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Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Appendix · Activity · #1303971
JOIN this fun way of communication for newbies and those who still need to learn
An image for account birthdays, etc.


**Email me if you would like to join the party.**

This is an outdoor BBQ party in a park setting. There are picnic tables to sit at. There's a lake nearby, and lots of games going on. Everything that you can picture at a party in the park is here.

Now that's where you come in. You are here for the party with other members. You all talk about experiences in learning the writing.com site, in this fun setting. Maybe you are with others in a row boat, or maybe you are sitting at one of the tables. You decide.

During the party, you can talk about places on writing.com you've been to. Ask each other questions. Answer questions. Talk about the ball game at the 'park' -- you're writing, and that's good practice. Write whatever you want. Get creative in this very informal setting, and make some new friends.

If it's your turn and you can't think of anything to write, you can always write an inspirational quote, a small poem, a joke, etc. The idea is to have fun, and maybe learn something along the way.


Maryann walks into the park and sees all of the people there. "Gee, this is a good turn out. So many people are having fun."

The burgers smell really good, so Maryann makes her way over to get one. A friendly newbie at the BBQ is cooking them. He is busy in conversation, but he takes the time to say hello. Maryann takes a burger off the serving dish, and takes it to a table.

As she walks, she hears someone talking about her experience in writing a poem. There were so many instructions! I almost forgot what I was writing. My second poem was easier, now that I'm familiar with the instructions."

Maryann sits at a table where several other writing.com members are sitting. She glances over in the distance, and sees much going on there. A softball game is about to start on one field, and the nearby lake is glimmering in the sun. There are paddle boats, row boats and writing.com members swimming in the water.

In another part of the park, people are flying kites. Lots of activities are going on. People are walking around here and there, and talking in small groups. Maryann smiles because everyone is making friends here. She now listens to the discussion at her own table...
A Non-Existent User
I'm siting under the shade of an oak tree. I see Maryann and say hello and she says hello back.

This is the first time someone has invited me to this kind of a campfire, so its rather interesting.

I zone in and out as people talk about their writing experiences.

Mine have been very good, I was on here before but closed my old account for a new one.

Its good to be back.

This is so exciting! Oki thinks, walking through the park. I don't know where to start. Should I eat a hot dog, go swimming, join the softball game? There is so much to do! Oki settles with picking up a hot dog then walks over to join a group of intensive talkers at a pinic table.

Oki has been here for about 2 months so this is very exciting for her. This will be her first 'party' ever on wdc.
A Non-Existent User
I sit under a calm serene weeping willow, as the bright blue sky casts its glow past the herizon. I relax, and eat a PB&J with missmanda812. We talk about poetry, as she explains how much fun the contests are here. We finish our sandwiches, and walk over to the playground. We find other people to talk to, and to give advice to. They all love the same things that I do.

I make a lot of new friends, and they all help me out by showing me the different activies at the park. The nice day slowly fades into the night. The crickets chirp their loving calls as I wash my hands in the writers lake. The water seems to mend any thoughts that I feel come right out of me. As I'm now splashing my face with the wonderful water I am joined by a special person. Her name is MaryAnn, and she kindly asks me to come join her and many other people around the campfire. We sit around the campfire talking about the wonderful we all just expierenced.
A Non-Existent User
I see creame_arabian come up and sit next to me.

"So, hopefully things are good with you...how was cheerleading?" I say

Ara tells me all about her practice and tells me also a bit more about her competitions.

I tell her about my marching band practice and how we continue to practice Stars and Stripes Forever for a parade we are about to do.

She smiles as I give her a cup of lemonade.
I walk past the tree and wave to the members sitting around enjoying their food and conversing. Being that this is my first time on this website, I've been here about a week, so I don't know anyone. I sit down near the group and try to make conversation, but I'm a little bit shy :(
I sit back and just listen to the immensely interesting conversations around me. Everyone has such unique stories and events to share, I feel as if I could learn here in a day what would take most years to learn.

Looking past a couple of member's deep in conversation, I notice someone sitting shyly by themselves. Mustering a bit of courage, I walk over and introduce my self. Maybe I'll make a new friend.

My stomach continues to rumble as the car engine sputters out. I see smoke from beyond the shelter and can smell franks cooking on the grill. I don't really like hotdogs, they taste like rubber, so I ask when the hamburgers will be cooked. I don't dare walk to the lake, the softball field, or the tables--figuring the longer I stand, and closer I stand to the cook, will annoy him enough to cook the hamburgers. Oh, a sweet, tender, juicy burger would taste good in my mouth. So I give some gift points to the cook, in order to hurry this shindig along.
My hands flow like leaves on the wind quietly going thorugh my forms under the shade of a tall oak tree. A cool summer breeze wafts over the lake and sends its tendrils of delicate mist over my face. I stop to enjoy the refreshing gust, languishing in its subtle comfort. I smile, standing there in my karate gi; black as night and hanging off of my slender athletic frame. Suddenly the intoxicating smell of raw cow flesh charring to perfection over white hot coals catches my attention. I salute the tree which provided me shade with a cowtow and quickly scamper off in the direction of the pavillion...
I pull up in my car and find a parking spot, being picky about where I park simply because it will put off meeting all these people a little longer. My stomach is full of butterflies but I force myself out of my car.

