BINGO: row

Feb. 28th, 2015 11:35 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I have made bingo on Row 2 of my Valentine's Day Bingo Card 1-31-15.  All my other fills from this card are linked there too.

Last Day to Vote!

Feb. 28th, 2015 05:21 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: (Rose-Bay)
Today is the last day to vote for the Rose & Bay Awards. Please drop by and vote if you have not already done so. Some of the categories have only a few votes, so it would really help if more people would chime in. Nomination links are included in case you want to brows the options before making your selections.

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!

Snow News

Feb. 28th, 2015 04:15 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: (pounce)
It has started snowing here.  We're supposed to get several inches.  We've just come home from shopping; we have food and fuel, so there should be no need to go out driving in the snow.  I fed the birds, and they're already mobbing the feeders.  Sparrows, cardinals, and mourning doves as far as the eye can see.  I saw a rabbit too.  Sometimes they come under the feeders to scrounge for spilled seed. 

Learning by Osmosis

Feb. 27th, 2015 03:19 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
AI specialists at the University of Maryland have created a robot that can learn by observing.  This one taught itself to cook by watching YouTube.

This is epic.  It's the "monkey see, monkey do" moment.  One of the most crucial steps in creating artificial life is the ability of self-learning instead of programming.  More importantly, learning by observation -- rather than being trained explicitly -- is a feature of higher lifeforms such as humans, cetaceans, and great apes.  It lays a foundation for the "aha!" moment of awakening to self.  A robot might go through the motions and then suddenly understand  what they mean.

Just remember, an AI is like a small child.  They learn what they see.  They mimic what you do, not what you say.  So treat them as you want to be treated.  Teach them well.  Then they'll do great things, instead of going insane and trying to destroy the world.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a heartfelt post on why we need asexual characters, especially in positive roles.  But it's not just because asexual people need role models too.  It's because even sexual  people shouldn't be pressured all the time to get in a relationship.  Being single needs to be okay.

Ironically, one of the healthiest relationships in Polychrome Heroics is a quiet little villain/villain F/F.  Fortressa has declared that she is Through With Men.  Okay, fine, she can do that.  One of her henchwomen, Socket, has an almighty crush on Fortressa -- and has said absolutely nothing about it, because Fortressa isn't interested in a sexual/romantic relationship.  Instead, Socket is just always there for her, fixing up the battlesuit and making sure there's food in the shop fridge and generally trying to make Fortressa's life easier.  Because that's what true love is all about.  It's not about getting what you want out of the other person.  It's that condition in which somebody's happiness in integral to your own, so you do what you can to be there for them, however they  want you to.  It doesn't have to be sexual.  And what started out as a crush is slowly, inexorably, and quite beautifully growing into a squish which is fulfilling for both of them.

To find my asexual, celibate, demisexual, etc. characters, check out the QUILTBAG list.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Leonard Nimoy has passed away.  He lived long, and prospered.  He both was and was not Spock.  But while everyone knows that role, I have another favorite too: he also starred in Brave New World, where it was utterly delightful to see him frisking around advising the other characters to be happy and have lots of promiscuous sex.

He taught us a lot about logic and emotion; more crucially still, the need to balance both in order to live well.  Along with the rest of the Star Trek teamfamily, he taught us about tolerance -- not just of others, but of ourselves.  He showed us glimpses, not just of one future, but of many futures.  In doing these things, he left an imprint that will last as long as our culture does.

So I'm sorry he's left us -- though he has left quite a lot to us -- and I'm really going to miss that man.  But on the other side...


Leonard Nimoy looks at the enormous mob burgeoning around The Great Con in the Sky.  Two cloud buses have arrived simultaneously.  One of them disgorges a flock of angels -- is that Metatron? -- while the other lets out a stream of tzadikim.  On the front lawn, a circle of Summerlanders are spit-roasting an entire ox.

Leonard shakes his head and sneaks around back in search of an open window.  Just as he is closing the window behind himself, a soft sound makes him whirl around.  "Gene!" he cries gladly.

