Old Firehouse Books Virtual Event with F.C. Yee and E.K. Johnston October 30, 2020 6:02 PM PT- 7:23 PM PT - Points on the Kyoshi novels and Avatar
The purpose of this post is to provide timestamps for various parts of the livestream in which F.C. Yee mentions anything that relates to the Kyoshi novels or his perception of the Avatar universe, along with lengthy summaries of what was said.
There were many questions from viewers regarding topics in the Kyoshi novels, some of them weren't answered since the stream wanted to avoid spoilers from the novels. The questions included the following topics.
Did Kyoshi's animal guide fox have a canon name? Were Chaeryu, Huazo, Chaejin and Zoryu Firebenders? What was Salai's gender and nationality, also how many years before Kyoshi did they live? Was Yun always intended to be the antagonist of the second novel from the beginning? Is Lao Ge still alive? Did Kyoshi teach Rangi the immortality technique? Was it intended for Hei-Ran and Atuat to have the dynamic they had with each other? How tall is Rangi? Did Jianzhu's fighting style influence the Dai Li?
Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/events/3672192772843180/
Length of the stream: 1:21:16.
(8:33-9:26) - F.C. Yee admits that there was a lot of pressure and that as long as he got the story and basic character arc right it would be fine. He relied on the fact that Kyoshi's story took place centuries before the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender as he could wave off potential errors by stating that they happened a long time ago, implying that the errors were nullified over time.
(11:09-15:30) - F.C. Yee admits that Michael DiMartino was open and flexible as his criteria were based upon whether it would make for a good story, he would gently push back on things that didn't make sense in the universe but other than that he was completely open to everything, the Nickelodeon editor was also receptive to ideas and pitches. Yee admits that he didn't stick to the planned outline as it didn't follow the mentions of everything in the outline. He mentions that after he implemented the first, few horrific deaths in The Rise of Kyoshi that he realized how much was at stake. Yee recalls that he and Michael DiMartino agreed that the novel would have the permission to be as dark as The Legend of Korra. Yee mentioned that the damage dealt by the bending in the novels was more gruesome such that it wouldn't undermine the tone of the story in the YA genre.
(16:35-18:27) - F.C. Yee admits that Kyoshi acts the way she does as an adult since she seems always seems to think about the people who were friendly to her and hostile to her, even her foes would always be there in her mind. She struggles with the influence of the people who were hostile to her, even the ones who were friendly to her. He alludes to Huazo, who Kyoshi believed at one point would have been a good political guide for her. The negative influences on Kyoshi are a test of strength, she is able to overcome the test by rejecting those influences. She also gains positive influences as she receives the maternal influence of Yangchen at the end of The Shadow of Kyoshi.
(18:42-19:21) - F.C. Yee states that for the events to make sense a sky bison would be necessary as transportation. F.C. Yee also mentions that he initially considered writing the second book to show the effects of Kyoshi having to deal with long road trips and how awful it would be with the absence of a sky bison, he determined that it wouldn't work and gave Kyoshi access to a bison to the second book.
(26:19-29:47) - F.C. Yee mentions that he wasn't given many lore sequences around bending in particular, he had conversations around what would make sense and what wouldn't. One example is how Toph is the inventor of metal bending and how there was no one before her who discovered the technique. Yee mentions that he had a conversation around lightning bending and how it should be approached, he states that the lightning bender in the novels, Xu Ping An, was not the inventor of the technique. He elaborates by stating that lightning bending was mythical as a few people could do it. Yee mentions that techniques would develop as knowledge becomes more widespread, that people would generally get more proficient at a discipline with Kyoshi being the exception. Yee mentions that when it came to bending techniques that did not appear in the show that he used the informational excuse, no one else uses the dust stepping technique outside of Kyoshi and The Flying Opera Company since it is a secret technique. He mentions that he derived inspiration for the secrecy of bending techniques from old kung fu media where the masters were greedy and refused to pass on their techniques to their students. Yee mentions that other spectacular bending feats were done by one really unhinged person that was a generational talent, he alludes to Yun. He states that Yun did not teach everyone how to bend the pigment out of paint or something like that as he emphasizes that it is exceptional. He mentions that he tried to foreshadow the spectacular bending abilities for Yun. Yee refers to the time when Yun confronted Tagaka and how he smashed his hand into an inkstone, the implication is that he accidentally self-tattooed himself with ink which is why his hand is always gray. It also confirms that Yun can control tiny ground up pieces of rock. Yee mentions that although Yun never taught the technique to anyone, someone in the future would think in a similar way that Yun had and that they might end up re discovering the technique.
