Chatterbox: Chirp at Cricket




Many people have seen the old Ultimate Guide to the CB, which I believe is highly useful for new or returning CBers. However, the old thread has 19 pages of comments, all full of useful information hidden amidst lots of “top” comments.

This version has all the information from the previous Ultimate Guide, AND the information from the comments, AND several new additions! It’s rather long, so I’m going to post it in multiple segments.

This guide is roughly organized in order of importance for new CBers, so if you don’t have a lot of time or don’t feel like reading through all of this, you can read as far in as you’d like, and you’ll probably get the most important information.


Admin (noun): The amazebubble people that run CB, post all are comments, and make this all possible! Three cheers to Admins!

AE (noun, abbreviation): Alter ego. An alternate name or personality that some CBers have and post as for a little fun or a different way of expressing themselves. They often post in bold, italics, or bold italics. Ex: Shifting Sands, Devil Owl, Puck. Note: AEs should be used in moderation and only on threads where it is appropriate.

CAPTCHA (noun): The little spam box at the bottom of a page when you submit a post or a comment. Some people name theirs and post what they see. Ex: Sir Galahad, Meox, Fruity. Fun fact: CAPTCHAs used to be four letters; now they are five!

CAPTCHAE (noun): A crossbreed between AEs and CAPTCHAs. They usually have a side having something to do with a CAPTCHA (like being able to transform into a common CAPTCHA form, like a cat), but are smart as an AE and can speak in normal letters AND Captcha. The only known CAPTCHAEs are Chilly and Hallia, and their owners have made a frequent point of asking them to stay that way (as the only ones) due to originality.

CB (noun, abbreviation): Chatterbox!

CBer (noun): Anyone who goes on CB. Ex: Ella Starburst, Jwyn, Agent Winter.

CB Reunion (noun, event): An event when past CBers come back and visit. The last reunion was on February 14, 2019. The vague plan is to have one every four years, so the next reunion would be February 14, 2023.

CBer Story (noun, activity): A story in which one person writes a story in which CBers are characters. Usually the writer will ask for applications to be in the story. 

Charrie (noun, shorthand): Character, often used in a RP. Ex: "Anyway, here are my charries." 

Chatterbox Rancor (noun): A virtual beast made up by CBer Shoshannah Lily, to explain why threads or comments sometimes just don't post. Basically, giving a virus a name and putting a collar on it. (I haven’t actually used this term before, but I’ve heard it around, and it was in the comments of the old Ultimate Guide, so I thought I’d include it!)

Charrie Sheet (noun): A sheet in a RP that one uses to introduce/create one's charrie. 

Impersonator (noun): Someone who posts as another CBer, often saying that they’re leaving. There have been multiple instances of impersonators on the CB, often leading to conflicts, hurt feelings, and general dismay. Don’t impersonate someone. We mean it.

OC (noun, abbreviation): Original Character. Any character that you invent, especially from a story or comic, and generally not including AEs or characters from RPs.

OP (noun, abbreviation): Over-powered or over-powering. When a character in a RP is super-powerful and it's not fun for other people to RP with them because they sort of can do anything and take over the RP. One example of an OP character could be in an Element RP. The OP charrie could have water, ice, frost, and be able to read minds. Sometimes it's easy to get carried away and not realize your charrie is a bit OP. The others in the RP can gently remind you.

RP (noun, abbreviation): Roleplay. A story in which multiple CBers participate. Each participant has a character which they create based on the topic and then everyone works together and writes a communal story from the perspective of their respective character. Usually written in first person, but it's not a requirement. Earliest known establishment: Dmboogie, 2009.

SI (noun, abbreviation, activity): Secret Identity. A game in which every player takes on a name usually based on a theme (for example, in a Food SI one might be Fried Chicken) and then tries to guess who others are and avoid being guessed. 

Ski Lodge (noun, activity): A type of CB story in which there is a secret murderer and all other participants die. Participants guess the murderer as the story goes on. Commonly written under an alias for added spookiness. The originals took place in ski lodges, but they do not have to.

Solo Write (noun, activity): A newer term for CB story. Basically, one person writes a story using characters submitted by other CBers.

Thread (noun): A page on the CB, listed in the areas of the CB.

