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Squills 8/4-8/11/13



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Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:58 pm
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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
Hannah

General Editors
Ignorance
Aquestioning
ShadowVyper

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Friendly Neighborhood Cow
CowLogic

Literary Reporter
SparkofDoubt

Community Reporter
Sapi

Storybook Reporter
BlackNether12

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Quibbles Columnist
skorlir

Gossip Columnist
StellaThomas

General Reporters
Cspr
ArcticMonkey
HomeschooledTeen

Past Editors-in-Chief
GriffinKeeper
AlfredSymon


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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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:04 pm
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A FISHY WIN IN JULY
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written by Hannah < PM: >


Don't let anyone tell you that writers, are by nature, non-competitive. That's just plain nonsense!You could possibly even submit the results of the past two review days as scientific evidence to the contrary.

YWSers, not content with nearly shattering the record for most reviews on a review day, decided to take this July as the best July review day in history and the closest race since @Rosey%20Unicorn introduced the review teams on review day concept to the site back in May of 2011.

Here's how it all played out.

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For those of you who'd like a little more than a graph to tell the story, never fear. I've got you covered.

As you can see, at the very beginning, Team Dory headed by @Ignorance and @Rydia popped into a small lead, but not for long. Team Inc[red]ible flew past them (no capes!) and forged a substantial gap between themselves and the little blue and yellow fish. Headed by a super team of leaders -- @StellaThomas, @Carina, @niteowl, @KittyCatMeow, and @ShadowVyper -- they held on to their lead for about 8 hours, when the power of the diligent and patient motto "just keep swimming" finally delivered for the Dories. Just under the 10,000 piont threshhold, Team Dory swam to the front.

It wasn't a clear victory, however. Team Dory's lead over the other was not as clear cut as the two-thousand point lead had been earlier in the day. They never seemed to be more than a thousand points ahead of those in red. Around minute 800, there was no more than a hundred points between the two teams. The lines of the graph touched. If this had been a car race, Team Dory would have been able to see the red car waving at them from the other lane of the racetrack.

Eventually, after keeping their small lead for about as long as The Inc[red]ibles had led at the start of the day, Team Dory lost it. This time, the teams were just over the 20,000 point threshhold, just under 18 hours into the competition, and the Red Team pulled through.

Still! STILL it wasn't over. As evidenced by the graph version above, Team Dory just. kept. swimming. They maintained their rate of reviewing straight through to the end of review day while Team Red fought to meet them.

Once the clock rolled over and the scores disappeared from the top of the screen, the teams were unsure. Had Team Dory really won? Did Team Inc[red]ible somehow scrape through to the top with last minute reviews? The scores were too close to tell until the Review Day Review was released:



The Inc[red]ibles - 278 reviews for a total of 28674 points
Team Dory - 289 reviews for a total of 28922 points



Slow and steady did indeed win the race this time.

For individual reviewers, the day was a different battle. An hour and a half into the day, @Killyouwithwords had taken a strong lead with 12 reviews, that she held onto until about sometime before midnight GMT, when she was finally ousted by @OliveDreams and @Blackwood racing together to the top.

Still, it was more than a numbers game to this early leader. In a brief statement, she mentioned,



My reviews were really short at first (after all, I am new) but in the end I tried to improve, and make them worthwhile to read because review day is about learning to help people with their writing.



@OliveDreams was a top contributor to the July Review day. She clocked in with 35 hard-won reviews to help her team, The Fire Flowers, to a spectacular victory. This review day, she was intent on beating that record. She said,



First, my goal was to beat my '35' review record from the June review day. Once I'd gotten to that mark, I realised that I was enjoying myself far too much and thought, why stop now?

I'm also unashamedly competitive so that was always a part of my motivation! Especially, watching Blackwood - who wasn't even part of a team - creep on past me by the end of the night! GAH!



Olive also mentioned learning a lot about reviewing during the twenty four hour race. She liked going out into the field to find members she'd never review, and learn through practice what makes a helpful, meaningful review.


Lastly, here are some interesting review day statistics for those of us who like that sort of thing.

@Blackwood was not on either review team, but helped us reach and surpass our review goal of 550 while earning his spot at the top of the individual leader board.

About half of active reviewers did five or more reviews.

Immediately after review day had ended, the reported scores were 28374 to 28474, indicating that Team Blue had won by a single hundred-point review. The scores were altered to the results posted in the Review Day Review thread to make up for reviews that had not been marked as reviews.

