ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... as unearthed by Nalo Hopkinson.  She's one of those writers who likes to do serious research for her F&SF novels.

I would like to add: the perception of stupidity, laziness, and clumsiness is not an accident or a random stereotype.  It is a misinterpretation  of the tactics for survival and resistance by slaves against their owners.  If the master thinks you're rebelling, you'll be punished or killed.  But if you can make them think you're unable  to do better, they're surprisingly easy to fool and will let you alone.  So slaves quite frequently wasted resources, broke or lost tools, dragged their feet, let the livestock out, stole food, and generally did everything they could, as discreetly as possible, to make the masters' lives less pleasant.  

Those strategies linger in poor communities today.  Why bust your ass when all the benefit of your labor gets creamed off for the benefit of people who hate you?  You'll never be permitted to earn more than subsistence wages, so you might as well do that with as little effort as you can possibly get away with.  Where there is no reward for harder work, you get passive resistance.

So when you read my writing about the slave descended cultures of the Americas and Caribbean, you can see many of the same roots.  It's often there in the language, the personal and community dynamics, the food, and especially the ways people deal with problems.  Each place is unique, with its own local culture -- Jamaica is different from Cuba and from New Orleans.  They're related through the common experiences of colonialism and slavery, yet distinct in local resources and historic events.  The diversity is beautiful.  As that plays out in my storytelling, you can see how people from different cultures might handle things like superpowers (Haiti is one of the bottom-ten countries for soups) or getting kidnapped by alien slavers (in which various black folks used their family lore to devise survival strategies).

Silkpunk

Jul. 21st, 2015 11:20 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So there's a genre called silkpunk, inspired by historic Asian technology.  Fascinating.

I've written a handful of explicitly Asian series: The Origami Mage relies primarily on paper magic.  Kung Fu Robots is more like wuxia SF.  Lacquerware is Edopunk.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is the freebie for the July 2015 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexconall and [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "silence" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the project [community profile] nineforthenebulasheart.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
This is the freebie for the July 2015 Muse Fusion, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It also fills the "Wild Card: Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Creatures" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. It belongs to the Torn World project.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
The Torn World Muse Fusion for July 2015 is now open!  Come give us prompts, or claim some for your own inspiration.  You don't have to be a member to play, although it does make things easier.  New to Torn World?  Start Here for readers or for creators


What I Have Written

"To Ride Death" is today's freebie.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills the "mutation" square in my 6-1-15 card for the June Relationship Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "yardwork or gardening" square in my 4-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest, and the "space travel" square for my Wordsmith Bingo card. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Space Traders thread of the series An Army of One. It is the third in a triptych of poems about splicing together a trade loop from the Orion side through the Lacuna to the Carinan side; begin with "Who Is Devoid of the Power" and "Hacking Perceptions."

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the June 2, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "forgive" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Space Traders thread of the series An Army of One. It is the second in a triptych of poems about splicing together a trade loop from the Orion side through the Lacuna to the Carinan side; begin with "Who Is Devoid of the Power" or skip to "Hope and Forgiveness."

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 "The Expanse" is a new SyFy show slated for later this year.  I am favorably intrigued by the gender and ethnic diversity.  The article also rightly points out that we don't see many near-future SF shows, so that's promising.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the May 5, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] redsixwing and LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "forgive" square of my 5-2-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Space Traders thread of the series An Army of One.  It is the first in a triptych of poems about splicing together a trade loop from the Orion side through the Lacuna to the Carinan side; skip ahead to read "Hacking Perceptions" and "Hope and Forgiveness." 

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rix_scaedu and Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "worrying" square in my 5-8-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Dr. Infanta thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem touches on some sensitive topics. Highlight to read the detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. Dr. Bukowski's research into longevity reveals the path to human immortality. Afraid that his supervisors would abuse the information, he tracks down Dr. Infanta, expecting that she will quite likely kill him. So that's either a consideration of suicide or murder, depending on interpretation. It doesn't happen, but his head is not in a great place because he has anxiety issues. There are also oblique references to human experimentation and other touchy things. The solution to the problem involves consensual removal of selected memories for transferral to someone else, which is a bit risky, but a lot better than the alternatives. Please consider your taste and headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
Thanks to new prompter [personal profile] acelightning who inspired this, you get a second freebie!


"Wakewalking"


At midnight on
December 31, 1999
the world ended.

The parties rolled onward, though --
there were poppers to pop and
champagne to pour.

After the holiday, everyone
went back to work again.

The world ended,
and nobody noticed,

because you cannot awaken people
who refuse to believe they are asleep.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is today's freebie. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu and this picture. It also fills the "forbidden" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your enthusiasm.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "the end of the world as we know it."  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 "Growing Moss" (Polychrome Heroics, 13 verses available).


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 "the end of the world as we know it."  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. "Growing Moss" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 13 verses available. 


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 Friday 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 "the end of the world as we know it."  I'll be soliciting ideas for survivors, refugees, Omnicidal Maniacs, warlords, mad scientists, Enemy Mine, people with disabilities, orphans, innocent bystanders, Postapocalyptic Dog, "I am become Death," getting into trouble, deciding to help someone, getting out of trouble, asking for help and getting it, when help goes horribly wrong, losing everything, pushing the button, watching the world burn, rebuilding from the ashes, becoming an orphan, questing for survival resources, ground zero, ruins, wastelands, irradiated zones, monuments that attempt to warn people away from dangerous places, creepy buildings, sanctuaries, Cozy Catastrophe, garbage mines, battlefields, Scavenger World, seed banks, oasis libraries, weapons of mass destruction, explosions, decrepit remnants of technology, habitat foreclosure, dire prophecies, endings and beginnings, divorce, other major life changes, 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 first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms 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 "Growing Moss.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
Thanks to a general fund poll, there is one new verse in "These Tiny Little Steps."  Victor thinks about the advantages of letting someone take care of him. 
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem is from the August 2014 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "just here for the pr0n freestyle" square in my 6-10-14 card for the Fanbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Content: This poem features erotic power exchange. It's basically fluff in which Quinn fixes Vic's homesickness by showing him where the kinkyfolks hang out in the Scarlet!verse. If kink isn't your thing, feel free to skip it.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem is spillover from the July 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills a square on my Plot Challenges Bingo Card 7-4-14:
Situation: Deliverance
Setting: Forbidden Zone
Complication: I told you so
This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

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