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 [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "worth it" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Murasaki. It belongs to the Cuoio and Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Cuoio attends a Family dance with Chiara and Salvo (who is dressed en femme). A bully from Salvo's family shows up and starts harassing him again. Cuoio puts a stop to that very forcefully. The poem contains a lot of social interaction, most of it positive but some angsty, attempted gender policing, fatalistic feelings about past and present mistreatment, feeling unsafe at a family event, distrust of formal methods of problem-solving that haven't worked in the past, moderate violence, unfamiliarity with local customs, and other challenges. Current environment is largely supportive, and it works out pretty well in the end. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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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] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "It's Okay" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by LJ user Daisiesrockalot. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series. Regarding the backstory, some of that rests on things which have been written but not yet published by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, the gist of which is that Mercedes, California has a fork problem making life hard on the Finn family due to their connection with superpowers.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "selfish" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by LJ user Daisiesrockalot. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and directly follows "To Give the Problem Back." Make sure you've read that one, or this one won't make much sense.


WARNING: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. The inside of Shiv's head is a terrible, horrible mess and even with Dr. G and Dr. Bloch both trying to help, much of what Shiv thinks or feels in this scene is bent to hell. This includes poor self-image, low sense of self-worth, reluctance (but not complete refusal) to talk about any of the problems, trouble believing that problems can be fixed, a metric fuckton of awful memories making current challenges even harder, assumptions that current people will misbehave in the same ways as previous people have, Shiv's inevitable misery and anxiety over having his boundaries violated recently, some very fatalistic views about that, exploration of distorted thought patterns, low expectations of relationships, attachment disorder, confusion, physical skittishness, feeling completely unheard, fractious communication, and other emotional mayhem. Readers who have had challenges with counseling or other health care in the past may find this a difficult read. However, by the end of the conversation, the situation is greatly improved. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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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 [personal profile] librarygeek and an earlier comment. It also fills the "hurt/comfort" square in my 7-1-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been selected as the free epic for the August 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl meeting its $200 goal. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics 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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Here's a good article (although graphic in places) about police training for mental health issues.  I got some good poetry out of this, but it took long enough I lost track of who sent me the link.  Ping me if you want to see the new Officer Pink stuff it inspired.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw this article about Little Free Pantries, a variation of Little Free Libraries.   These stock food and beverages, occasionally things like craft supplies that are more typical of a Givebox.  It's an effective way to patch small gaps in food access, which improves public health and safety.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is my card for the Survival Bingo fest hosted by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer on [community profile] allbingo.  It's about hardship, endurance, survival, and what comes after.  No minimum word counts or exclusions this time, just an invitation to put your characters in danger and see how they cope (or not). (See all my 2016 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. 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.


SURVIVAL BINGO

disabilitylosslonelinessweaknesspride
situational awarenessgathering courageangsthopevindication
sudden threatpersonal growthWILD CARDinsight4F response
discoveryaccidentshockregressionpoor decision
lifestyle choiceexcitementfearbondingsadness
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Sometimes people zone out or otherwise enter a fugue state in which they do not seem to register what is happening around them. This can happen due to mental hyperfocus, zoning on sensory input, trance, flashbacks, dissociative experiences, multiple system issues, variations in metabolism, etc. Some conditions have specific circumstances that cause fugue states, and those often have specific solutions. Some techniques are contraindicated in some cases. If you know that someone you hang out with has a tendency to drift out of body, or you do it yourself, then communication is advisable regarding appropriate responses so that it gets handled safely and effectively.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A recent conversation about coping skills has inspired some posts. This one deals with how you handle your energy and other people's energy.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Recently I got into a conversation about coping skills. Let's talk about empathy, in the sense of mental perceptions, and how it works.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the May 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by the "refuge" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, immediately following "Through Weakness and Vulnerability."


Warning: This poem deals with the morning after an intense upheaval, so there is some angst. It's mostly comfort, though.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the April 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kyleri and Anonymous on Dreamwidth. It also fills the "anticipation" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

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This poem is spillover from the April 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It was sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles some time ago and is now unlocked since "New Wine in Old Bottles" has been sponsored and posted. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was talking with a friend today, who is mobility-impaired at the moment, about the topic of banishment, cleansing, warding, etc. for getting rid of pesky energy/entities.

That's actionable information in this case, because many of the usual instructions call for walking around your home to spread incense smoke or saltwater. Possible accommodations include:

* Ward in effigy by using a photograph of your home (exterior house or apartment building), purify and then cast the shielding around that.

* Do the work entirely in your mind, through visualization. This works fine for most people with a strong imagination, solving a small to medium problem.

* Some items such as candles or incense are designed to be set off in one location and spread on their own from there. Think of these as the mystical equivalent of a citronella candle or a flea bomb.

* A shield-witch or wizard can make a pop-up shield packed into an item. It's a self-working artifact. The drawback is that it takes out anything and everything energetic within the space, so if you have other charged or blessed artifacts, have them outside the home before activating it.  (These usually have a metaphysical and a physical option for activation, so they can be used by anyone.)

