ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So people are picking on college students again for needing safe spaces. I think the world would be a better place if we picked on people less and supported people more. In that interest ...

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ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
This poem came out of the May 5, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ellenmillion and LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "volunteering" square in my 5-2-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Torn World project.

Note: This poem has not yet been submitted for Canon Board approval, so it's not canonical yet.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the May 5, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


"A Gentleman in Distress"


Love is

being a sixteen-year-old boy
and saying, "Not tonight, sweetie,
I'm all out of condoms.

I'll buy more tomorrow."

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Everyone has things they don't want to talk about, sometimes ever, sometimes just right now.  For this reason it helps to have conversational safewords that mean "Drop this and change the subject."

One of ours is "No torture at the dinner table."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... staffed entirely by transfolk, so callers don't have to explain why being trans in this culture makes them want to die. They can just start working the problem.

Trans Lifeline can be reached at 877-565-8860. For LGBT youth (ages 24 and younger) contemplating suicide, the Trevor Project Lifeline can be reached at 1-866-7386. The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is my card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest, held in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. This fest focuses on taking good care of yourself.  See all my 2015 bingo cards.

Theme: Wellness Toolbox Bingo
Dates: May 2nd - June 1st
Public Card: Yes
Open Card/Amnesty: Yes
Fills: Anything goes. Remember to use your content warnings!
Prizes: banners will be available at the end of the month and beyond.

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.

Blackout on 5/20/15!

WELLNESS TOOLBOX BINGO CARD

Be Here NowWalkingGood NutritionTalk with a FriendHobbies
Set Attainable GoalsForgiveSocializeVolunteeringTalk with a Counselor
Enjoy Some Private TimeBreathing ExercisesWILD CARD:
Break Problem into Small Parts
Go to the MoviesEnjoy Nature
Emotional First AidReadingSurrenderYogaRespect Limits
LaughterHealthy TouchSportsWatch TelevisionFamily Traditions
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] balsamandash, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series, connecting with Danso & Family as Groundhog and Cassandra work through their challenges.

Warning: This poem contains some challenging topics. Highlight to read more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. Cassandra is still dealing with fallout from her overbearing parents, the suppression therapy, and the clipping. This time she latches onto alcohol as another symbol of adulthood, gets staggering drunk. and has a miserable time of it. Fortunately the people around her respond in helpful ways, but this is still likely to be a touchy read for people with substance issues. Consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is from the March 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "Wild Card: Mirror, mirror: Doppelgangers, clones and evil doubles" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem contains frank discussions of reproduction and choice politics, along with examples of misogyny and hypocrisy.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] librarygeek. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. This poem belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with some intense material. The warnings are spoilers; highlight to read them. Hadyn is a survivor of child abuse, so extra alert to that kind of issue. She notices clues that make her suspect that her classmate Adriel might be abused. So Hadyn has to scrape up her courage to tell someone. It is scary and creepy. Plus Adriel gets mad at Hadyn for a while. It all works out in the end, though, and the environment is generally supportive. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your headspace before deciding if this is something you want to read.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was inspired by a comment from [personal profile] fred_mouse about superheroes with disabilities, especially dementia. It also fills the "Thank God It's Friday ... Again: Time Loops" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] stardreamer. It also fills the "vulnerability" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem deals with some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Stan's football buddies take exception to his relationship with Lawrence. Jealousy, possessiveness, homophobia and biphobia, bullying, verbal abuse, and other obnoxious behavior ensue. Stan has very little idea how to cope with any of this, because his experience focuses on protecting other people, not himself. He's always been able to rely on privilege and popularity, which are suddenly not quite as reliable as they once were. Fortunately Lawrence comes to the rescue, and Stan is a resilient fellow, but it's still very stressful. If these are sensitive issues for you, consider your headspace before deciding whether to read onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It also fills the "abandonment issues" square in my 11-25-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest, and the "you are a blessing in disguise" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is flangst. The more detailed warnings contain spoilers; highlight to read. Sloane jumps on Lawrence without warning, and he dumps her on the floor by sheer reflex. And then he freaks out. Stuart follows Lawrence and very carefully talks him down. Lawrence goes back to talk with Sloane, who is also upset and wondering if she's just lost a good friend. Among other things, they discuss gender identity and roughhousing rules, and eventually they make up. There is a lot of stuff that hints or references neglect, abuse, bullying, and other stressful background. The current environment is supportive and the poem ends on a positive note. If these are sensitive topics for you, consider your current mood before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by a long string of outrageous news articles about the disgraceful state of local-American police service. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, showing how the Omaha police department -- and Terramagne in general -- manages such a high level of performance.

