New baby (cat) and book log!

Sep. 18th, 2014 12:23 pm
alg: (Default)
[personal profile] alg
Last week, I rather unexpectedly adopted a cat. Back in January, my beloved Shiksa died of a heart attack. I thought to myself, Two cats is enough. But Vincent and Theodore have been rather lost without a third -- without an alpha female bossing them around. And one of my close friends found a post about a DC-area alpha female who needed a home.

Just a few days later, I'd adopted her.

I named her Queen Esther, but have ended up calling her Hadassah all the time. (I have had to explain to a lot of people why Queen Esther and Hadassah are interchangeable names to my mind. Even Jewish people. ngl, that is very surprising.)

Here are some pictures:


She is tiny -- she weighs about 7 lbs. To give you a sense of scale, Vincent weighs 19. Shiksa weighed 26.


...Now. Book log.

I am still struggling with Ancillary Justice. It is just really not for me.

Last night I read the new Tana French - The Secret Place. I thought she did an amazing job with the voices of the teenage girls, but I did not understand at all what the hell the paranormal elements were doing in there.

The mystery was okaaaaay but I am tired of books narrated by dudes that are books about women. The book would have been plenty interesting if it had been narrated by the woman who was the lead detective investigating the case. I didn't have any empathy or interest in the male narrator observing all the women who he continually reminded us he could never understand because he's a man. Tedious.

PTSD is like ...

Sep. 18th, 2014 03:56 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... piloting a BattleMech.  This is a brilliant metaphor that will make sense to many gamers.  Remember that once the systems have overheated, it takes time  to cool down to a functional level again.  This is useful if you or someone you know has PTSD or any related condition.

Poem: "Boundary Lines"

Sep. 18th, 2014 12:58 am
ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith

This is the second freebie from the bonus fishbowl, courtesy of new prompters [personal profile] jazzyjj and Deb1789 and new donor Debra Ames.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht.  It also fills the "courtship rituals" square in my 6-11-14 card for the [community profile] fanbingo fest.  This poem belongs to the series P.I.E.


"Boundary Lines"


Darrel had made it quite clear
that he didn't want Brenda
to meet his parents, but
they ran into each other
one day at the police station.

With a sigh, Darrel gave in
to the inevitable and made introductions.

Within minutes, Brenda silently admitted
that Darrel had been right all along.

Mrs. Finn simpered and fluttered,
leaning on the arm of Brenda's wheelchair
and occasionally groping for handles that weren't there.

Mr. Finn simply pretended that she did not exist.

It was always a challenge to keep people
from manhandling her hardware
in crowded places, but it was
all the more annoying when they did it
without even that excuse.

Rick was just as bad;
Brenda suspected that
being a construction boss
made him interested in
how things were made.

He had a hard time 
keeping his hands off
her spokes and nuts,
and couldn't keep his
mouth shut if you taped it.

Nate, on the other hand,
tended to drop things in her lap
without looking to make sure
they landed securely, and he
wouldn't sit down to speak with her
but preferred to remain standing.

It was little comfort that he used
the same silly dominance tricks
with everyone else, and it made Brenda
wonder if he was compensating for something.

She usually had to work
at maintaining her boundary lines,
to keep a little bubble of space around herself,
and then again to make people notice her.

She used her hands and arms
in expansive gestures, and
sometimes tapped a foot
even though it startled people.

With Darrel, though, Brenda
didn't have to do any of that.
He flowed around her like wind,
like water, neither hesitating
nor presuming to touch.

Brenda liked that about him,
the way he fit himself into her life
and invited her into his,

their boundaries slowly but surely
beginning to blend together.

* * *

Notes:

The human brain can incorporate a wheelchair into its self-image, so it counts as part of someone's personal space.  Understand the etiquette for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.

Body language is complicated by such things as gender and social rank.  There are ways to use expansive body language to your advantage. 

Personal boundaries include several types.  Know how to establish and adjust your boundaries to keep people from bothering you.

