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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Make Their Own Boxes"
Standing Rock VICTORY!!!
Heating Update
WolframAlpha
iPod Shuffle Music Fest Card 12-1-16
Read "Reparative Actions" by Siliconshaman
Stitch Maps


Winterfaire 2016 is still open. Do you have goods or services that would make a good holiday gift? Come post a booth! Are you shopping for hard-to-find items? Come look at the offerings, or post what you're hunting. Do you have a holiday shopping post, or know of one? Give me links and I'll cross-list them.

The half-price sale in Shiv has SOLD OUT. All of those poems have now been posted.  \o/  I still have the mega epic to post for the stretch goal from that. Anyhow, check the sale page to make sure you've read all the new poetry.

The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, December 6 with a theme of "All the news is dark, so light a candle."  I hope to see you then!


Poetry in Microfunding:
"Holding Hope and Love" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Sunny tries to talk Cheersquad into taking a break.  "A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan explores the Rainbow Room.

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" "To Ride Death" (poetry), "Rammer" (nonfiction).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).


The weather has been chilly with a little rain.  The furnace is currently working, so the house is warm; but it won't stand up to very cold weather.  We have firewood, of a more appropriate size, which is supposed to be mostly oak.  We also have quotes on installing new equipment from a different service provider.  Yay, progress!  Sizable flocks of sparrows have been visiting the birdfeeders this week.

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This poem is from the April 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie and [personal profile] siliconshaman . It also fills the "art initiates life" square in my 1-5-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This has been selected in an audience poll as the free short epic for the half-price sale in Shiv reaching $1000. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem contains imagery which is likely to disturb many readers. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Nigeria is a bottom-ten country because reasons. The poem contains canon-atypical violence, murder of children, grief, rage, berserk mothers, graphic descriptions of death, gore, discrimination and murder of people with superpowers, magic which is not evil but is in no way fluffy, vengeance, misogyny, Boko Haram, flesh trading, graphic dismemberment, drunk men pillaging everything, graphic poetic justice, and other mayhem. This poem is not woven into any major plotlines, merely presented as an example of life in a bottom-ten country, so you won't miss anything vital if you choose to skip it. Readers are strongly cautioned to consider tastes and headspace carefully before deciding whether to read this one.

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Just to make it obvious that Shkreli is a giant douche who only wants to hurt people, the cost was about $15 in materials or $2/pill.

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This poem is spillover from the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, [personal profile] librarygeek, and ng_moonmoth. It also fills the top row (threats from outside, generalization / specialization of members, generations, failures) in my 9-2-16 card for the Worldbuilding 4x4x4 Fest. This poem has been sponsored by ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series An Army of One.

Warning: This poem touches on some sensitive and controversial issues. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. There's a lot of cute kid stuff, but the adult emotional plane includes some miserable stuff. There is homesickness, hatred of current location, extreme discomfort, near-total dissatisfaction with family life, relationship issues, lack of accommodation for needs, which makes it incredibly obvious how little the neurotypical officers cared about their neurovariant staff, post-traumatic stress, questions about family, general criticism of unsupportive societies, family planning, challenges of social engineering to fill gaps in necessary services, and other issues. On the bright side, Armelle is finally starting to think about how to make Sargasso Station more livable. If these are uncomfortable considerations for you, please think about your tastes and headspace before clicking through.

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President Obama has denied the DAPL easement.  Read a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux.

My inner Indian is yelling and running in circles.  :D  

Well, that buys us a couple of months.  I'll take what I can get.

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ysabetwordsmith
We have a lovely large pile of firewood outside, mostly oak.  So we can use that when we have energy to build a fire again.

Today someone arrived from a different heating/cooling company.  He said he'd be here on Sunday at 1:30 and it was literally 1:30 when he called to tell us he'd arrived.  Color me impressed.  He took measurements to see about replacing the piece of shit heat pump etc. with something better.  So we're considering options for that.  Also I got to spend an hour playing carpenter's helper while we measured the inside of the house to estimate square footage and discussed possibilities.

He mentioned having a laser measuring tape that he didn't have with him, which sent me into at least five minutes riffing on what could be done with that.  The hardest thing about that tech is just making something that will measure distance with light.  I looked these up and discovered that most of them just measure one line of distance, although there are laser levels with XYZ capability.  The higher end models will do calculations for area/volume, which is what I was thinking as useful.
What they need to do is add the XYZ feature, so that you have a handheld light-driven geometric computer.  You should be able to, for example, wave it at a furnace and get the dimensions of that device, wave it at a house and capture that volume, then correlate with stored parameters of available hardware to spit out which units would fit.  *wistful sigh*  In T-America, the simple laser measures are handed out like penlights as promotional swag.  Professionals can get the geometric version at a reasonable price.