"Hello, old friend," says Gene Roddenberry as they hug.  "Sorry about the crush out front.  People are excited to see you."

Leonard raises an eyebrow.  "Coming in the back way was a logical ruse," he says.  "But what are you  doing here?"

"Waiting for you," Gene replies.  "Since you made your peace with old Spock, I figured you'd take the logical route.  Come on, I'll show you where we stashed the secret Green Room.  If we hurry, we can get there before Isaac Asimov eats all the cookies."

Grinning, Leonard drapes a long arm over Gene's shoulders and says, "Lead the way."

Broadband Is a Utility

Feb. 27th, 2015 03:59 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Broadband internet access has been declared a utility.  I am pleased, and a little surprised that they actually got something right.

Poem: "Tools and Toys"

Feb. 25th, 2015 08:50 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2015 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chordatesrock. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
posted by Neil Gaiman
I really am out of the habit of blogging, aren't I? Some of it's from travelling too much, and most of it is probably from using Twitter and Facebook in places and ways that I would have blogged in the past.

Last year's social media sabbatical was really pleasant and rewarding, though, and I'm thinking about doing another, longer one, at the end of this year. Which will probably mean I'll return to blogging again then.

I'm writing this from a hotel in Dublin, where I was today receiving the James Joyce Award. Now off to the UK, where I'll be delivering the Douglas Adams memorial lecture, as a benefit for Save the Rhinos. (Almost all tickets are gone. A few VIP tickets are up on ebay.) The Lecture is called Immortality and Douglas Adams. I know that. Now I just have to write it.

A new book is out: it's called Trigger Warning: Short Stories and Disturbances.

I learned when Smoke and Mirrors came out what people say in reviews of short story collections, and learned it again when Fragile Things came out, a decade later. The reviews say "A good collection of stories, let down by (the weak stories) and redeemed by (the strong stories)" But nobody ever seems to agree on what the weak and the strong stories are, so I never feel I have learned very much from the reviews, but am always happy that people found stories that they did like in there.

So that's what most of the reviews say.

Then there's Frank Cottrell Boyce writing in the New Statesman, about Trigger Warning, short stories, what they are and how we read them, and it's an essay I'd love even if I weren't in there:

It is interesting that Saint Columba makes an appearance. Columba began his exile on Iona in penance for his part in the 6th-century Battle of the Book, a conflict that had its origin in his secret copying of Saint Finnian’s psalter: a kind of medieval illegal download. The subsequent ruling – “To every cow its calf, to every book its copy” – marks an important moment in the history of books. Were they beautiful, magical objects, to be carried into battle as charms (as the psalter was)? Or were they a means to disseminate information? Should their magic stay locked inside or should it be shared? Trigger Warning seems to grow out of a similar rift – the alternating currents of struggle and synergy that flow between the page and the electronic media.

I'm pleased that most readers seem to enjoy most of Trigger Warning, especially pleased and relieved that "Black Dog", the second of the American Gods stories of Shadow in the UK, seems to be well-received. I'm nervously caracoling towards the next novel, and suspect I'll start it in a few months, when the current giant jobs are done...

Amanda and I went to Sarasota to see my 97 year old cousin Helen, and seeing we were there and it was Valentine's Day, we did an event at the beautiful historic Tampa Theatre. This, at the end of a VERY long evening, is me singing "I Google You".



And the beautiful P. Craig Russell limited edition print we did for it is up for sale at Neverwear:

Ah. That was my return to blogging and it wasn't funny at all, was it? Bugger.





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ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
 The general fund poll is up on LiveJournal.  You may vote in a comment if you don't have an account there.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Latest fun graphic from Compound Interest is about proton nuclear magnetic resonance.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Thanks to a donation from Ng_moonmoth, you can start on the first 33 verses of "Often Buried Deep."  It belongs to the series An Army of One and follows Astin's new trade route, so you can see how the different parts of the Lacuna are starting to connect with each other.

A Miles Morales Movie?