Warning: This poem features some intense topics. Among other things, this gives a really good look at what the characters consider to be normal, canon-typical levels of violence and appropriate ways of handling that. Highlight to read more of the warnings, which are spoilers. There is a frank discussion of a BASH raid on a supervillain, shown in considerable detail. The raid actually goes quite well, but with attention to what could have gone wrong because there turned out to be a toddler in the next house. Also one of the rookies is still pretty insecure about her job, and one of the senior cops is recently widowed. The departmental culture is very supportive, but the angst remains clear. The overall tone is upbeat and constructive. If these are sensitive topics for you, consider your headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "be still my beating heart" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem deals with some intense topics. The detailed warnings contain spoilers; highlight to read. Thanks to notably inept parenting, Cassandra has reached legal adulthood with minimal idea how to live a mature and functional life. In this poem she's struggling with sexuality and inadvertently steps all over Groundhog in the process. Inexperience, consent issues, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, confusion, angst, and other unpleasantness ensue. Then Groundhog overextends himself a bit and has trouble dealing with the outside world. But in the end, they manage to get through a conversation about healthy sexuality, and Cassandra selects some useful materials for personal exploration. If these are sensitive issues for you, consider your headspace before deciding whether to read onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article takes a tongue-in-cheek look at passing privilege and the issue of identifying who may legally be discriminated against.  How do you "tell" if someone is homosexual?  Sometimes the person advertises it, sometimes it may be inferred from clues, but most of the time it is not so obvious.  This of course raises the issue of misconceptions; many cissexual, heterosexual people have been beaten or even murdered because someone mistakenly thought they were queer.  So too, Indiana will quickly discover that legalizing discrimination against homosexuals will also hit some heterosexuals.

And then there are those of us whose warning label should say, "Activist: push to start."  (I actually have that on a red button.)  Sure, there are times when I use passing privilege of various types because it's easy and I don't have an infinite supply of spoons, or when I believe that acting up would be dangerous.  But there are other times when I'll act up even if it is dangerous, and if I judge it safe, I will make a great big hairy scene.  Never get into a blurting contest with an annoyed bard, you will lose.  Because I can handle the kind of heat that bigots give off when someone objects to them being bigots, and not everyone can, and I want them to know that civilized people won't let them act like giant assholes without at least calling them out for it.

You can readily identify a queer person who does something like, "Oh gosh, you have a sign that says you don't serve queer people in here.  I guess I'll leave this big basket of stuff on the counter and take my $96 queer dollars to a store that is not run by giant assholes."

Just because I'm currently wearing a female body and in a permanent relationship with someone in a male body does not make me any less queer.  It's just a little harder to see from this angle, until I open my mouth.  As long as someone mistaking me for a heterosexual woman doesn't cause an issue, meh, I usually don't care.  Random strangers don't need to know my weirdnesses.  But when it IS an issue?  Open mouth, fire full broadside.  

This is why I got beef with people who claim that privilege is inescapable.  It's not.  It really, really  is not.  In fact it's a lot more frangible than people realize.  You can very easily lose your privilege if someone else mistakes you for a member of a disadvantaged group or if you are forcibly attached to it for some reason.  You can also choose to drop your privilege in the crapper and flush it along with all the other shit you don't need, just by voluntarily associating with disadvantaged people or by verbally dispensing with it when people offer you privilege that you don't want to accept.  Bigots will enthusiastically diss you for any or all of that.  

