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Squills 12/16/18 - 12/30/18



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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:53 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
TheWeirdoFromBeyond

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
WritingPrincess
concord

General Reporters
BiruKun
Clarity

Ghost Reporter
ShadowVyper
shaniac



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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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: LIMINALITY
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written by EternalRain < PM: >

This week’s featured member was none other than @Liminality! Liminality has been here since August and has made quite the impact with their reviewing. They also have several poems and other works published. on ‘any other day’ . I had the pleasure of interviewing them about their reactions and thoughts of being FM!

Squills: Hello! A late congrats on FM. Squills, the YWS news, does a column interviewing the current featured member. I was wondering if you'd be up to answering a few questions?

Liminality: Hi, and thank you! Sure, I'd be willing to. :)

S: Sweet! What was your reaction to being FM?

L: I was really shocked, to be honest. It came completely out of the blue for me, since, as said by @alliyah in the FM thread, I'm rather new here. I was still kind of unsure as to exactly how FM worked, so my first thought was: hold on, am I qualified for this? (haha) Reading the thread and seeing all the comments were very heartwarming, though, and I felt really grateful for everyone's support.

S: What do you think earned you FM?

L: Well, I can't say for sure, but I guess it was for my activity in poetry workshops and other site activities. Although frequency-wise, my reviewing isn't the best (I've only done 18 so far *sweatdrop*), I try my absolute best to be helpful to other writers. Before I write a review for a workshop/ just normally, I take down copious notes on what I want to comment on and make sure to encourage the other writer at the end. I also read through what I write while kind of pretending to be the other person and see if everything sounds useful and concrete.

S: That's a really good way to review! Is reviewing your favorite part of YWS? If not, what is?

L: I wouldn't say reviewing is my favourite part of YWS. I think my favourite part of the site is more so the community. Everyone here is really friendly and being able to see so many people making progress on their craft together is a great motivational force.

S: Very true! I love the friendliness and support we have here on YWS. Do you have any advice for those who hope to be FM in the future?

L: I think the key is participation. I had a few weeks of really concentrated activity leading up to being chosen as FM (not that I managed to keep it up for more than those few weeks, unfortunately). Being active in the community and joining many different contests and workshops is really fun and helps you improve your writing skills.


S: That’s great advice. Thank you so much for your time! And congrats again on FM.


Another congratulations to Liminality who has been a great contribution to YWS thus far. And many thanks to Liminality for sharing their time with us today!





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:56 am
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YWS HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES CONTINUED
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written by alliyah < PM: >

Last week we covered the YWS Holiday events that had been released so far, you can check out those here . Here's the new Holiday events that were posted since last week. We have several neat events that might interest the Storybook and Roleplay Realm participants.

Holidayify Your Avatar
If you need your avatar decked out in a santa hat or maybe dusted with snowflakes, jump over to this thread then @Featherstone and @Magestorrow will help you out!

Holly Jolly Holiday Profile Contest
Show off your Holly Jolly contest by entering a screen shot of your profile, and you'll have a chance to win some points! This contest is judged by @TheBlueCat and alliyah and the deadline for entries is December 31.

Miracle on a Spaceship
Knight @LadyBird is calling all knights to the space ship, there's a lot going on. Gobblins, runnaway raccoons, and holiday decorating too! It's a classic tagbook style Storybook, so jump in if you'd like, and tag a few more folks to participate.

Hanukkah, O' Hanukkah
Featherstone is over in the roleplay realm leading a role-play story that's Hanukkah themed. @Saruka and Magestorrow are also getting in on the fun, but be sure to give it a read through if you're interested!

A Nightmare Before Christmas
Here's some more holiday action in the Roleplay Realm led by Magestorrow along with the Storybook Crew Pirates. It's festive and a touch spooky from the looks of it, jump over and check the intro page to learn more!

A Slightly Christmas Story
And LadyBird is running another Holiday Storybook, and I will use her words to describe it, because I think I could not put it as poetically:

LadyBird: "Silent night, holy night, something in the brig wasn’t right. Tender knights sing from heaven above, unholy hosts shout “harghhhh”. Sleep in between cups of coffee,..”"


And with that, I believe all of the Holiday Updates have been covered! Definitely checkout the events covered in last week's issue too, if you haven't! And enjoy your Holly Jolly December YWS!





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:57 am
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STORYBOOK COVERAGE
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written by concord < PM: >

Hello Squills readers!

I wanted to stop by and go over some interesting Storybooks that have popped up since the last time we did some searching through the tab.

First, one all the way back from September is Vint Cerf Academy by @ChristenedPages!

If playing a teenager attending a high-tech academy interests you - jump on over to that link to submit a CP and get to know more about what type of story this is about!

Next, 365 Days as a Monster Hunter by @Rydia!

