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The Ba Sing Se Times, Issue 52: 29 December

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avatar wiki's community newsletter

Discussion report
Announcements and discussion results:

Technical report

  • The War Room in the Forum namespace has finally been archived in order to facilitate the enabling of the new Forum system, which was beta-tested by the wiki since July, before its official implementation.
  • Major community and editing issues will now be discussed on the new Avatar Wiki:War Room forums. The move from the Forum to the Avatar Wiki namespace was necessary due to the automatic archiving of the Forum namespace with the enabling of the new board system.

User rights report

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From the editor: Avatar Wiki enters 2013

Hello all and welcome to the final (and perhaps, the largest) edition of The Ba Sing Se Times for 2012! It has been quite the year for the Times, from the reboot in the middle of the year and the retirement of our former long-running editor. To mark the achievement of passing another year, we the staff have decided to end with a bang, presenting for your perusal a plethora of articles given to us by our faithful contributors. Not only that, but we have also implemented (and plan to implement) a number of changes to the layout of the Times, and to that end, we have placed a community poll to gauge your opinions. (See below, in the hidden section)

Now, to business of the wiki! Similar to the end of 2011, we remain excited for the many comics that will be released in the coming year and the continuation of the animated series.

Suffice to say, the popularity of the wiki is expected to remain very high over the course of content release dates, and regular contributors should plan for this accordingly. Currently averaging around 850,000 views per week, we have done very well in maintaining stability in our inactivity gaps between content releases, and remain one of the most constant and active sites on the Internet.

However, as always, me must be vigilant in maintaining our community and ensuring that we attract and welcome newcomers as much as possible - we still have huge potential to draw upon, and that is already evident by the staggering ratio of views to active editors on the wiki (exactly 521 at last count).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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Avatar Wiki Rewind, looking back at 2012 on AW
WaterbenderTaikai

Greetings, my Ba Sing Se Times readers! This is Taikai with my last main column for 2012.

In this issue, I would like to refresh your minds on what a year we had (and boy, what a year it was). Maybe you'll remember every one of the events, or maybe this is all new to you. I'll be listing off a quantity of big events that occurred throughout our year here on the wiki, and I'll also be providing my own commentary. ;) Now let's get started; there’s a lot to cover!

