www.whyville.net Jan 23, 2008 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Inside the Mind: Cobd

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Good morning Whyvillians! It has been awhile, but now I'm back with Cobd! Cobd has written many articles, is a Y-mail Helper, and had the idea of having the Times Awards! Let me warn you, this is pretty long, but reading Cobd's answers makes it all worth it! So let's go inside the mind of this very talented writer.

megmeg9: Hey Cobd! So, how did this Times Writer legend hear of Whyville? :)
Cobd: Well, when I was a young'in (11 feels like ages ago to me) I loved those dress up games where you had like a little model on the computer and you had to choose clothes for them to wear. So, I was searching on a popular children's site for "dress up doll games" and I wasn't having much luck when suddenly (Shock! Horror!) something caught my eye. Whyville was all bright and colorful and odd and you could decorate your face however you wanted. It felt like just the right place for me. True story dat.
megmeg9: wow, when I was little I loved those dress up games also! When you first joined, was everything very overwhelming, or was Whyville pretty easy for you?
Cobd: It was kind of scary . . . I think everyone knows the "Newbie" feeling when you're a bit confused and are wandering around aimlessly. I have distinct memories of playing the Hot Air Balloon game and doing it for about an hour and a half because I decided not to read the instructions. I did regret this. I got all the way through it in the end. I got most of the salary games in my early days. I remember one of the things I COULD NOT GET AT ALL was this game we had back in '03. They were going to introduce a Nutrition game (different to the our one now) and you had to guess names of food. There was a list of "discovered food" like guacamole and carrot sandwich and you could eat that food. I didn't get any of that that. I was very Newbie-ish and spoke in chat speak but then I left and came back and started speaking in full English and writing articles and the world was happy.
megmeg9: Yeah, I could definitely relate to that. :) I had no idea how to earn clams, and there was no one to help me! Did you have any goals once you got the hang of Whyville?
Cobd: Goals eh? Well, I didn't consciously think "I want to do this or that". I did know that I wanted to be famous and have lots of friends. I was a very lonely child so this was an aim of mine out of Whyville as well. Once I started writing for the Times, I did want to be a Times Writer and a "household name" in Whyville as it were. I wanted everyone to love me *little heart symbol*. Oooooo, and I wanted to make lots and lots and lots of clams.
megmeg9: Well you certainly accomplished that! We all know you're a talented writer, how do you make your articles so interesting, and fun to read?
Cobd: Awwwwww! Thank you! Well, people may not know this but at heart I'm a comedy writer and I write (hopefully) humorous poems and stories - especially ones about my Rubber Chickens. I've been able to harness this to make my articles more entertaining. I also like to write my articles in a lot of detail and try to explain things. The more you work at something, the better it will become. Practice helped a lot too and attention to detail. Oh! I read quite a bit. If you read, you can develop your vocabulary and learn how to phrase things better (an art which I call phraseology . . . I have bad phraseology). I also listened well in school ;) That's my lesson of the day, ya know? No matter how hideously boring Shakespeare is, it's useful in some way, shape or form which I haven't fathomed yet.
megmeg9: Your tricks seem to help, I always thought your articles were pretty entertaining. :) How did it feel when you go your very first article in the Times?
Cobd: I was really nervous beforehand. I was probably (I can't remember fully) sitting there, nervously biting my fingernails, hoping and praying that the Times would come out soon. This happened for a few weeks. Then when it came out, I was sooooo jittery and excited. It was just so great to see my article up there. It was also amazing to see people saying nice things about it in the BBS. There was a massive smile on my face. That's why I get a bit wary with too many people bashing new writers because I remember how nervous I was when mine came out and how bad comments would have DEVASTATED me. But they didn't and I was happy.
megmeg9: I was extremely excited when my first article got accepted, isn't that a great feeling? :) What other things do you do in Whyville besides writing for the Times?
Cobd: I used to do loads!!! I was the second president of BLOBY (Bearded Ladies for a Better Yville) and that was fun but it sort of dissolved. I was a solstice team leader. I've been a Y-helper for a while now and I do go to the Newbie Center and smile and put up with "can i have clams?!?!?!??". I've never properly designed . . . that's my one weakness. Actually, to be honest, I want to see if I can get somewhere running for Senator in the next Senate Race (if this one ever ends). I mean, I've run before but I only got about 15 votes each time. I just have this urge to change some things about Why ville. I also came up with the idea and helped launch the latest Whyville Times Awards which was so much fun.
megmeg9: Wow! You sure are the busy bee! How did you get the idea to have the Whyville Times Awards? And what kind of changes would you make to Whyville if you became Senator?
Cobd: Oooo, okay . . . First I'll start with the Times Awards. One sunny Wednesday evening, I opened up the new issue of the Times to see that, to my dismay, most of the articles there were written by the same few authors. No offense to those authors but I wanted some young blood - a variety of people writing for the Times. So, I thought "How could I, a measly Whyvillian, accomplish this?" and that's when I came up with the Times Awards. Well, before I tell you any big hair-brained ideas that may ruin my career before it's even started . . . I'll tell you the little things. I'd take Whip Cars out of Whyville Square because Newbies get lodged in them easily (it's just next to where you land). I'd love to update the Whyville Tour (it's for Newbies but if you're interested it's under About Whyville) as the screen shots it shows are from either 2006 or 2005. Last on my minor, somewhat insignificant but still important, changes, I'd fix the BBS in the illusions chat as it is broke.
megmeg9: It looks like the Times Awards are going very well, all my friends are excited to vote. :) Those are also some very good ideas! How have you managed to stay on Whyville for this long?
Cobd: It's been hard . . . harder than you think. I think there's a certain point in every veteran(ish)'s life where they become slightly attached to Whyville . . . especially if they've done something like written for the Times. It doesn't make sense because you believe you're getting too old for Whyville. I have *left* Whyville at least three times but have always felt the urge to come back. I just needed to read the Times articles, see what was happening and find out whether people remembered me. Most veterans become jaded and cynical about Whyville. We always want it "back how it was in '03, '02 or even '00" but usually that doesn't happen. However, a few of them get curious and always feel a need to check how our town is getting on and smile (or get extremely frustrated) at the Newbies and how they would never know what it was like when parts lasted forever . . . or something like that. I don't regret staying here either. Not one bit.
megmeg9: It seems like it would be hard, with school, or other activities. Sometimes I miss the Whyville I knew from '06. Not very long ago, I know, but still a lot has changed. Thank you so much for your time!
Cobd: Thank you very much for interviewing me . . . it was a very good interview :). Have a good day! P.S. read "Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky.

Cobd was a very interesting person to interview, I'm glad I got the chance to ask her some questions, and that you got the chance to get to know this amazing Whyvillian a little better.

This is Meg, going to read "Perks of being a Wallflower", see you soon!


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