AS Afflatus: Issue Thirty-Two

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AS Afflatus: Issue Thirty-Two

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:13 pm

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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: Thunderofthedrum, Commander Shepard, Snow, Ichor, Cas, Smamm, morningstar, Deer, Blue, sylver, gold. Here is our team page.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Updates

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:13 pm

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Staff changes:We have an upcoming staff change as well as a recent one! If you haven't already, please read the announcements here and here.

1x1 RP event: The 1x1 Roleplay event has officially begun! If you are interested in this or would like to review, please check here.

Discord Server: AS is trying out having a Discord! This area is for quicker chat and does have some rules. More info can be found here.
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A reminder: the Social Media Event is currently on pause as we evaluate things and get feedback! There are still a few days to participate in the discussion or surveys, so if you would like to, check out the announcement here!

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Issue 31 Totals:
x Halcyon - 265
Vipera - 140
Sagacitas - 125
Amaranthine - 40
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Dear Stag

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:14 pm

Dear Stag,
I'm planning to move out, but want to be able to save as much as I can. Any tips of saving money or just spending less?
- Anonymous Unicorn
  • Hi! This is a brilliant question! Our lovely attendant Sylver provided me with this write up. They also told me to say that if anyone has any budget-related questions to message them, as it is something they have worked very hard on!

    Tracking expenses and savings

    This is, by far, the most important step. Tracking expenses and savings will show you just what you spend (or don’t spend) your money on and thus provide useful information on your spending/saving habits. It will make you aware of what you might want to cut back on, and it will also make you more aware of your finances in general.

    I (Sylver) actually use the Kakeibo budgeting method to track my own expenses. Just like you, I want to move out soon, and I had a lot of success with this method, as it enabled me to save 10.000 € in a little over a year!

    There are varied ways of using this method; I actually purchased a pre-made little Kakeibo planner, but there are also free apps out there, or you can easily make your own using excel spreadsheets or a paper notebook as well.

    The basic steps to the Kakeibo method are the following:

    Establish your budget each month. Write down all of your monthly income (salary from your job/s, social welfare, possibly pocket money, etc.). Also write down all of your fixed, monthly recurring expenses (e.g. public transport tickets, mobile plan, car insurance, streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify, gym membership, loan repayments, etc.)


    Set your savings goal each month. No matter how big or small, set a goal that you absolutely want to meet for the month. You can start out with a small sum, and slowly work your way up to bigger sums if you’re unsure of just how much you can save easily without having to, say, starve yourself for a week.


    Finalize your budget. Take the sum of your monthly income, and then subtract all recurring expenses, as well as the amount you want to save. The sum you have left? That’s your budget for the month.


    Track your expenses by category. Kakeibo uses four categories, which are:
    Needs: Things you need to survive, such as food, hygiene products, cleaning products, medication, etc.
    Wants: Anything you enjoy/want, but don’t absolutely need to survive, such as new clothes, eating out at a restaurant, video games, home decorations, etc.
    Culture: Cultural goods. These are things such as museum and cinema visits, books, music/concerts, etc.
    Unexpected: Any expenses you couldn’t anticipate, such as a car repair, a doctor’s visit, a new fridge after your old one broke beyond repair, etc.


    Note that it’s VERY important that you do this regularly and stay dedicated! The method won’t work if you get lazy and stop tracking on days where you simply don’t feel like it, or forgot. Note down every single purchase, from the bubblegum for a few cents, to that expensive new leather jacket. Small amounts may seem insignificant, but they do add up! That bottle of coke you buy every day may only be $1, but $1 a day still amounts to $30 a month.


    Calculate money spent and saved each week. Once a week of tracking is over, calculate how much you spent. Deduct that sum from your previously established budget. How much do you have left? That is your current amount saved beyond your set savings goal for the month. Transfer that amount over to the next week and repeat that process for the rest of the month.

    At the end of the month, assess your performance and reflect on it. Make an overview of the month. How much did you spend on what categories? Is there anything you spend particularly much on that you realize you don’t need? Maybe a few less restaurant visits, or not renewing your wardrobe every month is a good idea? Seeing your spending habits is one step towards using your money in a mindful manner. Taking actions to reduce the amount of money you spend are the next step. If you don’t achieve your savings goal in a month with lots of unexpected expenses (first your car broke down, then your dog needed surgery, then you got extremely sick and needed to see the doctor, etc.), it wasn't your fault that you didn’t make it. If you didn’t make your goal because you spent too much on wants, or cultural goods though? You may want to make some changes to your lifestyle.