Topping (verb): Because of a glitch in the system, the first comment on a new thread sends the thread to the back pages. To find it quickly, go to the section where you posted the post (e.g. CaC, Inkwell, etc) then sort the "Submitted by" column to most recent by clicking on the actual words "Submitted by" (usually twice is enough). To send the new thread back to the front pages, wait until the first comment appears, then make a second comment.  This is called topping a post. Anyone can top a post by making the second comment on the post. If the second comment is made before the first comment is visible, the post remains in the back pages. Additionally, if a thread has slid off the first page, people will post under the name “Top” to bring it back to the front. Contrary to popular belief, THE ADMINS CANNOT TOP A THREAD; they have no control over the topping algorithm. Some people have special topping names. Ex: Clovertop, Toppers Inc.


Who’s Top? Top isn’t actually a CBer! Anyone can post under the name Top, or a topping name like Toppers Inc, to try to move a thread back to the front pages. See “topping,” above.

How do you post a new thread? Or a new comment? In each area of the CB, there is a box in the upper left corner that says “Click here to talk ___.” This will post a new thread. If you’d like to post a comment on an existing thread, scroll to the bottom of the original text of the thread, right above where it says “back to the ___,” and click “Add new comment.” You can also reply to other peoples’ comments: just go to the bottom of their comment and click “Reply.”

How can you avoid having a “...” instead of a title of your new thread? Although there’s no way to guarantee avoiding the dreaded ellipses, there are a few common tips for avoiding it: A) When you begin a post, don't press enter and then start writing. In other words, if there is an extra space before your text it is almost certainly not going to have a title: the computer will look at the first line, see a blank line, and as a result put nothing as the title. B) Don't start with an emoji. The computer will most likely not know how to render it as the title. C) Perhaps you shouldn't write the first line of your post in bold or italics. Doing so has worked many times for CBers, but if you are cursed by the "..." it may have something to do with your particular computer not understanding how to analyze such text. (If you're copying and pasting a document, try deleting the title and rewriting it in the CB box—again, no symbols, bold/italics/underline!--admin)

How can you find an old thread or search the CB? If you know what the thread is called or what was discussed there, you can type the following into your search engine of choice: “ <thread name or keywords>”

That’s all for this segment, but I’ll post more as soon as this thread shows up!

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 2, 2020 - 1:43 pm)

(Ugh, I ended up with a ...? Whyyyy?)

Areas of CB

This Month: A center to talk about things from this month's issue of Cricket! (If you don't get Cricket, this one might not make sense.) Did you like the cover art? Want to know more about one particular author? Fangirling that you got into the Letterbox? This Month's the place for that! Lately, This Month has also hosted Floof Industries’ Monthly Check-Up, or MCU, and discussions for collaborative ski lodges and other semi-secret projects.

Chirp at Cricket (CaC): Supposed to be used for talking to Cricket, Ladybug, and all those other bugs. But nowadays we CBers fill it with silly games, sillier announcements, and other awesome and useful things! (Like this thread!)

Blab about Books (BaB): Well, the name sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Do you love books? (Who doesn't!) Come on down to BaB and chat, play trivias, and fangirl over y'all's fictional crushes!

Down to Earth (DtE): A place to talk about things in the world around you, like the presidential election, school, global warming, and anything else! You can also stuff it to bursting with the like of CaC's fare! Plus, a great place for surveys, chatting about NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), and announcements.

Puddings Place (PP): Those of you who read Cricket will know that Pudding is a theatre-loving firefly. Thereby her area is for anything and everything theatrical! Looking for audition tips? Loved that musical you just saw? PP is the place for you! It’s also a great place for poetry, art, and Ski Lodges.

Inkwell: The writing center! Looking for RPs? Solo writes? Need advice on a story? Stuck with writer's block? This area is full to bursting with creative people! The busiest place on CB!

Kyngdom: Kyngdom is hard to explain... to find out about it, check out the Kyngdom Academy thread, linked below.

Basic CB Etiquette

1. Use proper grammar and spelling at all times. 

2. Be respectful of the Admins! Try not to post long strings of “top” comments or multiple long comments in succession.

3. Be respectful of other CBers! For example, imagine you’re in a poetry or writing or art contest, and the person who’s supposed to judge is a few days behind on their judging. You can post gentle reminders, like “Hey, ___, I think you were supposed to judge yesterday.” However, try to avoid rude comments like “HEY ___ WHY HAVEN’T YOU JUDGED YET?”

4. There are two ways to reply to a thread. You can either click "Add New Comment" or "Reply." Generally, you should only use “reply” if you are replying to a specific person, complimenting them, or adding onto their thoughts. If you’re addressing large groups of people, adding a new thought, or pretty much anything else, click “Add New Comment.”

Roleplay etiquette:

1. If you join a RP, make sure to post frequently. If you absolutely are too busy, say you are dropping out and don't just drift away and assume nobody will care.

