NTMI: Good morning everyone! I'm here this morning with Potebrigitte, author of several articles and comics featuring her thoughts and humor. Welcome, Potebrigitte!
Potebrigitte: Glad to be here!
NTMI: Same here :-) So tell us, how did you find Neopets?
Potebrigitte: Well about 2 years ago I had a lot more free time (lol!) and a 28.8 modem. I was on the computer a lot but bored by slow loading pages so I decided to search for some kind of computer pet to entertain me while I waited. I found Neopets, which was totally archaic back then, and made my original screen name, readdwell.
NTMI: So you've been through several accounts since then?
Potebrigitte: Yeah, this one is my second main account, though I have a few other names that I barely, if ever, use.
NTMI: What prompted the switch?
Potebrigitte: I left for a while, about 8 months, when I came back I wasn't really a "readdwell" anymore, and all of my pets and items were gone anyway, so why not start fresh?
NTMI: True! So where did the name Potebrigitte come from?
Potebrigitte: Well my name is Brigitte, so that was the easy part, and since that was taken the "pote" prefix comes from PoteHamu which is this adorable japanese hamster, I have a PoteHamu coffee cup I use all the time. That's where PoteHamu5 got her name (1 through 4 were taken amazingly) and PoteGuineaPig.
NTMI: Quite a pattern :-) So what do you enjoy most about Neopets?
Potebrigitte: I really like that Neopets can be about whatever you want it to be, that its not rigid and that you can set your own goals to accomplish. It sets it apart from things like Pokemon, which I love.
NTMI: Very good point! So what sort of daily habits do YOU have in Neopets?
Potebrigitte: Oh my, quite a few. Aside from the normal things everyone does (random events), I feed all of my pets at the Golden Dubloon, donate NP to the money tree, take my pet and three trainees to the Laboratory, play Igloo Garage Sale, and do a lot of reloads!
NTMI: No wonder Neopets gets over a 100 million pageviews per day... and speaking of viewing, how did you find the Neopian Times and what started your contributing to it?
Potebrigitte: lol, yeah I'm more than a few of them. Well I found it on the news page, since it wasn't around when I first started playing. It was right after I got the Lab Ray for PoteGuineaPig so I decided to do an article. Little did I know Lab Ray articles show up on a weekly basis ;p But it got in!
NTMI: And you've gotten several more in after that! Where do you get the ideas for them all?
Potebrigitte: Well I stayed with the map thing for a little while, but after that I did the whole Neopian Guide to Better Living series which were basically me working through my pet peeves with the site. I was really surprised that they got in and that people liked them! Basically after the first few articles I wrote about things I really cared about, not wanting to get in or not, and I think that makes for better articles.
NTMI: Or, to put it another way, "if you don't care about it, why should anyone else?"
NTMI: And after you get an idea, how long does it take to write the finished article?
Potebrigitte: An hour probably. I'm an English Literature major in college which means that I read and write a lot more than the average Neopian so I think it probably goes faster than normal for me.
NTMI: Lol, a point, although you're not the first English college major I know from Neopets ;-) Somehow, they seem to wind up writing.... I wonder why... but be that as it may. Your article gets in and what sort of feedback do you receive?
Potebrigitte: I'm not that shocked, dorms have great internet connections, from what I hear anyway. The feedback I get it usually positive, I was flooded with neomails after my first article and my first Neopian Guide to Better Living. I actually got feedback on that series all week every week that there was one, which blew me away. When it was negative it was usually funny more than it was helpful ;p lol!
NTMI: Yep, better used as target practice than anything constructive :-) What about your comics? Did anyone let you know they liked them?
Potebrigitte: Yeah I got feedback from those, Josh actually wrote me back saying that he liked them and a lot of people said they liked the art or the theme of it. Too bad it takes so much time, where I take no time to write I take forever to draw.
NTMI: I'd take more than forever, since I don't do it! Will there be any more comics in the future? Or will we forever wonder what Pinky will be up to next?
Potebrigitte: lol! Well Pinky is quite a trouble maker so I hope to be able to write more comics in the future in that series but I'll probably wait until winter break to do it. Pinky was actually a gift from my boyfriend when Meepits first came out and she has been with quite a few of my pets since then. No pet says no to Pinkie!
NTMI: Forgive me for saying so, but that last sounds rather ominous. But back to getting into the Times... what would you tell someone else who was asking for advice about getting in?
Potebrigitte: lol! If Pinky could be one of my Neopets I wouldn't say no. Well my advice would be to try to write about something you really care about, something you love or hate about Neopets, to make sure no one has written anything similar recently because that will hurt your odds, and make it as interesting as possible! I think I read an average of 2 articles a week, plus Moo Strip of course. hehe
NTMI: But of course! As for those two articles... when you read them, what sort of faults do you usually notice most?
