January 8th, 2012

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Ezine in Progress

[personal profile] ailelie is developing plans to launch a new ezine featuring stories and poems that portray queer women in a positive light.  It's intended as a genre magazine but will cover multiple genres: science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, all different things.  Plans are to crowdfund the first two issues, probably through Kickstarter or a similar site.  If the fundraising succeeds and the project comes together, then I get hired to do the line editing.  

I want this project to thrive because I think the world needs more good literature like this.  It annoys me when I see Hollywood and New York putting out movies, TV, books, magazines, etc. that perpetrate destructive tropes like the dead/evil lesbian.  If that stuff annoys you too, and you want better literature, here's a chance to make it happen.

This project is currently in the brainstorming stage.  Right now, you can help by sharing your ideas and experience through some of the discussion posts.

The first planning post lays out the initial premise, and then there's "So I'm Going To Do It" firming up some of the parameters for the ezine.  "What All Goes in a Business Plan" is much more detailed.

"Well, I may need a new theme to start off with" gives some background on the fairytale theme idea, and a bunch of other theme ideas in the comments.

"Brainstorming Names" explains that the working title of the magazine is Plunge  but something better is desired.  Pitch your ideas for a magazine name here.

"Perk Ideas" lists possible items on offer, where you can suggest other cool things you'd like.

If you're a reader and/or interested in queer women, chime in with what you hope to see in the way of ezine content.  Help us find all the folks who are dissatisfied with the mainstream portrayals of queer women, so that they can support a project more in keeping with their personal ideals and tastes.  We can also use input on stop-trope entries: stuff you wish people would quit doing, so writers will know what to avoid (or at least handle with extreme care).

If you're a writer, make suggestions for developing a writer-friendly ezine.  Think about what things you write that might fit the themes here.  Keep an eye out for the fundraising -- which will make this a paying market -- and for the submission window to open later this year.

If you're an editor or a webspinner, share your experience about managing a magazine or developing a website.  Give tips on what works, mistakes to avoid, anything you think might be useful.

If you're a crowdfunder -- especially if you've run a successful fundraiser on Kickstarter or the like -- then talk about your approach to that.  Mention what kind of project attracts your attention.  List things you did to boost your project.

If you're a networker, watch for the fundraising phase.  That's when we'll be doing a big push to get more people involved and to reach outside our immediate circles.

Okay, that's it for now.  I'll keep you posted on further developments.




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Fiorenza

Bonus Material: "Cast List for Fiorenza the Wisewoman"

This is the perk for the January 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl reaching the $200 donation goal.  Thank you all for your support!

Below is the cast list for the poetic series Fiorenza the Wisewoman. You can find the published poems via the Serial Poetry page. This fantasy series features a young woman taking care of people in an Italian village, using her herbalism and her wits to deal with various mundane and mystical challenges. The descriptions may contain spoilers for some poems.

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Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The January theme was "heras and villainesses."  A surprise guest topic was Greek mythology, appearing in several poems.  Most of the prompts arrived early, but a few more trickled in through the day.  A total of 19 people sent prompts, including the ones on Dreamwidth or backchannel.  There were 67 comments on LJ, 7 on DW, counting mine.  I worked from 1 PM to 1 AM, which means about 10 hours at the keyboard after accounting for breaks. 

I wrote 15 poems on Tuesday, then added 2 more later.  The number is on the low side of average for me, because the poems ran long this month.  There were 4 epics, most of the rest were long or medium-long, and no short poems at all.  As my_partner_doug pointed out, "Heras don't lend themselves to short  stories."  Many were free-verse but I also wrote some in quatrains or tercets, one in tanka verses, and one sonnet.  Also worth noting is the prevalence of series poems: 8 of the poems belonged to a series or established setting.  Some used only a single prompt but there were several poems that stacked a whole bunch of prompts together to create the plot; that was fun.

There was one new prompter this time, DW user Serpentine, who's responsible for the second freebie.  Special thanks to aldersprig for handling the linkback perk poem, "Zee."  It's all finished now.  Thanks also to my_partner_doug for managing the donation ticker.

Donations were enthusiastic this month.  We met the $150 goal for a free series poem and the $200 goal for bonus material.  I also added an extra series poem for donations reaching $250.  So you can now read "Bonus Material: Cast list for Fiorenza the Wisewoman."  Voting is still open for the individual series poems in Monster House and Path of the Paladins; I expect to close that and post the poems later tonight.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the January 3, 2012 fishbowl have been posted:
"All the Things" (Practical Magics)
"Bittersweet Preserves" (Fiorenza the Wisewoman)
"The Crackerjack Princess"
"Dark as Night, Bright as Day"
"Imalye Fotolyi" (Torn World)
"Klytaimēstra's Kestos"
"The Morose Mascot" (The Adventures of Aldornia and Zenobia)
"Pandora's Gift"
"Paper and Tiger" (The Origami Mage)
"Princess in the Shadows" (The Ocracies)
"Sisters in Venom"
"Stillpoint of the Spinning Wheel" (Monster House)
"What Makes a Woman"
"When Themis Peeks"
"El Zócalo"

"alien aquarium" (Monster House)
"Chamomile and Honeycrack" (Path of the Paladins)
"The Girl He Brought Home" (Monster House)
"Zee" (Monster House)


Buy Some Poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, read the list of unsold poems from January 3, 2012.  That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.  Wow, you bought everything but some of the epics!  "The Morose Mascot" is now in microfunding.  The previous microfunded poem, "The Inescapable Agony of Being," is just $2 from full sponsorship.