    Lifestyle changes

    As mentioned above, you might want to make some small (or big) changes to your day to day life to save more money. The following tips are always useful though, not just when you’re actually working towards a goal!

    Eat at home as much as possible, cook your own meals and bring your own food to work. Eating pre-cooked meals is usually cheaper than eating at restaurants, and cooking your own meals (especially when prepared in bulk so you have leftovers to eat at work/for dinner the next day) is even cheaper than that. Plus, it’s usually healthier too!


    Pay attention to what’s on sale at stores each week. You can save a lot of cash simply by buying things when they’re on sale. There are things you can bulk-buy on sale, such as bottled water or hygiene products, and then there are things you may not be able to bulk-buy, but can still save money by planning accordingly. The store has certain ingredients on sale next week? Look into recipes using those ingredients and plan your meals accordingly!

    Try to walk to your destinations as often as you can. Rather than paying to take the bus, or use your car, why not walk for short distances? Not only will you save money otherwise spent on public transport fares or gas, you’ll also get some fresh air and exercise.

    Try second-hand shopping for clothes and items. We all have our guilty pleasures, be it shopping for clothes, books, video games, or cute decorations. A good way to indulge yourself now and again without spending a small fortune is to get used items! Go to second-hand stores, or perhaps snoop around online - there are lots of sites where private sellers offer used items in mint condition that cost half the price of the same thing when it’s entirely new.

    Try to pay in cash as often as possible. Paying with a credit or debit card can actually make you less mindful of how much you spend. Cash money is the way to go for this - you can see it, feel it, and will definitely notice when your once full wallet is suddenly empty.

    Look at your fixed expenses and decide if you really need to spend money on all of them. Yes, that Netflix ultra HD subscription is nice, but do you really need it to watch a movie maybe once a week max? Or, if it’s used often and you don’t want to give it up entirely, do you actually need ultra HD, or is a downgrade to a cheaper plan a feasible option to save a bit of cash for you? Determining which expenses are worth it and which aren’t is an important step towards saving money.

    Save your change in a coin bank. If you’re like me, you never use your small change. Dump any change you get into a coin bank, and bring it to an actual bank once it is full. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to save up a decent amount without even trying that way!

    Use the 48-hour-method. If you’re an impulsive buyer, force yourself to wait for 48 hours/2 days before making any unneeded purchases, especially when they’re on the expensive side and not a limited time offer. If you still want the item after that time period and it is within your budget, indulge yourself - naturally, you shouldn’t do this too often though. There is a difference between treating yourself and wasting money on 100 things you don’t need.



I am going to a major theme park fairly soon. What essentials should I pack in my day bag (such as a small umbrella)?
- Anonymous Wyvern
  • Hi! This is a brilliant question!!

    A small umbrella is a great idea! A similar solution could be a poncho, which would also work well as protection on water rides. If permitted, a snack and a bottle of water are great as food and drink tend to be expensive at theme parks. If the weather is going to be sunny, sunglasses and/or a hat may be warranted, and don’t forget sunscreen! A baggie (such as Ziploc) may come in handy to protect any electronics such as your phone or camera in cases or rain or water rides. For other comforts, any painkillers or meds you might use, hand sanitizer (high traffic public place where you touch everything), and some spending money are all good to consider! Lastly, two additional optional items might be spare socks (again – water rides) and a charger bank for your phone if it’s prone to dying. And, of course, any purse/pocket type items you typically like to have on you, such as lip balm. Hope you have an awesome time!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Member Interview

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:14 pm

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1. What are you currently reading? Thoughts so far?
2.What did you want to be growing up? Are you doing that now? Why/Why not?
3. You discovered a magic lamp and summoned a genie. What are your three wishes (unlimited wishes do not count)?
4. What is your favourite movie? Write a sentence review!
5. What are your hobbies?
6. What’s your favourite memory from the past month?
7. What are you looking forward to in the next month?
8. What’s a song that will get you through a rough day? Why does it help?
9. Are there any challenges approaching you in the next few weeks? How are you going to tackle them?
10. What’s your current favourite colour? Has it changed?
11. Do you have any plans for valentines day?
12. Do you have any tattoos? If so, what are they? If not, do you want any?
13. If you could pick any animal as a giant companion, what would you choose? Why?
14. What’s your favourite Pokemon? If you don’t have one, try find one you think is cool!
15. What TV show are you watching currently?

