rebecca mckenzie

Steven Universe Podcast Volume 3: Episode 1: Heart of the Crystal Gems

[Please note that the previous two Mini Recaps were also labeled Volume 3 episodes 1 and 2, so I don’t know what numbering system they’re using–just repeating what’s on the release.]

This is Volume 3, Episode 1 of the official Steven Universe podcast, giving some info on the new movie news, the recent Heart of the Crystal Gems arc, and lots of other tidbits from Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey. The official description:

Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey talk The Heart of the Crystal Gems and how the big Pink Diamond reveal affected Steven and all the Gems! They speak to the return of Bismuth, how Rose has shaped Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl’s respective natures, Ruby and Sapphire’s big reunion and the importance of the “choice” they made, and they unpack the Batman/Bat Cave theory and the easter eggs they’ve planted in episodes for fans leading to its discovery. They share what inspired the storylines, and the road they traveled to reach this point. Rebecca and Ian also provide more details about the huge Steven Universe San Diego Comic Con announcements - “Steven Universe: The Movie,” and “Crossover Nexus!”

This one’s a bit long so I’ll do my bullet points of interest, with longer descriptions after the jump.

Highlights:

  • Rose’s true identity was an “open secret” in the Crew since the beginning, so sometimes it was hard for her to remember that much of the audience didn’t know.
  • Rose being overpowered was a common observation and the Crew knew fans had noticed that.
  • Rose Quartz was the person Pink Diamond wanted very badly to be, especially the aspect where she’s known as a caring person, but she struggles immensely to capture that sincerely.
  • There’s a “big piece” still missing as to why Pink/Rose acts the way she does, and they can’t reveal it yet.
  • Ian Jones-Quartey noticed, as the son of immigrants, that many immigrant families have members who go off and reinvent themselves in another country. He was bringing that to the story of Pink Diamond becoming Rose Quartz, as well as the idea that powerful and influential families can also have drama and baggage.
  • Rebecca’s first trip out of the USA was to Ghana with Ian, and seeing this other country where Ian’s family was influential was formative for her.
  • Ian thinks immigrants and their kids will relate strongly to aspects of the show, especially the Pizza family which is very closely based on his family (most notably, Nanefua as Ian’s grandmother and Kiki and Jenny as Ian’s cousins).
  • The idea of Steven going into Pearl’s Pearl was a very early concept–perhaps the third story they ever wrote for the show.
  • Another early story idea involved Pearl shapeshifting into Rose to see her again, and though they developed the title “A Single Pale Rose” for that episode, they didn’t use the idea of Pearl becoming Rose in her room specifically.
  • The Crew jokingly calls Rose’s secret armory “Rose’s Batcave” (presumably because of the giant penny–Joe Johnston’s idea–and other similarities). The cave is also based on the cave in Mask of Zorro.
  • Also, “Pearl is Alfred if Alfred was in love with Batman.” (NOT Bruce Wayne. An important distinction.)
  • Matt Burnett is fond of emphasizing that it’s important for the audience to never feel that big plot whammies came out of nowhere. You WANT some people to be able to say “I knew it!”
  • Amethyst is everything Rose wanted to be–free of expectations from Homeworld, self-directed in her aspirations.
  • Rose as a parent figure to Amethyst will make more sense soon.
  • Sapphire’s reaction to the Pink Diamond revelation was born of an intense feeling that she had been tricked and taken advantage of–something that shouldn’t happen to someone as perceptive as her, something she considers her responsibility to see. She feels Rose took advantage of the fact that she cannot see the past.
  • Ruby falling off a cliff in “The Question” was inspired by Rebecca driving her car into a ditch in the desert during her Joshua Tree trip with her brother Steven.
  • Ruby and Sapphire have changed a lot as people over the course of their relationship, and in this arc they had to evaluate whether their reasons for getting together were still in play–and they needed to learn to interpret their ability to stay together despite changing a lot as a strength of their relationship, not a weakness.
  • Bismuth as a character represents someone who has been deeply wronged by Rose–even as the ultimate Crystal Gem, she was punished for taking Rose’s rhetoric to its logical conclusion. She was meant to really make you wonder about Rose’s hypocrisy.
  • The story Garnet told in “Your Mother and Mine” was, of course, based on the stories Rose made up about Pink Diamond. Garnet never saw that person.
  • They’re not able to say more about the movie right now, but they’re glad news is out about it because they’ve been working hard on it for a while. Ian is back on the story team for this.
  • The cartoon crossover, “Crossover Nexus,” is about bringing that fun crossover experience Ian remembers from the 90s to the kids who watch CN today. Ian also really wants an excuse to have Garnet interact with KO, since he is essentially a weird mix of Steven and Ruby.
  • In “Crossover Nexus,” they will reveal a canon aspect of Garnet that has never been said before.

