AS Afflatus: Issue Twelve

Where you can find all published issues of the Advanced Scribes Afflatus, our very own newsletter!
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AS Afflatus: Issue Twelve

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:50 am

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If you are a new reader of the Afflatus, welcome! This magazine is meant to be interactive with our members, meaning submissions, suggestions, and nominations are encouraged! For each contribution to the Afflatus, points will be awarded to the house! Through this magazine, we aim to provide tips and inspiration as well as updates regarding the site. To make a submission, you can do so by using this form or even posting directly to the thread.

Submissions that are meant to be shown for the next issues are: Dear Stag, Featured Writing, & Anonymous Compliments/Critique.

Afflatus Contents: Title Post, Updates, Dear Stag, Writing & Life Tips, Character Interview & Prompt, Member Corner, Featured Writing, Adventure Story, Activity Center and Anonymous Compliments and Critique.

Current Staff/Team Members: Rakuen, Thunderofthedrum, Night Fury, Commander Shepherd, Blacksteel Alchemist, Ichor., Faolan, Kami, Blue, Meraki, and Snow. Here is our team page.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Updates

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:50 am

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Staff Applications: The last day to submit your application for a staff position is June 20th! We hope to release our decision on the new staff additions by July 1st!

Mini Announcement Thread: After some consideration, the staff has opened up a mini announcement thread where all smaller updates that would not have warranted their own larger announcement can be posted. This thread should function just like this section of the Afflatus except provide a bit more detail on the subject, so please go check it out to stay up to date! You can find it here.

Event Schedule: As we're nearing the end of May and summer is quickly coming upon us, the event schedule will be changing shortly. The group roleplays and mini spring prompts will be ending at midnight on May 31st. The contest schedule can be found here. June, July, and August will be our summer prompts once more. They will be similar to last years 100 Days of Summer. The first prompt will be announced on the first of June, so stay tuned for it!

Event Participation: This is just a friendly reminder to everyone that participation in events are not mandatory. They are completely optional to partake in! The events are meant to be fun and casual, with points offered as some encouragement. We don't want our members stressing out and want to remind everyone that life takes priority! If something happens and you're unable to start or finish an event, don't feel bad!

Group RP Competition: The group roleplay competition has finally come to a close as well as the Spring Prompts so a congratulations to all who have participated! The points awarded will be updated within the Mini Announcement thread so please go check it out and be sure to congratulate your houses!

GDPR: The GDPR is a new privacy policy that has been implemented by every website. It is ensuring that every single user know what their data is being used for, and who can see it. Primarily on AS, the things that are stored on our website are: emails, IP addresses, and age, even if it is shown privately. Even if the account is abandoned, that information is still stored on the website. The only way to get rid of this is to have an admin completely erase the account.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Dear Stag

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:51 am

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Dear Stag,
How can one forget and move on if they are being faced with the hurtful past almost all the time, while doing something they love?
- Anonymous Unicorn

  • The answer to this is not so simple, unfortunately. First, I would recommend evaluating and deciding whether continuing to do what you love is worth the strife you feel. If not, it's completely okay to leave and move on. After all, focusing on yourself is very important. However, if you want to stay and continue doing what you love, it is up to you to separate - or work on separating - yourself from the hurtful things from your past so you can continue to follow your passions. No matter what you end up deciding, your decision is valid. It is completely up to you to decide what is best for you.


Hello Stag,
I'm relatively new in the makeup department. What are some long-lasting eyelid primers AND foundation primers so your makeup doesn't budge by the end of the day? Can you suggest some budget-friendly products?
- Anonymous Wyvern

  • You can always find wonderful makeup products that don't break the bank. One of the best brands I've found when searching for quality makeup for cheap is NYX. I personally don't use eye primer but after doing a bit of research, I found that NYX Proof It! eye primer is one of the best. Apparently, this primer is able to keep your eye makeup smudge free for 12 hours and it only costs $7. Other really fantastic drugstore brands that offer eye primers are Milani, Wet & Wild, and e.l.f.