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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - OTP Interview & Prompt

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 pm

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1. It’s Valentine's day! Which character makes a thoughtful gift, and which character goes to the local supermarket to buy bargain flowers?
2. What is the only thing that could come between your character's relationship/friendship? What would be the effect of this?
3. If you were to compare your characters to a famous duo, who would you choose and why?
4. Who throws out the low blow in the argument, and who sticks to the facts?
5. Do they have a ‘song’? What is it, and why?
6. How did they first meet? If they could change it, would they?
7. Who would break up with the other? Why?
8. Which of the pair is the quickest to judge others?
9. Is their relationship healthy? Why/why not?
10. Can you see them growing old together? Or will their love fizzle out?
11. Do they trust one another? Why/why not?
12. Is their relationship faultless? Why/why not?
13. Do they have a regular ‘date’ they’ll do, like watch a TV show or go to the movies?
14. Do they fight? Often?
15. Are they a ‘soft’ couple or not? What is their relationship like?


x Prompt x
Pick one (1) of the two prompts.

Marked

or

His laugh sounded like destruction and chaos.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Member Corner

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 pm

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Anonymous Wyvern wrote:Can we have that activity (I have forgotten which issue it was), where all of the staff answered questions that members have provided? I thought that was super neat to learn more about the staff members!
  • Thank you so much for the submission! This one will take a little sorting out (so it might appear in the issue after next) but I really, really like it and totally want to put it into place!

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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 32 - Featured Works

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 pm

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Leesi's art stuff by LeesiGalaxy
Hidden text.
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betrayal // sebastian x kai by breadstick
Hidden text.
Life doesn’t particularly treat Sebastian well, everything considered, and he has to wonder when he’s going to die. He has never believed in an afterlife, nor has he been at all convinced by the idea of reincarnation – he’s too confounded with the thoughts of how he’s going to die in the end to be concerned with such questions. Whatever happens is going to happen, and he can’t control it, so what is the point in worrying about it? He often runs over through the ways in which he’s likely to die – at the hands of a merman, at the hands of enemy pirates - thousands of times, though he has always escaped alive, even if he was barely clinging to the last threads of life. He’s always pulled through, even from what had seemed like inevitable doom. But two decades as a pirate has worn thin on him, and he was losing his edge. As much as he had loved his crew, they were not what they had once been, and everyone he had known at the start of his journey was now dead. He’s the only one left. He’s respected, of course, but he argues with the less experienced members of the crew more often than he does not. He does not have anyone he could call a close friend, not any more, and though the captain considers him one of the senior members of his crew, Sebastian himself does not quite support the captain with the same vigor as he might’ve some of the previous captains. He doesn’t agree much with him, his decisions or the way he treated his crew, but he is his captain, and he will be damned if he went behind his orders.

indentThe one thing he’s always been certain that there won’t be any danger from is his own crew. He trusts them with his life, has put his safety in their hands countless times in the past, and has risked his life for them just as many. They may not be the same people as he knew before, the crew having changed beyond all recognition from when he had joined at first, but he’s still undyingly loyal to them all, and knows they will do anything for him – and he will do anything for them, too, regardless of his emotional attachment to them. Because they’re all they have – there is no other option for them. They know that, he knows that, and that’s why they devote their lives to one another. It’s because hey have no other option – it’s an unspoken truth they all share, regardless of what age they belonged to. He has his principles, they have theirs, and they stick with one another as if they had known one another their entire lives.
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Activity Center

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 pm

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For this month's activity, you need to write a love note! It can be between your OTP, from a friend to another; anything!

You can create up to two (2) notes for this activity, each worth 15 points. So, a total of 30 points if you do both!


Have suggestions for future activities? Don't be afraid to share through the google form!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Anon Compliments

