ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is today's freebie, prompted by LJ user Rhodielady_47.


"Asian Pears"


Crunchy and juicy,
Asian pears are more about
texture than flavor --
so tasty in fruit salads,
refreshing after summer.

* * *

Notes:

The tanka form belongs to the family of Oriental poetry.

Asian pears, also known as apple-pears, have a distinctive texture but not a lot of flavor.

Kigo  are words used in haiku and other Asian poetry to symbolize a season.  Asian pears represent autumn.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug tipped me to this piece about a black comics event.  What I love about crowdfunding is that it closes the loop.  Readers can ask for what they want and get it.  Writers know they are creating stuff that people want and will buy.  <3
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
 Using biology to study folklore to study sociogeography.  I love how science sticks to itself!  This is like a hot fudge brownie delight of scientific goodness.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This story came out of the June 2015 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It fills the "post-traumatic stress disorder" square in my 6-16-15 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest, and the "experimentation" square in my 6-1-15 card for the June Relationship Bingo fest. This story has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Don't Try This at Home thread of the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

WARNING: This story contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. There are identity issues, emotional angst, some very ugly racism, prejudiced language, a physical scuffle, post-traumatic stress, and other challenges. However, the upstanding characters handle it pretty well, and the dirtbags are pretty obviously dirtbags. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Family and horse in front of barn (Hart's Farm)
This poem is spillover from the December 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. This poem belongs to the series Hart's Farm.


"After the Work Is Done"


At Hart's Farm, there is always time
to play after the work is done.

In spring, when the heavy rain
turns the snow into deep mud,
people huddle around the hearth
and play hnefatafl on wooden boards
with an ivory king and amber courtiers
and enemies made of black pebbles.

In summer, the fine weather
brings everyone outside for varpa,
throwing heavy weights down a course
marked with slender wands for scoring.

In autumn, they nail reindeer antlers
to posts and try to lasso them,
strong young men and women
laughing as they encourage each other.

In winter, the snow returns
and people dress warmly before
running outside to play wasaloppet,
a race run with teams of four
each sharing a single pair of skis.

The games teach teamwork
as much as competition,
building ties that continue
through the seasons of the year.

* * *

Notes:

Swedish games include hnefatafl, varpa,  Sami lassoing, and wasaloppet.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside of the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by a conversation with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, commissioned and sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  Watch the video about "How Irish Dance Got Started" first, because the poem is full of spoilers for it.  This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This centers on rude humor, and involves a bit of social angst, but it's mostly fluff -- or at least, as fluffy as Shiv ever gets. DO NOT watch the video with your mouth full, or anywhere that laughing aloud could cause problems.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
While the tests are iffy, the suggestions for fighting bias are excellent.  

The problem I have with the tests, by the way, is they want you to make a decision with no real data.  I don't do that.  In real life.  It drives people absolutely bugfuck.  I can't tell you anything more about a person if  all you've given me is a name or a face.  They might or might not match the things society expects, and I don't think like society, and y'know, fuck it anyway.  If you asked me to pick a partner based on nothing other than appearance, I'd try to spot someone outside the mainstream, which is pretty much the opposite expectations.  And I like to crosswire expectations when choosing character illustration pictures too.  

Which is not to say that I have no slants, but they're not shaped like most people's seem to be.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about Bernie Sanders and race relations.  This quote caught my eye:

“I have never, ever seen a person running for president come through here. Not one time,” he said. “At first, I wondered if he is just trying to get the black vote. But I did some research and found out he fought a lot for civil rights, and even marched at one time with Martin Luther King. I never knew that. And in his speeches, he says, ‘Yes, black lives do matter.'”

So here's this white Jewish dude, he's not black, his state is mostly white ... but he's got some roots in equality activism, and one more thing.  You wave a problem in his face, he doesn't ignore it.  He goes out and gets some goddamn experience.  Maybe it's not a lot yet, but when was the last time you saw a politician respond  to a protest with anything other than "Stop whining?"  He's talking with people who know this shit.  He's going into their neighborhoods to see where this shit happened.  That matters.

That more than any speech says, in footsteps, black lives matter.  At least to him.  Because he'll go out of his way to look at a problem that is not, personally, his problem.

This is what makes activism work, when people acknowledge problems and look for solutions, and then it doesn't have  to reach riot proportions, because you're already addressing the issue.

