ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is self-injury awareness day.  Understand what self-harm is and isn't.  I write about this topic, so I wanted to provide a space for discussing it today.  If you have a story to share, this is safe space for that.

There are ways to support someone who self-harms, or to stop hurting yourself.  Learn how to talk about self-injury too.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Know the many uses for a tampon in survival situations.  

Also, a plastic wrapper can be used to make a partially occlusive bandage for sucking chest wounds.  If you're somewhere that you need to use a tampon wrapper for that, the victim's probably doornail anyway, but you can at least try to buy some time.

I am now tempted to write about some macho guy bleeding out because he would rather die than have his life saved by a tampon.
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I love this comic, "Superman: Grounded." It's a brilliant example of heroism in action.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
See a radiation graphic.  This is useful if your characters do things that might make them glow in the dark, or you worry about things that are said to be "safe" that might not match your own standards thereof.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a great idea for coping with disasters in the news: create a safe space to talk about good things instead.  This is always, always helpful when people are stressing out.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an example of asshole behavior following a disaster.  

Note that one company practiced price gouging and another showed civic responsibility.  The latter displays far greater business acumen.  If you act like an asshole, you can rob people while they are helpless.  But they will hate you for it, and they will not forget.  They will turn on you if they ever get a chance.  Conversely, if you help people, they will think of you favorably for a long time to come.  That inclines them to keep doing business with you and encourage their friends to do likewise.  It makes your society a happier, more productive place.

Don't be an asshole: it's not just immoral, it's actively counterproductive for you as well as your victims.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

The general fund poll for the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl has elected to sponsor both $15 poems and put $5 into epic poetry.  This poem was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] e_scapism101.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)

This poem came out of the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] baaing_tree.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.



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This poem is overflow from the July 2, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] perfectworry. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  Read the sequel "Tikkun Olam"  and follow the series Walking the Beat on the Serial Poetry page.

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Recently I got to thinking about how most wheelchairs, even sport models, aren't effective outside relatively even surfaces. Or even on them, in many cases.  It turns out there are a few other options ...

Here's a very inexpensive wheelchair that uses leverage to navigate over rough terrain.

This handpowered trike is based on mountain bike technology.  It's lower-slung than most wheelchairs, which is a plus.  If I were designing an off-road chair, I think I'd trade height for stability, and arrange the seat for legs straight out rather than knees bent.

The six-wheel drive electrical wheelchair has all-terrain capacity.

The trackchair has tank treads.  Fuckin' awesome.

I woke up thinking about space exploration and adaptive equipment.  Hexbots with six wheels, antbots with six legs, designed to cope with hostile terrain.  So far the closest I've found has been this wheelchair that climbs stairs.  I think a six-legged chair has potential.  I also remembered these cooperative robots, who link together to scale obstacles none of them could master alone.  Imagine a set of wheelchairs that could hook together and do that.  I bet some disabled folks would love to join a hiking team like that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 So you want to do some bodily harm to some characters.  Read this first.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about radiation exposure and its challenges to a manned Mars mission.  The proposed solution is to hasten the trip by improving propulsion.  That's a useful idea.  But it's not the only  option.  We could also seek better ways to shield people from radiation, which would be quite handy and not much more challenging than propulsion.  Or we could look for ways to boost human tolerance of radiation, which is a lot more complicated and harder to do, but again would have further benefits.

I'm in favor of exploring all  of those options.  They'd all help us get to Mars, they'd all have space-inspired benefits elsewhere in life, and if we're exploring multiple things then we'll probably find one that works sooner.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... is a character who talks to depressed people.  Sometimes, you just need someone to talk with who will give you a hopeful perspective on what you are going through.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As part of the [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw project (running April 25-May 15), I'm posting some content just to Dreamwidth. This is a good opportunity to seek new readers for your blog and new blogs to read, and to recommend stuff you enjoy on other people's blogs to help them make new connections too. Previously we discussed "Skin Hunger," "Touch Aversion," "Primates Need Touch," "Self-Soothing and Self-Control," "Compassion and Gentleness," "Creating Safe Space," "Building Trust," and "Healthy Vulnerability."


Coping with Emotional Drop

After I wrote the installment on healthy vulnerability, I realized that there seems to be no unflavored description of the "emotional drop" phenomenon and appropriate aftercare. Everything detailed comes from the "sub drop" version in the kink community, and not everyone feels comfortable with kink. On the speculative fiction side, there is "con drop" but little discussion of it. So I'll just fill in this gap as best I can, though many of the resource links still point to kink articles. Hopefully other folks will start writing about other drop examples.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As part of the [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw project (running April 25-May 15), I'm posting some content just to Dreamwidth. This is a good opportunity to seek new readers for your blog and new blogs to read, and to recommend stuff you enjoy on other people's blogs to help them make new connections too. Previously we discussed "Skin Hunger," "Touch Aversion," "Primates Need Touch," "Self-Soothing and Self-Control," "Compassion and Gentleness," "Creating Safe Space," and "Building Trust."  Skip ahead to "Coping with Emotional Drop."


