ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl, based on a backchannel prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman.  It also fills the "crafty" square in my 12-1-15 card for the Defining Character Bingo fest, and the "soulmates" square in my 10-2-15 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "weather."  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 Least of These" (The Ocracies, 11 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 "weather."  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 Least of These" belongs to The Ocracies and has 11 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, you'll get a piece of bonus material.

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 "weather."  I'll be soliciting ideas for weathermen, weathered heroes, desert crawlers, strangers blown in on a storm, rainmakers, sun princes, weather deities, Oyuki-san, empathic environment, preparing for bad weather, making predictions, controlling the weather, getting caught in a storm, praying for rain, weathering the storm, huddling against the cold, watching the world burn, rebuilding from the ashes, hostile terraforming, wastelands, any port in a storm, shipwrecks, snow caves, creepy buildings, sanctuaries, habitat foreclosurehostile weather, space weather, strange alien storms, bizarre seasons, personal raincloud, lightning revelation, demonic charcoal fog, redemption in the rain, first snow, the power of the sun, thunderbirds, 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 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, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "The Least of These.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here is my card for the Defining Character fest on [community profile] allbingo. It will run from December 1-31.  The idea is to explore subtle distinctions of characterization, how they appear and may change in a story.  Because of the holidays, this is also a smaller 4x4 card without a Wild Card space in the center.  (See all my 2015 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. I've had a few requests for this and the results have been awesome so far. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Underlined prompts have been filled.



ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
 Adults often try to overwrite children's emotions, and it always ends badly whether the kids believe them or not.  You just wind up with different problems added on top of the original issue.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
 [personal profile] helgatwb has posted a fascinating essay on "Rednecks and Intelligence."  This is useful given some of my Polychrome Heroics characters.
ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
The Winterfaire spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some booths show streamers of red and green, while others sport blue and silver. All of them offer treasure after shining treasure. Music fills the air with lyrics of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, and Yule. From the Wordsmith's Forge comes the bright chiming of words being hammered into literature. Delicious scents of hot chocolate, spiced cider, peppermint, baking cookies, and gingerbread tantalize the appetite. Smiling, laughing shoppers amble from booth to booth with lists in hand. Vendors grin back, calling out, "Come try, come buy...!"

I know a lot of artists, writers, musicians, crafters, and other talented folks who make some of their living from their creative endeavors. I don't always have the money to support them as much as I'd like, but what I can do is set up a virtual faire where vendors can offer their wares to an audience that likes crafts, literature, and small businesses. For those of you doing your holiday shopping, here's an opportunity to buy something made with love, something unusual or unique, in a way that helps make it possible for creative people to go on creating wonders. And there will be no traffic jams, stampedes, or gunfights at the Winterfaire! Enjoy the seasonal offerings on Dreamwidth or on LiveJournal.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 "Intermezzo" by Siliconshaman belongs to the Berettaflies series.  Ashley talks with the Captain about coping skills and plants.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
 Brazil is encouraging people to read by treating books as subway tickets.  Surely someone must be doing this in Terramagne!
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
A close relative is currently stranded in Albequerque due to the car dying on a long trip. So [personal profile] dialecticdreamer offered to help by writing ficlets in exchange for donations to the car fund. Well, one donor asked for something from Love Is For Children, so I'm filling this prompt for Zelofheda. If any other fans of this series would like to express their appreciation, by all means chip in a few bucks with a note that it's from me and the Pay It Forward project. This story also fills the "emotional overload" square in my 11-3-15 card for the Disaster Bingo fest and the "hurt/comfort" square in my 10-1-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest.

This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," "Up the Water Spout," "The Life of the Dead," "If They Could Just Stay Little," "Anahata," "Coming in from the Cold: Saturday: Building Towers," and "Coming in from the Cold: Sunday: Shaking Foundations," and "Coming in from the Cold: Monday: Memorial Day."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanova, Betty Ross, Bruce Banner, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark, JARVIS.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Minor mishaps. Lingering symptoms of past abuse and neglect. Current environment is safe.
Summary: The Avengers enjoy game night. Clint and Bruce wind up playing together for much of it. Bruce gets upset easily.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family of choice. Team as family. Fluff and angst. Toys and games. Emotional overload. Coping skills. Healthy touch. Asking for help and getting it. Nonsexual intimacy. Caregiving. Competence. Gentleness. Trust. Creativity. Friendship. Cuddling. #coulsonlives

A note on feedback: While it's not necessary to comment on every post I make, remember that I don't know who reads/likes things if nobody says anything. Particularly on long stories, I've discovered that I get antsy if there's nothing but crickets chirping for several posts. So it helps to give me feedback at least once, even if it's just "I like this" or "This one doesn't grab me." First and last episodes are ideal if you rarely feel inspired to comment in the middle.

