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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
 ... has happened before without human intervention.  So if that happens again, for whatever reason, at the same time as climate change, then we are extra-special fucked instead of just fucked.

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ysabetwordsmith
It's sunny and mild today.  I fed the birds.  Then I hauled 4 buckets of mulch to finish the base of the maple tree near the big mulch pile.  Birds are singing.  I saw a squirrel out this morning too. 

Lots of bulbs have sprouted, but many of those have been up since January or February.  :/  The snowdrops in the white garden are blooming, though, and the winter aconite in the goddess garden is budding too.  Maple buds are swelling.

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ysabetwordsmith
 Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] jeshyr, you can now read the end of "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors."  Shiv tests the cookies! 

If anyone wants to open a new epic for microfunding, Shiv's thread is now an option.

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ysabetwordsmith
This article looks at how much of the world is water-stressed and how much more will become so by 2025 or so.  Remember: no water, no life, no exceptions.  All of civilization is based on water, because humans need it to survive.  Where there is not enough water, people first fight over it, and then they either die or leave.  They can't live where there is no water; the carrying capacity is limited by how many people the water can support.

So whenever you hear of a place running out of water, look at how many people live there.  Those people will either die or leave, and before they do either, they will probably get into pretty bad fights over the dwindling water supply.  Outsiders will likely give zero fucks ... until the leaving starts.  They really don't want that to happen.  They don't want foreigners trying to move in and live on their land and drink their water.

People should think ahead.  If you don't want to be overrun by millions of refugees, take steps to protect the global water supply while there is still enough of it for people to stay where they are.

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ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "A Thousand Faces"
Community Building Tip: Welcome
Saturday Yardening
Things You Can Do About the Christchurch Shooting
Spring Planting
Poem: "The Queen of Crows"
Poem: "The Diary of the Human Race"
Fanworks Meme
Low-carb Meatloaf Recipes
Today's Adventures
Emotional Intimacy Question: Time Period
Moment of Silence: Raven Grimassi
Cuddle Party


This week there is a half-price sale in Shiv. It runs through Sunday.

The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam ran this weekend. I wrote two poems. Someone else has a piece in progress based on one of my prompts.


Poetry in Microfunding:

There are two open epics.

"A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses. Kenzie goes to Pretty Ears for counseling.

"So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Shiv and has 57 new verses. Heron and Shiv talk about the creative aspects of cooking.  This only needs $6 to be complete.  Now complete!


Weather here has been milder.  Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a large flock of sparrows, a large flock of mourning doves, a small flock of dark-eyed juncos, a pair of cardinals, a male downy woodpecker, a rabbit, and three squirrels. The house finches have emptied the thistle feeder; I refilled it today.  :D

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ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] zianuray, there are 9 new verses in "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors."   Heron and Shiv discuss the possibilities of cookies and other creative endeavors.

This poem only needs $6 to be complete.

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ysabetwordsmith
The first batch of new entries have been uploaded to the Shiv thread page.  These weave between previously posted entries. 

A fresh batch of entries has been placed on the sample page for me to proofread.

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ysabetwordsmith
Due to rising waters, floods that used to occur once a century will likely occur once a year or more.  That's about 100 times worse than it used to be on the basis of frequency.  While severity is important too, frequency is a big determiner in people's ability to recover from setbacks.  If they haven't recovered before the next one hits, they take more damage, which tends to be unsustainable.

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ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] fuzzyred and I have been working to update the Shiv thread page.  So far, all the previously listed published poems now have links.  Entries have been created and proofread, waiting to be uploaded on the thread page, for poems that will get placed between previously listed poems.  After that's done, we'll move on to entries that will appear after the last poem currently on thread page.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.

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ysabetwordsmith

This week, the poetry in the Shiv thread of Polychrome Heroics is on sale for half price from Monday, March 18 through Sunday, March 24. This series is superhero fantasy, and the thread is urban grunge. It features themes of heroism, villainy, coming of age, diversity, identity kink, family of choice, friendship, and cultural engineering. Sale prices range from $58 to $388.50. There are two open epics at present, both in Polychrome Heroics and one in Shiv -- "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors" only needs $21 to be complete.  Until that one closes, I'd rather not open another in Shiv, but it's an option if you're really attached.  Prices on open epics are locked at the time of opening; however, if anyone wants to donate to open epics and buy poetry, spending $100 will get you the quarter-price rate on the new poems, regardless of the rate on the open epic(s) you support.

