Heroes and Villains

Jan. 30th, 2015 04:37 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has two posts about character morality and development.  "Hero or Villain?" looks at the moral spectrum.  "Build a Better Villain" shows how a villain's background influences their plot potential.

dust | dorianne laux

Jan. 30th, 2015 10:35 am
carthaginians: ([comics] stars at elbow and foot)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor —
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.

Poem: "What I Love About Games"

Jan. 29th, 2015 06:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the December 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] alexseanchai, [personal profile] siliconshaman, and LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "WILD CARD: Relative Values: Families" square in my 6-11-14 card for the [community profile] fanbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and is a direct sequel to "Bluff and Show."

Read more... )

I Love The Hour Just Before

Jan. 30th, 2015 12:05 am
saunteringfiend: (cogs)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
I love the hour just before
a party. Everybody
at home getting
ready. Pulling
on boots, fixing
their hair, planning
what to say if
she's there, picking
a pluckier lipstick,
rehearsing a joke
with a stickpin
in it, doing
the last minute
fumbling one does
before leaving for
the night like
tying up the dog or
turning on the yard
light. I like to think
of them driving,
finding their way
in the dark, taking
this left, that right,
while I light candles,
start the music softly
seething. Everything
waiting. Even
the wine barely
breathing.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Suzette Haden Elgin has passed away. You can read about her work online.  She will be sorely missed in this world, and dearly welcomed in another.

Some time ago I posted a poem about her, "The Languagewoman," summarizing my interactions and her accomplishments.

Here is a new elegy...


"Soulsounds"
-- an elegy for Suzette Haden Elgin (November 18, 1936 – January 27, 2015)


The soul is not substance but sound,
a self made of speech and song.

Birth is the opening of a throat
to cry out in discovery.

Death is the sliding of a voice
from one chorus to another.

When angels weep, mortals rejoice;
and when mortals weep, angels rejoice;

but in God's ear it is all one sublime symphony,
and the Great Conductor never loses track of a single note.

synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic posting in [community profile] poetry
Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?
What a shame sir!
We'll find you
Another game sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

Starting a Publication

Jan. 29th, 2015 04:38 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Here are some helpful tips on starting a publication.  The sample theme is feminism but most of the advice generalizes widely.

Poem: "Murder Salad"

Jan. 28th, 2015 03:15 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by discussions with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "evening" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Damask & Farce thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains some intense interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts. The warnings include spoilers; highlight to read. Lingering worry about Mindflare sets up the tension. There is a lot of angst about secrecy and disclosure as it gets harder for Damask to maintain cover about their multiplicity. The headmates also have a hard time resolving conflicts gracefully, because Maisie's original skills got split up unevenly when Mindflare cut her apart into several new people. So there is hostile language, emotional mistreatment, and internal physical scuffling. On the outside there are conflicts over territory, guests, and personal dynamics involving Mallory and Heron -- with other housemates like Walden getting involved. It is just a big ugly mess of college-typical challenges complicated by super issues, where young people are trying valiantly to handle these big issues with not quite enough resources. More hurt than comfort, this time. If these are sensitive topics for you, consider your headspace before deciding whether or when to read this poem.

Read more... )
saunteringfiend: (PA)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
Without this knowledge, you’ll never make it:
it’s one part fashion advice and two parts survivalist.
Learn to talk to people so they think you’re honest
but never be honest. Cooking eggs may save your life,
so crack them, neat and firm, pour into the skillet,
stir gently. Forget about your shoes; people will judge
you by your shine, the imminent light you offer them.
Be a lamppost in wilderness, be the elephant
in the showroom. If you steal the idol, make sure
to carry a weighted bag of sand. No surprises: we’ve lied
about having it all. It’s either the piano or the pit viper.
Cinderella’s shoe came off at midnight because it hurt,
and Red Riding Hood’s real story involves cannibalism and a striptease.
Don’t wear red lipstick, don’t you kiss your mother with that mouth?
Long bangs hide a multitude of sins. Ask your grandmother
about the herbs she used to swallow while pregnant.
The butterflies here didn’t start out black, they were white
as onion skin—and the forest was more ominous
before the smokestacks. Well, here’s your little basket
and coat, sweetheart, sweetmeat, smile like you mean it,
shake what you’ve got while you’ve got it,
go out into the world and knock them dead.

Good News

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:17 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good.  It can be personal or public.  We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone.  It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently?

Clothing as a Handicap

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:03 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This article explains how women's clothing is designed as a handicap (as in racing, to hobble ability, although it can cause physical disability as well) and how this manufactured helplessness is then marketed as "sexy."

I think it's a hell of a lot more sexy if a woman could rip your balls off, and chooses not to.