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 pm

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Anonymous Unicorn wrote:i'd like to thank kami for all the amazing work she's done for AS, and also for being an utterly wonderful and lovely friend. i love you and hope that you're taking great care of yourself. i'm glad to know you and wish you all the best, always, little lawyer owl! <3
Anonymous Wyvern wrote:I appreciate all that deer does for the site. they are always on top of things, keeps the members updated, friendly and approachable if you have a question, etc.
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:important - i'd like to be a bit gay on main and thank daddy important for being an amazing friend and a wonderful, caring and funny person in general. thank you for being there for me (and playing ESO with me without complaining about how much i succ TM). godd bless you & i hope 2020 is gonna get better and better for you. you deserve it, daddy bear <3
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Deer - a massive thank you to deer for always doing a wonderful job! from the new forum theme, to our lovely discord server, you did amazing and i just want to make sure you know how much all of the time, effort and work you put into the site is appreciated. you also manage to be kind, yet steadfast and fair at the same time and i really appreciate that as well! keep on deer'ing, overdeer <3
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:Cas - what's up 4€ cas? congrats on finishing your essays! i may not have seen the end results, but i know you've worked hella hard on them and the restraint and dedication you showed while working is truly admirable! you deserve good grades on those essays & anyone who disagrees can catch these wings. hopefully you get to take a little breather now! keep being amazing <3
Anonymous Kistune wrote:Lots of affection, support and respect for our ex-Global/Roleplay Moderator important. Not only is he an amazing person to know and love, but he has been such a good addition to the staff and one of the nicest people overall. It's amazing to have been granted the chance to work with this lovable bean and I hope our friendships keeps going on for years and years and that one day, we're going to have that deep 4 AM talk while sitting on your couch and playing Skyrim or any other shit. You're an amazing person and I love you to death. You're one of the best friends I've made here on AS and I wouldn't give that up for anything. Please remember that you're loved and that everyone is insanely blessed to have you in their lives. <3
Anonymous Unicorn wrote:I want to thank Gamora for keeping the event discussion and polls up to date and going!
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AS Afflatus - Issue 32 - Reminders & Point System

Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:16 pm

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Just a couple of reminders for the Afflatus! x
1. Any entry submitted through the Google form is worth 5 points. Things that will be submitted through the Google form are:

xxxxxxxa. Dear Stag submissions
xxxxxxxb. Prompt Suggestions
xxxxxxxc. Featured Works Nominations
xxxxxxxd. Anonymous Compliments
xxxxxxxe. Member Corner Submissions
xxxxxxxf. Question Submissions
xxxxxxxg. Suggestions/Questions for the Afflatus or site

2. Dear Stag can feature anything you want to ask. This can be writing tips, life tips, advice, and so forth. Keep in mind that the Afflatus is posted once a month, so things that need to be answered urgently are not best to submit. Additionally, we are not professionals, so heavy matters should be discussed with a trusted adult. We will do our best to answer each submission every issue, but may have to save other matters for later issues.

3. Dear Stag submissions should be submitted by the end of the second week of the month, so that there is enough time to provide an adequate response to the submission.

4. The Featured Works segment can feature anything from the site. Roleplays, characters, art, personal writing. When submitting a featured work, please include the member's url, the url to the post and post title, and state what it is that is being featured. I will notify users that their work has been featured.

5. When submitting an anonymous compliment, please include username and link to their profile. I notify these users after each issue is posted so that they know they've received a compliment and it makes it easy to track them down in case usernames are changed!

6. When posting submissions to the thread, please make sure the name of the submission is in the title. So, if it's a character interview, please mention that in the title. If it is an activity, please put that in the title. However, it is not a big deal if it is forgotten, though it can clear up any potential confusion.

7. Please post each submission to the thread in separate posts. This makes tallying points much easier.

8. Remember, you can post up to two (2) character interviews/otp quizzes per issue and only one prompt per issue.

9. You are welcome to submit anything to the Member Corner, within reason. Book reviews, recipes, and anything else you can think of. Not everything will be able to used, but will certainly still count for points and saved for future use! The Member Corner will also be used to address any feedback received through the Google form.

10. At the end of the month I will post the following on the thread: "Any posts made after this will not count towards points." I will be trying to stay consistent with this and plan on doing this on the last day of every month by 11:30 PM CST time. Please note that if this doesn't happen for a day (or more) then you can assume it's fair game to submit more things to the thread, since it is likely taking some time to get the next issue out. The Google form, however, will be closed the night before the next issue.
x Points System x Through Google Form

Dear Stag Submission ……………………....................................... 5 points
Featured Works Nomination ………………................................... 5 points
Future Prompt Suggestion ………………...................................... 5 points
Compliment Submission ………………......................................... 5 points
Member Corner Submission ………………................................... 5 points
Character Interview Question Submission (min 5) ……........... 5 points
Member Interview Question Submission (min 5) ……............. 5 points
Feedback Submission ……………….............................................. 5 points

Through Thread

Character Interview/OTP Quiz Submission ………… 10 points
Member Interview Submission ………...................… 10 points

Prompt Submission
0-500 words ………………………. 10 points
500-1000 words ………………….. 20 points
1000-2000+ words ……………….. 30 points

Activity Participation - will vary depending on level of difficulty
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