    As for foundation primers, I use NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer. It's a $13 silicon based primer that is hailed online as a perfect dupe for Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer ($36). You're getting a wonderful deal and take it from me personally, this primer keeps my makeup in place for hours even in hot weather. The silicon formula doesn't leave my face shiny or sticky and creates a smooth barrier over my skin for flawless foundation application.

    A nice secret to keeping your foundation on longer is to apply a setting powder to your primer base before applying your foundation. It adds a bit of dry texture that'll bind well with your foundation. And it doesn't even make your face seem cake-y!


Hey Stag,
What are some general clichés to avoid when writing whether it is a personal piece or for a roleplay?
- Anonymous Wyvern

  • Most of the time, writing clichés depend on the person and the kind of writing they are surrounded with. I believe that most of such writing clichés are influenced by the best-selling novels of today and other various writing we see online. When it comes to plot-related clichés, everyone knows the story about the orphaned boy, who is the only one able to defeat a terrible tyrant or the one about a band of adventurers go on a quest for a magical talisman, ring, etc. - the familiarity of such tropes from fantasy novels are partly the reason why using these plot points feels clichéd. It's always important to remember that your readers might feel different about this and some actually prefer reading a story they can relate to from their past experiences. While finding all of the known clichés is fairly difficult on its own, you can go around that, by:
      • 1. Making a list of common clichés.
        2. Examining the outline or draft; does it contain any?
        3. Brainstorming ways to add your own slant to any common genre-specific trope you’ve used.
    As for character-related clichés, we are all familiar with the exotic, wise, old 'other', who, as if by magic, has the key for the protagonist to reach their objectives or the Plain Jane who is magically transformed at 'the eleventh hour' to win the hunky hero's heart. Clichés come from stories that are published and they themselves are just too familiar to be seen as completely original stories. If you wish to get as far away from using clichés as possible, it would be best to not lean on any well-known plot while writing your personal piece or a reply for a roleplay, unless it is based on some created universe already. Before writing anything, you should settle down and think if you've seen it anywhere else to avoid clichés.


Dear Stag,
The worst is when people won't let things go and won't move on past the pain. Advice on how to help people do that? Especially when it's you they won't let go of?
- Anonymous Unicorn

  • Unfortunately, it is not up to you to decide what people hold onto in their hearts and minds. You can't force anyone to move on from the hurt and pain they feel, since everyone copes with things differently. Some people may get over something in a week or two, while others may take months to fully recover from any pain or grief they feel. All you can really do is stand by their side and help them through the process. Everyone harbors hurt and it can only be resolved by time and empathy. If you're the thing they're holding onto, it is best to give them space so that they can process their own emotions. Let them know that it's healthy and okay to move on, but also make sure they know you care about them and their well-being. It takes time and cannot be rushed, only greeted with a healthy sense of understanding and patience.


Dear Stag,
I'm pretty new to the literate RP scene and the idea of having to post at least 300-word posts without writer's block is very intimidating to me. I can usually ramble at over 300 words per post, but that's just rambling and submitting whatever came out. Problem with that is it doesn't do too well for sentence structure. With that in mind, my question to you is: what is your best suggestion to new people joining the site that want to get into RPs, but never had to submit posts with a writer's block minimum of 200 and a normal minimum of 300?
- Anonymous Kitsune

