AS Afflatus: Issue Five

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AS Afflatus: Issue Five

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:34 am

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If you are a new reader of the Afflatus, welcome! For learning about the purpose of each section, feel free to read the descriptions in our very first issue, found here. To get to know the AS staff better, that same issue included some introductions by the staff while our Team Page is under construction. You can submit things to the Afflatus using this form or post directly to the thread.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Table of Contents

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:35 am

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1. Title
2. ToC (you are here)
3. Updates
4. Dear Stag
5. Writing Tips
6. Life Tips
7. Character Interview
8. Prompt
9. Featured Writing
10. Anonymous Compliments and Critique
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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Updates

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:35 am

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Announcements: This is a reminder that all members of AS are responsible for staying up to date on announcements. I know when we first transitioned to the recently updated coding, one of the change requests we received a couple times was to not show the Announcements on every area of the forum when viewing posts (they are not visible when accessing your PMs, your User Control Panel, etc). This will not be changed - that is where we communicate updates, rules, and other important information to you all and must be kept easily visible and accessible. If something new has changed or you have a question, please check out that area before sending a message to staff! We are happy to assist you but it saves time to not have to answer the same question repeatedly when it's been answered in the annoucement forums! However, if you need something cleared, we are more than happy to answer.

NaNoWriMo: As you all have hopefully seen already, we are now beginning the November event. It’s a tradition that people from all around the world have begun to participate in, and we hope that many AS members will also contribute! Please see this announcement for more information. The full events schedule can be found here.

Halloween: This is a brief one - the AS staff hopes that everyone has a fun and safe Halloween! Feel free to share any anticipated costumes or plans in the Great Hall, or live vicariously through others if you are opting for a quieter evening!

Mod Applications: The deadline for submitting your application to join the AS team has now passed. We will soon be posting an announcement once we have contacted and confirmed with our new staff members! To all those who applied - we love your enthusiasm and desire to contribute. Points for application submissions will be recorded accordingly and put towards House totals.

House Points: If you want to contribute to your House points but are not sure how, we are ALWAYS seeking contributions and submissions for the Afflatus! If a writing post from the Featured Writing forum or sub-forums caught your eye, another member is a fabulous human being, you have a suggestion, a prompt idea, or want to try out even writing an article (some topic ideas in Thunder’s signature), please don’t hesitate! You could earn several points every Afflatus for doing this.

New Board Style: If you guys didn’t already see in the most recent Announcement, there is a new board style for those who prefer a darker environment. Quite suitable for dreary weather, Halloween vibes, or the moody writer, we have our Overseer Deer to thank for making this possible! To try out the new color scheme, go to your User Control Panel, select the Board Preferences tab, and click the drop down next to My Board Style. The new option is called AS-Dark.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Dear Stag

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:38 am

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Anonymous Wyvern wrote:Hey Stag,

