ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For some months, the Science Fiction Poetry Association has been squabbling over the definition of speculative poetry, what qualifies as "speculative enough," and in a slightly overlapping discussion, the name of the organization and whether it should say something other than "science fiction." I and several other folks experienced in poetry and small organizations have pointed out that trying to force your pet definition on other people will consistently start arguments and frequently cause people to leave.

Now it's Rhysling Award nomination season, and the officers rejected a poem for not being speculative enough. Said poem was originally published in a speculative magazine, Strange Horizons -- which means the author, the editors, and the nominator all thought it was a speculative poem. But their opinions are irrelevant; the poem is excluded from consideration because someone else doesn't think it's speculative enough, people in a position of power that allows them to dictate other people's actions.

Predictably, this happened. Here is the poem, "I Will Be Your Grave."

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We met up with my parents and Doug's son Trevor.  Supper wasn't impressive.  But afterwards we went to El Oasis, our favorite Mexican ice cream parlor.  (Have I mentioned it's like a little slice of Terramagne?  Which is why I usually drop my change into the tip jar.)  They had a new flavor: chongos.  Actual chongos is a type of cheese, but not salted like their queso.  The ice cream had a cheesy, sort of caramel flavor that we fell in love with.  Doug decided to double-scoop it with caramel ice cream, and eventually realized that this duplicates his favorite popcorn mix, cheese and caramel.   I didn't think it would have enough contrast, but it actually worked great.  So now the gansito has a real competitor.  :D

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Jan. 1st, 2017 04:40 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Dreamwidth is having an influx of new users, some from Russia and the Ukraine.  I have studied Russian in school and visited the country, although I'm nowhere near fluent.  I also have an affinity for Georgia after visiting Tblisi.  So while my ability to read Russian posts is minor, my audience is global and folks from around the world are welcome here. 
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem is spillover from the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "hatred" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] technoshaman and [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Don't Try This at Home series in the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] callibr8, [personal profile] shiori_makiba (who had a wonderful summary of how people respond to Dr. Infanta, in a comment below the prompts), [personal profile] kelkyag, [personal profile] librarygeek, [personal profile] moongoddessgirl, and [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "apocalypse" square in my 7-16-16 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek. It belongs to the Dr. Infanta thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains material that many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, which are spoilers and also possibly triggers. This poem features references to historic butchery, disapproval of Israel's behavior, (which is not the same as disapproval of Jews in general), references to horrible events which occurred both in Terramagne and in local-Earth but happened a bit differently in each dimension, graphic description of war crimes, canon-atypical violence, child death, mass-casualty events, Israel is a bottom-ten country because reasons, desecration of an Israeli flag, Dr. Infanta is a person of mass destruction, and so is the Undertaker, and this is why you should not piss them off, killing soldiers via superpowers, deliberate terrorizing of Israeli troops, Dr. Infanta's self-image is also bent, imprisonment of a soup, healing Israeli casualties without their consent, destruction of the Wall, graffiti as the art of rebellion, hair-trigger reflexes, and other mayhem. (If you want to read some of my positive Jewish characters, see Clay of Life.) This poem is not a major plot point, and most of its content can be understood simply from previous mentions that Dr. Infanta is a person of mass destruction and Israel is a bottom-ten country; this simply gives examples of why. So no big gap if you skip it. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "the mole" square in my 1-1-16 card for the Spies, Secret Agents, and Noir Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] shiori_makiba, [personal profile] nsfwords, [personal profile] mdlbear, and Shirley Barrette. It has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Put them in housing alongside natives.  Facilitate the formation of a community by encouraging people to spend time together and identify common interests.  I think that choosing young singles is especially apt because these folks tend not to have strong ties or obligations elsewhere, which means they're open to forming bonds with each other.  Given a little luck, this community should see a lot of cross-cultural friendships and romances that will last.  \o/  Go thou and do likewise.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the April 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie and [personal profile] siliconshaman . It also fills the "art initiates life" square in my 1-5-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This has been selected in an audience poll as the free short epic for the half-price sale in Shiv reaching $1000. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem contains imagery which is likely to disturb many readers. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Nigeria is a bottom-ten country because reasons. The poem contains canon-atypical violence, murder of children, grief, rage, berserk mothers, graphic descriptions of death, gore, discrimination and murder of people with superpowers, magic which is not evil but is in no way fluffy, vengeance, misogyny, Boko Haram, flesh trading, graphic dismemberment, drunk men pillaging everything, graphic poetic justice, and other mayhem. This poem is not woven into any major plotlines, merely presented as an example of life in a bottom-ten country, so you won't miss anything vital if you choose to skip it. Readers are strongly cautioned to consider tastes and headspace carefully before deciding whether to read this one.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
President Obama has denied the DAPL easement.  Read a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux.