Feb. 25th, 2015 01:07 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So there's a petition to set up the new MCU Spiderman as Miles Morales.  It's a longshot, but I am so rooting for this.  I haven't even bothered to watch the latest Spiderman movies, the trailers looked so awful; I prefer the earlier ones.  But if we could have Miles?  TAKE MAH MONEY!

I will never cease to be impressed by the fact that Miles came out of someone at Marvel saying, "I wonder what the demographics of New York are like today," looking up some actual facts, and then responding to the huge mixed race population by giving Miles an African/Hispanic heritage.  :D  
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Marina_bonomi. It also fills the "Summertime (and the Livin' Is Easy) square in my 9-1-15 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

Read more... )

Taking stock. Again.

Feb. 24th, 2015 05:22 pm[personal profile] chrysilla
chrysilla: (will thelemic)
Have had the soul-flu for most of the month. And my stomach's been extra weird in new ways. Winter usually wakes me up a bit, b/c cold doesn't break my brain the way summer humidity does, but I was already burnt out so there isn't much to bounce back on. I've decided to not feel bad or guilty at all for spending most weekends home alone sewing and stash busting, but at least I've had a few outings. Dinner out with friends, and some other friends stopped by my house for BPAL and geeking out, yay. I've been remembering to *read* my dayplanner as much as I write in it, so that's awesome.

MES weekend was fun earlier this month, and my new Accord costume bits worked out OK, but I think in general the Friday and Saturday nite games will work out better for my energy levels, and picking up out of town guests, etc. And it means one less dinner to buy between the Saturday games. But I was less crashed out than usual on Sunday, yay. In Accord we wrapped up some wolfie plot, so my lil goth wolfie PC can chill out for a few months in downtimes, and playing thru various IRC games. Barely had anything to do at the downtimes meetup this month, wuz kinda awesome. And I still didn't feel awake enough to be truly effective in Requiem, so will see how next month's combo goes.

I've been toying with the idea of going to the MES National convention, but while there is actually Cris-safe food in the area around the hotel, Roanoke is just too expensive to get to via plane. I just won't have enough in my 'other cons' savings account to cover it all. Dexcon is still failing on food though (is the same weekend, around July 4th) so I'm thinking that this year I might just not do any more cons aside from DCon, and build up a bigger $$ pillow in that account for now. On the other hand, I might stop going to DCon every year, will see. Much room to edit and try stuff out.


As for the continuing Sewing Sagas, Faaaaabric )

Went over financial stuff for the month last night, will pay my bills tonight b/c I'll be away this weekend. While I suck less than the last few months I'm still not very good at not overspending. So in March Ima put off my BPAL order until the end in case I didn't spend all my $$ on linen. Or I might just pointedly forget that I have a shopping list for Lupers, since I have so much perfume already, and put that $$ back into savings. My Autumn BPALS, and one of two Yules, are already quite nice now that they're here. I continue to suck at refilling my emergency fund but at least now its automated.

Changed up the spending-tracker portion of my spreadsheet a little bit, splitting the 'other' column into "stuff" and "experiences". Am hoping to have less of the first and more of the second by the end of the year. And I can't afford the second if I blow all my $$ on the first, durh.


Although, I won't have that much time for sewing if I do end up going to grad school this summer. Back to the MLS? )


I've been fighting off some kind of nose/throat ick for a couple of weeks, not sure if it's an illness or just the heating system at work being mean to my sinuses. Its barely there at home, where I have a humidifier chugging away. Tho last weekend I just had zero energy. Several sewing projects already cut out, and just couldn't work on anything. All I could do was crash out on the couch and watch tv, with a few breaks for vital chores. Dumb soul flu :-P Tho I think I made it worse by downloading another Birthday Massacre album that was missing from my collection. Ooops.


Looking forward to going to the Boston MES games this weekend, to see friends, "to Marguerite" in Requiem, and to deal with varying levels of exquisite angst and awkward in Accord, lol. Poor lil goth wolfie. On the other hand, watching the weather reports very closely in case things are going to get cancelled, either the trains or the games. But it looks good so far :-) And this will probably be my last chance to dress up as Nav in live-action rp for a few months.

