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I was pleased to see some articles about diversity today.  This one discusses skin-toned fashions such as hosiery and shoes being expanded to cover more shades of nude.  This one presents a department store that's planning to offer gender-neutral clothing and organization, instead of men's/women's; alas, a temporary showing, but it's a step in the right direction.
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The Speculative Literature Foundation is offering a grant for working-class and impoverished writers.

Read more... )
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This article argues that the target market of superhero flix is actually women.  How many times have we seen Ollie climb that salmon ladder now?  Yeah that shoulder pr0n never gets old.  I am amused that this show caters to the assumed female gaze as well as the assumed male gaze.  :D  So maybe the producers of superhero entertainment altogether should consider catering more to women's interests.
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Community Supported Agriculture is a way of eating local, independently produced food -- mainly vegetables but some CSAs also offer fruit, herbs, even animal products such as dairy, meat, honey, or wool.  Usually the signup season is winter or early spring, so now is the time to look if you are interested; here's one example of a price list based on time and share size.  Consider the pros and cons, and how to choose a CSA.  Search for a CSA in your area.
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Recently some of my fans asked me how to reach various k-fan perk levels. My k-fans are folks who spend $100+ in a year on poetry. (There are lower perks too, and you see some of the public ones in the active fishbowls.) This is based on the "1000 True Fans" model. I didn't like calling only the biggest donors 'true' fans, hence k-fan referring to the 1000 target.

These are the current k-fan perks:

$100 -- collection of a single poetic series (includes written but unpublished poems)
$300 -- half-year collection (your choice of Jan-June or July-Dec)
$500 -- full-year collection (everything published in the Poetry Fishbowl)

I start counting in January and then I tally the numbers after the Holiday Poetry Sale, so now is a good time to look at your budget for the upcoming year if you want to budget for poetry. Based on that schedule, it's easier for most people to hit a donation goal if they start in January than if they come in later. Here are some ways this could break down from a yearly to a monthly level ...

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[personal profile] haikujaguar has written a couple of posts on artistic business, "The Serpent's Whisper" and "I Am an Indie Midlister (and That's Okay)." These look at some ups and downs of alternative publishing and personal goals.
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Here's an article about music and crowdfunding.  There's a very difficult balance between creativity and survival.  Too much idealism and you starve.  Too much commercialism and you produce dreck.  So too are there two poles of audience interaction: too low a price tag and the artist can't afford to keep working, too high a price tag and the audience either can't afford to buy or won't because they feel it's a ripoff.

Culture is an exchange.  In order to continue, a society must meet the survival and social needs of its citizens.  They need ways of supporting themselves, interacting, and expressing ideas.  What people value tends to continue.  What they do not value will be hidden or lost.  So if you don't support art, then you wind up with very little art, of poorer quality.  If you don't make sure people have enough to live on, then not only do they suffer, but they can't afford to buy stuff and your economy tanks.  Not everything has to be a cash exchange, that's a relatively recent phenomenon historically speaking.  But there must be an exchange of value and people must get their needs met.

This is a time of great challenge and great potential.  A lot of people are getting into creative work because that's all they CAN do -- they aren't permitted a day job by the people who control the businesses.  They still need to survive, so they scrabble for what they can do that DOESN'T require someone else's permission to have a job.  That's often art, music, writing, things that are less controlled than businesses you need an expensive license even to attempt.   There are business models now that help connect creators directly to the audience in ways that cut out middlemen and route more money to the people making stuff.  But the audience can be a stingy bastard sometimes.  That's especially true if people don't have enough to live on, or if they've had their pockets picked so much they FEEL like that don't have enough even after they've managed to scrape up more.  The pervasive sense of threat, that failure and starvation are just a day's bad luck and a few weeks of unemployment away, erodes the cohesion of society as a whole.

What can you do?  Think mindfully about what it costs you to make things and how much your talent is worth.  Think mindfully about how much other people's work is worth to you, and whether you can afford that.  If money is tight, which it often is when a few people are hogging so damn much of it, then look for alternatives.  You might not have cash to pay for what you want, but you may have something the other person wants that you could trade.  Money is only valuable when there's enough to get the job done.  If there isn't, it's useless as a medium of exchange.  But you always have your skills.  You have resources.  Other people have different ones.  So trade.

And value each other's hard work, because somebody has to, and it's painfully clear that the people at the top of the heap care fuckall about you, art, or the sustainability of society.

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This is a gorgeous piece of activist animation, complete with Haida language and culture, reminding people to protect the waters so that our descendants can live.
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... have this problem where they can only sell stories that white people like.

Fuck that noise.  I like my literature with diversity.  I grew up reading books that got me kicked out of class.  We need small press and crowdfunding and other alternative options so that writers can write in their own voice and culture without being stifled.  Tell ALL the stories!
ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
The Winterfaire spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some booths show streamers of red and green, while others sport blue and silver. All of them offer treasure after shining treasure. Music fills the air with lyrics of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Yule. From the Wordsmith's Forge comes the bright chiming of words being hammered into literature. Delicious scents of hot chocolate, spiced cider, peppermint, baking cookies, and gingerbread tantalize the appetite. Smiling, laughing shoppers amble from booth to booth with lists in hand. Vendors grin back, calling out, "Come try, come buy...!"

I know a lot of artists, writers, musicians, crafters, and other talented folks who make some of their living from their creative endeavors. I don't always have the money to support them as much as I'd like, but what I can do is set up a virtual faire where vendors can offer their wares to an audience that likes crafts, literature, and small businesses. For those of you doing your holiday shopping, here's an opportunity to buy something made with love, something unusual or unique, in a way that helps make it possible for creative people to go on creating wonders. And there will be no traffic jams, stampedes, or gunfights at the Winterfaire! Enjoy the seasonal offerings on Dreamwidth or on LiveJournal.

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One protest against the disgraceful situation in Ferguson is calling for a boycott.  Instead of shopping at mainstream stores this holiday season, consider these independent black-owned businesses
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Using scrap paper and a recycling bin

You could then demo every other privilege represented among the students -- sex, race, etc. -- by having them move their seats.  You could further demonstrate the importance of maneuverability represented by allowing students to move forward to take a better shot -- that you aren't necessarily stuck where you start.
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This crowdfunding project focused on clothes for people with Down syndrome, who often have different body proportions from average.
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Here's a cool article about the Amish adoption of technology. They all follow one basic rule: if a new thing is more trouble than it's worth, they won't use it.  Different Amish communities draw that line in different places.  

I actually use that rule myself, again with a different threshold.  I've had people call me Amish, meaning it as an insult, for not using things they think I should be using that I don't use because they're worthless or troublesome for me.  I say, "No, but that is where I got the idea."  It's a great rule.  It saves so many headaches.  I'm neophilic in many ways.  But I've seen society make a lot of stupid mistakes, and its safety precautions are abysmal.  This contributes to my caution about adopting new things myself.  I look for the drawbacks.

Most people don't.  Their default is to accept new technology.  They often don't consider the costs.
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This poem is from the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by Anthony Barrette, sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "We're all going to die!" square on my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.

WARNING: This poem talks about cancer; the original prompt was for cancer survivors. It's mostly in allegorical terms, but that's the main focus. If this is a squicky topic for you, skip it.

Read more... )
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 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted a fascinating essay about rights management, collaboration, and crowdfunding.  Try not to get completely lost in the Helidrax  example and do think about the creative rights situation.

But yeah, now I want me some Helidrax.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth and [livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug, plus discussions with Dreamwidth user Dialecticdreamer.  It also fills the "possessions" square in my 7-30-14 card for the Genprompt Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to Granny Whammy thread of the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
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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.


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