ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "usual suspects" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer. This poem belongs to the FORK thread in the Polychrome Heroics series.


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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by a discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "face to face" square on my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer. This poem belongs to the FORK thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, following the events of the story "Keeping Warm" and demifiction "Corporation Sues Man."

WARNING: This poem features bigotry and hateful slurs.  If these are sensitive topics for you, please consider your mindstate before deciding whether you want to read further.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the November 2014 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "ritual marks and body decorations" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer. It belongs to the Backdraft thread of the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For you alt-history mavens, here are 20 maps that never happened.  Feel free to use any of those as prompts in a suitable prompt call.  The high-speed rail looks a bit like an early, truncated version of the robust mass-transit system that Terramagne-America enjoys.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Sung and played, it's very pretty.

According to my farmemory, this is a credible rendition of the court/temple style, you know, classical stuff.  The popular music was, um ... earthier.  Louder, faster, ooga-chaka stuff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I love this "Dreidel" song for its playful camaraderie.  Culture is a living, growing thing.

Also, why don't we use these as four-sided dice?  A pyramid doesn't roll well.  A dreidel spins perfectly, delivering a perfect random result.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was thrilled to find this post about holiday carols in Native American languages.  

"Jingle Bells" in Woodland Cree has the lyrics written out as well as the singing.  "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in Ojibwe has no lyrics, but a lovely photo collection of native creche scenes.  "Little Drummer Boy" in Navajo has the lyrics written out, and you should look at them closely -- it's not a colloquial version, but a linguistic version, and it shows some of the differences between the languages.  This sounds to me like a really great translation because it captures the Navajo culture; for instance "beautifully" instead of "I play my best" evokes the Blessingway Ceremony.  "Amazing Grace" in Cherokee just has random graphics.  "Silent Night" in Arapaho has the artist's album cover throughout.  

Of course, I am most fascinated by the ones with lyrics included.  The more information a recording contains, the more useful it is for learning, using, and transmitting a heritage language.  If I had made these, I would've wanted to include both native and English lines for comparison -- but that's my linguist instinct talking.  I can see why people would want to have just the native lyrics, and that is fine.

If you play any of these to the end, look and you'll find more links to other native language videos.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is an interesting page where you can experiment with bias

Me, I prefer diversity.  I am quite strongly xenophilic.  I'm not willing to move, though, being rooted where I am.  But given a chance to interact with a group of people, I'll gravitate toward those who are different and interesting.  I actively cultivate those connections.  I like some common ground.  I don't like homogenous situations.  So while I don't help geographic diversity, I do help group diversity.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Imagine the kind of future you'd like to live in.  Read it, write it, paint it, buy it.  Challenge the status quo.  Rock the fucking boat.

If you look at what I'm writing, you'll see a lot of interaction among diverse characters.  They use their different cultural backgrounds to solve problems in creative ways.  You can see alternative justice methods, different economies, all kinds of governments.  It's not just in science fiction; I do that in fantasy too.  But my leading SF projects, Schrodinger's Heroes and The Blueshift Troupers, are both very strong on diversity and less-violent problem solving.  So is another that I helped inspire, Nine for the Nebula's Heart.  For me it really comes out of something that Martin Luther King, Jr. said to Nichelle Nichols about playing Lt. Uhura: "You show that we SURVIVE."  That's the kind of SF I grew up with, not this modern dystopic shit that looks like the news.

We survive.  The people I put in my futures are the faces of all my ancestors.  I may be pinkish on the outside right now, but well ... I can pass for white, until I open my mouth.  Read me and the true colors show right through.  These are the kinds of world I want to live in.  I want my future back.

What are some of your favorite SF futures?  What are some of your favorite writers or works of color?
ysabetwordsmith: Jump gate showing diamond ring of light (blueshift)
This poem came out of the December 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and LJ user Kelkyag. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to The Blueshift Troupers project.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written the short story "Neighborhood Repair" in my Polychrome Heroics setting.  Street harassment still happens, but it tends to go differently.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... 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: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was inspired by the "rejection" square in my 11-25-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics and is a direct sequel to "A Perspective, Not the Truth" and has some roots in the events at Ferguson, Missouri. I have posted it here as a reflection on how people can, collectively, work on creating a society worth living in.

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ysabetwordsmith: (Origami Mage)
The Origami Mage series page has been updated.  All poems which have been written are now listed, and the sponsored ones have been published and linked.  There are three new poems posted today:

"tired traveler, busy city"
"going to the ocean"
"friendship and enmity"

Those fall near the end of the series, so if you're new to it, starting at the beginning will make a lot more sense.  It's Asian fantasy about two women who are paper mages and rivals.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about untapped potential in SF.

Untapped?  I've been banging it like a rented drum since I could hold a pencil.  So have lots of other writers I know.  So have my favorite shows.  There's a reason most of my favorites run high in diversity, and why I've taken to dicing up ensemble casts to make a good mix.  It's how I want to see the future.  Plus I have an increasing tendency to look at the cast first when considering a new show.  All white male?  Back on the shelf it goes.  Some female, multicultural, disabled, etc. representation?  Flip it over and read the back.  The higher the mix, the more likely I am to buy it.

Steampunk?  It's not just for white blokes anymore.  Superheroes?  Explosion in a paint factory.  Far-future SF?  All my diversity, let me show you it!

I also used material created by and for people of color to entice prison inmates to read poetry and fiction -- to show them that people like themselves could be writers, heroes, could have a future.  It's one of the most subversive things I've done, and it worked.

But every time somebody says "untapped" or the like, they are dismissing  decades worth of awesome accomplishments by all us folks who have been make this stuff.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... apparently stays there even if the language is discontinued.

I think the weirdest effect I've gotten is that the Spanish in my brain kept growing  after I stopped studying it.  I can parse things now that I know we never studied in class.

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