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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list on self-awareness.

6. Was there a turning point in your life?

Not so much in the sense of a big change in direction.  

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ysabetwordsmith
Everyone needs contact comfort sometimes. Not everyone has ample opportunities for this in facetime. So here is a chance for a cuddle party in cyberspace. Virtual cuddling can help people feel better.

We have a cuddle room that comes with fort cushions, fort frames, sheets for draping, and a weighted blanket. A nest full of colorful egg pillows sits in one corner. There is a basket of grooming brushes, hairbrushes, and styling combs. A bin holds textured pillows. There is a big basket of craft supplies along with art markers, coloring pages, and blank paper. The kitchen has a popcorn machine. Labels are available to mark dietary needs, recipe ingredients, and level of spiciness. Here is the bathroom, open to everyone. There is a lawn tent and an outdoor hot tub. Bathers should post a sign for nude or clothed activity. Come snuggle up!

In honor of the season, I have brought the Delectable Turkey of Gratitude and mashed carnival squash.  Let the potlatch begin!  

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of today's fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] satsuma. It also fills the "Day-in-the-life" square in my 9-2-19 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Arts and Crafts America.

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ysabetwordsmith
 ... is shutting down.  I'm sad to see it go.  That was how most people found our local group.  While there are many social networks now, few of those are designed to help people find local  resources -- and the rare local networks aren't Pagan-friendly.  Social networks are great for connecting people who already know each other or feeding casual interests, but they're bad at creating strong, long-term connections on a local level. >_<  

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ysabetwordsmith
This is today's freebie, inspired by [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart.


"Artistic Evocation"


Some materials are
beautiful but not safe.

Other materials are
safe but not beautiful.

The artist's job is to make
the two things meet in the middle.

Replicate, simulate, substitute, evoke.

Feathers become a Christmas tree,
sparing live trees from the axe.

Lightbulbs take the place of
candles with dangerous flames.

Tinsel now stands for icicles
left comfortably outside.

The holiday season
remains unchanged,
its traditional decorations
differing only in details.

This is the art of evocation.

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ysabetwordsmith
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 Poetry Fishbowl meeting the $250 goal four times.  Today's theme is "Arts and Crafts America."  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.

This series began with "A Country of Craftsmen."  It features the Arts and Crafts Movement, imagining what America would be like if that had continued.

Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:

Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-18-19

Ladiesbingo Card 9-2-19

People-Watching Bingo Card 10-31-19

Transbingo Card 11-1-19


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 "Arts and Crafts America." 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)  Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.



3) 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.

4) 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"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, 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 "Arts and Crafts America."  I'll be soliciting ideas for artisans, crafters, patrons, customers, historic figures, drawing, painting, woodcarving, metalworking, glassblowing, discovering problems, finding creative solutions, asking questions, learning what you can do, America, Japan, Craftsman houses, workshops, studios, galleries, marketplaces, artistic tools and supplies, inspiration, inner space, the subconscious, unforseen circumstances, personal growth, 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 the first edition of Lewis Turco's The 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 later use.

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ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, November 19
Review: Chocolove Ruby Cacao Bar
Community Building Tip: Urban Design
How to Do Multiperson Massage
Poem: "A Spectral Analysis of Asexuality"
Poem: "A Thing of Comfort"
Today's Adventures
Poem: "The Soul of a City"
Wednesday Yardening
Hard Things


The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam ran this weekend. See what I've done.


Poetry in Microfunding:

There are two open epics.

"A Different Vision of Life" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Marionettes and Mercedes, and has 15 new verses.  Griffin meets with Il Dottore.

"Goldilocks and the Genderbears" stands alone. Goldilocks explores the cottage.


The weather has been cooler here. It rained last night. Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a small flock of mourning doves, a small flock of cardinals, a small flock of dark-eyed juncos, several goldfinches, several house finches, several sparrows, a downy woodpecker, and a squirrel.  The harvest is pretty much done.

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ysabetwordsmith
The following poems from the October 1, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my Dreamwidth profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods. There are still verses left in the linkback poems "Mysterious and Impermanent," "Greater Than the Sum," "Nascent Wisdom," "Where Symbols Had the Power," "A Lively Feast," "Between the Normal and the Abnormal," "Always Carry Your Goodness," "Crossroads on the Hero's Journey," "Gökotta," "May Everything," "The Arc of the Mental Universe," "So Often Alone."

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ysabetwordsmith
This session's theme was "Language is fun." I wrote from 12:45 PM to 6:15 AM, so about 15 hours 30 minutes accounting for breaks. I wrote 9 poems on Tuesday and another 7 later.

Participation was lower this time, with 17 comments on LiveJournal and another 48 on Dreamwidth. A total of 21 people sent prompts. There were no new prompters this month.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the November 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Beyond Babel"
"Bitter Words"
"More Desirable Than Great Riches"
"Once Told, Twice Heard"
"Personal Inclusive Pronouns"
"Speakin' in Tongues"
"Speaking Cat"

"Life in a Stone" (September 30, 2019 outside fishbowl) (linkback perk)
"A Thing of Comfort" (September 30, 2019 outside fishbowl, Polychrome Heroics: Shiv) (free epic)
"The Soul of a City" (October 1, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl, Polychrome Heroics: Broken Angels)


Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list from November 5. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available. All sponsored poems have been posted. This month's donors include: [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, Anthony and Shirley Barrette. There will be bonus fishbowl on Tuesday, November 19.


The Poetry Fishbowl also has a permanent landing page.

