The Weekly Review - Edition 21
A What’s New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article explaining what to do after you get banned by Steve 24833!
An Interview of the fantastic site member TharaApples!
A Review of Romulus’s great Fan Fiction story The Raven!
A Short Story by the terrific writer Mizal!
A Special Section of jokes!
- In Newbie Central newcomer Kurokun introduces his or her fantastic self to the site!
- In the Lounge Seto celebrates reaching the rank of Journeyman Scrivener (2500 points) in just six months!
- In News and Updates nothing happens!
- In the Parlour Room EndMaster annihilates a wave of new poor quality stories from yet another school project whose organisers don’t care if they block the new stories section up with spam!
- In the Forum Games B101 looks for members to sign up to an interesting new Walking Dead Forum Game (and this author goes along for the ride to find out what all the fuss is about with these games)!
- In the Writing Workshop ZagHero shares rather good examples of his writing with other members!
- In the Reading Corner Seto markets his friend’s book!
- In the Advanced Editor Forum Cell100 triggers a fantastically hilarious response from Mizal in a thread about Variables!
- In the Feature Wishing Well you could hear a pin drop!
- In Bugs and Problems section everybody B101 seeks assistance over page problems!
Featured Article – What to do when you’ve been banned
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared as a post on the Forums but it is so useful and colourfully written Steve has given permission for me to reproduce it here.
So you've been banned!
Aw, it looks like you've been banned for being an unrelenting shit bag! Maybe you annoyed the fuck out of everyone, maybe you endlessly posted nonsense or maybe you made a bunch of alts to make it look like there were people in real life who couldn't tell how much of a wanker you are! Anyway, here's a few easy steps to get around it.
Step One: Shut the fuck up
Your first response might be incredulity. Is this a glitch? A mistake? I couldn't possibly have been banned! I'm such a productive member! Look, every single thread on the Lounge's front page is from me! I've started so many great threads! You should ban those mean people who said curse words to me!
Still, it's the truth. Before you begin spewing your awful word vomit into the forums or directly into members' inboxes, stop. Unfortunately no one cares, and you're clearly not articulate enough to convince anyone, as everyone knows the articulate members of the site get away with everything! So rule one, shut up.
Step Two: Lay low
Now that your nonsensical ramblings have been silenced, you need to lie low. The site's Moderators, AKA dictator-bullies, are on the look-out for you. If you try to sneak back in with a clever alt (because no one will expect that you're secretly IN a Cent or RanDomDuma$$), they'll find you, and only become more vigilant. You need to hide it out.
Now, I know what you're thinking: how long will I have to lie low? Clearly, I'm such a huge menace the site will be nervous about me coming back for years! Not true, random scumfuck! While the Adminute Men are on the look out now, ready to ban you at a moment's notice, soon attention will turn to the next random fuck wit. Then, it's time.
Step Three: Return!
After the attention has died down, you can easily return. Either slip back onto the site with an alt, or just waltz back in and loudly announce who you are. No one will care, as the general hatred will have shifted towards Fag-fuckface ~#3285934, so you're good! Now, you're back! Your trials and tribulations are over! You now have a second chance to be better! You will be better, won't you?
Step Four: Start again!
Of course not! You're a fucking dimwit! Now that you're back, you're sure the site's changed. Now, people will be willing to have an intelligent and friendly discussion about "SOMEBODY AT SCHOOL DID SOMETHING STUPID LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT IT" or "LOLZ LOOK AT THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO". You're sure THIS time it'll be different! And if it isn't, fuck it, Step One, Step Two and Step Three were easy! Let's do it again!
Featured Interview - Introducing TharaApples
A longtime member of the site, a prolific poster and a lady who has recently done fantastic work in helping the Admins and Mods clean up this site this week I got to interview the wonderfully nice and nicely wonderful TharaApplies a.k.a. The Apple Witch!
1. What first got you interested in joining the site and what parts have you most enjoyed or disliked since you have been here?