Close relationships rely on letting your guard down, so you need to know when and how to lower your barriers.  There are always ways of building trust in a relationship.

Machines | Michael Donaghy

Sep. 17th, 2014 12:02 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett posting in [community profile] poetry
Dearest, note how these two are alike:
This harpsicord pavane by Purcell
And the racer’s twelve-speed bike.

The machinery of grace is always simple.
This chrome trapezoid, one wheel connected
To another of concentric gears,
Which Ptolemy dreamt of and Schwinn perfected,
Is gone. The cyclist, not the cycle, steers.
And in the playing, Purcell’s chords are played away.

So this talk, or touch if I were there,
Should work its effortless gadgetry of love,
Like Dante’s heaven, and melt into the air.

If it doesn’t, of course, I’ve fallen. So much is chance,
So much agility, desire, and feverish care,
As bicyclists and harpsicordists prove

Who only by moving can balance,
Only by balancing move.

Story: "Up the Water Spout" Part 9

Sep. 17th, 2014 04:19 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," and "Little and Broken, but Still Good."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Betty Ross, Bucky Barnes.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Mention of human trafficking and nonconsensual drug use. Slightly offstage sexual violence. Dubcon/Noncon.
Summary: Sometimes the Black Widow needs to hunt, and sometimes she needs help settling her personality afterwards. Uncle Phil arranges an extra ageplay session.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. BAMF!Black Widow. Black Widow is creepy. Spiders. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Caregiving. Competence. Girl stuff. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.

Read more... )

Owl Sounds

Sep. 17th, 2014 03:30 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Outside my window there is an owl doing this

belief in magic | dean young

Sep. 17th, 2014 09:00 am
carthaginians: ([art] nothing that has not fed that fire)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
How could I not?
Have seen a man walk up to a piano
and both survive.
Have turned the exterminator away.
Seen lipstick on a wine glass not shatter the wine.
Seen rainbows in puddles.
Been recognized by stray dogs.
I believe reality is approximately 65% if.
All rivers are full of sky.
Waterfalls are in the mind.
We all come from slime.
Even alpacas.
I believe we’re surrounded by crystals.
Not just Alexander Vvedensky.
Maybe dysentery, maybe a guard’s bullet did him in.
Nonetheless.
Nevertheless
I believe there are many kingdoms left.
The Declaration of Independence was written with a feather.
A single gem has throbbed in my chest my whole life
even though
even though this is my second heart.
Because the first failed,
such was its opportunity.
Was cut out in pieces and incinerated.
I asked.
And so was denied the chance to regard my own heart
in a jar.
Strange tangled imp.
Wee sleekit in red brambles.
You know what it feels like to hold
a burning piece of paper, maybe even
trying to read it as the flames get close
to your fingers until all you’re holding
is a curl of ash by its white ear tip
yet the words still hover in the air?
That’s how I feel now.

Running Robot

Sep. 16th, 2014 01:54 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Check out this robotic quadruped which can run and jump.  It's pretty cool.  Legs are more versatile than wheels for traversing uneven terrain and surmounting obstacles.  So this is a fascinating advance.

Although billed as a robotic cheetah, it lacks the characteristic flexible spine which creates the cheetah's famous speed.  I'm thinking more mechanical hound.  This isn't just a random quibble, by the way, it's science in action.  I know how  a cheetah generates so much speed -- that spine acts like a spring -- and I can apply that knowledge to other contexts.  So I knew to look at the spine of the robot.  Now if I were into competition robotics, this would inspire me to experiment with springy-spined robots to see if I could really make a robotic cheetah.  And maybe I'd try to stick a gyroscope in one too, because a cheetah's cornering agility is also a masterful thing, whereas vertical robots have this annoying tendency to wipeout on turns.  (I am impressed by the above robot's ability to stay upright.)  Since I'm not skilled at building robots, I'm putting these ideas online for the amusement of anyone who is.

