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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions - all welcome
PostPosted: 15 Aug 2012, 23:32 
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This is a bit of a cross between a book discussion and a drabble question.

I'm asking about my version of Joey and also Robin but neither is dramatically different in character to Canon Joey and Robin from the war time years, so would still be interested in opinions if people haven't read the story so far. Only thing is there will likely be spoilers for already posted story so don't read any further if you'd rather not know !

In Alternative Joey, she is still essentially EBDs Joey but with a few key parts of her history different. Particularly that she doesn't marry Jack, and pursues a career as a singer. This changes the life events of a few characters.

I am at present gradually reawakening creaking Alternative Joey plot bunnies, but coming back to the same issue each time I try to move Joey forward. I don't want her to go back to England for the rest of the war. At present she is in America just finishing touring to help raise awareness and funds for the war effort. She now comes to a point where she needs to decide what to do, and whether to return. I keep coming up against the fact that I can't work out how patriotic Joey would be. She's done more than her share in theory, but would she feel she ought to do more ? Would she feel that staying in America and following her own career was too selfish with people she knows and loves fighting or potentially oppressed in Europe?

The major difference between AJ Joey and canon in terms of patriotism and the war is that my Joey had far less personal direct experience of the Nazis, so she may well be less patriotic than I'm feeling canon Joey would be. AJ Joey is also more selfish than EBDs Joey. Well if you count looking out for her own dreams / desires rather than her family as selfish. Less involved in the lives of otgers certainly. She is following her own dream and has already chosen career over the chance of a family a couple of times.

Younger Joey in both cases dislikes being in England but is seen as a schoolgirl to be patriotic in some ways. EBDs Joey conveniently had the triplets as a reason Joey might not do war work, so I don't really know whether she would feel she ought to return or not.

So - help please! If people could perhaps give any views they have on how patriotic Joey might be or reasons sge might chose to stay in America that might help kickstart AJ Joey to make her mind up what she wants to do. At least it could be an interesting discussion! Is EBD's Joey patriotic in action? Is AJ Joey likely to be more or less patriotic given her personal situation?

It is (I think!!) late 1941 I think in AJ, although I'm happy to be contradicted ! The timeline is a little EBD like in that I think I have had random unspecified amounts of time pass and am now not entirely sure what year it is!!

So I don't quite know how to keep Joey away from England, but also be true to how she would behave. I know a lot of people on here won't have read AJ but the discussion about Canon Joey might help in knowing what to do with Alternative Joey!

As a side story Robin doesn't live with Jack and Joey, so that I feel would perhaps change her decision as to when / if she joins a convent. As yet I'm not sure how much difference that would make so any input would be appreciated.

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 08:07 
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I never get the impression that Joey saw the war in terms of patriotism, more as a fight between good (anti-Nazism) and bad (Nazism) maybe because she had friends in Germany, Austria and Italy and so would've found it hard to see countries rather than ideologies as the enemy. Also, I don't think she seems particularly called upon to "do her bit" - we don't see her rushing to take in evacuees until she's actually asked to take Flora and Fiona in, volunteering to help with anything or do war work (even though a lot of married women with young children did). So I don't think she'd've had a problem with staying in America.

There were some issues in Guernsey over people who stayed there and stuck it out versus people who didn't, but that never crops up in the CS books - the Chester/Lucy/Ozanne clan all leave and it never seems to occur to them to do otherwise.

There are things she could have done to help from America, though, even if it was just sending over food and clothes for her friends and relations at home. You weren't allowed to ask friends/relatives in countries not affected by rationing to do that, but it was OK if they did.

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 11:09 
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If you're in 1941, then US comes into the war at the very end of that year [Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor Dec 1941].

Not sure without checking, but unless she was 'priority' she may well not have been able to get a berth to come back to Britain at this time, and there was in any case increasing difficulty in physically crossing the Atlantic - U-boats etc. - so she might well have got 'stuck' without needing to take any definite decision.

And as Alison says, she could have sent food/clothing parcels, which were always greatly appreciated, to friends and relations to show she hadn't forgotten them ...

It's hard to say how 'unpatriotic' she might seem, or be made out to be by people that wanted to make trouble for her, though - you could make something of that if you need to.

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 11:45 
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Possibly Gracie Fields' experience is of relevance? OK, different type of singer, but she did have a tough time in some quarters for moving to the USA near the start of the war to avoid the internment of her husband. It's not as if she sat there idle, either, since she's known to have done a lot of work all over the world entertaining the troops, and raised money for the war effort as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 14:53 
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Noreen wrote:
Possibly Gracie Fields' experience is of relevance? OK, different type of singer, but she did have a tough time in some quarters for moving to the USA near the start of the war to avoid the internment of her husband. It's not as if she sat there idle, either, since she's known to have done a lot of work all over the world entertaining the troops, and raised money for the war effort as well.


Good suggestion (also from Abbeybufo) - and cheered me up to see it. My Joey is based on a bit of a mixture of Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and Julie Andrews, though obviously only in terms of inspiring ideas how her career might go. So in fact in the update a month or so ago I've just started her with press issues, and that will I think make life difficult for her, and just as unfairly as it may have been with Gracie Fields. I do think that will influence her decision to stay.

