ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] paantha. It also fills the "chance" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy 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 intense topics. Hankie warning for personal growth and domestic situations. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It involves trying to get over things without much luck, frustration with slow progress, awkward couples therapy, boundary issues, communication issues, whole magazine racks full of issues in every color and theme, impaired bond dynamics, negotiation and compromise, mismatched stages of development, and other angst. Overall, though, the tone is hopeful. If these are sensitive subjects for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A friend is going through a rough patch, so I put together some resources for what to do when your life blows up in your face.  You can also use these for supporting someone else.

Here are the most basic steps of self-care in the form of question prompts.

Know how to deliver Emotional First Aid for yourself and for others.  Make an EFA kit stocked with things you find soothing. You can even make a portable, pocket-sized EFA kit that fits into an Altoids tin.

Soothe yourself with stress relief activities for the 5 senses.

Explore the categories of coping skills with their pros and cons.  Here is a list of 99 coping skills.

Grounding techniques can relieve anxiety and other unpleasant emotions.

Try some relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation.

Many herbs can ease anxiety and promote calm.  Consider aromatherapy or dreampillows if you're not into herbal tea. Note: if you have issues with intrusive memories or a fresh trauma, do NOT use rosemary, which enhances memory.  Save that to study for tests or address lost/fading memories.

Stressful experiences often interfere with sleep.  Take extra care with your sleep.

Acute stress reaction is a normal response to an abnormal event.  Most people will freak out or freeze up for a few days, then gradually recover.  Treatment typically consists of common sense comforts.  The most important point is to listen if someone wants to talk about what happened, but don't pressure  them to do so.

Preventing PTSD is important, but caregivers are just beginning to identify things that help.  First, understand that PTSD is fundamentally a sorting error: the brain can't file traumatic memories properly, so they replay over and over again.  Playing a stacking-and-sorting game such as Tetris can activate the brain's sorting function.  Making a care diary, timeline, or trauma scrapbook can help place memories in context as part of the life story.

Bad stuff happens to everyone sometimes.  You can cope with it.  You can help other people cope with it.  Learn the skills to be a hero.  The world needs more of those.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Fandom Snowflake Challenge

Day 7

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so
.


Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner


Well, this ran slow due to me having a ton of fishbowl work to do, but I managed to squeak out something. It's tough going because Hulk is working through some serious trauma from the fast, but he's found a clever way to do that and Uncle Phil is awesome.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 3 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "trust" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains intense topics. HANKIE WARNING! If it makes you cry, then I wrote it right. Highlight to read more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. This poem is positive overall, as it reunites Turq with his foster parents, but inevitably that makes it an emotional roller-coaster. Turq flibbers all morning until they arrive. He has hot-and-cold running skin hunger and touch aversion. Some of his trauma complicates things he used to do with his family. His memory is a mess. Ansel provides emotional support. Dao and Mingxia handle it by using some of the first-day rules for foster children as a familiar base for interaction. They talk about possible plans for the future, which is awkward because Turq doesn't feel he deserves anything good, and doesn't know about all the options in foster care. Mingxia also has a copy of Turq's memory book. They talk about adding to that. Turq doesn't want to put all the traumatic stuff in there, so Mingxia suggests starting a trauma scrapbook instead. Turq makes a valiant effort but runs out of cope and resorts to shapeshifting. His parents are startled by the transformations, but welcoming of his abilities. Much progress is made, but the whole day is just really rough for everyone. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is a major plot point, so skipping it would destabilize much that comes afterwards.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
While researching for poetry today, I found this amazing page that explains how to measure trauma. It gives a bunch of scales to indicate how much or how long things affected a trauma survivor.  It covers the event, internal experience, and support.  Some factors are static, while others could change over time.  If you don't know why you (or someone else) feel terrible about something, this might help.

EDIT: A later, expanded version is here.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For those of you celebrating the Gregorian New Year, I wish you a happy one.  :D

Here are some safety tips for partying tonight

Because not everyone follows safety tips, you never know when they might need a hero.  Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and what to do for a drunk friend.  Have a designated driver if people will be drinking alcohol, collect funds to hire a ride, or keep tipsy people overnight.  Watch for sexual harassment and be prepared to intervene.  Think about holiday party hazards and be ready to provide first aid.

If you are a designated driver, party monitor, or host of a party with similar safety protocols, then you can reveal a verse in any open perk poem:
"Spirit of Truth"
"Testing the Metal"
"Dangerous Refuges"
"From Silica to Silk"
"The Marble and the Sculptor"
"Picking Up the Litter"
"The Golden Peaches of Peace"

For a peek at how people in Terramagne handle someone who's had too much to drink, see "Through the Haze" and "The World Keeps Spinning." Similarly, "Down New Paths" does not involve actual alcohol but does feature a similar level of disorientation.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alatefeline and [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "scars" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem touches on some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes mixed feelings, references to past abuse, self-injury, asking for help and getting it, worry, minor medical details, awkward conversations, references to prejudice, poor self-image, scars, nonsexual intimacy, references to lousy counseling, stress, and other challenges. Current environment is safe. 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 November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "excitement" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "public places" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.  It has also inspired the story "For Every Action..." by [personal profile] siliconshaman.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the September 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron. It also fills the "situational Awareness" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] clockworklady and EdorFaus. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is my card for the iPod Shuffle Music Fest hosted by [personal profile] kiramaru7 and [personal profile] spiralicious  on [community profile] allbingo.  It uses song titles for inspiration, divided into separate batches.  No minimum word counts or exclusions this time, and fills can be anything inspired by the prompts; they don't have to be songfics. (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.