That's leadership.  That's power.  And whether or not it goes where I hope it does, I'm happy to see it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug found me this music video that's been viewed over a billion times.  The music is charming, and also particularly noteworthy for blending multiple styles.  The diversity in general is very high.  The bromance is adorable.  I think it taps into the zeitgeist because so many people have close relationships with friends who live far away, and they're not together most of the time -- their relationship lives in those moments of reconnection.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So here is how Charles Schulz dealt with racism.

1) When someone else pointed out the problem, he agreed that it was a problem.

2) He then admitted he had no idea how to fix it without making it worse; he lacked relevant experience and information, and really did not want to screw it up.

3) So the lady asked her friends who did have relevant experience.

4) One of them suggested introducing supernumerary characters -- background roles -- as a way of laying groundwork for a regular character later on.

5) And he did that.  And it worked.

Believe that you can make a difference.  If you aren't sure how, say so and seek further input from useful sources. Understand that if you're an artist, you'll never know most of the times you make an impact in somebody's life.  But every so occasionally, someone will tell you that you have, and that's awesome.

So go save the world, it needs saving.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "frustrated" square in my 12-1-15 card for the Defining Character Bingo fest, and the "sunshine and blue skies" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So [personal profile] rix_scaedu gave me this prompt about the Spectrum:

After Spectrum move to Australia to try and distance themselves from their PR issues they find that the seasons, weather, language, food, gun laws, etc aren't what they're used to nor what they were expecting. :)

For anyone new, those self-proclaimed 'superheroes' cracked open a lab and released venomous gengineered insects to terrorize New Orleans.

Okay, folks, I could use some help from my friends Down Under.   What things do Americans or other foreigners most often have trouble with when visiting Australia?  No, they don't have permission to be there, but they're good at hiding.  Good at practical matters?  Not so much.  Safety?  A great big fuck no to that.

Here are the squeaky toys.  Stomp away.


EDIT 12-2-15: I have written the poem, but may keep coming back here to mine more ideas for future reference.

Thanks to some very enthusiastic input about the challenges of Australia, I present the free-verse poem "Like a Shag on a Rock." Tanger, Blastwave, and Levinbolt have found an overseas assignment but are having trouble getting supplies. Or anything else. Won't this be fun?
220 lines, Buy It Now = $110
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] helgatwb has posted a fascinating essay on "Rednecks and Intelligence."  This is useful given some of my Polychrome Heroics characters.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

So people are throwing a fit over this.

Me, I loved the remake, especially in terms of comparing it to the earlier movie with attention to what and how things had been updated.  I admired the "foster kid" remake including its song.  I adored the use of social media as the means of driving not just public opinion but several important plot points.  It was very astute.  And I think that choosing to tell this story with black protagonists spoke to multiple aspects of life that concern people of color -- being wanted, being unwanted, success, family of choice when birth families don't work out the way you want, etc.

People don't like it when somebody else gets a turn in the spotlight?  Wah wah, cry me a river.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an intersting post about teaching diversity. It's good as far as it goes. But it's missing a piece, and that missing piece lies at the heart of what's wrong with diversity today.


Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 My partner Doug tipped me to this comic, mostly for the awesome trigger warnings on the cover.  The inside is that good too.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
LJ user Ng_moonmoth has posted the demifiction "KOBAYASHI Isao (1929-2032) [Interpress]." This details a broad range of developments in Terramagne-Japan conveyed through a biographical perspective. Readers should be aware that the content includes culturally sensitive and complicated topics.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a fascinating look at the evolution of Italy and its languages, including the spillover of mostly-southern-Italian immigrants into America.

Over in Terramagne, you can see how this influences some of the main characters.  Ham, as part of the Damask collective, has a Sicilian grandfather.  So Ham has a very Italian-American flavor of expression.

The Marionettes as a Family have spread throughout much of Italy, and beyond, but their highest concentration remains in the southerly parts -- Sicilia, Calabria, Puglia, and so forth -- whose regional differences contribute to the cultural flavor.  T-Italy is less assimiliated but more tolerant than local-Italy.  It's more common for people to speak a regional dialect as their home language and keep Standard Italian for public or official discourse.  I've caught a few instances of my Marionettes codeswitching not only between English and Italian, which they do a lot, but also into Sicilian, which they pretty much restrict to people they consider family.  This little extra bit of flexibility is also why Italy has one of the more integrated soup cultures -- there are more than a few soups on the police force, mostly strongmen and speedsters -- and the Mob conflict is a periodic nuisance rather than a culture-wrecking disaster.

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