The park is absolutely beautiful and there are people everywhere, chatting, swimming, eating, and playing. I move towards the food table bearing my gift of brownies and set down with the goodies.

Now comes the uncertainty, I never have been good with first impressions. I look around and finally settle on a group of people chatting animatedly around a picnic table.

One of them introduces herself as Maryann and then tries to include someone else sitting off to the side who she introduces as Eurynome.

"Hi, my name is Chrissy." And so it begins, I think.
*Smile* I was so busy eating, that I didn’t realize how filled up with people the picnic table was now. Everyone was laughing, talking and having a great time. I got everyone’s attention and asked them all introduce themselves again. At my table sat Orion, Oki, Celine, Eurynome, Nightreach, Kevin Nelson, DM, and Astrea.

Now it was my turn to speak. I mentioned to them how bio blocks are like these introductions. “Bio blocks can be set in the ‘My Account’ section under ‘edit text and special settings’. Highlighted items can also be set there. Just set it up, and submit changes. These are just some ways to make your portfolio more friendly and intriguing to visitors”.

Everyone was listening intently, so I went on. “Newsletter subscriptions and other things like site wide announcements can also be found in the ‘My Account’ section”. I excused myself from the table so that I could get some more soda. They were carrying on the conversation on their own now. Even the members who seemed a little shy at first were talking about their experiences with those areas. I was glad that they were all making friends.

On my way to where the soda was, I stopped to speak with some others who had just arrived. They were looking for a place to sit and eat, so I brought them back to the table I had just been at. Someone asked me how to write an item. Well, that got me rambling on again. LOL

I found a place to sit, and I put my soda down. It’s funny to see the types of soda available these days. This one claimed to have vitamins in it. I looked up from my soda, and I started talking about how to create an item.

“Most of you have created items already, but there are always new things to learn. Once you click on ‘writing’, you need to pick the best item type for what you want to post. After you fill everything in, you click on the area that says to save the item“.

They were all smiling and nodding because most of them already did this. I went on speaking. “You can make items like user polls, in and outs, or interactive stories. I like polls because it brings many people to you port who want to talk more about what was in the poll”. I held up my soda again, and said that it could be a poll about what type of soda people like. I didn’t think there was any such poll on writing.com, so I said that maybe one of them might like to make up a poll for it. “If you add a sentence saying to email you about why they picked that type of soda, the person taking your poll might be more inclined to write you a review with their feelings on the subject.” I reminded them to let us all know here if they made one. I noticed some of them reaching for their pads of paper.

I continued speaking. “I find that the static items come in most handy. Those will hold stories, poems, and lots of other things. Someone once told me that there is too much to read in putting one together. Once you read it though, you become familiar with it. It’s really not hard at all. There is the title, description, and ratings. I usually set the ‘access restrictions part’ for public, to allow everyone. I normally don’t set a passkey, and not too many of my items are for groups. Once I know what all that means, I only need to skim through it all. When I first began over five years ago, I didn’t know to select genres. You get to pick up to three. It puts your item in more places if you set these, giving your story a chance to be reviewed by more members. Does you story have action and adventure? Maybe it is geared for teens, or perhaps you wrote a horror story. The ‘keywords’ setting is also a good way to give more view time to what you wrote. Maybe someone might be searching for something that is already in your story”.

I noticed that I was doing a lot of talking, so I let others do some more of the talking now while I enjoyed my soda. *Smile*
"Thanks for all the tips Maryann, I have learned a lot." I told her. Finishing off my hot-dog I go to get a brownie that has been calling my name for the last 20 minutes. "Be right back," I announce to my table of wdc members.

When I come back I ask, "What are some good tips to getting views?" I listen intensely while people give me ideas.
I look around and sit at a nearby table, put my head in my hands and search the table for someone I know. Seeing no one, I pry myself into the conversation.

"Views? I'd like to know that one too. None of my friends know I have a WDC account." I say, eyeing the brownie one person was eating happily.

I decide to reach over to the other table and grab a brownie for myself and listen to see if I missed anything.
A Non-Existent User
I talk to SamanthaMess telling her that I too have friends, even family that don't know what I do here at WDC. I decide to shed some light on my history here at WDC.

I (orion_star) have been here since April 2007, it may say since August 2007 since I've been under the user account Orion_Star since the 7th of last month. I'm generally a fantasy writer, roaming along the lines of the TF (Transfiguration) Fantasy. Its rather interesting, and I explain to everyone at the table that they can check my account for all sorts of fun stories.