  • February 20thThe fanon administrators are disbanded by community consensus, and thus the amount of admins is expanded to seven. This event was extremely important because it made the current amount of administrators what it is today. The bringing back of fanon administrators was discussed in September, but no change was made.
  • March 1stLady Lostris becomes the 16th administrator of Avatar Wiki. LL didn't become any administrator, may I say. She became the first ever female admin! This was a big mark in our Avatar Wiki history. LL is still one of our administrators and is also a bureaucrat! (I'll tell you more about that later.)
  • March 13thAvatarRokusGhost becomes the 17th administrator of Avatar Wiki. Earlier in the year, the author of Avatar: Energy Saga earned admin rights. He is still one of our beloved admins and is very active in the fanon portal.
  • June 9th to June 18thHosted by HammerOfThor and Lady Lostris, the first ever Cabbagie Awards areheld. This was the first event that I participated in myself. With 207 nominations, this award show was a fun and great way to get lots of participation and to get users to put away tension. I took home the Cabbagie for "best Water Tribe name ever". :P Results can be found here.
  • July 1stThe Ultimate Waterbender becomes the 18th administrator of Avatar Wiki. Fire Sage and amazing editor, Ultimate, was truly deserving of adminship. She is still an active admin and is seen everywhere, editing our pages and making our wiki a great place.
  • July 15thAvatar Wiki's birthday. The second annual User Awards begin with hosts Rassilon of Old, Dcasawang1, and Lady Lostris. The 7th birthday of Avatar Wiki was celebrated with the opening of the User Awards! This was a very fun way to reward users for the work and contribution to the wiki and also form stronger bonds. I also participated in this and I have to say that it was an experience you won’t forget. I can’t wait for next year's. *nudges Rass* The event ended on August 1st and results for this year’s can be found here.
  • July 19thThe White Lotus Sentinel starts off with their first issue. This was a great start-up of the newsletter. It had 20 comments and all the comments were very positive. The WLS is now a current fanon newsletter and a great way to stay up to date in the fanon news.
  • July 30thAn attempt to remove the rights of three administrators and four rollback users causes a massive flurry of tension, feuding, and edit conflicts. Were you troubled by the edit conflicts too, if you participated in this crazy forum? I definitely was. This attempt to remove rights caused lots of chaos on the wiki, if you will. The forum closed on August 4th after dozens of voting occurred. The final consensus was that no action was taken. It may be considered a dark day from this year, but we all have moved on.
  • August 12thThe 4th Fanon Awards take place. The 888th Avatar steps down as editor of the BSST. Ah. Another award show. But this one was solely for the fanon portal and it’s users. This was a great way to award fanons that were truly deserving. Results can be found here. In the 44th issue of our main newsletter, our longest-serving admin stepped down from his role as editor of The Ba Sing Se Times.
  • September 8thBureaucrat and administrator Vulmen resigns. KettleMeetPot becomes the editor of the BSST. Annawantimes becomes the newest deputy editor of the BSST. I was online when our esteemed 'Vulmenatorcrat' resigned from office. Immediately, I was overcome with confusion as I didn’t know why he had done that, or what actually was happening. But he is still thought of and appreciated. After a forum closed, KMP became the editor of our newsletter and Annawan became the deputy editor succeeding him.
  • September 14thAvatarRokusGhost become the first ever fanonbending master. It was a big milestone when administrator became the first fanonbending master for his work in his fanon, Avatar: Energy Saga.
  • September 28thPSUAvatar14 becomes the 19th administrator of Avatar Wiki. After a very close race, our edit crazed friend, KataraFanboy, became an admin. He is active contributor and to the wiki. He’s always around and can be found on the IRC all the time.
  • October 1stMinnichi's writing contest ushers in a rush of contests. This was crazy. There were at least five different writing contests occurring after our Dai Li fanon author released her contest with art for prizes. I entered along with 18 others.
  • October 18Lady Lostris becomes the 7th bureaucrat on Avatar Wiki. I told you I’d tell you more. ;) Lady Lostris became the bureaucrat succeeding Vulmen after his resign and a great race. She became the first female bureaucrat on Avatar Wiki.
  • October 27thBlackMonkey steps down from his deputy editor job and Minnichi succeeds him. Because of inactivity, BM stepped down and Minnichi became the fanon deputy editor for the BSST.
  • November 1stDcasawang1 resigns from his position as administrator. I was shocked when I received a notification/highlight message that DC had stepped down. He said he lacked activity, so he resigned. He is still a great user and one to definitely remember.
  • November 13thKettleMeetPot becomes the 20th administrator of Avatar Wiki. Our current editor became an administrator in what seemed like the shortest adminship race ever held. He is the mastermind behind the walls here at BSST and he is a great editor.
  • November 14th to December 1stNew forum features arouse troubles by taking away the Forum:War Room, switching it to a comment type of debate system. I was one of the first to comment on this switch. After a long discussion that ended on Dec. 1st, the problem was solved by keeping new forum features, but moving the War Room to the Project namespace.
  • December 11thAnnawantimes resigns from his position as deputy editor of the BSST. I was shocked when I heard the news that Annawan was going temporarily inactive. We will be looking forward to seeing him again.
  • December 13thWaterbenderTaikai becomes the deputy editor succeeding Annawantimes. I remember this day. Ah. Good times, good times.

That's about all I've got. For one final note: please be kind to one another. In 2013, I think that we all should start fresh and try to avoid scenarios like the one started on July 30th. We should enjoy the wiki and each other, and this can only be reached with kindness. Let’s not go down the road of tension and stay happy.

Thanks to KFB for some help with the events before my time and for the idea. :)

Until next time, I’m Taikai wishing you a Happy New Year! :)

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An Introduction to Avatar Wiki's Administrators
Minnichi

(a.k.a. "What happens when you give Minnichi a drawing tablet.") 

I remember joining Avatar Wiki shortly before our adminstrators had to deal with unusual drama. I became confused as to who they were, and articles were popping up in the BSST to educate people like me about the "fact vs. fiction" of admins. It helped a great deal, of course, but then one day I decided those articles are simply too serious! We can't present some of our most dedicated users on that note! So today, I give you a lighter (and totally accurate) introduction to the seven current administrators of Avatar Wiki, straight from my random sketchbook. Whether you're a new or ancient user, here's a look at our admins for who they are: unique and sometimes quirky people who're just here out of their love for Avatar, like the rest of us!  Going in alphabetical order... 


