ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "primary colors" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and it fills the "Asked to give public safety lecture -- right after incident" square in my Superhero Bingo Card. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem touches on some sensitive topics. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features bullying, vile language, discrimination against assorted groups, willing and unwilling changes in hair color, nonsexual intimacies, navigation through shifting identity, boundary issues, violation of body autonomy, canon-typical violence, emotional stress, and other challenges. On the whole, though, there's more fluff than angst, and it ends on a high note. If this is touchy territory for you, consider your headspace before clicking through.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This search engine can be set with a choice of several filters to weed out mainstream propaganda or target independent sources.  Furthermore, it's a safesearch engine that does not record user information.  That makes it a good choice for looking up things you don't want anyone to know you looked up.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... from people in case they die in police custody.  Useful if you belong to any group the police enjoy abusing and murdering.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "reality is illusion" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug tipped me to this guy, a stuttering comedian, who really takes the cake on turning a disadvantage to an advantage. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about how live music is largely inaccessible to people with disabilities.  Much the same is true of any large outdoor event, or indoor ones held in older buildings: problems I've encountered with Pagan events. 

Things you can do about this:

* If you are a site host, check accessibility recommendations and accommodate whatever you can.  Measure access ways and list things like door width, number of steps, etc.  Make sure there is at least some seating for people who can't stand for long periods.  If you charge extra for seating, reserve some at the usual price or better yet free for people with disabilities -- anyone with a car sticker should be able to get the reserved seating.  Include contact information so people can ask questions.  Use input from them to expand the information you list.  Can't afford upgrades you want to make?  Do a fundraiser for a bigger bathroom or a new ramp that won't ruin the historic look of your building.

* If you are a musician, insist that your venue hosts do the above.  Do you do house concerts?  Try to find fans with disabilities who would like to host some!  Chances are, their homes will be accessible.  Sometimes that is one heck of an asset: a house built from scratch for a wheelchair user has a minimum of walls, with spaces instead defined by columns or changing floor style, so that sound carries better.

* If you are a fan, encourage site hosts and musicians to make reasonable accommodations, whether or not you have a disability yourself.  You might also boycott the ones who don't.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you don't like how other people portray you, then represent yourself!  That batch is from Africa.  Don't let other people control the conversations about you, your  people, your homeland, or whatever else they're busy botching.  Speak up.

As a writer, I heartily approve of this.  It makes research easier and more effective.  One challenge I face in writing diversity is that most references aren't diverse.  They've heavily slanted.  If I search "African women" I get A) pr0n and B) pity pr0n.  This is not helpful when I am trying to find, say, a picture of a Nigerian woman or a park ranger.  Projects like the one above help broaden the material available.  Then I can do a more accurate rendition of Africa even though I haven't visited it in this life. What makes an African city distinctive from an American or Russian or Chinese one?  What about the landscape is unique?  I need sample of more than just giraffes!
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Nicholas Winton has passed away.  He is best known for rescuing over 650 Jewish children from the Nazis.  

The real heroes rarely if ever think of themselves as heroes.  They may not even have a heroic job.  They may be facing insurmountable odds with insufficient resources.  They may be in danger if they're caught.  But they do what they can, and they focus on saving "that one."  This guy saved 650+ "that ones."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Right now there's a rash of church burnings that targets all or mostly black congregations. There are things people can do to oppose that ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Enjoy some dolls with disabilities.  My favorites include the birthmark girl and the ASL Deaf girl.  :D  Dolls are available in a wide range of features including not just the disabilities but also skin tone, hair color/style, etc.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I am pleased to announce that America now recognizes marriage equality from sea to shining sea! 

What this means to me, aside from celebrating for friends, is that I no longer have to tell some couples "The state will recognize other people's marriage but not yours" if we're discussing handfasting/wedding officiation.  

*throws rainbow ribbons*  *throws birdseed*
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... in contexts other than sex. 