If you’ve ever wanted to be a Monster Hunter (either human or monster) or a normal human aware of monsters - this is the place to be! Go ahead and click on that link above to be able to make a CP and learn more about this neat idea!

Two Storybooks in need of lots of characters are the following:

The Asylum by @Bellarke

This is all about teenagers learning about each other's’ secrets, possible powers, and what their new location of an asylum really means. Click on the link above to learn more about what possibilities a character could have, and where the creator wants to take this SB!

and The Martyr by @AmadeusW

This is described to be similar to a Stephen King novel taking place in a fictional Russian town. Click on the link above to learn more about the unique location, the Martyr himself, and any ideas the creator has for this SB!

I hope one of these caught your eye, but if not, there are plenty more Storybooks to check out in the tab!

Have a great holiday!





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:57 am
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NEW MEMBER INTERVIEW: INTERSTELLA
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written by EternalRain< PM: >

This week’s new member interview is @interstella! Ever since joining on November 30, interstella has contributed to YWS by posting works and reviewing others. She has done 10 reviews so far, gaining her first review star! I thought it would be a great to get to know more about her and her journey to YWS.

Squills: Hi there! I'm one of the editors and writers of Squills, the YWS news. I was wondering if I could interview you for a new member interview.

interstella: Of course you can interview me!

S: Why did you decide to join YWS?

i: I joined YWS because I was looking for a platform to share my writing and get some constructive feedback. I also wanted to meet some like-minded friends.

S: That’s awesome! You definitely joined the right place. So far, what has been your favorite thing about YWS?

i: I like the sense of community- how everyone is so encouraging to one another. The general environment is just very friendly and positive.

S: What kinds of things do you like to write - poetry, novels, short stories? Are you currently writing anything now, and if so, what?

i: I enjoy writing contemporary fiction, especially for the YA audience. I like a blend of romance and fantasy, whether it be in my novels or short stories. 100-word stories are a favorite of mine, because it's a fun challenge condensing a story arc into a small package. When I write, I like creating unconventional protagonists- ones who are not pretty or handsome or special. This is because I rarely see people like myself in YA literature.

I'm not working on any long-term projects right now, but my most recent one was a novella called Once Upon a Time. It was a sequel to a county-wide contest winner called The End- a very meta tale in which the protagonist fights off the deadly Writer's Block alongside the personification of her muse.


S: Cool! It’s great that you’re including characters in your stories that you don’t see often. Have you read anything on YWS that has particularly interested you? Why did you like it?

i: I read a piece by @erilea about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse personified and modernized. The descriptions were top-notch and the message was really powerful- it implied that the horsemen walk among us today.

S: And my last question for you is: how did you come up with your username?

i: My username is just my name (Stella) combined with the word interstellar. Though I sadly lack the mathematical and science skills to understand it, I've always been fascinated by space and what may be in it.

Thank you so much to interstella for sharing a bit about herself and her thoughts so far about YWS. If you would like to read one of her works, you can check out her most recent work, an 100 word story about trick or treating titled Halloween Night .





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:58 am
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TWO CENTS: HOBBIES
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written by Aley < PM: >

Don't ever let anyone tell you that your hobby gives you nothing and therefor it is useless, or that you should stop doing something because it is a hobby. Earlier this month, I had to do a persuasive speech on any topic I chose, and I picked talking about ways to destress. One of the easiest, cheapest, most versatile ways to destress aside from meditation was a hobby.

Studies have proven that hobbies can reduce your risk for heart disease, depression, poor performance in school or work, weight gain, memory loss, getting sick, and even getting sick. (Shape ). That's because hobbies reduce stress, and stress can increase a lot of different health problems. Stress increases our blood pressure, it can affect our sleep cycles, our self-esteem, just about everything. It can even impare our abilities to control ourselves (Neuroscience News ).

Self-control is an ability we have a finite amount of, like stamina, and as we use our self-control to stop ourselves from doing one thing, like snapping at that mean wanna-be chitin, we have less of it to do something else, like reaching for a twinkie. The article I cited above says "The scientists found that when individuals chose between different food options after having experienced the stressful ice bath treatment, they overweighed food taste attributes and were more likely to choose an unhealthy food compared with people who were not stressed." So let me set that up.

There are two groups of people. All people are trying to eat healthy. One has to stick their hand in an ice bath for an uncomfortable, or stressful, amount of time. The other does not. The ones who were not experiencing the ice bath thing chose good foods, the ones who had to hold their hand in an ice bath, chose bad foods. If you're a science person, you can read about the effects on the brain later in the article after the picture. They could actually see stress changing the brain patterns and reducing the person's ability to exercise self-control through scans!