AvatarRokusGhost

"Excellent, excellent chapter...worthy of praise... This is a GOOD fanon."

— Dragon of The West talking about [ARG's] fanon story.


Most users probably know ARG as the guy who wrote Avatar: Energy Saga, a fanon with over 30 subscribers and perhaps the most popular piece of writing in the whole wiki. He's also a member of the Fanon Awards council and is pretty much involved in every usergroup related to improving fanon. Great writer and editor right here!

Bottom line:  AvatarRokusGhost is the epic fanon writer who will probably help your fanon, too. 


KettleMeetPot

"I'm the kind of guy who just stands around in the background, face hidden with a long-brimmed hat and body obscured in a 1970s style black trench-coat - watching and waiting."


KMP edits anything he thinks needs editing, especially fanons. So basically, he's everywhere. It's quite remarkable how many things he'll fix drastically without actually being an official "member," i.e. joining usergroups and such. And since he's everywhere, you just never know when he could pop up on your message wall with a mysterious message ("Hello"), be it for some formal business request or just to say hi. 

Bottom line: KettleMeetPot is always obscure and cool (self-proclaimed), whether he's discussing your BSST article rejection or the wonders of Hershey chocolate. 


Lady Lostris

"I have stressed the importance of honesty before -I find it an admirable quality, not only for a bureaucrat, but for any user or just any person in general."


That honorable statement came from Lostris's nomination for her current position as one of Avatar Wiki's bureaucrats. True to her word, she's very direct and honest in any discussion, and will back up her opinions with a powerful, fiery flare. In my personal opinion, it's always been the formality, honesty, and flare all combined at once that makes this admin so successful in her arguments! 

Bottom line: One must always brace oneself before debating with Lady Lostris - and should probably avoid it if possible. 


PSUAvatar14 a.k.a. KataraFanboy

"Be good to me, and I'll be good to you. :) Be bad to me, and I'll have to sic Angry Katara on you. Trust me, you wouldn't like Katara when she's angry. Don't say I didn't warn you."


KFB is probably the only admin topping KMP in omnipresence. This guy isn't just everywhere, he's everyone 24/7! I actually wondered if he was an admin already during my first days at Avatar Wiki, since he kept editing...and editing...and editing... Truly admirable! I feel like this guy knows the Wiki inside and out - and is always watching o_o 

Bottom line: PSUAvatar14 is a true Recent Wiki Activity stalker, and most likely your local admin for help since he's always there!  


Thailog

"Actually I was more like tied up, figuratively speaking... and literally.... and horizontally.... and you know why... Sadist. Thailot did his thang. I left the coup de grâce for you. Kill the cat! Or skin it first..." (To Lostris)


Okay, Thailog isn't evil. Even if his picture has lightning crashing in the background and lots of cackling. The thing is, one of this guy's most powerful traits is the fact that he's completely immune to any shallow, judgmental opinions made about him, including those about him being "evil." And as a result, the nay-sayers only poke at it even more to see if they can get him to care! When they talk badly about him, it's probably taken out of context - just like this picture. If Thailog happens to cackle, it's because he might be enjoying his victory in a debate against you a little more than usual... And if you ask me, those who spread the bad rumors are just bitter ;)

Bottom line: Don't cross Thailog. 


The 888th Avatar a.k.a. Wjxhuang

"The 888th Avatar...has been plotting the destruction of editing Avatar Wiki from his base Down Under since November 2008... Unfortunately for us, he's still here."


888 has been called many times "the father of the wiki," a title that I think is pretty fitting for his record. He's done loads of great things for us over the years, and most of them aren't even given credit for since the majority of us weren't here to witness it! In recent times, however, he's proclaimed himself "lazy" and tends to react to things rather slowly - but I still think he'll always be there, watching in the background... 

Bottom line: The 888th Avatar is the guy who does big things and watches silently. 


The Ultimate Waterbender a.k.a. Katara

"If you have any questions, feel free to ask me; I'd be happy to help. I have administrative rights on this wiki, so I promise to undo vandalism and work towards improving this site." 

