Monday, September 3, 2007
A Monster Fan Interview: Morgan
I haven't known Morgan very long but I am impressed with what I see. She is creative and is always hosting, planning, or thinking of new games to get people involved. She is also helpful, inspiring, motivating, and fun. Please meet Morgan.
1. When did you start watching Jericho? What made you want to watch?
Since I no longer own a TV set, we found out about Jericho in a rather round about way. My roommate [JRP's Doratea] was playing AoL's GOLD RUSH game. In one section, it asked a question in regards to this new TV show called "Jericho" on CBS. She watched a couple of episodes in order to get the answer she needed, and I was watching with her. By the time we got through the first four episodes, we were hooked and eagerly awaited the weekly show on Innertube. Doratea actually discovered the show before I did, but we're both big fans. I would say the first half of the season was just ending when I came into the show, but we watched and re-watched those first 11 episodes time and time again.
I guess what first caught my eye was the 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Jake's driving. I grew up with those big muscle cars, and never lost my love for them. Then I saw Gerald McRaney was in the show, and Pamela Reed. Both are superb actors, and two of my favorites. Thirdly, who could turn away after seeing the image of the boy watching the mushroom cloud? That was an inspired bit of advertising! Very eye-catching for anyone who grew up in the 1960s with the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War. I remember "Duck & Cover" from elementary school. Once I saw that image, I HAD to know what the show was about. From the name, I actually thought it might be a religious program like "Touched By an Angel." I'm so very glad I took a second look; I've loved it since the first episode.
2. How did the idea for Jericho Cooks begin? What will be in the cookbook?
JERICHO COOKS: Food for the Post-Apocalyptic World came about when I was going through my cookbooks looking for something, I don't even remember what. I happened across a "fan produced" cookbook for a STAR TREK club I belonged to once, and then a few more from other fan groups. I got the thought, "Maybe we should do one for Jericho." The idea percolated a couple of days, then I brought it up in front of some folks on Jeritopia. Greeneyes371 was there, and seemed to think this was a good idea. She said she'd helped create cookbooks before, so we started talking. Railroadbrat was also interested, and both seemed to think it a worthwhile project. We began to get serious about it. Sarork came in later on, and offered some great ideas, so we hi-jacked her into the Jericho Cooks Committee.
I must be honest and say most of the hard work on this project has been done by Greeneyes371. She's handled everything from researching printers and costs, to layout, to the webpage -- it's all been her hard work. I mostly came up with the idea and wrote a few things. She has been the backbone of the whole cookbook. I can truthfully say, without her there would be no cookbook.
There will be seven sections to the book: Back to Basics, Foods that Last, Outdoor Cooking, Recipes in Retrospect, Food Preservation, Nuts Recipes and Waste Not/Want Not. Most of these recipes can be made in a standard kitchen, with the exception of the Outdoor Cooking, which is designed for camping out. Many people donated recipes that literally cover soup to nuts, including some that use MREs as ingredients. We even have some Native American recipes. We're hoping the cookbook will make an interesting, fun addition to any collection. What makes it even nicer is all these recipes were donated by JERICHO fans. Even the NutsOnline folks donated a recipe! The cover art was designed by a Jericho fan, and we'll be including inspirational and other quotes from Jericho fans.
So, this cookbook is created by Jericho fans with the help of Jericho fans and made for Jericho fans. The website is www.jerichocooks.com -- check it out!
3. What do you like most about JRP?
Hard question to answer. I like lots of things about all the boards. With JRP, I have to say it's the actual, physical design which makes JRP my online "home." It's easy to negotiate, and I don't get lost. The design lends itself well to things I particularly enjoy, i.e., the Fan Fiction Board. The way it's set up, it makes it easier to keep stories and the comments separated from each other, and that makes it nicer for readers as well as writers. JRP members are another thing I like about the forum, although many of us are members of other forums as well as JRP. JRP has always had a warm, friendly atmosphere, sadly unlike I've encountered elsewhere in online communities. Let me clarify that -- other online communities meaning forums for other things than JERICHO. The JRP staff is helpful, like the staff of all JERICHO fan forums, and go out of their way to make sure things run smoothly. As a former staffer on JRP, I can truthfully say there's no such thing as a perfect forum, but JRP tries. All in all, I like JRP because it's easier for me to get around. I've been on all a majority of other Jericho forums, and I'm pleased to say the friendliness is universal. JRP hasn't cornered the market on warmth, but it's one of the friendliest places out there. Believe me, that's not to denigrate ANY of the other forums. I really like them all for various reasons.
4. You've started a lot of games like Trivia, BlackJack Hangman, and I understand more are on the way? What is your goal in providing these games for everyone?
The original reason I started Jericho Trivia was to boost activity on the JRP Season One board. Doratea and I were the board mods, and we wanted something fun for members, and something to get them more active. There was the Character Elimination game, but not much more. Since I had started re-watching the episodes, Doratea suggested I might want to jot down a few questions, then post them on the board.
When Jeritopia opened, I thought Trivia might be something fun for fans to do while waiting for the reruns to start. People enjoyed it so much, they asked for a second night, for those who couldn't make it on Saturdays. It sort of blossomed from there into the twice weekly Trivia games. I had also created a few Word Search puzzles and Anagrams for the boards, but they wouldn't translate well to a chatrooms. However, Anagrams and Word Scrambles did, so we occasionally vary what we do on Tuesday and Saturday nights.