The detailed summary is below!

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Title: A Letter to Jake McKenzie (An Officer McKenzie fic, Slight JakexMC)

Follow along the audio post by reading Rebecca McKenzie’s letter here

Characters: Officer Rebecca McKenzie, Jake McKenzie, M/C
Word Count:
2746
Summary:
Rebecca thought he was out of her life for sure.  It’s been far too long.  Since he disappeared, she has mourned, stored away the memories, and moved on with her lifeThat is, until a glimmer of hope resurfaced into her life, reviving her determination to search for Jake again. 

Author’s Note:
The soundcloud audio and visual of the letter are just ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS!  You can still enjoy the fic without reading the letter or listening to Rebecca’s audio post.  The letter is in the story, just separated in chunks between Rebecca’s memories.  I just got really into this story so added a lil something extra. 

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Gone, gone, gone [Jake/F!MC(Taylor)]

Notes: Hello there. Endless Summer is over and I’m dead inside :’) I chose the third ending (sacrificing MC for the greater good), and I don’t regret it at all. I thought it was the perfect, bittersweet ending for this amazing story. Still, I felt like I needed to write something about it, maybe using this to cope with all that I’m feeling right now. I hope you enjoy it. Last but not least, the song that inspired this one-shot is “Gone, gone, gone” by Phillip Phillips, click the lyrics to listen. Without further ado, let’s begin.


You’re my back bone, you’re my cornerstone

You’re my crutch when my legs stop moving

You’re my headstart, you’re my rugged heart

You’re the pulse that I’ve always needed  


He had done everything he had always dreamed of.

He had survived the hell that La Huerta proved to be. He had returned to the States, something he once thought was completely impossible. He had found his long lost best friend Mike, and together they had proven Lundgren’s crimes and made sure he would pay for them.

They were free men now.

Mike returned to his family as soon as it was possible. Seeing the happiness in all of their faces, hearing the countless teary-eyed “thank yous” they offered, filled his heart with immense joy.

He brought their boy back, just as he had promised.

Soon enough, he found his own family once again. He was just reaching the doorway when his mother had ran toward him and hugged him with bone-breaking strength, crying into his chest and making him stumble slightly.

“Jake!”

His sister joined in a few minutes later, and the three of them stayed there for a while, holding each other close, as if they feared they would be apart again.

When they finally let go of him, they led him inside the house, where the rest of his family was waiting. They had invited everyone they could reach. Aunts, uncles, cousins, even some people he honestly couldn’t remember but that swore they were related to him somehow.

They had laughed and cried together, enjoyed a peaceful dinner and lots of stories from the years in which Jake hadn’t been around. He learned that Uncle Joey had started his own company, Cousin Lauren was now living in the Antarctica for research, and that Aunt Alice had divorced and later married the woman of her dreams, whom he met alongside with his youngest cousin Callie.

By the end of the night, he was in serious need of a breather. He slipped out of his mother’s house and collapsed in one of the rocking chairs placed in the backyard.