Healthy Vulnerability

Vulnerability refers to openness and risk-taking in relationships. There is always a chance of getting hurt, yet without taking that chance, close bonds are difficult or impossible to form. Vulnerability goes hand-in-hand with trust in connecting one person to another.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As part of the [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw project (running April 25-May 15), I'm posting some content just to Dreamwidth. This is a good opportunity to seek new readers for your blog and new blogs to read, and to recommend stuff you enjoy on other people's blogs to help them make new connections too. Previously we discussed "Skin Hunger," "Touch Aversion," "Primates Need Touch," "Self-Soothing and Self-Control," "Compassion and Gentleness," and "Creating Safe Space."  Skip ahead to "Healthy Vulnerability," "Coping with Emotional Drop."


Building Trust

Trust is an emotion, the feeling that someone will keep their promises and do good instead of harm. It is related to but distinct from reliance, the action of behaving as if someone is dependable, whether or not the emotion of trust is present. Trust can be given, damaged, and restored. Trust issues may arise when someone has difficulty trusting anyone after a betrayal. This is especially true for survivors of trauma. However, many different causes can impair trust.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As part of the [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw project (running April 25-May 15), I'm posting some content just to Dreamwidth. This is a good opportunity to seek new readers for your blog and new blogs to read, and to recommend stuff you enjoy on other people's blogs to help them make new connections too. Previously we discussed "Skin Hunger," "Touch Aversion," "Primates Need Touch," "Self-Soothing and Self-Control," and "Compassion and Gentleness."  Skip ahead to "Building Trust," "Healthy Vulnerability," "Coping with Emotional Drop."


Creating Safe Space

A safe space allows for growth and exploration with a minimum of risk. It benefits from comfortable features and a boundary to keep out unwelcome intrusions. If used by more than one person, the people inside treat each other gently. These parameters span a wide range of circumstances both offline and online. I had a hard time finding generic guidelines, but I did find some for yoga work, social activism, and emotional healing.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As part of the [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw project (running April 25-May 15), I'm posting some content just to Dreamwidth. This is a good opportunity to seek new readers for your blog and new blogs to read, and to recommend stuff you enjoy on other people's blogs to help them make new connections too. Previously we discussed "Skin Hunger," "Touch Aversion," "Primates Need Touch," and "Self-Soothing and Self-Control."  Skip ahead to "Creating Safe Space," "Building Trust," "Healthy Vulnerability," "Coping with Emotional Drop."

Compassion and Gentleness

Compassion is a feeling of sympathy for hardships and a desire to help alleviate them. It influences our internal and external lives. Practicing compassion for others can promote spiritual and emotional growth. This can actually change the brain over time.

Self-compassion turns this virtue inward, expressing tenderness for your own difficulties and resolving to work on them. Being gentle or critical with yourself affects your biochemistry. It's a useful practice too.

You can test your level of self-compassion. There are strategies and exercises for self-compassion. This lovely meditation invokes loving-kindness both for others and for self.

Gentleness
is the use of compassion to moderate power. It is controlled strength, used to help instead of harm. It is not the same as weakness. Typically people think of ways to be gentle with others.

However, you need to be gentle with yourself too. People often show more compassion to others than to themselves. This is especially common for women, but can happen with anyone. When things go wrong, be gentle with your own pain. Think about how you would treat someone else who was suffering in the same way. Take steps to recover from the setback. There are also tips for being gentle with yourself in general.

These things work together. Compassion is a motivation; gentleness is a method. Whenever you practice these virtues for the benefit of another, you improve your ability to use them with yourself, and vice versa. Helping others helps yourself. The world will always be full of challenges, but we can choose to buffer the impact of that by applying compassion and gentleness.

What are some ways that you practice compassion and gentleness? Where are some areas that you think need improvement, either within yourself or the wider culture?

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
As part of the [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw project (running April 25-May 15), I'm posting some content just to Dreamwidth. This is a good opportunity to seek new readers for your blog and new blogs to read, and to recommend stuff you enjoy on other people's blogs to help them make new connections too. Previously we discussed "Skin Hunger," "Touch Aversion," and "Primates Need Touch."  Skip ahead to "Compassion and Gentleness," "Creating Safe Space," "Building Trust," "Healthy Vulnerability," "Coping with Emotional Drop."


Self-Soothing and Self-Control

Self-soothing is a toolkit for taking care of yourself when you feel stressed.  It is emotional first aid.  It includes actions to engage the senses and occupy the mind with something more positive. These focus on personal touchstones for comfort, as different people find different things to be relaxing. You need to find things that work for you, not necessarily what someone else says you "should" find calming.

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