So that's how accommodation of disabilities works in magic.  You need to know the limitation (not necessarily its cause), the usual way of doing things, and then use your grasp of magical theory and ritual design to find alternate ways of accomplishing the same thing.  Or ask a friend who is good at that sort of thing.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you have been reading and discussing the poems "When Someone Is Vulnerable" and "Through Weakness and Vulnerability," then you know they deal with issues of capacity and consent. One of the crucial references had gone offline, as noted in the second poem.

[personal profile] thnidu has saved the day by reminding me of the Wayback Machine, which had an archive of the page with the terrific discussion of impaired capacity and consent as existing along a spectrum. While the particular context was aimed at guarding the ethics of human research with regard to individuals with impaired or absent consent, it generalizes to other contexts in which important decisions must be made but someone has less than ordinary ability to do so.

Let's look at some examples from the article and discuss how those relate to Turq...

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[personal profile] siliconshaman raised a fascinating point about soup fights. In his story "Chase" Part 2, the Ring Mistress shot Ashley (who was wearing an armored corset, so not seriously injured) and kept trying to shoot other people, and then clawed off Ashley's veil, so Ashley kissed her on the lips to deliver enough venom to end the fight.

This brings up some engrossing questions about ethics and rules of engagement. Discuss.

Spoilers are not blocked out below the cut. I recommend reading "Who Rekindle the Inner Spirit," "Capes and Credos," "Wrong," "Chase" Part 1 and Part 2 before entering this discussion, although it is not required.

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I'm pleased to see someone else pointing out the general trend of shutting out trauma survivors from discussions about how to handle trauma triggers and trigger warnings.  When you don't respect the right of trauma survivors to make their own decisions, then you compound the damage done.  And when you don't talk to the people who actually have the experience you're pontificating about, then you tend to dream up a bunch of wrongheaded ideas that may have nothing to do with the facts in play, which can also hurt people.  Always involve the people most concerned with the topic in discussions about the topic.

In discussions of trauma triggers, people who do not have to cope with triggers generally seem to think of those who do as weak and pathetic.  Perhaps they are also the kind of folks who laugh at the kid using crutches.  But here's the thing about crutches: they let you go places you couldn't get to without them.  The same is true of trigger warnings.  These are discussions that really need the presence of people who have survived trauma, who have triggers, and who cope with them in various ways including trigger warnings.

Fortunately I'm not an idiot and I have fans who talk with me about how and why they use trigger warnings.  These include:

* Finding intense topics that they enjoy but other people find squicky.
* Avoiding topics they aren't interested in or that are too triggery for them.
* Sorting material by intensity so they can ramp up with a new author or touchy topic.
* Searching for a particular type of story to switch from their current mood to a different one.
* Managing topics based on mood and resources, so they can read challenging things at a safe time.
* Learning what kinds of things may be triggery for other people, to modulate how they discuss those topics.
* Looking for what to warn about in their own writing.
* Using warnings to mark their writing/blog/etc. as trauma-informed space.
* Talking about warnings as a means of managing space online or in person.

Although there are many ways to use trigger warnings, the two most common uses seem to be expanding what the person can read by choosing to read touchy things in a safe mood, and avoiding stuff that would be downright dangerous to mental health and safety.  Which is basically what any adaptive or safety device is supposed to do: let you do more, and protect you from possible injury.

My readers have consistently said that trigger warnings allow them to explore more things, because not only do they have more ability to make informed choices about reading, but also they come to trust me as a writer.  They know that I'm doing my best to warn for things, and that I handle harsh topics with respect.  And by "trust" I mean I've had people not only read things in the general topic that is triggery for them, but actually prompt for  me to write things in their trigger zone, as a way of coping with it.  Which has led to some very detailed, intimate, and intense literature for other folks to enjoy.  Literature is a terrific tool for confronting difficult issues, if handled with care.

So that reminds me of negotiations for other intimate and intense activities that people may do, where communication is utterly essential to make sure that a good time is had by all and nobody gets injured.  A responsible partner will see that everyone is on the same page and wants to be there.

Now consider that the same people who are condemning trigger warnings, a form of communication which is desired by enough folks to have started this conversation, are also often the ones yammering about the need for communication and consent in sex.  Which is to say, they  want to have all the control about what gets talked about and who gets to talk.

*edges away from the skeevy people*

As always, if you use trigger warnings as a reader and/or a writer, whether because of your own challenges or out of respect for other people's issues, you're welcome to share your thoughts on this topic here.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "trust someone" square in my 11-3-15 card for the Disaster Bingo fest, the "autumn" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest, and the "tentative" square in my 12-1-15 card for the Defining Character fest. This poem belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is mostly fluff, but parts of it get into some very deep emotional territory and trust issues. Turq is a wreck, and much of his past is appalling. The more time he spends with Ansel, though, the more glimmers of hope begin to emerge.

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