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Thread: September Activities 2009

  1. #1

    September Activities 2009

    This month's drabble challenge was inspired by me, only moments ago. >.>

    Black & White
    Yep, that's it. Run wild, SPEWlings.


    • Drabble can be between 250-800 words.
    • Content should not be any higher than a 3rd-5th Years rating.
    • All content that would require a warning on the MNFF Archive should be labeled.
    • This thread is for responses only. If you have a question, PM me.
    • Responses must be posted by September 30th, 2009.
    • Please post using this format:

      Title: Colourblind
      Word Count: 450 (This may be approximate)

      Story Text Story Text Story Text Story Text Story Text Story Text Story Text
    • As with all activities within the SPEW forum, this challenge is open only to SPEW members.

  2. #2

    September Discussion: The World Outside SPEW

    Contrary to what some of us believe, there is more to the forums than SPEW

    Some of our members are also mods, Hogwarts Professors or Students, members of organisations such as the SBBC, active participants in their respective Houses, or particular regulars to certain forums or activities such as challenges, the Duelling Club, Remus' Reflections, The Restricted Section, etc;

    So, this month, the discussion will be to talk about another part of the forum that you're active in. Why you're drawn to it, what you like about it, anything you learn there or benefit from being a member or participant there.

  3. #3

    September Featured Author

    Our featured author this month is supremely slytherinesque Hannah, aka coolh5000 You can find her author's page here.

    • You must review the featured author for it to count as your monthly activity requirement.
    • Post the link to your review here - you should also post it in the September review thread if you wish it to count towards your months' reviews.
    • Questions in this thread are not part of the monthly requirement, but they are greatly encouraged. Also, they must have something to do with the subject of writing.

  4. #4
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
    Seeking Keys
    inspirations's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    in a book <33
    I actually do check the whole of the boards, but I only read the threads that I find interesting. Most of my participation in the forums is within SPEW now, but I'm also a Hogwarts student, and member of Poetry, Anyone? and Dumbledore's Navy. And Hufflepuff, but I only really skim through the house equivalent of our babble thread and occassionally do a drabble challenge.

    Thing is, out of all the groups I am a part of, the only one I will check properly is SPEW -- although I make sure to check in on the DN when there's an update -- and on the school area of the forums if I'm taking a class.

    I love the class area of the forums, because I find it helps me a lot with my writing. Ultimately, I'm a member of the fandom mainly to expand on my writing, because I know I could be a LOT better. Another thing I do on the forums is the challenges. I enter them regularly, be it one-shot challenges, chaptered challenges, drabble challenges, poetry... I tend to find prompts really inspiring, and they get me to think a bit, apply new ideas. I like it when a challenge pushes me out of my comfort zone a bit, because it gets me to try something new. In addition, this is why I take classes on these boards. Challenges and classes both get me to expand on my skills, to practice my plotting, to try different things. They help so much. I like how there's usually a variety offered on MNFF to participate in. Like, in the summer challenges there was a prompt for everyone. There's usually at least one class offered each term, too, that helps with targeted aspects of writing that is worth taking. In my opinion, however good you may be at characterisation, for example, you can always be better. And practice is the best way to do that, so stretching yourself in challenges or taking a class in it will help.

    Now, I haven't applied to join this part of the forum yet, but I like to read in the restricted section. The topics are always very thought-provoking, and there's a variety of views that can be taken. It's interesting to see how different people look upon different topics. And these topics are often very real, sometimes very close to the heart. For instance, the current discussion is on suicide. There are areas of general agreement touched upon, but then there are some areas of disagreement, too. Some people have experience with the topic at hand, some don't. Every person has to be sensitive with their answers, and generally they are. The discussions are handled maturely, and they lead you to really think when you see the diverse range of opinions that can sometimes surface. I find it a lot more interesting than the general ff discussion forum, because the topics discussed are often less grounded in ff, but more in the real world, too. It's kind of eye opening, because sometimes you've only seen things from one point of view.

  5. #5
    ms. leading
    Like inspirations, I like to check the whole board for something I'm interested in, but I'm not a regular in any other part of the boards besides SPEW and the BA. I love the BA, because it opens up another creative side to me other than writing. I'm not really a skilled bannermaker just yet, but I'm learning because of this forum.

    I find that looking at all the lovely banners made by me fellow BA members inspires me to make my own and try harder at creating my own graphics. I love learning all the little graphics program tricks, so I can become more computer literate. I also find that the BA allows us to engage more with other members of the board. We're making banners to promote their stories, so we're going to want to do it right for them. I think its a nice little exchange of creativity.