Well to answer the first question, well... I actually joined a bunch of other cyoa sites before finding this one (mostly as a guest,) and I would spend so much of my time reading the stories that were on them. Before long, I read nearly everything sites like Infinite Story had to offer, and I just thought to myself, 'there has to be more games like this out here.' And lo and behold, I was right :)
Another thing that got me interested in this site like most people, was EndMaster's stories! But tthn I happened to discover other great stories written by so many other talented writers here. You, Steve, Ogre, cheniepenny, and Briar, of course! Just to name a few.
2. Who are your favourite people on the site and why?
I like Raven. He's pretty fun to talk to and has been providing me with some story advice for my own storygames, and I like reading the stories that he shows me. Tim is pretty great, and Chris. I like you too, you remind of that nice teacher. Oh, and cdrive who's quite talented when it comes to being a GM for some interesting forum games.
I've been talking to Briar lately and she's very cool ^-^
3. You have been providing a great deal of assistance recently in helping the mods clean up the various parts of the site, what has motivated you to do this so much?
Why, thank you! :3 I can't really say what exactly motivated me, but maybe it could be that I used to read storygames and see nonsensical comments that perplexed me? It started off with me recommending that things like that be done away with, before I felt like I could do more to help around here, so I began to do my suggestions while keeping up with my reading, and other affairs.
4. If you could change various aspects of the site what would you like to change first and why?
In a technical sense or more personal sense? Well, I'd like if Killa and End would be able to do those things with the articles that they want. And as for personal, I'd like if we all made a better effort to be a bit more welcoming towards some people that may join this site.
5. Are there any stories you are writing or planning to publish in the future?
I'm currently working on three storygames at the moment. It's moving slowly, but I am more of a reader than writer, so I suppose it can't be helped sometimes :p
I may join the December contest as a starting point towards my writing. It depends if I'll have the confidence, really.
6. Many members know little and care less about the Forum Games but you seem to enjoy them, can you tell us a bit more about them?
Forum games, huh? Well, I don't think they're bad as some people think. Maybe they are, but it's really just for fun. It's fun and I can see the effort that it takes to GM for them, and it's not something that everyone can do so easily.
I find them to be enjoyable, but forum games aren't the reason that I joined this place. I do have a passion for literature and one that will always stay with me ^-^
7. How do you feel the site has changed and evolved (or possibly devolved) in the time you have been here?
I haven't been here long. My join date says differently but I've only been active for some months now, so not much has changed here. Some people left and that's really all there is. I do see the effort to improve the quality of certain things like storygames and such, and I like it quite a bit.
It's something that's nice to see.
8. What do you think the future holds for the site and for your role in it?
Umm, hopefully the future holds hundreds of more quality written storygames for us all to read and enjoy. ^-^
9. What has been the most funny (intentionally or unintentionally) thing to happen to you recently?
It's far too embarrassing to say. Sorry.
10. Finally are there any last words you would like to share, perhaps to any new site members?
Umm, perhaps I can say for anyone that is new is to try your best? Set goals for yourself here and hold yourself to personal commitments for you to surpass? Like a daily quota of stories to read, or maybe a daily quota of well, anything really.
Featured Review: The Raven, a Fan Fiction Story (Published 2015)
Like Cheniepenny, Rommel, TSMPaul and literally dozens of other names I often feel that Romulus, the author of The Raven, is one of the great relatively unknown authors on this site compared to the more visible admins, mods and others who, like me, are constantly drawing attention to themselves. Romulus has written six fantastic stories but The Raven is the first to be featured and in my opinion it is as well written as anything else you might find on this site.
Based on the famous Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name this chilling masterpiece is as inexplicably mysterious as its source material and throughout gives the reader the impression of being trapped in a nightmare and like a spider’s web every fresh choice of which way to go to escape only traps the reader in deeper. Ultimately a strange sort of resolution can be found with the right choices but I don’t want to spoil the story except by recommending that the reader try this story for themselves.
At 6/8 in Length the story is perhaps a little on the short side (though many times the length of its source material) and this combined with a couple of minor grammar errors might explain why it has received a 6/8 rating rather than the 7/8 rating it deserves. The story is not overly complex or difficult but it is sad and haunting, a great example of a talented author’s work (though there are many more). This story is a fantastic experience that I would recommend to all fans of good writing.
