ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This is the freebie for the November [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek and [personal profile] janetmiles.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  It also fills the "honor system" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo event. This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: While this poem is mostly fluff, the background is that Lawrence's family is a dysfunctional mess. Please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I'm working tonight, so I don't have time to mop up America.  Fortunately, one of my editor friends is on the ball.  Cecilia Tan of Circlet Press has written this cogent post about politics, queer identity, speculative fiction, erotica, and survival.  If you want to poke a bigot in the eye and/or read about live happy queerfolk, that's a good place to spend your folding vote.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Keep an eye out as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "families of choice."  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 Marble and the Sculptor" (17 verses, One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis). 


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 "families of choice."  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 Marble and the Sculptor" has 17 verses available and belongs to One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.   
 

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 Sunday 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 half-price sale 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 "families of choice."  I'll be soliciting ideas for friends, work partners, relatives, lovers, zucchini, acefolk, polyfolk, other sex/romance orientations, nemeses, problem-solvers, troubled relationships, high-conflict personalities, supervillains, superheroes, peacemakers, loving each other, finding family, leaving family, picking on people, finding flaws, creating new traditions, discussing what it means to be family, adding people to a family of choice, homes, sharehouses, intentional communities, businesses, parks, romantic locations, other places where people hang out, nonsexual intimacies, commitment, adoption, estrangement, nonmarriage bonding ceremonies, family skills, skin hunger, 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 "The Marble and the Sculptor."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by going to vote and shared here as a contribution to civic discourse. It also fills the "conflict resolution style" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Group Dynamics and Character-Building Bingo.

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ysabetwordsmith: Maryam Smith in a tophat (steamsmith)
This poem came out of the September 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] kelkyag. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] fyreharper, and [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth. This poem belongs to The Steamsmith series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Paantha. It also fills the "forced to rely on enemy / rival" square in my 7-16-16 card for the [community profile] hc_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 touchy topics. Highlight to read the spoilery warnings. It covers the aftermath of interpersonal violence, where Calliope and Vagary are trying to figure out what is going wrong with their interactions and how to change that to match their personal and surrounding cultural standards. This includes advance planning for couples therapy, with some very detailed examination of their own and each other's issues. At this point their feelings and responses are muddled, so beware of questionable reliability in the narrative and advisability of character actions. If these are sensitive spots for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This poem is from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was commissioned by [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "social gathering" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. It belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
This poem came out of the April 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, [personal profile] fred_mouse, [personal profile] janetmiles, and LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills "The Lovers" square in my 4-1-16 card for the Archetypal Bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free epic for the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl making its $200 goal. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] curiosity, the poem "Pillow Talk" is now complete.  Cuoio has the most fun losing an argument that he has ever had in his life.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the April 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rix_scaedu and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It also fills the "lost and found" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Warning: This poem features some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are major spoilers. It contains unexpected travelers arriving at Sargasso Base, Bottleneck learning that he has a wife and daughter who survived the Massacre of Cascabel and now plan to stay with him, discussion of how everyone else in their families is dead, enormously awkward interpersonal dynamics, Bottleneck not knowing what to do with a crying woman, and other emotional whump. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, and fills the "consent is sexy" square in my 6-1-15 card for the June Relationship Bingo fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [livejournal.com profile] curiosity.  It belongs to the Cuoio & Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

This microfunded poem is part of a package bought during the May half-price sale, to be paid on an installment plan.  So it's not seeking donations from other people, and the remaining material will be posted over time.

Warning: This poem contains some intimate topics.  Highlight to read more details, some of which are spoilers.  Cuoio things that talking about feelings and desires is boring. Chiara demonstrates otherwise. Sexy funtimes ensue. It's mostly bedsports and character development. This poem is definitely NSFW. If that's not your thing, you can skip it without missing too much plotty stuff.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "odd couple" square in my 1-23-16 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest, the "dangerous territory" square in my 1-1-16 card for the Spies, Secret Agents, and Noir fest, and the "Pre-Slash/Femslash/Het" square in my 10-2-15 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It begins with a serious nuclear emergency, then moves into awkward negotiations for aid, even more awkward revelations about relationships, lots of work fixing the reactor, identity strain, embarrassing conversations about relationship status, deep discussions about intimacy, and other challenges. Socket has been in love with Fortressa for a long time, and when Fortressa finds out, it really shakes things up. But they're still adorable together, and it's honestly one of the healthiest relationships in my cast list, especially among supervillains. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. It's a major change for Fortressa, though, so skipping it would be confusing later.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] curiosity is sponsoring the three poems in Cuoio & Chiara, on a payment plan.  The first part of "This Penetrating Intimacy" will go up presently.  Further material will be posted every other week as new payments arrive.  This is not the same as the usual microfunding-by-crowd so I'll need to modify the headers a bit.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Lb_lee. It also fills the square in my 1-23-16 card (Romantic) for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Danso and Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: Although generally sweet, this poem contains references to prejudiced and unsupportive behavior by some people around Danso and Noah. Think before you click.