Ultimate is often given the title of most the friendly adminstrator in the current bunch. In fact, I don't think I ever remember seeing her angry in my life! She's a writer in every way, from her famous fanon (When Air Nomads Walked the Earth) to countless canon article revisions. This admin is the kind of person who everyone would want to be friends with, since everyone is a fan of Avatar and therefore most likely a fan of Katara. 

Bottom line: If you want to know more about The Ultimate Waterbender, look up the Katara article.


Collectively, I've seen our adminstrators work together to do many epic things. Aside from their creation of fancy templates that are beautiful enough to bring you to tears, their prevention of trolls taking over the wiki is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Like many of you, I sometimes just watch and observe them tackling those raging users with such pro-ness that I'm reminded how I couldn't do that for my life. This last illustration was inspired by one such incident that I observed, and I think it's the most common kind of dispute that leads to the all the blocking and whatnot. 

"What It Really Means to Be An Administrator"
Click here for full view.

So there you have it: the seven admins of Avatar Wiki, as of 2012. I hope my random pictures did them justice, and I wish you all an awesome new year! 

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2012: A Year Wilder for Avatar Fans than the Avatar State
PSUAvatar14

Well, just as 2012 has been quite the year for the wiki, it's also been as such for our favorite franchise. We have seen the release of scores of new material throughout the year...The Promise, Korra, details about finding Zuko's mom...wow, what a year. Let's recap:

(NOTE: Some dates recalled from memory, other dates such as specific news bits were gathered from our wiki's blogs.)

  • 25 January - The release of The Promise, Part One. We finally see the first of the Gaang's new adventures as a crisis brews within the Fire Nation colonies and a conflict develops between the Avatar and the Fire Lord once again, while Aang is forced to take a rather serious promise...
  • 22 February - Korra Nation is launched. Thousands of fans become citizens as they work to gain prizes offered by the official makers of the new legend. In addition, Bryke creates a blog on Tumblr for KN, giving us some nice little surprises along the way...
  • 25 February - Nick puts up its first LoK website, giving visitors an early look at some of the series' characters.
  • 24 March - Korra Nation gathers its first huge success - with a like quota surpassed, the first two episodes are unlocked online for the whole weekend, marking the first official debut for the series.
  • 6 April - Nick launches "Welcome to Republic City" on its site for LoK. Fans who flock to the site get new information on many characters, including ages for Tenzin's family, the first details on Tarrlok and the United Republic Council. New locations are unlocked every Friday through 11 May, which include downtown Republic City, the Pro-bending Arena, and Future Industries, all of which provide new information on many characters and also some further backgrounds - one can read up on more of Mako and Bolin at the arena, while finding out more of Hiroshi Sato's background at Future Industries. In addition, visitors also get to try their hands at some mini skill contests in some locations, including playing a pro-bending match at the arena. Through this game, visitors also learned that Zuko is still alive, now at the age of 87.
  • 14 April - The first two LoK episodes make their second debut to the rest of the nation at 11am EST on Nickelodeon. Viewers get a look at Korra's move to Republic City, Tenzin, Pema, and their children, an 85-year-old Katara, pro-bending, Mako, Bolin, and also the new villains - Amon and his Equalists...
  • 5 May - One of the more controversial episodes of LoK, "The Spirit of Competition", debuts. Fans are left to see that the shipping just became an absolute mess - Borra, Makorra, and Masami are all involved. For those who don't care much for the shipping, the Fire Ferrets make it through to the Pro-bending Championship finals with some tight wins, including an incredible hat trick by Korra in round three of the semifinals in the final seconds after her team had fallen behind 2-0 in the match.
  • 30 May - Fans craving more of the old Gaang's adventures get their wish with part two of the The Promise trilogy. However, this one is not quite as well-received with less plot action and the focus shifting toward the metalbending students.
  • 23 June - Book One of The Legend of Korra comes to an end with the final two episodes both airing in the 11am ET timeslot on Nickelodeon. Viewers learn who Amon really is, relationships end and begin, and much action comprises the conclusion to this first book. Large discussions follow; some viewers are left satisfied, other viewers are left feeling ripped off.
  • 25 June - Just as Avatar fans are coming off TLoK, news comes out about the release of a new comic trilogy, The Search. The announcement shows to us that the long mystery of Zuko and Azula's mother will finally be solved, with the first part scheduled for a March 2013 release.
  • 11 July - A big announcement for all Avatar fans - Legend of Korra is expanding to 52 episodes with two new books. It's wide open to any speculation as to what these new books will comprise..
  • 13 July - The LoK panel at the San Diego Comic Con reveals many new details about the upcoming second book. New characters such as Verick are revealed, while many characters take new positions in life. The Spirit World is also announced to be featured.
  • 26 September - The final part of The Promise trilogy is released. Fans see the Yu Dao crisis reach its conclusion while Aang learns a new perspective about the changing world. But as we know, it's not the end of Team Avatar's adventures...
  • 26 November - The first announcement of an incoming DVD for The Legend of Korra Book One is announced. Just eight days later, the DVD is made available for preorder on Amazon.
  • 6 December - The announcement of a new mini-comic - the Mai fans will get their chance later in 2013 to see her-post-umpteenth-breakup-with-Zuko adventure. Questions remain...is it the true end or will there still be hope for Maiko fans?
  • 20 December - A preview of The Search, Part 1 is released to fans. An early look at perhaps a new-start Azula, while some of the Gaang sets out on the journey to find Ursa, and Iroh finally gets a chance to rule the Fire Nation. What will come of this journey?

