Welcome to Penguin Island 2024

This years summer camp will be different from the others I have done so far. With energy levels at an all time low, I'll have to be more picky and choose where to invest what little energy I have. However, that won't deter me from having fun with everyone during one of WorldAnvil's biggest events and squeeze out some much needed creativity!  
I pledge to have loads of fun this years summer camp and simply enjoy myself while also holding a fundraiser for my beloved African Penguins
— ShadowPhoenix
  Over the next couple of weeks, the themes from summer camp will be released with a nice piece of homework to get the brain in gear for the big happening. Below, you'll find my answers to the different bits and bops of homework as the weeks progress!  

The Themes!



As a nice change of pace (see what I did there? :P), I'm going to do the assignments backwards! So, the order for me is now:
  • Update the Meta/Create a Primer
  • Getting organised
  • Upload the Pledge
  • What Kind of Changes would fit Hesli?
  But why would I do it exactly the other way around? Now, let's set aside my very stubborn nature, which definitely has a part to play in this. The primary reason is actually very simple — in order to figure out which changes would fit best in my world, I need to know the core principles and basis of my world. Surely, with this world being 3 years old, you'd think I'd have a clue on the things happening in there. That is the furthest from the truth, because I went into this head over heels with no plan at all. So there's this jumbled mess of article, somewhat connected by a few threads an incoherest trains of thought.   Therefore, I think it would be wise for me to start figuring out this thing called the Meta and, while I'm at it, make a primer along that too. By the looks of it, I've had this brilliant idea before, I just never executed it. So, here's the articleblock to the primer. Check in every now and then to see what progress I have (not) made!  
  A couple days ago, I had a little sitdown with me, myself, and I to brainstorm about Hesli and figure out this primer and core principles thing. However, I didn't get too far in that department because I noticed a lack of monitvation. Why didn't I want to figure this out, why am I not having the fun that I imagined? So, I asked myself two other questions instead: what do I and do I not like about Hesli?  
Warning! The answers to these questions contain major spoilers about Hesli!
Show me the Answers Anyway!
What do I like about Hesli?
What do I not like about Hesli?
The People! Or at least the stories and cultures behind them.
The randomness of the dragons downfall.
The origin of the people and the World
Five dragon types created the world; these dragons made the prominent sapient species of the world (the elves were made in the image of the gold dragons, for example every type of Phoenix is made from the five dragon types (likely a specific bone along with some dragon magic .
The weird "Luna arc" thus far, including the spawned magic items like Eye of Luna.
Most of the (sapient) species I made so far. The Lileon, Tartoise, and Hunting Snowfox are among my favourites.
The majority of conflicts I have thus far.
Some of the smaller regions, like the Lonely Marshes and Limani.
The lack of geographic consistency. The lack of a world map probably contributes to this at least a little bit.
The mechanics and idea behind the Reputation System.
A lack of overall baseline and core world principles and values.
  My brain, being the ever mulling thing that it is, processed my answers to these questions for a few days after jotting them down in my notebook. I realised that the things I dislike, are mostly the things that I cooked up during my first summer camp back in 2021. I had subscribed to WorldAnvil a month prior, but really got into it two days before summer camp started with a blank slate for a world. Of course, I had no idea what I was doing; I was just diving in head first, answering the prompts and making them fit somehow on the loose foundation that I had quickly whipped up just before the start of the event.   The things that I do like, are the ones where I put way more thought into the concepts and made them more cohesive as a whole. That, or I had one drink too many while/when writing and it resulted in an article that stuck in The Tipsy Chronicles.  
But Shadow, what will you do with the articles you don't like?
— You, maybe?
  Of course, there are things among my early work that I still love — whole articles or certain concepts that I cooked up but don't fit the article itself too well; they will need a rework to make them fit better within my world. However, that's not a task to do during summer camp and I don't have nearly enough energy to get through it beforehand. Let's not worry about that just yet, but rest assured, I won't throw anything away.  
  So, I'm changing (oops, I did it again) my plans for this summer camp. I'm giving myself one objective.  


  Over this summer camp, I'll allow myself to write as a please by using the prompts to come up with fun ideas and inspiration for Hesli. It'll be totally okay if they don't fit perfectly in the core principles right now, because I don't have any solid core principles just yet. With that narrative freedom, I hope to just enjoy writing for the fun of writing. It's essentially the "throwing spaghetti at the wall" tactic to see what will stick and what won't. Which also means I probably won't work on my primer until the event is over.
It is kind of ironic that "Change" is the very first theme of Summer Camp. Why? Because the world of the African Penguin is changing, and not for the better unfortunately. Since they are one of my favourite animals, I wanted to help out somehow. So, I've started this fundraiser! During the entire event, from the homework until the award ceremony, you can find me on Twitch from time to time playing games, doing homework, writing for summer camp, and maybe some music practice too.