(30:51-32:14) - F.C. Yee recalls that he once asked Michael DiMartino if a really talented Earthbender could bone bend. DiMartino stated it was not possible as it would take away the uniqueness of blood bending and then he said to Yee "What is wrong with you! Why would you do that!". Yee continued by asking what if it was a really bad villain, he was met with the same response.
(32:38-33:19) - F.C. Yee states that Kyoshi would save a lightsaber in order to intimidate people who were not already intimidated by her. He mentions that he implemented a scene that was a reference to Rogue One, this most likely occurred in the beginning of The Shadow of Kyoshi. The beginning of The Shadow of Kyoshi has Kyoshi pass through a hallway in Loongkau where she incapacitates Gung and Po before she holds Kuji against a wall.
(Edit 11/3/2020: There is another scene in the novel which could have been the reference, in the last half of The Shadow of Kyoshi. In The Shadow of Kyoshi after Zoryu makes his move, Kyoshi follows the people holding a Fire Nation Yun Impostor until she encounters skilled Firebenders. Kyoshi engages the Firebenders in combat within the Royal Fire Nation Palace. Kyoshi is able to withstand all of the Firebending attacks before she incapacitates all of the Firebenders.)
(36:53-38:24) - F.C. Yee mentions that Kyoshi was initially too afraid to bend since she thought she was too strong. Yee mentions that he tried to add script beats where Earthbenders had a moment of centering before they would start bending, he remarks that exceptionally skilled Earthbenders are able to bypass that moment. F.C Yee states that he wouldn't physically describe Kyoshi's fist moving across her face as that would take up the space of a page when it could be one out of twenty moves within a single minute of the show as it would not capture the fluidity of the bending in the show.
(42:20-44:14) - F.C. Yee states that he doesn't think there will be a third Kyoshi novel as he was contracted to write The Rise of Kyoshi and The Shadow of Kyoshi as that was the furthest the contract extended to with no knowledge of whether more novels would be a possibility. Yee mentions that if something happens down the road then there is a possibility for a third novel. Yee mentions that if there was a narrative arc for the first two novels and that it would be very, very challenging for someone to add to that in a cool way. Yee mentioned that if he was asked to do a third novel that there would be some talking about it as it indicates that he is uncertain about whether he would accept the offer.
(44:57-45:56) - F.C. Yee states that he doesn't own the rights to the Avatar story and that if he says something about the future of Kyoshi and Rangi that it would be no more valid than a fan speculating about the matter, making his response explicitly not canon. F.C. Yee mentions that Kyoshi and Rangi end up together happy as they have suffered enough through the course of the novels. F.C. Yee mentions that he does not specify details such as heights so that the audience can interpret the matter in a way that they deem to be favorable. F.C. Yee mentions that one of editorial notes that he got back asked "How tall is Kyoshi?" he left it vague by stating that Kyoshi's father figure Kelsang is an extremely tall man and that she is as tall as him, he also mentioned that Rangi is very tall by the height standards of a woman and that these details are good enough in his opinion. He mentions that he stated that Genie Lo was as tall as the Monkey Staff and that her height would be well over six feet, then he disregarded the idea as specifying heights seemed to restrict the imagination.
