November 22nd, 2010


Wishlist for the Wordsmith 2010

For those folks who'd like to know what kind of holiday gifts would make me go SQUEE, here is my holiday wishlist. If you think that wishlists are tacky, this post is not addressed to you and you should skip it. Happy holidays, all.

My Amazon Books wishlist is up to date. Type in "Elizabeth Barrette" (there were two, last I checked; mine is the central Illinois entry).

Other good bets are things that don't matter if duplicated:
Austrian crystal window prisms, suncatchers, stained glass, ornaments made of mirror bits, other sparklies
Stickers, lasercuts, or paper for scrapbooking
Things that glow in the dark

New in this category: I would like a digital photo frame. (These are some good ones.) If I receive more than one, that's fine, I can either hang them in different rooms here or fill a spare with my photos and hang it in my parents' home.

Unique things:
If you are a writer or artist and your work is not so widely available that I probably have it already, copies are most welcome. I love having things by people I know personally.

If you live far from Illinois, local arts or crafts are a good idea.

Tiny animals carved from semi-precious stone.

One or two 12x12" nonstick cookie sheets or baking trays with a shallow edge. That's the interior size of my oven racks, and the trays that came with are definitely not nonstick.

An oyster knife, which is a bluntish kitchen tool for prying things apart. I want something safe and effective for separating frozen hamburgers and the like.

From Looney Labs:

Martian Fluxx
The Computer individual Fluxx card
Small Pandora's Boxx

Jewelry -- necklaces are probably easiest. I love colored semi-precious gemstones, Celtic knotwork, and Pagan motifs. Also I am eagerly awaiting the collaborative jewelry that's supposed to appear for TalysMana.
First TalysMana artifact is the viewer.

I have two scrapbooking border punches right now, one with little hearts in it and Elegance which is a scroll pattern. Fiskars is my favorite brand, with patterns like Boundary Waters, Leaf, and Lace. I'm also hankering after the EK Moon & Stars, Alpine Trail, Candles, or Snowflake border punches.

From the Particle Zoo, so far I have Dark Matter and I am most interested in adding a Strange Quark, a Tachyon, and a Photon.

General parameters:
I think homemade gifts are cool.
I think gift cards are cool. (Favorite bookstores include Borders and Barnes & Noble. Favorite craft stores are Michael's and Hobby Lobby.)
Plain old money is also fine, especially for my friends outside the U.S.A. for whom conversion might be more convenient than shipping; I have a permanent PayPal button on my LiveJournal profile page. PLEASE include a note saying something like "Holiday gift for Ysabetwordsmith" so I can distinguish it from crowdfunding.
I strongly prefer paper books to electronic books, but will resort to reading ebooks if something really cool lacks a hardcopy edition.

My t-shirt size is Large.
My favorite color is blue, but I like most bright colors, and black. I hate pink.

Welcome to Winterfaire 2010

The Winterfaire spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some booths show streamers of red and green, while others sport blue and silver. All of them offer treasure after shining treasure. Music fills the air with lyrics of Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and Yule. From the Wordsmith's Forge comes the bright chiming of words being hammered into literature. Delicious scents of hot chocolate, spiced cider, peppermint, baking cookies, and gingerbread tantalize the appetite. Smiling, laughing shoppers amble from booth to booth with lists in hand. Vendors grin back, calling out, "Come try, come buy...!"

I know a lot of artists, writers, musicians, and other talented folks who make some of their living from their creative endeavors. I don't always have the money to support them as much as I'd like, but what I can do is set up a virtual faire where vendors can offer their wares to an audience that likes crafts, literature, and small businesses. For those of you doing your holiday shopping, here's an opportunity to buy something made with love, something unusual or unique, in a way that helps make it possible for creative people to go on creating wonders. And there will be no traffic jams, stampedes, or gunfights at the Winterfaire!

Vendors: If you have goods or services suitable for holiday gifts, please put up a booth by replying with a description of what you sell, an estimate of your price range if possible, and some kind of contact information so shoppers can reach you. If you have holiday freebies, such as downloadable greeting card imagery, you're welcome to promote those too. For ease of identification, I recommend titling your reply starting with "BOOTH:" followed by the name of your business or type of goodies.

