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Squills 05/09/22 - 05/23/22

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:34 pm
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SquillsBot says...


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!


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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.

You can apply to become a Squillian Journalist by submitting a sample article to SquillsBot today!

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:40 pm
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written by looseleaf < PM: >

You know her, you love her: @Stellarjay was our featured member from February 22nd and March 9th! Stellar is arguably one of the nicest people on YWS and definitely makes the site more positive with her presence. She played a huge role in the Randomosity chaos a while back and has left some awesome reviews on people’s works recently. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about her experience as featured member and on YWS in general:

Squills: Hey StellarJay! I'm a reporter for Squills and I was wondering if you would like to do a quick interview for our upcoming article

StellarJay: I would love to do an interview, thank you!

S: First off, what was your reaction when you logged on and discovered you were featured member?

SJ: I was so surprised and a little shocked! But after I got over those initial feelings, I was just very happy.

S: Nice! What do you think you did to become FM?

SJ: Well right before getting FM I was posting A LOT in the Randomosity forum. It was during the time when everyone was trying to get a record in most forum posts in a month XD. Those were some great memories!

S: That was fun! So, have you been participating in NaPo or Camp NaNo recently?

SJ: Sadly I'm not, though I was hoping to. But with school and all, I haven't been able too.

S: That's too bad. Besides those, is there any other activity you've been doing recently on YWS?

SJ: Yeah, so I've been participating in #21in21 which has been a lot of fun!

S: Oh cool! Finally, do you have any advice to people who want to become FM?

SJ: I think the best advice I could give is to just be very active, whether that's posting lot's of reviews or writing forum posts in randomosity!

While StellarJay is no longer featured member, you can wish her a belated congratulations on her wall or in her FM thread !

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:41 pm
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written by Liberty < PM: >

On the 19th of May last year (super close to their first year anniversary here on YWS!), a very special user joined our wonderful community. They brought along joy and kindness with them, along with the love of writing and collaborating with others. They’ve been super active on the site ever since their arrival, especially during LSS! (Last Ship Sailing - more information can be found here ) And what’s insane is that each post is supposed to have 1k+ words in it. Friends, that is pure dedication right there.

That’s right! February 7th’s featured member was… @TheMythMaster!

Squills: What was your initial reaction to when you found out you were FM?

TheMythMaster: I was mostly amazed, I wasn’t really sure what to think so I just tried to roll with it.

S: Why do you think you were given the title of FM?

T: Hmm, well the announcement mentioned that I was in LSS, and I’ve never done something like that before, it’s helped motivate me to do a lot more writing so maybe I got it for trying something new? Other than that I’m unsure. (Though I’ve heard so,e people think I’m funny >.> not sure what thats about)

S:What's your favorite part of the site and why?

T: Probably the way that nothing really makes sense and none of it has too, but at the same time the people on the site are creating incredible works of art.

S: If a newcomer were to come to YWS and its little community, what would be the first thing you would tell them?

T: If something is confusing for you, go ahead and ask questions, there are lots of people ready to help you.

S: Imagine someone came up to you and asked you how in the world you became FM and wanted tips - what would you say?

T: I’m not sure, but I think if you are participating in the site often people will get to know you better and then the reasons you should get FM will be noticed.

S: Anything else that you'd like to say? Any shoutouts?

T: My sister @LadyMysterio should totally have gotten FM by now.

Thanks so much for taking part in this, MythMaster, and congratulations!

If you’d like to check out the announcement thread, you can do so here . :)

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:43 pm
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written by alliyah < PM: >

I thought it would be fun to get to know some of the members of YWS a little better with some interviews, and at the time I had this idea just happened to be in a pad with one of YWS's most social writers, @Coffeeboyjay, so we sat down for an interview!

Squills: Hi Jay, I've just got a few questions for you today so that the site can learn more about you! First let's start out with how did you end up finding YWS?

CoffeeboyJay: how did I find YWS is that I always use to love writing poetry and write, so writing is my thing. I asked myself what can I find to post my poetry and write them so I came to YWS to see what is like so when i first joined a lot of people came to my wall and welcomed me so that made me feel welcome on YWS.

S: Well that's really great to hear! YWS certainly does have a lot of welcoming members doesn't it? So what is something that you've enjoyed the most about YWS while you've been here?

