Date: November 25, 2020 06:57 pm Title: Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
Oh, Pam. I hope you’re enjoying this while it lasts, because you’re not going to be taller than Jim next time y’all meet.
The line about the cruel trick of nature making everyone involved feel uncomfortable is just… very true. As someone who remained that short, hits me right in the feelings. In general you’ve done a great job capturing the sheer amount of painful self-awareness that comes with that age bracket, along with the touch of nastiness of an age group that’s still learning empathy.
Young Jim and Pam bonding over jelly beans? You slay me. Both a fun callback (call-forward?) to their relationship as adults AND a slight enough interaction that it could go forgotten, which works here. (And I think it makes total sense that they would pay zero attention to the adult in the room.)
And the twist that Marcy is into Jim stings. There’s always *someone* standing between them that they need to be willing to push away, isn’t there?
(Next cold open is… hopefully coming soon? I’ve spent a lot of time staring at one that’s about 70% done, so that could happen tomorrow or in January.)
Date: November 23, 2020 06:54 am Title: Snowballs and an Eternal Flame
Jim does seem appropriately young teenage - a little bit self-absorbed, a little bit insecure, a little bit preoccupied with social status. It's a good mix with the flashes we see of the Jim we'll come to know, who prefers someone he can laugh with over someone with flash and who regards obnoxious behavior as a challenge to be solved.
I love getting Jim's perspective on this early eyes-met-across-a-crowded-room moment - of course she's effortlessly charmed young Jim!
Again, I think this remains pretty plausible as a forgotten prior meeting - you dance with plenty of cute girls at bat mitzvahs at that age, but the flying shoe is definitely gonna be what they retain.
Hearing this from a guy's perspective, I'm glad to hear hit the notes or at least got near enough to them to be plausible. It helps I live with 2 boys who have recently been that age - even if they let me see glimpses of what they were like among their peers. But I did ask for their input on this one and they were very helpful.
But I did want to still have the little nods to who Jim is, beyond being a typical teen. Like how he's more comfortable with the girl he could laugh with than the one that looks good on his arm. But he also does react to a good ego-stroking and likes a pretty girl- I kind of saw that in him when he dated Katy. I think at 13 you can be somewhat fickle too.
Glad you still think its plausible as a forgotten meeting. Like I said it's supposed to be based in canon.
This has been a fun story to write and I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it.
Thank again for being a steadfast reader and reviewer. With all the fics going up lately I do appreciate that you take the time not only to ready my stuff but give me input. It really is so great to hear reviews, so thanks again.
Oh and when is the next rejected cold open coming? I could use a good hearty laugh.
Date: November 23, 2020 05:56 am Title: Snowballs and an Eternal Flame
Skipping to the end quick because I just have to put this in because of that picture at the end. I know have a vision of young Jim and young Pam dancing together. However for the one and only time in their lives Pam is taller than Jim. Akward gangly armed Jim with a Pam who's just starting to bloom. D'awwwww.
So this was fun. Having never attended a Bar or Bat Mitzvah this was a nice look into how these things go. I feel you Jim with your feelings about Adam. Some people don't grow out of that so prank him as hard as you can.
I kind of can't wait till Adult Jim and Pam really get into the memories of this party. Maybe a trip through old photo albums is in order? After all based on her reaction to his high school yearbook photo, Pam loves early dorky Jim. Earlier dorkier Jim would probably be even more fun.
Lovely job with this one.
Glad you liked the picture - as mentioned in the Discord chat, the rabbit holes we go down for research - I found this while doing mine and it was too good not to share. I also watched a few videos from bar/bat mitzvahs of the day - my memory is a little fuzzy and I needed to refresh it. The ones held now are a lot more teched out but follow roughly the same pattern.
They'll be a bit more about the height difference in the next chapter. It was actually my son, who btw is now the tallest in my family who suggested it when I asked for his input. Guess he remembers being shorter than the girls around this time too. I will tell him you appreciated it.
There's a bit more to come but I barely scratch the surface of the material that can be written from these events. A bunch of 13-year-olds at a fancy party, usually without their parents. Think school dance on steroids.
Oh and you know they'll be digging out the old photo albums next time they visit with the folks.
I'm really having a good time writing this one and happy to hear you are enjoying it. Nice to know it can be appreciated even if you don't know from what goes on at these events.
As always thanks for being a steadfast reader and reviewer. I know there is a lot of stuff getting posted now so I do appreciate your taking the time to take my stuff for a spin.