  • For a moment, try to forget about a word count. Usually when you start writing with this big looming monster of a goal to reach no matter what the designated word count is for it, it tends to make reaching it that much harder as you are more worried about hitting the goal than what you are actually writing. Try to go into things with a visual image in your head of what you want for the post you're writing and carry it out until what you've written closely resembles and provides the imagery you'd had. Ways to help you do that and further post length fall within the simple English questions we all learned in school. Who, what, when, where, why. Make sure your sentences flow together with those questions and paint the picture you're wanting. To better describe those questions you can then think about the senses. Perhaps you're unveiling the villain of the plot and your main character is just now coming face to face with them. You can answer the 'who' portion by playing on the five senses. We know this is the villain, but what do they look like? Smell like? Sound like? Can you feel a tense energy in the air? Can you taste salty sweat upon your lips as you stand nervous and shocked? Don't be afraid to drag your sentences out with descriptive words. Rather than stating 'the killer was a tall, tan man wearing a cloak.' try something like 'the killer stood 6ft tall, towering over the main character like a skyscraper and as they loomed in closer masculine features could be made out beneath the shadows, sun-kissed skin shrouded by black cloth.' It is imagery that tends to make pieces of writing interesting and captivating while also giving length and depth to the piece. If you struggle finding words to use, there is certainly no shame in having a thesaurus up while you write to find more appropriate words for a scene that might give you that imagery edge that can spark more content to work with. Don't focus on the word count when writing, focus on these tips first and if by the end of your post you haven't reached 300 words, go back in and see if there are places you can add more to describe the scene. This doesn't have to be your big looming monster, find someone who is understanding and willing to work with you on increasing your comfortable word count. This community is very friendly and always open to help new, budding writers.


Dear Stag,
Lately my parents have been pushing for me to attend college studying a field that I don't have any interest in. I don't want to take their sacrifice for my education for granted, but at the same time I don't want to be locked in an occupation that will make me miserable. What should I do?
- Anonymous Phoenix

  • One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can give is for you to look into the field your parents are pushing you to study. While it might not be something that interests you initially, many colleges have lists of jobs that cater towards a certain field or major. If your parents are pushing you towards a specific occupation, you could try and shadow someone for a few days? A lot of professionals will allow you to do this for a day or a few days. By shadowing them you are able to gain more experience than just studying for classes. You get to see what the job is like day to day and see what kinds of things they handle. You're able to get a more hands-on experience which is always very nice. Another thing that you can do is online research. Depending on what the field is, or occupation, there could be a lot online that you're able to find and read about such as job availability, what kind of degree is required, and even some information about the daily routine for the job. The last piece of advice that I can think of is to speak with a career advisor at a local college. Explaining the situation, and wanting to know more about the specific major, career field, or occupation is always a good idea. Career advisors are there to help students who are in similar situations as yourself, are unsure as to what path they want to take in life, or simply want to know more about what each major that interests them does. While I agree that you shouldn't take your parents sacrifice for your education for granted, you also need to do what is best for you. It won't be your parents' job. It will be yours, and I definitely don't think that you should be pushed into something that will only end up making you miserable. Also, sitting down and talking with your parents one on one is always a good option. You could explain that this specific field or occupation doesn't interest you, but also show them all the things that you have done to better educate yourself about the field such as - the online research, seeing what other job options are available, shadowing a professional, and speaking with a career advisor.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Writing Tips

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:51 am

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This month's Writing Tips theme is on Writing Fight Scenes. To read more in depth, go here.

Fight scenes can be difficult to write. However, there are some devices that can be used to write a fight scene that grips a reader from start to finish. First, we'll start with the cardinal rule of fight scenes.

1. Don't overwrite.
You should leave as much as you can to the reader's imagination. This is especially true for action scenes. You may envision the fight a certain way, but you can't force the reader to see the exact same thing. Instead, give them an outline of the fight and they'll imagine their own fight scene. Although it goes against a writer's instincts, writing 'they struggled' provides for a more vivid picture than trying to describe the exact position of the each combatant's arms.

2. Pace.
Making the pace of your writing more intense can convey the immediacy and suddenness of conflict. Short, simple sentences keep readers on their toes. Fights are quick, so your description should reflect, or match, that. Short, concise sentences are a must for any fight scene. However, pacing works best when combined with perspective.