We are repeating the special discount for purchases of $100 or more, in which you get poetry at 25% of its original price instead of 50%. (Note that this increases the amount of poetry you get, rather than reducing the amount of money spent; the point is to get this stuff off of my desk. Yes, I can afford it.) That size of donation also makes you a k-fan which comes with some other perks, like a year-end collection of a poetic series. If several folks want to bundle their orders to make the $100 threshold and have one person send it all, that's okay; you'll get the discount and I'll list all your names as donors, but you'll have to decide amongst you who gets the k-fan credit.

Some of the poems are in sequence of related action, so in places there are prerequisites before a poem can be published. They can be sponsored at any time, just might have to wait for publication until something else gets posted first. Those are marked accordingly. I have also made lists of poems which unlock sequels, and poems which have prerequisites.

Linkback perk: The following poems have verses left to reveal. Boost the signal for this half-price sale and tell me which poem you want to extend.
"The Open Gyre"
"Growing Green, Growing Gold"
"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"



About characters and storylines: The storylines feature multiple characters, so if you want poems about ONE specific character, look closely. The thumbnail descriptions here give some indication who features in each poem. The storyline pages are adding precise, complete information about which characters appear in each poem. If you need more than what's already visible, you can ask me.

About timing: If you want maximum choice, shop early. We usually send a batch of things to my parents near the end of a sale, and those poems will be posted as I have time.

About pools: Yes, you can combine your funds with other prompters to get the quarter-price rate. Yes, you can combine your funds with other prompters to buy a bigger poem.  Yes, you can offer to match donations by other people.  However, the wordsmith is not also a math whiz!  After several attempts to find a way that I can work with pools and matches, I have concluded that this is over my head.  (I did figure out how to avoid generating fractional pennies, though: all initial prices are now whole dollars, which means they cut evenly into halves and quarters.)  So if you want to host a pool or a match, make a post for that in your blog or other venue, then comment here with what you're doing and include a link to wherever the discussion will be.  You figure out the poems, you collect the funds, and when stuff is fully funded, you send me the money and the list of what it's for.  Then I'll post the goodies.

Before placing your order, please check this sale page to see what is still unsold! I will try to update the page as things sell, and it's likely to be the case that some poems will be marked SOLD before appearing in posts. People often buy things in batches, which means that selling gets ahead of posting. Also sometimes people ask for the same thing at the same time, so that not all overlaps are preventable. If you have alternate instructions in case you request something that has just sold, please include that in your message; otherwise I'll email you back and ask what you want to do.

Currently available are the following poems.  Some are in series chronological order, and others are just kind of stuck wherever, because sequencing Polychrome Heroics is like trying to sequence a dozen different comic book titles from the same publisher.  See the thread page for Shiv.

Poems that unlock sequels: "The Scars on the Mind," "The Worst Word in the Dictionary," "The Child Who Survived"

Poems that have prerequisites: "The Worst Word in the Dictionary," "The So-Called Truths," "The Heart of Creativity"







FOR SALE
15 poems, $5169  ÷ 2 = $2584.50
prices from $58 to $388.50


"Survive the Recovery"
Shiv meets with Dr. G to talk about what happened with Chyou.
828 lines, was $414, sale price $207

"All the Beautiful Lights"
Shiv and Luci enjoy a holiday cruise on Lake Manawa.
824 lines, was $412, sale price $206

"Strange and Twisted Creatures"
Molly takes care of Gray after the incident with Chyou.
558 lines, was $279, sale price $139.50

"The Quickest Way to Know a Woman"
Shiv and Luci go shopping in the Old Market.
1553 lines, was $777, sale price $388.50

"Sky Blue and Grass Green"
Shiv takes a class in underpainting, then freezes up when he tries to do it in complementary colors. He gets through it with a little help, though.
303 lines, was $152, sale price $76  POOL

"Chewing Anyway"
Elisabeth doesn't want Shiv smoking in the house, so she offers him a choice of more suitable mouth toys. Although Shiv is dubious at first, he warms up to the idea.
360 lines, was $180, sale price $90

"Calming and Rewarding"
When Shiv feels restless, Elisabeth Finn invites him to bake bread and teaches him some of the more complex slashing patterns.
1039 lines, was $520, sale price $260

"Made Anew in a Heartbeat"
Shiv is embarrassed by dolls as a coping technique.
592 lines, was $296, sale price $148

"Provisions for Parent Education"
Since nobody is thrilled with the schools in Lincoln, they move on to Omaha, which offers much better options including a college prep school and a Montessori school. They also scout job and housing opportunities in case of a move.
594 lines, was $297, sale price $148.50

"The Scars on the Mind"
Shiv gets an unexpected opportunity to address past damage.
610 lines, was $305, sale price $152.50  POOL

"The Worst Word in the Dictionary"
This inspired the free-verse poem "The Worst Word in the Dictionary." Shiv picks up his half of a trade.
364 lines, was $182, sale price $91  POOL
Available for publication after "The Scars on the Mind" has been sponsored and posted.

