ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Sweden has officially added the gender-neutral pronoun "hen" alongside the masculine "han" and feminine "hon" in dictionaries.  That is just so awesome.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about (mostly problematic) representations of Native Americans in speculative fiction. Well, yeah, that's what you get if you read only or mostly wasicu history books. If you grow up on Naya Nuki and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee ...

Read more... )
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Here is an illustrated discussion about racism in comics. First, it's an example of the peskiness that people of color deal with all the time. Second, it's a sharp reminder to build clear character sheets if you are working on a team, and what can go wrong if you're careless about that or change things over time. Whitewashing tends to annoy people a lot.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... even if they have to learn a new language to do it.  Aww!

Yeah this would totally happen in Terramagne.  It may be that T-Turkey is looking at the likes of Iran, Iraq, Israel, etc. and wanting not to be That Guy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I got my comp copy of Stages 10, which is a Norwegian textbook for English as a second language, reprinting my poem "Origami Emotion."  Full-color, lovely layout, with multiple sensory modes engaged and different subjects woven together.  Gorgeous, spectacular, Platonic ideal of what a textbook should be.  I am all the more flattered for having been invited into it.

*sigh* But it also makes me terribly envious.  On this side of the pond, people are trying to put Noah's goddamn ark into history and science textbooks, and most experts decline to consult on textbooks due to the egregious rate of inaccuracy.  This is why we can't have nice things.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
SOLD!

I'm actually not quite the only person who makes gothic fluff.  If you like my Frankenstein's Family, you'll probably get a kick out of Hotel Transylvania.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the November 5, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "innocent" square in my 10-6-13 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 goal. It belongs to the series Starfather, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article and video explain that police officers customarily and sensibly wear holsters designed for maximum control of their firearms.  That makes it impossible for an officer's gun to fall out of a holster or be misappropriated by someone else.  Further safety features address specific parts of the gun such as the slide and trigger, again to prevent it from firing accidentally or under hostile action.  In order to the remove and fire the gun, it is necessary to know the exact method which the holster is set to permit, in which case the officer can draw and fire quite easily.  Without the knowledge and practice of how this holster works, the gun is not coming lose, because the technology is quite well designed.  Responsible gun owners use equipment like this to avoid stupid accidents like shooting themselves in the crotch or having children fire a gun.  Concerned about your safety?  You could bolt one of these to your bed and not have to worry about shooting yourself in your sleep, yet still have your weapon ready at hand.

None of this does any good if the officer is paranoid and delusional.  By paranoid, I mean generally inclined to believe that everyone is out to get him when it is not the case.  By delusional, I mean believing something which not only did not happen, but could not  happen as claimed.  

There is equipment designed to protect officers and other people around them.  Regrettably it cannot overcome all human failings.  If officers do not understand their equipment, use it properly, and trust  that it will perform as designed -- then they can't take advantage of the safety features as intended.

Put these two factors together and the result is a loss of life which was entirely preventable.  This is just one incident in a widespread pattern of police brutality marked not just by physical violence, but by deep psychological distortions.  When one officer makes a mistake which unnecessarily kills a civilian, that person needs to find a different line of work.  And when the same problem occurs repeatedly throughout multiple departments, then it indicates a pervasive flaw in law enforcement as a whole.

Of course, another consideration is that parts of this problem are not mistakes but are desired goals of a police state.  That's a political issue and somewhat different. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] brushwolf. It also fills the "warning signs" square in my 12-17-13 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

WARNING: This poem takes place during World War II and features assorted atrocities. If these are touchy issues for you, think carefully before deciding whether you want to read further.

Read more... )
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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.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was charmed by this display of kissing skeletons.  Regrettably I couldn't find the video on the Love Has No Labels website, but they have other cool stuff there.  I am particularly pleased to see that the demonstration included a wide range of prejudices to be set up and knocked down.  I'm also delighted that they highlighted different kinds  of love, including at least two different pairs of best friends.

In Terramagne, people do this kind of thing a lot, adding "Love has no power differential" for the soup/nary couples.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So there's a petition to set up the new MCU Spiderman as Miles Morales.  It's a longshot, but I am so rooting for this.  I haven't even bothered to watch the latest Spiderman movies, the trailers looked so awful; I prefer the earlier ones.  But if we could have Miles?  TAKE MAH MONEY!

I will never cease to be impressed by the fact that Miles came out of someone at Marvel saying, "I wonder what the demographics of New York are like today," looking up some actual facts, and then responding to the huge mixed race population by giving Miles an African/Hispanic heritage.  :D  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... which is hardly a surprise. What really disappoints me is this:

"Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs -- notably the first black person in her position -- denies that the academy has a problem recognizing diversity, but the demographics of the organization's members tell a different story."

Since the demographics indicate a clear bias toward white men, the above statement means that she agrees  with that situation.  She sees it, but doesn't consider it a problem.  She thinks it's okay and should stay that way.

Lady, please go the fuck home.  Some of us are tired of Hollywonderbread.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "I can't stop thinking about you when we're apart" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

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I just dropped $5 into "Endless Poetry" on Kickstarter.  I want more poetry to exist, I want to support crowdfunded poetry, and I want to encourage multicultural writers.  Triple score!  :D
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.

Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is the perk for the February 3, 2015 fishbowl meeting the $250 goal.  Today's theme is  "Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.


What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.


Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

3) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

4) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.


Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.


Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is  "Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  The primary focus is romance, in honor of Valentine's Day, so think of Fiorenza/Giacinto, Bettina/Arrigo, etc. I'll also be soliciting ideas for villagers, visitors, fairy tale characters or creatures, rural Italy, historic cottages or gardens, sacred or historic places near Fermo, ordinary objects with mystical effects, fairy tale plot twists, personal conflicts or challenges, side scenes from previous events, gaps in the storyline that need to be filled, everyday issues transmuted into rustic fantasy versions, and Italian poetic forms in particular.  But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The New Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This short film draws on African lore, bringing it into contemporary Britain.  The effect is eerie and compelling.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
After several months of waiting impatiently for blood oranges to come into season and to get someone else to share the food with us, I finally had a chance to try some of the Sicilian cooking that I've been wanting to do. Which is to say, I spent half the day cooking.

The results were delectable. The Sicilian Blood Orange Duck turned out very well, and while it took some doing, was not much more trouble than any other duck recipe. It's reasonable for feast food, so I may well make that again someday. The Sicilian Blood Orange and Mozzarella Salad was tasty, and not all that difficult to make. That's useful if you want a fruit salad that is not too sweet. The Sicilian Blood Orange Soda Syrup -- and the Sicilian Lollipops we made out of it -- had a delicious, amazingly complex flavor, but required a tremendous amount of work for a very small yield. Very special occasion only; or if you're lucky enough to live in orange country and a friend brings you a boxful of oranges that you need to do something with quickly, oh heck yes. Also candying orange slices is harder than it looks if you want the blighted things to hold together like they're supposed to; I only got one to behave properly. Well, now I know why this stuff is typically restaurant food for celebrations. But it was sooooo good.

(I got the inspiration from the restaurant Home Sweet Sicily in Terramagne, and from some Sicilian cookbooks and recipes I looked up after that. I have no qualms about borrowing yummy ideas from other dimensions.)

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rix_scaedu, [personal profile] redsixwing, and Stephen Laird. It has been sponsored by Stephen Laird. It also fills the "emancipation" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage fest. This poem belongs to the series Kung Fu Robots.

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