2. Obey the rules of the RP maker. Ex: If they say "no magical powers," do not make a charrie that has magical powers.

3. Avoid god-modding. This is when one "uses” another person's charrie. Obviously a little bit is necessary so that there can be dialogue and plot, but do not make huge decisions or events on behalf of another's charrie.

4. When you post, write a sufficient amount. "I fell off the stairs and broke my leg." is NOT an acceptable post. 

5. Okay, this is really important. (New CBers, pay attention.) Do not join a RP that has already started unless the maker says it's OK. If a RP is nine pages in, on page 39 of the Inkwell, and from 2012, don't join it!

6. Never forget about a roleplay you're in. Especially not one you've made. :)

Activities on the CB

ACG: Alphabet Category Game. The first person posts something that starts with A, the next person with B, and so on. Each word has to fit into a certain category.

Ask Admins: CBers ask Admins questions (often pertaining to Blue Moon Ice cream). Earliest known establishment: Susy, 2011.

Castle: A disturbingly complex thread where a CBer makes up and describes a setting (any setting) under a name that matches the setting, like Forest Maker or Tavern Keeper. Other CBers sort of make up a story taking place in that setting (basically RPing, but you don't have to fill out any sheets) while guessing the identity of the person who made the thread. Earliest known establishment: Spiffycat, 2019

Catch the Cookie: An activity wherein CBers steal a cookie from one another through various means of trickery, magic, distraction, and more. In the original threads, whoever had the cookie at a certain date won and was able to keep the cookie. However, some variants have no end date. These threads usually take the form of a short RP, except with CBers and AEs instead of newly created characters.

CBer Ball: Basically where all CBers get invited to a ball, and many people talk about the clothing they’re going to wear.

CBer Picturing: An activity in which CBers picture each other. May include written or drawn picturings.

CB Masquerade: A cross between a Ball, a RP, and a SI. CBers (and on certain threads, AEs) attend under a pseudonym and describe what type of mask they are wearing. They are intended to go at a slower pace than a SI, with the CBers or AEs questioning each other before guessing, but they can be at whatever pace the creator and participants wish.

Happiness Challenge: A thread in which you challenge yourself to post one or more things on this thread each day that make you happy--anything at all! In the end, you end up with a wonderfully happy thread. Earliest known establishment: September, 2017

Hink Pinks: A game in which one CBer posts a riddle, and another CBer has to answer it with a two-word synonym that rhymes. Both of the two words have to have the same number of syllables. Earliest known establishment: Silly Rabbit, 2016.

RR: Round Robin. Like a RP, multiple people work together on a story. However, more like a standard book, everyone takes turns writing "chapters", not necessarily from different POVs. For example, CBer A might write: Jane fell into the pit. Then, CBer B might continue: In the pit was a giant snake. Usually, the posts are longer than this; they are of no specified length.

Word game: A game in which one CBer posts a word, and another CBer posts the word that they immediately think of when reading the aforementioned word. Earliest known establishment: Eris, 2015. 

Helpful Links

Old Ultimate Guide thread: 

Clarification on rules for posting: 

All the reunion threads (see CB Reunion): 

Kyngdom Academy (see Kyngdom): 

10th anniversary CB video:

First Castle thread (see Castle): 

First RP (see RP): 

First Happiness Challenge (see Happiness Challenge): 

That’s the end of this section! I have one last section to post, but it’s shorter and less “useful” than the first two.

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 2, 2020 - 5:25 pm)

Comments from the Old Thread that I Didn’t Include (and why)

History of the “wars” and conflicts on the CB: There was a ton of discussion about the wars, mostly on pages 1, 4, and 6 of the old Ultimate Guide. I didn’t include this information for two reasons: first, most of the current and future CBers haven’t experienced these wars, and I think we should let the past live in the past; and second, because it would have taken up too much space, and this guide was already rather long.

Impersonator wars/conflicts: See above. The whole thing is very confusing, but basically several people were impersonated, in several different incidents, and lots of people were hurt. As I said above, don’t impersonate people. We mean it. (Icy and Owlgirl had a helpful explanation on page 7 of the old Ultimate Guide.)

Diversity war: See above. If you’re curious, a list of informative threads about the diversity war can be found on page 6 of the old Ultimate Guide. There’s also a list of informative threads about a second diversity war (?!) on page 10 of the old Ultimate Guide.

Soapbox: See above. This had to do with several of the wars/conflicts, which is why it isn’t included. However, in case there ever is another conflict, it might be useful or interesting to know about it; you can find Icy’s comment about it on page 6 of the old Ultimate Guide.