"The So-Called Truths"
This inspired the free-verse poem "The So-Called Truths." Shiv deals with the unsettling aftermath of personal repairs.
1172 lines, was $586, sale price $293
Available for publication after "The Scars on the Mind" and "The Worst Word in the Dictionary" have been sponsored and posted.

"When Circumstances Are at Their Worst"
When Mrs. Dr. G is upset, Shiv responds with comfort food.
231 lines, was $116, sale price $58  POOL

"The Child Who Survived"
Shiv goes to the Finn family tie-dye party.
848 lines, was $424, sale price $212

"The Heart of Creativity"
The tie-dyed shirts are opened and revealed.
458 lines, was $229, sale price $114.50
Available for posting after "The Child Who Survived" has been sponsored and published. This will also unlock a story by  dialecticdreamer.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] bairnsidhe, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "mask" square in my 2-28-19 Words and Phrases card for the Meet Ugly Bingo fest.

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ysabetwordsmith
Weather whiplash happens when places go from drought to flood. This can cause agricultural runoff to contaminate drinking water.

Wow, people are stupid.  This problem is very expensive to fix at the far end, so not everywhere will even have that option.  But there is a lot that could be done to prevent the problem.

1) Obviously, start by reducing the causes of climate change that are causing more extreme weather.

2) Restore wetlands and other natural water-storage areas.  Other habitats such as forests and prairies are good too.  These help soak up water and release it slowly, reducing the tendency to flood.

3) Install green borders around fields, fencerows between fields, and especially marsh filters between fields and waterways.  The more plants between the fields and the waterways, the less contaminants will make it into the rivers and thence the drinking water supply.

4) Install catchment systems to collect rainwater from roofs and other areas.  This water can be stored for later use such as watering outdoor plants.  Doing this both reduces the amount of floodwater and minimizes demand on tapwater later.

5) Alter methods of agriculture to minimize runoff.  Multiple options exist, so people can explore what works best in their area.

When a problem is getting worse, for fucksake don't wait for it to hit the end of the line!  Start fixing it immediately and include prevention as much as possible.  Otherwise it may become unfixable while you are faffing around not fixing it.

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ysabetwordsmith
Yet again, America is not #1.  El Salvador is the first country to put a total ban on metal mining to protect its water supply.  \o/

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ysabetwordsmith

This is the linkback perk for the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was originally hosted by DW user Dialecticdreamer.  It was written outside the regular prompt calls.  It was inspired by a square in my 12-31-18 card for the Untranslatable Words Bingo Fest.
Gökotta  (Swedish): To wake up early in the morning with the purpose of going outside to hear the first birds sing

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ysabetwordsmith
 ... mostly come from shock waves and flying debris.  

Don't stare at the damn thing.  Drop and cover.

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ysabetwordsmith
Scientists have finally gotten around to studying a phenomenon that has been reported in earthquakes, but seismologists denied: a fault briefly opening a crack in the ground and then slamming shut.  Yes, that can happen.

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ysabetwordsmith
 ... in lizards.

You know who else relies on gut bacteria?  Humans.

Well, there's a whole new thing to freak the fuck out over.

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ysabetwordsmith
 What it says on the tin.

The title is only a slight exaggeration.  For any stress, there are always survivors in a large enough population.  But they may not be enough to do their job anymore.  In the case of trees, the fewer there are, the more humans die.

Mitakuye oyasin.  We are all related.  That's not just a cultural tidbit; it is a very real, very physical truth.  We are part of an ecosystem.  If we do not take care of all our relations, they will no longer be able to take care of us, and we will die.  We don't even understand all the things they do for us, or why we are affected; but that won't stop people from dying.  Dead trees = dead humans.

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ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to an audience poll, there are now 48 new verses in "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors."  Heron shows Shiv how to salvage the shortbread dough with tea leaves in it.

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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.

Welcome new families. You can bring a traditional baked good, but I also love the idea of welcoming newcomers by sharing your favorite local restaurants and businesses, perhaps a stack of your favorite take-out menus wrapped up in ribbon.

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