Summer Camp '23 Reading Challenge
Reflections in the Afterglow
& The Future is Bright
And it looked dicey for a while. Once my two-week vacation was over work turned out to be extremely stressful, and I also had a problem to keep my writing at a moderate length. Most articles I wrote during the first half of Summer Camp broke far past 1500 words.
I set out with the goal of finishing 16 prompts during the course of Summer Camp, though was wholly set on that I might not be able to reach much farther than qualifying for the copper badge. I had already made some New Years resolutions to take it easy and not overstrain myself. Which sometimes is easier said than done when you're having so much fun.
But I got there... and beyond!When the gold wave got released, I forced myself to cut down on the amount of writing per article and simply settle with the fact that I can expand them later. I think the true challenge was to quiet that incredibly dumb part of my brain that just doesn't want to leave things half-finished. Once I pushed past that and could restrain myself to ~300-500 words per article, it suddenly became so much easier to catch up on the prompts. To no ones surprise. It even went well enough that I surpassed my pledge goal and got gold!
I considered running all the way for diamond, but, seeing how bad these last two weeks have been for me health-wise I recited the verses of wisdom spoken by Camp Chill and put down my quill. I don't regret doing so the least and am now very happy with how far I got.
Summer Camp Reflections
Thinking back on how I felt then compared to now has made for an interesting time of reflection in the afterglow of Summer Camp 2023. I feel and see such a massive difference, and it's very likely all because I am different and in a much better place. I'm overall very happy with my entries and how they've developed Rosepetal - many of them have added depth that otherwise probably wouldn't have come until far, far later.
For some context, I haven't been part of summercamp since 2018 & 2019, and in hindsight I think participating in these two events ended up being more stressful than helpful for me. But I was insistent on taking part in them anyway for various reasons. I couldn't really find much inspiration for the prompts, I wasn't all too happy with what I did get out there, and I also struggled a lot more with taking part in the community side. While I reached the copper and silver goals those years, I didn't really feel like I accomplished much or that my writing had done much difference for my worlds. I know today that my depression was the major reason for feeling this way.
How about the event itself?
I sent some of this along with the feedback form, but thought I could share my reflections on this year's summer camp itself here too and even elaborate a little. I am glad to see the event has evolved from year to year - it's so fantastic to see us being able to provide feedback and how WA keeps trying to improve it for the better based on it. You can please many, but not everyone, though its always great to see them try their best to make it an event everyone can take part in. Sponsored Prompts is entirely new for me, and I think it's such a great idea. And it's been fun to read about different sponsors approach to how they're judging their prompts. I'd love to be able to stabilize my economy and maybe one day be one to give back to the community this way. Connecting with the above, I'm so glad to see the switch away from high likes counts being the primary means of winning any contests. I know a lot of other people didn't have an issue with it, but I've just never liked popularity contests and don't find them entirely fair. The themes and their respective stream and blog post were absolutely fantastic, and I found they helped so much with giving an introduction to the prompts and helped with getting the ideas going. Whereas my previous 2 summer camps I struggled with ideas for nearly every single prompt, this year I think there's only 2 I didn't have immediate ideas for. I think I preferred getting all prompts released in a single go at the start of Summer Camp, as it gave equal time to think and write for all of them. And while it seemed perfectly acceptable to do, it also felt a little unfortunate and clumsy that I ended up writing and submitting for one prompt only to later see that the idea would fit 100% better in one that was released later. I love that the wild card prompts provided some wiggle room for those who might find themselves all on dry with ideas for the themed ones, giving a chance to always get copper at the very least. At the same time, I sort of wish that the addition of the wild card prompts hadn't led to an overall increase of prompts. I think it'd be nicer to keep the 8 total per wave, with 6 themed and 2 wild cards.
by Charlie N.
Looking ForwardI spoke a lot about what I was looking forward to doing in a journal entry a while ago, and I've also written a little cleaner version of that list here in the sidebar, although it's unlikely I'll finish any of those projects before New Year. Actual worldbuilding might end up on the suffering side until WorldEmber comes around, but I feel I really need a break after Summer Camp and I also need to satisfy some of my noisy brain goblins. Autumn will likely be spent mainly on organizing and setting up a more firm scope for Rosepetal. As well, IRL is still very demanding of me, and likely will continue to be for a good while forward. End of 2022 and all of 2023 has been very tumoultous in many ways - primarily good ways - and so much has happened that I still haven't entirely been able to process all of it and catch up with myself. And there's still a lot of my energy being spent on going through medical diagnosises and treatments.
Rosepetals swirl in the warm autumn breeze...I wrote a pretty chonky journal update not too long ago that served as a ventilating of personal thoughts and feelings, celebration of reaching 50 followers on Rosepetal, follow-up on SC progress and thoughts about the future - all in one. If you don't want to dig into it, here's specifically the list of post-Summer Camp goals and plans that I shared. In a little more succint and better formulated format.
I'll also tighten up the color scheme a bit, move over Bootstrap 5, and finally wrap my head around media queries to make it more mobile friendly.
I'd like to get it posted here on a timeline and finish the rest of it so I can get a more complete scope of time in order to create a unique set of in-universe chronologies. I'd at least like to get the dating systems used by The Ascendancy and The United Worlds finalized.
Something I might do though is to dig out, polish and post some old short stories or RP write-ups.
If my economy gets better I'm also planning on asking my sister if they're open for commissions: Charlie N.'s the amazing bean that made my bluetyger avatar and the two images featured in this article!