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The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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A new GMO food in development is the pink pineapple, with the antioxidant lycopene.  I might like to try that one, as it has a defined benefit for diners (rather than just enriching executives). There is also a purple tomato, but we already have those from non-GMO varieties.  Eh, I'd consider tasting the new ones.  I like the concept of gengineering but frown on most of the current applications due to safety concerns and/or features that don't benefit the end user.

I disapprove of the non-browning apples and all other modifications which make stale food seem fresh.  This route is why most supermarket fruits and vegetables are so tough and flavorless that they're barely worth eating, so people don't eat them.  They were bred for such things as shipping durability or ease of harvest instead of nutrition and flavor like people used to do.  Fuck it, I'll buy heirlooms at the farmer's market.

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ysabetwordsmith
Here's a fascinating article about Native American superheroes

I like Cherokee!Superman, but I think my favorite is "Tewa Tales of Suspense" (I never get tired of seeing people beat the stuffing out of invaders) followed by Captain Paiute.

Over in Terramagne, my indigenous soups include the Native Alaskan superheras in "The Hand of Sedna," and they mention Katsina who is Hopi. The Iron Horses are an intertribal motorcycle gang, based on the challenges faced by people of mixed heritage.  There's a glimpse of them in "Turning Leaves."  Fireheart, introduced in "Glorious Accidents," is Aboriginal Canadian; he and his wife Jackie Frost (French-Canadian) have a daughter named Aurora.  The super-gizmologist Thingamabob has Native American heritage but has assimilated to where the only sign of it is her appearance: copper skin and straight black hair.  A fair number of other people have a trace of native ancestry, and I note it in character sheets when I know about it.

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If you don't like how other people portray you, then represent yourself!  That batch is from Africa.  Don't let other people control the conversations about you, your  people, your homeland, or whatever else they're busy botching.  Speak up.

As a writer, I heartily approve of this.  It makes research easier and more effective.  One challenge I face in writing diversity is that most references aren't diverse.  They've heavily slanted.  If I search "African women" I get A) pr0n and B) pity pr0n.  This is not helpful when I am trying to find, say, a picture of a Nigerian woman or a park ranger.  Projects like the one above help broaden the material available.  Then I can do a more accurate rendition of Africa even though I haven't visited it in this life. What makes an African city distinctive from an American or Russian or Chinese one?  What about the landscape is unique?  I need sample of more than just giraffes!

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Nicholas Winton has passed away.  He is best known for rescuing over 650 Jewish children from the Nazis.  

The real heroes rarely if ever think of themselves as heroes.  They may not even have a heroic job.  They may be facing insurmountable odds with insufficient resources.  They may be in danger if they're caught.  But they do what they can, and they focus on saving "that one."  This guy saved 650+ "that ones."

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Right now there's a rash of church burnings that targets all or mostly black congregations. There are things people can do to oppose that ...

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Here is my card for Winter Fest in July.  Bingo will run from July 1st through July 31.  This month we will be celebrating all winter holidays.  (See all my 2015 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out.  I've had a few requests for this and the results have been awesome so far.  This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Underlined prompts have been filled.


Winter Fest in July Bingo Card




Shoveling snowSnow globesCandyHat / Mittens / ScarvesFeliz Navidad
Winter SolsticeBoxing Day - December 26FeastAll I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front TeethInternational Day of Persons with Disabilities - December 3
Maoz TzurYule LogWILD CARDSilver and GoldRosa Parks Day - December 1
DovesChristmasFrankincense / MyrrhHolly / IvyRudolph
La BefanaCarolingJack FrostYes Virginia There Is a Santa ClausBaking / Cooking

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ysabetwordsmith
Here's a thoughtful article about pricing your crafts.  

I typically look at time + materials for crafts.  With services, I look at time and compare with what other people are charging. I've done simple mending at an hourly rate, because it just isn't that difficult.  Sewing from patterns I charge a bit more for, and I've done at least one pattern that I decided was too fussy to do again.  But basic skirts?  Still pretty easy.  

I pay a lot of attention to difficulty and time.  With poetry, I can afford to sell it relatively cheap because I write it fast.  I'm still making better money than I would from most magazines, because poetry in the mainstream pays shit wages.  You can get a poem from me for less than a paper book -- smaller product, but based on your prompt or maybe you just picked something you liked from a thumbnail.  Writing fiction takes longer, so I tend to charge more.  Editing is mostly charging what I can get, not what I'm worth.  The only place I make an hourly rate suited to my experience level is poetry.

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"Coda" is a beautiful short film about a lost soul and Death. 

The story, of course, is familiar to me.  People die and think they're not done yet so they wander off and/or drag their feet, then somebody has to trundle along behind to find them.

So I noticed a lot of other lovely little details.  The crowd scenes have women and people of color.  Yay!  The delicate use of light and shadow.  Outlines of leaves.  The exquisite control of Death's cloak.  <3

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 You can now buy a molecule quilt of your very own.  And gosh, part of the background development is Mathematica, a program my mother helped create!  These are ridiculously bargain prices for a quilt, too, and the standard size will fit a queen or king bed.  If you are into technomagic, note that molecules DO things, so these quilts make a terrific base for charm magic.

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ysabetwordsmith
This article explores what happens when two emotions mix.  A key benefit of the movie Inside Out is that it encourage people to think and talk about feelings!  So. Much. Win.

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So nobody in power wants to admit that burning black churches counts as a hate crime.   Or terrorism.  Hey, let's get some black folks to comment on how they feel about assaults on black churches.  Now there's a clue.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "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.

