ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was touched by this review of Guardians of the Galaxy, about how an autistic viewer related to Drax the Destroyer. 

This is why I write what I write.  Everyone deserves a chance to see themselves reflected in entertainment.  Anyone can be a hero.  It's not even necessarily about having an exact match, but can be about having a given trait in common, especially if it's an uncommon one.  Diversity matters.  Representation matters.  And if you're writing diverse, quirky characters then you may wind up reaching an audience you never even thought up, just because you've covered the board really well.

I have An Army of One because one of my readers on the spectrum prompted for it, and other folks -- both neurovariant and neurotypical -- have asked for more.  I think that's awesome.  And the Lacuna has gone from starting with specifically neurovariant characters to embracing a wider variety of people who just don't fit well in normative society, so they're making their own, which is more inclusive.  I love that.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
Here is the last of the recently sponsored Schrodinger's Heroes stories written by [personal profile] chanter_greenie.  "Keeping a Logbook" puts a human face on refugees and the people who help them flee in hope of a better life.  That's something we need more of in today's world.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a staunch essay about the need for diversity in speculative fiction

I hear ya, bro.  Write the future you want to bring forth.

Here's one of mine, The Blueshift Troupers.  I made that because I was sick to death of dystopic SF, and I want my future back.  So have some sensawonda with diversity sauce.  Yes, I was thinking of the original Star Trek when I wrote it, thank you Gene Roddenberry for imagining a future in which people of different backgrounds could get along.

Not All Men

Aug. 4th, 2014 02:27 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some men harass and abuse women. That's a lot of men. But it's not all men, and probably not even most men. Lots of men are decent human beings. Speaking as if people are necessarily bad because they have a penis is no better than speaking as if people are necessarily bad because they have a vagina. (Though of course, not all men have a penis and not all women have a vagina; that's just the standard version, so it's what people tend to fixate on.)  It's also a logical fallacy called overgeneralization.

So here's a comic about sexual harassment for guys, and what you can do to fight it.  Bystander intervention works across a wide range of bullying tactics, even self-bullying.  You do not have to put up with someone pissing in the public air like that.  Be the "not all men" that you want to see in this world.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was encouraged by this article about Land's End being receptive to customer feedback on gendered clothing

This gave me an idea for a different marketing scheme.  Organize clothes by theme: Science T-Shirts, Fairy Tale T-shirts, Play Clothes, Work Clothes, Nurturing Slogans, Adventurous Slogans, Heroic Figures, Everything Pink, Everything Blue, etc.  Then in each section, the dropdown menu would have options for masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral cuts.

Zabernism

Jul. 17th, 2014 03:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Useful to know there is a word for this:

zabernism -- misuse of military authority; bullying
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Based on an audience poll, there will be a half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics from Saturday, July 12-Sunday, July 20.

Currently there are 33 unsold poems in this series, priced at a base total of $2986.50 and a sale price of $1493.25.  Looking at this, my partner Doug came up with a brilliant new idea to handle the overload: If you spend $100 or more in this half-price sale, you get half off the SALE price,  for $.25 on the dollar.  (Yes, I can afford to do this, get this stuff off my desk.)  So if this is a favorite series of yours and you have a payday coming up, budget accordingly.  People who spend $100+ in a year on my poetry become k-fans and get nifty year-end perks, starting with a hardcopy collection of one series (which includes everything written for it so far, even the unpublished stuff).

Pockets not so deep?  That's okay.  There are also $15 poems that will be $7.50, $20 poems that will be $10, and some smallish epics that will come down to the vicinity of $20.  Working with a monofilament budget and can't donate?  You have other options for support.  Boost the signal for the sale when it opens, and maybe someone with more money will sponsor stuff you like. 

Underrepresented groups, impact of superpowers on society, creeptastic supervillain crimes, adorable romance, dexflan action adventures, you name it I got it. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was amused by this post about marriage equality in Kentucky, link courtesy of my partner Doug. What caught my attention was this bit:

The case against Gay Marriage was not made by the state's Attorney General, by the way. He refused to go in and defend the law so the Governor hired an outside law firm to argue that position. That was sure money well-spent.

Whatever your job is, you never know when it will give you an opportunity to showcase your morals on a public stage.  Sometimes, the best way to do your job is politely declining to do your job.  Justice can be refraining from perpetrating injustice.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] magistrate is hosting a call for prompts.  There is no theme, so anything goes, although there is also a bingo card in case you want a starting point.  Prompts lead to ficlets, often random snippets.  Donating $10 gets you 500+ words of coherent scene for a prompt of your choice.

