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Squills 9/2/18 - 9/9/18



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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:43 am
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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!
What will you find here? Tons of interesting news about YWS, including but not limited to: articles about writing, art, and the world of humanities; interviews with YWS members; shameless plugs; link round-ups; and opinionated columns.
And where will all of this come from? Take a look at our fantastic creative staff!

CREATIVE STAFF

Spoiler! :


Editor-in-Chief
Aley

General Editors
EternalRain
concord

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Literary Reporter
LadyBird

Community Reporter
Neptune

Poetry Enchantress
Aley
alliyah

Resources Reporter
BiscuitsLeGuin

Storybooks Status Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Writer's World Columnist
elysian

Anime Maniac
Kanome

Social Correspondent
EternalRain

Code Master
concord

General Reporters
BiruKun
shaniac
TheWeirdoFromBeyond

Ghost Reporter
ShadowVyper
WritingPrincess



Of course, our content can’t come only from our staff. We also depend on you to help keep Squills successful. You’re all a part of a writing community, after all. If you’re interested in submitting to Squills, pop on over to the Reader’s Corner to find out how you can get involved by contributing an article or participating in other Squills activities.

Well, that’s all I have for now. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:46 am
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TALES FROM THE AIRWAVES
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written by EternalRain< PM: >

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It’s here! The radio show Ghost Man/Sea Fever directed and produced by @Elinor is out… and, well, if you haven’t watched it, you’re missing out!

Ghost Man, written by Elinor and adapted by @Dreamy,follows the story of an actor post-car crash and how that has affected his life. @soundofmind, @scribbleinks, and @LadyBird are the voices of some of the characters. Ghost Man is absolutely chilling, and the voices and sound effects bring so much life to the story!

Sea Fever, written by @Evander and adapted by @Kale is the story of Noah, a determined boy drawn to the ocean. @Mea, @TheBlueCat, @scribbleinks, and @Holysocks are part of the cast!

Each story has exceptionally well done flashbacks and sound effects that makes it seem like you’re actually there.

While there’s no picture to go along with the words, there’s none needed - the combination of the script, the talented voices, sound effects, and beautiful music creates two completely beautiful stories.

Here’s what others have to say:

@shaniac says:



I loved it! The characters and the entire plotline was pretty great. It also kept me on the edge of my seat! I loved it.



@Arcticus says:

The voices are so well done, the soundtrack and the changes in the soundtrack with the changing scenes are gorgeous, the FX is gorgeous, the mood of the scenes and the tenor of the voices is so well aligned. It's an audio movie in all respects.






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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:47 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: SIRENCYMBALINE
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written by WritingPrincess< PM: >

Another week, another Featured Member. This time, it’s @SirenCymbaline, who’s been on the site since 2011! I was able to catch them for a quick interview.

WritingPrincess: What was your first reaction when you found out you were Featured Member?

SirenCymbaline: I read the headline two or three times to make sure I was seeing it right. I kinda just thought of myself as doing things in my own pocket and forgot that people exist in the same world and can actually see what I'm doing.
Hehe, it looks silly when I write it down.
I also didn't really think what I was doing was that important, so it was a pretty nice surprise. I was glowing for the rest of the day. XD


W: That’s great! What do you think earned you the title?

S: This has probably been my most active year in the community. I haven't put out any new writings out for the longest time, but I've been reviewing and roleplaying a lot more.
It does confuse me a little, cos there are other reviewers and roleplayers out there who are a lot more active than me. Maybe I do a good job in those fields. Maybe I've just grown on people that much. Hehe.
That said, I'm planning on doing even more reviewing in the future, among other things.
Stay tuned for when I start running roleplays as well as playin' 'em!
I'm also playing around with the idea of writing a guide to writing better SB/RP character profiles. Feel free to bug me about that, peeps.


W: That sounds exciting! If there was one thing you could change about YWS, what would it be?

S: I'm overall pretty satisfied, the only thing I can think of that I'm legit annoyed about is how difficult it is to make images fit on my About page. >.<

W: That is annoying. What’s your favourite thing about the site?

