Sunday, June 27, 2010

HASA news - Challenges

Current and prospective Challenges, and the Nuzgûl of the Month: come and pet the plot bunnies...

Birthday Challenges

Is your birthday in July and would you like a drabble about your favourite character or topic? You can request it here.

The June Challenge is still going on, so why not take a few minutes to write a birthday drabble for one of the birthday people?

Not sure what the birthday cards are about? Have a look at stories written for previous requests.

Current and closing Challenges

June 2010 Birthday Cards - closes June 30

July 2010 Birthday Cards - closes July 31

Prospective Challenges

Challenges are born from Prospective Challenges, and the Prospective Challenges Forum is where you’ll find out what other people would like to spring on unsuspecting authors... If you have any ideas you want to share, head over to the Challenges Forum or be inspired by what is already there and pick up an older idea instead?

Nuzgûl of the Month

Just as Challenges come from Prospective Challenges, Prospective Challenges come from Nuzgûl, and Nuzgûl need attention to grow from tiny ideas into all-dominating obsessive thoughts that keep you from your sleep and monopolise every waking minu^^^... erm... yes, well... Put on your mithril boots and step into the Nuzgûl hutch. Who knows what ideas you may come out with?

And to make that dive into the hutch that little bit(e) more attractive, have a taster of what is in there:

The Nuzgûl of the Month!
This month’s slightly dark bunny is To Be a Ringwraith.

Think you want to write it? Come on over to the Nuzgûl of the Month Workshop, be inspired, see how many others you can inflict this idea on, and perhaps even turn it into a Challenge.

Thank you for reading at HASA. Have fun!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

HASA How-tos - June 2010

The news today is full of articles about Internet dangers, but few of them tell you how you can defend yourself from these threats. HASA now has a Research Article outlining how to make your computer safe for browsing.

Facebook spam. iPad breaches. Conficker worm. Botnet zombies. Phishing emails. Trojan payloads.
No, these are not names of new grunge bands. These are the kinds of dangers the ordinary Internet user faces when trying to visit sites. On any given day, you'll find an article about one or more of these exploits in your daily newspaper. The online version, of course.

While there are plenty of attention-grabbing headlines, there are not so many resources to tell you how to avoid becoming a victim of these malware attacks. The information is out there, but presumes too much professional computer knowledge to put all the pieces together. Even some IT professionals aren't entirely sure what to do. When you do get your hands on the information, it's often in "geek speak" and can't clearly explain why you need to do this or that to your system.
Anglachel has waded through the references, analyzed the security articles, and figured out the basic steps HASA visitors should take to secure their systems. It has been pulled together into the research article Safe Browsing which is available to all visitors. While aimed at Windows users running either IE or Firefox, the general information is applicable to any operating system and web browser.

Friday, June 18, 2010

HASA Reviewed Stories June 2010

Since the previous Bulletin 9 new stories have been reviewed and there are currently 10 stories in review. Reviews couldn’t exist without authors submitting stories and reviewers reviewing them. So a big Thank You for the work to all of you!

Stories in review
As I type this, there are 10 stories waiting for reviewers (remember to log in before you follow the link).

Of course, member participation is crucial for reviews. The more people are involved in reviewing, the more opinions are represented. Just as importantly, having more people involved means that stories pass through review more quickly - which is good for everyone.

If you are an active reviewer, why not go and check out a story? Or, if you are a writer, take the plunge and submit a story for review!

Becoming a reviewer
If you're not an active reviewer, but think you can spare a bit of time... – even if you just review one or two stories in a month, every review is welcome. If you are logged in, you can sign up here if you've been a member of HASA for thirty days or more.

Put one in, take one out
By submitting a story for review, you are asking nine other members to read and evaluate it. So why not do for the other authors who have a story in review what you'd like other reviewers to do for you: check out one of the stories already in review and give it a read. Put more simply: put one in, take one out...

Reviewed story spotlight
These stories have passed through review since the previous bulletin. Congratulations to all authors; well done!

The Tower by Raksha
Rating: General
Genre:  Drama
Era: Multi-Age
Summary: Could a being of Sauron's might simply become dust in the wind when the One Ring was destroyed?  Find out, as Sauron experiences the fall of Barad-dûr and what came afterward.

Unrequited by Elfscribe
Rating: General
Genre:  Romance
Era: 1st Age
Summary: A lovesick Daeron crafts a new song to try to gain Lúthien's attention.  A triple drabble (300 words)

The King's Time by Larner
Rating: General
Genre:  Drama
Era: 4th Age
Summary: It is now the thirtieth of Rethe by the Shire's calendar, and the Lord King has determined that his birthday tomorrow shall be observed in a most solemn manner. This evening he thinks on the passing of time....

The Old that is Strong by Lindahoyland
Rating: General
Genre:  General
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Summary: Watching over the dying Faramir, Ioreth is shocked when Gandalf brings a stranger to tend him.

Freedom Is Never Free by Nieriel Raina
Rating: General
Genre:  Drama
Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War
Summary: Freedom is not free. Aragorn remembers how he has learned that painful lesson over the course of his life. 

Love Began Here by Adonnen Estenniel
Rating: General
Genre:  Romance
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Summary: Under the clear stars on Midsummers Day, Aragorn and Arwen pledge their troth. Years later, under the bright sun of January, Aragorn returns to the hill where he and the Evenstar promised themselves. It was an experience he never thought to repeat.

Portrait Of A Queen by Aruthir
Rating: General
Genre:  Drama
Era: 2nd Age - Pre-Rings
Summary: Tar-Telperien was the second Ruling Queen of Númenor, and never met her great-grandmother Tar-Ancalimë, the first such Queen... ...In life, at least.

Harvest Dreams by lindahoyland
Rating: General
Genre:  Drama
Era: Multi-Age
Summary: A series of drabbles depicting scenes in Faramir's life. Written for a challenge. Each drabble is 100 words as counted in MS Word.

Taking Stock by Virtuella
Rating: General
Genre:  General
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Summary: Gandalf reviews his possessions. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

HASA news - Birthdays and stories

June birthdays and links to the stories written or updated in May.

June Birthday Challenge

Is your birthday in June, and would you like a drabble about your favourite character or topic? You can request it here.

Not sure what the birthday cards are about? Have a look at stories written for previous requests.

May Stories

All of us writers love feedback. It is the lembas and miruvor that sustains us as we write our story, and leaving a few words about a story you read is always a nice thing to do, whether the story is new or old.

Every fifteen minutes HASA highlights a story chosen at random from the Reviewed and General stories in the archive. Read the currently featured story on our front page.

Many talented writers are publishing every day. In May:

--- 15 Reviewed Stories were published or updated.
--- 58 General Stories were published or updated.
--- 2 Beta Stories were updated.
(Please note, you need to be logged in to view beta stories.)

Thank you for reading at HASA. Enjoy!

~Nath ~