In the quietness of the night, all he could hear were the distant voices of his relatives inside the house, a few crickets around him, and soft steps approaching. He turned to see Rebecca taking a seat by his side, with a little smile.

“What’s the matter, Jake? Can’t take all that McKenzie loving all at once?”

She punched his arm lightly, playfully, and he couldn’t help but grin at her, shaking his head.

“You know I’m not one for sappy family reunions. But this was… nice.”

“Then why do you look like you’ve been hit by a train?”

Jake couldn’t see himself at the moment, but he imagined what she meant. He had to see his reflection in the mirror everyday, and the image of a tired, broken man was the one that greeted him. He grimaced slightly.

He almost never spoke about what happened in La Huerta with anyone outside the group that survived with him. But Rebecca was the only person he could trust with his life. Aside from Mike and… her, of course.

So he decided to open up a bit. It was the least she deserved.

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Steven Universe Podcast: Volume 2, Episode 8: Homeworld Gems

Season 2, Episode 8 of the Steven Universe Podcast, released March 15, 2018, is about Homeworld Gems. The official description:

Homeworld has a very rigid, conformist society, but was it always that way? Creator Rebecca Sugar and former Executive Producer Ian Jones-Quartey explain Gem culture and roles in Homeworld, why being different is taboo there, and why Off Colors are so important to the show. And, Co-Executive Producer Joe Johnston and Storyboard Supervisor Hilary Florido talk Homeworld design both pre and post-War, and how they set the stage for the Homeworld reveal. Plus, Erica Luttrell, voice of fan-favorite Padparadscha, explains her love of Steven Universe and her character’s wonderful ability to predict the future… after it happens.

Since as usual my summary is long, I will provide a highlights list followed by a cut which you can follow for a more in-depth narrative. Enjoy!

Highlights:

  • Homeworld’s defining characteristic is its emphasis on conformity–Gem type is expected to be a Gem’s identity and function, totally.
  • The role of Pearls as a servant class was a very early development in the show.
  • Pearl’s Homeworld designation as a servant–as well as Garnet’s status as a Fusion–was not initially shared with Steven, so these two relished having Steven develop his own relationship with them outside of the prejudice that comes with their respective statuses. However, when Steven does get more information about them, it doesn’t come with Homeworld baggage, so it also has the potential to bring them closer.
  • The Zircons have a sort of medium rank on Homeworld, serving the upper class but really having no individual power.
  • Holly Blue is based partially on a character from Funny Face who speaks the same way Christine Pedi does.
  • Rubies are ALWAYS sent in teams for their missions and would never be expected to accomplish anything individually.
  • The Rubies’ individual personalities aren’t really recognized because they stifle individuality in the presence of their superiors; “they would never be that cute in front of the Diamonds,” says Rebecca Sugar.
  • Homeworld wouldn’t recognize Ruby and Sapphire’s Fusion as “a Garnet”–it would be an unknown thing to them–they’d only recognize individual Garnets as Garnets.
  • Fusions of different Gem types are automatically Off Colors because they change from their initial color and function. Off Colors represent those who don’t fit into society and Ian Jones-Quartey really wanted to see them and their issues brought into the show.
  • Homeworld info is seeded slowly even throughout early season 1, which is another reason why, according to Hilary Florido, there are no true filler episodes.
  • Many presentations of Homeworld technology and background scenery were thrown in by boarders early on without an overarching focus, just based on what seemed cool.
  • The mural in “Serious Steven” was created before they had established the complete lore of the show. Rebecca had to revise the mural from a version Joe Johnston drew. The full story of what that mural shows us is said to be “exciting,” but they can’t talk about it until after we see some more of the show.
  • Era 2 on Homeworld is specified to be post-War. It’s a more rigid era than Era 1, with a sleek aesthetic.
  • Introducing Homeworld Gems is always a great opportunity to include exposition, especially when it can be shown through Homeworld Gems’ expectations and interactions instead of told directly.
  • Erica Luttrell thinks Padparadscha is hilarious and has trouble not laughing when she’s delivering her lines.
  • Erica loves the Off Colors and their loving relationship with each other, which is sort of a microcosm of the show overall with its message of love and support.
  • Next week: Fusions! They will discuss Stevonnie (bringing in AJ Michalka) and comic author Grace Kraft will talk about why she loves Opal.