There are currently three new games I'm working on for the chatrooms: "Jericho Jeopardy" (with help from Kestral; all answers have to be in the form of a question), "Blackjack Hangman" (which has a few bugs yet to be worked out; it's just like the old Hanman game) and "Whose Line Was That, Anyway?" (which should be premiering Saturday night; I post a Jericho quotation and players have to tell who said it and on which episode). I'm getting lots of encouragement from those who frequent Jeritopia, and I'll keep it up, as long as everyone's having fun. That's the whole idea -- fandom should be fun, and I'm going to do my best to see Jericho fans enjoy themselves.
5. You also have a blog at JRP. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
That's a totally new thing for me. I absolutely loved doing the old "Daily Inspiration" posts on JRP while I was staff, and really missed doing it after I resigned to become a JRP Rep for Coalition of the Willing. I was talking to someone on Jeritopia, and they suggested I give the blog a try. I was kind of hesitant, at first -- new things and all that nonsense! Then I re-read one of my own posts where I espoused change. I couldn't very well NOT do it after reading the words I wrote, so ... I jumped in with both feet.
Blogging isn't very much different than posting the Daily Inspiration, although I guess it's more public. I've never been one to hold back my opinions, although I strive to give as much respect and courtesy to others as I ask for myself. I think blogging is a great way to get new thoughts and personal opinions out there for people to read. It stirs the imagination and makes us think, which is never a bad thing. I enjoy writing in all ways -- fiction, fan-fic, poetry, essays, etc. -- so this is a chance for me to be heard. All writers enjoy knowing they have an audience, and having an audience makes me want to improve my communication skills. In a text-based medium, being understood is of primary importance. Without open lines of communication, things get bogged down. Blogging is a good way to keep those lines open.
6. What are some of the ways you promote Jericho?
I talk. I email my friends and tell them about JERICHO. I talk. I mention JERICHO when I'm in stores shopping, and there used to be a sign in the back window of my SUV. I got rid of that gas-hog, though, and haven't had a chance to put the sign up in the other car we have. I still write letters to CBS and their local affiliates, letting them know I'm watching -- and that I'm not happy to see JERICHO preempted! -- and that I will keep watching as long as JERICHO is on the air. It's nice to see neighbors and acquaintances here where I live refer to Doratea and I as "the Jericho Ladies." I'm also always trying to think up new ways to promote the show. Like I've started sending original word search puzzles with JERICHO terms to the local newspaper, and I'm looking into the possibility of advertising at the local theater. There are so many ways, it's hard to list them. Mostly, word of mouth is what seems to be working best here.
7. Do you believe fans should participate on all the Jericho boards? Why or why not?
I think fans should participate where-ever they feel most comfortable participating. Each of the boards has its own appeal, and none is any better than the other. Some are easier to negotiate, while others have a warm, friendly atmosphere. The CBS boards pose problems for some folks, which is a shame since that's the best place to find information about JERICHO. Thing is, everyone's different, and every forum's different. That's what makes it so great, having all the different forums. No one should ever feel they MUST belong to this forum or that in order to enjoy JERICHO fandom.
I think Jeritopia has worked wonders by providing a place for ALL Jericho fans to gather. It's a controlled environment, where we feel safe. The CBS chat board is open to the public, which is good and bad. It's a lot of fun, but they get "trolls" there. On Jeritopia, it's a little quieter, but you know the only people there will be other JERICHO fans. We get to meet members of other boards on a "neutral" ground, and there's no pressure to stand up for whichever board you prefer.
It's good to see all the different boards support one another -- which is as it should be. We all have one thing in common, and that's a love of JERICHO. Even as diverse a group as we are, that one thing binds us together. I have been involved with numerous fandoms over the years, and I can truthfully say a more caring, loving group of people I've rarely met. It doesn't matter which board you call home, if you have need, other JERICHO fans are there for you. I've found friends in JERICHO fandom I'll keep for the rest of my life. We're a strong support group, and it really doesn't matter which forum a fan prefers. JERICHO fandom has become a family.
7. Are you a survivalist? What would you like people to know about it?
Another hard question to answer. I don't think I'm a survivalist in all sense of the word. I don't dress in cammo or go train in the woods -- although I have done it. I was taught how to hunt, fish and camp by my parents, but I've never really done it in order to survive. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say I've probably forgotten a good deal of that. So, no, not really a survivalist in the truest sense of the word.
I do believe in being prepared, yes, and I've taken a few steps to make sure we're ready in case of an emergency. Mind you, I've nothing against people who stock up on things like medicines, non-perishable foods, etc., but it all depends upon how much things cost. I don't have a huge income, so we do what we can afford.
I also think there's a place for survivalists in this uncertain world. True survivalists may end up being important to the rest of us if there's a disaster of the JERICHO magnitude. I think survivalists will serve a great purpose then, and it might be best if we listen to them now. I know several people who I'd classify as true survivalists, and I've learned a great deal from them. However, I've some physical limitations which prevent me from being what I'd consider a survivalist; I couldn't, for instance, live off the land because I'm physically unable to do so. However, I have skills which will be useful, and might be able to barter with them for assistance. I'd like to think of myself as a "survivor," in that somehow I'll manage to get by. Hopefully, I'll never have to put that to the test.
Thank you for contacting me, and asking me to participate in the interview. I'm very flattered and humbled. The questions were thought-provoking and really made me sit down and look at why I'm doing what I'm doing. It was fun, and I look forward to seeing how other folks answer your questions. I've never been interviewed before, so this was a totally new experience for me. Thank you for the opportunity, and I hope I haven't made TOO many typos!!