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ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem is spillover from the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Rowyn. It also fills the "motivation" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest and the "celebratory kiss" square in my 10-1-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a thoughtful post about bisexual romance.

The about labeling romance based on sex/gender instead of orientation raises another issue that I've been exploring recently: cross-orientation relationships. There's almost no discussion of it, and that causes problems. Cross-orientation relationships can happen when someone with a wider span hooks up with someone of a narrower span, like bi/gay or bi/straight. It can also happen when someone falls in love with a person of incompatible orientation, but they don't want to give up the relationship, so they try to retune it into something both of them can live with. Frex, if a lesbian falls in love with a straight woman, they may not be compatible sexually but might be able to adapt into a queerplatonic relationship. Ace with anyone sexual is another example.  

I think my favorite cross-orientation relationship right now is Socket and Fortressa.  Socket is a lesbian.  Fortressa was previously involved with men but decided to abandon the whole love/sex thing -- and I don't think she's just celibate, I think she somehow hit her sexuality with a wrench until it crumpled into a motionless lump.  It certainly isn't the same shape it was,  and she doesn't respond to men the same way anymore.  So.  They started off with Socket in love with Fortressa, who had sworn off love, so Socket didn't say anything about it and set about becoming friends instead.  That has actually worked pretty well, except that now the cat is out of the bag and they have to deal with that realization.

I think that, if people don't even realize this is an option then they miss out on a lot of opportunities, and if they stumble into it by chance, it can cause tension because the patterns don't match exactly. Just as a M/F relationship requires accommodation of the sex/gender difference, orientation differences can take some adaptation too. That's hard if you don't know what the heck you're doing.

This especially comes up with bi folks, because while the inclination toward bisexuality is common, the number of people actually identifying as bi is a lot smaller. Many bi folks join up with someone(s) who is gay or straight. And some of the problems in bi erasure come precisely from that lack of awareness about cross-orientation relationships; without it, people have a nasty habit of thinking that being with someone of the opposite sex makes you straight, or the same sex makes you gay. It's a case where labeling can make things clearer: "No, I'm not gay. I'm a bisexual man in a cross-orientation relationship with a gay man."

The question of combinations is another one.  A majority of bi romance is written as MFF or FMM.  In effect that merges bi and poly romance.  This is a problem because many bi people are not poly, and many poly people are not bi, although there is a fair amount of overlap.  

I have some characters who are both bi and poly.  I have some poly families.  I actually have more poly families than people may notice, because not all of them are tied together entirely by sex, and I count poly based on strong, lasting relationships rather than just fucking -- it's about who moves through life as a social unit.  So if you mapped out the lines there would be some sex, some romance, some queerplatonic, etc. within a poly family, and that actually seems to be the norm based on poly families I have known.  Not all of them are a blob of everyone-sexing-everyone.

Plenty of my bi characters are in exclusive relationships, though.  Stan and Lawrence, Danso and Noah, they're in stable binary relationships.  So as usual, I'm doing my "tell ALL the stories" thing.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba is hosting "Thank Muse It's Friday" today, with a theme of "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing."  Come ask for romance, family affection, queerplatonic love, or whatever else your heart desires.  Let's spread out the diversity of loving connections in literature.

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer is writing a booster story for this.  Link to "Thank Muse It's Friday" and you'll add words to the Polychrome Heroics story "Daisy Chains," in which the social worker Matt Hudson brings a misplaced toddler to the Bluehill police station.  Despite the serious background topic, the story itself cottoncandy fluff.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was the linkback perk for the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl, originally posted by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It came out of the January 2016 Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [personal profile] technoshaman. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem is mostly positive, but contains some sensitive topics. Highlight to read the spoilery warnings. There is an unplanned pregnancy in a "friends with benefits" relationship, along with mild angst and surprise as the characters cope with it -- but they handle it really well. If these are issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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