All currently sponsored poems have been posted.  Backchannel copies have been sent to the various prompters.  The generally sponsored poetry poll is already complete and the selected poems have been posted too.

The donor perk-post is "Addressing Evil in Poetry."  The January donors include: kelkyag, marina_bonomi, minor_architect, zianuray, rix_scaedu, janetmiles, laffingkat, the_vulture, Shirley Barrette, and Anthony Barrette.  Thank you all for your encouragement! 

If you haven't already seen these, there is a list of poetry fishbowl perks for 2012 and a discussion of poetry ebooks from the fishbowl.  Donors can read the full list of scheduled themes for early 2012.


For complete details on this project, see the Poetry Fishbowl Landing Page.
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Sketch Fest Art

meeksp did this adorable sketch of two centaurs pulling a cart based on my prompt. 

I think that the body proportions make them look like hobbit-pony centaurs!  Look how round and stocky they are.  Also, I'm intrigued that the centaur mare has a flat chest; presumably she has an udder beneath her hind end.  This is an established, if uncommon, way of rendering female centaurs and allows them to be SFW even without clothes on. 

Check out their coloration, too.  The stallion is pretty clearly a chestnut.  The mare could be either a grulla (images) (description) or a blue roan.  Notice that her human hair matches the gray-brown tone of her horse hair. 

I think it would be fun to see this picture developed a bit more, particularly their hooves.
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Poem: "A Love Like Air"

I was inspired by the_vulture's charming ink sketch based on one of my Sketch Fest prompts, "He gave her not his heart, but his lungs, for she was his breath."  The result is this poem about an everyday hera and her gentleman in distress.


A Love Like Air


When he nearly drowned,
she came to save him
and pulled him to shore.

She kissed him back to life,
plucked away his flippers,
peeled off his frog-green wetsuit

and told him to be more careful.

All that summer,
he watched her,
and when the dune grass turned
from green to gold,
he pledged his troth.

He gave her not his heart,
but his lungs,
for she was his breath.

Theirs is a love like air:
invisible yet ever-present,
encompassing everything,
powerful enough to move

even the ocean.

monster house

Poem: "alien aquarium"

This poem came out of the October 16, 2011 bonus fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug and then selected as a freebie in the poll.  It follows "Pet Projects" in the Monster House series.  For more about the series, visit the Serial Poetry page.


alien aquarium
-- a waltz wave


blink
watching
blink
monster
under the
bed and
girl
laughing,
looking in
aquarium
bogeyman
jerking
back
startled
by a wink
always
blink
watching
blink

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Making Honeycrack and Other Traditional Candies

After I sent the prompter copy of "Chamomile and Honeycrack" to westrider, we got into a discussion of traditional candymaking.  Yes, I drew inspiration from real candy, and I've made both hand-pulled taffy and hard candy of this general type.  Here are my notes from that conversation ...

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paladins

Poem: "Chamomile and Honeycrack"

This poem came out of the December 6, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was prompted by westrider who wanted to know about any special holidays that the paladins might celebrate.  It was selected as a freebie in the serial poems poll.  This poem belongs to the Path of the Paladins series, and you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.  I've also posted about making honeycrack and other traditional candies.

Note that this takes a big jump forward in time, from early summer to midwinter.  It's okay because there's nothing in here that has a strong plot-continuity aspect, beyond continued character growth and deepening relationships.


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The Rhysling Award now accepts crowdfunded and self-published poetry!

Official word is that the Rhysling Award now accepts nominations of crowdfunded or self-published poetry. (In several previous years, staff ruled out crowdfunded poetry as being self-published. Then it was rediscovered that some previous Rhysling winners were self-published poems, so the rules were clarified to allow self-published poems. I asked about crowdfunding specifically and it's eligible!)

The Rhysling Award is run by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. SFPA members have the right to nominate and vote in the Rhysling Award, and also receive a copy of the annual voting anthology, which is an excellent source of top speculative poems. If you enjoy crowdfunded poetry, consider nominating/voting for your favorite examples so as to raise awareness of crowdfunding as a successful venue for poetry.
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The Rhysling Award now accepts crowdfunded and self-published poetry!

Official word is that the Rhysling Award now accepts nominations of crowdfunded or self-published poetry. (In several previous years, staff ruled out crowdfunded poetry as being self-published. Then it was rediscovered that some previous Rhysling winners were self-published poems, so the rules were clarified to allow self-published poems. I asked about crowdfunding specifically and it's eligible!)

The Rhysling Award is run by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. SFPA members have the right to nominate and vote in the Rhysling Award, and also receive a copy of the annual voting anthology, which is an excellent source of top speculative poems. If you enjoy crowdfunded poetry, consider nominating/voting for your favorite examples so as to raise awareness of crowdfunding as a successful venue for poetry.

So if you were planning to nominate but haven't done so yet, all of my poems first published in 2011 on The Wordsmith's Forge are eligible.  You can use the "poem" tag to find them.  K-fans, your hardcopy collection from 2011 can be used similarly.