That probably doesn't even include every bit! As we can see, a lot has happened to keep Avatar fans deep into the series. Who knows what 2013 will bring? Already we have a new comic trilogy, a new book for LoK...you never know what may come next (especially now that we survived yet another apocalypse)!

48px-5166974.png New Mai Comic
FireFerret

Alright, so right now I'll get started off speaking about what I think of the idea of a new comic featuring Mai, what I hope it will have, and what I fear seeing.

First off, at this point I am looking forward to a Mai-centered comic. Mai has always been one of my favorite characters in Avatar, and I am sad that she is also one of the most underrated ones as well. People tend to say that Mai is boring, has no emotions, etc. However I think that Mai is actually a character who people may be able to relate to, in a way. She has been sort of forced into a state of numbness to feelings and emotions by her parents, it was the way she was raised. I, personally, have taken this whole numbness concept of Mai's to mean that Mai has depression, but she doesn't quite know it. I think that if we have a Mai-centered comic it would be a good chance to allow people who hate Mai to feel a better connection with her character.

That is why I am looking forward to the idea of the comic. However, the premise of the comic is what I'm worried about. Mai having to deal with her broken heart? As I stated before, Mai has dulled off her emotions into numbness. However, Zuko is the one thing, the one thing that makes her feel happiness again. She is loyal, happy, and is okay with showing her emotions when she was around him. This is one of the main reasons why I support the pairing Maiko, and why I was very frustrated when they broke up. However, Mai dealing with a broken heart implies Mai moving on past Zuko. This is something that I feel would be a step backwards in Mai's character development.

Mai has finally begun to feel something, and through this she can become more relatable. But if you have her move past the thing that is causing her to have emotions, then I feel you are sending her back into the numbness and undoing Mai's character development.

I also think that Zuko could be harmed as well by Mai moving on. She clearly showed that she cared for him, and a desire to protect him. Zuko seemed genuinely stunned when Mai left him. I think this would be a step back in Zuko's character development as well, as he said that his one regret about leaving the Fire Nation was Mai. If somebody was so powerful to him that she could make him regret making such a huge decision that he was so sure he wanted to do, then she is important.

Although, there is still a chance that this book is about Maiko getting back together. This may be a positive, if it is done well. However the way that the comics have been turning out lately has not pleased many, so this may be executed poorly. I am afraid that the comic may turn out to be involved with cheesey romance, that could apply to any couple, rather than just Zuko and Mai. One thing that leads me to worry about the comic going in this direction is the roses Mai is holding on the cover.

from the fanon portal
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Fanon Review: The Fifth Nation, Plasma the Forbidden Element 
Minnichi

So this would be my last BSST review of 2012! (Gasp) It's been such a great year (or 7 months) since I've joined the Wiki, and I still can't believe how many reviews I've published to this day. Starting off 2013 with all the new fanon friends (and mainspace buddies) I've made is going to be a blast! But to end this year, I'll present my commentary on  The Fifth Nation, Plasma the Forbidden Element by Plasmabender117, a series taking a whole new spin on the Avatar Cycle and the four (or should I say five?) elements. 


