ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today it rained, and even hailed a little so I had to go holler at that to stop, which it quickly did.  Good water for the plants, though, and I don't think any substantial damage was done.

I bought a few more flowers, like marigolds for the barrel garden.  Mom and Dad brought the last item from the plant shipment that came separately, a contorta hazelnut.  :D  So I have lots of planting to do. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we bought more grass seed and flowers.  I put most of a hopper of grass seed down the front of the fencerow and finishing the side of the house.  Then I put a little more beside the patio.  There's some left. 

EDIT 4/19/17: Round 2, Doug raked some of the back yard while I planted more flowers around the septic cap.  Then I spread the last of the grass seed in the hopper on the raked patch.  I also watered the border of the septic cap garden.

EDIT 4/19/17: Round 3, I planted lantana, snapdragons, and million bells in the barrel garden.  Also mint and pink daisies in the septic garden.  Then watered stuff in.  It is now dusk, so I'm done for the night.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw two blue jays at the hopper feeder.  I've heard them in the yard, but this is the first I've actually seen any in months. 
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu.


Once there was a rabbi
who wished to keep his money
as safe as it could be.

He had heard the tale of
Pygmalion (and got it all wrong)
so he crafted a golem of pygg and
made a slit in the cheap orange clay
that he could put the coins through.

Pyg(gy-bank)malion jingled
when he walked, but no matter
how hard the thieves and bandits tried,
they never could get it out of him,
for he was still a golem and
therefore very strong.

When at last the golem
became so full that the coins
no longer chimed inside him,
the rabbi went to smash him and
thereby retrieve his cache.

But Pyg(gy-bank)malion
pushed him down and ran away
(no longer jingling) into the night,
whereupon the rabbi sadly realized that
he had indeed made his money completely safe --

even from himself.

* * *


This is not part of the Clay of Life series proper, but it was a solitary prompt and a funny idea, so I wrote it anyway.

Pygmalion is a mythological figure who carved a statue and then fell in love with it.  The statue's name is Galatea, but because the sculptor's name is more famous, people often confuse the two.

A piggy bank is a hollow receptacle for money, traditionally made out of ceramic and shaped like a swine.  It probably got its name from a cheap clay called pygg.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED!  Thank you all for your support.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "Clay of Life."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Today is the last day of Pesach (Passover). Pesach Sameach  to my Jewish fans!   This fishbowl will remain open until after sunset, for anyone who's observing the offline rule during Pesach.  (I usually close it during the wee hours of the morning.)

What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "Clay of Life."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.

Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.

3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "Clay of Life."  I'll be soliciting ideas for Menachem, Yossele, other Jewish characters, figures from Jewish folklore, outcasts, the misunderstood, fish out of water, abuse survivors, refugees, hermits, others on the fringes of society, wandering, hiding, helping each other, expecting the unexpected, speaking heritage languages, surviving oppression, upstanding, speaking truth to power, punching up, synagogues, Jewish homes, famous Jewish places, cities, classrooms, offices, Pesach / Passover, other Jewish holidays, Jewish customs, self-sacrifice, disruptions, poorskills, humility, humiliation, appreciation, debate, the Torah, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.


Apr. 18th, 2017 12:23 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] kyleri makes crap free soap.  :D  Check out Beltaine Rising (rose-berry scent, a lovely orchid color) and Dragon's Blood (in color only, the scent is patchouli-plum-cherry).
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Based on an audience poll, there are 5 new verses in "Essential for Human Survival."  The Kwan Yin House of Compassion can accommodate a surprisingly wide range of needs.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poetry Fishbowl Report for April 4, 2017
Unsold Poems from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
Poem: "Twisted Wind"
Exploring Your Hair
Friday Yardening
Meet Julia
Thursday Yardening (with photo)
Thursday Yardening
Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, April 18
Wednesday Yardening

The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam ran this past weekend. Check out the action.

"The Harrowing of Hildeburh" is the last of the Six Poems of the Fall, so the core of A Conflagration of Dragons is now complete. \o/ It was commissioned by [personal profile] nsfwords.

There will be a Bonus Fishbowl on Tuesday, April 18 featuring Clay of Life.

Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 10 new verses.  Saraphina makes a new friend.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra.  Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet turns himself in to Valor's Widow.

Weather has been variable.  Today is warm and cloudy, still damp from yesterday's rain.  The birdfeeders have attracted doves, grackles, some sparrows, and a brown thrasher.  Currently blooming: forsythia, daffodils, tulips, scilla, blue grape hyacinths, violets, pear, anemones, crabapples, cherries, redbud, lilacs, dandelions.  Asparagus is sprouting.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yesterday we picked up a big box of plants from Mom and Dad.  Today I've started putting them out, starting with a pair of pawpaw trees.

The weather is warm and cloudy.  It rained a little yesterday.  I've been seeing bumblebees around.

EDIT 4/17/17:  Round 2, I planted a Moench purple aster and an Azure Fairy daisy in the wildflower garden.