Featured Short Story – A Short Story by Mizal
To read Part Two please click this link to Edition 19 of The Weekly Review.
This one was a scarred up female, not young anymore, its eyes wild and disconcerting, the solid amber of a hawk’s with no whites showing. It stunk of rotten fish and blood ran down from where the crossbow had broken across its face. As near as Havasa could figure, after being hit it had fled this short distance up to the ship, not across to the cliffs. Maybe she’d hit it harder than she’d realized. Right now it looked a little disorientated, though, it also looked mad as hell, flexing its wings in a threatening manner and scuffling the deck with its claws, doing an odd sort of jerky, shuffling hop as it tried to circle around behind her.
“Yeah, enough of that, thanks.” Havasa considered for about a half second, then feinted left with her knife before hurdling to the right, catching her opponent in the gut with an elbow and then bringing the bottle she still held down hard on the back of its head. The harpy went down in a shower of broken glass and slumped on the deck, out cold in a puddle of booze. Havasa couldn’t help but empathize with the creature now; she’d been in that same situation a time or three.
“Is it dead?” the gryphon asked, approaching warily.
“’Fraid not. Just having a little nap.” Havasa looked toward the railing, contemplating heaving the creature over the side, then thought better of it and instead wrapped it up in the net she’d carried the gryphon up with and rolled its unconscious form into the hold. It’d taken her a moment to figure out a use for a live harpy, but come to think of it she knew a guy who knew a guy who worked at a bar that hosted underground arena fights, and she might be able to get a decent price. Enough for a new bottle of bourbon, anyway.
Hours later, the ship dropped anchor beside a little spit of sand on another island close by, with just a sliver of orange sun left peeking above the sea. Havasa, having moved to the shore, hummed snatches of an old drinking song under her breath, letting a little fire of driftwood and broken splinters of crates die down while wrapping a fresh-caught fish in seaweed. The little gryphon, who’d given his name as Mekai, had never fished in an ocean before, but he’d proved a dab hand at flying out to help her dip the nets. After sailing to this island a short distance away and circling twice to make sure it held no surprises for them, they’d spent the afternoon cleaning up and doing repairs on The Gryphon’s Wing. Mekai had been enthralled by the ship, amused at the name (”Is it my wing? Which one?”) and at the other resident ‘gryphon’--the elaborate brass figurehead, almost identical and size to himself, though she’d had to forbid him from touching it. Meanwhile, he’d been as helpful in the cleaning and reorganizing in the hold as he could manage with no opposable thumbs, and absolutely full of questions.
It wasn’t long before the story of how he’d gotten attacked by the harpies came out, and his mood had sobered abruptly. “Mother couldn’t leave her eggs and so my sister and I were out gathering fruit, when suddenly there was a loud noise and a bolt of blue lightning hit me. It didn’t hurt, but everything went dark, then bright, and then suddenly I was some place I didn’t recognize, next to all that water.”
Mekai looked at her questioningly. “Do you have any idea what that lightning could’ve been, or how it happened?”
“Umm.” Havasa stared vaguely around, not making eye contact. “Some sort of gate magic gone awry, sounds like? Whisked you off to another Land. But I really have just…uh, not the slightest idea what could’ve caused it. I’m no wizard.”
The gryphon sighed. “Oh. Well. Anyway, it was getting dark, so I flew up to a little cave I saw, but just before down those...um, nasty bird people came and I twisted my wing trying to get away. I tried to hide in the rocks by the water, but they were hunting me.” He hunkered down, clacking his beak in something she took to be distress at the memory, then straightened suddenly, blurting out, “Thank you so much! You’re like some kind of hero you know! I’m sure they would’ve killed me if you hadn’t come along,” and rubbing his head against her arm like a cat.
