AS Afflatus: Issue Six

Where you can find all published issues of the Advanced Scribes Afflatus, our very own newsletter!
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus: Issue Six

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:45 am

Image x
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.
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Table of Contents

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:46 am

Image

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
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Updates

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:46 am

Image x
Ages for Explicit Board: Starting with this new month, we will be implementing a small rule regarding this area of the forum. As those of you with access already know, ages matter for this section due to the content found there. Effective immediately, those with access or hoping to gain access need to have their date of birth in their account, including the year. This will make it quicker for administrative staff to check without having to send you messages, as well as help us to better maintain who has access. We won’t be cracking down immediately on those who already have access, but by the end of the year you should have updated your account information to include this.

Conclusion of NaNoWriMo: This wonderful, world-wide event has now come to a close! Last night at midnight EST we locked all of the threads for counting. We will soon post with the results if we haven’t already. Points will be posted per house with a few basic statistical tidbits included. Hope everyone enjoyed it and even if you didn’t meet your goal, hopefully it was a good experience and of course you earned points for your house!

House Points: Continuing on from above, Nano was a great opportunity to earn points and we now only have the December event left. Below is a brief description of the event. Please note that all point-earning opportunities will conclude on December 31st and that we will be tallying the totals for the year at that time! Points will be RESET on January 1st, so if your House didn’t come in first there is always next year!

Mascot Drawing Contest: As the title says, this month we will be shifting away from writing events and towards drawing! It’s time to sharpen those pencils, plug in those tablets, and flex those stiff wrists! Full information can be found in the announcement once posted.

Afflatus: As always we welcome submissions! Parts of AS like the houses, the afflatus, and events are driven by YOU. By your enthusiasm, your contributions, your cooperation, and your participation. Tell us what you want to see! Submit questions, answers, recommendations of posts to feature, and more! Do you enjoy news and journalism? You can even write a little roleplaying or AS related article, such as the history of NaNoWriMo, you could ask to interview a staff member, you could have an idea for some writing tips or life tips! We want you guys to enjoy the content so don’t hesitate to speak up - and don’t forget, doing so earns points!
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Dear Stag

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:47 am

Image
Anonymous Wyvern wrote:Hey Stag,

What are some great Christmas gift ideas for a guy?


Dear Anonymous Wyvern,

Start with his interests. What are his hobbies? How does he spend his time? What does he struggle with? If he spends a lot of time on the train, maybe audiobooks or music to listen to. If he games, perhaps a new game, a gift card to Gamestop or a similar store, or perhaps some Steam credit. If he is of legal age and enjoys a finer drink now and then, perhaps a nice whiskey or bottle of wine. Do you know his style? Maybe a couple of new shirts, or a tie he can wear on a date with you, complete with a tie clip if he wants to be extra dapper. Even something simpler but thoughtful like some of his favorite coffee, a book he might like, or a new water bottle covered in stickers you have carefully picked out and arranged. If he’s goofy, a funny gift could be in good taste, such as a funny bottle opener, a t-shirt with a joke or meme on it, etc. If money is an obstacle, many people enjoy food! Going that extra step to make a nice dessert or meal by candlelight could be very appreciated, or if you are crafty, you could make him something (a knitted scarf, a simple wall-mounted coat rack, or other DIY projects such as wood-mounted string art of where he lives). Websites like Amazon provide a WIDE variety of gift ideas, Etsy offers suggestions with a more handmade or unique touch, sometimes with customizable options such as engravings. For those with nerdy tastes, websites like ThinkGeek can get the ideas flowing with jokes, fandoms, and memorabilia related to their interests.

Have something you want to submit to The Stag? You can do so here.
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Writing Tips

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:47 am

Image x
This month's theme is Treating Your Muse Well.

You use your creative side (or your writer’s muse) to supply you with great raw material. Then you use your logical side (or your inner-critic) to make sense of it all and knock it into shape. Many writers often struggle to write because the logical, critical side does all the work.

