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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "Honesty" square in my 6-1-19 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest, and the "Bodyguards" square in my 6-18-19 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains material that may disturb some readers. Highlight to read the warnings, which contain spoilers and possibly also triggers. It includes a nutjob waving a disintegration beam around downtown Omaha, sudden bystander death, gore and dismemberment, ruined buildings, telepathic spillover from bystanders resulting in mental injury, protectiveness, teleporting out of harm's way, minor medical details, post-combat jitters, minor differences of politics and procedure, wariness, emotional first aid, and other mayhem. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. This is an important plot point, so skipping it would leave a gap.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the July [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] readera. It also fills the "day at the beach" square in my 4-7-18 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.

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


What I Have Written:

"The Lone Tree" is today's freebie.


From My Prompts:



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ysabetwordsmith
I never knew the division sign had a name of its own. Apparently the term also applies to more than one shape and they have various uses.

An obelus (symbol: ÷ or †, plural: obeluses or obeli) is a symbol consisting of a short horizontal line with a dot above and another dot below, and in other uses it is a symbol resembling a small dagger. In mathematics it is mainly used to represent the mathematical operation of division. It is therefore commonly called the division sign. In editing texts an obelus takes the form of a dagger mark (†) and is used as a reference mark, or to indicate that a person is dead, and often used to indicate a footnote.

The word "obelus" comes from ὀβελός, the Ancient Greek word for a sharpened stick, spit, or pointed pillar. This is the same root as that of the word "obelisk".

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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.

41. Who’s someone you really admire?

Stephen Hawking, one of the few people I'm pretty sure was smarter than me.

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ysabetwordsmith
Today is mostly sunny, hot, and muggy.

I fed birds, watered plants, and sprayed bug killer on two colonies of tent caterpillars. 

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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!

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ysabetwordsmith
This is today's freebie. It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug. It also fills the "vent" square in my 2-28-19 Words and Phrases card for the Meet Ugly Bingo fest.  This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"The Things Heroes Say"


There are things heroes say
to comfort themselves when
the going gets tough.

"They don't call SPOON
for the simple jobs."

"If it were easy, then
everyone would be doing it."

"I'm not personally responsible for
saving the world in the next 24 hours,
nobody is currently trying to assassinate me,
and if this building catches fire, there is
an entire atmosphere of breathable air
into which we can flee."

"Thank goodness they don't
work in air traffic control."

And when someone suggests
bowing out, there is always:

"When I see who they're hiring
to do so, I'm glad it's actually
our job to save the world!"

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ysabetwordsmith
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and assistance, and please keep an eye on this page as I am still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "anything goes."  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.

Stuck for ideas?  You can find prompts by ...
* browsing planned poems for Aquariana and the Maldives, The Big One, Calliope and Vagary, Officer Pink and Turq, Pips and Joshua, or Shiv
* browsing my Serial Poetry page for favorite threads or characters.
* browsing my QUILTBAG list, Romantic Orientations in My Characters, or Sexual Orientations in My Characters for favorites.
* naming a poetic form you'd like to see written.
* picking a prompt from my current bingo cards: Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-18-19 or Winterfest in July 7-1-19.
* picking some from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* looking up fun things on TV Tropes.
* plugging a favorite topic into your search engine and choosing a picture that looks interesting.


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 "anything goes." 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 Dreamwidth, 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 "anything goes."  I'll be soliciting ideas for ... anything at all!  Favorite characters, ideas for new ones, plot twists, stop-trope repairs, strange settings, whatever tickles your fancy.   Now's the time to bring out all your cool ideas that haven't quite fit a previous prompt call. 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 magazine submission.

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ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Sunday Yardening
Poem: "The Smallest Decisions"
Poem: "Total Control of Your Body"
Poem: "Dignity, Respect, and Absolute Care"
Poem: "A Needful Thing"
Saturday Yardening
Community Building Tip: Networking
Illinois Prairie Video
Emotional Intimacy Question: Sharing Your Perspective
Hard Things


There will be a bonus Poetry Fishbowl with a theme of "anything goes" on Tuesday, July 16.  I hope to see you then.


Poetry in Microfunding:

There are two open epics.

"Everyone Can Dance" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Shiv. Shiv realizes a possible catch in the plan.

"Until Someone Lives in Them" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Fortressa. Penny moves in with the Pit Group and they help refine her fashion designs.