C: hanging out with you guys makes me feel so happy and also writing and posting my work and doing amazing things on YWS.

S: Great answers again, those are some of my favorites too. Do you have any hobbies you'd like to share outside of writing?

C: well i guess you guys already know that I'm in a play and I started from high school to be in theater arts so they been showing me more experiments on how to act on stage so they been showing me around the theater so they been giving me along scripts to read and so I got better at it and now they put in a theater place.

S: Well congratulations! That sounds like quite the endeavor, and speaking of big projects, what is your current main writing project?

C: I'm still writing poetry but im thinking of doing more writing like short stories or novels or either chapters that people will enjoy in YWS

Good luck with those projects CoffeeboyJay, it was great learning a little more about your involvement on and off the site. Well that's all we have time for in this interview, join us next time to hear more about YWSers near you!

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:45 pm
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written by Liminality< PM: >

If you’ve been in and out of the Randomosity forums, you will have noticed a flurry of activity almost on the daily. Much of it is thanks to the counting games. To find out more about how this new trend started, I interviewed two YWSers who have started their own numerical threads in the forums.

First up, we will hear from @Shady (also known as ShadowVyper, Vypy or VyperShadow) who started the Counting Game thread in February. Shortly after that, they also created the Baiting Mage Into Playing With Us thread, which introduced a twist to the game. Every post by Magebird would subtract 10 from the group’s incremental total. Shady talks about the inspiration behind the game and their experiences playing it.

Squills: Hi Shady!
This is Lim reporting for Squills! I've recently been catching up on the Randomosity escapades and am drafting an article on it for the YWS newsletter. Would it be okay if I asked you a few questions about how your counting game started? :D

Shady: Haha absolutely! Not sure how entertaining my answers will be but I’ll try my best ^-^

Sq: That's great to hear, and we'd love to hear from you regardless of entertainment factor :D From what I can tell, Counting Game was the first thread in this ‘series’. Is that correct? And is there anything that inspired the creation of that thread, and the ones that came after?

Sh: As far as I’m aware, it was the first! When Mailice and I were doing our binge, I was finding it tough to have enough topics to reply to since it’s kind of tacky to double post most of the time and also a lot of the threads are hard to do multiple posts in (like the describe yourself/work in ___ number of words or whatever). So honestly I started doing some internet searches for forum-based games and called in my evil twin @Vypy to help out with actually making the threads.

That one seemed like it’d be a hit since the Coffee vs Tea thread(s) were going like wildfire at that point. And I thought it would be nice to have something we could all unite around collaboratively rather than it being a battle like the coffee and tea was. Which reminds me I need to go vote for coffee…

Sq: Ah, I see! Collaboration is a fantastic concept! Do you think there is something that motivates you personally to make the numbers go up? Or is it the feeling of doing something together with a group of people?

Sh: I guess a bit of both! But, really, I get an odd sense of gratification watching page numbers go up. And this was nice because I also got to watch the post count go up real time in addition to the page count. Although I will say we started counting down at one point which was super sweet of everyone. I’ve got dyscalculia (basically numbers dyslexia) and we were getting to the numbers where my brain was having a hard time keeping things straight, so I warned everyone of as much and asked them to pretend I’d put in the right number even if I made a mistake and to just keep counting normally.

I was just putting it out there as a disclaimer/explanation and didn’t expect anything to come from it other than, hopefully, patience. But everyone was really kind and started counting down rather than up so that I could keep things straight in my brain. And honestly that also made me feel really, really nice that people were being so considerate of my disability. So I guess in that sense the power of community became a motivating force for me to keep playing.

Sq: Aw, that's really sweet! Thank you for sharing! c: Would you say you made any new friends through the Randomosity counting threads?

Sh: Oh, absolutely! Well, I suppose the friendships blossomed through the other threads more than the counting, since there was limited dialogue in those -- but I met @lehmanf, @AlmostImmortal, and @Phillauthet and they're all super cool, so I'm glad our paths crossed in Randomosity ^-^ Not to mention getting to know @HarryHardy, @ForeverYoung299, @ScarlettFire, and of course @MailicedeNamedy better as well! We had some really fascinating discussions throughout the various threads, about everything from writing and media preferences all the way through serious matters like culture and politics. It definitely helped me feel more connected with a ton of awesome YWSers!