Just, y'know, don't use it to make mechanical hounds for hunting bookworms.  In this society I feel a need to make that warning.

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Sep. 16th, 2014 01:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The Poetry Fishbowl is now closed for prompts.  (Other poem thumbnails may appear later.)  Thank you for your enthusiasm.

Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is the perk for recent fishbowls meeting the $250 goal.  Today's theme is "P.I.E."  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.

You may also want to browse recent discussions about disability in F&SF and the vocabulary of disability on my blogs.


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 "P.I.E."  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) 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.

3) 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"

4) 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.


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.


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 "P.I.E."  I'll be soliciting ideas for Brenda, Darrel, Nate, Rick, their friends and family, private investigators, people with disabilities, creatures of urban fantasy, adaptive equipment, interesting weapons, tools of the trade, clothes that are designed to look good while seated, adventures on wheels, bizarre things that happen in cities, urban legends, offices and office buildings, wheelchair-friendly places, mobility-challenging places, romantic spots, life on wheels, things able-bodied people rarely notice, saving the day, annoying things that unwelcome suitors do, side scenes from previous events, 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 Lewis Turco's The New 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.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

Art

Sep. 16th, 2014 02:37 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 LJ user Kestrels_nest noticed there was a verse missing in "A Strange and Gentle Contagion," which was a previous linkback poem.  That one is now complete.

Read "The Genie" by Lb_lee

Sep. 15th, 2014 03:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
LJ user Lb_lee has written the story "The Genie" based on my prompt. It has been partially sponsored out of the general fund, so if you want to see more, you can toss in a donation.

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2014 08:57 am
erda: (Default)
[personal profile] erda posting in [community profile] poetry
Theme week begins now. Please post poems relating to the theme of music this week. Please tag them with the words theme:music.

Story: "Up the Water Spout" Part 8

Sep. 15th, 2014 12:13 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," and "Little and Broken, but Still Good."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Betty Ross, Bucky Barnes.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Mention of human trafficking and nonconsensual drug use. Slightly offstage sexual violence. Dubcon/Noncon.
Summary: Sometimes the Black Widow needs to hunt, and sometimes she needs help settling her personality afterwards. Uncle Phil arranges an extra ageplay session.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. BAMF!Black Widow. Black Widow is creepy. Spiders. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Caregiving. Competence. Girl stuff. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

Read more... )

Read a Poem by Bookblather

Sep. 14th, 2014 06:09 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] bookblather has written a poem based on my prompt, about good and evil.

Read "Return to Sender" by Lb_lee

Sep. 14th, 2014 02:25 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
LJ user Lb_lee has written the story "Return to Sender; Addressee Deceased" for my prompt about nightmares within a multiple system.  They're superheroes, and sometimes that can be nerve-wracking.  It's creepy and sweet at the same time.  Special thanks to AnonSwede for sponsoring this!

Amish Technology

Sep. 13th, 2014 01:37 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's a cool article about the Amish adoption of technology. They all follow one basic rule: if a new thing is more trouble than it's worth, they won't use it.  Different Amish communities draw that line in different places.  

I actually use that rule myself, again with a different threshold.  I've had people call me Amish, meaning it as an insult, for not using things they think I should be using that I don't use because they're worthless or troublesome for me.  I say, "No, but that is where I got the idea."  It's a great rule.  It saves so many headaches.  I'm neophilic in many ways.  But I've seen society make a lot of stupid mistakes, and its safety precautions are abysmal.  This contributes to my caution about adopting new things myself.  I look for the drawbacks.

Most people don't.  Their default is to accept new technology.  They often don't consider the costs.

Read "Fealty" by Clare_dragonfly

Sep. 12th, 2014 03:02 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] clare_dragonfly has posted the story "Fealty" in the Ursulan Cycle, introducing Morgan Tud to the court of Queen Ursula.  It's beautifully told in four perspectives.

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Renee Carter Hall

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