(46:24-48:06) - F.C. Yee states that Jianzhu's fighting style was meant to be Choy Li Fut Kung Fu, which is another southern style of Kung Fu as Hung Gar is a southern style of Chinese Kung Fu. Yee describes Jianzhu's fighting as taking the same wide stance as southern styles but that he acts very fluidly with his upper body as he whips his arms around in a flowing, fast manner. Yee mentions that there is a reference in the rock gloves that Yun uses and Jianzhu's tactical operations as Kyoshi passes that knowledge onto the Dai Li. Yee mentions that one of his headcanons is that when Kyoshi formed the Dai Li she gave them the secret orders to take out the Earth King if he gets out of control. He believes that it makes sense since the idea of the Dai Li protecting valuable heirlooms and artifacts was so they could be in close proximity with the Earth King, secretly watching him, he believes that would correct some mistakes in the character of Kyoshi.
(50:24-50:54) - F.C. Yee states that his favorite episode from Avatar: The Last Airbender is "The Ember Island Players" since it teaches one to not take yourself seriously as it shows that the creators understand their work well enough to poke fun at it.
(52:46-53:33) - F.C. Yee states that the point where he decides he was not going to stop watching the series was in "The Siege of The North" where Zuko is clawing his way between the frozen tunnels, he was surprised as he stated that "this kid is unbelievable", he decided that he would be in it for the long haul regardless of what happened to him.
(56:21-58:27) - F.C. Yee states that it was a lot of pressure and scary in some ways to have to write for Kyoshi in the Avatar universe he was afraid of putting something in wrong that would be set in stone. He mentioned that it was easier in the sense that he didn't have to make the reader care for his characters like he had to do for the Genie Lo novels as people already cared for the character of Kyoshi prior to reading the novels.
(58:55-1:01:15) - F.C. Yee states that it is necessary to focus on world building and character building and that one can sequence the narrative based on how many books there were. Yee recalls that at a Miami Book Fair he stated Lek's death occurred since if it didn't happen then the book would close out with Kyoshi being with her new family and she would not be the Avatar. He states that something horrific would need to happen to drive her away from her found family temporarily such that she could be the Avatar. Yee mentions that after the events of The Shadow of Kyoshi once she is done being the Avatar that she will be able to be with her friends and family as that is the arc over two books. Yee explicitly states that Lek's death happened since there were two books instead of one. He mentions that you end up making the same decisions while having the same amount of fun as it is just based out longer.
(1:07:40-1:08:11) - F.C. Yee mentions that there is an email form on his website and that it is possible to send questions about the lore that way, he also mentions that one can get in touch with publicity at Abrams as that is the best thing to do since they can handle things. F.C. Yee states that if one can find Abrams-Amulet, the imprint of the Kyoshi novels, that they will have contact forms on how to ask questions.
(1:15:49-1:17:10) - When asked about the possibility of artbooks for the Kyoshi novels, F.C. Yee states that authors do not get informed about art. He states that it is possible to ping an Abrams social media account and ask them or that one could visit their website to see if it is possible to make suggestions. He mentions that he doesn't have any say when it comes to whether there will be an artbook or not.
If any details regarding the Kyoshi novels in the discussion are missing in the post please let me know. I look forward to hearing your perspectives on this.
submitted by MysteriousExistence
Why I will never prepay for a subscription/membership box again
TLDR: don’t prepay for a subscription box or you may not get your items or your money back
Why I will never prepay for a subscription again…the story of one saucebox cosmetics subber.
In May 2018, while I was at the airport, I was in one of my facebook groups where the owner of saucebox was promoting a subscription. It would run for a year, early access to releases, and shipments every other month, for $175. Quite a lot of money. But throughout the year or so, I had heard a lot about saucebox and how wonderful the shadows were…The owner responded that it was full but a little while later, responded again to me that she created a spot, just for me. Awww. We were promised a value of over $700. The membership was supposed to last from June 2018-June 2019.
Our first shipment was the Nocturne palette, which is a sister palette to the Etude palette. This one shipped fairly on time, nothing spectacular that would cause me to screen shot it. I believe that one arrived June 2018. It did arrive with a pair of rock star lashes…which I donated because I hate wearing false lashes (user error).
