September 13th, 2011


New Crowdfunding Project: Streetbooks

Streetbooks began with a grant and has gone to crowdfunding on Kickstarter.  It is a bicycle-powered library for people who live outdoors.  If you have a few bucks, please donate for the support of literacy and library survival.  Books = freedom.

Also, it occurs to me that this type of project would be a great way to promote books that might otherwise not get much attention.  Books by/about people of color, poor people, queer people -- those groups are heavily  represented on the street, and they like reading about characters who resemble them or topics they've lived through.  Crowdfunded books, self-published books -- go for it.  There are plenty of entertainers out there who understand what it's like trying to have a creative career.  Spread the word; I think this is a cool project that would work well if duplicated elsewhere.

Donor Perk: Give Me Prompts

This call for prompts is now CLOSED. Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm.

[EDIT 9/16/11] I have unlocked this entry so that everyone can see the prompts that inspired the poems.

The September 6, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl met the $150 goal, so you get a free series poem.  (Thank you for your support and enthusiasm!)  If you're reading this, you're on the donor filter currently, so you get to influence what kind of poem it will be.

The serial poetry poll was tied, after a very close race, and the people I usually ask to break ties had already voted.  So I just said fine, we'll try this with two series.  Those are Fiorenza, the Italian Herbalist and Path of the Paladins.  (For previous poems in these series, see the "Serial Poetry" page on my website.)  You may leave prompts for either or both series.  I will keep the prompt call open at least until Wednesday evening.

Each donor may leave up to TWO prompts, one for each series.  You can ask for a character, an event, a local color motif, an Italian form of poetry -- the usual kind of stuff that prompts can be -- related to the Fiorenza series and/or the Paladins series.  You're also allowed to ask for "side story" or "bit character" explorations since that was part of the original inspiration for this perk, a chance to go a bit further than what tends to appear in the main line of the series.    Please leave your prompts in a comment to this post.

There are currently 12 poems listed for Path of the Paladins, 4 of them unpublished.  If you want to know where the timeline is currently, "Gallery of Souls" is the town visit for trading the unicorn hairs for supplies; and the last published poem, "One Eye on the Horizon," returns to Ari's brother Larn (and the mule) when Ari's package reaches the farm.  This low fantasy series deals with such themes as moral strength, service, surviving traumatic experiences, and exploring human/divine relationships.

There are currently 10 poems listed for Fiorenza, the Italian Herbalist, 2 of them unpublished.  Regarding the timeline, "From the Free City" recounts the aftermath of an attack on Fermo, and "Plumbing the Depths" shows Fiorenza working on a mystical challenge while Giacinto looks on.  Last up is "Farm and Field" about the livestock in Fiorenza's village.  This historical fantasy series takes place in a magical version of Italy, probably late Renaissance or post-Renaissance.  Its themes include fairytale magic, rural life and relationships, gender studies, and Italian culture.

I may mix and match the prompts, or develop a poem from a single prompt, as usual. You will get one poem for free, per the terms of the perk. It's possible that more than one poem will emerge from this activity, which is fine. If there are extras, I'll look at what I have and figure out what to do with those -- you'll get a chance to sponsor the extras sooner or later. This is still a relatively new perk, so there may be other developments. I'll keep you posted.

Green Jobs

Despite claims that regulation costs jobs and that the clean energy sector is not competitive, green jobs have performed exceptionally well during the recession.

You're Hired: Clean Energy Jobs Take Off

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune praises President Obama for
his jobs speech last week and his "plan to put Americans back to work and
renew our nation's role as a global leader in innovation."

The challenge the president faces now, says Brune in his Coming Clean
blog, is to "stand up to the fossil-fuel industry and its supporters in
Congress who are misleading the American public by insisting that
regulation kills jobs, and that a clean energy future isn't viable."

The opposite is true. A recent Brookings Institute report that found the
clean-energy economy employs 2.7 million American workers across a diverse
group of industries -- greater than the number of people employed by the
entire fossil-fuel industry -- and that clean tech has outperformed the
national rate of job creation during the recession.