Shoppers: If you're looking for something specific and it's not posted yet, feel free to ask. Someone else may know where to find it! "SHOPPING FOR:" and the topic would be a good title.

Everyone: You may help promote the Winterfaire by linking to this post from your own blog or site. If you have a similar holiday-networking post, you may link to it in a comment on this post.

Happy holidays!

Monday Update 11-22-10

These are some posts from the later part of last week, in case you missed them:

Internalisation vs. Externalisation
Torn Tongue: Adjectives
Read "UFO" in Microcosms
How Government Works (Or Not)
Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
Arcane Whispers Vol. 2 is now available
Behold the Kirigami Mage
Birds at a Feeder
Would you like that autographed?

Poetry book news:
My two new collections of poetry are due out from Diminuendo Press sometime in the next week or two, gods and weather willing.  As you may have guessed, a great deal of the past week's worktime went into these projects.  I have posted the cover images, along with a pointer to the publisher's website.
Cover for From Nature's Patient Hands
Prismatica Cover
Diminuendo Press

Holiday news:
Do you wonder what kind of stuff I like?  I have posted my wishlist.
Do you sell crafts, services, or other goodies suitable as holiday gifts? Do you like to support creative friends while gift shopping?
Come to the Winterfaire!
You might also enjoy holiday-networking posts from other folks:
Holiday Shopping 11-20-10
Holiday Shopping 11-19-10
Holiday Shopping 11-18-10

High-traffic posts:
Some recent discussions have attracted a great deal of attention.
Thoughts on Rhyming Poetry (38 comments)
How to Deal with Magic Interfering in Technology (46 comments)
Living Alone, Dying Alone (94 comments)

One epic is currently open for sponsorship. "A Periodic Table of Elementals" is ahead of production.  This is science fantasy.

America's Food Challenges

America has plenty of food ... but not everyone gets enough food, or food they can safely eat, or food that is actually nourishing.  The tension about food and class is rising.  We also have an increasing problem with food deserts: areas where it is difficult or impossible to buy healthy food, and whose residents can't easily get out to better opportunities.  Meanwhile, farmers are struggling; it's difficult for them to make enough money to live on due to low wholesale prices, whereas consumers are frustrated by high retail prices.  More people are interested in supporting small family farms rather than corporate megafarms, and distrust America's food system.  There is growing enthusiasm for community-supported agriculture and for farmer's marketsFair trade food is another issue, trying to ensure that food is produced and sold responsibly.  But it's not always easy to balance ethics, health, and money.

Shoveling Toward Salvation

Recently I saw a post by [personal profile] trouble talking about needless deaths of people with disabilities.  In particular, my attention was snagged by the reference to a wheelchair rider killed by a car as he was going along the street, because he couldn't use the sidewalk which had not been properly cleared of snow.  That got me thinking about reasons why sidewalks might not be cleared, one of which is that shoveling snow requires much physical exertion.  Shoveling snow can actually trigger a heart attack; that happens to a bunch of people each winter.  Some municipalities clear the snow for everyone, but not all of them do it ... or do a good enough job.

It used to be the case -- at least in some parts of America -- that people in good health would go out and shovel their own walks and driveways, then make sure that those of nearby elders or infirm people were also cleared.  That's not just a random act of kindness: it could save someone's life.  It also encourages people to communicate and connect with each other, and to share resources.  Consider that an older adult often has a car but not terrific health, while a teenager often has plenty of vigor but no car; swapping time-for-time snow shoveling and transportation is a good bargain for both.  Food is another popular exchange.  Shoveling snow can be done as a gift, a barter swap, or a cash transaction -- whatever works for the folks involved.

So if you live in an area where snow covers sidewalks, I'd like to encourage you to look around your neighborhood and try to figure out how to keep it clear this winter.  If you're in reasonably good shape, maybe you could shovel a neighbor's walk in addition to your own.  If not, maybe you can find someone to clear yours and trade them some other favor.  Talk to folks and see how many sturdy people there are vs. people who can't or shouldn't shovel snow.  Who has snow shovels?  Who has a snow blower or a blade on the front of their truck?  Who buys snowmelt sprinkles in bulk?  How do your schedules match up?  Taking care of each other helps move society in a more functional direction.

While you're thinking about this, read some snow shoveling safety tips.