Potebrigitte: That they have inaccuracies in them, thorough research is so important with the Times. If I'm reading an article on the history of limited pets and, being around when they were released, know differently than what was written, it makes me take everything in the article with a grain of salt. This is really important in Battledome and pricing guides too.
NTMI: If it's not going to be factually correct, do a fiction story and be done with it, right?
Potebrigitte: Pretty much! Or an interview with whatever, which I'm not totally into myself but to each their own.
NTMI: At least you know, then. So in your NT career, what's been the best part about it all?
Potebrigitte: I've met a lot of really nice people through the process and that's really the best part, plus a few times people have told me that I've changed the way that they care for their pets and that means a lot to me too.
NTMI: What about the worst part?
Potebrigitte: Hmmm, not being accepted is no fun, I think the hardest part of it is the possibility of failing, but that should never stop anyone in my opinion.
NTMI: True. I once told someone, "what's the worst that could happen? Nothing!"
Potebrigitte: That's really true, it doesn't hurt to try!
NTMI: As you read and browse the Neopian Times, is there anything you notice about how it is organized that you would like to change?
Potebrigitte: Yeah actually, the Editorial section isn't an Editorial at all, its a question and answer. I would love it to be an actual Editorial where people could voice their opinions, positive or negative. I also miss the Guild Spotlight, I think that was really helpful to people, though I understand why they got rid of it.
NTMI: Letters TO the Editor, in other words?
Potebrigitte: Yes, precisely. But I don't think they will ever go for that, which is really a shame.
NTMI: Yes, it is, though I've noticed that some of the articles published would probably be more at home in an "editorial" column, so it's not like the users are totally shut out.
Potebrigitte: Not completely, but opinions that aren't liked never get in. I guess its just their way of keeping the peace, and as long as the real newspapers aren't like that I don't mind. lol!
NTMI: Lol and on the subject of publishing, what else have you gotten published on the Neopets site? Any other writings or drawings on there?
Potebrigitte: Yep, two pictures (1 2) of PoteHamu5 in the art gallery, which I'm proud of, but that's it. I'm not much of a poet, lol!
NTMI: I hear that. What about off Neopets- anything else out there on the web that's yours?
Potebrigitte: Oh and I did a Gourmet Club Guide on PoteHamu5's pet page that won the 163rd Site Spotlight, which was great. I keep a journal on diaryland too, but there's nothing about Neopets in there! lol :-)
NTMI: And what sort of goals do you have for your writing in the future?
Potebrigitte: Hmm, to get back into zines, which I've done since I was eight years old. I love the zine community and its definitely worth getting involved with. As for Neopets writing I might do another NGBL or two but that's all I have planned for it.
NTMI: Ok... normally, this would be the end of the interview, but if you have some further time, I've got another few questions I'd like to ask.
Potebrigitte: Sure, why not?
NTMI: I've noticed that adoption is important to you. What is the major reason to adopt, in your opinion?
Potebrigitte: Well the reason I got into it is when I came back to Neopets a year ago I looked up all of my old pets. Only one was trained more than I had trained it and none were painted. One was in the pound so I picked it up, after that I just decided that giving old pets good stats was something they kind of deserved, for being able to hang in so long, lol! So that's a big part of it, though I do adopt more young Neopets than old because there are more in the pound. My pet Neko_Kikyo was a pound rescue and I absolutely adore her!
NTMI: An interesting take! Normally, you hear about huge amounts of unwanted pets.
Potebrigitte: Yeah, its my own spin on it ^_^ the reason I let people adopt them versus keeping them is that everyone could use some help from time to time, and some pets are expensive. Plus even if the owner gets frozen, which happens a lot, the pet was at least no worse off. The only thing I don't like is when people surf the pound for painted pets just to collect them. Adopt Painted Pets Guild had more than one pet that they didn't train, which frosts me.
NTMI: So how many pets does your guild train/paint?
Potebrigitte: I think my guild is at 150 or something around that, I personally have trained 70 pets in the year I've been doing it, which makes me really happy.
NTMI: Do you know of and/or work with other people and guilds on this?
Potebrigitte: Nope, totally solo! I actually gave my guild, Plush Bus, away to a friend a mine who runs it now. So its more like I work with it, lol!
NTMI: Lol! Ok, that's about all the questions I had. Was there anything else you wanted to tell us?
Potebrigitte: Hmmm, no I don't think so... be nice to your pets and don't beg! lol!
NTMI: Always- ALWAYS- good advice hehe. Well thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me on a Saturday morning! Have a good day and maybe we can talk again some time.
Potebrigitte: I'd love to, I had fun!
Would you like to read all of Potebrigitte's works? Just click here to check her out in our database!