“True, true. And probably so. Torn you into a hundred pieces, I’d wager. But I slay filthy harpies all the time, so don’t you worry none. Yep. They ain’t giving us any more trouble, you can be sure o’ that.” Mekai had thanked her again, yawned, curled up against her and napped after that, and her mind had gone wandering off on a train it was now resuming as she wrapped up another fish and buried it in the coals. A gryphon like this, would be worth an awful lot if she could just find the right buyer. And she would need money to try and get her crew freed. A fast, flying ship would do wonders for the escaping part, but it wasn’t like she could just float on up to the prison and drop down a rope. The Aegis Guard, they had their own means of getting airborne.
Still, there was no denying that, well, blast it, she’d grown fond of the yammering little critter. “Bah,” she muttered to herself. “Getting soft and sentimental...”
It was full dark now, and she could make out only Mekai’s profile and the gleam of his eyes. His voice sounded uncertain, apprehensive. “Do...do you think I’ll ever see my family again?”
She leaned back from the fire with a heavy sigh. “It’s not for me to speculate.” From what he’d described of the big jungle he’d been zapped from, her guess was he might be from Minreya or thereabouts, which...was known for being a jungle, and big. Though his family didn’t seem to have a name for their Land the way humans would. “That bolt could’ve brought you from anywhere. There’s never any telling with magic, and there are so, so many Lands.” She supposed someone who actually made a business of etching gatestones--the little ones merchants and nobles and meddling outland types used to transport just themselves--or some scholar or suchlike could help narrow things down if she crossed their palm with a little silver. “I s’pose you could get lucky, but then again you could search a hundred years and never figure it out.”
Mekai drew a shuddering breath, and there was a tremble in his words. “My mother, my sister...they won’t understand what’s happened to me. What if they think I died? They’ll think I died like Father, and Mother will cry and cry, and my sister can’t gather all the food for the hatchlings by herself, or patch the windwall when the rains come. And I promised them I’d never leave! Now...now I’m...” here his voice died off with a little gasping squeak.
Havasa bit her lip and stared down at the glowing coals of her little fire, and the silence stretched on until the gryphon started speaking again, quietly. “I don’t know how they’ll manage, and I don’t know how I’ll get along either. This is such a strange place, with all the water going on forever, and those harpies...are there more monsters like that out here? And you’ve talked about human cities, but I don’t know anything about those kinds of places. Are the other humans like you, or will I need to hide from them? I just...I’m all alone now. I don’t know what to do.”
It was all too much. Havasa dashed water from her eyes and her heart ached within her chest. How selfish and wrong she’d been! Why, she couldn’t possibly sell this helpless, forlorn little creature. No. She’d keep him as a pet. They would have adventures together! And he could be a sort of mascot for the ship, once the crew was back together.
“Mekai, I’m sorry I can’t help you find your ma and your sis, but, they’ll get along. Folks have a way of getting along. And I know I’m not much a substitute, but I’ll keep you with me and look after you and keep you safe, and teach you everything you need to know about Greatwater and traveling the sea. You just gotta be brave and strong. It’s a hard thing, being snatched away like that, but can’t have you meltin into a puddle of tears over it, that won’t help you or anyone.” Standing, she walked over and sat beside him, stroking his back. “You’ll meet my crew once I bust them out, and we’ll all be just like a family, if they know what’s good for ‘em.”
“You mean it?”
“Then th-thank you, Havasa.” Another shuddering breath. “I’ll try to be brave. And I’m so grateful and glad you were the one who rescued me.”
After this they lapsed into a companionable silence. The smell of the roasted fish was mouth-watering, and it wasn’t long before they were brushing away the coals and unwrapping them to share a meal.
It felt great, being a hero.
Special Section – Funny but True
Most people like funny stories, sometimes the story is even funnier if it’s true. Here’s a small collection of some funny but (allegedly) true stories:
1: My husband was waterskiing when he fell into the river. As the boat ?circled to pick him up, he noticed a hunter sitting in a duck boat in the reeds. My husband put his hands in the air and joked, “Don’t shoot!”
The hunter responded, “Don’t quack.”
2: A salesman talked my uncle into buying 10,000 personalized pens for his business with the promise that ?he would be eligible to win a 32-foot yacht. A born gambler, my uncle agreed.