Twenty-four people submitted only one review. Their collective effort resulted in 3 percent of the final tally.

If everyone who participated in review day by submitting a review had worked equally to achieve our 664 reviews, each member would have had to do 8 or so reviews.

If everyone who signed up for review day worked equally, that number would be reduced to around 5.

@OliveDreams on her own made up 10 percent of reviews, contributing her awesome efforts to The Inc[red]ibles. She came in second on the individual leader boards.

From third place to fifth place, however, was taken up by Dories @ArcticMonkey, @Killyouwithwords, and @Hannah, who worked together to take up 17 percent of reviews that fateful Sunday and help their team to victory.


And... that about wraps it up! We'll see you next month for another marvelous review day. Which team will you be on?





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:10 pm
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KNOWLEDGE BASE: PUBLISHING AND COPYRIGHT
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written by ArcticMonkey < PM: >

Over on the Knowledge Base , there are some very interesting articles on just about anything writing related. However in this post I’m going to cover something in particular- publishing and copyright articles, looking at three from the Knowledge Base in particular.

Even if you’re not looking to publish anytime soon, being familiar with the copyright and publishing laws can save you from any future trouble- and all the fabulous writers on this site deserve the fair chance to publishing.

To start, Copyright Law and YWS written by no longer active member @Flemzo is probably the first thing you’ll want to look at. It’s a great article, which covers copyright laws about the work posted on YWS. Often members have been worried about posting their work up, so this article should help ease those worries! It should also be noted that the article generally only refers to laws in the US, although those are also very similar to the laws in the UK.

Next, First Publishing Rights and Why You Should Care written by @Rosey%20Unicorn, covers what exactly are first publishing rights and other things regarding that. It also includes some rather shocking information on what some websites can do with your work- so be sure to check it out. Rosey says:


Publishing and copyright laws determine your future as a writer. If you don't understand the rights around your work, you can give those rights away casually, which will result in that work being a lost cause. Give up ownership, and you can no longer write the characters unless your publisher says so. Give up publishing rights, and you can never submit the work somewhere else to give it a better chance. Know what you're getting into *before* you get into it.



Lastly, here is The Beginning Writer's Guide To Publishing written by @Lauren2010, which gives a step by step guide on publishing work. It’s really helpful if you’re looking to publish for the first time as it has some really helpful work with regards to doing so.

So, hopefully now you are more informed on the nitty gritty that comes with copyright and publishing works. The Knowledge Base is a fantastic place for some great articles written by some fantastic YWSers about different writing-related things. If you’ve got any questions about publishing and copyright, feel free to PM @Rosey%20Unicorn, as she’s a barrel of knowledge!





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:12 pm
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JULY STORYBOOK WORKSHOP
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written by Ignorance < PM: >

For those of you who tend to hide under rocks and don't check the global announcements, the July Storybook Workshop , hosted by @Rydia, was recently debuted! On July 27th, just a few hours before Review Day began, the participants met up in a Google Doc to discover and combat obstacles in the form of a miniature storybook, and then evaluate what those obstacles were and effective methods to deal with them.

It was successful! The participants that showed up said they had a good time.

The entire purpose of the workshop was to find problems that may arise in storybooks and fix them, such as god modding or unrealistic characters. For instance, @ignorance learned that if she planned on writing as a convincing acrobat, she needed to do research to make it believable!

Current characters for this storybook are as follows:

1. The Ringmaster - @Rydia
2. The Acrobat - @Ignorance
3. The Fire Eater - @Aquestioning
4. The Tightrope Walker - Open
5. The Lion Tamer - @maleficent
6. The Illusionist - @AriaAdams
7. The Old Clown - @Birkhoff
8. The Human Cannonball - @Carina
9. The Young Clown - @thewritersdream
10. The Assistant - @OliviaWhoWrites

That's one spot open, so if you're interested, head on over to The Circus and request to join!





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:19 pm
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ANSWERS FROM AQUESTIONING
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written by Sapi < PM: >

@Aquestioning, formerly known as Omniyus, was recently revealed as featured member, after a history of community work in the site. Our @Sapi of Squills sat down and picked his brain about the hows and the whats of his recognition.


Squills: What does it feel like to be featured member?