EDIT 4/17/17: Round 3, I planted a mock orange in the forest garden and a ninebark in the hedge along the west edge of the savanna.  I also covered today's plantings with milk jugs and watered them.  I still need to mulch them, though.

Another wildflower is blooming in the forest garden, with a pendant yellow flower.  I think it's a largeflower bellflower.  I also found a black parrot tulip blooming in the garden beside the parking lot.

EDIT 4/17/17: Round 4, I planted the heather by the barrel garden and the red feather clover in the wildflower garden, and put milk jugs over both.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I have posted "The Harrowing of Hildeburh" on LiveJournal, because it has extra spaces that wouldn't appear on DW.  It belongs to A Conflagration of Dragons, and this is the last of the Six Poems of the Fall.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Here's a gorgeous rendition of "The Song of Durin" by J.R.R. Tolkien.  It's a beautiful description of a young world full of hope ... from the perspective of an old world full of trouble.  But there's a lovely bit of Dwarven spirituality about reincarnation in there.

If you appreciate my poetry, well, it's because I grew up reading stuff like this.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," "Byzantine Perplexities," "Up the Water Spout," "The Life of the Dead," "If They Could Just Stay Little," "Anahata," "When the Wheels Come Off," "Against His Own Shield," "Coming in from the Cold: Saturday: Building Towers," "Coming in from the Cold: Sunday: Shaking Foundations," "Coming in from the Cold: Monday: Memorial Day," "Coming in from the Cold: Tuesday: Facing Fears," "What Little Boys Are Made Of," "Rotten Fruit," "Keep the Homefires Burning," and "Their Old Familiar Carols Play."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Betty Ross, Natasha Romanova, Tony Stark, JARVIS, Agent Sitwell, assorted new SHIELD recruits, Sean O'Toole, Pepper Potts, Dr. Samson
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Indecision, PTSD, nightmares, food issues, boundary issues, teamwork, SHIELD, rude humor, mental health care, facing the past, interpersonal dynamics, intrapersonal dynamics, emotional challenges, memory issues, frustration, and other angst.
Summary: The Avengers help each other cope with challenges, including Steve's nightmares, Tony's new sleep dynamics, and Bruce-and-Hulk attempting to get along.
Notes: Team as family. Competence. Friendship. Comfort food. Emotional first aid. Nostalgia. New hobbies. Hurt/comfort. Science. Music. #coulsonlives.

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The April theme was "living in the cracks." I worked from 12:30 PM to 5:15 AM, so about 14 hours 45 minutes, allowing for lunch and supper breaks. I wrote 7 poems on Tuesday and another 14 later in the week.

Participation was excellent, with 23 comments on LiveJournal and another 65 on Dreamwidth. Please welcome new prompters [personal profile] we_are_spc and [personal profile] k_a_webb.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Cracks and Shadows"
"A Curious Transfusion of Courage"
"Discovering the Rose Garden"
"In the Cracks of Climate Change"
"A Level of Protection"
"Saying No to Powerlessness"
"The Silent Devoted Companionship"
"Sunshine in the Sidewalks"
"This Has Always Been Me"
"Until You Saw into My Cracks"
"What Lives in the Cracks"

"The Quick Brown Fox" (Polychrome Heroics, March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl)
"How to Get It Out" (Polychrome Heroics: Shiv, January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl)

Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for April 4, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

Currently sponsored poems have all been posted. Donors this time include: [livejournal.com profile] goldbach5[personal profile] redsixwing[personal profile] daisiesrockalot[personal profile] ng_moonmoth, Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

The Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so "How to Get It Out" was the free epic.  We also made the $250 goal, so that's a third tally toward a bonus session, slated for Tuesday, April 18 featuring Clay of Life.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The following poems from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

There are still verses left in the linkback poems "Testing the Metal," "Dangerous Refuges," "The Marble and the Sculptor," "Picking Up the Litter," "The Golden Peaches of Peace," "Leaves Upon the Water," and "The Quick Brown Fox." Linking to this page will reveal new verses in whichever poem you request.

"Climbing Through the Cracks"
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Climbing Through the Cracks." An abused teen seeks refuge in an unlikely place.
375 lines, Buy It Now = $188

Jobina Benton knew
how to live in the cracks.

She searched for clothes
in thrift stores and giveboxes,
went dumpster-diving for
anything still usable

Several prompts contributed to the free-verse poem "Profusion." People travel through a crack in the Tef, first in spirit, then in body.
113 lines, Buy It Now = $57

The crack was small,
at first, barely big enough
to pick up radio signals
or whisper through.

Alex and Ash examined it
with their sensors. Bailey
and Chris built tiny probes
to squeeze through it.

"The Tragedy of the People"
Some DW prompts inspired the free-verse poem "The Tragedy of the People." Salim escapes from Palestine into surprising new opportunities.
156 lines, Buy It Now = $78

Salim Tamimi is too young to remember
a free Palestine, but he's heard stories of it
from before the endless decades of war.