S: Agh, how to narrow it down. Well, I'd start with how the points system incentivizes reviewing so that nobody is tempted to just post and post in their own little bubble and not review other people's works, while wondering why nobody is reviewing theirs either.
But like, damn, I've made so many real friends here, I owe a lot of my personal development to this place.
People are, for the most part, just friggin nice and helpful.
They don't have to be, if they wanted to they could theoretically just post writings and review but otherwise not talk to people, but it's kind of impossible to do that because reading and reviewing and helping people out just expands your mental world, and encourages connection in a way that's sort of unavoidable.
And YWS just hosts such a vast and varied array of interests and experiences... it's kind of impossible to put the effort in and not connect with anyone or learn anything.


Thanks SirenCymbaline for your time, and congratulations on earning the role of Featured Member!





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:49 am
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NEW MEMBER INTERVIEW
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written by TheWeirdoFromBeyond< PM: >

Every day, new people join our website, and some of them soon become one of the most active members. Their first impressions matter a lot and today, we will ask @Poppy a few questions about their time so far on YWS. They have done more than 10 reviews and are working on a novel idea right now.

Squills: Thanks for letting me interview you :D What are your thoughts of YWS so far?

Poppy: I love it so far! The first thought that comes to mind when I think of YWS (besides writing, or course) is community. I can already tell that YWS has a great community of writers! Everyone I've met so far has been very nice and helpful, making me feel very welcome. This positive impact has also increased my desire to write, because I feel like I will get good, honest feedback, which is always what I'm looking for.
I also appreciate how involved the mods seem to be in the general community. I got some welcome notices on my wall with helpful links, and a few questions on my writing, as well as some congratulatory remarks when I got my first star, and even help with plotting my novel! This was another great impact on me, again demonstrating the amazing community here.


S: Glad to see you like it so far. What made you join YWS?

P: Well, I was looking for a website to post my work on so it could be reviewed because before now, I would just have a friend read my work and give input. But I wanted more people to see what I had made, and more opinions since everyone thinks differently and has different views. So overall, I joined YWS for what its made for. Writing and reviewing! I figured I'd test it out, and if I didn't like it I could delete my account and look elsewhere.

S: Well, glad you found YWS :D What form of writing do you enjoy?

P: I enjoy writing novels - well, attempting novels. I must admit that I've never actually finished one, but it's a goal of mine to finish a novel at some point in my life.
My favorite genres to read are fiction, science fiction, and fantasy, so that's reflected in what I write. I most enjoy writing those three genres :D I'm currently putting together a novel called Pinewood Academy, a story that follows a sixteen year-old girl named Sophie Glenn, and her adventures within the school, along with some mysterious secrets she uncovers.


S: Sounds interesting. You have written more than 10 reviews so far. Do you think the reviewing system works well?

P: I do think the review system works well! I like how you can continue writing while you're reading so that you don't have to keep scrolling from the reading to reviewing. I also think the editing button is great incase I catch a misspelled word later on, or decide to change something I had suggested.
I think you could earn more than 100 points per. review (not including the extra 25 you get for reviewing something in the green room). Maybe adding 25 points for every 500 characters past 100 would be okay. I completely understand why there's a max. amount of points you can get, and the process of getting points to publish your own work makes sense, I just wish you could earn slightly more if the review is exceptionally long.


Well, that's it. Thanks again to Poppy for answering these question :D and please take your time to welcome new members to the site.





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:50 am
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SOME SUPER SERIOUS BUSINESS
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Written by LadyBird < PM: >

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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:51 am
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STORY LAYERING CONTEST
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written by WritingPrincess< PM: >

Over in the Contests forum, an exciting new contest, run by @TheWeirdoFromBeyond, has been born. The Story Layering Contest is where Weirdo will give you a kid’s story, for example the Thirsty Crow, and you will add more layers. To do that, you could add more description, or turn animals into humans, or turn humans into animals. You can do anything as it will be your story, but it must still follow the basic story line of the kid’s story you are given.
When asked what inspired the Story Layering Contest, TheWeirdoFromBeyond stated


I was watching a YouTube video where the YouTuber took a children's coloring page design (it was a digital painting). It was basically Rapunzel swinging in her hair, and she colored it like The Swing by Jean-Honore Fraganord. And I was like, we could do the same thing with writing.



You can find more information and even sign up for the contest here .