Aquestioning: It feels somewhat surreal. I mean, it's great, but I still don't believe that I achieved it. It was a group activity and I was just a figurehead to it. If anything, I'm just a figurehead for the featured member because in reality, all of Squills deserves it. There was a time where I strived for something like it, but I call that my ignorant days. However much I don't think I deserve it, it's still a great and wonderful thing to have and I'm very proud of it.

S: How long have you been on YWS? What are some main events or achievements of yours since joining?


A: I've been on YWS for about a year and a half, give or take a few months. I wasn't real active until November of last year, because I secretly forgot about it. I would say that the day I started character chit-chat was the day that I made a name for myself as a Storybook fanatic. That was in February, and in 5 short months, I've been in over 40 Storybooks and have written over 1000 posts, making friends and some enemies, but it's been great. I've also worked in some other activities, like Squills, but I feel that the Storybooks have been the biggest accomplishment over my time.

S: What specific activities have you been up to recently that you think contributed to your being featured member?


A: Squills, most likely, although that was more of a group project, contributed to me becoming the featured member. My support in reviving the Storybook forum even now could have helped. Overall, my activity in the community driven parts of YWS has skyrocketed in the past few months, and that could have helped out immensely.

S: How would you go about advising someone else in how to be a good and helpful member?


A: I would advise them to keep a good mood on here and always remember that emotions are hard to get through by text. Emoticons really help that out, so don't forget that those are there. Being active in the forums and being a helpful member whenever people ask really sets a high image for you. When there comes a time when people you don't know or talk to follow you and say how they've been looking at what you've been doing and liked it, that's when you know that you've been a great help and an overall good member on YWS. It makes one feel good inside, and being able to help others out by doing what you love, that's what makes it all worth it.

S: What's your life like outside of YWS? What kinds of things do you like to do?


A: My life outside of YWS is crazy in a nutshell, haha. Right now, I'm getting my license soon, and I am taking college classes next year, my junior year in high school, here in America. I love to write, obviously, but I also love to play video games and create storylines and basic formatting for some games. It's nothing much, but I'm majoring in computer design and I want to make that my career, so I hope it will actually work out for me. If you guys play video games, PM me, because I'm a nerd and all that stuff.

S: Where do you spend most of your time on YWS? Why?


A: Storybooks. All out storybook forum. Even though I'm not on the forum as much as I used to be, I'm still on there much more than anything else. What I love about the Storybook forum and its little brother, the character chit-chat forum, is that it allows you to write all the time, without having to post literary works all the time. It also creates a strong and loyal friendship between you and complete strangers that makes these great bonds that just makes the stories so much better. For anyone who is apprehensive to join a Storybook or visit its forum, don't be. It's great fun and has a great and wonderful community.





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:22 pm
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QUIBBLES
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written by skorlir < PM : >

TL;DR: George Orwell says to not barbarize your words.


Quibble (n.): a slight objection or criticism.

Perhaps I should have defined my column title sooner, but what titillating titular tasks aren’t best left to ingenious YWSers (and Google)?

Speaking of definitions, Google, and YWS:
Diction.


Did you see that coming? Were you a-prescient of it?
Yeah. A-prescient is an example of terrible diction. Won't people still get the idea? What does it matter? Didn't I choose an option just as good as any other...?

Perhaps not. E.g.;
Did you foresee that? Were you precognizant? Did you catch that train before it left the station? Doth thine mind’s eye foretell? Did you suspect? Predict? Expect?

What prestidigitation! This magical word-typing machine can spew even more words! Presage, portend, prognosticate, forecast, prophesy, oh my!

Which brings us to my main point.

(I know you were wondering when I was finally going to betray some signs of organization.)

Everything you need to know about diction is as follows:

1.) The word that comes to mind is hardly ever the best word.
2.) The word that comes not to mind at all is often even worse.

“But what word am I going to use-e-e? I cannot just ask Google for one, and I cannot use the one I want to use, so…?”

Good question, bemused onlooker!

Well, be belovedly bemused no more! I introduce to you: compromise. Ever since George Orwell (and possibly before), the word compromise has been important to writers. Basically, it’s the same thing as entropy, but less sciencerific. Err. Scientific. Ahem.

Compromise (v.): (to writers) the act forced by the fact one can never find the best word and is not allowed to smith new ones; namely: settling upon whichever word seems least inadequate in an impossible situation. (Unless one is a Harvard professor; they make up words all the time.)

