ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "angst" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. Based on an audience poll, this is the free epic for the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and follows "To Keep Your Balance" so read that first.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] lone_cat and discussion with other characters regarding Turq and Mr. Dipper. It also fills the "betrayal" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains intense material. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features sudden and (necessarily) fairly rough waking of Ansel by Turq, the first time Turq comes upstairs without direct encouragement, Turq's considerable stress over being indoors at all, reporting a major incident with Mr. Dipper and some kids who probably don't want to be with him, faginy, asking for help and getting it, but still being panicky, references to Turq backsliding after meeting his family, Turq's stumbling path back to everyday society, volunteering for hazardous activities, preliminary plans for a police raid on Mr. Dipper's place, Turq's car issues, betrayal, ethical dilemmas, feeling broken, trust issues, and other difficulties. On the whole, though, interactions between Turq and Ansel are positive. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. This is a major plot point, so skipping it would leave a huge gap.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] technoshaman reports that it is possible to vote in LiveJournal polls using the Open ID function.  \o/  So you-all can do that now, and I won't have to hand-count as many backchannel votes on polls.  I knew you could comment that way, but few people bother, and it's not as big a deal.

In related news, the free epic poll is open if you wish to vote.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] paantha. It also fills the "chance" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Hankie warning for personal growth and domestic situations. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It involves trying to get over things without much luck, frustration with slow progress, awkward couples therapy, boundary issues, communication issues, whole magazine racks full of issues in every color and theme, impaired bond dynamics, negotiation and compromise, mismatched stages of development, and other angst. Overall, though, the tone is hopeful. If these are sensitive subjects for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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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)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kelkyag and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "ingenuity" square in my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Read more... )

New Verses

Jan. 17th, 2017 01:27 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] lone_cat, there are new verses!

"A Hope and a Promise" has 5 new verses.  Arlene's daughter Eugenie wonders about Aidan and Saraphina.

"So Much Worse in Its Consequences" has 5 new verses.  Hefty discusses the importance of mistakes while Cho-Cho Glow emotionally implodes.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I am back in action.  \o/  I've been working on backlogged email and poetry prompts.

I am also hopelessly behind on projects, and have realized that we scheduled Doug-and-Mom birthday festivities on the Tuesday where I'd normally put a bonus fishbowl.  *facepalm*  So I'm taking Doug's suggestion and just skipping it, as we are happily still flush from the overwhelming success of the Holiday Half-Price Sale.  I don't know if this will let me catch up very much, but it will definitely prevent an opportunity to fall even farther behind.  I should be able to do the February fishbowl as intended, and just move the bonus fishbowl to the middle of that month.

Fortunately, the ice storm missed us; nothing but a few shiny patches here, quickly washed away by warmer rain.  Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and worried about us.  Alas, our Chicago relatives are plated under half an inch of dire glaze.  O_O  So our plans have gotten knocked around by that.  I hope we'll still manage to connect tomorrow. 

My apologies for the delays and derailments.  Have some cookies.  :D  I got that done today too, making up for me being sick on Doug's birthday.  I still owe him a shepherd's pie.

Thank you for your patience and support.  You folks are wonderful.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is the freebie for the January [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "rain" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The poem "So Much Worse in Its Consequences" is open for microfunding.  Hefty watches Cho-Cho Glow's life implode due to poor choices, and tries to buffer the worst of the effects.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The January [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now live on Dreamwidth and LiveJournal.  Our theme this month is "laughter." Come give us prompts or claim some for your own inspiration!


What I Have Written

"The Earth Laughs" -- A grieving Demeter finds laughter and life again.


From My Prompts

[personal profile] alexseanchai wrote the lovely story "The Silent Laughter of Her Hands," about an autistic girl interacting with other students.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman, [personal profile] thnidu, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot. It also fills the "powers" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot. It belongs to the Dvorak & Qwerty thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It has Dvorak running rings around Qwerty, failure, self-blame, feeling useless, feeling inferior, complex discussion of moral quandaries, Dvorak running even more rings about the Primaries, and other angst. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] nsfwords. It also fills the "psychological turmoil" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot. It belongs to The Blueshift Troupers project.

Warning: This poem contains ethical conundra and situations of (mutually) questionable consent in the context of intragalactic travel.