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ysabetwordsmith
 ... make whole counties poorer, over the long term.  Various causes were listed, but they missed others.  Frex, much infrastructure is destroyed -- roads, buildings, parks, etc. -- and not all of it necessarily gets replaced.  If it was a tourist destination, some attractions may have been lost, and many people won't feel safe going there.

Climate change also raises the specter of shortening intervals.  A place that can withstand a flood once every hundred years may struggle to handle one every ten, let alone several a year.  Coastal places and other waterfronts face rising waters and increasing numbers of flood days.  This will gradually drive people out of homes and business.

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ysabetwordsmith
There will be a bonus fishbowl on Tuesday, November 19 featuring the series "Arts and Crafts America."  It covers the Arts and Crafts movement, with an eye toward how America might look if that had continued.  You can read the previous poems in that series:
"A Country of Craftsmen"
"A Candle Inside a Multicolored Lantern"
"Making the Grade"
"The Xanadu Flask

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ysabetwordsmith
Ruby chocolate is beginning to spread.  :D  We found a Chocolove Ruby Cacao bar recently.  Unlike the stuff we got last year, this has no fruit filling or other ingredients.  It only contains sugar, cocoa butter, milk, cocoa liquor, soy lecithin, citric acid, and vanilla.  It still has that bright, sharp, fruity flavor and a distinct rosy pink tone.  I have decided that I quite like ruby chocolate.  There's poetry inside the wrapper, too, a nice surprise.  Most highly recommended.

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ysabetwordsmith
For my current set of tips, I've decided to use the one I wrote based on how to make your hometown more like Bluehill in Terramagne-America. I took a close look at the town's positive features with an eye toward replicating them here with local resources.   Next up: "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City."

* Urban design. Bluehill is in a not-too-crowded part of Missouri, but look how they manage their space. Cambridge Commons is a planned community with densely packed amenities. They have a ton of things for people to do and very concise living space crammed into a small footprint. Mass parking is consolidated into a few places, with most downtown travel on foot, bikes, or mass transit. That leaves them room for big parks and little greenways everywhere. The hardscaping includes things like pull-throughs for buses and food trucks. The live-work buildings in several configurations, and the urban planning like townhomes near the hospital, mean that most people can live right next to where they work if they want to. The design supports the ideals. This is another place to watch for local politics and initiatives in need of support.

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ysabetwordsmith
I got to discussing this with a friend and figured other people might like to see it.

Here are basic instructions for multiperson massage. These assume that people already know how to give a typical one-person massage, or at least have just received a lesson in doing so. Be aware that it is much more mindblowing with 4+ hands than with 2 hands.

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ysabetwordsmith
... under survival conditions.  I will add that multiple layers of fine cloth can filter out a substantial portion of pathogens.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the November [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by [personal profile] alexseanchai.


"A Spectral Analysis of Asexuality"


Black is the color
of mystery, the void
of the unknown and
the unknowable.

It's the black spot,
the Ace of Spades,
the period at the end of
a sentence saying, stop.

Gray is the color of balance,
the point of moderation
between extremes.

It is the fog that hides,
and sometimes reveals,
what lies beyond desire.

White is the color of purity,
of innocence, a blank space
in which nothing is written.

It is the absence of passion
and the presence of peace.

Purple is the color of wisdom,
of power, of regal regard.

Some things are too serious
to be obscured by mere flesh.

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ysabetwordsmith
The November [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open with a theme of "Asexual Spectrum." Come give us prompts or claim some for your own inspiration.


What I Have Written:

"A Spectral Analysis of Asexuality"
This is today's freebie, inspired by [personal profile] alexseanchai.


From My Prompts:

By [personal profile] worldofwords:
The Tea Nebyula
Is this month's freebie.

By [personal profile] worldofwords:
Your prompt inspired "The cake is not a lie!" Thre bakerwomen analyze
their own relationships according to four colors.
words: 800. Buy it now=$8

By [personal profile] worldofwords:
Your poly family prompt enspired the story "Poly Party Time." An eight
person poly family is suprised by a lovely desert and bread spread that
suits their relationships perfectly. Follow up to "The Cake is Not a
Lie!" Words: 1000. Buy it now=$10

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "Sand" square in my 9-1-19 card for the Arts and Crafts Festival Bingo fest. It has been chosen in an audience poll as the free epic for the November 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to an audience poll, there are 15 new verses in "A Different Vision of Life."  Griffin meets with Il Dottore.

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ysabetwordsmith
Today we went up to Champagne and met with my parents.

We picked up a nicer brand of birdseed than is readily available down here.  I also scored a new pair of tie-dye bamboo socks, in a slightly lighter color than my previous pairs.  \o/

There is a new store in the mall where Earthbound used to be, which will stay until February.  It's a South American native craft shop.  They have some cool jewelry and stuff -- I bought a rattle -- but they also have a wall of very flippant Native American activist T-shirts.  These included a Homeland Security shirt featuring not just Geronimo but a bunch of other guys.  I knew all but one, so I looked up Wolf Robe when I got home.  When I have more time, I want to go through the shirts and pick some to buy.  :D

We watched the Harlem 100 show at Krannert tonight.  It was interesting, though not as good as the advance billing sounded.  I was actually most intrigued with the set design and lighting.  Someone had very cleverly draped two vast swaths of white netting in many folds to form a backdrop behind the stage.  These and the back wall were then lit with a slowly changing rainbow of spotlights.  I wish I could paint, it would've made a spectacular still life just from the mix of colors along the folds.  Shiv would be mesmerized by something like that.  At one point it actually mimicked a sunset with red and orange tones down low, blue at the top, and streaks of red along the folds.

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