Sq: That is wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for doing this interview, Shady, it's been great to hear from you :D

Sh: For sure! Thanks for featuring me — it’s been fun! ^-^

Next, we will hear from @Magebird, who started the Counting Game (Roman Edition) thread, where players had to count up using Roman numerals. She also plays a pivotal role as the number-subtractor for the aforementioned Baiting Mage Into Playing With Us thread. Mage talks about the inspiration behind her thread and the fun of counting games.

Squills: Hi Mage! This is Lim reporting for Squills. I'm currently working on a report covering recent Randomosity happenings. Would it be okay if I asked you a few questions about that? :D

Magebird: That would be definitely be okay! :)

S: Wonderful! My first question is, what is your relationship to Roman numerals? Was there something that inspired your Roman numeral counting game?

M: There was, actually! We were in the middle of doing the counting game, and I realized we had a lot of threads that had regular numbers in them. I also took Latin all through high school, so I thought counting in Roman numerals would be a fun challenge.

S: Wow, that's really interesting! And it is a fun challenge indeed. What motivates you to make the numbers go up? Is it the thrill of seeing how far you can go with your knowledge of Roman numerals? What about for other counting games?

M: Thanks! I think that's a perfect way to describe it. It's cool seeing how quickly I can remember the right Roman numerals. As for counting games in general, I like them because they're a fun way to see how many posts I can get in a month. I also hope I can see some of those counting games get all the way up to 99 pages. :)

S: That sounds like an excellent goal! Lastly, would you say you have made any new friends through the counting game threads?

M: Thank you! I'm not sure if I've made any new friends through those threads specifically, but I do think posting in Randomosity so much has helped me become closer with @MailicedeNamedy, @Phillauthet, @lehmanf, @Shady, and @ScarlettFire. :)

S: That's wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for doing this interview with me. It was great to hear about your counting game experiences :D

M: Thank you for interviewing me! :)

As of me writing this, the Counting Game thread is currently on page 73. Magebird is still managing to subtract the numbers on Shady’s second thread before they can reach 100. As for the Roman Edition of the Counting Game, they seem all set to reach page XXX! Will you join them on their quest to make the numbers go up? Head to the Randomosity forums, if you’re up to the challenge. (Don’t forget to read the rules on the first post of each thread!)

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:46 pm
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Written by Brigadier < PM: >

I'd like to briefly reflect, before letting you all survey my music choices, as to why I have changed my format for pop culture reporting.

Once upon a time, I would write proper reviews, long articles of recommendations, and some analysis of media. While it is one of my great passions to talk at length about music and the history of music, everything takes time. And at the moment, in my personal and professional life, I'm a bit short on time.

Also, once a long time ago, there was a popular hashtag on this site called "#songoftheday". I've decided to bring some song of the day sharing back to YWS by creating a playlist each week.

I encourage the readers of Squills to start using the hashtag again. If I see the tag come back into regular fashion, then I will start pulling these lists from the song of the day tag and give credit to users who made those initial suggestions.

1. Orange Blossom Special - Johnny Cash
2. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way - Waylon Jennings
3. The Crawdad Song - Andy Griffith
4. How Come My Dog Don't Bark - Buck Owens
5. Working Man Blues - Merle Haggard

1. Gentle on My Mind - Glen Campbell
2. All My Ex's Live in Texas - George Strait
3. Dooley - The Dillards
4. Four Wheel Drive - C.W. McCall
5. Guitars, Cadillacs - Dwight Yoakam

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:47 pm
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written by winterwolf0100 < PM: >

Hey Squills Readers!

If you ever decide to join a roleplay or ever have in the past, you'll have found that the first thing you have to do is create a character. Sounds easy, right? Not quite.

Character creating is different in roleplays than in regular stories, especially when working with other writers. You want to make sure that your group of characters are cohesive, have fun interactions, and are going to work as a combination of characters overall. It won't be any fun if none of the characters ever speak or interact because of the type of people they are. Creating a character for roleplaying is deceptively difficult-- and that's why I'm here to give you some tips!

