Relaxing Reading; A Reflection on Summer Camp 2023 in The Mortal Lands | World Anvil

Relaxing Reading; A Reflection on Summer Camp 2023

I've written so many articles not actually related to anything in my world this week...

  Still, I would be remiss not to participate in the celebration of so many creaive minds and talented writers. As much as I would love to dive into a myriad of articles in detail, I am starting to burn out on reading. I shall, however, share my thoughts on the prompts I chose to read, my favorites, and how these in turn will influence my work on the Mortal Lands in future works.  

The Mortal Lands as they Currently Stand

  I'm really starting to flex my muscles when it comes to writing and getting ready to publish works. Most of my articles, however, are still in really rough phases, and I cannot help but jump between 'clean up old work' and 'make new work'. Not helping the fact is my inability to commit to a particular styling in my CSS and world design. I want to start streamlining my processes, be able to produce articles that look appealing and easy to read in the first pass, but still have engaging and unique content.   I'm not going to lie, Summer Camp this year was a little rough for me, and I'm not overly happy with the results. I was trying to finish FFXVI in a limited amount of time, and with juggling a full-time job and house responibilities many of my articles ended up being a few-hundred words of nonsense and not much else. I can't wait for the deadline to pass so I can go back and start giving a lot of these articles some proper love.  
 

A Settlement at the Limits of the 'Known' or 'Civilized' World

  This is the Prompt that I judged for this year's Summer Camp. You can see more of my thoughts and my shortlist of Finalists over at Summer Camp 2023: the JUDGING. I also wrote a Trilogy of articles called Settling the Issue of Settlements discussing the basics of building a settlement and how to share that information cleanly in your article. I'd say that alone is enough to share much of what I learned this summer, but it doesn't quite fit the spirit of the reading challenge.   Below are 3 entries that didn't quite make my 10-item shortlist, but I still loved and wanted to put a spotlight on.  
Nomad's Heart
Created by lil_Pinecone
Nomad's Heart brings to live a charming trade post at the edge of the foothills, with only a single clan as its permanent settlers. It reminds me very strongly of Reunion from FFXIV, but with its own twist in the form of magnificent waterwheels and aqueducts. It's a tricky balance; to use influences and ideas from other works we have loved and read, but putting our own mark on them to make them truly unique. It's the first big leap a writer takes from creating fan-fiction to their own, original works; to cross the border from the familiar to the unfamiliar.
   
Harmony Heights
Created By MelissaPlaysRPGS
Harmony Heights is not a full, permanent settlement as one would think of a village or city; it's a retreat nestled into the mountains for people to escape and enjoy the quiet solitude of nature. The Spa caters to all, using only what nature has provided. It's important to remember that not all 'settlements' are bustling cities or quiet vilages; even smaller outposts or tourist destinations can count. In more advanced worlds where travel is more accessible and even encouraged, small oasis like these can provide both a destination and a stop on the journey.
 
Gladius Station
Created by CrazyEddie  
Gladius Station, a space port in a large collection of defensive stations designed to keep people of of a deadly zone of radiation. Well designed and well defended, the port is a reminder that settlements have to be both self-sufficent, but also work together with other settlements to survive. Testimonies are also important; no one can speak for a settlement better than its inhabitants. Except maybe that one merchant that got ripped off.
 
 

A Tradition or Behavior Considered 'Old-Fashioned'

  As someone whose storyworld has 3-4 different eras, with each impacting the next, the idea of certain traditions or mannerisms coming in and out of style is important for me to consider. Sadly this is one of the prompts I never got to complete myself, so I shall have to settle with selecting a mere few entries to read in its stead.  
Shell of Protection
Created by Serukis  
Protection of Newborns is always at the forefront of new families and communities, so it is no suprise that a tradition said to protect the health of new members would rise to prominence. What ends this tradition's common use is mere scientific progress; better ways to secure the health of newborns than shells left in the cradle.
 
Open Terrace
Created By Strixxline
The Ability and freedom to openly worship one's religion is something we have taken for granted as a right in the modern west. In both the East, and in many fictional countries, this 'right' is a 'privelege' that can often be restricted or outlawed depending on who is in power. Open Terrace is a shadow of a happier time, when the people could come and venerate the relics of their faith freely. Now, only certain days are open, and toes are trampled on all sides as the faithful fight for a few precious minutes.
   
One For The Road
Created by drunkenpanda951
Nothing creates a memorable tradition like a turn of phrase being taken literally. And 'One for the Road' is no exception. By literally pouring a drink out onto the road, the enact-ee wishes good health and travels upon themselves, by way of an indavertant offering. While falling out of style, the traditon holds a quaint nostalgia that invokes fondness for earlier times.
 
