www.whyville.net May 2, 2002 Weekly Issue

The Return of Vanilla

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The Return of Vanilla
Where Have I Been and Why Am I Back?

Times Writer

Hey guys and gals! It's me, Vanilla! Some of you may remember me from a little less than a year ago. I was part of Whyville's first couple hundred citizens. It would probably amaze me to see how many of my fellow veterans are left; not many, I'm sure.

For those of you who have no idea who I am, or those who've forgotten (I don't blame you), I'm Vanilla. Yes, the original.

Aside from the whole name thing, I am a Whyville veteran. I wrote many articles for the Times. I also helped institute the "No Whispering" policy in Town Square -- so if you ever think citizens' opinions don't change Whyville, think again! I also established the WCA (Whyville Charlie's Angels), an organization to help Whyvillians such as yourselves. It's been a while, and it's safe to say that that operation is no longer in business. However, Ivvy, Alikat, and I still hold all rights and terms to the WCA, so don't go and start copying! We're copyrighted, baby!

My very first article was about getting to know the people of Whyville. I was so excited when I saw it published in the Times. As a matter of fact, I was happy to see ANY of my articles posted. I don't recall an article never making it, but I do remember some coming late.

I was once "married" to someone on Whyville. I wrote an article about it. My article was posted a week later, when Chris12 and I had split up and he had married one of my good friends, Fleur. There were rumors that he and I were still together and whatnot because of that article that was too-late-posted. So much for timely news!

Now, a lot of you may still do the "marrying" thing or whatever, but I advise against it. I see know why a lot of people were against it in the past. Face it; it's dumb. You get married, and eventually end up getting "divorced." Isn't there enough REAL divorce in this world? Yea. I think so. Besides, once you experience a REAL boyfriend, you'll never want to have an online one again.

Back to the content of my articles: most of my articles were written to inform you, with a twist of humor. I recall a couple articles about the prom, the Face Factory, and on more serious topics, like eating disorders and depression.

Now, let me tell you, writing articles on such controversial yet important topics is difficult. I got a lot of flack for writing those articles, not only because of the topic, but also because of my tactics. When I write articles, I like to put in my opinions as well as those of other Whyvillians. Sometimes, I include personal experiences. Telling people that I was an anorexia nervosa and depression survivor was taking a risk. I got many immature Y-Mails from very ignorant people. I was called psycho, freak, and basically any stupid name you could think. However, I felt that the risk was necessary if I was to teach other people about issues that I felt were important.

So, why haven't you seen me in Whyville? Where did I go? Well, nowhere, really. I had to focus more on my newfound "busy high school schedule," of course! Yea, I know. Besides, when I decided to leave Whyville, it was so incredibly crowded. You couldn't go ANYWHERE without there being 25 other chatty Whyvillians. Not to mention the fact that not many of my fellow veterans were here anymore. I'm all up for making new friends and whatnot, but I did miss the old guys.

I did, however, try to sign in to Whyville a few times. To my surprise, Whyville had become OVERcrowded, and I had to pay a monthly fee to get in. I'm disappointed that I can't get in the town, but I'm glad that I'm able to keep up with the Times. I must admit that there are many fine Whyville writers in the making. I do have a bit of advice, given as freely as it may be accepted:

  1. Be yourself when you're writing! Believe it or not, the people want to know what YOU think about what you're writing about!
  2. Never be dull! Even reporting news can be fun! Add your own sense of humor. Even if none of your peers get your jokes, an adult surely will.
  3. Vary your topics. Yea, it's cool if you write an advice column, but if that's not your bag, you must be a reporter; like me! See, when you write about the same things every week, chances are people are gonna get bored with your work. Vary topics, and vary the people that you interview. However, it can also be cool to always have the same panel of interviewers. Speaking of interviews...
  4. INTERVIEW PEOPLE and add their opinions in your article, even (and especially!) if they differ from yours. The citizens like to hear from their peers, and like differing opinions.
  5. Keep it clean! It's all right to occasionally, well, "verbally bash" other people, but don't use profane language. You can tastefully insult someone and sound sophisticated, too. I know, I sound like your mother, or bus driver, but it's true. Hey, I swear like a sailor when I'm around my friends, but remember that a variety of people visit Whyville, and we need to set good examples.

That's basically it, you aspiring writers, you!

It's wonderful to be back, or not, for that matter. I HOPE that I can get my rear-end into Whyville more. I'll keep on trying.

That's it for our news broadcast. This is Vanilla, saying goodnight, sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Your faithful reporter,


p.s. Look for further articles from me in the Times!



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