Do you know of any good last-minute diy Halloween costumes?
- Anonymous Wyvern


Dear Anonymous Wyvern,

You are surely not alone in struggling to come up with an affordable or last minute idea for a Halloween costume. There are many ideas that can be simply achieved, such as a solid or patterned shirt the right color, a spare bit of fabric, and the right props. For a cat or rabbit, you can start with assembling an outfit in a natural, solid color such as grey, white, or black. The appropriate ears and tail are vital, and you can use eyeliner or other makeup to draw a nose and whiskers. The traditional witch look could be achieved with a dress or skirt/shirt combo, some sort of cape or cloak if you can find one, and most importantly - the broom and hat! You can even make either one if you are a bit crafty, or go mini with a fascinator. Becoming a ghost is incredibly simple if you have an old white sheet you can color or cut for the purpose. A vampire could be tailored in a variety of styles, particularly elegant victorian or goth, with finishing touches of teeth and fake blood and perhaps makeup to achieve an unusually pale complexion. Student of Hogwarts typically wear a nice white shirt and a pleated solid skirt in grey, and a tie or scarf can show your house pride - lastly don’t forget the wand! A stick or even something colored or wrapped in dark duct tape could make do for the evening. Minnie and Mickey Mouse wear simple outfits and it is quite possible to craft some rounded ears on a headband or hood if you don’t have the eared cap from the theme parks. Star Wars is back in style, though Han and Leia have always been a beloved couple. Han wears navy blue pants (jeans or slacks would work) with the red Corellian bloodstripe down the sides and a pocketed black vest (there are tutorials on how to convert a thrift store button-down into this vest) over a white or off-white shirt. Chewie of course is covered in shaggy brown fur and sports a bandolier and a crossbow, while Leia’s most popular costume outfits are the metal bikini (would likely have to buy) or the white dress she is in when we first meet her in A New Hope - don’t forget the buns! Padme and Rey also have outfits one could replicate, and if you feel like being a bit crafty with faux fur you could turn yourself into an Ewok by creating a skirt and leg coverings or pants, a vest, and a head covering with ears maybe poking out. If you are feeling morbidly romantic, there is the class dead bride and groom (or two of each) look. A suitable white dress can be spruced up with white long or lace gloves or most identifiably - a veil, which you could easily make from some tulle bought on a wide ribbon spool at a craft store. Alternatively, some sort of suit or tux with a boutineer. Don’t forget the special effects makeup so that you aren’t mistaken for alive, and if you don’t care about the clothes you could trash and tear them a bit to really cement the effect. If you are any sort of gamer (or grew up in the 80s/90s at all), Mario and Luigi are a classic duo - you’ll need overalls (or you could make do with very blue pants/skirt and some suspenders), a solid shirt of the appropriate color, and either buy or craft a hat. Don’t forget the white gloves and mustache! If there are more in your group, you could go further by adding characters such as Daisy, Peach, Yoshi, or Toad. If you are a Disney fan, you can look up inspiration for just about any princess or her beau, but a group-compatible favorite is Snow White and the seven dwarves. For the dwarves, you’ll need 7 people each with a solid shirt (refer to image searches for what colors), adhere some giant buttons to the front (such as felt circles), and sew an incredibly simple hat from some sort of brownish fabric. Many people own brown or black boots which can finish this off. If you still feel unsure, add some name tags! A cowboy wears some sort of tan, brown, or blue jeans, a vest if you have one or could fashion one, and some props such as a toy pistol, a lasso, holsters, cowboy hat, etc. For the sake of space, here are a few additional ideas: Rosie the Riveter, a mime, Mary Poppins, a pirate, Waldo, Little Red Riding Hood and wolf, a hippie, Ace Ventura, a princess, prince, or knight, a lumberjack, or re-use your awesome renaissance faire outfit! And lastly, if you love zombies, have a favorite superhero (or villain), preferred food, adored species, or you want to show that Pluto still needs love too - utilize the internet and black holes like Pinterest for inspiration! If you like it then surely someone else does too and there are sure to be ideas and resources out there to help.
- The Stag


Have something you want to submit to The Stag? You can do so here.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Writing Tips

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:40 am

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This month's theme is How To Find Your Writing Muse.

Having a viewpoint or opinion, no matter what it is, fuels ideas and creativity. Having no opinion or viewpoint and waiting for your muse to take control will simply not work. Things that don’t seem right to you, or when people seem to miss the obvious, these are your muses. When things annoy you, excite you, or make you laugh, those are the things to investigate in narrative form. That part of your brain that you don’t really understand, that decides what you approve of or what you don’t, that’s where your muse lives.

You can read more in depth about this here!

Alternatively, if you are low on muse and find yourself stuck on what to write, stepping back from your work is often the best. Go out and find inspiration elsewhere. You can do this in numerous ways. Maybe by listening to music. Maybe by reading a book or watching a TV or movie. Maybe by simply going outside and completely forgetting about your project for the next day or so. If none of these approaches work for you, then maybe go through some writing exercises.

You never know when inspiration may strike, so even carrying a small notebook and pen to jot down any ideas you have for your work may help as well.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Life Tips

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:40 am

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This month's issue will focus on Subsidized Loans vs Unsubsidized Loans. If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to PM Thunder!

Before I get started, let me state the moral of the story here - if you can get subsidized, choose those!

Now, interested in knowing why? One of the main two differences are that a subsidized loans are not offered to just everyone; they are based on your financial need. Alternatively, your financial need or income do NOT impact whether you can get an unsubsidized loan. Secondly, what helps you out about a subsidized loan is that the government pays / does not charge interest on subsidized loans while you are still in school or while it is deferred. Once you have been out of school for six months, it will start to accrue interest. As for unsubsidized loans? As soon as they send you the loan money they also start charging you interest. That means that during those years of college, that amount you owe for the loan is already growing due to the interest! However, if you are a grad student (perhaps you have decided to go back to school for your Masters degree), only unsubsidized loans will be available to you. Also note that if you qualify for a payment-driven plan (you prove that your income is too low to reasonably afford the current payments), you may also avoid being charged interest for either type of loan.

Another tip? If you have unsubsidized loans, do your best to make some small payments while in school, even just $50 a month from your part time job - this will help combat the interest. The same applies to if you defer your payments for a reason such as losing your job or going back to school. Payments will be ‘on hold,’ but depending on the loan it may still accrue interest.

