November 2nd, 2009


Samhain at Fieldhaven

This year marked our 13th anniversary of doing rituals at Householding Fieldhaven.  We had well over 20 people visiting through the day, with 20 in the Samhain ritual proper. Some of these were regulars here, others were old friends we rarely see, and some were new.

Our theme this time was Stregheria, or Italian witchcraft. Its roots go back through Rome to Etruscan civilization. So we designed our ritual to feature aspects of the past, the present, and the future. We had a fine bonfire. And the ritual went well, even with a sizable number of novices in the group.

Other activities included a workshop on Stregheria as a tradition, a workshop on Tarot which is believed to come from Italy, and a potluck feast with Italian foods. After the scheduled activities, people hung around quite late. We did some Tarot readings and a few other things, and sat around talking.

I was reminded this weekend that our strength lies in our community. We take care of each other and share our lives. When that hurts, we hold on and support each other. We that brings us joy and success, we share with those who have less. Many people come and go; the community endures. What we do here will carry on beyond us.

Epic Update: "The Transformations of Terror"

The epic poem "The Transformations of Terror" is currently open for cosponsors. This is science fiction horror about starships and monsters. Visit the original page to read the verses posted so far.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50 per line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements.

84 lines, Buy It Now = $42
Amount donated = $27.50
Amount remaining to fund fully = $14.50
Amount needed to fund next verse = $.50


Poetry Fishbowl Tomorrow!

This is an reminder for the November 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "languages and ways of writing." I'll be soliciting ideas for language speakers, writers, writing systems (alphabet, syllabary, etc.), unusual writing tools (quills, clay, etc.), favorite languages, luscious words, language-related plot twists, history & innovations in writing, settings associated with languages or writing, and poetic forms linked to a culture in particular.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post tomorrow. Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.

Coming Soon: Crowdfunded Fiction

I've decided to experiment with cyberfunded fiction this month. I have a science fiction short story, "Today I Speak," which divides into four convenient segments. I plan to offer this for crowdfunding. My hope is that it will attract at least some new donors who like fiction but aren't into poetry. (Some overlap is okay and anticipated.) It will be fun to see how this develops.

Based on the length, and a modest price of about $.03/word, I have set the total target for this project at $50, divided into sections of $17, $17, and $16. If the target is reached, I'll consider this project a success and will be likely to offer more fiction for crowdfunded in the future. Otherwise, I'll try to figure out what went wrong that could be fixed, but the chance of future opportunities will be a lot lower. I'll also pay attention to how many people get excited enough to donate, although in this regard, lots of small donations from different people or several large chunks from enthusiasts will both count as different types of success.

Now for the audience-participation part. I'd like to know how you would prefer to see the story sections released, whether you'd like to see them close together, spread out, or based on donation pacing. You're also welcome to add feedback and suggestions in the comments.

Poll #1479806 Crowdfunded Fiction Pacing
This poll is closed.

What pacing would you prefer for "Today I Speak" ...?

Next four Mondays in November.
Mon-Wed, Mon-Wed starting November 9.
Mon-Tue-Wed-Thur starting November 9.
Start Mon. Nov. 9, then post new sections as soon as they are funded.

Most Popular Topics 11-2-09

According to the "Manage Tags" feature, the topics most often appearing in this journal are:

Writing -- 695 posts
Networking -- 680
News -- 514
Reading -- 472
Poetry -- 455
Politics -- 450
Cyberfunded Creativity -- 391
Science Fiction -- 384
Economics -- 303
Fishbowl -- 284

Writing has surpassed Networking to take the lead. Cyberfunded Creativity has climbed above Science Fiction. Fishbowl has bumped Blogging and taken over the final slot.
poison ivy, let it be, danger, warning

Stupidity and Money

Every once in a while, people come up with an idea that is so stupid I just have to stop and stare at it...

Dean Baker | Stimulus and Jobs: We Can Do Better
Dean Baker, Truthout: "The Obama administration came out with its first set of numbers on the jobs impact of its stimulus package. It's pretty much along the lines of what was predicted. To date, the package has created close to one million jobs. That is good news, but in an economy with more than 15 million unemployed workers, it is not nearly good enough. We need to do more, much more. Fortunately, there is an easy and quick way to begin to get these unemployed workers back to work. It involves paying workers to work shorter hours. The mechanism can take the form of a tax credit to employers. The government can give them a tax credit of up to $3,000 in order to shorten their workers' hours while leaving their pay unchanged."

We have swarms of unemployed people already who feel useless. We have a highway system that is literally falling apart. We have schools short on teachers, hospitals short on practitioners, heck almost every company has cut back workers and therefore isn't getting as much done. We have a gazillion repairs in need of doing because people can't afford to call a plumber or roofer or whatever. And the government wants to pay people not to work?

AAAAAAAAA *headdesk* *headdesk* *headdesk* Is it raining FAIL today or what?

How about the wacky idea of paying people to DO some of the stuff that's not getting done for lack of funding? Or hey, we could pour some grant money into overworked charities so they can chip a bit to their volunteers -- like, say, food pantries, all of which are running on overdrive these last couple years.