Thanks Alison also, I felt that I'd seen the suggestion that Joey didn't do much war work somewhere, but wasn't sure whether it was different in the hardbacks, as my own collection are all paperbacks. Sounds like it wasn't too different.

That's a good point about not being able to get a berth back. Probably get me out of the practical side, though I'm still a little unsure about the emotional side of her staying in safety.

I am slightly tempted to have her go to the Pacific as troop entertainment but I just don't know how likely that would be, or whether it would just be a repeat of her already having entertained European troops. I also can't remember if I have mentioned Con Stewart / Mackenzie at all, or whether she left with Jock, otherwise that could be an interesting scene or two if they were to cross paths. I tend to get irritated and put off writing if I reread my drabbles much, which didn't matter when posting three times a week or so, but is a bit harder with approx monthly postings. I don't want to read too far back to check about Con, especially as I may not have mentioned her at all ! If I decide to go down that storyline I'll have to, but at present it's not likely.

As an aside, does anyone else find that the more they research for drabbling the more they end up researching? Tiny details that probably most readers won't even notice become important to know, and as research sparks more plot ideas, so then more research becomes necessary. I enjoy it, as like to learn new things, but on occasion I find research takes 4 times as long as the actual drabbling, and even then I have to wing it and hope I don't have too many Beecharmerisms!

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 15:08 
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She could do an It Ain't Half Hot Mum and end up performing in India, completely embarrassing Dick when he and his mates are in the audience and she comes on to stage in a flimsy costume :lol: .

Seriously, yes, I know what you mean about the research - I once ordered a book from Amazon specifically to read up on life in 1950s Austria,

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 15:19 
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Oh good - as far as Jo's travel is concerned, I think if you signed up for ENSA they laid that on, and Gracie certainly went further afield than Europe and the USA. I wonder whether some of the flak she got for moving to the US was because she was 'home-grown'? Jo wouldn't necessarily have had that problem, of course.

But then, given Jo's fluent German, knowledge of Austria etc, I wonder whether she could have been approached by Intelligence to work for them in some capacity while using her singing as a cover-up?

I takes me 'at off to all those of you that write drabbles - there is no fiction in me - but have certainly spent much of my working life researching completely obscure things in ever greater detail, so think it's just the nature of research... :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 17:18 
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Beecharmer wrote:
As an aside, does anyone else find that the more they research for drabbling the more they end up researching? Tiny details that probably most readers won't even notice become important to know, and as research sparks more plot ideas, so then more research becomes necessary. I enjoy it, as like to learn new things, but on occasion I find research takes 4 times as long as the actual drabbling, and even then I have to wing it and hope I don't have too many Beecharmerisms!


Oh, yes, Beecharmer! I got so interested in learning about Garibaldi when writing about a Prefects evening in ND, that I could now tell you chapter and verse on all parts of his life, and rather fell in love with the man! Or maybe that happened because Hilda was playing him. :P

And I've been immersed in researching King Arthur and his knights for my crossover in LGM, and yet I'm scarcely using most of the info - so why?

I think, though, reading what published authors say, that's par for the course - do your research but wear it lightly. Not that I would ever put myself in their class. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 19:03 
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Noreen wrote:

But then, given Jo's fluent German, knowledge of Austria etc, I wonder whether she could have been approached by Intelligence to work for them in some capacity while using her singing as a cover-up?


Oh I like this idea. Joey Bettany - Secret Agent! It has a good ring to it.

As far as the research goes, it can become an addiction I think. Every little detail has to be spot-on. Little time left for writing :?

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 23:37 
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I'd agree - you tend to research thoroughly into subjects even when you know that you're unlikely to need most of the information - for example I probably know far more about the Australian prison system than I will ever need. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2012, 09:54 
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Hmm, it doesn't seem to have happened with me. Then again, I barely ever research stuff in the first place.

I hope you're going to use some more of that knowledge soon, Lesley :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 17 Aug 2012, 12:38 
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The approach to war work and the war effort generally is strange. When Joey's asked to look after Flora and Fiona, she isn't sure, but Robin then suggests that it might be a way of getting out of taking evacuees and Joey getting out of doing war work. It's a very silly conversation because there's no way that the War Office would have called up the mothers of three-year-olds, and it's a silly situation anyway because Shiena, as the primary carer of two young children, would not have been called up, but the point is that Robin’s attitude isn't really very CS-like. Surely you'd've expected her to say something along the lines of how everyone must pull together in a time of national emergency and of course they must help these two poor children who'd been turfed out of their home, not that, ooh, good, here was a chance to get out of doing anything proper to help the war effort!