It would be nice, he thinks, to live somewhere
free of bombs and raids and encroachment

There are three new poems about Stylet, to be released in sequence:

"The New Beginnings of Soft Greens"
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The New Beginnings of Soft Greens." Stylet reacts badly to receiving Ashley's message, and Carissa puts him back together again.
182 lines, Buy It Now = $91
Available for posting after "The Whip of His Own Remorse," "The Inner Transition," "The Willingness to Surrender Ideas," "Until It Hears Something Better," and "A Little from the Heart" have been sponsored and published.

Stylet had three long, horrible days
to think about the consequences
that his actions had brought him.

Three days of feeling guilty
about the berettafly mess and
ashamed of ruining Ashley's life
and hurt that she found the sliver of 
their genetic juncture so offensive.

"This Is How I Should Be"
Continuing the tale of Ashley and Stylet, "This Is How I Should Be" features them discussing future plans -- this time, via video call and with emotional spotters, so nobody gets hurt. The poem is written in free verse.
307 lines, Buy It Now = $154
Available for posting after "The Whip of His Own Remorse," "The Inner Transition," "The Willingness to Surrender Ideas," "Until It Hears Something Better," "A Little from the Heart," and "The New Beginnings of Soft Greens" have been sponsored and published.

The routing information on
Ashley's message indicated
that she was still in the hospital,
so that's where Stylet tried first.

He had Carissa with him as
an emotional spotter, so they used 
the viewscreen for the video call.

"The Key to Everything"
A DW prompt about Stylet inspired the free-verse poem "The Key to Everything." Stylet talks about one of his prior creations, but there's more going on than he realizes.
144 lines, Buy It Now = $72
Available for posting after "The Whip of His Own Remorse," "The Inner Transition," "The Willingness to Surrender Ideas," "Until It Hears Something Better," "A Little from the Heart," "The New Beginnings of Soft Greens," and "This Is How I Should Be" have been sponsored and published.

It took time for the authorities
to go through all of the information
that Stylet had ceded to them.

Periodically Valor's Widow or Carissa
would take Stylet to the police station or 
SPOON or SPAZMAT to talk about
the repercussions of the content.

There are three exit day poems about Shiv, all free verse:

"Blue Jeans and Jazz"
"Blue Jeans and Jazz" actually happens the day before Shiv leaves prison. Mr. Vanburen helps Shiv choose some street clothes, because Shiv is too overwhelmed to do it all by himself.
536 lines, Buy It Now = $268

Shiv lay in his bunk and tried
not to think about how today was
his second-to-last day in prison.

He wanted early release,
sure, he was grateful for it,
but now that it was almost here,
he was also terrified of it.

"The Key to Your New Home"
"The Key to Your New Home" follows Shiv as he explores his apartment in Public Housing.
201 lines, Buy It Now = $101

It was a good thing
that Boss White came
to pick him up from the bus,
because Shiv could hardly
string two thoughts together.

What the fuck do I do now?
Shiv wondered, nibbling his lip.

"To Know After Absence"
"To Know After Absence" is about Shiv moving into an apartment above Blues Moon and choosing some furniture from the gang's storage building.
372 lines, Buy It Now = $186
Available for posting after "The Key to Your New Home" has been sponsored and published.

On the way to Blues Moon,
Shiv fretted over all the new stuff
that he was supposed to remember --
his apartment keys, the new address,
the hours for the amenities -- and it had
him gnawing his thumbnail from nerves.

Boss White listened to him muttering
the information so he wouldn't forget it,
then said, "Write it down, Shiv. I didn't
give you that daybook for a doorstop."

ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for the April 2017 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "lightning" square in my 4-1-17 card for the Month of Rainbows Bingo fest.

"Twisted Wind"

A storm rolls in,
dark clouds heavy
with water and ice
and electricity.

Rain buckets down,
hail hammers the ground,
and lightning flashes.

The sky turns on itself,
and the twisted wind
reaches downward.

A tornado dances
across the hapless land,
picking up a skirt of dust
as it twirls around,

a tall spiral fountain of doom.

* * *


A tornado is a violent weather phenomenon caused by rotating air.  Learn about tornado safety.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now live with a theme of "twists."  Come give us prompts, or claim some for your own inspiration.

What I Have Written

"Twisted Wind" is today's freebie.

Inspired by My Prompts

[personal profile] alexseanchai has posted "The Spiral of Life" about small acts of kindness.

Also from [personal profile] alexseanchai 
Your poem inspired "Beacon", a sequel poem of sorts, about picking up after the tornado: 25 lines. Sponsor it for public view for $20, or become a patron of my Patreon and view it there (it is not yet posted) for as little as $1 per poem.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] gingicat sent $5, so you get to vote on which open epic gets it. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I will keep it open until at least Saturday night. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may keep it open a little longer.

There are three open epics. "A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and needs $152 to be complete. "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra and needs $210.25 to be complete. "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies and needs $322 to be complete.

Poll #18195 General Fund Poll for April 14, 2017
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 18

Which of these should get the $5?

View Answers

A Hope and a Promise
7 (38.9%)

Essential for Human Survival
8 (44.4%)

The Inner Transition
3 (16.7%)


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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