Will you help me Bolstering the Penguin Army in South Africa?  
Penguin peeking around a boat
Oh, hi there! by ShadowPhoenix
  There's this awesome organisation down in South Africa providing the African Penguins with a much needed refuge. (I promise, I didn't influence or bribe the WorldAnvil team with these themes!)   The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (or SANCCOB) is a non-profit organisation taking care of seabirds. Of course, that includes more than just the African Penguins, but they are the main seabirds they take care of. From helping hatchlings, to wounded adult penguins, SANCCOB is a sanctuary for all. If it were up to me, personally, I'd fly my butt to the other side of the world to volunteer... but I don't have the funds to do that, hence the fundraiser instead.   Together with Bird Life South Africa, SANCCOB entered a legal battle against the South African Minister of Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) to reduce the competition between the penguins and the fishing industry. I really hope they can make a change here to conserve the penguins.  
Like this side of me, hm? by ShadowPhoenix

Inspiration & Accountability

Inspiration is a funny thing. For some people, it comes from inside, others need outside influence. Personally, I fall a bit in both categories — there are moments when the writer inside me just races through the prompts with ideas in abundance and other times I need the people around me to get the creative engine going. Then there are times where the who doesn't matter, but when the where makes all the difference. I know a few friends who write best in a busy cafe with the little chitchatting around them, because they draw energy and inspiration from their environment. For me, that's all fun and games, I can do that too... as long as I have my noise cancelling headphones with me blasting music at an unhealthy volume. I'm not saying this is the right way to go about it, but it's a way that works for me in those scenarios.  

Writing Spots

By far, my favourite writing spot is in my comfortable office. It is my personal bubble in this world with all the things that I love — a healthy amount of plushies, electronics, music (that I cannot play, because I have vinyls laying about, but no player to actually play them), books, little doo-daa's of stuff that I like, lego, and more! I even have multiple writing spots within my small office so I can move between writing places when I want a slightly different environment. There's the workspace with multiple displays where I can [url: https://www.twitch.tv/shadowphoenix7899]stream and write, a gaming spot so I can switch more easily between writing and playing a game, and a cosy couch so I can wrap myself in a blanket and burrito my way through summer camp.  


There are a few communities I hop between to find my people, whether they serve as accountability buddies or brainstorm friends to get the ideas flowing. Of course, you will find me in the summer camp channel of the WorldAnvil Discord cheering on everyone and helping people gain some ideas for the prompts. When I'm not there, you'll likely find me in the individual Discord servers of my WorldAnvil friends, or in my personal Discord server. If only I could split myself into multiple people so I can be everywhere...   But wait, there is more! Outside of WorldAnvil, I have a tight group of friends. They might not be as interested in my shenanigans around here, but when I need some help for brainstorming, they're always up for the task. Besides, they know me through and through and thus know when they should drag me away from my laptop to get some fresh air. Especially my husband is the absolute rock of a person that I can always rely on when shit hits the fan in my brain, which does happen every now and then.
So, there are moments when I think to myself:
"Shadow... how are you writing here? How is this a good spot?"
Case in point: last year, I wrote the majority of my ideas and answers to the summer camp prompts in the Gym... on my phone... while I was on the exercise bike... huffing and puffing under the sheer amount of stress... okay that last bit is a bit overdramatic   Now, as a Dutch person, I'm no stranger to multitasking on a bike, but even this took me by surprise.
What was or is the strangest spot where you have done your worldbuilding? Let me know in the comments!
  Lastly, there's a new community that I've grown very fond of in the recent months. They don't necessarily speak with words, they.. honk. Of course, I'm talking about the little penguin "colony" at my local zoo. They bring me the calm that I need and always put a smile on my face when I see them, especially during feeding time. So, you'll definitely find me a few times at the zoo with my laptop writing outside.  


Please Login in order to comment!
Jun 5, 2024 18:52 by Rin Garnett

Such a lovely idea to include a fundraiser with this! Excited to see your primer, your SC articles, and how much we can do for the penguin army!!

Jun 14, 2024 16:23

Thank you! <3 It just felt right to include the fundraiser, especially since September is the start of the penguin season! ^^ I hope to add some extra incentives for the fundraiser to get it off the ground.. maybe a crochet penguin or something...

Jun 9, 2024 17:59 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Looking forward to hanging out with you whilst you fundraise! :D Hoping to be able to contribute some love towards the penguins! :D   Good luck with figuring out Hesli and Summer Camp!

Jun 14, 2024 16:24

Yay, I'm looking forward to having you around (regardless of the fundraiser)! ^^

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