Date: November 19, 2020 05:18 pm Title: Pop-a Shot and Salty Coke
So far lots of fun. Pam seems lovely in her party dress. This also seems like it's pre-Roy too. Love that. I really like stories of where Pam and Jim met and hit it off early like this. And the way you've done it is great. Jim pranking the Dwight type character, Pam laughing at it. What great foreshadowing of things to come. Classic prank too. I remember one I pulled back in high school, telling some buddies some chicken wings were Teriyaki flavored when in fact they were the hottest sauce the place had. That was pretty funny, for me that is.
Looking forward to more of this.
Thanks for the smile. I can always count on you to read and respond and your reviews always make me smile.
The Adam character has shades of Dwight absolutely since there's always that guy.
The classic prank as I mentioned was courtesy of my son. I'm sure he would appreciate the hot sauce one too.
Glad you are enjoying, more coming soon. It's marinating.
Date: November 19, 2020 12:35 pm Title: Pop-a Shot and Salty Coke
There's a lot of great characterization of Pam here. The bit about the dress is so telling - you get to see some of the class stuff going on here as well as Pam's personal insecurity. And I really appreciate that she's using her limited purse space for a sketchbook.
You do a good job making her *feel* 13, too - how dressing up like this is still novel for her and her envy of the girls who seem to have figured out teenagedom.
The way they end up having this mutual friend feels organic and plausible. And I love this dismissive first impression of Jim that turns into them bonding over her catching him playing a prank on a proto-Dwight. Not a very sophisticated prank, but I guess he's still learning. He'll be tricking people into thinking they've committed murder soon enough.
Really enjoying this one so far!
Thanks Joe (alright if I call you Joe? -you can call me Beth, as that's my real life name)
I was a 13-year-old girl a long time ago so it was a trip to go back in my mind but in reality sometimes I still feel that young - still have bouts of insecurity, jealousy, etc except now I think they call it FOMO. I hope I did a good job making her Pam just younger with her humor, shyness and her secret sass.
As for Jim - he's 13 too so yes the pranks lack the inventiveness and creativity. Love that you call Adam a proto-Dwight - it was too far fetched to make him really Dwight but there's also a type, right. Hope I can do 13-year-old Jim justice in your opinion - had my boys help me with it.
Glad you are enjoying.
And as always thanks for reviewing. I can always count on getting yours and it always makes me smile.
Date: November 18, 2020 07:40 pm Title: Valentine’s with the Vance's
Very cute way to get into the meat of this story. Golden Haired Pam is one of the most beautiful Pams and it's a treat to envision here. The way we get to the realization of the shared time from long ago felt very real. Remembering times past at Dunder-Mifflin leading into earlier times past. Great set up.
The end notes with Wayne and Garth were a fun note too. Nicely done.
Glad you enjoyed the realism here. That's what a aimed for, a natural way to back into he discovery. Writing the past was the easier part of this fiction, getting there and bringing it back around was the part I struggled with but I'm really happy with how it turned out. Your noting the set up is a great affirmation for me.
Glad you liked Wayne and Garth too. Imo the best way to indicate a time jump.
Tomorrow we go back.
Date: November 18, 2020 07:10 pm Title: Valentine’s with the Vance's
I like you digging further in here on the idea that Jim believes they were on some level bound to end up together - certainly that's a big foundational part of his views on Michael's treatment of Holly if he thinks that some relationships are just MEANT to work out.
I love the placement of this whole conversation on Valentine's Day. It always bugged me that we saw so little of their Valentine's Days together (and missed the first one completely!), so filling in the gaps there has my enthusiastic approval. And I love the naturalistic way you end up getting there - this isn't a conversation about predestination that torturously makes its way into them discovering they've met before or some totally random confluence of events, it's a pretty normal progression from desperately seeking a non-awkward conversation with the Vances to memories of bar and bat mitzvahs past to a noteworthy incident having nothing to do with Them that they both remember. It's a nice and realistic touch.
That being said, I sure hope the holding-of-shoes-for-ransom tidbit turns out to be relevant to the flashback... looking forward to meeting Young Jim ad Pam!
Also, props for the Wayne's World reference.
Love that you love the Wayne's world. I don't know how many others will get it but I couldn't think of a better way to indicate we're going back.
I'm also glad you appreciated how the discovery came about. The last time they discussed this was way back on their first date so it worked out that they were with the Vances this day. It was after they went to a bar mitzvah that Michael wanted to throw his own so it seemed like something they would discuss especially in the post sex in the restroom awkwardness.
The incident they both remember has shades of the crazy that happens so often in the office so maybe why it's slipped their mind for so many years. I'm glad you felt the way they got there was natural and unforced. That was what I was going for.