Anyhow, for whomever has been reminding  the Universe to take care of the bard: thank you, it seems to be helping.  <3

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This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] clockworklady and EdorFaus. This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This is the first meeting between Boss White and Dr. G, from Boss White's perspective, a couple weeks after Shiv gets out of prison. It mostly goes well, but naturally Shiv is freaking out about it. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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For reaching the $1000 stretch goal during the half-price sale in Shiv, you get to vote on a free short epic.  Donors and linkers from the sale are eligible to vote in this poll.  I will keep it open until at least Sunday night.  If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it.  If not, I may leave it open a little longer.

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 Disturbing turkey fails.  0_o

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This poem is spillover from the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] stardreamer. It also fills the "aggressive" square in my 12-1-15 card for the Defining Character fest, and the "nurture self-worth" square in my 1-23-16 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] clockworklady and EdorFaus. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is mostly fluff, but contains some intense emotions. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. The Finns take Shiv to Pennsic War for a day. It includes anxiety over expectations, being in a totally unfamiliar place, feeling overwhelmed by people and social activities, touch aversion, (wildly inappropriate) accusations of racism, other people ignoring rules, which drives Shiv up a wall, so he starts stealing contraband off people, scavenging for supplies, performance anxiety, panic over social connections, physical exhaustion and overheating, discussion of supervillain philosophy, educational comparisons, and other challenges. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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This poem is spillover from the September 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman and [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron. It also fills the "situational Awareness" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] clockworklady and EdorFaus. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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My partner Doug tipped me to WolframAlpha, a search engine that calculates things and answers questions.

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This poem is spillover from the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "rites of passage / coming of age" square in my 7-1-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains a lot of intense feelings. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Shiv is moving out of his old cell in the private wing. It seems like a simple, low-action scene from the outside but it's not to Shiv; for him it feels overwhelming. Also the inside of Shiv's head is still a dicey place. There is anxiety over change, uncertainty about the future, a fatalistic approach to doing what he frankly doesn't want to do, difficulty perceiving benefits, ambivalence, discussions of discipline, erratic personal boundaries, difficulty tolerating touch, reluctance, confusion, and other challenges. It's a necessary and positive change, but that still doesn't make it feel good. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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Here is my card for the iPod Shuffle Music Fest hosted by [personal profile] kiramaru7 and [personal profile] spiralicious  on [community profile] allbingo.  It uses song titles for inspiration, divided into separate batches.  No minimum word counts or exclusions this time, and fills can be anything inspired by the prompts; they don't have to be songfics. (See all my 2016 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. 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.


iPod Shuffle Music Fest Card

I’ll be ThereHard WorkHomeThe TruthSmile
In the MallMoneyFighterColder WeatherFriends in Low Places
Must be Doin’ Somethin’ RightEverybody HurtsWILD CARDGives You HellThrift Shop
Pictures of YouTake it EasyWhyCloserBlack Mollies
All of YouHappy HolidaysNeed you NowBreatheThe Scientist

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[personal profile] siliconshaman has posted Part 2 of "Reparative Actions." Special Agent Daniel Kincaid investigates what could be causing Ashley's erratic behavior.

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Explore a visual representation of knitting patterns

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This poem is spillover from the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "be here now" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and comes after "Calming the Agitations."

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes introversion, feeling drained and irritated, anxiety over the future, solution-caused problems, deep philosophical discussions which are needful but Shiv is in no way prepared for, confusion, reference to past injuries and almost dying, followed by past medical abuse, cape politics, fate and free will, self-blame, self-hate, discussion of zetetic terror weapons, past traumatic amputation, the difference between legality and morality, purpose, existential angst, and other challenges. On the whole, it's pretty positive, just overwhelming for Shiv. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

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This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "All the news is dark, so light a candle." I'll be soliciting ideas for journalists, reporters, creatures of the night, demons, villains, heroes, angels, lovable monsters, the misunderstood, outcasts, nemeses, oppressors, troubled relationships, monster hunters, activists, torchbearers, leaders, explorers, lighting a candle, burning the candle at both ends, candlemaking, fleeing in terror, resisting oppression, facing your demons, passing the torch, instilling hope, tikkun olam, the dark, the chandlery, the Valley of the Shadow, newsrooms, garrets, liminal zones, mad science labs, The Tower, deep forests, other places of light and shadow, torches, cnadles, bioluminescence, glowing weapons, a ray of hope, the darkest hour is just before dawn, radical transformation, beeswax, Chanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, the moon, cthonic symbolism, good, evil, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Golden Peaches of Peace" (18 verses, Path of the Paladins). 

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. 

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Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently?

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ysabetwordsmith
Today we went to the factory outlet mall for holiday shopping, and came home with WOWloot.  :D  We had a lovely time shopping with my parents, but we are exhausted.

In other awesome news: the furnace is working.  Guys came out this morning, looked at it, said they should have parts in a day or two.  But when we got home, it was on and the house is warm.  So mucho thanks to whomever(s) poked the Universe with a sharp stick and reminded it that bards need life support. 

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