September 27th, 2011


Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, October 4

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, October 4, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "ghosts." I'll be soliciting ideas for spirits of the dead, famous ghosts, other types of phantasm, ghostly things, equipment for finding ghosts, spectral objects, hauntings, encounters with spectres, weirdnesses that occur when ghosts are around, reasons why someone becomes a ghost, haunted places, unexpected locations to meet a ghost, legends or superstitions about ghosts, the nature of ghosts, moods that a ghost might be in, and poetic forms in particular.  You can be creative about different conceptualizations of "ghost" and while the topic is horror-themed, you're free to aim for any tone you want.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

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Why the Starfire Reboot Is a Fizzle

Previously we discussed "The Comics Women Don't Buy."  There's another aspect to this debate, concerning DC's reboot.  The first couple of essays I read about the reboot of the Starfire character were ... accurate, but not fun to read, and couched in whiny feminist terms.  (I'm a feminist, but I'm not keen on all flavors of feminist writing.)  I prefer to point to things that people may actually read all the way through. 

Here, in much clearer and more charming terms, are the same arguments made by a seven-year-old girl who loves comics.  She explains that being a hero means fighting things, being strong, and helping people -- not wearing a tiny bikini to get attention.  This spans a thoughtful comparison of the Starfire character across several incarnations.

Now, if a little girl can figure that out, you'd think grown men would be able to, but they seem to have confused "hero" with another word that's missing the "er" in the middle.  That's not the kind of thing likely to attract more female readers to comics, and the men who like it are probably buying a different kind of periodical that's mostly pictures.

If you're a writer or an artist, I highly recommend reading this perspective on plot and characterization.  It really cuts to the heart of storytelling.

Saudi Women, Voting, and Driving

Change.Org sent out a note today.  Saudi Arabia has granted women the right to vote.  They still aren't allowed to drive cars, though.  Here's a petition you can sign in favor of women's mobility.

There was huge news in Saudi Arabia this weekend: Women there have finally
won the right to vote and run for many elected offices.

This is a massive moment for women in the kingdom -- and the over 150,000 members like you who’ve mobilized alongside them this year --
but one of the groups leading for change, Saudi Women for Driving,
believes you can help bring about an even more fundamental reform needed
to ensure that women can actually live out their new found political
rights: Women's right to drive.
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