First, you must understand who your muse is and the critic. Refer to Issue Four's Writing Tips section to learn about The Muse and The Critic.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: "...as immediately I stopped disciplining the muse, she strotted obediently around and became an erratic mistress if not a steady wife." What Fitzgerald is saying here is that he overly disciplined his muse, which most writers do, if not ignore their muse.[/center]

There are many ways in which we "mistreat" our muse. Some of these misguided ways include:

1. Demanding a novel in thirty days during National Novel Writing Month.
2. Refusing to sit down and write unless our muse shows up on time.
3. Demanding perfect first drafts.
4. Not giving credit when something amazing is created.
5. Going on social media or doing "research" during the time that is supposed to be spent with our muse.
6. Ignoring our muse all day and the phrases or ideas that are whispered to us. Then, when we sit to work, we get mad at our muse for not helping us.
7. Following her every whimsy instead of leading our muse towards the projects that need to get finished.

So, what are some better ways to treat our muses?

1. We shouldn't focus too much on creating a finished product. Instead, we should enjoy the creative process.
2. Create a safe, comfortable routine.
3. Realize that our muse's main job is to create messes. We can clean them up later.
4. We should avoid distraction.
5. Give credit to the muse when things turn out well or poorly.
6. Write down anything your muse says to you, even while in the shower.
7. Don't quit the novel or work you're working on now because your muse gives you a new idea.
Write it down and save it for later.
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Life Tips

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:48 am

Image x
This month's issue will focus on rent. If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to PM Thunder!

How Much Rent can I Afford?

Many members of AS are at turning points in their lives - graduating from high school or college, becoming more financially independent, and even starting to live on their own. Before considering where you want to live, how you want to decorate it, which friends you want to live with, and what pets you want to get with your new space, you have to tackle the most important factor.

How much rent you can afford.

This may determine whether you need a roommate, what is left in the budget for new pets or hobbies, what part of town you live in, and more. There are many websites out there with calculators to help determine this, but think of them like the BMI calculator - they consider very few factors and are often not the best fit from individual to individual.

Firstly, any website will ask for your income. It will likely either ask for your annual gross income (which means before taxes) or your monthly net income (which means what you actually get in your bank account after taxes). Your first question may be “what if I work part time and don’t earn the same amount every month?” Well, if it’s pretty steady then get an average, but generally if it’s only part time then you’ll definitely need a roommate. (And likely a cosigner like a parent, but that can be part of another topic)

Once you know your income, you can put it into a calculator. Most calculators will also ask for your monthly debt payments, such as student loans, debt, car payments, etc. This is good, however I have also noticed that many don’t actually change the figure they spit out. On this website, I get the same rent price regardless of whether I put in 0 debt or $500 a month! That’s a big difference. This next website gives you three different scenarios based on what percentage of your income you want to go to your rent which may be nice, but not if you are new to the whole thing and don’t know which is appropriate for you.

One route to go is to calculate a general idea on your own. For example, this website suggests that you take your annual income (but doesn’t specify whether gross or net) and divide by 40. I haven’t heard this one before. What I have seen is that your monthly net (take home / after taxes) should be at least 3 times the price of your rent. I have also seen this be a requirement by apartments or landlord, and always considered it to be the rule of thumb. For example, if you take home 2100 each month then you (hypothetically) could afford $700/month for rent.

But what other factors should be considered? Basically, any other important parts of your budget. If you have a monthly student loan payment of $300, then you absolutely need to take that into account! And what about saving? Retirement may not be on your mind and your job may not be taking out for benefits, but you should ALWAYS be putting some money into savings. Whether it’s to eventually buy a house, a new computer, or just birthday gifts you need to SAVE. It’s also important to have some sort of rainy day fund to cover gaps between jobs, unexpected car repairs, a flight to see a dying family member, etc. It may take a while to build up a good amount, but it’s so important even if you only put a little away, and this is another ‘expense’ that you should take into consideration when deciding the appropriate rent for your lifestyle.

Lastly - utilities. Don’t forget that you will need to pay for those! Cable and/or internet if you choose, and the basics like electricity, water, and maybe gas. You can do a bit of research for your area to get an idea of what to expect. A good way to keep this simple is to do a bit of research and simply add that to your rent. That way if you aim for ⅓ of your income, you know that you are including all ‘housing’ expenses - just remember that when you actually start looking at rent prices!

Another way to group things is the 50/30/20 rule. Essentially, 50% of your income to expenses that don’t change - rent, utilities, groceries, gas, etc. 30% on ‘fun’ and non-essentials, then 20% for debt and saving/retirement. However, depending on your age, proximity to retirement, and amount of debt, this may not be the best fit. You can read a bit more on it here. This one initially looks a bit involved, but ultimately it does get you thinking about what expenses you will have each month besides the obvious debt, rent, and utilities.