You can read the detailed summary below!

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A Piece of my Heart (Jake x F!MC)

Based on: Endless Summer

Characters: Jake x F!MC

Prompt: “Could you be happy here with me?”

Warning: Strong use of alcohol. And ES Book 3 Finale spoilers.

Note: As requested by the wonderful @lahuertasprincess. This is written from Jake’s POV. A lot of angst, but there’s a tinge of happiness as well. Hope you enjoy it!

Disclaimer: All characters mentioned in the following fic belong to Pixelberry.


“Although our summer is over, another will come soon.”

I take a swig.

“When it does, imagine me there with you…spending our days on the beach…watching every sunset melt into the sea…”

I take a long swig.

“And gazing at stars that fill our hearts with wonder…Because with you is exactly where I will be.”

Almost ¾ of the bottle’s content disappears down my throat, burning its way through. If I thought that’d numb the pain.

I put the bottle down on the rough tarmac with a dull thud, and take a deep breath, letting the strong alcohol do its work. But as usual, while it certainly made my vision fuzzy, my memories remained intact.  I could still remember every last word, and every last detail of your face.

With a quiet groan, I lay back on the ground, looking up at the night sky. This is nothing like La Huerta. I can’t make out the odd constellations. No, the stars that adorn the sky above the parking lot of one of Shreveport’s emptiest dive bars is nothing like the ones from La Huerta, and it leaves a dull ache in my heart. Somehow, it makes it all the more real. It makes your absence real.

I often wonder if things would have been different if I had handled things better. Perhaps there could’ve been a way I’d be with you, then? Without my consent, my last memories of you flash across my mind’s eye.

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The Mundane

Disclaimer: Characters belong to Pixelberry.

Pairing: Jake x MC (Taylor)

A/N: I miss Jake… I don’t know how to survive till December :-(

I don’t know if I ever told you this but, I always dream of our future. I know its lame and corny, and you’d probably expect this from someone like Cap who has his head in the clouds about his bright future but, I like thinking about our years to come outside this hell hole we’re trapped in.

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To Forget

Author’s Notes: Jake’s backstory for the Choices Creates #36 theme, “Non-MC’s Past”, everyone! Again, hosted by @dopecatcollinsand @brittney-beaumont . I was struggling a lot to write this, which lead to writer’s block. But after talking to @ekushv to relieve some ideas, I managed to write this. Thanks, @ekushv ! 😊

Rated: T

Choices Book: Endless Summer

Character Introduced: Jacob Lucas McKenzie

Summary: He thought it was best for him to forget everything that happened, just so that he wouldn’t go through the pain of losing the people he cared about again. But Jake comes to understanding that it was never easy to forget and that those memories would always come back to him.

As a kid, Jake was always a loner and have a hard time getting along with other kids around his age. Most of the time, however, he would got into fights against those who would always mess with him, which lead him into getting bruises, scraped knees and elbows, and a busted lip. One time, he came home with all that injuries and was greeted by his younger sister who then asked in curiosity him what happened to him. He would always reply to her “Just a little dustup”, and go into elaboration of his recent event.

Despite being younger than him, Rebecca has a higher sense of maturity than her brother does and shook her head as soon as he finished his story, “Y’know mom is gonna get mad at you again for that.”

The brunette laughed at that response, “They deserved it. You should’ve seen what I did to them to back off.”

“Still won’t change anything that you would always get in trouble.” The red head replied.

“Gonna do something about it, lil’ sis?” Jake asked the younger girl.