The next shipment was the secret garden palette. I believed the gift in this was an eyeshadow brush. This was shipped to us in July 2018. Again, nothing too late or spectacular that would give me alarm. Shipments stopped…I can’t find an email or a reason in the group. In December 2018, we received 5 shadows and 2 blushes. I received them together, as the shipment of the shadows didn’t happen and so I received them along with the blushes. Sometime later, we also received 2 blushes. Talking with other membership holders, the shipment of 2 blushes was so insignificant, none of us can actually remember when it was.
During this time, the owner would post updates in the facebook group about products she was working on. During this time, we saw prototypes and questions for a face mist, face oil, liquid lipstick, bullet lipstick, and a face palette that is supposed to be a collab with a youtuber.
An email dated June 28, 2019 stated that they are assembling our shipments, and we will be receiving 3 items, two of which will only be available to membership holders.
An email dated July 10, 2019 stated that membership shipments are about ready to ship and the next shipment will feature a brush set plus another item, “either a face mist of a powder product, depends on which will get finished first.”
This shipment was received in July 2019 and was a sponge and a color switch. I haven’t used the sponge yet, but from talking with others, it really ate their foundation, but I do use the color switch frequently. That email also stated that the shipment of brushes would ship out in August 2019.
We were then promised a shipment of brushes in September 2019. Unfortunately, per the owner, the warehouse next door flooded their warehouse and all the brushes that were already packed were ruined…but don’t worry, she has 5 shadows for the fall she will send us! The email also stated that there is a new “item category” in October and November.
During this time, the owner kept posting updates about her sister brand she created—Moonslice. We asked if we would get those products, she stated no.
The latest update about the shadows is that she will ship them after Black Friday 2019. It was a complete joke when I received an email about the black Friday deal with the sister brand, Moonslice...when I haven’t signed up for emails from that company.
During this time, I’ve emailed customer service frequently, asking when the membership subscriptions will happen. Most of the time, I don’t get a response. I’ll post in the group, asking for an update, and I’ll get the “in the next 1-2 months” timeframe response. I recently received an email promoting her sister brand’s Black Friday deal…I was more than a little unprofessional, writing back “Oh hell no, I did not sign up for these emails and how about you fulfill your obligation.”
At one point, digging into Instagram and facebook, a comment was found from Instagram that stated they had 127 membership shipments to process. Just running off that number and how it was $175-that is $22,225 that was sent to saucebox for the membership. Typically, no refunds. There is one friend that fought for a refund after the shipments stopped and they told no, but continued to fight and received about $50 back.
Notice how the shipments really stopped after the 6 month timeframe…that is typically the longest that anybody can dispute a charge with their credit card.
Supposedly, we will have a couple big shipments and be totally fulfilled by the end of January 2020. I doubt that…we’ll see. At this point, I’m so irritated with the company that I’ve sold off majority of the products because they anger me to look at them. The good thing is that there a few of us that have gotten closer in the group and have a pretty significant fun and supportive group chat.
So, before you decide to prepay for a membership…please think twice. I was lucky enough with So Choix when it buckled to have my bank credit me money back...but it was within 3 months. I know my money is long gone and I should be accepting that it is and letting it go...I’d honestly have an easier time with it if the company just went under. I’m just tired of the lies and then the emails with sales and the new company.
Thank you for reading. This post has been a long time coming.
Edited to add: this document was written before Black Friday. I have waited in good faith to an email regarding a shipment. I received another email stating that the brushes are back in stock! In an unsurprising twist, they will be shipping in 1-2 weeks...ok. I have flat out emailed them and said that either the sub holders get our items or the review will be published on social media. And so here we are....
To recap: I’ve received 2 ten (or eight?) eye shadow palettes, 5 eye shadow singles, 4 blushes, 1 color switch, 1 pair of false lashes and 1 makeup sponge for $175 when we were promised $700 worth.
If our subscriptions are fulfilled by January 2020 like the owner stated, I will update everybody. I’ll give credit where it’s due.
submitted by crazycatlady82