A couple of final resources that I wanted to include are these:
A rent calculator that can be tweaked to suit how often you get paid and how many roommates you anticipate having.
Here is some information to get a basic idea of how low-income housing works.
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Character Tips

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:48 am

Image
  • 1. Does your character have a routine? What is it?
    2. What happens if your character’s routine is disrupted?
    3. What is your character’s greatest strength? Greatest weakness?
    4. If your character could change one thing about themselves, what would it be?
    5. Is your character organized or messy?
    6. Name three things your character is good at.
    7. Name three things your character is bad at.
    8. List some things that are a turn on for your character.
    9. List some things that are a turn off for your character.
    10. What is something your character wishes to accomplish in their life?
    11. If your character had 24 hours left to live, name three things they would do.
    12. Does your character have a catchphrase? What is it?
    13. How would your character prefer to die?
    14. Does your character like themself? If not, what would they want to change?
    15. What advice would you give to your character?
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Prompt

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:49 am

Image

Write about the dragon that rescued the princess from the knight.

or

"Who am I?"
"You're my trophy."


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.
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

Re: AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Featured Writing

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:50 am

Image

For this issue, we'll be focusing on some from the NaNoWriMo event! Everyone's work was amazing and congratulations to all that met the goal - whether it was their own personal goal or completing the 50k!

From the Halycon House:

Daniel Jones: The Stories Untold by DeerInYourHeadlights

It all started on a cold winter night. January 3rd , 1990. An evening where majority of the population was still recovering from the new year celebrations. An evening where most likely half of Friesland was praying it would start to freeze for another Elfstedentocht. It was a Dutch celebration where people would ice skate over small creeks and canals from one village to another. But that hype mostly contained itself to Friesland, and wasn’t on the mind of Alice and Devon Jones at this moment in time.

Daniel William Jones was born on that cold January evening, at two minutes past seven. Those two minutes were something he would hear about the rest of his life, seeing as his brother, Adam Randal Jones, had been born two minutes before him.

Daniel was never called by his full name, unless he was in trouble. It had shortened itself to the Dutch nickname ‘Daan’. And Dan was alright with that. He lived with his twin brother and parents in a terraced house in a small village, close to Utrecht. They had a goldfish called, well, Fish. Basically because the two kids were not that old yet. And children tended to give pets easy names. Daan was a guy who liked it to play soccer, run through the mud and come home dirty. He liked it to play outside with his brother, and that was what he did throughout his childhood.

It was a few weeks after his fifth birthday when his parents sat him and Adam down at the kitchen table. The young blonde boy gazed at his mother, who was looking more beautiful than ever. She had these soft blue eyes with a tender look which screamed that she was a loving mother. Her hair consisted of angelic, soft ginger curls, ending just above her shoulders. Dan liked it whenever he was able to touch those curls.

“Daan, Adam. We have news.” his mother spoke, her eyes beaming with happiness. Their father placed a few glasses of lemonade down on the table. Adam reached out to drink the sweet liquid almost immediately, but Dan was intrigued by this good news his parents were going to bring. His eyes moved over to his father, to see if he would reveal something already, but no. Devon, his father, was quite a strict man. He always walked around in suits, and Dan knew that his father disliked the rainy little country they resided in. Devon was an American from birth, but when he fell in love with his wife, he migrated to the Netherlands for her, seeing as she was Dutch.


From the Sagacitas House:

Children of the Slain by josuke

Such elegant hands should not be wielding a sword, my angel. Such hands should be intertwined with mine own. What are you thinking about, my dear? Ah, have I ever once said your hair is silken gold?

"What is the Valkyrie code of honour, Sveihylde?" Asked the great Lord, his eyes cast down upon the blonde woman who had fear swimming in her eyes, wearing armour that could no longer protect her. The remaining thirty-five Swan-Maidens crowded around their old companion in silence. This was the silence of shame. The shame of a Valkyrie who went against her master's word.

Your eyes are the mint green I wish to breathe in each night. Soothe my breath, my angel. Erase the nightmare of death which falls upon me. Though, I must say. If your embrace is the void then I shall fall happily to my doom.