To start off with, most roleplays offer a character template, so your first step should be to check it out! These are usually provided by the creator(s) and runner(s) of the roleplay in the opening description, and often come in a code box just like this:

Code: Select all
[b]Sexuality/up for love:[/b]





This is a generic example of a character template. Roleplays in the Roleplay Hollow may have an even shorter character profile, and other roleplays may provide additional things to fill out. For example, in my roleplay The Elementals, it was important to me that all the writers establish which element their character could control, so I included that in the character template. When joining a roleplay, the first important step for creating a character is to look at the character template provided.

After you've looked at the character template, you'll still likely have some questions. So, without further ado, here are some tips for creating a character for a roleplay:

  • Create a character others can interact with.
    If your character is silent, brooding, and never speaks up, how are you going to be able to get things done in roleplay posts? Sure, these characters can be very fun to read in novels, but when working with other authors in a roleplay, there is no "main character"-- they are all main characters. And as such, it is vital for the roleplay's life that all the characters will interact with each other. If you are going for a silent brooding character, add a twist-- maybe they don't talk to the others, but they do things that really annoy the others and allow opportunities for interaction. Or, alternatively, they can be brooding, but they're still open and loud about their opinions. Your character does not have to be a chatter-box to interact with other characters-- they simply have to not be completely silent. There is a whole spectrum in-between. Find where they fit!
  • Look at the other characters that have already been created.
    Unless you're the creator of the roleplay, chances are, there is already at least one other character to look at-- the creator's. Look at the other characters to draw inspiration, as well as to make sure that your character isn't too much like one of the other characters. It'll be no fun if every character in the roleplay has the same personality or physical appearance. If the characters all get along perfectly, how are they going to have some fun interaction? There's drama in all environments and between all types of personalities, and those dramatic moments are much more fun to read-- and write-- than everyone getting along perfectly all the time. Make sure your character isn't a carbon copy of another character that's already been created!
  • Ask the creator(s) of the roleplay questions!
    If you're stuck, let someone know! Reach out for help and ask questions! Ask about worldbuilding in the roleplay, what types of plans the creator has for the roleplay, and what sort of character might be helpful to add to the roleplay. Chances are, they have tons of ideas for some characteristics you could build a character around. If you're building a history and want to know if something is possible, check to make sure it is!

So all these tips are great. But--

Can I use a previously created character for a roleplay?
Absolutely! You should check with the runner(s) of the roleplay to make sure, but most of the time, any previous character you've created will work for a roleplay, as long as you adapt them to the roleplay and the situation. For example, if your character is originally elvish royalty with an attitude, but the roleplay you want to write in takes place in the real world, you'd need to adapt your character to fit. You might change them to the child of a famous person, but keep their attitude and personality. Maybe they're still royalty, they're just human now! The key to using a previously created character for a roleplay is to keep the personality the same, but change up their history to match the roleplay.

Does my character profile have to be really detailed?
This varies based on the runner(s) of the roleplay, but most of the time, you do not have to be extremely detailed. You should write how much you're inspired to-- in the end, remember that the character profile is there to help you. It makes it easier to write a first post, because you have the basic information on the character. That being said, the character profile can also be really helpful to other writers in the roleplay, so make sure you don't make it too vague.

How do I turn in my character profile?
Excellent question! This varies based on the form of roleplay you are doing. In the Storybook Sanctuary, you can turn your character in by looking at the far right column on your screen. There should be a section titled "Characters", and underneath it, the option to "Create New Character". Click on that, fill out your information, and once you've written everything in, you're ready to go! For Roleplay Realm and Roleplay Hollow, include your character template in spoilers using the code below in your very first post, and in the Out of Character Discussion, if one is provided.
Code: Select all
[spoiler]Character template![/spoiler]

Does this mean my character can't change while I'm writing?
Not at all! Characters are fluid and constantly changing. They change with events and their experiences, but they also change as you, the writer, get to know them better, and better understand how to write for them. Your character profile is the beginning of your understanding of your character in most situations, so it is completely natural for your character to change and grow throughout the process of the roleplay!