    Other than the BA, I tend to lurk the Classes forum, reading things I find interesting and checking out what everyone has created this term. I didn't have time to sign up to any classes this term, but I hope to next term when school is putting less pressure on me. I especially like to stalk the graphics classes, for obvious reasons. I hope to join a graphics class next term, too.

    My interest in visual creativity stops at the BA, however, as I barely ever take a look at the Artists section of the boards. For some reason it doesn't interest me as much, but I suppose that's because I have no chance of developing any drawing skills, whereas my bannermaking skills have the potential to improve. That's why I love the BA; it's constantly teaching us and inspiring us.

    Great topic, BTW

    - Cassie

  6. #6
    Savannah Hen Slytherin
    Sirius Black Entered Gryffindor Tower
    coolh5000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Wonderful England!
    This is a great topic

    Similarly to Spire and Cassie, I will often check virtually the entire forums for anything that interests me or that I feel I should be following me. I tend to stalk forums I'm not even involved with, like the BA and occasionally the SBBC, just because they interest me and I like to keep up with everything. It took me a while after joining to apply for SPEW so even though I adore our little part of the forums now, I have several other favourite 'haunts'

    The Slytherin forums were like my first home on MNFF and for the longest of times I don't think I really participated actively anywhere but there. The people and the CR mean it's still one of my favourite places to be and my morning routine of quick forum checking usually involves a quick scan of the CR before pretty much anything else I do.

    After being involved with Slytherin, the next place I really branched out in to was classes. Last summer, just as I was becoming properly active, I took loads of classes and so spent a lot of my time participating in discussions and checking up on homework. I haven't been able to participate in any classes recently due to time but having been a prof last term, that part of the boards was still important to me. I think the Hogwarts forums are one of the best parts of the boards simply because there is so much to do within them and I know I found the classes I did hugely beneficial. One day, I would dearly love to take more classes as I think they are one of the best ways to learn about yourself and your writing (not to mention earn points)

    Of course, since becoming a mod, other parts of the forums have become important to me - the modly forums themselves are one place I regularly visit to keep up with any news and plans. Fiction Junction is a forum that I probably only ever visited once or twice previously, but now I've taken over running it, I like to keep an eye and check that everything is ticking over nicely in there (plus try to keep control of the QSQs, of course )

    Finally, TTB is another of my favourite places - even before becoming a barmaid I used to love the challenges, particularly the brawl. The QWC and Gauntlet sub-forums are other ones that I regularly stalk as these are two of my favourite challenges on the board.

    I have so many 'favourite' areas! But I think they all together to be the site I love and there is no single place I really feel more passionate about than the others (well, except maybe Slytherin - I'm very house-proud!)

    Adrian won a QSQ! Thanks to Minnabird for the beautiful banner. Click on it to read Stolen Magic - the story of the second wizarding war through a very different character's eyes.

  7. #7
    Honigkuchenpferd Hufflepuff
    Dobby's Sock Addiction Begins
    luinrina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    currently in the Botosphere
    Here is my review for Hannah's extremely lovely Loved and Lost.
    No longer a mod and no longer in charge of any forums.

    author ~*~ BA banner ~*~ giggler
    Banners by Tiffany and Samarie ^

  8. #8
    Title: Should've Seen It in Color
    Word Count: 791
    Author's Note: I included the lyrics and titled it this because they inspired it. Sorry it's not really HP related - my muse wouldn't have it any other way.
    Disclaimer: Lyrics come from 'In Color' by Jamey Johnson.
    If it looks like we were scared to death,
    Like a couple of kids just trying to save each other,
    You should’ve seen it in color.

    Dust littered the air and cloaked my hands as I sifted through the mountain of boxes in the attic trying to find the fall decorations my father desired. I’d already been attacked by three spiders and a sparrow hiding atop the old coat rack, so naturally I wasn’t taking much care in my search. After about an hour, I finally found the box haphazardly labeled “Halloween” and bent down to pick it up.

    The wooden floorboards creaked while I walked back across the room. I was just about to the door when my foot wedged itself between an overly large plastic Santa Claus and an old, moth-eaten chair. Although I was able to catch myself on the arm of the chair as I fell, I managed to tip over a stack of shoeboxes and send papers flying everywhere.

    Swearing under my breath, I sat the box of decorations back down. There was a small footstool to my left, so I sat down on it as I gathered up the bits of ancient letters and mementoes that my grandfather had sent to my dad when Granny Jean passed away last September, placing them back into the shoeboxes.