It's not all or nothing, of course.  If your association is not obvious, then you may have the option of picking your battles.  That lets you stay reasonably safe while still making a difference.  You might flush one privilege today and a different one tomorrow.  You might wax and wane your advertisement of hidden traits based on how much energy you have for a given cause or whether it makes you feel bad to hide (or reveal) what you are.  It's your life, your choice.

Just understand that it is a choice, just as bigotry or tolerance are choices.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Skin adapts to the current level of stress. If you spend the winter mostly indoors, your hands tend to get soft. Then when you start yardening in spring, it's easy to get blisters. Here is my method for coping with that ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... here are some things to try.

Most of this advice is good. It can be boiled down to, if you feel awful, try changing one simple thing.

I will add, don't pressure yourself too much about anything. Also check to see if these things make you feel better or accomplish a practical purpose. If so, keep doing them. If not, quit and try something else. Don't try to force yourself to look or act "normal" if it doesn't help or actually makes you feel worse. You've got better things to do with that spoon.

Beyond that ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So here we are on a habitable planet, making it less habitable. Instead of terraforming, we are terradeforming. O_O

My thoughts on the points cited ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article speculating on potential harm from wearable devices.  Let's consider some possible issues ...


1) Does it emit radiation? If so, it's probably something you don't want next to your skin a lot.  Remember that the most common danger from radiation isn't a single big does, but the buildup over time, in which a lot of tiny doses definitely add up.  This could be greatly reduced by shielding. Companies probably won't bother unless consumers force  them to. But you can probably make your own.  Radiation from wearables isn't very strong so you don't need six feet of concrete to stop it.  Consider also that some wearables emit a lot more than others.  Don't choose a high-rad device if a low-rad one will do what you need.

2) Does it contain toxic materials? This is common, as things must be proven unsafe rather than proven safe. There are things which, again, you probably don't want to press on your skin all the time. This is easily solved by using a protective cover of something you're not allergic to and don't make go haywire.  Don't trust corporations to put your safety first; they are legally obligated (in America) to put their shareholders' profits first.  Don't trust government agencies either; they're interested in avoiding panic and making their donors happy.  You are not their priority either.  Look for reports by people who don't have a dog in the fight.  These are rare, but tend to be more reliable if you can find them.  Also if something is getting banned somewhere, it's probably not great for your body.

3) Does it interfere with your somatic motions, make your body part hurt, or cause some other physical problems? This is likely an ergonomic issue which may be affected by the size, shape, weight, etc. of the device. Later generations will probably improve. If you have this problem, try moving the device, carrying it in a pocket, etc. If all else fails, wait a year or two and test a newer model.

4) Does it mess with your social, sleep, or other life patterns? This tends to be a behavior issue, which is a combination of physical and nonphysical factors. Staring at a glowing screen at night can make you unsleepy (but not untired, alas). So can thinking about complex things  such as what someone's latest message means for your schedule tomorrow. If you have this type of problem, try modifying the times when you use your device. Staring at the gizmo on your wrist could cause your to walk into traffic and get hit by a car, or piss off your friend and get dumped. If you are having this type of problem, try changing the way in which you interact with your device and with people around you.

5) In any case, pay close attention to new technology before and after adopting it.  What are the financial, physical, social, and time costs?  What are you gaining by using this tool?  What are you losing?  I highly recommend the Amish rule: When deciding whether to adopt a new piece of technology, ask whether it does more good than harm.  If it does more good, adopt it.  If it does more harm, do not adopt it.  (You don't have the draw the line in the same place they do.  I don't, but I use the same rule.  Heck, even they argue over it.)  Really really think about this.  Don't grab something new just because it is new and everyone says it's cool.  Think about what it will do for you  and what you'll have to give up to get that.

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