iPod Shuffle Music Fest Card

I’ll be ThereHard WorkHomeThe TruthSmile
In the MallMoneyFighterColder WeatherFriends in Low Places
Must be Doin’ Somethin’ RightEverybody HurtsWILD CARDGives You HellThrift Shop
Pictures of YouTake it EasyWhyCloserBlack Mollies
All of YouHappy HolidaysNeed you NowBreatheThe Scientist
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] gingicat and other readers under "Through Infirmity of the Flesh" regarding changes in CPR practice; and folks with whom I've discussed how to modify first aid training for people with disabilities. Note that it takes serious digging to unearth solid references for the latest practices: I have now done this for you, with help from those recently-trained readers. This poem also fills the "successes" square in my 8-1-16 card in Group Dynamics and Character-Building. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] daisiesrockalot, and [livejournal.com profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Extra perk: Anyone with a current CPR card, or now in training, speak up and you can reveal a verse of any open linkback poem.

Warning: This poem contains graphic descriptions of CPR training, and other intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features messy medical discussions and demonstrations, disability issues including the awkward process of adapting to a new one, poor self-esteem, educational challenges, struggling with learning modes, frustration, self-recrimination, body dysphoria, flashbacks, reference to previously losing someone to a drug overdose, discussion of sensitive issues about skin tone and first aid, challenges of soup care, minor physical overstrain, and other issues. For the most part, though, it's an upbeat poem and it takes a close look at how an adept teacher modifies a class to accommodate the learning needs of a diverse student body. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the June 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "vicious" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] daisiesrockalot and [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains graphic and controversial material. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It's about Dr. Bloch's response to the incident in which Jimar got sick from contaminated drugs. Many people have debated the best way to discourage anyone from using or selling drugs. Those all having failed, Dr. Bloch decides to try describing the medical effects and how to treat them. It's a logical consequence; it's intended to teach, not to humiliate or to harm. But it is meant to make them uncomfortable, and some people may consider that a gray area in the spectrum of discipline and punishment or of medical ethics. Other challenging content includes involuntary education, of people who probably already have educational trauma, awkward attitudes about disability, discussions of loss, vulgar language, graphic description of messy medical details, mental combat against largely unarmed opponents, in which Dr. Bloch cleans everyone's clock, terror weapons, graphic descriptions of their results, nausea and vomiting, harassment, not-so-veiled threats, remorse, painfully honest discussions about addicts, and other mayhem. Folks with a history of substance issues, medical abuse, or school trauma may want to think twice about this one. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read. It does develop Dr. Bloch's activities and there's a later poem that builds on it, but it's not in Shiv's main line, so skipping it shouldn't leave a huge gap.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by the article "Policing with Velvet Gloves." It also fills the "peace" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread in the Polychrome Heroics series, directly following "Show a Genuine Concern" and "They Really Almost Got Me."

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ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
This poem came out of the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, [personal profile] capriuni, and [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "regression" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

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ysabetwordsmith: (monster house)
This poem came out of the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kelkyag, [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu, and Zelofheda on DW. It also fills Row 2 ("group purpose," "group permeability," "sense of group identity," and "role fluidity / rigidity") in my 9-2-16 Group Dynamics card for the Worldbuilding 4x4x4 Festival. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It belongs to the Monster House series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes unexpected visitors, a panicking closet monster, references to child sexual abuse which is offscreen but ongoing, child emulation, implications of killing the perpetrators, and symptoms of traumatic stress. However, appropriate comfort is supplied and the problem is about to be very thoroughly solved. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. This poem is not tied into an ongoing plot, so skipping it shouldn't cause any confusion.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I found this documentary about homelessness in Anchorage, which is one of the worst places in the world to be homeless due to environmental hazards.  They have some social services that try to buffer the dangers, but a lot of people still die.

The first solution to homelessness is simply to put people in homes.  Society needs to guarantee people a place to stay, if it doesn't want them camping out and perhaps freezing to death.  Shelters don't count, and neither does any other kind of monitored living.  Those interventions drive people away from help.  They need their own apartment or house with the same freedoms and dignities as everyone else.

The second main thing the homeless need is income.  That means jobs for those who can work, which is a lot of them; or some kind of public assistance for those who can't work.  This is much cheaper than leaving them on the street to subsist through begging, stealing, or emergency services.

The third thing they need is resources.  That includes everything from supplies to health care.  Most homeless aid focuses on very small, short-term things like food or emergency medical care.  That might keep people from dying right in front of you but it does not solve the problem.  You have to make it possible for them to build up the components of a healthy life.

And you have to do all this in ways that the homeless population will find attractive because it meets their needs, and not shy away from due to strings attached.  People don't risk death from exposure for no reason.  If they're sleeping in the snow, it is because there are not enough shelters and/or those places are literally worse than death.

It's something I write about, periodically, because some of my characters are homeless.  Danso and his family were homeless for months.  Turq has been on the street even longer, and it's hard for him to accept help even when the offerings are safe and not judgmental.  So I keep an eye out for ways to address these kinds of problems.  How do you meet the emergency needs, how do you give people a route back into society, how do you get people back into homes, and especially how do you fix the root causes that drive people into homelessness in the first place?  Solutions exist, a few places are using them, but most just can't be arsed.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an example of police brutality. This is what terrorism looks like. It is the use of violence and fear in an effort to control people, promoted by the government. It also illuminates some problems common among police today.

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