Kneeling down before the Great Lord, Sveihylde did not plead for mercy. She didn’t utter a single word until she was asked to. Since she had been handpicked by Odin, the Valkyrie had always been obedient. She acted with her mind as well as her heart; a flawless balance of the two.

"A Swan-Maiden must never love a man and never conceive a child, preserving their virginities forevermore."

What must I do to win the heart of an immortal goddess such as yourself? Oh, I could only ever hope for the day you and I become one. What is your name, love?

“My name is Sveihylde.”


From the Vipera House:

Flicker from Kaleidoscope by ~SantaFlames~

An orchestra of minuscule sounds consumed the atmosphere of the bar. The light clink of glasses from the buzzed gentlemen seated on wobbly stools near the counter. The howls of laughter from the same group whenever one would crack a crude joke. The clack of a pool stick against spheres that scattered across the pool table. The muffled words of conversations that has taken place throughout the shifty establishment. Rock and roll songs from a few decades past carries onto the still air of the place. Every sound reached her ears. Her hearing was sharp enough to capture the sound of a pin drop. Every detail to this abode was observed. She sits at the opposite end of the bar with a shot glass placed down in front of her by the bar tender, but she doesn't budge to remove it from the countertop just yet. Golden eyes study the liquid within, before she shifts her gaze to the individuals that were currently occupying the other side of the bar. A low huff leaves her lips, with her hand reaching up to adjust the beanie that was fixated amongst long locks of raven black hair. Such hair was pulled back in a half-down half-up stylization to keep any flyaways from sweeping near her face. It helped in her line of duty. Her legs stretch out from where she is seated on the stool, and she plucks the shot glass from off of the countertop. The rim of the glass is pressed against plush lips, and the drink is downed in one quick swig. The emptied glass is set back into its original resting spot on the countertop, and she glides from off of the bar stool with one easy movement. A departing nod is given to the bartender that has already recognized her as one of his regulars. A curl of a smile is offered back from the grizzled man, as he too mimics the same action."I'll add your drinks to your tab. Stay safe out there." the bar tender begins to tell her with his arm propped against the countertop. The soft sound of laughter spurs from the man, and then he shakes his head to draw back on his previous remark."Mmm. Who am I kidding? You are the last soul in this place that needs to hear that." he adds shortly after with his voice husk from years of wizened age.

A glance is sent his way, and a meager smile is offered to the owner of this bar. Her gloved hand reaches out to push the door open, and she is immediately greeted with the coldness of this region. Why she selected such a place to live for these past few months were beyond her. This place of origin was deeply rooted in her family. A cloud of warm air is expelled from her lips, with a lingering puff drifting from her figure. She brings her hands together to rub against the other, and then shoves her hands into the pockets of her coat. Her eyes flicker across the city's night scape with little to no interest. In the first month, she was enchanted to this city. The lights of the city twinkled like stars, and there was something new to discover at every corner. Though as time progressed, she knew the city as if the road map was drawn on the back of her hand. She knew of every street, which places were decent enough to grab a quick bite and which places to completely avoid, and the activity in different sections of the bustling city. It has come to her attention of what parts to avoid lest she wishes to pick a fight with some scummy kind of people. Well, those type of individuals used to be drawn to her like a moth to a flame. It only took one engagement of a brawl to demonstrate her capabilities. After that? They did their best as to look the other way if they saw her walking down the narrow streets. Of course, there were those that were either unintelligent as to try and challenge her or those that simply didn't know of her reputation. The small heel to her boots made a light clicking sound whenever she'd take a step on the cement of the sidewalk layered with patches of snow. A low hum rumbled in her throat when her eyes closed around the halfway mark. Still was granted the power of sight, but was delved into a more relaxed state. The scarf that hung loosely from her neck provided some warmth to her in this cool winter's night. Her feet carry her to her destination of a place that she has called home. This home of hers was a few blocks away from a shrine that was once populous with visitors. As time fled from their fingertips, the place grew to be abandoned. While it has lost its touch and was not as magnificent as the old photographs, it still held this unearthly beauty. Untouched by man, nature has flourished and staked its claim.