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:52 am
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POP CULTURE CORNER: INAPPROPRIATE SONGS IN KID'S MOVIES
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Written by LadyBird < PM: >

I don't know about you but I have watched a lot of PG and below movies. And I'm not just talking about in the past, I mean currently. Like I continue to rewatch movies from my childhood and beyond.

The soundtracks are the most interesting part as someone who studies a lot to do with music history. A particular franchise from Pixar that bothers me is Cars. It bothers me for a lot of reasons that are easily apparent to anyone who has ever heard the title or the seen the movie poster.
It wouldn't be Disney without a post apocalyptic world.

Now the soundtrack as it is, is actually regarded as a pretty good mixture and a way of exposing different music tastes. There's certain movies that I can still appreciate. Such as most Pixar branded movies versus most Disney classics, which are still holding onto those rape tendencies and overall misogyny.

Real Gone - Sheryl Crow
By itself, this is the most obnoxious "technically country" song I have ever heard but I love it anyways. It's obnoxious. I love it as a teenager.
But way back in 2006, it did not occur to me that the opening lines were:
I'm American made, Bud Light, Chevrolet
My momma taught me wrong from right
I was born in the south
Sometimes I have a big mouth
When I see something that I don't like

I realize that most children are not going to be paying attention during the opening scene for the 3 seconds it lasted. But really? Bud Light? In the first line?

Nah that doesn't feel like a promotion deal between the writer and Disney and the company.

This song is really like a guilty pleasure song for me and originally I was just going to write an article about guilty pleasure songs. Maybe next week...

But it opens me up to a bigger topic that I would like to cover more in the upcoming weeks. That's why this article is a bit of a test run.
To see if:
1. people are interested in the topic
2. interested in my commentary

So I would really like some feedback on this series and if you want to hear about me picking apart lyrics from movies only people under 6 or over 16 like...
PM link is above
everyone knows how to find me on discord.

~lizz





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:52 am
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A REVIEW MONTH INTERVIEW
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written by alliyah < PM: >

Review Month is finally here! That means Reviewers are getting ready for thirty days dedicated to reviewing. Over Review Month, we'll check in with different users who are participating to see what their experience is. This week we were able to hear from @BlueAfrica a RevMo veteran who has successfully completed Review Month in previous years and is planning on going for it again this year. Let's see what advice she has!

Squills: Why are you participating in RevMo?


BlueAfrica: I should probably say something about wanting to write more reviews or improve my review game, but it's really just this: I love me a challenge.

S: Do you plan on trying to complete 50 reviews or do you have a different goal?


B: Last year I think I did a hundred, but this year I'm focused on completing 50 - I'm back in school, with the most credit hours I've ever taken in one semester, and I'm also starting rewrites of the Chosen Grandma very soon, so I'd rather focus on that than double the RevMo.

I'm also completing the Team Tortoise Challenge and writing a review every day.


S: Good luck with your goal, it sounds like you'll have a lot going on! Do you have any plans or strategies to avoid Review Burnout?


B: It helps that I have a more reasonable goal this year, but also I think Team Tortoise is a good way to avoid burnout. It's less overwhelming to do just one review every day than to do five or ten at a time. Like, yes, it means reviewing every day, but your reviewing brain has time to refresh itself before doing another review.

Otherwise my strategy is much like it is for writing a first draft (or doing homework): push through the pain and do it even when you don't feel like it.


S: Anything else you want to share about your RevMo thoughts?


B: *Edna Mode voice* Go, confront the problem! Fight! WIN!

Thanks BlueAfrica! I'm going to keep Edna's words in mind as I go out to start reviewing. If you'd like more information about Review Month the information thread is here and then the RevMo club where you can find some RevMo banners and hear from other folks who are participating is right over here .

Finally, if you're participating in Review Month, whether you're planning on tackling 10 or 50 reviews and would like to share about your experience with Squills - send me a PM during September!





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:53 am
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DUELS OF THE REVIEWERS CONTEST
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written by EternalRain< PM: >

@Mea’s Duels of the Reviewers is a fairly simple, mildy strategic, and intensely motivating contest that pits you against another YWSer in a short term competition to write the most reviews in a week. Mea, who currently has 111,275 points (yes, that’s right) gives away a certain amount of points to the winner each week depending on the number of reviews they have written.