 

A System to Send Messages Between Distant Places

  I'm focusing on prompts I never completed myself, as it gives me a chance to read articles without directly comparing them to my own; learning is healthy, but There is a point where directly comparing my own work to others can be a negative if I cannot learn properly. The only system currently in place in my world to send distant messages is Radio, so I'd love to sneak a peek at pages from other peoples' books.  
Stellar Radio
Created by UsurperKings
You can't get more distant than the far reaches of space, and possibly dimension if I'm reading this article correctly. Stellar Radio was invented with the singular goal of reaching out to a lost relative and calling them back home. While reliable, the system relies on the intervention of celestial beings and their lifespan, and isn't one ultimately designed for common use.
 
Hedron Network Technology
Created by Kitoypoy
As we become more and more obsessed/addicted/connected to modern technology, it becomes harder to imagine worlds without it. Many fictional/fantasy worlds will find ways to insert long-range communcations/photgraphy technology in settings where it would otherwise be impossible. Kitoypoy has done an excellent job of this, requiring the presence of thousands of people for the technology to even work.
 
Rat Post
Created by Tarkinlarson
While most people wouldn't consider the span of a city 'distant', it can certainly seem as such when one is only a few inches long. Rat Post is a system designed to use rats as couriers between locations, compelete with rivalries with rat-catchers and legendary rats and their exploits. Entire series could be written about the brave and cunning rat-post members alone, and are certainly stories I would read!
 
 

Where do we Go from Here?

  Now that the summer Camp Festivities are finally winding down, it's time to look to the future. I'm both eager to jump into my next project and trying to give myself space to breathe, especially as my day-job begins to ramp up for the holiday season. I have a few goals in mind to keep myself working on my world as Summer Camp draws to a Close  
Adventures of the Rod Braende
The first of which is getting my first serial/series off the ground! Adventures of the Rod Braende will focus on Richard Dalreme VII, and the underground network he establishes to protect his kingdom from its own regent. It also showcases the growth of a group of teenagers into a true band of brothers, growing in both their maturity and their faith as they begin to make their own mark on the world.  
World Cleanup
The one ever-ongoing project that I don't see ending anytime soon! I'm going to start going back through older articles and cleaning them up, adding or removing details as needed and adding more style to otherwise wall-text pages. I also want to properly utilize categories for the World Codex, create a full 'credits' page that I can link to in the credits footer, and finally nail down my timeline so it stops shifting on me.  
Prep for NaNoWriMo and WorldEmber
These are going to be a challenge this year, methinks-unlike previous years I don't have pre-existing plans for NaNo, and November/December is the tail end of one of our busy seasons so my time to work on these may be limited. It's almost (emphasis 'almost') A blessing that the Religious Ed class I teach only seems to have 1-2 classes a month for these two months.

Comments

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Aug 20, 2023 18:39 by Melissa

Thanks for featuring Harmony Heights! I'll ask Drannor to save you a slice of pie. It's the last stop on the monorail, you can't miss it. <3

Aug 24, 2023 21:55 Private by Rachel Bentz

oooh, it sounds delicious!

May the Creator ever guide your Footsteps
Aug 20, 2023 19:56 by Chris L

Thanks for including me and good luck with balancing world building with IRL. I know those feels!


For your consideration, my submissions for the WorldAnvil Worldbuilding Awards 2024. (I've also included some of my favorites other worldbuilders.)

Aug 24, 2023 21:56 Private by Rachel Bentz

It's ever a careful balance. Until WorldEmber, then all bets are off.

May the Creator ever guide your Footsteps
Aug 22, 2023 07:43

Thanks for the shout-out! Weirdly enough, I don't know anything about Final Fantasy- I've only played ffx- but I'm glad my work resonated with you.

Aug 24, 2023 21:56 Private by Rachel Bentz

As expansive as the series is, It's not hard to create inadvertant references! You should definitely give XIV a try, it's a long burn but it's got a lot of stay power.

May the Creator ever guide your Footsteps
Aug 24, 2023 16:00 by Sapha Burnell

Hey! Thanks for the mention on Stellar Radio (and yes, you got the interstellar and interdimensional idea bang on). I'm glad you found it lit!

Aug 24, 2023 21:58 Private by Rachel Bentz

I always love reading your work! You might see a couple more likes crop up as I wade through my notifications.

May the Creator ever guide your Footsteps
Aug 27, 2023 01:51

Thanks for the read and the kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Feel free to stop by some of my WorldEmber articles if you want. My favorites are The Book of the Unquiet Dead, Outpost of the Moons, and The Emerald Hills. Feedback is always appreciated.
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