From the Amaranthine House:

Songs Can Heal by cicada

She was known for her songs, and that was no surprise. Her words were calming, emotions provided in soft servings. Everything the wounded needed, her words like sweet syrup oozing into their pores, letting their skin regenerate and her voice get louder, blood that stained the carpets slowing. Her skirt swished behind her as she moved, making sure she was not only healing their physical wounds, but the boredom that must come from waiting in here. Her boss was a cruel, and honestly a beanpole (with his brain the bean) of a man. He would make those with torn apart limbs wait at the door, bodies shaking in pain and exhaustion. All the while, forcing Lohr to hurry her performance for the last batch so he could draw more money for less time. This meant people would walk out to find the wound infecting itself, not only giving the theatre a horrible name, but Lohr too. It pissed her off to no end, but there was no way she could afford her apartment without the help of her boss. So she had to suck it up and accept her fate, like he had mockingly told her. At least she hadnt lost a patient yet, unlike him.

He was a failed version of her, in both of their minds. She was one of a kind, and he was one of many. His voice could heal small cuts and black eyes, hers fixing bones shattered and organs failing. Yet, she still worked under him. Funny how life decided to play out, choose the cruel path. Choose the path that left her with purple shadows beneath her eyes, throat sore and aching as she belted out another tune. The path that had her choosing hymn after hymn, seeing dying soldiers go through the pain of repairing. Even if they promised she was doing them a favour, Lohr never believed it. She was hurting them to stop the pain - she had to get better. Lohr knew she wanted to make sure nobody hurt at all, but that was wishful thinking, especially when she knew what went on these days. Nothing more than a few gang wars, small battles. Never full-blown war, but rivalry. Her job was to take care of both sides, though kept in different rooms. The pleasures of being in neutral territory, it meant she wouldnt get hurt.
User avatar
ichor.
Archivist
Posts: 17715
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:08 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Texas
House: Halcyon Keeper
Contact:

AS Afflatus - Issue 6 - Anon Compliments & Critique

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:51 am

Image

Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Halo/Noceurro is such an amazing writer and an absolutely gorgeous person. He deserves all the love. ♥

Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I believe it's about time I crawl out of my hole and tell you how much I appreciate you as a person and a member of the AS team. You're sweet as candy but also have a really sassy side that gets me every time. You never really cease to surprise me and I hope to see you grow more because you're doing so well~

Member that compliment is for: memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=725


Anonymous Kitsune wrote:I just want to tell a dear friend and an amazing member of our beloved staff, Deer, that she's an amazing person, that I love her very much and that she deserves all of the pizzas in the world. ♥


The user Kami would like to receive feedback and critique on her NaNoWriMo project! There will be an excerpt provided below, along with some background information from the author and a link to continue reading. Please either submit comments through the form or PM them to me so I can then post them here!

Also a huge shoutout to Kami! She submitted her work to Kindle for scouting. If it gets enough promotions, her work may be published! This is very exciting! If you wish to show her support and vote for her work, PM her for more information as to how you can!

BACKGROUND INFO:
Just a little idea that I've been thinking about and perfecting ever since Nano 2016 (or was it 2015?) And now, in 2017, it finally happened and while it's not as great as I wanted it to be, it's still something and I'm proud of finishing it on time and actually not sucking for once (even though it needs a whole lot of work and editing). Still, it's the first big project that I've finished and I kind of wanted to hear some opinions about it.


SNIPPET:
“How long has it been like this?”

Eveline’s questions were smart. Calculated, even. She wasn’t asking everything that appeared in her mind, but it felt like she was choosing what to act on and what to keep a secret. And Alina appreciated that, not really wanting to reveal absolutely everything about herself. Still, this particular question would direct them a little while back and now that the musician thought more about it, she could pinpoint the change in her timer a bit more truthfully. It hadn’t been anything too different from her normal day, but there was no reason to pretend that everything had been perfectly fine. The youth sighed as she drew her hand away, putting her bracelet on and hiding the timer away from any prying eyes.

“A few days, perhaps,” Alina replied, her voice somewhat thoughtful and distant. “Maybe more. It was already like this when I came to London. I don’t know.”

“I see,” Eveline was drowning in her own thoughts, a small smile lingering on her face. “You don’t have to tell me anything if you don’t want to.”

“It’s fine,” the blonde said as she got comfortable on the bench; it was going to be a long story, after all. “I don’t mind sharing some of my reasons. It doesn’t matter.”

“If you say so.”


LINK TO HER STORY

Also, a huge thank you for the anonymous compliment submitted for me. It makes my day whenever I read it. ♥
Post Reply