We got a little rain today. Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a small flock of mourning doves, several house finches, several grackles, a pair of cardinals, and a squirrel. Currently blooming: violas, petunias, pinks, marigolds, alliums, lantana, torenia, million bells, moss rose, firecracker plant, salvia, nasturtiums, phlox, gaillardia, clover, daylilies, cleome, morning glories, butterfly weed, blackberry lilies, cup plant, yellow coneflower, bergamot, shasta daisy, gladioli, partridge pea, and a bunch of other things. There are a few mulberries left. Blackberries are turning dark. Crabapples and apples have green fruit.






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ysabetwordsmith
While doing research, I found this website that rates the reliability of health strategies.  Here's an example for trauma-informed care.  On the left, you can see a colored bar for the evidence rating; hover over that and it gives you definitions for the ranks.  The bottom of the entry offers citations for further research. 

:D 3q3q3q!!!  While it's difficult to pin down exactly what works and how, research is made much easier when the information is organized and summarized effectively.  This is one of the best examples I have ever seen.  It facilitates the process of finding things that work, or looking up a thing to see how good it is.  I'm loving that evidence bar.  It's not black-and-white, it shows a progression from unreliable to reliable data.  My mind actually works a lot like that.

This is typical of official sources in Terramagne, by the way.  They focus a lot more on evidence-based practices, so they like to show what has been proved effective, in testing phase, or disproven.  They usually include a rank for new developments, though.  Some folks are early adopters, and others have issues for which they've already tried the old stuff and need to watch for something else.

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ysabetwordsmith
Stores are closing as more shopping moves online, and people don't want to lose all of them

Shoppers won't get a choice, though.  Stores aren't there to make you happy.  Their purpose is to make money.  If they don't, they'll close, no matter how many people want or need them.  You can just do without being able to try on clothes before you buy them or having a hardware clerk who actually knows what the products do.  The only way stores will survive is if people shop in them, and that's happening less and less.  Worse, it's the specialty stores that get hit the hardest -- and those are the products that benefit most from personal interaction.  Some generic stores may survive, but they're not great.  Imagine a world with nothing left but WalMart and a few shoe stores.  >_<

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ysabetwordsmith
Today is mostly sunny, muggy, and warm.  The sky is blue dotted with fluffy white clouds.

Round One, I watered plants.  I saw a squirrel in the fly-through feeder.

Round Two, I walked around the yard to look at things.  The first gladiolus is blooming the septic garden, a pale yellow-peach.  Butterfly weed and cleome are still going there, too.  The wildflower garden has red yarrow, yellow coreopsis, orange blackberry lilies, and some yellow pea-thing.  Plus the northern sea oats are putting out heads.  In the prairie garden, cup plants, blackberry lilies, and yellow coneflowers are blooming.  The first of the blackberries have turned dark but are still sour. 

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ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the July 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl making its $100 goal. (Technically that's supposed to be a $15 poem, but I couldn't find one, so you get a $20 one.) It is spillover from the June 4, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] erulisse, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, zianuray, and rix_scaedu. It also fills the "Change" square in my 6-1-19 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest.

Warning: This poem features intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes the inside of Shiv's head, because that is always a warning, messy medical details, malpractice, adverse drug reaction, armed assault on a street nurse, and other angst. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] gingicat, [personal profile] erulisse, and rix_scaedu plus discussion with [personal profile] siliconshaman, [personal profile] redsixwing, and [personal profile] kengr. It also fills the Respect Limits square in my 2-1-19 Platonic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some sensitive issues. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes tender hooves, reference to past abuses, difficulties in personal care, body trust issues, flaking hooves, a stone in a hoof, upcycling Mexican-style sandals from old tires, and other angst. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "Blankets" square in my 7-1-19 card for the Winterfest in July Bingo.

Warning: contains misbehaving medics.

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "Silver and Gold" square in my 7-1-19 card for the Winterfest in July Bingo.

Warning: contains politics.

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ysabetwordsmith
Today is mostly sunny, hot, and muggy.

I fed birds.  Then I watered plants. 

EDIT 7/13/19 -- Round Two, I watered more plants.

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ysabetwordsmith
In today's fragmented world, people can improve it by reaching out to each other. Here are some ideas for building community in your neighborhood.

Start a networking group. Like the old nursery song goes, you just never know “who are the people in your neighborhood, the people who you meet each day.” One of them just might be the the perfect person for you to connect with professionally. Who knows? Your next position or client could be as close as the guy who lives four houses down. Meet up at a neighborhood coffee shop and publicize it on their community board to cast a wider net in the neighborhood.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is a remnant prairie up near Chicago.  Listen to what happens when a blue-collar dude becomes a nature nerd.  He talks about sophisticated topics in very earthy terms with the scientific ones sprinkled in.  It is adorable.  I can't help thinking that if Shiv starts imitating Aida, it's going to sound a lot like this!  :D

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