Yes, that exactly.

So next time you can’t think of a word like slippery that also means like a velveteen rabbit, remember: There probably isn’t one, and George Orwell thinks you should nut up and just say slippery before trying something “outright barbarous.”

Don’t. Be. “Outright.” “Barbarous.” That's all there is to know.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE TO QUIBBLES?


I can't come up with Quibbles of my own wit forever, guys. I mean, I'm a pretty grumpy usageaster, but that will only get me so far.

So. Please PM me with grammar questions, quandaries, quarrels, witty snippets, angry faces - whatever you think might inspire, excite, frighten, or otherwise help me with Quibbles!





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:25 pm
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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written by HomeschooledTeen < PM: >

The Green Room could also be called a holding pen, for that is the purpose that it serves. Every time something is posted on this site, whether it's poetry, fiction, non-fiction, a short story or a chapter, it goes straight to the Room. And there it remains until it has been reviewed twice.

The Green Room is both a wonderful and horrible thing. It is wonderful to the reviewer because of the benefits that they can reap from it. Because the works in the Green Room have only been reviewed once or not at all, you get bonus points if you review a work in the Room. It's horrible because, come on, what author wants their work to be stuck in the Green Room?

This issues featured Green Room work is: for my darling, written by @ancientforever

@ancientforever has been a member of YWS since the fall of 2011 and has a rather impressive portfolio filled with poetical works.

for my darling is a poem that is listed in the general and romantic genres. It was published yesterday, and is one of the oldest review in the 'zero reviews' category.

Want to review for my darling

Want to try you hand at any other work stuck in the Green Room ?

And don't just check it out today, check the Room out everyday. You never know when you might read something extraordinary.





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:27 pm
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SOCIETY PAGES
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written by StellaThomas < PM: >

Anybody hanging around the Storybooks part of town will know that @LouisCypher is famous for creating devilish and powerful characters and playing them to their full potential. But lately, Louis has been noted to be less enthusiastic about his acting and more about the leading, even dropping characters and whole Storybooks for this reason.

When asked in an interview, Cypher said,

"I'm a visionary. I create grand ideas and spin webs. A character would distract me from the actual directing, which I personally feel is the most important thing that a Storybook creator should do. I'm also very modest."


Let’s see where he’ll end up, we’ll be watching his movements in the ‘Books over the weeks to come. Meanwhile, maybe our burgeoning director/composer/general all around ‘ideas man’ Cypher should head over to @ArcticMonkey's new club Movie Buffs . Poor Tam's been posting illegitimate shameless plugs all over the place- what's wrong with the girl?! Next thing we know she'll be spamming the Will Review For Food forums and the next step from there, as we all know, is burglary.

In real life, @Lava is preparing for some big life changes- namely moving to the home of the Pretty Little Liars. Which is a pretty scary prospect, but don’t worry, she’s prepared, with new cooking skills and a swish new hairstyle to guide her. Over in sunny old England, @Twit is also enjoying some newly dyed locks, and a new dress. These girls know where it’s at- with the right hairstyle, you can do just about anything.

So maybe @Hannah should get one as she begins a gruelling fitness regime called the 30-Day Challenge. Rather you than me- I get enough exercise chasing the news, thank you very much.

Everybody’s favourite Finn, @Demeter has left her Arctic land of silver birches and is living it up with @Charlie II in England, making cakes and climbing over fences. Imagine enjoying an English summer accompanied by hiking boots and Puss-In-Boots himself. Oh well, who needs that green and pleasant land? I think we’re all green enough with envy.

And finally, the biggest news of all. Our very own @Snoink has gotten married! Yes, you heard it here first (unless you already heard it first, which I bet you did, you sly dogs). @Crysi was at the wedding and described it as “beautiful and awesome”. Which I bet it was. I think I speak for all of us when I wish Snoink and her new husband the very best of absolutely everything- and again speaking on everybody’s behalf, we want to see photos, asap!

That’s all folks! Tune in next week for more juicy gossip. Remember if you have a tip-off or anything you want announced, you can PM me at any time- I’ll be waiting.

xxx

Lady S





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:32 pm
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THE CLUBS INSIDER 8/4/13
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written by Sapi < PM: >

One of the many awesome features of YWS is its clubs. You name it, there's a club for it, and they are a great tool to find and interact with like-minded YWSers. If you have never ventured into this realm, I suggest having a look at the main page for Clubs , which can also be found amongst the tabs at the top of the page.

