May 7th, 2009


Fun with Architecture

I saw this post today and just had to play with it.

First, the Kansas City Library: 1) This is what a Picture This! library would look like. Picture This! is a colony from my main SF universe that was settled mostly by artists. Their buildings are all either fancifully built, or plainly built and covered in murals. 2) This goes on my list of "What to Do with Entirely Too Much Money." If I were ever going to spend an insane amount of money on a conspicuous consumption building, this would be it: the Hypatia of Alexandria Memorial Library given its own space.

Second, the writing exercise:

1) Pick your favorite architectural style from the list. This style is currently Fashionable on a planet settled by humans, which is a fairly popular trade hub.

2) Remove the chosen style from the list, leaving a total of ten including the extra ice hotel. Roll a d10 to select a second style. This style is traditional for a species of alien.

3) The aliens think that the human style is Lucky and want to build near buildings of that style. The humans think the alien style is Unfashionable, which means it would lower their property values, so they don't want the alien style anywhere in line of sight to a Fashionable building.

4) Your main character belongs to a Zoning Board.

5) Now what happens?

Poetry Fishbowl Report for May 5, 2009

Tuesday's fishbowl got off to a good start, and then prompts continued to trickle in through the day, which was really nice. I started at 11 AM and stopped at 9:45 PM when I was worn out writing, for a total of 8 hours 45 minutes given lunch and supper breaks. I wrote a total of 20 poems, mostly medium and long; no epics this time and very little on the short end. Usually when I write poems in the upper teens or beyond, it's because I'm getting a lot of short ones. There were several form poems, but more free verse. A fair number of poems combined multiple prompts.

This month 17 people sent prompts, which is the most ever, wow! 3 of those were first-time prompters: welcome to miintikwa, asakiyume, and marina_bonomi. Once again we had places where one person's prompt inspired another, as when newroticgirl and wyld_dandelyon set the stage for "The Forest Path." There were 54 comments including mine, also the highest ever, beating December 2008 by one.

These are the fishbowl poems that have already been published:
"Deep and Wide"
"I Know What the Caged Bird Sings"
"In the Midst"
"Learning to Belong"
"The Map to Crossroads"
"Packing for the Long Haul"
"Riding the Startides"
"Road Whispers"
"The Sights Reserved"
"The Webs of Death"
"Where No One Has Gone"
"The World's Widows"

Two people are also seeking sponsors or cosponsors for specific poems. EDIT 5/18/09: Both of these poems have been fully funded.

This month's donors include: ellenmillion, paegan, asakiyume, minor_architect, je_reviens, mtrose2, janetmiles, ladyqkat, and tabard. This is the first time as sponsors for paegan and tabard, so welcome! I suspect that more donations will arrive, which might affect the general fund, so I'm going to hold off on the generally sponsored poetry poll for a little while. However, I'll go ahead and post the donor perk shortly. Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm.

EDIT 5/18/09: Added poems and sponsors.

Poem: "Road Whispers"

This poem came from the May 5, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from miintikwa and sponsored by janetmiles.

Road Whispers
– a triolet

In the gloaming of the day,
The sunset turns the road to gold.
You can hear its whispers say,
In the gloaming of the day,
“Find adventure … come this way.”
So lift your feet, and break home’s hold:
In the gloaming of the day,
The sunset turns the road to gold.

Poem: "Packing for the Long Haul"

This poem came out of the May 5, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion and sponsored by janetmiles.

Packing for the Long Haul

I am sitting on my suitcase when the angel arrives.

Iridescent feathers fluff. I hear a faint titter.
“You’ll never get all of that to fit.”

I have packed and unpacked and repacked
until I am sick of myself.
I have taken out and put back Forethought ten times
and Assertiveness twelve.
The Art set is scattered all over the floor
and I can’t even recall if I left any of it in.
Lore is in there, all right, a giant lump under my butt.

“Give me,” I say, “just another moment.”
I bounce on the suitcase and barely manage
to close the latch, pinching my finger in the process.

“I’m impressed,” says the angel.

“I know I’m forgetting something,” I grumble
as I lug my suitcase toward my next life.

“Don’t worry, you can pick it up when you get there!”

I am halfway down the chute before I remember
that I’ve forgotten to pack any Patience.

Poem: "Riding the Startides"

This poem comes from the May 5, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from mtrose2 and marina_bonomi, and sponsored by janetmiles.

Riding the Startides

What do you do
when you have sailed
between the stars for so long
that even the light seems tired?

What do you do
when every alien world
is the same in your eyes,
and neither double suns
nor triple moons
are amazing anymore?

What do you do
when you’ve forgotten
how to be excited
by traveling faster than light,
so that even the impossible
has become ordinary,
has become boring?

Then you turn around
and head for home
where you find
that time’s river
has changed the shifting sands
and all things old
are new again –

for home has gone on without you
and remade itself,
full of fresh discoveries
like a broad beach
after the morning tide has gone out.

Go home,
old star-sailor,
and rinse away your memories
with the shallow seas of Terra;
in the place that gave you birth
you will be reborn.

Poem: "Deep and Wide"

This poem came out of the May 5, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from janetmiles (bouncing off of a different prompt by wyld_dandelyon), jenny_evergreen, and ladyqkat. It was sponsored by janetmiles and ladyqkat.

Deep and Wide

“I am the traveler,”
she said,
“and my home is the road.”

“I am the urbanite,”
he said,
“and the city is my home.”

“I bring salt from the sea
and spices from afar,”
she said. “Will you trade?”

“I bring meat from the land,
and savory vegetables,”
he said. “Will you trade?”

There in the market square,
the traveler and the urbanite
traded their wares.

They shared stories,
laughing over the wonders
that each had discovered.

“I run wide,” she said.
“Each place tells me new things
About the day before me.”

“I run deep,” he said.
“Each day tells me new things
About the place beneath me.”

So the traveler spent the night
In the urbanite’s bed, where
They made love sweet and wild.

In the morning they parted,
Their fond hands lingering
To the fingertips before letting go.

“I will always leave you,”
she said,
“but I will always return.”

“I will always be here,”
he said,
“for you to return to.”

And so they lived,
meeting and parting
like the tides and the beach.

And so they loved,
deep and wide,
bounding the world together.