My inner Indian is yelling and running in circles.  :D  

Well, that buys us a couple of months.  I'll take what I can get.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
In listening to descriptions of Trump's reaction to finding out how much Presidential work he can't delegate, I'm reminded of an African-American folktale about a black man and a white man racing to open a pair of boxes.  The black man gets there first and goes, "Oh, I got de biggest box!" ... but dat box full of hard work.

You can read a couple different versions here.

I am also reminded of Spock's observation about wanting vs. having.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a good essay about the importance of representation in F&SF

We need diversity so that a maximum of readers can see themselves reflected in literature.  We need positive  portrayals. As much as I like reading Native American literature, I'm leery of its overwhelmingly bleak tone.  It's almost impossible to find happy characters, or ones who balance their tribal heritage with participation in wider society.  Given the sky-high suicide rate on reservations, I worry that painting such a dark future encourages people to think they have none.  Much the same happens with queer folk, trans folk, people with disabilities -- they need the reflection to encourage them to keep going, to understand they're not alone, to believe they can be the hero of their own story.

This is why I write much of what I do.  In my writing, anyone can be the hero, anyone can be the villain.  Your ancestry, skin tone, wealth, religion, politics, love life, abilities or lack thereof do not predetermine your future.  You decide what to do with the opportunities before you.  And I will show the light and the dark of all those possibilities.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was charmed by this tutorial on African dance.  It uses a clock metaphor to describe the moves.  They are simple, repetitive, and energetic.  That makes them easy to learn, good exercise, and fun to do.  You can see these in African documentaries. If a whole tribe is dancing together, they'll be very repetitive, using basic moves to synchronize lots of people for a long time. But if you're watching one or two dancers, it's like jazz, they'll improvise using the same moves.  Think of the steps like chords, once you know them, you can join a group or riff on your own.  You can also see these at a drum jam in a big city.  I've seen it at the Delmar Loop in St. Louis and Taste of Chicago.  (They were surprised that I joined in, because I do not look like the lady in the video.  :D )  Street music is awesome.

Over in Terramagne, this is the kind of stuff that appeared very early in Sankofa Clubs.  By now, lots and lots of people know at least a few basic African dance moves, which makes it fairly easy to get a group of people dancing.  Over time, they've thrown in samples from cultures around the world.  Usually they'll look for the simplest foundation steps.  Almost everybody has some folk dances, like circle or line dances, that are very easy to do.  Those transmit nicely.  So T-America has a lot more left of the social dance tradition compared to L-America.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] johnpalmer and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "loss of identity" square in my 7-16-16 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As people travel, they take their stories with them, and those stories change slowly over time.  The evolution of mythology thus parallels the paths of migration. 
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
This performance is probably the best communion of natural and technomagic shamanism that I've ever seen.  Even I cannot make all of those animal sounds.  Oh, and that's not just "techno beat" music.  Some of those sounds are for spirit and technomagical elementals.  The iron horse toward the end is pretty iconic.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Black students are more inclined to enroll in black colleges now

Amazingly, if you shit on people then they don't want to be around you and would rather be around others like themselves. Also if you refuse to allow them safe space, they will seek to create their own.  

For black folks, that means don't expect white people to protect you; take care of yourselves.  And if their goals are not yours, then don't give them your money; keep it in your own cause.

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