3. Perspective.
When writing objectively, it is difficult to convey excitement. The key to this is to thrust the reader into the thick of the action. In order for this to happen, the reader needs to experience the fight through a character. However, this doesn't mean you have to write in first person.

4. Verbs not adverbs.
Fight scenes require conciseness. Adverbs are the opposite of this. Instead of writing something like "Adam hit him hard in the chest, again and again" write "Adam pounded at his chest." The occasional adverb may have its place, but you want the punch of the sentence to come with the character's action.

5. Sensory information.
Description in fight scenes don't work since thought doesn't play a huge part in immediate, physical situations. However, there is plenty of sensory information such as the taste of blood, the ringing in the character's ears, the ache of injuries, and so forth. Sensory information is also more relatable to readers, since not everyone has been held up by the collar. However, everyone has heard fabric tear. Everyone has tasted their own blood after an accident. Using these minor descriptions can provide a lot of detailed information without the reader consciously considering it.

6. Just the results.
The opposite of writing a fight scene, yet still worth consideration, is to skip the violence completely. This depends on whether you're trying to provide action or communicate violence. For the latter, skipping the violence can be extremely effective. This doesn't mean you have to skip the fight completely. Just remember that you can create a powerful sense of what's happening by referencing the results.

7. Detail is a dirty word.
TV and movies have taught us that the choreography of a fight is the important thing. However, different mediums call for different tricks. Write around the physical actions. Set the mood and write the sounds, smells, tastes, and feel of combat. Your reader will create their own scene within their mind.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Life Tips

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:52 am

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This month's life tips is over Interview Preparation.

There are two main parts of an interview - the information and the presentation.

The Information


Your documents: First and foremost, have at least one copy of your resume with you. Maybe three just to be safe in case multiple people interview you - demonstrating that you show up prepared, and being able to hand them each a copy can really make a good first impression that you are serious about wanting the job. It’s not as important to have a copy of your cover letter with you, but couldn’t hurt (not all jobs may need a cover letter though - it would ask for one in the initial application process). Another resource is a portfolio, depending on the job. If your experience relevant to the position can be illustrated in printed visuals, put together a portfolio! For example, if you work in GIS and make digital maps, have some final products printed out. If you are a model, have some prints to show in person. If you are an artist, an architect, if you have written something that was published in a magazine - having these to show can be pretty great!

Examples of prior work, accomplishments, etc.: Be prepared to explain prior experiences - this definitely includes a time when you managed a project, found a solution, dealt with conflict, etc. Also do research on how to turn a negative (like your ‘worst trait’) into a positive. Ask others what you are good at, if you feel like you may have trouble selling yourself.

Knowledge of the job you are applying for, and the company: Company-specific prep - reread the job posting, look into the company - its goals, values, history, etc. Don’t show up only knowing the name of the company. Of course you want a job - show that you want THIS job at THIS employer. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions! What size team would you be apart of, what projects have they been working on recently.

The Presentation

Your outfit: Clothes and appearance - this differs based on the type of job somewhat; for example if interviewing at a law firm a suit may be expected, while a teen at a grocery store may just want a nice blouse. Generally speaking, nice slacks or a skirt with a nice blouse or button down shirt is appropriate. ABsolutely no sandals or tank tops. Keep it simple, and make an effort to dress nicer than you would on a daily basis at that job - for example adding a blazer or sportcoat if you want to look more formal. Generally the goal is to be presentable and polished! In some settings, more style and personality may be appropriate, such as fashion places.

Your hygiene: Make sure you showered; the last thing you want to do is waltz in with a breeze of body odor following in your wake. Makeup isn’t mandatory, but be clean with brushed teeth and decent hair.

Your attitude: Be respectful. It’s okay to be nervous and even better to show that it’s because you CARE and want this job!

Your body language: Make eye contact, smile, be polite and friendly. It’s fine to show a bit of personality, but don’t slouch or avoid their gaze. Stay open, like sitting up decently and keeping your hands out of your pockets and not folded over your chest.