<3 Chrysilla

Poem: "Il Vero Prezzo"

Feb. 24th, 2015 11:39 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem is spillover from the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills the "I want a lifetime with you" square on my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

Read more... )

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... which is hardly a surprise. What really disappoints me is this:

"Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs -- notably the first black person in her position -- denies that the academy has a problem recognizing diversity, but the demographics of the organization's members tell a different story."

Since the demographics indicate a clear bias toward white men, the above statement means that she agrees  with that situation.  She sees it, but doesn't consider it a problem.  She thinks it's okay and should stay that way.

Lady, please go the fuck home.  Some of us are tired of Hollywonderbread.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "I can't stop thinking about you when we're apart" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I just dropped $5 into "Endless Poetry" on Kickstarter.  I want more poetry to exist, I want to support crowdfunded poetry, and I want to encourage multicultural writers.  Triple score!  :D

I Know What's Best

Feb. 23rd, 2015 08:58 am[personal profile] hummingwolf
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
"I’m a mom, a wife, a doula, an urban chicken farmer, a life coach, an extended breast-feeder, a weaver, a kombucha brewer, a yogini, and a Therapeutic Healing Touch practitioner. But most importantly, I’m a mom. And as a mom, I know what’s best for the health of my family: magical thinking."
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman. Just so you know, it's also the start of a three-part arc with Fiorenza and Giacinto in Faggiola.

Read more... )

Printable Hands

Feb. 21st, 2015 03:33 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug found this awesome article about 3D printed hands.  I've been following similar advances but this one is different -- the patterns are public domain so anyone can customize, print, and assemble a manual prosthesis.  Awesome!  If you're into model kits or 3D printing, and looking for volunteer opportunities, seriously consider this.  

I am particularly pleased that the people behind the design released it to the public so it could be used freely as needed, instead of holding it hostage for exorbitant amounts of money like conventional prosthetics.  A 3D hand costs $20-50.  Compare that to the cost of conventional prosthetics: $5000 for a merely cosmetic arm, $10,000 for a simplistic hook, and $20,000-$100,000 for a high-performance myoelectric arm.  Granted the high-end model currently does things the 3D one can't, but people are already improving the 3D version, and it's a lot better to have something  than nothing at all.  Regarding cosmetic aspects, children and geeks seem to find the robotic-looking 3D hands cool and appealing.  Instead of hitting the "uncanny valley" they hit the "nifty toy" category.

This is what open source can do when you turn it loose.  :D

Poem: "Mai Soli"

Feb. 21st, 2015 02:07 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ellenmillion and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
 Thanks to a donation from LJ user The_vulture, there are six new verses in "The Gravity of Loss."  Graham and Cash discuss more possible solutions to address Cash's issues.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is the standard.

I disagree with some of the phrasing and content.



Warning: The following debate concerns a controversial topic and strong opinions.  If you are sensitive about any of that, please consider your headspace before reading further.



Read more... )

Four-Sparrow Cold

Feb. 20th, 2015 07:12 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
How cold is it here today?  It is four-sparrow cold.

We have a hopper feeder for the birds.  They don't always like to share it.  So on a warm day, it's one sparrow per side, front and back, who will throw a gigantic hissyfit if another bird lands on the feeder.

When it starts to get cold, two sparrows will share the same feeding ledge, at far corners, with an occasional peck and flutter.  They will also cooperate to drive off anything that tries to land between them.

On a cold day, three sparrows will land on the ledge, but they squabble back and forth.

You know it is really frigid  out when there are four sparrows crammed wing-to-wing on each side of the feeder, all stuffing their faces as fast as they can, instead of fighting. 

Also out today were a few mourning doves and a pair of cardinals.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] anke. It also fills the "You are my treasure" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is paired with "The Strength to Persevere," each revealing how the characters think about themselves and each other, but in mirror images -- there are things they haven't figured out how to communicate yet. They have some rough emotional history which may cause headspace issues for readers who've had similar experiences. The tone of the actual poems is positive, though; these folks are very good for each other.