Admin's Choice Clubs

This week I asked @Rydia , one of YWS's wonderful administrators, what her personal favorite clubs are. They are the below:

The Buddy System : What I love about this club is how active and willing to jump in everyone is: There's a great sense of community and no wall post goes unanswered so it really makes people feel welcome and wanted.

Awkward Turtles : I'm not actually a member but how can you deny the cuteness of that avatar? Definitely a club to watch - it's going to be big, I'm telling you.

Poetry : This is a great club for anyone who likes writing or sharing poetry and everyone's so enthusiastic! It's the most amazing place to go if you have a poetry event to advertise or are just looking for some inspiration.

Cake Lovers : Photos of cake, conversations about cake. What is not to love about this club?

Great choices! Check out any that interest you.

New Clubs, HOT Clubs
These recently created clubs are the place to be. They've been roaring with activity lately!

Delicious and Nutritious- Club Turtle

Created on July 20th, Club Turtle is a place to strengthen your reviewing endurance and commit yourself to doing those frequent reviews you've always wanted to do. Here, you can create a tracking thread and share your progress with friends and fellow reviewers!

Created by @Hannah


Film Central- Movie Buffs

If you're a movie lover of any sort, Movie Buffs might strike your fancy. One of the most brand-new, popular clubs out there, it was created on July 29th and as of August 1st , it already has 13 members and a bustling wall and forum.



the point in creating this club was to bring together all the movie lovers of YWS to just discuss anything and everything movie related. I think it's been progressing quite well, there's been various different discussions/games in the forums and the people who have joined this far seem to like it. [I hope] that more people join. The more the merrier!


Created by @ArcticMonkey


Of Miscellaneous Interests
These three clubs are all unique and interesting to different people.

The Random Club

The Random Club has been around since May, and since its creation has gained a total of 40 random and wonderful subscribers.



Well I think the club is doing great [and] I am happy that I have a pretty good bit of subscribers and they are all amazing people. I love talking to them and just being RANDOM!!!! The purpose of my club is to be random and just talk to other people and do games! My goals for this club [are] basically just to have many more subscribers and a lot more active users. :D I just love cheese. Also people need to smile more!


Created by @pandabear7


The Club For Annoyed Writers

Overview from the creator of The Club For Annoyed Writers :

Squills: What is the original purpose of this club?


ShadowVyper: [Often] I read a book, or watch a movie, then get frustrated because it has such an awesome story idea, but is completely ruined by either poor plot advancement, or poor characters, or a poor presentation of certain fictional creatures. I was curious if it was a common frustration among us young writers, and, if it was common, I wanted a place that we could all come together and discuss exactly what frustrated us; a support group, where we could vent; and a brainstorming group, where we could pinpoint the problems, and be sure that our writing didn't contain any of them.


Squills: What's your opinion of its progress? Do you have any specific goals for it?


S: Well, it was the first club that I created, so I didn't expect it to do well, at first. But several people joined, and it began to grow, so that was exciting! I'd like to get some more annoyed writers aboard; and would like to see the the forums get a bit more active.


Squills: Any additional comments?


S: I hope some more people decide to join. We'd love to hear about the stories that frustrate you!


Created by @ShadowVyper


Gamer's Playground

A month-old club with 31 subscribers, Gamer's Playground is exactly what it sounds like. A haven for game players of all types and interests, at this club you can play, discuss, and fawn over video games, board games, card games... you name it!

A Message from the Creator and Admin:


It is summer, and I am busy, so games are not always going on. I try and have games before going, [but] my club is falling apart because I am gone. For my subscribers, I apologize. It was not wise for me to start this club in the middle of summer where I will not be able to take care of it that well. I just want to say, it will be different when [I] am back in school, because I have made myself promise to be on at least once a day.


Created by @racket





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:35 pm
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COW SAYS: AUGUST 4th, 2013
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written by CowLogic < PM: >

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So, I thought I would share a personal anecdote with you guys, in honor of the second Cow Says.

Tuesday was the day I changed my life.

I was traipsing down the street in my stilt-walking stilts, pausing every now and then to hold the stilts steady while I engaged my abdominal muscles in a leg lift, allowing people to pass under my rear end in a tunnel-like effect, when I passed by my favorite butcher shop.