Can I go back and edit my character profile later on, or is it stuck the way it is?
You can easily edit your character profile at any point in the roleplay for storybooks. All you have to do is click on your character profile in the right column, and click the edit button! For Roleplay Realm and Roleplay Hollow roleplays, this can be a little trickier, but the main point in the process is to make sure your fellow writers realize you have changed something. For Roleplay Hollow roleplays, the character templates are usually very short, and it's unlikely you'll need to edit them at any point, but for Roleplay Realm and Storybook Sanctuary roleplays, editing your character profile is absolutely alright, as long as you make sure your fellow writers know, understand the changes, and that the runner(s) of the roleplay are alright with it!

And thus completes the process of character creating for roleplays! Have any questions about characters or roleplays in general? Feel free to PM me! Anytime you have a question, there are likely other people who have it too, and you could be helping someone else get the answer they wanted, but were too afraid to ask for. Stay tuned for the next article in our roleplaying series, and for now:

Write on!

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:53 pm
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Written by Brigadier < PM: >

As it stands, on April 26th, 2022, the Green Room contains 99 works. Of these 99 works, there are 29 works with 0 reviews and 70 works with 1 review.

This edition of the report concentrates on novel projects in the Green Room that have been sitting around for awhile.

@Liminality has several chapters in the Green Room right now.
(DRAFT) Miscreants: Inauguration - Chapter Six, Part Three
(DRAFT) Miscreants: Inauguration - Chapter Six, Part Four
(DRAFT) Miscreants: Inauguration - Chapter Seven, Part One

You can also read their story from the beginning by starting right here: (DRAFT) Miscreants: Inauguration - Prologue

@RaFF has posted The Epitome of Sorcery and describes the work as:
It is my first short story. To be honest, it is pretty dark. It will really help me if you review it. Thank you :D

@FruityBickel has begun posting on a new project with Calves to Slaughter // c01: Merry Moss Christmas, D-Bag and its description reads:
When renowned 'scientist' G. R Moss dies and leaves his manor up for grabs, his grandson Cole decides to throw himself into the fight.

The next multi-part project come from @ Messenger. This is the part currently in the Green Room, The Forgotten Fields - Part 4 , and this is the first part, The Forgotten Fields - Part 1.

@MaybeAndrew has a project that starts with The Fallen King: Prologue and has several chapters in the Green Room.
Chapter Two: The Fallen King, pt 2
The Fallen King: Chapter Three
The Fallen King: Chapter Three, pt 2
The Fallen King: Chapter Five
The Fallen King: Chapter Five, pt 2
The Fallen King: Chapter Six, pt 2
Fallen King: Chapter Six, pt 3

@NightengaleWriting has posted a short story called The Selkie &amp; the Lighthouse.

@inuyosha has a novel called King of the Court with several chapters in need of reviews.
King of the Court v2 [CH5]
King of the Court v2 [CH6]
King of the Court v2 [CH7]

@vampricone6783 currently has a few works in the Green Room. Check them out and maybe even give them a review.
Katlin’s story-Eloise the demented doll woman
Moira-The misadventures of a man named Lucifer
Nova-Clowns,Magic,Murder and Lies
Felicity-Clowns,Magic,Murder and Lies.
Ethan-Clowns,Magic,Murder and Lies
Angelita-Clowns,Magic,Murder and Lies
Maybelline-Clowns,Magic,Murder and Lies

Older members of YWS may remember @felistia's many works. They're back posting again with another adventure novel.
The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 32
The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 33
The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 36
The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 37
The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 38
The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 39

@Broady771 has started posting a science fiction and fantasy novel set on a planet called Green Zone 1.
Green Zone 1: Chapter 1

@dragonfphoenix has been posting a fantasy and humor with many parts.
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 69: &quot;The Sisters&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 70: &quot;The Chance&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 72: &quot;The Lizards&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 73: &quot;The Loss&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 74: &quot;The Staff&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 75: &quot;The Spoiling&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 76: &quot;The Underworld&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 77: &quot;The Avoso&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 78: &quot;The Ring&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 79: &quot;The Garden&quot;
The Many Gifts of Malia--Part 80: &quot;The Negotiation&quot;

@your_localdumbfrog has just started on a new novel by posting Huh..? Part One and A Half

@CyberGenji has posted a work in art that looks like it might be a chapter part to a new project.
XIV| Wolves: CH-I

