March 4th, 2011


Falling into the Income Gap

This article explains some more reasons why politicians are indifferent to America's economic problems.  (Link courtesy of my_partner_doug.) Being college-educated insulates them from the worst unemployment, as does living in or near Washington, D.C.  Their personal comfort robs them of a sense of urgency, such as is felt by the many citizens struggling to keep their lights on.  Also, when the wealthy 10% and the non-wealthy 90% differ on policy decisions, the wealthy opinion almost always prevails, based on observations of past results.

This is a problem, because when the gap between rich and poor gets too wide, a society tears itself apart.  History is quite clear on that point.  Even before it gets that bad, social aspects break down, causing an increase in crime and other problems.  So then, things that increase, or fail to alleviate, the widening income gap are actually un-American in that they reduce the chance of America surviving as a nation.  It would be bitterly ironic if one of the world's greatest social experiments collapsed because people couldn't be bothered to give a rat's ass about each other.  What war couldn't accomplish, greed and indifference very well might.

Writing Tips

jongibbs linked some good articles about writing today:

"Fleshing Out Flat Characters" explains how to add complexity to characters that will enrich your writing.

A published author shares business insights in "7 Things I've Learned So Far."

"Play-by-Play Narration" looks at the tendency to write down everything.  What a story should do is condense the character's experience down to the parts that are interesting and relevant.  If an activity is important, use play-by-play.  If it's not, then summarize or skip it entirely.  This is actually a big interest of mine because it comes up in Torn World.  A shared world really invites you to skip around and write just the best scenes.  But then you have to be careful not to leave too much out, or readers will get lost.  It's a delicate balance, and that's a good thing to practice.

"How to Spotlight Important Prose" offers multiple tools for calling a reader's attention to key content.  I remember hearing in a workshop that sentence fragments can do that -- they snag the eye and seem like the most important thing on the page.

"Writing: When It Isn't Working" examines the structural integrity of a novel, as it is being written.

Read "Invincible Wisdom" in Torn World

You can now read my poem "Invincible Wisdom" in Torn World.  It tells about a blind librarian hiding a secret archive of books from Old Roluma.

If you like this poem and want to see more of these characters, please consider sending me credits or karma through Torn World's crowdfunding options.  Same goes if you like the art; tip the artist. Not a Torn World member, but still want to support the work? I have a permanent PayPal button on my LJ profile page.

Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The theme this month was "Things With Wings," which turned out to be tremendously popular.  Prompts came in early, though the flood slowed by the end of the day.  I worked from 12:45 to 11:30 PM, so about 8 hours 45 minutes accounting for breaks.  Almost all the poems were medium, with one long and a couple of epics.  I wrote 24 poems.  Most were free verse, though a few were form poems -- a sonnet, a couple done in haiku verses, one in couplets.  Plenty of the poems combined multiple prompts; some were singles. 

A total of 16 people sent prompts.  We had a lot of crosstalk going in the fishbowl, which is always fun.  There were two new prompters: please welcome poeticknowledge and kyleri.  Woohoo!  You have them to thank for the second freebie poem.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the March 2011 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:

"The Bumblebug"
"The Daughters of Befana" (a Fiorenza poem)
"The Flight of Free-Running Felines"
"the jade rabbit" (an Origami Mage poem)
"Paper, Scissors, Stone" (a Monster House poem)
"Pegasus Takes Flight"
"The Rainbow Layers"
"Shoe Flies"
"Time for Snow"
"The Truth in the Tower" (a Fiorenza poem)
"When Life Gives You Dragons"
"wings of paper, wings of lace" (an Origami Mage poem)

Buy Some Poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, read the list of unsold poems from March.  That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.  Also, "Paper, Scissors, Stone" and "The Truth in the Tower" are currently being microfunded at $.50/line.  Fans on a budget should watch these -- often, a dollar or few is enough to reveal a new verse.

All of the fully sponsored poems have been posted, along with the funded verses of the two new epics.  Prompters have their backchannel copies of the other poems.  March's donor perk-post discusses the sonnet form.

Donors for March include: aldersprig, kyleri, the_vulture, marina_bonomi, tuftears, janetmiles, laffingkat, ladyqkat, slave2tehtink, and dulcinbradbury.  Please welcome new donors tuftears and slave2tehtink,  They helped bring you the extra freebie poem.  You are all wonderful and I greatly appreciate your support.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.