My favorite is that last one.  That totally happens.  Guys hate that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is actually one of the more supportive articles I've read on the topic of extreme food sensitivity. And it still primarily describes the problem as belonging to one person -- instead of, say, Asshole Relatives Disorder or Inedible Food Supply Disorder.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I got to thinking that canes and tables are a bad combination.  Someone with a cane sits down at the table in a restaurant, and there's really no good place for the cane.  Put it on the floor, it's out of reach.  Lean it against the table or chair, there's usually nothing for it to catch on and it slides to the floor.  That's a nuisance for the owner and a trip hazard for other people.

So I thought of a solution.  Put a swivel hook under the table.  It stays out of the way unless someone has a cane, crutch, etc. that needs  something to lean against.  Then pull out the hook.  Now the cane will stay put.  When you're done, put the hook back under the table.  As long as it's a flat hook, it shouldn't snag anything when not in use.  Took me a little while to find something like what I'm thinking of.  These are for snow chains, no price listed.  This one is a cabinet latch, for $1.06.  See how you could put a screw through the hole and the hook would twist around that shaft? Swing it out, swing it back.

It's a really cheap solution that requires an absolute minimum of dexterity to apply.  Anyone with a restaurant, a waiting room, etc. could put a cane hook under the tables.  Or do it at home with your dining or end table, if somebody in the household uses the kind of mobility aid that is not self-standing.  A decent tinker could fiddle around with the design and find something that would work to support a variety of items.  If you want to get fancy, ask a blacksmith or a silversmith to make you one with scrollwork.  No reason it has to be boring if you've got the money to spend.  But if you just want to stop dropping your cane, a buck or two at the hardware store should fix that.  If your hands don't work great, you might need help screwing it on, but most people can work a screwdriver.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My poem "It's Your Body" has been accepted for the forthcoming anthology For Love of Leelah.  The anthology honors transfolk, inspired by the death of Leelah Alcorn.  The poem belongs to my series Polychrome Heroics but stands alone well.  It introduces the It's Your Body Shop, a ship that travels international waters to provide medical services which are illegal and/or difficult to find in some places.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Ursula LeGuin encourages writers to imagine alternatives to capitalism

There are lots of other options.  Some of them are hard to get now.  Others are growing rapidly because of the failstorm that American capitalism has turned into.  The gift economy.  Favor trading.  Barter.  Sharing.  These are all things that flourish when the cash economy withers, because cash only outcompetes them when there is enough of it for everyone to use in meeting their needs.  But you always have your skills.

Crowdfunding is at heart the subversive idea that exchanges should be symbiotic instead of parasitic.  Everyone benefits.  And then we get MOAR GOODEEZ!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Compare and contrast Tomorrowland and Mad Max: Fury Road.  Tomorrowland actually gives us a rare glimpse of the WHOLE spectrum: utopia (too good to be true: the commercial), eutopia (not perfect but still awesome: what they're trying to create), pseudotopia (purporting to be a good place while actually sucking: Governor Nix's society), and dystopia (awful: the end of the world).  Fury Road is, of course, postapocalyptic dystopia.

At this stage, I'd classify America as a pseudotopia, falsely claiming to be #1 while in fact it's only #1 in prison population and quite far down the list for things like maternal health, vacation time, food security, academic achievment, etc.

I work toward a positive future.  However, I am aware that the people with most influence do not share my concerns or desires.  They are driving the world in destructive directions.  Even if we were to stop all that right  now, the damage already done will continue to cause problems for many years into the future.  The chance of people making those changes is very small.  Without that commitment, things will get a LOT worse.  

We are already seeing increased trends in many areas such as biosphere damage and climate change.  Here's a chart of boundaries of survival, which I frankly think is over-optimistic given that even the green zones are already showing measurable symptoms of distress such as the fact that California's snowcap just hit 0% which I think is a flaming red flag that they are living beyond their water budget.

So I concentrate on three things now: 1) Trying to make my little corner of the world a nicer place.  2) Preparing for disaster.  3) Establishing my right to stand in the foyer-ever-after and say, "I fucking TOLD YOU SO."



Believe that all things are possible.  Understand that some are more likely than others.  Trust that you can learn to tell the difference.

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