Awesomely, the materials produced in this call will go into the author's Shared Worlds project, intended to produce an archive of materials that other folks can use for inspiration and further development.  Consequently I prompted for broad setting elements that would lend themselves well to creating worlds interesting to write about.  Go ask for something that you'd love to see put up for common use.  Society relies on a thriving public domain to inspire cultural materials.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Well, this is irritating.  Gittip is a platform that enables small weekly payments, explicitly aimed at helping people pay bills because bills are regular and thus benefit from regular income.  Trouble is, the folks behind the platform are unsupportive in ways that make it hostile to women and minorities.  *headdesk*
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... is to say something that makes the bastard wish he never opened his mouth.  This does not work for everyone or in all situations, but for some of us it is among our favorite weapons.  Although the details vary, this is about the caliber of response I tend to generate when someone flips off the safety cover and pushes the wrong button for the nuclear silo that is my mouth.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rosieknight, [personal profile] redsixwing, LJ users Moriwen1, and Siege. It also fills the "passion" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the June 3, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rosieknight and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "taking a chance" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
This poem is from the November 2013 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] jeshyr who wanted to address the issue of bystander pity and curiosity, and mobility devices as empowerment. Several poems in P.I.E. have come directly out of requests or comments from people with disabilities, which has really added a lot to the complexity and verisimilitude.  It also fills the "curiosity" square in my 8-13-13 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  This poem is posted as the free epic for the June 3, 2014 fishbowl reaching the $200 goal, selected in an audience poll, and I'm amused you did that right after "Going Places" was posted. Point and counterpoint at your convenience; tell ALL the stories!

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written the poem "Childish and Foolish" about Dr. Infanta for my Polychrome Heroics series.  It comes with a thoughtful set of links and discussion points regarding gendered toys.  This actually started with the two of us joking around, but wound up in a slightly more serious place. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I came across this favorite song today, "The Freakin' FCC."  That's basically my opinion on censorship.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

Today's yardening task was trimming branches, after which I took a walk around the yard.  Our south lot is blooming with clover, short white clover as far as the eye can see.  It's sunny and warm outside.  That meadow should be roaring with bees.  I have known it to be so in the past.  You know how many bees I found today?

ONE.

One lonely little honeybee went about her business.

Our yard is landscaped for wildlife, and has no pesticides applied by us, only what drifts in from the neighboring fields of BubbaFail the Farmer.  Sadly our efforts cannot make up for the idiocy of people in power.


Colony Collapse Disorder is still a problem.  Beekeepers continue to lose hives at an unsustainable rate.  Pesticides, viruses, parasites, changing climate, and other causes have been implicated.  As a biologist, this leads me to believe that the problem is not a single cause but rather a confluence of stress factors that overwhelm the bees' resistance.  This threatens our food production because bees pollinate one-third of our crops, including many favorite fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

There are many ways to help bees, including:

* Plant a bee garden with flowers, especially wildflowers, to feed the bees.  Make sure they have NO PESTICIDES!

* If you find a swarm of bees, call a beekeeper, not an exterminator.  Most areas have someone who will remove the bees safely, often for free.

* Use activism to make the world safer for bees, humans, and all our relatives.

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer explains how to use your consumer power to protect bees by shopping for the right honey.  Use your folding vote; it's all some people care about.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an interesting post about disabled superheroes with attention to combinations of disabilities and superpowers

One reason I think supports such combinations is that the acquisition of superpowers is often violent.  If you don't get some kind of regenerative ability, you are rather likely to sustain permanent damage: Dr. Laser has disfiguring scars.  Other times it may be transient but still really uncomfortable: Aquariana has hypersensitive skin so she can't wear clothes comfortably, which might or might not improve.  Certain causes that may be less violent can still have negative side effects: Koroleva is a supervillain whose powers probably came from radiation -- her parents were evacuated from Chernobyl -- and her right hand has fused fingers.

Another obvious reason is that superhero work is dangerous.  Soldiers, police, firefighters, etc. all work high-risk jobs and have a consequently high rate of retiring due to disability.  Cheersquad has Super-Speed but is mostly paralyzed now; he used to drive a zoom ambulance until someone crashed into it.  Then again, some people keep working despite disabilities.  Dr. Doohickey lost his legs and kept going.  Valor's Widow deals with monumental grief.

Factors can combine, too: Groundhog has Flight, but never uses it due to agoraphobia, acrophobia, and weak lungs.  It manifested when he was an infant, he went sailing up into the sky, and the altitude injured his lungs before anyone could get him down.  Then his parents kept him indoors while he was growing up.

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