I also have a list of favorite photogenic scenes from the whole series for fanartists to consider, partly compiled from audience requests.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Here is a mix of free and on-holiday-sale literature with seasonal queer themes. Don we now our gay apparel!  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
 Thanks to a couple links from [personal profile] thnidu there are two new verses in "Learning to See."  Annalee discovers others like herself.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)

Here's an interesting post about emotional labor, sex work, money, and feminism.

Emotional labor is real work.  It takes time and effort.  If you do it, you should be getting something for it: enjoyment, favors, cash, whatever floats your boat.  Marriages generally run more on barter than cash, although the financial benefits are common too.  Sex work is more pay-as-you-play ... but yes, really,  men absolutely do turn to sex workers for attention, comfort, reassurance, fake love, emotional support, etc. in addition to orgasms.  Some guys just want to get off, but a lot of guys want to get off while talking about how their wife/girlfriend/woman-who-doesn't-know-they-exist doesn't appreciate them.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "weather." I'll be soliciting ideas for weathermen, weathered heroes, desert crawlers, strangers blown in on a storm, rainmakers, sun princes, weather deities, Oyuki-san, empathic environment, preparing for bad weather, making predictions, controlling the weather, getting caught in a storm, praying for rain, weathering the storm, huddling against the cold, watching the world burn, rebuilding from the ashes, hostile terraforming, wastelands, any port in a storm, shipwrecks, snow caves, creepy buildings, sanctuaries, habitat foreclosurehostile weather, space weather, strange alien storms, bizarre seasons, personal raincloud, lightning revelation, demonic charcoal fog, redemption in the rain, first snow, the power of the sun, thunderbirds, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Least of These" (11 verses, The Ocracies). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )

ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)

This is a good start.  For secular folks it really works and is beautiful as it stands. 

I've even done one on star stuff -- as stars live, they are very far apart and everything is quite ephemeral. When they die, their bones are blasted out through space to coalesce into and around new stars.  This process begets planets, which are the heaven of stars; and the life upon them, that's us, we are the angels.  We are what stars become after they die.  Why wouldn't we look up and think of them as home?

For me, life after death isn't faith, and it's not just memory either.  It's observation.  It's looking around the universe and seeing that everything exists within systems, within cycles.  Nothing is lost; everything is retained; it simply changes form.  Some of those changes are really exciting.  Just because we can't see the whole of a given cycle from the point we're standing in doesn't prevent us from mapping the part of it we can see, and that part tells us by its shape that it is incomplete and so there must be more which will only come into view after we have moved ahead some distance.  You can't see out of a womb when you're in it, either.

Faith is believing what you've been told.  Extrapolation is using what you already know to predict the parts you can't get at yet.

And funerals, well, they're for the community to patch up the hole that's left behind, and to make sure that the departed energy has in fact departed and isn't going to stick around loose to cause problems.  Do whatever works for you in that regard.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)

I have been following with great interest the study of Tetris as a preventative treatment for PTSD and a way of reducing flashbacks.

So then I got to thinking, some people dislike video games or cannot play them.  But!  There are stacking-block games in real life too.  There are other pattern-matching games and puzzles.  I'm not into Tetris.  I love Bausack towers, and I also love tile sets that can be mixed around -- just handling the pieces and putting them into place is soothing.  I think that these would work for PTSD similar to Tetris because they use many of the same features.  You have to look at (or feel, if you're vision-impaired) the shape of the objects and the spaces to figure out what goes where.  As PTSD is fundamentally a sorting error in the brain, where you can't fit the file "EVENT.fck" into the "Past" folder, any kind of sorting activity should help facilitate that so it works better.  So having more options to explore for different ways to support that process should widen the pool of people who can be helped.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (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: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)

Here is an awesome new metaphor for being transgender.  It also works pretty well for being queer, transracial, species dysphoric, polyamorous, or other situations where your innate nature clashes with other people's major expectations so badly that it does damage.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (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: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Based on an audience poll, the general fund has sponsored 16 new verses in "A Few Steps Down the Road."  Saul and Keon talk about following the tweenbot.

Also, the half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics has concluded and I've finished posting all the sponsored poems.  Check that sale list to make sure you have read all the newly posted poems, which are linked from their titles there.


ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)

December 2015



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