ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the September 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.


"Glorified Apes"


People who don't listen
have abandoned the heart
of what makes us human:

the ability to express ourselves
and to understand each other,
to give and receive ideas
instead of remaining locked
in our own small skulls.

For this our ancestors learned
to stand upright and oppose thumbs
and interrupt their very breathing?

People who don't listen
reduce all of us together
into a bunch of glorified apes
crouched around a waterhole
exchanging wordless grunts.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the June 7, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] shiori_makiba. It also fills the "experimentation" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration fest. This poem has been sponsored by LJ users Ng_moonmoth and Book_worm5. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Keep an eye on this post as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "anything goes."  You can ask for whatever you want.  Favorite settings, characters, storylines, themes, etc. are encouraged.  You may also request things you've wanted that I haven't done yet.  If you have been saving any prompts that haven't matched a theme yet, now is the time to post those.

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.

Stuck for ideas?  You can find prompts by ...
* picking some from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* browsing my Serial Poetry page or QUILTBAG list for favorites.
* looking up fun things on TV Tropes.
* plugging a favorite topic into your search engine and choosing a picture that looks interesting.


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 "anything goes." 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) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.



3) 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.

4) 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"

5) 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 "anything goes."  I'll be soliciting ideas for ... anything at all!  Favorite characters, ideas for new ones, plot twists, stop-trope repairs, strange settings, whatever tickles your fancy.   Now's the time to bring out all your cool ideas that haven't quite fit a previous prompt call. 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 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 poem came out of the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] librarygeek, [personal profile] siliconshaman, and [personal profile] redsixwing. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is today's freebie, inspired by a prompt from LJ user My_partner_doug.


"FARBLONDJET"
-- an acrostic poem


For a traveler out and about, it's
Another unexpected twist in the route,
Road curving out of reach and
Beyond all reason:
Lost, and not
Only lost but
Desperately lost,
Journey wrenched awry in
Every way, past recovery, a failure
Total and complete in its trajectory.

* * *

Notes:

Acrostic poetry uses initial letters to spell a hidden message.  Learn to write acrostics, they're easy.

"Farblondjet" is a Yiddish word for lost.  It can be spelled a lot of different ways.  I like to define it as, "Not only lost, but so far lost that you not only don't know where you are or how to get where you're going, you don't even know how to get back to where you were when you did know those things."  I actually learned this from a Jewish character long before finding it in The Joy of Yiddish.  In our defense, we had just accidentally flung a space station halfway across the galaxy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (fishbowl)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you all for your time and attention.  Keep an eye on this space as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "Is there a word for that feeling?"  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.

Click to read the linkback poem "The Cat Blanket" (Frankenstein's Family, 18 verses available).


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 "Is there a word for that feeling?" 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) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.



3) 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.

4) 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"

5) 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.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted.  "The Cat Blanket" belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family and has 18 verses available.


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.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a piece of bonus material in one series.


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 "Is there a word for that feeling?" I'll be soliciting ideas for counselors, psychologists, linguists, writers, poets, emo people, emotionally conflicted characters, people with burnout, neurovariant or mentally injured characters whos intensity is dialled up to 11, other folks who deal in emotions and the words for them, feeling overwhelmed, falling in love, learning about emotions, struggling to identify what you feel, coping with other people's emotions, getting confused, feeling like you are a different person when speaking a different language, counseling, bedrooms, classrooms, counselor's offices, laboratories, the corner booth in a restaurant, the wilderness, other places where people deal with intense or ambiguous feelings, emotional intelligence, emotional labor, emotionally complex responses, gender differences/discrimination in emotions, like at first sight, language gaps, anhedonia, comfort objects like teddy bears, and 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 New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

If you want ideas for emotions to pick, there's a prompt set of them on the Bingo Card Generator.  You can also find big lists of emotions by type and intensity, and this flower chart shows their relation to each other.  I am also a huge fan of linguistics unto itself, especially where one language has a word that others don't, so here are some emotions that English doesn't have words for.  I enjoy writing writing vocabulary poems that basically use one word as a title and then muse about it; that rarely comes up in the fishbowl, so now's a good time if this is your thing too.

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, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "The Cat Blanket.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you all for your time and attention.  Keep an eye on this space as I'm still writing. Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "Is there a word for that feeling?"  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.

Click to read the linkback poem "The Cat Blanket" (Frankenstein's Family, 18 verses available).


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 "Is there a word for that feeling?"  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) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.



3) 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.

4) 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"

5) 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.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted.  "The Cat Blanket" belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family and has 18 verses available.  


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.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a piece of bonus material in one series.


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 "Is there a word for that feeling?"  I'll be soliciting ideas for counselors, psychologists, linguists, writers, poets, emo people, emotionally conflicted characters, people with burnout, neurovariant or mentally injured characters whos intensity is dialled up to 11, other folks who deal in emotions and the words for them, feeling overwhelmed, falling in love, learning about emotions, struggling to identify what you feel, coping with other people's emotions, getting confused, feeling like you are a different person when speaking a different language, counseling, bedrooms, classrooms, counselor's offices, laboratories, the corner booth in a restaurant, the wilderness, other places where people deal with intense or ambiguous feelings, emotional intelligence, emotional labor, emotionally complex responses, gender differences/discrimination in emotions, like at first sight, language gaps, anhedonia, comfort objects like teddy bears, and 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 New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

If you want ideas for emotions to pick, there's a prompt set of them on the Bingo Card Generator.  You can also find big lists of emotions by type and intensity, and this flower chart shows their relation to each other.  I am also a huge fan of linguistics unto itself, especially where one language has a word that others don't, so here are some emotions that English doesn't have words for.  I enjoy writing writing vocabulary poems that basically use one word as a title and then muse about it; that rarely comes up in the fishbowl, so now's a good time if this is your thing too.