With Lavender, again it's a silly storyline because Miss Leigh wouldn’t have been sent into the Armed Forces when she was the primary carer of a child – she'd have been sent to work in an office or a factory in her home area - but at least this time EBD acknowledges that she’d have been exempt until Lavender turned 14. However, Bride, when introducing Lavender to the rest of the form, says that Miss Leigh’s gone into the forces because now that Lavender's 14 "she can't get off for her" any more. It might well have been the attitude that some people at the time took, but again it seems a strange attitude for EBD to have been promoting during arguably the most difficult period in British history, when everyone was being urged to "do their bit" :shock: . & doesn't one of the mistresses - I think it's Miss Wilson - moan that they can't get decent maids because the good ones have gone off to do war work, as if doing the CS's domestic work should've been a far higher priority than helping the war effort?!

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2012, 16:27 
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Before I raise my own totally different questions - I always felt poor Gracie Fields was unfairly pilloried during, and for quite a time after, the War. A lot of people didn't like the fact that she was divorced, even though her first husband had had a mistress for most of their married life and even moved her into the home Gracie bought while Grace was still living there, they didn't like her marrying an Italian and they didn't like her going to the USA.

The fact that she raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the British War effort, entertained thousands of troops all over the world, gave her own house over for use as a maternity hospital and supported an orphanage counted for nothing!

Now, I am seeking guidance about Hilary Burn! Near the start of 'Gay' we are told that she is one of the staff who is back early because she has spent Christmas with her future husband's family (and then couldn't go home for the rest of the holiday because her younger brother had gone down with something infectious.) Are we ever told what happened to that fiancé? It's not in any of the books I have though, as quite a few of my immediate postwar ones are Armada, I might have missed it. Help?

Oddly enough, I think that reference is on the same page where we hear that Miss Nalder has married a classics master who had been courting her for years. As she turns up years later in Switzerland still Miss Nalder, I did briefly encounter a very dark plot bunny hinting about ecclesiastical tribunals, the Vatican and annulment, but I didn't feed it and it went away!


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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2012, 16:49 
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Can't help you with Hilary Burn, I'm afraid, shesings, but I just wanted to say that my own personal Grace Nalder is, like many of my characters, bent as a nine bob note, and the "marrying a classics master" was just an excuse for her to run away to England with a particularly desirable young lady (probably an acquaintance of Susie's...)

Obviously it didn't work out, though - poor old Grace! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2012, 17:33 
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I assume EBD forgot about Hilary's first fiancé :lol:. Either that or he was killed in the war and Joey was being even more tactless than ever when she called Hilary a "spinster" in Island . I assume she forgot about Grace's marriage as well. We certainly aren't given any explanation as to why Hilary was single again by Carola and Grace was single again by Oberland :lol: .

I quite agree - "Our Gracie" (I only live 10 miles from Rochdale so I'm allowed to say that :lol: ) was given a very raw deal during the War.

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2012, 18:35 
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Finn wrote:
Can't help you with Hilary Burn, I'm afraid, shesings, but I just wanted to say that my own personal Grace Nalder is, like many of my characters, bent as a nine bob note, and the "marrying a classics master" was just an excuse for her to run away to England with a particularly desirable young lady (probably an acquaintance of Susie's...)

Obviously it didn't work out, though - poor old Grace! :D


May I give you some food for that particular plot bunny, Finn? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2012, 20:13 
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Doesn't need food, shesings - all written in my head! It's just a case of finding time to commit it to paper.

Though is it really appropriate to write another "Chalet girl turns gay" story, I wonder? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2012, 20:33 
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If you've got it written in your head, why not? It's at least as plausible as many of EBD's plot!


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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2012, 00:27 
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I'm glad to hear that about Gracie Fields, I did like the bits I've found out over time about her.

I don't have an answer about Hilary Burn, but I'm now wandering off down plot bunny roads to Phil discovering she's a bigamist, or in the case of AJ the 'fiance' actually being someone else who she'd have to keep secret. I hope you have plans for interesting fiance for her if no official one turns up, Sheshings!

Oh those Joey secret agent plot bunnies do appeal.

As does that Ain't alf ot mum one, lol.

Cheers all for your help, this has moved a few plot bunnies on - and created extras, damn it!

Now Grace Nalder's story needs to be told, I feel, Finn... I must be rich eh, I've masses of nine bob notes scattered through my stories. Though actually Grace Nalder had never occured to me till you mention it.

"Turn gay" always makes me feel like someone got lost in the countryside one day and then returned. "Where were you?" "Oh sorry, didn't mean to be so long, but you see I took a gay turn " ...

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 Post subject: Re: Drabble Subject Discussions. Joey patriotic?
PostPosted: 20 Aug 2012, 01:08 
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Beecharmer wrote:
"Turn gay" always makes me feel like someone got lost in the countryside one day and then returned. "Where were you?" "Oh sorry, didn't mean to be so long, but you see I took a gay turn " ...


Snort! Splutter!

I took one of those a while ago, but I decided I like the scenic route!

Beecharmer wrote:
Now Grace Nalder's story needs to be told, I feel, Finn... I must be rich eh, I've masses of nine bob notes scattered through my stories. Though actually Grace Nalder had never occured to me till you mention it.


I don't know why it occurred to me, to be honest - she's not one of the "obvious" ones. But it did, and now I have to live with it...

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