I managed to talk to Mea for a short little interview about some behind-the-scenes thoughts of the contest.

Squills: What inspired the creation of this contest? Or, what was your main goal of the contest?

Mea: So, what inspired the creation of the contest was pretty simple: I had over 126,000 points to my name and was really tired of having that many. (I got a lot of them from winning this contest called RED a couple of years ago.) Despite trying, there's no way I could post enough works or send enough gifts to get rid of them all, and I wanted to "spend" them in a way rather than just donating them in a lump sum to @freakforchrist or someone like that. I also wanted to help spice reviewing up a little for people, as well as motivate myself to review, so the idea for Duels of the Reviewers was born!

So the goal of Duels of the Reviewers is twofold: to encourage friendly competition and reviewing, and to get rid of all my points. At the moment, I'm down to 111,000 points so I'd say my strategy is working, albeit slowly. :P


S: Ahh, I remember RED! Anyway, I think DoR is a pretty creative way to hand out some points. Is it harder to manage than you anticipated?

M: A little, mostly because a week goes by fast, and if I'm not careful I'll forget to update things on time or remind people mid-week the contest exists. There's also not a lot of interest some weeks, so I have to try and make sure I advertise it well and keep tabs on who's a recurring participant and who is just signing up for one week.

S: Since this contest is all about getting oneself to review, what are some tips you have for members who need more motivation for reviewing?

M: Honestly, my best tip for giving yourself motivation to review is to find a novel you really like (or, if you review poetry, a user's poetry you really like) and follow it consistently. When I actually like what I'm reading, it really helps me be motivated to comment about what I liked and what I thought could be better. And personally, nearly all of my best YWS friendships have been formed primarily because I was following the other person's novel and/or they were following mine. You can get a lot more interaction and discussion about your review, and rather than feeling like you're shouting into the void, you know your review is appreciated. :)

Thank you so much Mea for the interview, and if you’re a bit stuck and need the motivation to review more or are in need of some extra points, be sure to check out the Duels of the Reviewers contest.





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:54 am
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STORYBOOKS
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written by TheWeirdoFromBeyond< PM: >

Being part of a Storybook is like a game for some and a way of collaborative writing for others. But whatever the case, it is always fun to work with someone new and create an excellent project.

Here are some of them which are going on right now:

The Dust City is an almost infinite city of wonders and of horrors, one that is corporeal and incorporeal at the same time. A place where the dreams of all the people around the world coalesce. There are so many places to see in the Dust City created from people's dreams, so the sky's the limit when making up places. Come visit it here: Defenders of the Dust City .

Gossip Girl is a blogger who always has the inside scoop on the scandals the teenagers in the Upper East Side (the most wealthy borough of New York) are always getting themselves into. She could be one of you, or not. Head over to know more and participate: Gossip Girl .

Eternal is a new storybook in the works, where the characters have been around since Ancient Rome, and they can't die. Every single of them woke as an adult, and what they are yet to realise is that they're the Gods of Ancient Rome. Check it out here: Eternal .

The InterGalactic Space Academy is a place where 12 year-olds from around the galaxy are chosen for the chance to learn how to pilot and defend a ship, how to build one, the history behind space and the academy, and many more things. Find the invite to join here: The InterGalactic Space Academy .

And there is, of course, the #supercoolstorybooks started by @Saen. Saen made a wall post a couple of days ago explaining this tag, saying:



I'm going to be using a new tag called #supercoolstorybooks in the very near future, and feel free to use it as well! It's a tag to promote the cool storybooks that your friends have made, especially if they're looking for some new writers and can't find any. You can promo the storybooks however you like, but just make sure to use the tag!



And there are more storybooks out there, something might catch your attention. It didn't? Create your own storybook. But remember to go through Storybook Rules & Resources before you do. What are you waiting for? Go join a Storybook .





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:55 am
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RIDDLE MASTER
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written by WritingPrincess< PM: >

Welcome to the first article of this exciting new column, Riddle Master. There will be 5 brilliant riddles included in this article, and if you complete the Google Form here before the next article of Riddle Master with the correct answers to at least one of these riddles, your name will be put into a hat and you will have a chance of becoming Riddle Master of the week.