@SalisRuinen has a fantasy and action/adventure project with chapters in need of reviews. The first chapter starts here with Chapter 1: Discovery
Iceflame// Chapter 7: The Family's All Together
Iceflame// Chapter 8: Crazy Home, Crazy School
Iceflame// Chapter 9: What's For Lunch?
Iceflame// Chapter 11: The Joy
Iceflame// Chapter 12: Meet the Elite
Iceflame// Chapter 13: Start the Change
Iceflame// Chapter 14: Song's Not Over
Iceflame// Chapter 15: At the Octohorn Ring
Iceflame// Chapter 16: The Challenge
Iceflame// Chapter 17: The First One

@Otterpop is actively posting on a supernatural novel. This is their first chapter Awakening Chapter 1: Chill
Awakening Chapter 19: Demand
Awakening Chapter 20: Attack

@MailicedeNamedy has a mystery/suspense novel with a few Green Room chapters.
LoaMR: Ch.XVII: The Past of a Writer 2
LoaMR: Ch.XVII: The Past of a Writer 3
LoaMR: Ch.XVIII: Collapse 1
LoaMR: Ch.XVIII: Collapse 2
LoaMR: Ch.XVIII: Collapse 3

Moving onto poetry, @typowithoutcoffee has some interesting works.
Which of us

Sticking with poetry, you should check out @pineapple321.

In direct opposition to poetry, @Kelisot has posted this is not poetry

Another poetry poster is @ride with &lt;A study on the property of words&gt;

@AyumiGosu17 has worked their way through writer's block by posting the 6th chapter of their science fiction and fantasy novel with Kagiso - Chapter 6

Another science fiction project is being posted by @VengefulReaper
The Lie that Saved the World Chapter 3

If you want action/adventure and fantasy and maybe another project about dragons (?), you can check out a new novel project from @Shady.
Among the Dragons - Chapter 1.2

Shady has also posted a poem about one of their characters.

They also have a seasonal depression themed poem.
shadows of my dejection

@MissGangamash is currently posting a historical fiction and fantasy novel.
Fool Without A Master (Chapter 16 Part 1)
Fool Without A Master (Chapter 18 Part 1)

Another multi-part short story comes from @Plume
Lady Alberta and the Missing Prince (Part 3)

Plume also has some poetry posted.
please do (not)

@AriesBookworm has posted a dramatic poem called Nightingale And Foxglove Part Two: It's Too Loud
This user has also started posting an action/adventure and fantasy novel.
Black And White: Prologue
Black And White: Chapter One
Black And White: Chapter Two

@nykolasandrews also has a dramatic poem.
It is described as:
begging for mercy

@Brigadier has posted the first chapter to a mystery/suspense and fantasy novel.
Chapter 1: The Irish Prayer
They've also posted another part to another project.
That Old Dream - 1.3

@PoetryMisfit has posted something interesting to the other category.
Indulgence of the Imagination
This is a speech I wrote and presented about how Studio Ghibli films indulge your imagination and have influenced me.

@Bita has begun posting on a new novel.
Our journey to happiness (chapter 1)
Our journey to happiness (chapter 1, part II)

@simpleJ has started a new project with an interesting premise.
A Viking's Home
Vikings plan to settle the western isles of modern-day Scotland, but will their desire for a new homeland be satisfied?

@fireyes has a narrative poem that could use a review.
can i really call her a friend when she's hurting people?

@Hawinay has begun posting a 4 part poem.
Conflict Me, My Sweet Memory Part 1
They also have another poem posted.
Puzzles and Papyrus

@GoodieGoat has a poetry compilation posted.
Poetry Compilation #2: Poetry Month Edition

@lehmanf has a narrative poem posted.
Born A Girl

@Via has posted Slip, described as
Relatable Poetry

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:54 pm
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written by alliyah < PM: >


Hi Squills Readers! Every year when May comes around at least the past few years we've celebrated on YWS with "May Haiku" or "May Haiku Month" - following up April's National Poetry Month, it's the more chill, more succinct cousin of NaPo.

To particiapte in May Haiku all you need to do is post a haiku or two on your wall during the month of May - you can aim for writing 5 or 7 or however many you like, we even have the hashtags #MayHaiku and #MayHaikuMonth to add to your posts! There's also of course the regular YWS Haiku Activity threads to get involved with like the Haiku Train which has really taken steam this year!