Plasma-1
"This story has been in my head the whole time I watched the Avatar series, so now I'm going to write it out. My basic idea is to add a new element into the mix, so I decided to pick plasma. However, this isn't a reference to Bloodbending or blood in general. Plasmabending entails bending plasma, a substance even hotter than fire. This state of matter is strangely more like liquid most of the time. And can cut through almost any solid metal due to the extreme temperatures it produces. Its most known form in the universe is the Sun making it the most bountiful element in the universe.

Twenty years after Aang and Katara's big kiss, something happens to them that will introduce them to new characters from the Fifth Nation. This is all I am revealing."

Introducing a new element and even a whole new nation is always a great challenge for any writer! I applaud the author for being able to pull it off in this fanon. 

The Scores

  • Plot - 7.8: While I do personally like the idea of this story, I feel like too many new things are introduced into the plot constantly. Several elements take some time to get used to, and in this case, new concepts just seem to pop up before we're quite used to the last. As a result the plot can feel a little unclear at times - but one of the main issues I'll discuss here is the antagonists. The "bad guy" side is extra critical for a story like this, and I feel like the unclarity hits the hardest here. To improve the plot, I'd suggest developing this area more, as it feels general and somewhat predictable at the moment. This story is a collection of wonderful ideas, no doubt, but a little more organization of them would do much good. Speaking of which~!
  • Organization - 7.0: Like I said, this is one of the major areas that I feel are fit for improvement. Information is presented very quickly, and with the vast majority of it in long dialogue paragraphs. At times, the characters only seem to act as sort of vessels to deliver all that information, and I strongly suggest changing up the way it's presented every once in a while. Also, be sure to time these info-presenting moments carefully, so that they don't make the story slow down or feel choppy. That's really the main issue here, but overall I didn't have much of a problem following the fanon.
  • Creativity – 7.2: The main idea itself is creative, but the way the characters in this fanon play it out is often stereotypical. This is most definitely true when it comes to the antagonists; I suggest making big changes to their way of speech, as it honestly does come across to me as cliche right now. You've created something very unique to work with - don't let your characters drag that down now!
  • Writing – 7.0 (x3): The main things that come to mind in this section are grammar slip-ups. They're small, but they appear consistently enough in this fanon to disrupt the flow of the story. First, pay very close attention to your use of periods; the paragraphs throughout the chapters were filled with run-ons that made it easy to lose track of things. Accompanying the missing periods were also missing commas, which added to that run-on effect and created what seemed like sentence fragments. And on another note, I'll also remind the author to make sure the past tense is kept consistent. These kinds of errors are the first I'd like to see improved. Moving onto content-related things, though, I'd also suggesting taking more time to include visual description. Dialogue makes up too much of the text at the moment, and the writing would be much more balanced with more physical events. Not that the story doesn't contain action already, but I'm just stressing a need to incorporate more literal things between the talking. Again, this all ties to the organization issue I mentined earlier; improving these things will do wonders for the flow and clarity of the story. I do appreciate the amount of detail taken when describing the fifth element, however. Admirable writing, in the end! 
  • Character Development - 6.8 (x2): This is the other major factor in the story that I'll critique. I've addressed the issue in the creativity section for the antagonists, but there are other things besides stereotypical characters worth mentioning here. First and most importantly, all of the OC's seem to have an unnatural amount of talent, accompanied with unnaturally professional attitudes. While it's fun to read about them kicking butt and all, I strongly advise the author to balance out their traits with more human characteristics, something that shows that they can actually make mistakes too.
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Latest Fanon Shenanigans
Minnichi

Hey, it's past December 21st and we're all still here! (Gasp) Looks like many more BSST articles to come! I'm hoping that everyone will take this new opportunity at life to contribute, since, well, inactivity always makes things more difficult for newsletters. But of course, there's still enough going on for me to do a little news ramble. Without further ado...! 