And here are this week’s riddles:

What is the 8-letter word that can have a letter taken away and still make a word. Take another letter away and it can still make a word. You can repeat that until you are down to one letter. What is the word?

The more you take, the more you leave behind. What is it?

What has a head and a tail but no legs?

Name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, yesterday, today or tomorrow.

What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in one thousand years?

Those are this week’s riddles! If you know the answer to even one of them, fill out the Google Form here .





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:56 am
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WORKS IN THE GREEN ROOM
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written by TheWeirdoFromBeyond< PM: >

Even though review day is over, we still have a fair number of works in the green room that survived the battle. Majority of this are chapters and parts of different novels. And with LMS going on, this number is going to increase with every week. So, Knights of the green room and reviewers, we hope you will take your time to bring this number down.

Here are a few of the works that weren't reviewed during review day-

1. Short stories

2. Novels/Chapters

3. Lyrics

4. Article/Essay

5. Other

And this is not all, not even half, so head over to The Green Room and help decrease this number, and if you haven't already, check out Knights of the green room





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THE EPICS: SONG OF MYSELF 5, WALT WHITMAN
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written by Aley < PM: >

Welcome back to reading about this epic. In this first section I'm going to be providing links to the beginning sections of this saga so that you can go back and read ones you have missed. They will be in a makeshift table of contents at the bottom.

In this section of Song of Myself, we have a little more touchy language, so if you're feeling like you may not want to read about some potentially PDA, then I'd suggest not reading the spoiled section. The general gist of the section is a feeling of all-encompassing each other. Onward!

Song of Myself

    5
    I believe in you my soul, the other I am must not abase itself to you,
    And you must not be abased to the other.

    Loafe with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat,
    Not words, not music or rhyme I want, not custom or lecture, not even the best,
    Only the lull I like, the hum of your valvèd voice.

    Spoiler! :
    I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
    How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over upon me,
    And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,
    And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.


    Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,
    And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,
    And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,
    And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,
    And that a kelson of the creation is love,
    And limitless are leaves stiff or drooping in the fields,
    And brown ants in the little wells beneath them,
    And mossy scabs of the worm fence, heap’d stones, elder, mullein and poke-weed.

Analysis

There are so many ways to read this part of the poem that it's practically dizzy making. I mean, the most obvious is the literal: he enjoys relaxing with himself and loves himself and knows that he is of his maker and so are all other humans on earth, but there's another side of that too.

We could also look at this "you" as another individual. If we do that, then the first stanza is really kind of loving because it's talking about a soul mate. I think that's really sweet and I like that idea in this poem that during the time he wrote this canto, he was in absolute love with someone to the point of believing they were soul mates. Awww.

Another option is that the religious figure, God in this case, is the second person in this canto. After all, by the fourth stanza, it's clearly religious as it talks about the general belief in Christianity that all humans are siblings. Given that the country at the time of this writing was very religious, I think it is very possible that he's put this belief in because he was raised with it and that this is how he has been taught to think so it comes through in his transcendental commentary.

That being said, there's an interesting line considering what we know about Walt Whitman: " And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers," This line catches my interest because it seems to be shying away from what Whitman initially declared in the first canto about being completely open about everything since he calls women his lovers. While he might have taken women as lovers, from what I understand, they were not the ones he loved. So why is this here like this?

Or did he, instead, mean this as a case of a missing Oxford comma on purpose to avoid being labeled homosexual?

Given what he's said about men before in this poem, it's rather obvious that he's not entirely straight, so having this direct counter to that thought makes me wonder if he's catering to his highly religious audience more than he's writing his truth.

Which brings the whole canto into question. What if this was just written to please the audience?

I'll leave you to ponder that on your own.

Table of Contents
1. Part 1
2. Part 2
3. Part 3
4. Part 4





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Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:57 am
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DIXIE KITCHEN - ART OF PIE
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Written by LadyBird < PM: >

Want to learn about the art of pie?
Just look in the spoiler.

Spoiler! :

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Next week's topic: an argument about the proper way to make pecan pie, featuring angry Alabama person vs angry Georgia person.








We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
— T.S. Eliot