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Pipe Chamber

top of the pipe chamber

Sunday, 21 February 2021

It’s the last day of this year’s WFOL. Sigh. But we might as well look at the bright side, right? That means we have one more day to scout around the tunnels with our friends, one more new set of daily puzzles, one more new Poetry Challenge or Drabble of the Day, one more Question of the Day, one more day to be sure we’ve checked into every nook and cranny we want to visit.

The credits will reflect the names of individual Helpers who submitted their work or assisted us in one way or another to make this Winterfest gathering more fun for everyone here, but we want to thank them collectively here as well. They’ve been wonderful! We also want to thank the guests who have shared their enthusiasm and good will with the rest of the tunnels. Your enthusiasm and appreciation undoubtedly breathe joy into our Helpers’ hearts as well.

Our charity donations plus the proceeds of the ebay auctions are over $1500! Great teamwork! It's not too late to add your own donation.

Among other things, there are two Farewell chats. One is at 6pm CET and the other at 8pm EST.

On the subject of farewells, we’d like to remind you that we have a memorial area called the Mirror Pool. It’s where people who are no longer with us – those who were part of the cast, crew, and the numerous fans of our favorite show are remembered. It’s our way of paying our respects to those who originally, and ever since then, brought us together.

We would appreciate your taking time to answer our closing survey. And understand that we love honest answers. It helps us to see what works, what needs improvement, and what your suggestions are for new possibilities. And you'll get a small treat for answering the survey too.

The group will close tomorrow or so, as will interactive activities like Drabble of the Day, Caption This, Questions of the Day, etc. But you’ll still be able to drop by and play games, read submissions, etc. Our main chatroom will remain open indefinitely for those who would like some Beauty and the Beast company. We'll go back to calling it Catherine’s Balcony after WFOL.

Closing Ceremonies will be on Zoom this year, at 7pm EST. We can see each other!

We hope you enjoy your day and leave the tunnels tonight with smiles and memories of fun and friends. We’ll look for you next year. Until then, take care and be well, friends.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Good morning!

Have you ever given thought to writing fan fiction? At 1:00pm EST, Linda Barth is hosting a panel on getting started with fan fiction. There should be some good information and suggestions for new writers. And we always encourage new writers! If you've already got a few stories under your belt, but want to brush up on your skills, this is an opportunity to do so.

From there you can roll right into another Karaoke/Sing Along. The first one was scheduled for an hour and lasted 2-1/2. Was it fun? You be the judge! :-)

A reminder – most of the charity auctions end this afternoon, plus seven additional pieces of art work were added yesterday! The new listings will end this evening. Head on over to the Charity Auctions page to see what's available and place your bids.

If you’ve enjoyed the writing, art, crafts, or other submissions, consider taking time to let the creators know.

We heard a rumor that the bathing chamber door has been unlocked. Please take turns politely, and no running!

Go forth and enjoy your day!

Friday, 19 February 2021

Good morning.

How did the Scavenger Hunt go? If you need help, you can try the sources mentioned in yesterday’s pipe message, or there’s a chat tonight where you can get some hints. It should only be hints, though. Some folks prefer to pick up a hint and do the rest for themselves, but if the answer is out there like a flashing neon sign, it’s hard to unsee it.

There’s usually a pizza party chat on Friday; but head’s up, Elliot fans. This year it’s an Elliott mini-marathon – three episodes of Mr. Burch. Have your pizza ready and your copies of "Siege", "Ozymandias", and "A Kingdom by the Sea", and meet in the chat room tonight at 6:00 EST. You can collectively laugh and sigh, and growl and whine and complain with others who completely understand.

Doctors Without Borders is the charity we’re sponsoring for 2021. The past year has been a difficult one for many. If this isn't your year to donate, that's understandable. Maybe another time. But if this is a year when you feel comfortable helping, go to the Helper’s Nook and scroll down the Doctors Without Borders page to where you find the Donate button. In the paragraphs closely surrounding the Donate button you’ll find information to help you through the simple process. Donations don’t have to be big. A lot of people making small donations will add up.

Keep looking around. There are new daily activities, new submissions, new chats…

We hope you’re still having fun!

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Today is Thursday and that must mean it's Treasure Hunt Day! We wish we had a traditional hunt to offer you, but instead you get the one we put together at the last minute. It might be a hard one though. Where does it start? Look around. You'll figure it out. :-)

If you need hints, you may ask on the wfol group or in the chatroom, or send us an email: If you are offering hints, please give hints only, no spoilers! There will be a walk-through posted later in the week.

Carole W is going to teach us how to get started with digital graphics. If you've seen her stuff, you know this is not to be missed! Noon EST in the chat room.

Katie is presenting a craft demo on Zoom tonight, Sticks and Stones. Who can resist that?! Here's what you'll need: an empty frame, smooth stones, an inky pen, some small sticks, and a glue gun. That's at 10pm EST.

At 9pm EST, JoAnn is hosting a discussion about updating the BATB Universe to now. Come throw in your two cents.

The daily challenges and questions are still waiting for participants, and new submissions are popping up all the time.

If you've never tried our chatroom, please do! The folks there are friendly and welcoming and SO much fun to spend time with. You won't regret it! If you're scared, start out with with a pseudonym.

Have fun!

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Good morning! It can’t be Wednesday already, can it?

New today: A Q&A session for the real life convention this summer. See what’s coming up in July - we hope! - cross your fingers!

The chat rooms might be busy today. Aside from the con chat, there are three episode chats today. Or play Catherine's Apartment in the game room.

Have you left a caption at "Caption This" yet? Tried the chess game? Looked into the charity auctions? Answered a question of the day or written something for the poetry challenge or the drabbles? Drawn a picture in the Fine Arts Gallery? Read one of the round robins – or both? What about that submissions list?