Maybe not that exact tidbit but some fun stuff. Better I hope. You will have to let me know
party on Wayne
Date: November 17, 2020 05:05 pm Title: The Butterfly Effect
Nice set up here. Lots of fun detail sprinkled throughout about things we saw in canon, like the shag carpet. You did a great job of portaying the kind soul that Pam is. She does truly care. About Karen, about Micheal, about Jim. It's very sweet.
One of the things that I've always said makes Jim and Pam resonate so much is they feel like a very real couple. They have issues they have to deal with. Also it's not a get married and live happily ever after story. It's a get married and life goes on with all its ups and downs story. I saw that here with the little spat between them. It can't all be butterfiles and rainbows all the time. There are going to be disagreements. This chapter brings that out nicely.
Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
First off a big thanks for the nudge to take on this story. It was largely due to the chat in the forum that I went for it and I'm so glad I did. I really did enjoy writing this one - so far it's my closest thing to an AU and I enjoyed writing from a different perspective.
Also thanks for the encouragement with regard to the use of show tidbits - it's having the camaraderie of other writers and fans like you that make this such a joyful experience. While I began writing for myself - especially in my longing to see more of the "behind the scenes" real relationship of Pam and Jim, it's the fandom on this site that have made this so much more rewarding and fun. From the jelly beans which are so great to receive to the reviews to the forum.
I'm so glad you pointed out the realness of them as a couple - what could start as a tender moment can become tricky and that's real. But that they were able to stop it from becoming a real fight and turn it around speaks to who they are - I think they lost a little of that in season 9 (well, the writers made them). I see what you did here pointing it out the butterflies - Nice.
One of my most favorite things in writing Pam and Jim is to to give them some depth beyond rehashing what we know of them from show (and that's why I was concerned about the use of too much head on show stuff) to show how they talk, yes in their banter which is fun but also in their learning about each other from stories from their past to how they deal with their feelings, to what excites them. I try to bring it out more and more with each chapter/story I write. I still learn things about my husband and he from me an we've been together more than 20 years.
Excited to share more really soon. Excited you are along for the ride.
Date: November 17, 2020 04:23 pm Title: The Butterfly Effect
YAY! The Bar Mitzvah story!
I love the flirting about Pam's happy to be home look and the little details about their life together - Jim being a blanket hog, their financial arrangements. Makes it all seem a little more grounded and real.
The debate about Jim's role is interesting - I was always struck watching the early Holly episodes by the idea that *Jim Halpert* was downplaying love at first sight, but I think you've given him a pretty good argument here. In dealing with Michael and knowing his history with women, throwing some cold water on this was probably the smart move for his future with Holly. And I tend to think Jim making a move early on Pam might have had disastrous results for their relationship.
I also do think it's true to the characters at this point that Pam is a lot more invested in Michael's love life than Jim... although it does strike me that Pam has also heard about the Michael-Holly relationship largely second-hand, as opposed to Jim who had a front row seat. Lots to think about there.
Anyhow, it's an interesting opening, introducing the theme of predestination to open a prior meeting story. Looking forward to seeing where you go with it. (Also wanted to recommend you tag this as a response to the prior meeting challenge: http://mtt.just-once.net/fanfiction/modules/challenges/challenges.php?chalid=32)
First can I say I love reading your reviews. You really have a way of highlighting what spoke to you in the story and showing appreciation for it.
Pam and Jim's story after getting together (and not the parts we see on TV for the most part) is the thing I was missing most after season 3 and what drove me to seek out and then write my own fan fiction. It really brings me joy to paint the picture of their relationship and I'm so glad you enjoy it.
Yes, I thought a lot about this - Jim himself fell hard and fell almost instantly but Jim knew how to deal with it - Michael did not. I loved in the show Jim's advice to Michael but it did strike me as a little hypocritical or perhaps self-unaware that he poo-pooed the idea that Michael could feel so strongly about Holly so instantly when he himself had the same reaction to Pam. I almost would go on to say that it was a good thing she was engaged. 1, it kept him from making too early a move, 2, he gave Pam the opportunity to compare and contrast and realize how wrong Roy was for her and how right Jim was, 3, they got to be friends first which builds a much stronger foundation and 4, it made fore better television.
Pam also has such a kind heart and and it's in her nature to feel for Michael in this situation, just as did for Dwight following his break-up wit Angela.
I'm so excited to share the rest of this story - when I had my breakthrough, aha moment writing it I couldn't keep the grin off my face from joy of how I brought it all together. Story is largely written just working through last little pieces. And I enjoyed being young again as I wrote the Then parts.
Thanks for the tips on the challenge part. Absolutely, I will.