I did a double take when the full magnitude of what I saw clicked. Standing next to the glass meat counter was a pirate, his beard waving in the air conditioning, eye patch and peg leg gleaming. And directly next to him was a premium turkey breast going for 2.99/pound. I'll be danged if I ever pass a deal like that up.

So I dismounted my stilts, and padlocked them to a fire escape, whispering in their ears. I would be back soon. They shouldn't worry. I loved them.

I strolled into the store like I owned the place, wearing tie-dye sandals, a toothpaste stained bathrobe, and my character star-shaped sunglasses. I stood in line and tapped my foot as the pirate finished paying for his calzone and left to plunder the health shop on the corner. When I stepped up to the counter, Al the Butcher immediately lit up and greeted me, saying, "Cow, mi amico, how was your week?"

I held up one hand. "I'm sorry, Scott, but I don't have time to talk. Am I hallucinating when I see that premium boneless breast right there on sale for $2.99 a pound?"

"Yes, in fact you are," said Al, with a concerned look in his eyes. "That label says $3.02/pound."

"Never mind," I snapped. "I'll take it." Without asking, I took out a small hammer, shattered the glass of the display case, and grabbed the entire breast, simultaneously turning out my pockets and dumping $302.00 of pennies onto Al's counter.

"Thanks, come again, Cow!" he says behind me, waving, with a smile on his face.

"Save it, Butcher," I call back.

Next was the moment that changed my life for the better.

I walked down the street, gripping the turkey, unwrapped, like a football, having forgotten all about my poor stilts, who soon starved and developed rust.

As I passed a small, dank alleyway, a little voice called, "Hello? Please help me."

I looked down to see a poor little boy, dressed like a poor little boy from a Charles Dickens novel about poor little boys. He was emaciated, and dirty, and very sick. He was hungry, he said. He hadn't eaten in days.

I felt so sorry for him that I caved and invited him into my apartment for a supper of cooked turkey, hot sauce, and V8. He had a great time, and was so happy after he had eaten. I felt good after he left that night, after I had done a good dead.

But it wasn't enough... From that point forward, I learned of how I would change my life forever, how I would treat others in different situations than me.

It was brilliant really. From then on, whenever I was hungry, I would put on dirty clothes and stand in alleys, pretending to be homeless and getting kind people to give me free food and money.

The lesson I learned from all this was, you never have to pay for food if you are dishonest and live in a first world country.*


*Disclaimer: Don't try this at home. Or in alleyways. Or at all.





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Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:37 pm
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HIKING UP THE RIVER
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written by AfterTheStorm < PM: >

After last week's Squills article about YWSers at camp, @AfterTheStorm took the opportunity to send in a lovely narrative about the X-treme time she had at her own summer camp. Enjoy!

The camp I went to is called "The Woodlands," and it's a fairly large Christian camp in Cleveland, Georgia, where the entire campground is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Mountains rise up in the distance, and tall trees stretch on. It's such a gorgeous setting. We stayed there from Monday until Saturday morning.

Anyways, there are two different versions of The Woodlands that you can participate in: the Regular camp (where twelve female/male cabins compete in cabin challenges to become "Camp Champs," stay in really nice lodges, participate in all sorts of activities, and enjoy all the cool stuff the camp has to offer), and there's also the "X-treme" camp. I was a part of the X-treme camp this year. Everyone in X-treme did separate activities from the Regs, often taking us off of the actual Woodlands property.

In X-treme, we didn't stay in the traditional lodges like the Regs. (Which, I must add, were really awesome. The giant cabins were beautiful, and so up-to-date.) Instead, the X-tremers actually had our own campsite in the Woodlands forest where we would hang out, have paintball battles in an arena-like section, cook our meals over a fire some nights, and gather after Worship to eat S'mores by the campfire. (I mean, what camp doesn't include S'mores? xD) We also slept at the X-treme site.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "Ew! You slept outside? That must be uncomfortable." Actually, the camp built these large shelters that are raised off of the ground for everyone to sleep in. The guys had their personal shelter, and the girls were given their own. These shelters can be described similar to tree houses. There was a roof above our heads, and chest-high wooden walls giving us protection and privacy, while still allowing the "cabin" to have fresh air. We slept in very comfortable hammocks in the shelter, which were tied to a center post with rope. It was so relaxing to rock myself to sleep in my amazingly comfy hammock, listening to the crickets and tree frogs in the nighttime forest.