As always, readers still show much activity compared to authors. Fanonbending is being voted on regularly, and new achievements are popping up in that area as often as ever. However, it seems we're also losing authors to this recent phase of "I'm leaving the wiki because real life is getting complicated." It's very tragic to see so many great users leaving, and the fanon portal has most definitely felt a hit as much as the mainspace. But those who're still around remain dedicated, and without a doubt our portal will continue strong in 2013.

While we're still waiting for inactive users to come back, however, I'll remind everyone how much there is to do around here! New users, try creating a fanon! Old users, why not go for another one? We're starting a new year, and with it comes endless opportunity. How about we all write new things for 2013? It's always exciting to start that whole cycle again, with the review-requesting and award nominations and so forth. Now seems like the perfect time! Aside from that, don't forget to participate in the Advertising Contest for your chance to win a custom epic fanon illustration, along with lots of glorification in the next BSST issue.

And speaking of which... Ah, you're not reading this for news about fanons that aren't related to you, are you? I know how it works! After all, the participation for the advertising contest didn't get any new people until I mentioned prizes! So to get to the point - first off, I'm still not deciding on an epic illustration winner anytime soon for the FAS, just pointing that out. However, I have established yet another connection with a good artist on deviantart; it seems I've won another completely free commission!  (And following the routine, here's a sample of her work to rub it in all you lazy authors' faces.) Usually I have to spend my (donated) points or exchange a piece of art on my own, but I got lucky in a random contest and now have the opportunity to request a custom picture with up to three characters! Thing is, though... I have no idea what I want. So instead, I'm thinking of (ominous music) perhaps, just maybe, putting together another friendly contest... SO, just a heads up! I suppose this counts as news, since it's one of the only kinds of fanon news that anyone really cares about ;) I hope you writers are still active these days, because yes, this is a call for you to prepare yourself. Anddd I think that's it from me for today! This is Minnichi, signing off and wishing you all Happy Holidays~

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FAS Report
WaterbenderTaikai

Hey readers (again). I'm back for my last fanon column this year. And I've got some news.

There was no contest this time. See, the dates for the promotions changed, so thus, there is no promotion this issue. Sorry if I bummed you guys out! Have a cookie. *holds out platter*

Thanks for tuning in (for my small column). Happy New Year! :)

48px-5019858.png Memoirs of a Fanon Writer
Typhoonmaster

I remember stumbling upon the Fanon Portal for the first time. T'was a pleasant summer evening, and the scent of charcoal still lingered in the air. Cicadas chirped and the trees swayed methodically in the breeze. Too bad I sat alone in my dark room with a lamp for company. Nature and the outdoors would have to wait, for I was enthralled in the phenomenon that is the Fanon Portal. 

The Fanon Portal reminds me that there are people in the world who aren't so different. There's no other place to discuss literature, Avatar, and writing in general. I've met so many amazing people, many from other countries, while sipping a bottle of Snapple on my couch. The Fanon Portal is more than an amalgamation of Avatar stories; it's the embodiment of each and every author expressing his or her thoughts and opinions. 

Behind each fanon is a person with unique experiences, willing to tell his or her story. The wealth of the Fanon Portal is in the stories. If you dig deeper, you may surprise yourself. With patience and understanding, the words open up and you can discover something stunning. Reading and writing has opened my eyes to a whole new world. 

Sitting in silence, my thoughts are anything but quiet. When I write, my mind races as I fly away to a universe where I am the creator. Inspiration rushes like a river as the words seem to write themselves. It's impossible to describe the feeling of creating something new. A little boy eagerly shows off his finished lego Millennium Falcon. My sister proudly displays her brownie/cookie/smore creation: AKA "baked heart attack."

There is nothing like finishing a piece of writing. For a few moments, I feel lighter than air as I re-read the words, my words. For a few moments, I feel complete. The Fanon Portal allows us to relive those split seconds of creative inspiration. At some point in time, somewhere in the world, an author smiled upon his or her finished story, enjoying the same indescribable feeling. The Fanon Portal lets us stand side-by-side with the author and share those precious moments. We can admire each beautiful creation, again and again. 

Random polls

Will you be reading The Ba Sing Se Times in 2013?
 
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The poll was created at 06:09 on December 29, 2012, and so far 107 people voted.
What are your expectations on the comics and the new TLOK season to arrive next year?
 
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The poll was created at 06:09 on December 29, 2012, and so far 117 people voted.
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