    I moved as quickly as I could, throwing the clutter without paying much mind. But when I came across a small stack of tattered old photos, I grew curious. I pulled the rubber-band from around them and began flipping through. There were pictures of my mother and father on their wedding day, my father as a baby bouncing on Gran’s knee, a few of my great-aunt Muriel, but the one that had my curiosity spiking in dangerous amounts was a black and white photo of Granddad standing with another man.

    Both were dressed in tidy black suits, and on the left sides of their chests each wore a small medal dangling from a deep-colored ribbon. Granddad looked similar to the way he appeared in his wedding photos, so I assumed that the picture would have been taken about the same time. I turned the picture over hoping for a description, but none was to be found. I sat the picture aside and finished picking up the rest of the mess. Once I was done, I gathered up the box of decorations again and placed the picture on top of it.

    Dad was sitting in the kitchen drinking coffee when I brought the box down, sitting it by the door that led to the garage. I picked the picture up again and sat down next to Dad. After staring at it for a few moments, I turned to my father.

    “Hey, Dad,” I said as I held the picture out to him, “what’s this picture from? I know that’s Granddad, but who is that with him?”

    Dad took the picture and studied it. I could see his mind trailing back as he stared – his eyes unfocused and brow furrowed. At long last, the corners of his mouth lifted up into a small, crooked smile.

    “That’s Dad and Jeff Davis right after they received their medals,” he said, handing the photo back to me.

    “What’d they get medals for?”

    Dad grinned again. “Your granddad and Jeff saved two fellow soldiers and their sergeant’s lives back in World War II. I don’t exactly know what happened – Dad doesn’t talk about it much.”

    I looked at him in skepticism, one eyebrow raised up into my hair. “Why wouldn’t he talk about that?” I asked.

    “‘Cause it’s not right to brag, and that’s how he sees talking about it. He just insists that they were paying their duty to their country by saving those three men. As he says, ‘There was nothin’ brave about it.’ Your granddad’s an old fashioned man, son. His view of the world is different.”

    “Do you mind if I keep this?” I asked Dad, showing the picture again as I stood up from the table.

    He shook his head, “Nah, you go ahead. I think Dad would want you to have it.”


    I nodded, taking it in. I thought back to the stories that Granddad had told my sister and I about the war, and to how he when he talked, his soldier’s voice would come back to him. He’d get that respect and dignity back in his voice and lose the softness it usually held for those few minutes. How everyone in our small town always seemed slightly awed by him. I smiled a little, then, reflecting on the good man I got to call my grandfather.

    Maybe one day I’d be half the man he was.

  9. #9
    My review for Just One Kiss!


    You seem to write a lot of Dark/Angst or angsty stories. What attracts you to that genre?

    Your author's page says that you have a plan to write more Teddy Lupin one shots. What drew you to his character? Do you prefer the Post-Hogwarts characters or a different group? Why?


  10. #10
    There really are a lot of great places on the forums, though honestly I really have only kept to SPEW for the past couple of years. Until I re-became a mod this summer. Then, of course, like Hannah, there's the checking up I have to do on business there. I'm a member of Hufflepuff, but only really in name still on these boards. The house itself has changed SO MUCH here that it's ... it's kind of like ... Well, most of you know I was one of the VPs in my student government here at the college last year, and going back to the MNFF Puff forums is like going back to my old office on the other campus. I know a couple of the people, but mostly things are new and strange with new people, etc, etc. Or like going back and visiting my high school, where I know the teachers, and I know the building, but I don't know any of the students any more.

    But now that I'm a mod, I took on the responsibility of running Remus's Reflections. I don't know that a lot of people even really know about that little corner of the boards. It's tucked away inside of The Three Broomsticks. It was also pretty much dead when I took it over, so I got the opportunity to reshape it. But basically, it's an area where discussions and drabbles are linked together. There is a topic presented, stuff that can be directly related to real life from the fandom (magical transportation for example) or concepts that can really be explored a lot further than they are in the books (the ins and outs of Animagi), and then there's about two weeks to discuss and drabble about them. The aim of the drabble is to present your point of view on the topic/explore a point. And I love the discussion because there is a 250 word limit on the responses, so there's the challenge there in being very succinct. (Which also makes it easier to follow the discussion, in my opinion.)

    Anyway, I would love to see a bunch of you lovely people in there. (Quite truthfully, there are 2 or 3 of the regulars in RR that I think would be great for recruiting to SPEW, but I need a bit more help exposing our awesomeness...)

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