Well, he won, and a few weeks after the pens arrived, his prize showed up: a 12-inch plastic yacht with ?32 plastic feet glued to the bottom.
3: The black lacquer stand ?holding his prized samurai swords was dusty, so my husband left our cleaning lady a note, reading, “Check out my swords.” That evening, he found the stand just as dirty as ?before but with this appended to ?his note: “Nice swords.”
4: We were inspecting several lots of grenades. While everyone was concentrating on the task at hand, I held up a spare pin and asked, “Has anyone seen my grenade?”
5: My 90-year-old dad was giving ?a talk at our local library about his World War II experiences. During the question-and-answer period, he was asked, “How did you know the war was over?”
He replied, “When they stopped shooting at me.”
6: My mother was rushed to the ?hospital following a serious tumble. There the staff placed a band around her wrist with large letters warning: Fall Risk.
Unimpressed, Mom said to me, “I’ll have them know I’m a winter, spring, and summer risk too.”
7: My friend at the singles club was blithely chatting away, oblivious ?to the fact that her name tag had slipped down over her breast. I asked another friend if I should say something to her. “Like what?” she asked. “What she named the other one?”
8: My ESL students try so hard and are so appreciative. One student paid me the ultimate compliment when she said, “You teach English good.” Another assured me, “I will always forget you.” And a third insisted, “I thank you from the heart of my bottom.”
9: Try as she might, our granddaughter couldn’t grasp the concept of potty training. Then one day … Success! Jumping up and down, ?she threw her arms in the air ?and yelled in excitement, “I went potty all by myself, and now I can ?go to Harvard!”
10: My son was born while I was serving abroad, so he was three ?before we met. When I got home, I decided it was time for a little father-son bonding time. I bought him a ?toy razor and invited him to “shave” with me. In the bathroom, I took ?up my razor and started shaving. ?I looked around to see how my son was doing. His foot was up on the side of the bathtub, and he was ?running the razor up and down ?his leg. So much for male bonding.
11: Delta Airlines is infusing its cabins with a lavender-and-chamomile scent called Calm. The Week asked its readers to come up with a better name to match “the ambience of the packed economy cabin.”
“Eau the Humanity” —Serena Meyer
“Giorgio’s Arm-on-me” —Wade Etheredge
“Chanel No. 5 Inches of Legroom” —Austin King
“Claustrophobique” —Cynthia Pocali
“Mist Connection” —Cary Berkowitz
“The 99 Per-scent” —Julia Flagg
Idea by Jaystarcat, Article by Steve24833, Interview, Review, Special Section and What’s New by Will11, Short Story by Mizal and Special Thanks to TharaApples for the interview this week.
Finally, thank you to you, the Reader, for taking the time to read this Review.
Wait, who's Thara? o.o
Congrats on putting out another quality review, Will :)
It was quite fun to be interviewed. Mhm, yup.
Hurray! I'm cool! (And that tutorial on what to do if you're banned was hilarious!) ^_^
This has become a routine read every Sunday. Very enjoyable.
This is one of my favorite things I ever saw on the forums on my time here. Thank you so much for continuing.
I've been doing enough for the Weekly Review to have earned this derailing.
I'm glad that post you made on dodging bans got preserved, it was funny stuff.
And yeah, you contribute 70% of the content to these, and the newsletter threads always get immediately buried anyhow. The sad part is that it takes an amusing derail to get people posting in these threads at all.
Anyway, it's a known fact that a certain person who likes a certain kind of avatar likes to derail writing related threads. Not really surprising to see it happen again.
But a certain person admittedly derailed this one, but we can't all be right all of the time :)
Will has no need to fear of his thread getting cluttered, for once again I have saved the day.
You're truly the savior that this town needs ^-^
End was one of the reasons I joined, but you're one of the people that makes this place easier to stay in :)
Thanks. You too are great.
Wooh, I got noticed. Great read as always Will!
If memory serves, you were the one who bested me in the poetry contest. I have thought on more than one occasion that members like yourself have enriched this website.