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Oct. 19th, 2014 03:51 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Things I enjoy about my current life: not having to wear 5-40 layers of clothing.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of lengthy conversations with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, and with [personal profile] helgatwb  who lives in southern Louisiana, about how Easy City could have developed from the fractious mix of cultures there.  It also fills the "argument" square in the Birthday Bingo Fest public card.  It is posted here in thanks for LJ user Natasiakith sorting out the Polychrome Heroics poems into individual storylines, and this poem belongs to the same series.

WARNING: This poem features cultural tensions, rude language, arguments, natural disasters, minor character death, and some other challenging topics.  The overall tone is hopeful, though.  Sensitive readers should aim for viewing this while in a steady state of mind.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was inspired by the "youth" square of the Birthday Bingo fest public card.  It has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 goal.  It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Nina Paley is working on a new animated movie, Seder Masochism, and has posted a clip from it.  This is gorgeously macabre, with a vivid adaptation of Egyptian artistic motifs.  Watch for subtle details like the way bodies become partially then wholly skeletal as the Shadow of Death engulfs them.  Like her earlier movie Sita Sings the Blues, this one is crowdfunded rather than conventionally published, so there's a donation link under the clip if you want to support something more distinctive than Mr. Macho Blows Shit Up Part IX.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer .  It also fills "the shopping mall" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo  fest.  This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series, and it's a direct sequel to the story "Keeping Warm" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer .

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, based on a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer  who wanted a haiku 'flame' fill.  It also fills the "dinner" square in the public card for the Birthday Bingo fest.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer .  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article lays out some common flaws in worldbuilding.

Amusingly, I often use these things to distinguish cultures or even inspire writing.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Now this fellow has a clue, and is happy to teach it, but you will have to do the work if you want it.  The article is all about Lakota virtues and the challenges of practicing them in today's world.  

I really like this angle.  I'm especially impressed with the idea of keeping the prayers in Lakota rather than English.  It's like how the Catholics used to stick with Latin.  Language influences thought; it's very powerful; and that's an astute ruling.  

People can come in from outside, but they have to do things the Lakota way.  If you do the work, then you're sharing, not stealing.  If you just want to grab stuff and run off with it, that  is misappropriation.  You have to learn how to do things the right way.  It's the difference between a McDonald's burger and a buffalo steak.  You have to work harder to get the steak, but it tastes better and is better for you.

This is one of the best examples I've seen recently of appropriate cultural boundaries.  Don't shut people out, don't let them rob or abuse you, manage the interaction in mature rational ways.  Aho!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Read a spice guide. Not quite every spice we use is listed here, but most of them are. I'm surprised and pleased by the multicultural coverage.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This is one of my favorite dances to watch.

#1 -- Not the most skilled hoop manipulator I've seen, but possibly the best footwork.  Wow.  Prancing.

#2 -- This is much more what I expect from a hoop dancer, and my vote will always go to the guy who can deftly handle more hoops.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It matters what stories we tell and pictures we paint.  Here's an essay about narratives of diversity in F&SF.  

That's why I write diversity and, especially, pay attention to the mix of heroes and heras in Polychrome Heroics.  Danso is there to provide a positive, nurturing example of a young black man.  He's very powerful; mess with his family and he'll fuck you up.  But he'd rather not have to.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Jahai language includes a spectrum of smells.  Why?  Smells are important when you forage to survive.  You don't want to bring home something with "a bloody smell that attracts tigers."  They have a word for that.

Of course, I'm still wolf enough to think with what nose I have in this body, which is far enough above human-average that I can actually taste with it, so I've absorbed a lot of the perfumer vocabulary and can pretty well classify smells into categories like earthy, woody, resinous, smoky, floral, medicinal, musky, etc.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem came out of the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] siliconshaman, and LJ user Moriwen1. It also fills the "regret" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Don't Try This at Home series in the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a lovely look at several of Jack Kirby's characters of diversity, made with Stan Lee but these are ones primarily driven by Jack.  

Note that Ben Grimm is a double-tap for being Jewish and lower/working class.  As the Thing, he is also a man of color -- even though color-changed characters may have grown up white, they pick up the chromatic stigma of not being white anymore and it really shows in how people treat them.  Also worth considering is the way that Jack characterized Ben as Jewish for years before it was safe to come right out and say that.  Sometimes I tag the ethnicity or religion of my characters openly, but often it's just there in the name, location, physical description, etc.

I always liked the technological aspect of Black Panther, which so often gets overlooked.  After having discovered Odinani, the sacred science of Nigeria, I kind of wonder if that played in.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl and is the second freebie for Twitter user Harriet Clough as a new prompter. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fill the "je ne regrette rien" square in my 7-30-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a mostly tongue-in-cheek post about describing fair skin in some of the ways that dark skin is often described.

I have actually used "marzipan" as a skin tone. Also cream, peach, toast, porcelain, bisque, alabaster, grub (as in insect, not food), and uncooked bread dough. (Some of the descriptions were from a less-than-positive perspective.) Also in the white-people range are the pinkish-fair tones that are not copper, so things like ruddy, flushed, coral, and rosy apply.

Kay in Schrodinger's Heroes is Hispanic, but has fair skin, which I have described as vanilla latte: a dark cream or the palest possible brown.

Then there was the time I spent over an hour hunting around for synonyms and metaphors of "brown" that were based on things NOT associated with the slave trade, preferably things relating to African culture. Kola nut was a favorite. Ebony, which is dark brown to black, is a sacred wood in Africa and thus legit.

My desertfolk often have two or three colortones combined: rose-gold, rose-mocha, toasted-peaches-and-cream.  It's very rare to see truly pale skin or very dark skin in the Whispering Sands, but they cover an enormous range in between with subtle and complex variations of ruddy, shadowy, and tawny hues.  Very beautiful.  Oh, and to them "melon" is specifically the color of ladyparts and they make jokes about it.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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