And speaking of the submissions list, don't forget to let your fan family know you read, looked at, listened to, or otherwise enjoyed their work! It's the best way to encourage even more to see and do next Winterfest.

There's so much to do below - we won't keep you any longer. Off you go! Have fun! :-)

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Hello again. We hope you're finding fun things to do so far.

On Zoom today:
  • Mixology with Cindy – Learn to make a cocktail or mocktail in the colors of a Winterfest candle.
  • A craft demonstration with Katie. You'll need modge podge, old magazines, and something made of glass.
If you get tired later, you might want to find a quiet corner in the Fine Arts Chamber to sit with a friend. You can take a look at the art and the crafts, or listen to some readings in the Listening Gallery, or watch some videos. You could even go to the Painted Tunnels and try your hand at your own piece of art. Most of us aren’t artists, so don’t feel shy about trying it out. You might surprise yourself. :-)

If you’re not feeling brave about art, you could check on the Mosaic stories and see if there’s something you’d like to add. The Daily Challenges or Question of the Day would benefit from your input, too.

Consider filling out the questionnaire in Meet the Guests. This is your chance to get to know your fan family (by reading the bios) and your chance to share some things about yourself. The questions make you think, and all the answers are fascinating. You'll find Meet the Guests in the Conversation Corner.

But most of all, enjoy whatever makes you happy. That’s why it’s here.

See you around the tunnels.

Monday, 15 February 2021

More Winterfest. More time. More fun. :-)

New today in The Game Nook: A logic puzzle.

When the doors opened did you patiently savor the opening ceremonies and light your candle, or did you just dive right into the activities and submissions? If you bypassed the candle map, please take time to light a candle to let everyone know you’re here – and to check on who else might be running around the tunnels with you.

Keep an eye on the submissions page. New things may appear at any time. Speaking of new things, the round robin in the library has another new chapter.

And the best way to enjoy Winterfest is to join in the activities. Have you made an addition to the mosaic stories yet? Those are also in the library. If you don’t want to add to the writing, it’s fun to check each day to see the new twists in the ongoing story.

The ebay auctions to benefit our charity are up, with the probability of a few more items added later in the week. You can find links to the items in the upper right corner of the Great Hall page under Charity Auction. If your living space simply will not accommodate one single more Beauty and the Beast item, you’ll also find instructions on how to donate here in the Helper’s Nook.

100% of the proceeds from donations and ebay purchases goes to Doctors Without Borders.

The talking is done now. Let’s get you back to your Winterfest activities.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Did you have fun yesterday? What did you miss? It’s still here, so check it out any time. If you missed the romantic dinner Zoom presentation yesterday, the recipes were left with William in the kitchen.

New today:
  • The annual "Dead of Winter Episode chat. Cue up your DVD... or streaming service... or whatever you use, and be ready for the chat. You'll get a countdown to start the episode and watch with your fellow guests.

  • Cindy is presenting a crafts demonstration on Zoom. In the Gallery, you'll find handouts telling you what you need to create your craft.

  • And there's a karaoke session. Check the chat schedule.

Did you answer a Question of the Day yet? You’ll find those in the Conversation Corner. Or you might like to try your hand at the Daily Challenges in the Library.

On the chatroom schedule, you may notice some are marked Zoom. If you need help using it, start with Zoom 101 so you’ll be ready if you want to join one.

You know Mouse saves all kinds of things. Check his chamber if you’re curious. There are some things from old Winterfests just lying around right out in the open.

The Game nook is always fun. Have you tried a nonogram yet?

And information about the charity we’re supporting this year, Doctors without Borders, can be found here.

Who’s that tapping me on the shoulder? Oh. Yeah, you’re right. Talking too much. Thanks for your patience.

Go on. Explore and have fun. We’ll be around if you need help.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Hello! We’re so glad to see you! Welcome to Winterfest!

Come in and enjoy a respite from our COVID conscious real world, and let us guide you into our virtual tunnels where you don’t need to concern yourself with masks or social distancing. Now that you’re here, look around and peruse the possibilities for your nine days of Winterfest, light your candle, and settle in

If you check here in the Pipe Chamber each day, Pascal will keep you up to date about anything new.

Consider joining in the “Welcome chat” today to catch up with old friends and find some new ones. Later today you can get in on a “Getting to Know You Chat”.

Speaking of chats, there’s a chat schedule in the Conversation Corner. You can see what looks interesting or something that looks new to you; and if you scroll farther down the page, there are descriptions of the chat topics so you know what to expect. Check the other things in the Conversation Corner while you’re there, too. Something else might grab your attention.

But wait. There’s more! And some of it is new.

We have a few demonstration sessions on Zoom this year. Today CB will show you how to prepare a romantic dinner…just in time for Valentine’s Day. It might be just what you need to impress your Vincent or Catherine.

Play some of the games and visit with the tunnel folks. There are stories already posted and more to come during the week. And William’s kitchen is open with new recipes and a just-for-fun poll.

Along with the daily poetry challenges and the questions of the day, there’s a new daily challenge - drabbles. Look for it in Father’s Library and either try your hand at writing or just enjoy that you have more reading material. Wander around, check on what’s new, and then take a break, have a cup of tea (or whatever puts you in the mood for Winterfest) and read or check into the Listening Gallery before you get back to the other party activities.

With all the running around looking for things, somebody is bound to get lost now and then. If that somebody is you, remember that the blue, circular, Winterfest logo is the WFOL equivalent of Star Trek's transporter. One click and you're back in the Great Hall. If you need help, send us an email.

Have fun! We’re looking forward to seeing you around the tunnels.

The Wintercandlemakers