Oh, and quick crazy story about our “cabin” that we stayed in:

A really bad storm hit us Wednesday afternoon. It was so powerful that the rain and winds knocked down countless trees and branches. Well, one tree just happened to fall next to our shelter. (Ugh.) Since the X-treme shelters are raised off of the ground, you must walk across a slanted bridge to access the door to enter the “cabin”. The bridge acts like a ramp. So, the tree that toppled over uprooted itself and fell underneath the bridge leading to the shelter door, pushing the wooden bridge upwards. After that, we had to lift ourselves up onto the bridge, then climb in through a side window to enter the shelter, because the door jammed closed when the tree lifted the bridge! The angle that the wooden ramp was lifted jammed the entry way firmly shut. The girls, for the rest of the week, had to climb into the shelter window in order to get in. It was pretty crazy.

Enough about campsites, though, and onto the fun part: X-treme activities! xD The first day the campers arrived, the hundreds of Reg campers split off to do their own thing, while the thirty-three X-tremers ran for the forest for our own games. :P We became acquainted with our counselor and cabin mates very quickly that first day, because our opening challenge was a ropes course. We had to use teamwork in order to complete each obstacle in the course. It was a fun way to get to know and rely on your team mates, while competing against the other three cabins.

Plus, the prize for completing each challenge was food. Yes, food. Haha Once your cabin defeated an obstacle, there was a box full of different types of food like Spam, canned chicken, Rice Crispy Treats, broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions, canned tuna, boxed potatoes. With these different pieces of food, we had to make our own supper back at the X-treme site over a camp fire later that night. It was rewarding to cook our dinner from food we had won! Lol

The second day, we fought it out in a cabin vs. cabin paintball match, which was so hilarious and entertaining! Sometimes, the two teams battling each other would be boys vs. girls, or campers vs. counselors. After paintball, the X-tremers left for a nice hike in the Yonah Mountain... up a river! It was truly X-treme. xD I had such a blast, and didn't realize how hardcore hiking up that river would be! Sometimes the water would be to my shoulders. We climbed over small waterfalls and rock walls, avoided a hornet nest at one point, tested our water parkour skills, and even slid down a large waterfall at the end of our journey!

The third day, we drove to another mountain, and hiked for a long ways until we reached the Upper Cliffs there. The counselors set up repelling and climbing ropes, and we spent most of the day up on the mountain trying out our rock climbing skills. (I'm terrified of heights, but I had a blast overcoming my fears.)

The fourth day, Thursday, we traveled to the NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center in North Carolina) to kayak, paddle-board, and mountain bike. We kayaked/paddle-boarded eight miles, enjoying the beautiful scenery and cool waters! (I kept singing that part from Pocahontas when she says, “Just around the river bend!” Yeah. I couldn’t help myself.) That night, we traveled to Tennessee and set up camp to spend the night away from The Woodlands, in the real woods. xD I slept in a hammock hanging between two trees, like Tarzan. Aw, yeah.

The next day, I was busy white-water rafting in the morning before we X-tremers drove back down to Georgia to reunite with The Woodlands. That night, we had so much fun zip-lining in the dark, playing air hockey and ping pong in the commons area, hanging out with other campers, competing in beach volleyball and soccer, watching the Counselor vs. Camper basketball game, participating in Midnight Worship, and laughing at the hilarious skits the counselors presented on stage. It was our last night at The Woodlands, and it was a blast.

While at this amazing camp, I made so many new friends, learned to push myself harder, conquered some of my fears, and most importantly grew closer to God. I’ve only been away from The Woodlands for a week, and I’m already counting down the days until I return! (Okay, maybe not literally, of course…)


And to that, we at Squills say "Why not?" There are plenty of count-down applications for smart phones out there, after all! Thanks for your contribution!





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NEW ARRIVALS
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Take a moment to welcome this week’s newest members to the site!

@Kevikur has only been a member of the site for a few days, but has already passed around several lovely reviews. Why not return the favor by reviewing his work, Proudly Psyhcopathic

@Swiftie13Initiate has also been busy pumping out lots of helpful reviews. You can help him out, by reviewing his short story, The Escape

@AnimeLover13 has already written several lovely reviews. Why not go read her work, LoveLove Doesn't Have Age Limits -Part 1-

@RyiaGreene has just started reviewing, but has given us a taste of her work, with a poem she says she wrote in highschool. Read her supernatural poem, Broken Angel .