Note: This theme has several subsidiary branches along a spectrum of scale: the destruction of the world altogether (planetary, universal, or planar immolation), the fall of civilization, or the total disruption of an individual life.  Or as Aughra put it: "End, begin, all the same. Big change. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. [...] Another Great Conjunction coming up! Anything could happen! Whole WORLD might burn up!"  Similarly you can time your prompts just before, during, or after the cataclysmic event.

Drawing a blank?  The bingo card generator has a prompt list for the End of the World.  You might also get some mileage out of the lists for Hurt/Comfort, Death, Desperate Situations, Emotions, or Negative Coping Techniques.  And feel free to populate our apocafic with People With Disabilities!  Because that was awesome, let's do more of that.  Grab your adaptive equipment and go save/destroy the world!  TV Tropes also has some great ideas about The End of the World As We Know It.

I have a linkback poem, "Growing Moss" (13 verses, Polychrome Heroics). 

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!Collapse )

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ysabetwordsmith
 This comic is right up there with "Adventures ... nasty, uncomfortable things.  Make you late for dinner!"

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ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Introducing Gray
Hand Exercise
How Sweet the Sound
Toy Like Me
Poem: "Bones of Light and Fire"
Marriage Equality WIN!
Genderswapped Dinosaurs
Bats vs. Crocodiles
How to Make People Happy
Writing About Emotions
Articles on "Inside Out"
Review: "We Didn't Playtest This at All"
Consent Illustrated


The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, July 7 with a theme of "the end of the world as we know it."


Poetry in Microfunding:
"These Tiny Little Steps" belongs to Frankenstein's Family.  It has one new verse, with Victor contemplating the advantages of letting someone take care of him.  "Never Laid Open" belongs to Polychrome Heroics, in the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread.  It has four new verses, in which Shiv encounters consequences for his behavior.  "The Injury That Provokes It" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  It has one new verse, with Andy trying to apply his meagre coping skills to his unpleasant situation.

Torn World writing update:
Approved as canon: "Unicorns on Parade" "Spruce Deer" "Wandering the Heights" (poetry).  Back to me for edits: "Winterheart" (parts 2-3), "Stinging Like Nettles"  "Off the Clock" (poetry).  Currently in front of the canon board: "Ghost Bat" (nonfiction). Drafted: "Like Ash Before the Wind," "From Dark to Bright," "The Inappropriate But Useful Disposal of Lettuce" "A Thin Red Trail" (fiction), "Changes in the Wind" (poetry), "Southern Breads" "Tangleweed Article" (articles), Jularei (character sheet).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," "Raining Kittens," "Finding the Holes," "Broken Hopes," "Brewing Beauty," "Little Paws in the Licenses" (fiction), "The Smallest Invaders," "Raising the Future" "Beach Pies" "Unsolid Ground" "Riding from the Rescue" (poetry).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).


Weather here is still wet, wet, wet.  Sweet alyssum, torenia, blue lobelia, petunias, portulaca, ice flowers, clover, daylilies, golden raintree, shasta daisies, and echinacea are blooming.  Mulberries and black raspberries have ripe fruit.  Apples have green fruit, and so does the plum tree for the first time.  I've only been able to pick a little fruit because of the rain, though.  >_<  But the newly sown grass seed is growing like mad.  :D  I have the old barrel about halfway empty now.

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ysabetwordsmith
 Ruined cottage.

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For a while now I've had a character sheet for the supervillain Pain's Gray, aka Gray Agamau. His power is Pain Ray, and I've got plans for him crossing paths with extant characters including Shiv and Keane. During the Creative Jam, I used prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] chanter_greenie to write a batch of poems detailing his backstory. Parts of that journey are pretty dark and intense. But this is heavy-duty hurt/comfort, so Gray's friends are always there to scrape him off the ground afterward.

Another factor has to do with pain and power exchange. Gray is kinky. So are several other members of his gang, in various ways. The storyline shows how Gray starts picking up the skills that will, a few years down the line, make him an amazing top. One of the folks who has gotten to see the backchannel copies suggested that I highlight this stuff as a more positive representation of kink than the stalkery mess that is 50 Shades of Gray. (No, the names aren't related. My character's first name is Gray, and his cape name is a riff on the paint color Payne's grey.) Here's what I've written so far ...

Note: These poems range from dark and heavy to fluff with chocolate frosting. Some are sexy/kinky, some nonsexual kink and sensation, some about other things altogether. Below the cut are spoilers and excerpts.

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ysabetwordsmith
Akin to mudras, this hand exercise offers a discreet way to balance troubled feelings.  If you're freaking out and don't know what to do, try holding each finger one at a time with your opposite hand.  It's good for settling, even if you don't believe in the energy effect, because it gives you something very simple to focus on.

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ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] lone_cat, there are new verses ...

"Never Laid Open" has four new verses.  Shiv discovers further consequences of his behavior.  

"The Injury That Provokes It" has one new verse.  Andy attempts his paltry coping skills to deal with being injured.

Bear in mind that with three open epics, now is not a good time to launch new ones, until one or more of these gets finished.

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ysabetwordsmith
So this is what the President did at the funeral.

In a rare moment, I actually feel represented.  Man knows his roots.  And when a hate crime leads to moments like this, you know that the forces of hate are, in fact, losing.  That's why a bunch of folks are smiling at a funeral.

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ysabetwordsmith
Enjoy some dolls with disabilities.  My favorites include the birthmark girl and the ASL Deaf girl.  :D  Dolls are available in a wide range of features including not just the disabilities but also skin tone, hair color/style, etc.

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