Rebecca hummed. “Hmm. I don’t know. Nothing I guess, because I like seeing you getting yelled by mom sometimes. But maybe by the time we grow up, I could become a police officer so I can keep you out of trouble, big brother.”

The older kid snorted, “Heh, I like to see you try.”


Even during his times as a fighter-pilot, his lone-wolf personality remains. He still have a hard time connecting with the soldier-in-training in the naval academy. The only slight difference was that he always had to deal with this asshole commander of his, Rex Lundgren, who would always picked on the weak and made every subordinates’ lives living hell. But things in the navy aren’t always so bad. Hell, it was even more tolerable with his favorite bunkmate around.

“Got your ass kicked by Lundgren again, buddy?” Mike asked while skimming through a hard copy of The Lord of the Rings, his friend lent him.

“Doesn’t he always?” Jake exhaled loudly, imagining the commander’s face in the ceiling before flicking his middle finger in the air.

“Careful there, Grandpa. If you keep that attitude up, you’ll be sporting a gray hair soon,” the dark hair man joked. Jake smirked at his friend’s words.

“Again with that nickname, Mike. It’s startin’ to get annoying.”

“Don’t know, Jake. I like it better than Ben Barnes, so might as well get used to it.”

Both men laughed, even after Jake threw a pillow the bottom of the bunk bed where Mike was lying down at, only for the latter to block it with the book. The brunette had always wondered how his best friend can keep up with him, even with his sarcastic behavior that would always irritate almost everyone around him, but Jake had to admit he really like having Mike around.

However, those moments are never meant to last…


The sun blared right through his eyes, causing the pilot to opened his eyes while shaking off from those memories. As soon as he got up, he reeled over from the hangover he had from drinking the whiskey he had last night and cursed. Turns out that powerful alcohol did not do justice in relieving those memories this time. Both good and the bad.

Jake lied back on his hammock and closed his eyes, trying to get some sleep before his next flight. Three years had already passed since that incident and he is still on the run, currently residing in Costa Rica while constantly flying passengers across the Caribbean Islands and doing some other odd jobs. He tried to forget that horrid incident that costs his best friend’s life and turned his life into living hell. Jake did think about contacting his sister just to let her know that he’s still alive and that he wouldn’t come back home for a really long time…or possibly never. But he decided against it, fearing that he’ll end up putting Rebecca’s and their mother’s lives at risk.

There’s no doubt that this emotional scar from the incident will never heal. He did everything he can to forget those moments and continued to push other people away…just so that he won’t risk the pain of losing the ones he cared about ever again.

The map - part 10 - Endless Summer fanfic

<< First  < Previous , Next >

Summary: Aliester hopes that bringing Jake and Taylor together, would bring back their memories of each other. But their reunion doesn’t go as planned, and Aliester’s plan starts to fall apart altogether.


Author’s note: We’re in chapter 10! Could you believe? 

And it’s not even the end! I think i’m aiming for 15 chapters total, so five more chapters to go! Are you ready?? I’m so excited.

I apologize in advance for not bringing Jake x Taylor back just yet, but it’s worth the wait 😉


Rating: T for language, and the next part is much, much darker, so brace yourselves!


Tagging @endlessly-searching-for-you @mariamatsuo @endlessflame @writtenbycandy​ @diamond-dreamland @asprankle Comment on this post to let me know if you wanna be tagged as well.


Taylor scoffed loudly, startled by their rude guest who apparently knew Mike.

“Mike? You know this ass?” She turns around, making an annoyed loud step with her foot to make sure to point out how unhappy she was with him.

“Oh… My.” Mike’s jaw drops. “Jakey?” He doesn’t waste another moment, walking over to him and pulling him into a warm hug.

Jake hugs back, unsure how this could be really happening, but too happy to question it, at least just yet.

“I missed you so much!”