I almost always dress for comfort and practicality.  Not just because I might need to fight for my life, but because I am far more likely to be needed for pest control, crowd control, climbing into small or filthy places, digging holes in the ground, or doing other stuff that is not compatible with "fashion."  I have never been willing to hinder myself for the sake of appearances.  Even my dressiest clothes are almost all things I could maneuver in if I had to: suits with pants, dresses with close tops but roomy skirts, flat soles.  

But it's gender expression too; the way I dress is a clue that despite the hourglass figure I am not exactly feminine.  It's kind of like when you put homemade mayonnaise into the jar that used to hold marshmallow fluff -- you should probably write "mayo" on there so people know what's in it.  

a new language | casandra lopez

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:15 pm
carthaginians: ([art] we are given wings)
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
My words are always
collapsing

upon themselves, they feel too tight
in my mouth. I want a new
language. One with at least
50 words for grief

and 50 words for love, so I can offer
them to the living
who mourn the dead. I want

a language that understands
sister-pain and heart-hurt. So
when I tell you Brother

is my hook of heart, you will see

the needle threading me to
the others, numbered
men, women and children
of our grit spit city.

I want a language to tell you
about 2010's
37th homicide. The unsolved,
all I know about a man,

my city turned to number,
always sparking memory,

back to longer days when:
Ocean is the mouth
of summer. Our shell fingers
drive into sand, searching–we find

tiny silver sand crabs we scoop
and scoop till we bore and go
in search of tangy seaweed.

We are salted sun. How we brown

to earth. Our warm flesh flowering,
reminding us of our desert and canyon

blood. In this new language our bones say
sun and sea, reminding us of an old
language our mouths have forgotten, but our
marrow remembers.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The Speculative Literature Foundation is offering a grant for working-class and impoverished writers.

Read more... )

A Friendship App

Jan. 27th, 2015 08:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Pplkpr attempts to manage the user's friendships by tracking how people influence each other in positive or negative ways.  When they are good for each other, it prompts them to spend more time together.  When the results are negative, it pushes them apart.  For most people this is useless or even destructive.  But for some -- people with depression, alexithymia, autism, or any other condition that makes emotional awareness and/or social dynamics cloudy -- it may be a valuable piece of adaptive equipment.  (Of course, you still need the spoons to act on its prompts, which is a bottleneck for some people.)  I don't know how good this early version is, but I suspect that some kind of program for this could be made effective.

Poem: "A Means to the Knowledge"

Jan. 27th, 2015 06:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the November 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] rix_scaedu and [personal profile] siliconshaman. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Dr. Infanta thread of the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

Bilingual Anthology

Jan. 27th, 2015 01:45 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
There is an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for a bilingual anthology, Castles in Spain / Castillos en el aire. It aims to bring the speculative fiction stories that have served as milestones in Spain to English-language readers.

Collections Mailed

Jan. 26th, 2015 07:47 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today we mailed all the poetry collections for the k-fan perks.  They're going to different places by different methods, so it could be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks before arrival.  Sorry for the delays -- we had to get a new printer, and backtrack at Staples because of an error there, then the first time we went to the post office it was closed.  But they are done now!  Yay.  Yay.  Project off desk. 

Poem: "The Stories We Tell"

Jan. 26th, 2015 05:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by the "small vices" square in my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This story mentions censorship in the context of several children's books which can be interpreted in different ways, some of which are distasteful to certain readers.  If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

How to Stay in Bed, Cathy Barber

Jan. 26th, 2015 03:03 pm
saunteringfiend: (dreamsheep)
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
Start the night before. Don’t set the alarm.
Consider setting it, perhaps, but decide against.
Shut the blinds before you lie down at night.
Turn the plastic rod so the blinds are tight.
When the inevitable light forms in lines
and brightens your room anyway, turn away.
Close your eyes again and see if that helps.
When closing your eyes doesn’t help,
pull the covers over your head. Grab them
in a way that you can tighten them all around.
Like, as a child who believed in witches,
you blocked their prying searches for you.
Get comfortable again. Adjust your under-the-covers
pillows. Wiggle your shoulders into new,
less scrunched positions. Let your arms rest
where they will.
Think lovely thoughts. Really. Go all Mary Poppins,
or if you prefer, Mr. Rogers.
Put on a metaphorical cardigan and slippers.
Enter the world of make believe.
There is no car here, no highway,
no bumper-to-bumper, no boss,
no deadlines, no failures,
just sleep and sleep and dreams.

"Foursquare" is now complete!

Jan. 26th, 2015 12:16 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Thanks to a donation from LJ user Ng_moonmoth, "Foursquare" is now complete.  See how the game is played with superpowers.

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Renee Carter Hall

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