Spoiler alert! These poems are based on characters Glyn and Ruggiero, created by myself and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, already introduced elsewhere ... but these are "in the future" compared to what has actually been published as of 2/20/15, and based on some stuff that is still in development. So if you only read series in their internal-chronological order, make a note of these to be read later.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] anke. It also fills the "You are my strength" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is paired with "The Treasure of Happiness," each revealing how the characters think about themselves and each other, but in mirror images -- there are things they haven't figured out how to communicate yet. They have some rough emotional history which may cause headspace issues for readers who've had similar experiences. The tone of the actual poems is positive, though; these folks are very good for each other.

Spoiler alert! These poems are based on characters Glyn and Ruggiero, created by myself and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, already introduced elsewhere ... but these are "in the future" compared to what has actually been published as of 2/20/15, and based on some stuff that is still in development. So if you only read series in their internal-chronological order, make a note of these to be read later.

Read more... )

Neanderthal Flute

Feb. 20th, 2015 03:44 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Article comes with a recording of music played on a replica.

Amazon Names

Feb. 20th, 2015 01:39 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I first found this article, about the translation of Amazon names, which annoyingly gave only the English versions. Digging further, I came to one with more details about the process. Finally I found one with a few examples: These ancient Circassian names include Pkpupes, “worthy of armor”; Kepes, “hot flanks/eager sex”; Barkida, “princess”; and Khasa, “one who heads a council.”

Then I hit the jackpot with this lengthy discussion of how the translations come together, and a lot more examples, including more about Hot Flanks:
ΚΕΠΕΣ Kepes
Kepes appears to mean “Hot Flanks” or some other lower body part in Circassian. (Note that the name for the state of California originated from Latin for an Amazon queen Califa, cali-forn- hot-copulation). The form would be (West) Circassian
(WC) /kJepe-s/ flank-hot, with /-s/ “hot” often the second element of names even today, where it means literally “hot,” but metaphorically “intense, enthusiastic.” So, “Enthusiastic Sex.” The two stops in WC are voiceless unaspirated, just as kappa and pi were in ancient Greek
.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] helgatwb and LJ user Zianuray. It also fills the "Just found out allergic to (food or flowers etc.)" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo Fest.  This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  It belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

Read more... )

Poem: "Flowered Lanes"

Feb. 19th, 2015 03:15 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
This poem came out of the February 17, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.


"Flowered Lanes"
-- an Italian sonnet


In winter, frigid winds and frost hold sway,
Which grip the world in silver claws so keen
They tear the curtains, lash the trees to lean,
And almost seem to strip the flesh away.

In spring, the winter snow and ice give way
To browning mud and sudden shoots of green --
Then purple crocus everywhere are seen --
It's muck in April, flowered lanes by May.

One day you leave your house, and there they are --
white violets in shade, an early rose
in sun, the scent of thyme about the farm,
a sprig of mint, and Bethlehem's blue star.
Now Fiorenza smiles as she goes
to gather them, a basket on her arm.

* * *

Notes:

Read about weather in Le Marche.

Italian wildflowers include crocus, violet, rose, wild thyme, wild mint, and star of Bethlehem.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Feb. 18th, 2015 04:20 pm[personal profile] jolantru
jolantru: (Default)
May the year of the Goat/Ram/Sheep bring you abundance and joy.

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Feb. 17th, 2015 01:24 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: (Fiorenza)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.

Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is the perk for the February 3, 2015 fishbowl meeting the $250 goal.  Today's theme is  "Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  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.


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 "Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  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  "Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  The primary focus is romance, in honor of Valentine's Day, so think of Fiorenza/Giacinto, Bettina/Arrigo, etc. I'll also be soliciting ideas for villagers, visitors, fairy tale characters or creatures, rural Italy, historic cottages or gardens, sacred or historic places near Fermo, ordinary objects with mystical effects, fairy tale plot twists, personal conflicts or challenges, side scenes from previous events, gaps in the storyline that need to be filled, everyday issues transmuted into rustic fantasy versions, and Italian 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 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.

February 2015

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