More activities established by CBers: Rose bud posted a list of activities established by CBers on page 2 of the old Ultimate Guide, of which I only included the ones that seemed most relevant and common. Nonetheless, if you are curious, you’re welcome to go find her list.

Abigail's Suggested-And-Totally-Unofficial Alter Ego Guidelines 

(Posted on the old thread by Owlgirl, in response to a discussion about the AE war… or the second AE war? I’m not entirely sure.)

Alter Ego: An alternate personality one sometimes reverts to usually to show a different side of oneself; i.e. sarcasm, nastiness, insanity.

a. Amount of AEs should be from one through three (1-3) per person. Recommended amount is 2.

b. Take time to develop your AEs. Create slowly. They're more fun to write for if they are developed and human. (On a similar subject, avoid OPness.)

c. Use common sense on which threads to bring your AEs onto. The subject is usually a good indicator, and the tone of the writing.

d. Read AE posts and get information about existing AEs prior to making one.

e. Be unique! Try to make your AE singled, separate, and memorable from the rest.

f. If you do not want AEs on a certain thread that you created, state it clearly.

Okay, guys, this is the actual end! Feel free to add any terms, tips, or anything else that I missed.

submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 2, 2020 - 7:14 pm)

I don't really want to be adding this, but I feel it is an important piece of CB history now, wether we like it or not.


Recently, there have been two impersonations of Kitty Cat and Nightfall. Nightfall is leaving, now.

They weren't leaving threads, though, and this is why it really got to me.

Kitty Cat and Nightfall are both nonbinary. One of the impersonations was saying Kitty was a jerk, which Kitty definitely isn't. They are one of the nicest people I know. The other was saying Night wasn't nonbinary and would prefer to go by different pronouns. This is not true, and Nightfall still uses they/them pronouns.

And I thought... wow, you're trying to kill someone's identity. Really and truly kill it. And that hit me so hard. Why? Why, why why?

It felt like the CB, our safe haven, our little bubble of kindness and creativity, was becoming less safe, less kind. Maybe I'm being dramatic. But it still really, really hurt.

It's our job as the CBers to keep our little corner of the internet safe, kind and welcoming.

We need to learn from this.

And it resulted in some discussion that made another CBer uncomfortable (she ended up leaving as well) and the banning of all talk of romance/love/orientation on the CB classroom on YWP and then a small schism of sorts where another classroom was made-

and it was just too much.

Too much drama, too much hate, too much stress.

We've moved on, we're rebuilding, but it hit me like a punch to the face.

Like everything I knew was not real, not right. So please. 

Let's just... be kind. We're better than this.

You don't have to agree.

You do have to be respectful.

Everything is okay now, I think, (except for the fact that two [maybe 3!] CBers are leaving--) but I don't want a repeat of this happening.

Ever again.

Even when I'm twenty years old and long gone, I still want this community to be what it is.

Welcoming. Kind. Safe. Creative. Random at times.

I love you all.


submitted by Luminescence, age 12, Atlantis
(November 30, 2020 - 3:59 pm)

as a non-binary person, it's really scary. i haven't been in the CB very long but i'm scared that once others get used to my presence something will happen. i'm so happy that others are dedicated to making CB a welcoming and accepting place. i hope one day, ALL people can feel welcomed by everyone. thank you to those who actively improve the CB by being kind and helpful.

submitted by kuromi
(December 2, 2020 - 8:51 pm)

Okay, I'm back, again.

I want to make sure that people know this:

If you're a new CBer, reading this, please don't feel scared for your safety here. This is our safe place and yours too. Everyone is welcome here. It doesn't matter what your orientation, gender identity, religion, ethnicity, and/or race are- you are human, just like the rest of us.

The most important thing about being part of this community is being supportive, and kind.

If you don't support the LGBTQIA+ community, you need to understand that a large amount of CBers here are LGBTQIA+ and you are not allowed to say hurtful things or invalidate their identities.

I don't think I need to explain how un-okay it is to say, "Hi, ____, person who I have nothing in common with and will be avoiding for reasons I can't tell you."

If you're not going to be welcoming, don't be welcoming. I can't make you be kind. But don't be outright unkind. That is not okay. But if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. If you don't have anything nice to post, don't post anything at all.

Please respect people's identities. Religion is not an excuse to hate. I am not religious, but religion is beautiful, in many ways.

But it is NOT beautiful to use God as an excuse to invalidate someone's identity.