Lastly, when looking at loan options or deciding how much to accept once your options are clear to you, if possible try to think about what you think you can pay off in ten years. That’s right, 10 years. If you can avoid it, don’t get saddled with 20 years of payments for a 4 year degree! What you can afford to pay each month may depend on what field of work you are pursuing and what the job market is for that, but 10 years is still a good rule of thumb. For example, perhaps you have 30-35k in loans and your payments are 350-400 USD per month. Even for 10 years that can be a burden, could impact what car payment or apartment rent you can afford, etc. Once you are out of school, don’t hesitate to seek help from other trusted adults such as a money-savvy friend, parent, or anyone else who could help to advise you a bit and set a budget.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Character Interview

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:44 am

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  • 1. What is the first impression others get of your character?
    2. Who is the most important person in your character’s life? Why?
    3. Who is the least important person in your character’s life? Why?
    4. What is your character’s relationship with their family like? If it isn’t good, why?
    5. Is your character a leader or a follower?
    6. Does your character avoid confrontation?
    7. What hobbies does your character have?
    8. What is your character’s most treasured possession? Why?
    9. What is your character’s favorite food?
    10. What is your character’s least favorite food?
    11. What is your character’s idea of entertainment?
    12. Does your character drink, smoke, or do drugs? If so, why and are they trying to quit?
    13. What makes your character laugh?
    14. What shocks your character?
    15. How does your character deal with stress?

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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Prompt

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:45 am

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Write about an assassin whose target keeps somehow avoiding his attempts through incredible dumb luck.

Submit responses to the prompt directly to the thread. Title your post 'Prompt Submission.' If you wish to submit your prompt anonymously, you may do so here.


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AS Afflatus - Issue 5 - Featured Writing

Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:46 am

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Click on the links to read more of the short stories if you liked the excerpt! If you think something should be featured and it's in the Share Your Writing Forum or any of the subforums of that forum, don't hesitate to recommend!

reverse the situation by cas

"Mumma, mumma, look at this!" Frys was waving around a little robot doll he'd made himself. It beeped intermittently, and he thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. "Mumma, isn't it good?" He asked again, bounding down to the kitchen, where he knew his mother was residing. "Mumma?" He walked in, and saw his mother, on the floor, eyes glassy and looking up at the ceiling. His father was straddling her, some kind of hammer in his hands. Frys was only five - he couldn't comprehend such an act. He thought they must be playing - of course. His instincts, however, kept him rooted to the spot. The silence was eerie, and in that time, his father stood, putting the hammer in the sink carelessly. He moved slowly to the kitchen drawer, pulling out something silver - Frys recognised it as a gun, but he'd only ever seen the plastic toy ones. It cemented in his mind that this must be a game - guns meant cops and robbers, indians and cowboys. The stuff he nd his friends played. He was about to step forward and join in the game with a smile when he heard a deafening BANG and red splayed everywhere.


barren by shamespren

Sunder spotted the outline of his mother on the ridge of a blue glacier; her dark silhouette was a mere stain on the watercolor horizon. Puffs of snow fell beneath her footfalls, tumbling into an invisible cyclone of northern wind in a scatter of glittering white. On the other side of the sea, one such gust of wind snatched the fog of the boy’s breath directly from his pale lips. With a dismissive wave of his hand, he shooed it away, eyes never leaving the yonder. It sulked away like a scolded dog.

paraFrozen at the foundation of his solitary hill, he belittled himself for staring, but he couldn’t help himself. At least a dozen years had waxed and waned since he last caught sight of her, though, even now she was exactly as he remembered: dark, distant, blurry, and gone before a new wave of water could fold over the wasteland. Somewhere past the glacier, she vanished, gone without a glance in his direction


tiny tales by dragon king

I held onto my rage,
hissing and biting at those who would help.
At first it brought new life,
and I could carry it for days.
Then it began to weigh heavy in my hands.
Everything and everyone told me
to drop it and watch it shatter.
When I finally did it was
with more hissing and sneers,
and I watched it shatter at my feet.
As the echoes it vanished,
the hissing stopped,
and the sky brightened.
I felt great remorse,
and apologized for my actions
to the one who had caused the rage,
to those who told me to let go,
and to those who fanned the flames.

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Re: AS Afflatus: Issue Five

Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:59 am

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Send in anonymous compliments using this form. If you would like to have a piece critiqued, please PM them to forlorn. and she will post them for the next issue. Post any critiques to the thread. Title the post Critique for ____.

No pieces were submitted for critique.


No compliments were submitted.

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