Read more... )

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is from the January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] corvi. It also fills the "gods / goddesses" square in my 1-7-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"Loopholes and Destinies"


The thread of fate is unbreakable,
but it always has loopholes.

Clotho smiles, and pushes her hook
into the burlap backing of her rug.

For every prophecy, there is
some way to avoid it and
get by on a technicality.

For every impenetrable protection,
there is a donut hole it doesn't cover.

For every curse, there is
a means of breaking it.

For every all-knowing program,
there is a glitch in the matrix.

Lachesis winks, and
her silver needle twinkles
as she crochets.

The hero's journey is not
about destiny, self-discovery,
getting the girl, or even
saving the world.

At its heart, the quest is really
about finding the loopholes in fate.

Atropos laughs, and
sharpens her scissors.

* * *

Notes:

The Three Fates are goddesses of life, death, and fortune.

Latchhooking is done by knotting short yarns through a mesh to make a rug.  Read instructions or watch a video on it.

Crochet uses a hook to loop yarn into cloth.  This site has all kinds of introductory material.  See a video or read a tutorial about this craft.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] mdlbear, and [personal profile] redsixwing. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"Heisenbugs"



In the febrile gap between
letters and numbers live
the Heisenbugs.

They bring the déjà vu
of things seen again and again,
a glitch in the matrix; and
the jamais vu of things
never seen before.

They perch on the tip of the tongue
and crunch numbers before
they can be summed,

words before they can be recognized.

They make the misconceptions
and the mistaken readings,
the lexical gaps and overlaps.

When is it fog, and
when is it a cloud?

Oh, wait, the word in the list
was humility, not humidity.

They live in computer programmers,
and thereby get into computers
and programs, far more fatal
than the wing of a moth.

The next thing you know,
December is January and
we're left wondering

how the glitch stole Christmas.

* * *

Notes:

Déjà vu  is an eerie sense of repetition.

Jamais vu  is an eerie sense of unfamiliarity.

Tip of the tongue is a sense of almost knowing something: the query activates the correct memory packet, but it fails to make the transit up to the conscious mind.

The first computer bug was an actual moth.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 3 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "trust" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains intense topics. HANKIE WARNING! If it makes you cry, then I wrote it right. Highlight to read more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. This poem is positive overall, as it reunites Turq with his foster parents, but inevitably that makes it an emotional roller-coaster. Turq flibbers all morning until they arrive. He has hot-and-cold running skin hunger and touch aversion. Some of his trauma complicates things he used to do with his family. His memory is a mess. Ansel provides emotional support. Dao and Mingxia handle it by using some of the first-day rules for foster children as a familiar base for interaction. They talk about possible plans for the future, which is awkward because Turq doesn't feel he deserves anything good, and doesn't know about all the options in foster care. Mingxia also has a copy of Turq's memory book. They talk about adding to that. Turq doesn't want to put all the traumatic stuff in there, so Mingxia suggests starting a trauma scrapbook instead. Turq makes a valiant effort but runs out of cope and resorts to shapeshifting. His parents are startled by the transformations, but welcoming of his abilities. Much progress is made, but the whole day is just really rough for everyone. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is a major plot point, so skipping it would destabilize much that comes afterwards.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "losing" square in my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest.

Warning: This poem discusses serious diseases. If that's squicky for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
This is today's freebie. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It also fills the "scientist" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Torn World project.

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

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "a glitch in the matrix."  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 "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature" (17 verses, standalone). 


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 "a glitch in the matrix."  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.  "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature" has 17 verses available and stands alone.
 

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 bonus piece 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 "a glitch in the matrix."  I'll be soliciting ideas for computer programmers, artificial intelligence, time travelers, the misunderstood, fish out of water, outcasts, The Man, troubled relationships, expecting the unexpected, seeing things, fleeing in terror, resisting oppression, facing your demons, spotting patterns, debugging the system, computers, virtual reality, lairs, alleys, liminal zones, the system, government buildings, déjà vu, outliers, computer virus issues, bugs, no it's not a bug it's a feature, disruptions, expectations, unusual vulnerabilities, radical transformation, the inescapable, the indestructable, hubris, humility, humiliation, snags, 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.

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 "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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