And it is not okay to invalidate someone's identity, here or anywhere. If you don't feel comfortable with a concept, try to understand it. If you don't know much about the LGBTQ+ community, people here are going to be happy to answer your questions so long as you phrase them politely.

But this is not a place for hate or descrimination, and I hope you can understand that. 

So... I guess I'm saying this is a place where we support each other. Things happen, but we work through them, just like in real life. In the end, we're just like a giant friend group- the drama is a small part of the package. 

submitted by Luminescence, age 12, Atlantis
(March 12, 2021 - 12:54 pm)

lumi i never realized you posted this 

and i feel so sorry now because I WANT TO THANK YOU SM?? 

adding onto this, as (formerly) nightfall: 

being impersonated absolutely sucks. when ur being impersonated it's like someone's taken over your identity. 

and for those of you who don't care: it's technically identity theft which is technically illegal 

SO PLEASE DONT DO IT. it hurts a lot more than you think ): 

- th3mysticw0lf <3  

submitted by th3mysticw0lf
(February 15, 2023 - 10:54 pm)

'Often pertaining to Blue Moon Ice Cream.' Yeah, wow, you're right...

submitted by Cosme Nadia
(July 2, 2020 - 8:47 pm)

I copied the following from Mahriel’s thread explaining her new idea, Hotels.

A hotel is, well, a hotel. Like a Ski Lodge, it is (mainly) set in hotels, (though someoene may throw in the occasional motel or appartment, or resort) Ever heard of a dime novel? They were highly sensationalized stories that sold for a dime back in the early ninteen hundreds, suspensful mysteries and thrilling adventures abounded, and that is where I got this idea. Set in the 1920s, the time of the mafia and all those black and white detective movies, a hotel is a solo write in which the author is the detective, and all of the participants are the guests and employees of the hotel. It is centered around a mystery. It can be in a fancy hotel or a shabby one, use your imagination. In a fancy one, perhaps a baronesses jewels are stolen, or in a shabby one, perhaps a guest is murdered, (these are just ideas, and minimize the gore please) The detective can be a hired one, or one who is staying there and offers to help, or just someone who has an interest in detective work. one of the guests or employees is the thief/murderer/whatever they did, and he/she must be found before they get away (they can have an accomplice or accomplices)

submitted by Peregrine, age Many moons, The Aerie
(July 3, 2020 - 11:53 am)

Admins don't have control over the tops? Wow, then who does?

Thanks for making a new version of this by the way. I'm not exactly a new CBer, but it's always good to refresh CBer's memory about Chatterbox rules!! 

submitted by aqua, the Person
(July 4, 2020 - 9:47 am)

There’s some sort of algorithm that controls the order of the threads; I don’t know how it works, and I don’t know if the Admins do, either. It’s rather mysterious. :)

Neither Admin nor Webmaster control or understand it! The order has a mind of its own.


submitted by Kitten, she/her/hers
(July 4, 2020 - 1:32 pm)

So I have been noticing a lot of random posts or questions around the CB, especially in Inkwell. These posts clog the Inkwell and push down RPs, stories, etc. I am sure that this is unintentional, but for future reference, if you have a quick question, Chirp at Cricket is the best place to put it.

submitted by Mahriel, Graza
(July 6, 2020 - 1:31 pm)

Kitten! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! Something to add is that sometimes if you want to change something you wrote, or it posted twice for some reason, you can ask the Admins to change it and/or delete the extra one. 

PS. Please be polite to admins! They do a lot for the CB. Thank you admins! 

@Admin, I don't know if this is even possible, but could you rename this thread "The New Ultimate Guide?" I know this isn't my thread, so maybe Kitten has to ask, I just think it would be helpful, like more people might realize it's a guide. If you can't or Kitten needs to ask or something like that, just ignore this comment. Thanks! 

I already tried, but it didn't work. Sorry!


submitted by Luminescence, age XI, California
(July 6, 2020 - 3:16 pm)

Fixed it! Should be visible now.

submitted by Admin
(July 14, 2020 - 4:07 pm)

Everyone, let us strive to keep this thread topped!! It is super important!! Toppity top top!!!

submitted by Tophin, age Nudge!, Poke!
(July 9, 2020 - 10:28 am)

One more thing I'd like to add: DO NOT PRESS SUBMIT MORE THAN ONCE. If you do by accident something will come up and say "Your comment has been created," and "Invalid CAPTCHA token." This means that your comment posted once, and if you put in another CAPTCHA answer, it will post again. So yes. If by any chance your comment does post twice, you can ask an Admin to delete one, like I said above.  

submitted by Luminescence, age XI, California
(July 13, 2020 - 12:12 pm)