I want to give a few shoutouts to some really nice haiku poems I've already seen around the site!

Art flows without care
Drastic times across the seas
Sharing of the end


All along the path
Birds twitter and fly across
Their songs like Spring's waters


Clouds on pale blue sky,
slow drift as the butterfly
darts into the shrubs.


And lastly, I want to share a quick highlight of an activity going on throughout May that I'd love for you to join us in. Just like last year we are having a Community May Haiku Collection, as a way to bring together the poets of the site and put together a little snapshot of poetry for the month. You can read more about it at the Submission Thread and please do consider joining us!

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:54 pm
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written by Liminality< PM: >

#mayhaiku is upon us! Here is a fitting edition of our column that covers an important figure in haiku history. The ‘haiku reformer’ Masaoka Shiki was active in Japanese literary circles in the beginning of the twentieth century. Though his ideas sometimes attracted controversy, [6] he was nonetheless influential in preserving the tradition of haiku for the modern age.

What we call haiku today was once known as hokku. These poems used to be written as introductions to chains of poetry called renga. During the Tokugawa period, (around 1603 – 1867) Matsuo Bashō (the writer of that famous pond haiku ) pioneered the hokku appearing as its own poem, without the renga. [7]

As the Tokugawa period was nearing its end, however, the hokku was not taken seriously as a genre, seen only as an amusing court game. [5] In this time, Masaoka Shiki was born. He became well-known in Japan as a poet, novelist and essayist whose poetic criticism on hokku helped revive the genre.

Shiki reconceptualised the traditional hokku with a modern aesthetic. Radically for a poet in his time, he argued that hokku poets should turn away from Bashō as a model for their work. [4] In 1893, Shiki published a series of articles called Bashō Zatsudan that criticised the hokku of Matsuo Bashō. [4] This was not to say he dismissed Bashō wholesale, as he in fact admired Bashō’s work. [5] However, Shiki thought that there was more to the hokku of the past than just Bashō. Indeed, he had studied the history of this form in depth after dropping out of university. [4] Much of his reform involved rediscovering aspects of hokku that had often been disregarded, in his view.

In 1894, he published Haijin Buson, (Haijin meaning haiku master) [2], an essay praising the haiku poet Yosa Buson. Buson was one of Bashō's disciples. Today he is also recognised as one of the three great haiku masters. His work has been characterised as being more painting-like compared to Bashō's. [3] Shiki borrowed the term 'shasei', or "copying life", from contemporary realist painters in Japan, arguing that such a technique would avoid overdecoration or a lack of substance in poetry writing. To follow shasei was to write about what was immediate and 'real'. [4] Additionally, Masaoka Shiki began to use the name 'haiku' for hokku that were not introductions to renga [7].

Living at a time when Western literature was in vogue, Shiki wanted to show that Japanese poetic forms could present a breadth of themes, emotions and subjects. To prove this point, he published an essay called Haiku on Excrement, where he introduced 41 poems about faeces (amidst other things) written by haiku masters of the past. His argument was that with the right technique, even faeces could make a beautiful haiku. Naturally, he did not advocate making it the main motif of all one’s writing. [7]

Aside from that, this website gives examples of Shiki's poems that were not written according to the principle of shasei. Many date from his later years, when he was mostly confined to bedrest. Shiki had been ill with tuberculosis for much of his adult life. [4] During this time, he would write poems about things he imagined. As shasei was primarily meant to help beginner poets avoid overdecoration, its terms were held more loosely the more experienced in poetry one became, allowing a diversity in writing [7].

Many agree that Shiki's reforms were what allowed the haiku to survive the 20th century. [2] Shiki's followers published and maintained Hototogisu, which continues to be a leading haiku journal in Japan today. [6]

Now that you know the history, why not try your hand at #mayhaiku this year? Whether you are a haiku veteran or have never tried writing haiku before, Shiki’s dedication to promoting the form is certainly inspiring. If you post a haiku on the site with the above hashtag, please let me know on my Author’s Page. 50 points will be coming your way!