3 things to consider:
1. Can you do the job
2. Can you work well with others
3. Do you care and want the job.

Potential employers will want to feel that you meet all three of these criteria. If you are knowledgeable and have good people skills but forget which interview you are at, then clearly you are not committed. If you are friendly and earnestly want the coding job but you’ve never written code in your life, then you also may not fare well. And lastly, if you want the job and know how to do it but you can’t communicate with others, don’t know how to work as a team, avoid others or boss them around constantly, still not good.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Character Interview & Prompt

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:52 am

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1. Does your character have a habit or something that gives away when they are nervous?
2. How does your character respond to stressful situations?
3. Is your character able to lie to others? Are they good at it?
4. Name three things your character fears - is there one they fear more than the others?
5. Where would your character go if they wanted to be alone?
6. If your character could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
7. Does your character prefer hot weather or cold weather? Or are they not bothered?
8. Has your character ever kept any kind of diary or journal? If so, why?
9. What would you character's dream wedding be like?
10. What does your character think about kids? Do they want any of their own?
11. What's the first word that comes to mind to describe your character?
12. Does your character have a distinct style of clothing that they always wear?
13. Is there a particular skill your character doesn't have but would like to learn?
14. Who is the first person your character would tell important news to?
15. Is your character competitive?

x Prompt x
"You had one job. All you had to do was live."
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Member Corner

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:53 am

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Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Just a suggestion, but I was wondering if there could be an (anonymous) feedback round about what users think of site experience etc. in one of the next Afflatus (possibly through google doc). I think it would help AS a lot & point out sore spots.
That's why the option to submit things other than Dear Stags, Prompt Suggestions, Anon Compliments/Critiques, Featured Writing Nominations, and Critique pieces is available through the Google Form! If you have any questions, concerns, feedback, ideas that you would like to bring forth to the staff but want to do so anonymously, the Google Form is the perfect way to do this! It will then be brought to the attention of the entire staff and discussed. Any suggestions, questions, and so forth would be featured here, in the member corner! The "Other" option is not only for the Afflatus, it is for the rest of the site as well!
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Do you have ideas as to what you would like to see here? Don't be afraid to share through our google form!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Featured Writing

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:53 am

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Eggcelent by Deer
Hidden text.
Her mind was pleasantly foggy, giggles escaping from her lips as she was sprawled out on her bed. A red sea of hair was surrounding her, the girl turning her face to watch the brunette sitting next to her. Another laugh, her thin fingers raising to poke her best friend in her side. “You are such a silly goose.” she smirked, another laugh escaping from her lips before she was sitting up to sip from her red wine. The two of them had drank quite some alcohol and the redhead had needed it badly. The last few days had been rough on her and after she had left Andrew at the French restaurant, she had closed down so much that Darren had kidnapped her from the base and taken her home so she could have some much needed quality time with Val.

“Me? Silly? I beg you pardon, madam.” Valerie retorted, a chuckle escaping from her lips as well as she turned to poke the freckled cheeks of the redhead. “I shouldn’t give you more wine. You are getting drunk.” she reasoned, even if she was pleasantly tipsy herself as well. But she wasn’t as far gone as the redhead, who was probably almost seeing a kaleidoscope on the ceiling seeing with how much she was giggling. “Yes. Silly. Silly, silly goose. You are on the loose.” she laughed again, turning herself around on the bed to rest on her stomach in a fit of laughter.

Valerie shook her head, reaching out to grab the empty bottle of wine, putting it aside before laying down next to the redhead. The girl just waited for the redhead to be done laughing, brushing some red hairs out of her pale face. “You know, geese lay big eggs, I think.” the redhead suddenly murmured, turning herself around again to glance at the ceiling.