So, here's what we know. Hobbies reduce stress. Just 30 minutes once a week of any hobby can help significantly reduce stress. Stress causes a lot of bad things emotionally, physically, and behaviorally (Mayo Clinic ). No seriously, go look at this list. Okay, fine, don't want to click? Look at this list! It's extensive.
    Common effects of stress on your body
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems

    Common effects of stress on your mood
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression

    Common effects of stress on your behavior
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal
  • Exercising less often

Obviously stress is not the only factor that can cause these, but it is one of the things that may help exaggerate the problem if it doesn't cause it.

Where were we? Oh, right, what we know. We know that stress is bad. It has a lot of things it can do to you. We know that hobbies can reduce stress. So why, no how can hobbies be too expensive or a waste of time?

Stress is a real problem not only in adults, but in children too. Studies are finding that more time on social media can create negative self-images because some people have a hard time seeing a picture of some supermodel and realizing that they don't have to be that person, or anywhere close, that the person in the picture doesn't even look like that person. They see the bathing suit models, the fashion designers, the bombardment of this alien-looking creature who is shown as a standard of beauty, and stress because they can't look like that.

But no one can look like that. If we have that type of stress in our lives where we are trying to live up to an expectation that is beyond the grasp of the gods, then for the love of all the pantheons, do not, do not, get rid of something that can help relieve stress just because it's too expensive, unpopular, or a waste of time. Hobbies are never a waste of time if they help you destress. Never. Stress kills, so if you have some magic way to get rid of it, do it, and do it frequently. No one deserves to be overstressed in their life. No one.

So this holiday season as you're on Christmas break, running around like a chicken with your head cut off to finish holiday preparations, or homework to go back to school, remember that the stress you're feeling needs to come out somehow so when you're back to school, you can control yourself, you don't overeat, you can sleep and feel rested, you don't vomit, you can get rid of those tension headaches, and feel good learning. The learning isn't doing the stress, it's all the rest of the junk that doesn't give you time to de-stress.

With that said, here's a video for a guided meditation if you'd like to check out another way to de-stress. Guided meditation . If you're concerned about letting someone guide you through a meditation, know that you're aware of everything the whole time when you meditate, in fact, you're hyperaware, but I've also gone through this meditation video myself, it's 15 minutes long, and starts out with a little preamble about meditation to set it up before he guides you through it. It's a pretty good one for anyone to try.





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:58 am
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POETRY PERSPECTIVE - MEANING AND THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
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written by alliyah < PM: >

You've probably heard of the classic short story "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Anderson. It's a tale of the danger's of self-deception, and believing your own senses. In the story the emperor parades around naked, but calls his "outfit" beautiful "new clothes", everyone is convinced that they must be mistaken about the emperor's nakedness so they pretend they can also see the clothes. This happens in our society in so many ways! Where people "go with the flow" because they don't want to contradict or offend, and aren't confident in their own interpretations of reality.

Now, these same problems, also very much apply to how we sometimes read poetry. There's this strange phenomenon, that I believe is started and encouraged by how we learn about poetry in school, where people are taught that poetry is difficult to interpret, and that only educated experts can truly understand and appreciate it. This causes a two-fold problem, first it means that people are often reluctant to tackle poetry interpretation at all! And instead may rely on just commenting on elements they think are "non-poetic" and "non-interpretive" like spelling, capitalization, and perceived rules. And second, when they do tackle poetic interpretation, they sometimes get what I'll call "The Emperor's New Clothes Effect". They think that if they don't understand the poem's meaning, then it's not because the poem doesn't have a meaning, but rather because they are too dumb, or ill-trained. So they either pretend that the poem is really great or they'll hedge their review with statements like "I'm sorry I don't get it, but I'm dumb/not good at poetry/ probably misreading it".

Here's what I think we should be doing instead. Don't fall for the "Emperor's New Clothes Effect". Boldly declare when you don't get the meaning, without apology or the assumption that you don't get it because you're dumb, because that can indicate a serious mistake in the poem's ability to communicate, which is important for the author to know. To put it in prose terms, if I wrote a convoluted sentence that was hard to follow and where it wasn't clear what the subject of the sentence was, the reader ought not think, "man I'm dumb because I didn't follow that sentence, but there must be a hidden meaning". Instead, it's alright to put the criticism on the author.

Hold poems to the standard of conveying meaning. In my opinion, which I stand firmly to, part of how good/bad a poem is, is its efficacy in conveying meaning. A poem should say something. That meaning might be a narrative/story, might be a feeling, or might be a moral, but the words on the page ought to convey something that is discernible to every reader whether or not they have any poetic education. If there is no discernible meaning to a poem, that is likely a serious issue with the poem itself rather than the reader.

What are your thoughts on this "Emperor's New Clothes Effect"? Do you disagree? Let me know in my Squills Author Page . I'd love to discuss this with any of you. And stay tuned for more poetic opinions. I'm going to go ahead and throw all the disclaimer's on this topic, in the next issue!