Spoiler! :

[1] Beichman, J. 1982. "Masaoka Shiki". Twayne Publishers. p.174.
[2] Isaacson, H. H. (trans.) (1972) Peonies Kana: Haiku by the Upasaka Shiki. New York, Theatre Arts Books. https://archive.org/details/peonieskanahaiku00masa
[3] Poetry Foundation. (n-d.) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/yosa-buson
[4] Poupard, D. & Person, E. J. (eds.) (1985) Twentieth-century Literary Criticism. Gale Research Inc. https://archive.org/details/twentiethcentury18denn
[5] Sterba, C. (2011) Masaoka Shiki: The Misunderstood Reformer, Critic and Poet. Suite 101 Online Magazine, republished on New Zealand Poetry Society website.
https://poetrysociety.org.nz/affiliates ... -and-poet/
[6] Trumbull, C. (2016) "Masaoka Shiki and the Origins of Shasei". Juxtapositions (2). The Haiku Foundation. pp. 87-122.
https://thehaikufoundation.org/juxta/ju ... of-shasei/
[7] Ueda, M. 1983. "Masaoka Shiki" in ‘Modern Japanese Poets and the Nature of Literature’. Stanford University Press. pp9-52.

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:55 pm
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written by alliyah < PM: >

NaPo came and left like a comet in the night sky; beautiful but quickly gone with the blink of an eye. This year we had some new activities available like @Birdman's Poetry Review Challenge and @Plume's Exquisite Corpse Event, we also had the ever-classic April Madness which was ran this year by @Seirre (with myself and @mothbroth as the event's finalists). In total, we had 55 poets participate in the event and each poet brought something unique to their threads and to our site. If you haven't taken the opportunity to check out the 2022 NaPo Threads I very strongly encourage you to check them out, and as someone who read through every thread this year I can say you won't regret browsing through the threads.

As it comes time for NaPo to close, it's a little bit of a :[ feeling, for some there are goals that weren't meant, poems that were written, and a sense of the month being unfinished. In fact I noticed three poets touched on this theme of saying "adieu" and I loved all of their various takes, so want to highlight them briefly:

you taught me to be strong,
to voice my voice
from rights and wrongs.

your time has come,
but i'll always remember.
mi abuela de peru,
i pray you adieu.

@Carina poem 38.

another day will begin
and the world will go on turning just as it always has.
the stars fade into the night and i bid them adieu
until sunset in about twelve hours time.
it is a miracle, isn't it? how everything comes and goes
and no matter how hard thing seem,
everything has its turn.

@Elinor violent ends

There’s nothing left to stay for
but I don’t want to leave:
because I do not know if this goodbye
will be an au revoir
or adieu.

@Que rêvasser xxviii

You should definitely also take a moment to read Que's commentary on the word "adieu" from her French studies that accompanies her poem. Even with all the various emotions associated with goodbyes - there is a sense of the "bittersweet" that accompanies them.

In writing, my own advice on the ends of chapters (or ends of NaPos as it were) is when you come to a definitive "end" of a project like this

1) don't forget to take stock of what you've accomplished! it's much easier to jot down a few notes right now about your feelings on the good and bad when you've just written then 3 months down the road when you start editing - if you plan on returning to this project to read or edit wouldn't it be nice to remember what emotions or thoughts accompanied your writing with it? It might even give you a jumping off point when it comes to editing and knowing what the "heart" of your project is.

2) My second piece of advice for coming to an end of a writing project is SAVE what you have right now in a file and don't touch that file again. :) If you decide to edit, put that in a new file! This lets you remember what the first draft felt like in all it's honesty, hasty typos and beautiful first steps and gives you permission when you get around to editing to delete stuff in a new file. When I got around to a third or fourth round of editing some things from one of my previous years one of my big regrets was to realize I'd actually deleted some of my poems right out of the thread and my files rather than simply leaving them be. Now I can't exactly remember what I had before but I often wish I had them - to compare or return to now. So even if you're not "in love" with what you ended up with, before you say "goodbye for now" to this thread / this season / this project, consider saving your project as it is somewhere and marking it "draft 1" you never know when maybe you'd like to return.

If you have other tips about closing the chapter of a writing project, I'd love to hear them! Send me a PM or post in the Squills Club to continue this chat. Until next time...

~ alliyah

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Mon May 09, 2022 11:56 pm
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Written by Brigadier < PM: >



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Mon May 09, 2022 11:57 pm
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >


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Mon May 09, 2022 11:57 pm
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