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, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "The Cat Blanket.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some linguists rendered a legal brief in Klingon. Okay, that's cool. But then I saw this and cracked up laughing:

a California nonprofit devoted to supporting "constructed languages" — is trying to convince a court that the alien language from "Star Trek" is a real, "living" form of communication.

Guys, it's a pidgin now and has been for, gosh, probably more than a decade by this time. It didn't take long to become a household language. Over in Europe it's customary for people to learn multiple languages, and the home language is whatever two people have in common. For several couples that was Klingon, and so their kids learned it as a native language. Well, anything that's spoken live by native speakers counts as a real language. It's a pidgin, technically, because it's "borrowed" from elsewhere so kids aren't learning it from older native speakers. It's going to have carryover from English (or French, Italian, etc.) and will take a while for that to rub off. But all they really need to prove the case is convince a native speaker of Klingon to show up. Which would be awesome.

CBS and Paramount have sued, alleging that the unlicensed use of Klingon amounts to copyright infringement.

*headdesk* You cannot copyright a LANGUAGE. It is words. It is not an arrangement of specific words which is what can be copyrighted. It is not a logo or a trademark. You can copyright The Klingon Dictionary but not the language itself.  A movie is pretty obviously not a dictionary.  You also cannot copyright plain words. TSR tried copyrighting "dragon" once and lost. Words belong to everyone. You can only copyright what you do with the words.

"There would be great danger to allowing the copyright power to extend to prevent others from speaking a language," Duan wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Thank you brain-having person for pointing out the gigantic clusterfuck that would ensue from all the native peoples and their conquerors simultaneously trying to copyright the same languages.  Coyote would have so much to do, he'd have to invite all his Trickster friends from every pantheon just to cover all of that.  0_o
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted the story "Hidden Storms" based on my prompt.  Bil and his alien friends discuss etiquette, taboos, reading and writing.  <3  This is what science fiction should be.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article on language loss through social deprivation.  Consider the extreme hostility that immigrants often face when trying to function in a new country.  The overwhelming demand that they give up their native language and culture is hard enough for people who choose  to immigrate.  For refugees, who are not voluntary immigrants, this additional violation of self can be shattering.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The movie Finding Nemo has been dubbed into Navajo as Nemo Hádéíst’į́į́’.  Any talking beast movie is likely to come across rather differently in a tribal language.  Before this, they did the first Star Wars movie.  I imagine that parts of its dialog are a great deal shorter -- as Navajo is an excellent language for discussing mystical things -- while others are probably much longer (I've watched the video about describing an iPod).  In any case, I'm pleased to see people not only working to keep their language alive, but engaging the children who are needed to carry it forward.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Alas, it is 21 volumes long, so not practical for me to read.  But I am happy that it exists.
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the April 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "a gentle fall of rain" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] stardreamer.


"A Gentle Fall of Rain"


Soft words are like water,
wearing away hard stone
one drop at a time.

People see only the softness,
and do not understand the power.

The gentle art of verbal self-defense
is like aikido, all circles and spirals
of swirling words to deflect attacks.

People hear only the circumlocution,
and not the bell-song of the shield in action.

Practicing nonviolent language is like
standing outside in a gentle fall of rain,
a study of tenderness and cleansing.

People feel only the raindrops,
and not the sun lifting the sea into the sky.

But it is there, it is there, it is all there --
one word, one language, one thought,
each shaping the other into infinite complexities.

People do not need to understand these things
in order for them to work.

* * *

Notes:

The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette Haden Elgin is the leading resource on nonviolent communication.  See some examples online.  It's potent stuff.

Aikido is a martial art based on circles.  Like other peacemongering skills -- and like the mage in D&D -- it looks pointless at low levels and becomes freaking unstoppable  at high levels.  Also, it was officially started  by a man with superpowers. So if you want to gain superpowers and are willing to spend a few decades on that project, this is a good choice.
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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I am all asquee over this bit of linguistic news that archaic words are regaining crowd appeal.  Why?  Because it's a triangulation point helping to confirm my hypothesis that the frame has popped off and English is in one of its phases of rapid evolution, like the Great Vowel Shift.  Whenever that happens, there's a big uptick in archaic resurgence because as the language retools itself, people check the attic for things that might be usable to fill gaps they're finding that inspired such a major change in the first place.  It's a time when the usual rules are suspended enough to permit drastic revisions of practice.  So you see certain words appearing and disappearing from common use, like skipping a stone across a lake, if you track them out over centuries.

*chuckle*  Slightly marred by those of us whose farmemory and taste in literature have always led us to use "alas" as an everyday word.
ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This is the freebie for the October Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "Festivals and Celebrations" square in my 10-2-15 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest and the "music" square in my 9-4-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

Read more... )
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Some of these predate the internet even in their slang usage, although social networks have greatly spread the usage. 

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