May 11th, 2011


Torn World: Ring Leech

Today's sea monster post is an article that I wrote, "Ring Leech," about a category of marine pest.  They're not as big as real sea monsters but they sure are pesky.  These are fish-like creatures somewhere between a lamprey and a leech.  Check out the awesome, if creepy, artwork by Peggy Benisch.  We are adding these science-flavored sketches to a lot of articles these days.

Of Poetry, Gender, and Malleability

Two of my poems, "Slashing Through the Undergrowth" (33 comments) and "The Changeling's Return" (61 comments), have attracted a great deal of attention this week.  I would especially like to thank fajrdrako, whuffle, dameruth, and meeksp for boosting the signal.  All of you have been cited in at least one comment as directing someone to my blog, and I'm seeing a notable spike in new traffic.  I know other folks have linked here as well, and may have sent readers who simply didn't leave any breadcrumbs.  Thank you too.  Hopefully some of the new readers will decide to stick around and read more.

When I first saw that "The Changeling's Return" had won the generally sponsored poetry poll (along with $5 toward "Igor's Creature"), I was a little surprised because usually my audience goes for a set of $10 poems.  Looking at the enthusiastic response to the poem now, though, I can see why.  It makes me happy when people support diversity and creativity like this.  It's a terrific example of one thing crowdfunding is good for, filling gaps that conventional publishing often ignores.  Here, if a bunch of folks get together and say, "We want this!" then it tends to happen.

On that note, I'll remind everyone that the next Poetry Fishbowl has a theme of "alternative sexuality and gender studies" slated for June 7.  This is posted on the fishbowl landing page but I don't usually make a big deal of upcoming themes until closer to the date.  I want to highlight this now, while there are a bunch of people tracking through here who have an interest in this topic.  As I said in a comment, I can't fix the world, but I can do validation and storytelling and mythmaking.  You want more portrayals of transgender people in literature?  More ace characters, more lesbians who live to the end, more whatever your identity is that you never see enough of?  More accurate versions of however it is you're framing your experiences?  Bring it.  Bark it up on your blog and get your genderqueer or alllied friends to come too.  New characters and reappearances of previous ones are all welcome.

I'm just really happy with all of this today.  My audience is made of 100% gold-plated WIN.  I love you all.  Thank you for being so awesome.

Crowdfunded Illustration: Meeksp Calls for Prompts

meeksp has posted a new call for prompts in crowdfunded illustration.  This post includes an update of perks and parameters.  New: once a month there will be a retro feature of the most-linked sketch that month.  It's another way of tracking audience interest, so if you like a sketch, bark it up on your blog or elsewhere.

I've turned in a new prompt, from my Torn World story "Without Fail."

Other news:
This is the updated sketch "Ayla's Change."  Darkening the bedspread improves contrast.
Here's the call for feedback, in case you missed that earlier.