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In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
I love you for letting me be myself. When I sit on the floor, climb stairs on all fours, describe things by scent, or codeswitch into alien languages, you don't look at me funny. You think it's cool. I don't have to waste so much energy pretending to be human. You read my fanfic, and feedback is candy. You buy my original writing, and that puts beans on the table. I squish you, and some of you know what that means, and that's awesome too. You bring out the best in me.
I love you for being yourself. When you squee over cool things, throw NASA parties, talk about ten million years in the future, and jerryrig solutions, I think it's fantastic. I look in the art show and the dealer's room and the impromptu jam sessions on floors and in stairwells, and I'm reminded how creative you are. How boundless. How infinite in diversity and combinations. And I'm a xenophilic, sapiosexual kind of sophont so that really lights my warpcore.
In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
* My first gaming convention when I was in high school, I mentioned to a vendor that I made up my own monsters. He said, "Doesn't everyone?" :D It was the first time I was in a place where creativity was assumed as the norm.
* My first science fiction convention, around the same time, one of the dealers scrambled under a table to measure an anklet on me. It was enlightening to see someone else move through space the way I do, looking for the most efficient route instead of the most socially approved one.
* Several years later, in college, I noticed that pros were consistently picking me out of a field of 400 people in a con. I had no idea why, so I asked one, who explained, "It's because you treat us like people. Everyone else here only wants to talk about our work. You let us talk about the weather." So now I know why famous people like me. \o/
In your own space, post a rec for fannish spaces and resources - comms, challenges, twitters, tumblrs, etc. Tell us about where you hang out. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
allbingo is a community that usually posts one challenge a month, but you can also play cards from any other bingo event or make your own. We have folks doing fanfic, fanart, original work, arts and crafts, all kinds of stuff. Come play or host a fest. This is a low-pressure, high-inspiration community.
crowdfunding and its LiveJournal counterpart crowdfunding are communities for cyberfunded creativity. Folks post about their activities there, and there's usually a Creative Jam midmonth with a theme where folks can post prompts and make goodies.
ysabetwordsmith and its LiveJournal counterpart ysabetwordsmith are my blogs, which have a thriving community of creative, geeky people. How geeky? Some of them are writing fanfic of my original work. I host a Poetry Fishbowl once a month, usually on the first Tuesday.
Queer Sci Fi on Facebook has lively discussions for writers and readers. It covers fannish and original topics from the whole QUILTBAG.
In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.
Hurt/Comfort -- I love this because it allows ratcheting the tension a lot higher without burning out the author, the characters, or the reader. I learned this from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Thank you, Master Tolkien. See my series Love Is For Children.
Fish Out of Water -- This is a favorite because of how it makes the ordinary extraordinary or vice versa. The Chronicles of Narnia is a good example. A lot of my writing in Schrodinger's Heroes uses this motif because it's quantum science fiction about alternate dimensions.
Enemies to Friends/Lovers -- I like the idea that nothing is carved in stone, and people can change. It's harder to find good examples of this one. Maybe How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In my work, see Antimatter & Stalwart Stan. Because all the unresolved sexual tension in Clark/Lex and Charles/Erik is heartbreaking.
Send feedback to two fannish people — they can be anyone you want: a writer who’s made you happy, a moderator of your favorite exchange (not us!), a fanartist you avidly follow… There are so many possibilities. Just let someone know you appreciate their work.
I have thanked kiki_eng for helping to run the Fandom Snowflake Challenge.
I have thanked hc_bingo_mod for running the Hurt/Comfort Bingo, which just wrapped up its 7th round.
In the febrile gap between
letters and numbers live
They bring the déjà vu
of things seen again and again,
a glitch in the matrix; and
the jamais vu of things
never seen before.
They perch on the tip of the tongue
and crunch numbers before
they can be summed,
words before they can be recognized.
They make the misconceptions
and the mistaken readings,
the lexical gaps and overlaps.
When is it fog, and
when is it a cloud?
Oh, wait, the word in the list
was humility, not humidity.
They live in computer programmers,
and thereby get into computers
and programs, far more fatal
than the wing of a moth.
The next thing you know,
December is January and
we're left wondering
how the glitch stole Christmas.
* * *
Déjà vu is an eerie sense of repetition.
Jamais vu is an eerie sense of unfamiliarity.
Tip of the tongue is a sense of almost knowing something: the query activates the correct memory packet, but it fails to make the transit up to the conscious mind.
The first computer bug was an actual moth.
In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.
* I love fanart and fanfic of my work. If you want inspiration, here is a list of photogenic scenes from Love Is For Children.
* I would enjoy reading a story where the Avengers move in together and it's a disaster because almost none of them have the skills needed to make a shared household actually work. All the fic I've seen seems to ignore that.
* Another fun motif would be someone giving a copy of The Joy of Gay Sex to Charles and Erik or Clark and Lex.
Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them. Afterwards, leave a comment in this post with the equivalent of "I did it!"
I read and commented on the story "Cotton" by copracat, which is an adorable piece of Clark/Lex romance written from Martha Kent's perspective.
My own bit of awkward affection between Clark and Lex is "Coming Together at the Seams," which has a very similar tone and grounding in prosaic farm tasks. Clark quilts.
I spent the entire time I watched Smallville wishing I could haul those boys behind a barn and hand them a copy of The Joy of Gay Sex. Because OMFG I grew up around farmboys and I have seen that painful refusal to acknowledge relationships. Clark/Lex, along with Charles/Erik and others, has been an inspiration for my original series Antimatter and Stalwart Stan. Which is why Antimatter has that book on his shelf.
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! Today's theme is "a glitch in the matrix." 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 "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature" (17 verses, standalone).
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 "a glitch in the matrix." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.
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. "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature" has 17 verses available and stands alone.
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 bonus piece 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 "a glitch in the matrix." I'll be soliciting ideas for computer programmers, artificial intelligence, time travelers, the misunderstood, fish out of water, outcasts, The Man, troubled relationships, expecting the unexpected, seeing things, fleeing in terror, resisting oppression, facing your demons, spotting patterns, debugging the system, computers, virtual reality, lairs, alleys, liminal zones, the system, government buildings, déjà vu, outliers, computer virus issues, bugs, no it's not a bug it's a feature, disruptions, expectations, unusual vulnerabilities, radical transformation, the inescapable, the indestructable, hubris, humility, humiliation, snags, 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 New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco 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 "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature." The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
"The Big Crunch"
Candace felt terrible.
She had agreed to consider
the publisher's new contract
because she needed the money
and it was for three whole books
which her agent said was a miracle.
The problem was ...
the story was done already.
She had introduced a problem,
complicated it, and solved it
all in 55,000 words.
There were no loose ends;
the plot was all tied up quite neatly
with a bow around it.
The Calliope of Mars
was meant to stand alone.
Now she'd let people
talk her into sketching out
the plot of a whole new trilogy
"just to see what happens" ...
It was a disaster.
Finally Candace did
the only thing she could.
She looked at the thumb drive
which held the contracts and
and her terrible, horrible notes for
The Organ-Grinder of Uranus.
Then she brought her foot down
upon it with an almighty CRUNCH.
The Calliope of Mars
was finished, damn it, and it was
going to stay that way.
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I have a linkback poem, "An Unprecedented Duel with Nature" (17 verses, standalone).
If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts. I am now.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
( New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )
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Warning: This poem contains some stressful elements regarding neurovariance and traumatic experiences. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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