May 5th, 2011


Crowdfunding Update: Hunt Press Computer

We're down to the last 7 days of fundraising to buy a new computer for Hunt Press.  They've raised $602 of the target $1500 (and IndieGoGo will pay out partials, which most crowdfunding sites won't) so 44% to target.  This is good progress, and at least puts them a lot closer to being able to get a replacement.  Please help boost the signal or make a donation if you can.

Torn World: "Sea Monsters of the Interior Sea"

In Torn World, the interior sea divides the Southern Empire nearly in half.  Now you can read about "Sea Monsters of the Interior Sea."  This is the latest section posted from the big overview of sea monsters that I wrote.

If you like this article and want to see more like it, please consider sending me credits or karma through Torn World's crowdfunding options.  Not a Torn World member, but still want to support the work? I have a permanent PayPal button on my LJ profile page.

Poem: "Threads of Magic"

This poem came out of the May 3, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from natasiakith and aldersprig.  It was sponsored by natasiakith.  I've always been fascinated by quilt magic and folklore; my grandmother was a quilter, and I've done a bit with this myself.  Among the sites I searched were Quilt Magic with its page on experienced magic, and the "quilt codes" of the Underground Railroad.  Quilts are a form of folk art, and like folk tales, they are a part of history that often remains hidden.  Yet these aspects of culture can be far more pervasive, powerful, and enduring than the "fine art" or "great literature" accessible to only a few.

Threads of Magic

Quilters know
the magic of needle and thread,
the stories told in fabric,
the things handed down
from grandma to granddaughter.

There are the hints
about how to make a quilt comforting --
the cat hairs for catnapping,
the tufts of wool for counting sheep.

There are the reminders of humility --
make one small deliberate mistake
because only God can create perfection,
or because a small mistake prevents a large one.
Leave your seam ripper open,
and you won't have to rip seams;
but close it, and you will.

There are the bits of women's wisdom --
if an expectant mother makes a baby quilt,
saving all the snips of thread and cloth
in a bottle to be buried near her home,
then her baby will be born safely.

There are the stories,
never written down, only told,
that quilts marked the routes
of the Underground Railroad --
Tumbling Blocks to say
that a conductor was coming,
Flying Geese and the North Star
to show the way to freedom,
Drunkard's Path as a warning
to avoid the hunters,
Log Cabin as a sign
for a station.

Quilt magic ain't fancy,
ain't meant to be.
Quilt magic gets the job done,
on the quiet,
sure and strong as women's hands.


Poll: Serial Poetry Perk for May 2011

The $150 goal has been met, so you get a free poem from an ongoing series.  You can read about these on the "Serial Poetry" page of my website.  Below you'll see a selection of several most-popular series; other times you'll get a slightly different set of choices.  (Monster House won the last perk poll, so is off the list this time.)  You get to vote on which series will get the extra poem.  Everyone is eligible to vote.  I'll tally the votes on Friday evening.  Then I'll ask my donors for ideas.  Thank you all for your support!

Poll #1738492 Serial Poetry Perk for May 2011
This poll is closed.

Which series do you most want to get the freebie poem?

The Odd Trio
The Origami Mage
Fiorenza, the Italian Herbalist
Queen Choufa and the Rebel Drones

Chimpanzee Gestures

This article talks about a study of meaningful gestures among chimpanzees.  I have to wonder if there is grammar involved, as a sign language has -- chimps are pretty good at learning sign languages.  Also,  I wonder if any of the gestures held in common among chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans are universal across human cultures.  That would be a fascinating bit of "universal language" if so. I know that some gestures are markedly different in human cultures, while others tend to be more consistent.