Sunday, February 27, 2011

HASA news - Challenges

In this week’s news: current and prospective Challenges, and the Nuzgûl of the Month.

Birthday Challenges

The February Birthday Challenge is still going on, and there is slightly over a day left to make a request or write a birthday drabble. Keep an eye out for the March Birthday Challenge as well!

Not sure what the birthday cards are about? Have a look at the stories already written this year.

Current and closing Challenges

February 2011 Birthday Cards - closes February 28

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, why not 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 big stories. Step into the Nuzgûl hutch. The bunnies don’t bite (much). And who knows what ideas you may come out with?

The Nuzgûl of the Month!

As I’m in the middle of moving house (and have half an idea ready for this Challenge) the February Nuzgûl will run for another month: Estelmo’s story.

Come on over to the Nuzgûl of the Month Workshop.

Thank you for reading at HASA. Have fun!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HASA Reviewed Stories February 2011

Since the previous Bulletin, 9 stories have been reviewed and there are currently also 12 stories in review. Make an author's day and review a story! New submissions are of course welcome as well!

As I type this, there are 12 stories waiting to be reviewed (remember to log in before you follow the link).

Member participation is crucial for reviews. The more people are involved in reviewing, the more different 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 (and when you do, remember: 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.

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.

Daunted by the idea of reviewing? Don’t worry, reviewing at its simplest comes down to asking yourself: “Would I recommend this story to someone?” Then, whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no', you can make a choice from the capsule reasons to clarify your decision. If you want to, you can add a few more words to convey what you (dis)liked about the story, but just the capsule reason is perfectly fine as well.

And remember: even if you think you're too critical or not critical enough: your review is only one of nine, and all points of view are welcome. Not every reviewer has to review every story and in the end it does all level out to a balanced judgement.

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

Until We Meet Again by Tanis
Rating: General
Genre: Drama
Era: 4th Age
Summary: A difficult farewell between two friends bound and parted by destiny. Mild slash relationship references.

Wings of Summer by Raksha
Rating: General
Genre: General
Era: 3rd Age - Post-Ring War
Summary: The new Lords of Gondor are bound to duty, but are they its slaves? Distractions and diversions tempt Aragorn and Faramir. An 800-word (as counted by MS Word) standalone ficlet. Not slash.

After the Sun Rises by Maethril-of-Mirkwood
Rating: General
Genre: Other
Era: Other
Summary: (Non-Slash) Millennia have passed since the War of the Ring, and alone in Valinor, an elf laments those he has lost, wondering whether immortality is truly a blessing or a curse.

Faithful Friend by lindahoyland
Rating: General
Genre: General
Era: 4th Age
Summary: Faramir has found all his heart desires. But when he risks losingmuch of what he had gained, help arrives from an unexpected source. With grateful thanks to Virtuella and Raksha. Dedicated to Raksha on the occasion of her birthday. Teitho Contest - Finder's Keepers - First Place. ...

A Question of History by Marta
Rating: General
Genre: General
Era: 4th Age
Summary: Sam and Pippin discuss a puzzling passage from the Red Book. (Betas: annmarwalk, Dreamflower, and Linda Hoyland)

Lingering Shadows by lindahoyland
Rating: General
Genre: General
Era: 4th Age
Summary: Faramir is worried that something is threatening his baby son and seeks Aragorn's help. With thanks to Raksha and Virtuella. Written for the LOTR GFIC "Believe it or Not" Challenge.

A Deck of Heroes by Larner
Rating: General
Genre: General
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Summary: A collection of ficlets inspired by the cards of the major arcana from the Tarot deck.

Orcs At School by Virtuella
Rating: General
Genre: Humor
Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards
Summary: Because little orcs need to learn, too.

Above All Shadows by IgnobleBard
Rating: Adult
Genre: Drama
Era: 3rd Age - Ring War
Summary: Aragorn sees Legolas stumble as they run towards Rohan, but doesn't know it is one of the first signs of the Elf’s dark secret. - Slash

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

HASA undergoing server swap

Over the last few months, HASA's server has become increasingly unstable. This is due to a combination of factors, the two most prominent being the age of the hardware and operating system (almost 7 years) and an increasing number of malicious attacks on the system. The combination leaves the server vulnerable to crashing.

I am working with the ISP this week to get a new server set up and to transfer HASA's code and data to its new home. When the new server has been prepared, HASA will be taken offline and the data will be transferred.

The specific dates for the move are not yet available. They will be posted as soon as I have them.

Thank you for your patience while this work is being done.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

HASA news - Birthdays, stories

February birthdays and links to the stories written or updated in January.

February Birthday Challenge

Is your birthday in February, 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.

January 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 January:

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

Thank you for reading at HASA. Enjoy!

~Nath ~

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Donations needed for January and February Hosting fees

We're at -$106 which means January hosting isn't fully paid for and the February bill will soon come due.

HASA depends on member & reader donations to pay hosting fees. The hosting fee pays for the dedicated server we need to host all the features and fun visitors love - stories, comments, forums, alerts, challenges and more. We should not be running this far negative for this long. Thanks to recent donations we're less behind; we still need to get positive. Please support HASA so our great stories can remain online and accessible.

The monthly hosting fee for HASA is $150. There are now three ways to donate to our PayPal account.

- One time donations - this is what we've always had
- Monthly donations - set up a monthly recurring donation in amounts from $5 to $25 dollars.
- Annual donations - set up a recurring annual donation in amounts from $15 to $50 dollars.

Donation buttons are on the home page (one-time donation only), all story list pages and on the Donations page. If you haven't donated yet to help support HASA, please consider doing so; any support will be timely and greatly appreciated. HASA gets a lot of traffic and offers many great stories and features.

If you're a little short on spare change at the moment, donations of time are always appreciated. There's an archive full of stories just waiting for comments, authors who would dearly love an email complimenting them on their work, challenges that need entries, playlists that need to be created, and forums begging for discussions. If you are a reviewer, check out a story today. If you aren't a reviewer, no better time than now to sign up. If you are an author, please consider donating a new story.

Thanks for enjoying HASA!