“Alright, no more wine for you.” Valerie grinned, somewhere secretly enjoying the mood of the redhead. It was nice to see her so carefree after all the shit she had been through. Andrew was far, far away from her mind so if she wanted to occupy that with the thought of geese, sure, why not? Valerie wasn’t one to judge.
Demon or Angel by periwinkle
Hidden text.
So maybe sneaking out of the castle hadn't been such a good idea. It had seemed like a good idea earlier, back before the princess had been caught up in the situation she was in currently in. The night had started out unusually enough; the constantly obedient daughter of the king had made a daring move to slip away from the castle - the only home she'd ever known. Sybil's longing for freedom had escalated as the girl matured, and finally she could stand seeing the same hallways of the castle no longer. For just one night, she would be a regular citizen of France. With some "borrowed" servant's clothes on, and a cloak thrown over them in an attempt to hide her identity, the royal had slipped past the negligent guards and into the city. After exploring the streets unattended for a while, she had spotted a pub that seemed pretty lively. Curiously, she had wandered in, and ended up staying and simply observing the French commoners within for hours on end. Although she thought she wasn't gathering any attention by simply sitting in a corner quietly by herself, it was that exact behavior that drew eyes her way. Within a room of rowdy, drunk citizens, she was the only one not drinking. Pretty young women didn't often sit in a pub like this alone, also, unless they were there for particular services offered in the upstairs bedrooms. There was another person in the pub like her, sitting in a different corner. However, this man blended in seamlessly with the background, and with a mug of ale in front of him and a tavern whore on clinging to his side, no one paid him any mind. Blue-green eyes watched the out-of-place brunette across the room in something akin to amusement.

Sybil's night changed the moment a clearly drunk man sat down at her table with her. The full mug of ale he held half-emptied as he tried to slam it down on the table, succeeding in only misjudging the distance and knocking into the wooden edge. The ale spilled over the rim of its confines onto the table and into the man's lap, but he didn't seem to notice. "What's a lady like you doing here alone?" He slurred, his voice and speech a clear indication of his current state. In her surprise, Sybil didn't answer. She hadn't expected to be spoken to at all that night. No one had spoken to her yet in the many hours she'd been away from the castle; she hadn't been expecting anyone to approach her in the pub as well. The man squinted his already beady eyes, leaning forward and peering under the hood Sybil wore. Wide blue eyes looked back at him, and Sybil prayed he wouldn't notice he was conversing with the princess of the country. If her father knew about her little escapade... "You a whore? You look like one," The man said instead, taking in her ragged appearance. Quickly, Sybil shook her head. It was time she left. "Excuse me, I must go now," she murmured, not meeting the man's glazed eyes as she stood and swiftly left the pub from a side exit. She couldn't get caught; it was safer to leave at the first sign of danger than to stick around and have her true identity revealed. At least, that was what she thought. The drunkard watched the woman leave before downing the rest of the contents of his mug and following. The man in the corner with the blue-green eyes watched the scene before sighing, pushing the whore off him before standing. When the woman protested he merely rolled his eyes, flicking a few coins onto the table to appease the harlot before following after the two.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Activity Center

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:54 am

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For this issue, we're doubling up on prompts! We will use the same point system as we always do for the Afflatus prompts, meaning you can earn a total of 30 points for the activity prompt! Title your post AS Afflatus: Activity Prompt when posting your prompt!

"I never said thank you, did I?"
"For what?"
"For...well...everything."

Have suggestions for future activities? Don't be afraid to share through the google form!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 12 - Anon Compliments & Critique

Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:54 am

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Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I'd like to give a shout out to Deer for being a lovely House Keeper during her time on staff. I've made a good friend and someone I can look up to <3 I love you Orange Deer <3
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:A small shout out to Spot because (among many things) she is an incredible writer and friend who I love to pieces. Things have been busy recently so there hasn't been as much time to talk but that doesn't get in the way of how glad I am to have you as a friend and writing partner <3
Anonymous Kitsune wrote:Sending lots of love and hugs to periwinkle for being an amazing roleplay partner, writer and friend in general! Lots of happiness to you, hun. ♥
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