@SeptemberLove has been busy reviewing, since she joined a few brief days ago. Unfortunately, she hasn't posted any of her works for us to read yet, but I'm sure that with a bit of encouragement, she'll open right up!

@thebookthief hasn't had much time to review, yet, but has already posted the first chapter of their novel, Divided . It looks pretty promising. Go check it out!

Other members who haven't had a chance to be as active, but are no less a member of our family are...


@LilMissPanic@Caz@MatthewVincent@TexasWriter@novelist@dbk1098@Furrybug1@xspidera@Oladoyin@hamei90@ST63@Reader2000@Nikki177 • @Irpolson • @MangoKukies@djmeitar2@elliedee96@katiesaulnier@BabydollPadminie@DarkMind@monogatari@Mhutchinson123@Revenge@kprish@Owami@BabydollPadminie@sanju@kitkat96ninja@Wosome1@LostTheory@bunny7199@ArleighParkinson@soifyourelonely@ThingBlue@wanderlay@ThingRed@JamesM@krispykrinja • @inperfectionist98 • @HiddenUnderAMask@Catherine@kkdelacruz@nibf@raphaelrib@alexasm@LaBohemia@scenegril14@Pleachen2@IvanaSaki@Spotswood@hungfirv13@maddiejoy@Yeahso98@HorseHead12@amosh94@zombiethepeople@Alena98@runawaylove • @VeronaVirdian • @writingisforever@thearisen@SmileAndWorry@sophiardi@Cutieexox666@Jared329@bratty@srb@Caralee@esrocz





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THIS WEEK'S ROUNDUP - 8/4/13
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written by megsug < PM: >

Links! Get your links here!
A quick look through what’s cool and begging for attention this week.
Hot, fresh, and ready to eat!


Poetry Discussion & Tips is home to a new search. @niteowl admits, like many poets on YWS, she doesn’t read enough poetry. Now, she’s on a mission to change that. Each post ends with a request like “Find me a poem written by a Scottish poet who is NOT Robert Burns.” All one has to do to make a request is fulfill the last one.

After finding a curtal sonnet that wasn’t written by Gerard Henley Hopkins for @TheDayBeforeTomorrow, @thewritersdream asked for



a Triquain from anyone.



Now, don’t just leave us a link! Give us a little information about the poem. What did you like about it? What didn’t you like about it? Did you find anything cool about the poet?

This is a great way to explore the world of poetry and give yourself a little challenge at the same time.




@HostofHorus brings up the interesting question of age limitations and if all of them are effective or necessary. Do you think the drinking age should be lowered? Or raised, perhaps? Maybe you think age restrictions aren’t the right way to determine if someone is ready to legally do something.
So far, mainly dealing with the drinking age in the United States, those who have left their opinion seem to agree with @inkwell :



it's a bit silly



However, drinking age in the US isn’t the only age restriction. Any of the many are up for discussion, and other opinions are always welcome. Give your two cents!




@kayfortnight wants to know in Ask an Expert! What about that favorite book you have sitting on your bedside table makes you love it? Kay lists the must-haves before she can call any writing good.



Personally, what makes me love a story is the characters. They have to either be real, or awesome, or both.



She also says the story either needs to have a well-developed world and be original or have a wicked twist to make a common storyline fresh. No one, however, has replied to her question yet. So, what exactly makes you squeal like a fangirl when you run across it in a plot? We want to hear!




Dolphins don't drink water? South Africa has three capital cities? Fortune cookies aren't Chinese?! What random facts, right? Well, there's a club for just that! A club where you can share and comment on those tidbits of information that really have no place to go. Don't keep them locked up share them with the world! Don't have any random facts handy for public consumption? No problem! Random Facts! is where you can pick some up.




In Media Reviews , @wholesomereader has asked a difficult question for the gamers out there. What is your favorite video game? And why? Is it the gameplay or the plot? Maybe the characters or a fantastic mix of all of the above? @Stori gives his opinion:



Morrowind all the way. No other game offers as much depth- people, places, faction and best of all, choice.



There are several other opinion and no two seem to be alike. Agree or disagree with previous posters. Introduce a videogames as of yet unrecognized. This is a hard question, but a good one!





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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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