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This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by [personal profile] zianuray and [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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... with the successful launch of 104 satellites from a single rocket.  That's almost three times the previous record, 37 from Russia.  Cluster rockets are fantastic tools.  \o/

Cloves

Feb. 14th, 2017 04:59 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This article has many pictures of clove plants and fresh-picked cloves.  I knew they were flower buds, but did not know they were such a bright pink-and-green when fresh!
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [livejournal.com profile] wyld_dandelyon, and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "You've Got a Friend" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Definition of a feminist: a woman who won't shut up when she's told to.

Note that the letter from Coretta Scott King has received far more attention after the censorship than it would have if simply entered into the record as intended. Furthermore, at least four male senators quoted from that letter too. The people with penises were not censored.

What to buy this week to poke a bigot in the eye: "Nevertheless, She Persisted" swag in various shapes.  Are you selling any?  If so, advertise it here.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
As I've been developing storylines with characters who have a wide range of self-destructive behaviors (Shiv, Cassandra, Keane, Turq, etc.) I've looked over many resources and talked with readers who have previously or are currently struggling with similar issues. I'm particularly interested in what helps, what doesn't, and what makes matters worse. Also, I'm aware that Terramagne-America handles a lot of things in community which have only clinical resources in local-America, or more often, nothing at all.

What I found was this totally awesome place ...

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I found another discussion about the Rhysling Award controversy I mentioned earlier.  "A Speculative Kerfluffle" quotes several sources, including my post.  Woohoo, people read it!  \o/  The exploration of issues is quite thoughtful.

This led to an interesting survey on "What is speculative poetry?"  

Notice that there is consensus regarding the core (science fiction, fantasy, etc.) but not the fringe (surrealism, metaphor, etc.) of the content.  In particular, I call your attention to the splatter of opinions about tropes, metaphor, simile, analogy, and other literary devices.  Why is this so important?  Because people argue over whether something is literal or figurative.  I've watched this happen: "Well, the coffin is clearly a metaphor..."  "No, I meant what I said.  The vampire is in a coffin, floating through outer space."  Doesn't get much more speculative than that, does it?  Except when people don't believe you.  0_o

Now add the fact that cultural interpretation of symbols will vary widely  across cultures, and one culture may have highly speculative connotations while another does not.  Frex, the snake.  A basic emblem of lies and death in Christian lore, the snake is a sacred embodiment of the Goddess and transformation (due to shedding skin) in Pagan lore.  So for Pagans, it's more speculative because we'll think of shapeshifters, magic, and life/death/rebirth.  Christians are likely to count it only if they also  count religion/cosmology in general as speculative or they equate snakes with the Devil sufficiently to land it in the angel/devil subgenre that many folks consider speculative.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Doorstop Twat has attempted to ban Muslims from immigrating to America.  The ACLU is fighting back and won a stay, although it remains to be seen how courts will respond. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] capriuni.


"Lost and Never Looked For"


The Great Dismal Swamp
spans the coastal plains of
Virginia and North Carolina.

It consists of murky water
and mud, bald cypress and
dense, endless thickets.

Before the Civil War, it gave
refuge to escaped slaves,
a place where one could get
lost and never looked for.

Some say it is named for
the way that tannins in
the shed leaves of oak trees
have dyed the water
the color of dark tea,

others for the tense clouds
of vicious, biting insects.

Few people want to go there
and see for themselves.

* * *

Notes:

The Great Dismal Swamp is one of a few places which sheltered a civilization of escaped slaves.  Part of the area has since become a National Wildlife Refuge.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "herbs" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Well, I almost made it through a fishbowl with all standalones. I got about two-thirds through this poem before I looked up urban agriculture and hit some gorgeous images I recognized as Terramagne-Paris. But I did keep it to sub-epic size.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai and [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "liminal time" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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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

New Users

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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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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