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Rebecca and Ian on Lars in the LotS Podcast!
  • He was not only planned to be pink, but it was an idea since Season One–along with his planned death. According to Ian and Rebecca, he was actually originally supposed to be part pink, like he would sport a pink tear or something of the like. The scar was the tradeoff.
  • Lars WAS PLANNED TO BE A SPACE PIRATE FROM ESSENTIALLY THE BEGINNING. Rebecca says all the way back in one of her old comic strips, she drew Lars in the background of a space bar as a space pirate and it’s a very old idea for the show that she wanted to incorporate.
  • He was originally supposed to die on Earth, but they wanted to incorporate that original idea of Lars eventually becoming a space pirate; he had to end up in space somehow!
  • Ian really wants to write stories on how Lars and the Off Colors got to where they are. A spinoff was suggested by Rebecca/McKenzie
Steven Universe Podcast: Volume 2, Episode 4: Pearl

In the second season of the Steven Universe Podcast, episode 4, released February 15, 2018, is about Pearl! The official description:

Pearl is the focus of The Steven Universe Podcast, and Deedee Magno Hall, who voices her, shares thoughts on her “Pearl-fectness,” and her relationship with Rose and Amethyst. Michaela Dietz (the voice of Amethyst) also joins to weigh in on that Pearl-Amethyst dynamic, and Pearl’s maternal instinct. Then, Supervising Director Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu stop by to discuss the very Pearl-centric (and Emmy-nominated) “Mr. Greg” episode! And creator Rebecca Sugar and former Executive Producer Ian Jones-Quartey offer all sorts of insight into the creation of Pearl - from her hair to her nose to her obsession with the past! And if you’re wondering if Pearl is going to get her driver’s license! Well, Pearl herself answers that directly.

This is very long because the podcasts are getting long (this one was almost an hour!), and I don’t want to skimp on the detail but I also don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much text. Therefore, I will open with bulleted highlights and include a more detailed narrative under the read-more.

Highlights:

  • Deedee auditioned for Sadie as well as for Pearl.
  • Deedee was worried about explaining the “running a red light scene” from “Last One Out of Beach City” to her kids.
  • Deedee sometimes receives phone numbers from Mystery Girl cosplayers.
  • Jeff and Joe were not surprised whatsoever when it was announced that they’d be doing a musical episode; it was basically “inevitable.”
  • The boarders’ ability to deliver something as big as “Mr. Greg” depended for its success on all the episodes before it infusing the conflict and resolution with authentic feeling.
  • Jeff loved storyboarding the “Sworn to the Sword” sword-fighting tutorials and especially likes when they get to drop snippets of the past through flashbacks.
  • Pearl was intitially developed to embody Rebecca’s “know-it-all” side in response to interacting with Steven.
  • Ian feels that Deedee was incredibly important to defining Pearl’s character.
  • Pearl was meant to represent the past, and eventually when they figured out how Gems from the past were supposed to look, they took cues from what they’d chosen from Pearl’s outfits.
  • Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl were developed based on a cube, sphere, and cone, with Pearl’s nose and up-sweeping cone hair helping to nail down her overall aesthetic.
  • Drawing the characters requires decisiveness in representing their shapes.
  • Pearl thinks she has very little power to affect others, partly because her low self-esteem leads her to believe she lacks the relevance to be influential.
  • Pearl doesn’t realize when she’s being selfish because she thinks she’s always doing everything for others.
  • Rebecca really wanted Pearl to counter a damaging message in kids’ media; lots of stories for kids encourage us to define ourselves through relationships with significant others and depend on them for fulfillment, and Pearl is what happens when you take that to its logical end.
  • Deedee, in character as Pearl, answers that Pearl has pulled the sword from the stone, once tidied up a huge mess involving popcorn, and may just wait for Steven to get a driver’s license instead of getting her own.

The detailed summary, including Deedee and Michaela discussing Pearl’s personality and relationships; Jeff and Joe discussing “Mr. Greg” and other Pearl elements; Rebecca and Ian discussing Pearl’s origin, characteristics, and character design; and fan questions answered in character …

Read it all below!

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