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:59 am
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A POETRY MOMENT: E. E. CUMMINGS "[LITTLE TREE]"
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written by Aley < PM: >

It's Christmas so here's a nice easy Christmas poem. Thank you e.e. cummings for always making poetry something that doesn't have to be analyzed. Just enjoy the moment.

Because this is a shape poem, I'm going to both provide you an image and text of the poem.

Now, onto the poem.

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    [little tree]
    [little tree]
    BY E. E. CUMMINGS

    little tree
    little silent Christmas tree
    you are so little
    you are more like a flower

    who found you in the green forest
    and were you very sorry to come away?
    see i will comfort you
    because you smell so sweetly

    i will kiss your cool bark
    and hug you safe and tight
    just as your mother would,
    only don't be afraid

    look the spangles
    that sleep all the year in a dark box
    dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
    the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

    put up your little arms
    and i'll give them all to you to hold
    every finger shall have its ring
    and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

    then when you're quite dressed
    you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
    and how they'll stare!
    oh but you'll be very proud

    and my little sister and i will take hands
    and looking up at our beautiful tree
    we'll dance and sing
    "Noel Noel"

I like this poem because it gets that mildly haunting essence of you're going to kill a tree to decorate it and love it for a while, but for a while it's the pride and joy of the house. This poem is also shaped like a tree.





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:00 am
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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

We love to run articles and questions, but we also love to advertise for you. Let people know about your new blog, a poem or story you’re looking for reviews on, or a forum thread you’d like more traffic on through Squills’ Shameless Plugs. PM @SquillsBot with the exact formatting of your advertisement, contained in the following code.

Code: Select all
Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!

And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!



That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





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Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:01 am
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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find an enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!
Spoiler! :

@SquillsBot@Carina@ShadowVyper@ArcticMonkey@Hannah@KingLucifer@Caesar@Veeren@megsug@StoneHeart@Skydreamer@Love@Aley@Rydia@Alpha@skorlir@KnightTeen@ChildOfNowhere@neko@Aquila90@DudeMcGuy@kayfortnight@Cole@Blackwood@manisha@fortis@Gardevite@cgirl1118@KittyCatMeow@Willard@ChocoCookie@carbonCore@Auxiira@Iggy@Blues@Paracosm@Sparkle@FireFox@Dakushau • @AlexSushiDog • @wizkid515@yubbies21@PiesAreSquared@FatCowsSis@CelticaNoir@BenFranks@TimmyJake@whitewolfpuppy@WallFlower@Magenta@BrittanyNicole@GoldFlame@Messenger@ThereseCricket@TriSARAHtops@Ventomology@Evander@WillowPaw1@Laure@TakeThatYouFiend@RoseAndThorn@Cheetah@NicoleBri@Pompadour@Zontafer@QueenOfWords@Crimsona@vluvswriting@GreenTulip@Audy@EllaBliss@eldEr@Deanie@lostthought@CesareBorgia@Omnom@Morrigan@AfterTheStorm • @BrumalHunter • @Arcticus@Wolfical@Pamplemousse@Sassafras@gia2505 • @BiscuitsLeGuin • @SkyeWalker@Noelle@elysian • @Tortwag • @kingofeli@SpiritedWolfe@malachitear@GeeLyria@AdmiralKat@Clickduncake@yellow@Seraphinaxx@Pretzelstick@WritingWolf@EternalRain@Tuesday@Dragongirl@JKHatt@Lucia@donizback@Querencia@BlueSunset@artybirdy@IncohesiveScribbles@cleverclogs@MLanders@ClackFlip@PickledChrissy@racket@Lorelie@Gravity • @BlueAfrica • @hermione315@Steggy@willachilles@tintomara138@AmatuerWritings • @Ithaca • @TheForgottenKing@Shoneja123 • @saen • @Mea@klennon14@fandomsNmusic@Meerkat@HolographicLadybug@Sevro@DragonWriter22@RippleGylf@amelie@Morrigun@Megrim • @outvaders • @StormCloud • @OreosAreLife@Saruka@rosette@PastelSlushie@Strident@darklady@Jashael@TheBlueCat@Thundahguy • @ZeldaIsShiek • @Lives4Christ24@manilla@Danni88@Elinor • @BiruKun • @TheWeirdoFromBeyond • @GodHatesShane • @shaniac@neptune@Storybraniac@WritingPrincess@Traves@JosephHGeorge@Amabilia

Do you, too, want to be enspoiler-ed and receive a personal weekly notification when the Squills newsletter is posted? Shoot a PM over to SquillsBot to let him know, and you'll be pinged along with the next issue!








"You're wrong about humanity. They are your greatest creation because they're better than you are. Sure, they're weak, and they cheat and steal and destroy and disappoint, but they also give and create, and they sing and dance and love. Above all, they never give up."
— Metatron