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I am very interested to know that it's come across that way, as this story was originally designed (when I wrote the first draft over a year ago) to be the definitive end of the whole thing.


I realized about a day after I posted what I did that "Wait a minute...that was the end..." :oops: If I was one of those sorts who tried to bury his mistakes as quick as possible I would have gone back and edited what I wrote. But instead all I'm going to do is blame the holiday rush getting me distracted. :?

And yeah, it leaves things a little ambiguous, which can drive some people up the wall, but it's not always a bad thing.

As always, looking forward to more when it comes.

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