I tell them that one story is a Derby Related Sci-Fi TF that I have been copying into a static story. I mention the names to people. winter_arabian,Blue-Inspired , and Twiga .

I continue to talk to some other WDC members as I sip a bottle of FIJI water...*Laugh*
Smiling, I begin a coversation with nightreach. I quietly think to myself "I'm glad everyone here is so nice". With a little help from Nightreach and Maryann, I become more engrossed in the conversation at hand, and even start to laugh a little :]
Oh, the burgers were good. My stomach full, I cannot move from the table. That's when I meet the people present, and we share stories and give feedback. That is the best thing about Writing.com, we all admit. Not only are there good stories everywhere, worthwhile and all, but unique individuals as well. I offer my stories as well to everybody and enjoy the opinions of others. I figure I'd get a drink, MaryAnn was over there and I want to talk to her. Not to mention, she caught me eye from afar, and I couldn't resist. Plus, I'll admit, I was kinda thirsty.
Beer. There's gotta be beer here someplace. I know beer will numb my fears and slake my frustrations.

I'm inundated with adverbs. Adverbs are everywhere. Those little words slither into my sentences. They beguile me with their evil allure. They lurk in my language and bewitch me into passive voice. I think the Devil himself invented adverbs. The King has told us so: "The road to Hell is paved with adverbs," says he.

I'm still looking for the beer, I know it is here someplace. Beer will blunt these terrors and loosen my troubled pen.

Grammar is another gremlin that haunts this place. Participles that dangle and tantalize, infinitives that split my thoughts, rending my helpless sentences to incoherent bits. And commas! They terrorize the most, for they appear and disappear in chaotic spasms of inchoate punctuation.

Beer. I know that beer will ease my shopworn prose and lift my banal ideas to Joyce-like heights. Don't all great authors have an affinity for spirits?

Plot, character, dialog, pace, setting, scene! These paralyze and block, they suffocate my inspiration and craft little dams of authorial despair.

Beer. That's what I need. Someplace...someplace there is a surcease for these terrors. It must be in beer, for where else is there to look?

Ah, at last! I have readers! They write to me with reviews! Helpful angels appear from nowhere to affirm what I'm doing right and help me find what I'm doing wrong. And contests, and writing prompts, and novel writing groups, and classes: all these things are everywhere about me, if I but had the eyes to see and the ears to hear. Maybe beer isn't what I need after all. Maybe these terrors can be be constrained at last, not with the sodden dullness alcohol but with the bright glow of community. If we but work together and listen we can yet conquer our mutual terrors.

The chatter about me coalesces to sudden coherence. Help is here in words and deeds. I am not alone. Here there be characters in motion showing me the answers in active prose. Alas, telling is forbidden, but showing, ah, showing is magical.

I don't need beer after all.

I take a soda from Maryann and sit on the grasses and listen and learn.

Of course I'm late because soccer practice ran over again. Got the boys back home and drove like a bat out of H -E - double hockey sticks to get her.

Calm down, you can do this. These people all look nice. Reminded of the old phrase, 'They can kill ya but they can't eat ya,' I know I don't have to worry here. There's food everywhere - hot dogs, burgers, and BROWNIES!

A good friend of mine always says, 'Life is short - eat dessert first,' and I'm planning to take his advice. I wander over to the table, grab an enormous brownie, and just as I take my first bite, MaryAnn walks up and introduces herself. I smile, painfully aware that the sticky brown mess is all over my teeth and remember another phrase - 'You only have one chance to make a good first impression.'

I choke down the bite of brownie, and thank her for inviting me. We talk for a while about my experiences at WDC, and I just gush about all the great friends I've made and how supportive the community is. After just a few minutes, and with the help of the sugar buzz from the incredible brownie, I wander around and start making new friends. I especially want to meet Math Guy - he seems very interesting.
I bounce out of my car with folding chair, umbrella, water, writing pad and pens of every color. Then I struggle to the picnic site, toting everything I might need. I've never forgotten "A Girl Scout is always prepared."

This is exciting, a chance to finally meet some of my fellow writers face-to-face. My joy of writing has been rejuvenated since joining the writing.com community last August 2007. I've actually learned how to give good, honest, thoughtful reviews. I think back to a few years ago when I went to my first Writer's Workshop and the numb feeling that swept over me when my turn came to give a review. Now I actually enjoy it.

I sit down my things and go grab a plate of food and a drink. Hi, I'm Kim, aka Maria Mize. It's good to be here. I'm glad to meet everyone. What great fun sitting here around the campfire sharing stories with new friends. Thanks for the invite!
This was fun! We'll have to do it again sometime. *Smile*

The End!

© Copyright 2007 Maryann, xx-xx, OKi, xx-xx, Marek Morello, Nightreach, Kevin Nelson, DM, Astrea, SamanthaMess, Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈, i'mthemom, Maria Mize, (known as GROUP).
All rights reserved.
GROUP has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
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