September 21st, 2011


Read "Prosy: A Conversation of Thought & Mind"

I encourage you to read "Prosy: A Conversation of Thought & Mind."  [personal profile] clare_dragonfly created this haunting, beautiful story about two women in a broken relationship.  Per my prompt, they are conversing entirely in the language of flowers, in a wet late-season garden.  The description and mood are just so evocative.  *wist*  I would love to read more of it, and the author has an idea where the story would go.  Extensions are available for $1 per ~100 words.

Actual Representation Would Look Like This

If Congress had the same demographics as America, it would look like this.  I think it is obliged to look like that, and I'm perennially frustrated by how much of America suffers taxation without representation.  Our country would be a very different place, I think, if all its groups were proportionally represented instead of having its representation drawn from quite narrow -- mostly privileged -- sections.

One of the colonies in my main SF setting, Common Ground, has a government with various means of putting people in positions.  Part of that system is this kind of proportional representation.  Then there are some other parts that are elected, appointed, or chosen randomly.  They really do get a cross-section of their society.  It works for them.  I'm ... not sure anyone else could pull off the whole shebang, but I admire the heck out of what they can do with it, and find certain aspects inspiring.

10 Books to Survive By

Here are 10 books you can download for free on such topics as survival, emergency medicine, and food production/preservation. 

Writers, there is an astounding wealth of obscure detail in these.  The field surgery book has a breakdown of what the likely injuries will be for 100 random casualties.  One of the other military books has a guide chart to explosives.  I saw those while flipping through to check for file completeness.

Read "The Symbolism of 'Stained' " by The_vulture

One of my supporters, the_vulture, has written an insightful analysis for the series Path of the Paladins.  "The Symbolism of 'Stained' " discusses how the imagery and actions in the poem "Stained" reveal thematic aspects of the series and deep spiritual truths.  I have linked to this essay from the Serial Poetry page, where you can also explore other poems in the series.

This essay grew out of a conversation between me and the_vulture.  I asked him to flesh it out because I think that the world needs more thoughtful analysis of speculative poetry.  It's very rare to see this stuff, outside a few academic fanzines devoted to analyzing the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.  Literary analysis invites people to think more deeply about what they read.  It digs into literature and examines what makes it work (or not work), and why, and how.  This one is written in eloquent yet everyday language rather than Academic Standard, so everyone can enjoy it.  I encourage you to go read it and share your thoughts. 

Anyone else who wants to analyze speculative poetry (mine, yours, someone else's, whatever) is also heartily encouraged to do so.  I tend to link this stuff when I find good examples.

Wildlife at Fieldhaven

As summer turns to autumn here in central Illinois, the wildlife activity is shifting.  I saw some of it when I went outside for yardening this afternoon.

Monarch butterflies are beginning their great migration.  We're on one of their main routes.  I see them fluttering around the yard and it makes me happy.  This year they have mostly goldenrod to eat, a few frost asters and late clover; I've planted purple fall asters in the wildflower garden -- twice! -- but the blasted things haven't bloomed yet.  With a little luck, maybe the monarchs will chain up this year and cover part of the Home Base mulberry tree.

I also observed a pair of kestrels calling and wheeling above the yard.  (This is bascially the view I had.)  These lovely little raptors are fairly common in our area, but this is the first time I've seen any in our yard.  Usually we get red-tailed hawks and great horned owls, occasionally other owls.  I am really pleased to discover another variety of raptor showing interest in the habitat we've created.  It's always flattering when the wildlife does that.

What wildlife and seasonal changes are you noticing in your part of the world?

Read "Fireworks" by Ellen Million

You can now read the short story "Fireworks" by ellenmillion.  This story is illustrated by one of the photos I took this summer!
Rai and Bai watch fireworks with their father.

If you like this photo-illustration 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.

Plus or Minus 10%

I often say: "I'm a good packrat.  I can find everything, plus or minus 10%."  We live in a big old Victorian farmhouse full of books and fairies.  Sometimes that makes an interesting combination.

Tonight we were cleaning off a card table so we can use it at a psychic fair on Saturday at Susan's Sanctuary in Centralia, IL.  We're going to sell some spare books and stuff.  While cleaning off the table, we found ... four copies of my Pagan book, Composing Magic, that we thought we had run out of.  Hee!

Witch us luck with sales this weekend.