January 31st, 2013


LAST DAY for Rose & Bay Nominations!

Today is the LAST DAY to make nominations for the 2013 Rose & Bay Awards for excellence in crowdfunding!

Art:  [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith  Nominate art!  (5 nominees)
Fiction:  [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith  Nominate fiction!  (7 nominees)
Poetry:  [personal profile] kajones_writing  Nominate poetry!  (5 nominees)
Webcomic:  [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith  Nominate webcomics!  (5 nominees)
Other Project:  [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith  Nominate other projects!  (6 nominees)
Patron:  [personal profile] kajones_writing  Nominate patrons!  (4 nominees)

Voting will open on February 1.

As you can see, we still need nominations in all categories, but especially in Patron, which has the fewest.  Please drop by to nominate your favorite crowdfunded patrons or projects from 2012.  Post about the award in any relevant venue to help alert more people.

If everyone would nominate at least one favorite project, and those of you running projects would nominate at least one of your patrons, we'd have a lot more activity here.  Please pitch in.

Poem: "The Janardanakavita"

A couple weeks ago, I posted about the economic impact of Smaug in my journal.  The ensuing discussion inspired a fantasy world plagued not by a single dragon, but by a mass migration of them, hence the series title "A Conflagration of Dragons."  I have spent the intervening time doing some heavy-duty worldbuilding.  A very brief thumbnail to set the scene ...

There are six races, all of them humanoid and none of those human, dwarven, or elven.  They are unique designs, each based on an affinity for two of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water).  They only sort-of get along with each other, with some alliances and a lot of rivalries.  Also unlike most fantasy settings, there are no prevailing religions; the cultures focus on different philosophies instead.  This causes about the same amount of tension as religions, just minus the personification.

Dragons are a single species, all able to breed with each other, but they have different color phases.  That relates to which toxic elements they use best and can find most, thus influencing the style of their breath weapon.  The basic phases are red, blue/green, bronze, and black.  These dragons are stupendously powerful; an adult has approximately the same ecological footprint as a volcano.  Consequently they've adapted so that they can go dormant if the environment can't support them anymore.  That can happen on an individual cycle, but also groups of dragons can hibernate together, creating the conflagration effect when they all wake up.

Here, then, is the first poem in the series.  "The Janardanakavita" marks the end of the Golden Age and the beginning of the Conflagration.  It introduces three of the six races: the Madhusudana, the Imran, and the Shu.  It's written in couplets in a form inpsired by Hindi poetry; but I'm breaking the lines into half-lines so they'll work onscreen, as indicated by the indentations.  The kavita form is designed to accommodate that.  I'm planning to do each of the six poems about the fall of the capitol cities in a different form.  Names of characters, races, cities, etc. are taken from famous works of literature and mythology, a different one for each race, so you might recognize some.

This poem also fills the "first time" square on my Dark Fantasy Bingo Card.

Title: "The Janardanakavita"
Fandom: Original (A Conflagration of Dragons)
Characters: Atemu, Janardana, Puru, Yaqub, Zabur
Pairing: None
Prompt: First time
Medium: Poetry
Wordcount: 945
Rating: PG-13
Warning: Character death.  Graphic violence.  Doom, destruction, and despair.  Helpless to stop destruction.
Summary/Preview: The rulers of different lands like to show off their treasures to each other.  While this is going on, a dragon arrives.  Nobody is remotely prepared to cope with the level of carnage that ensues.

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Poem: "Faith as a Grain"

This poem came from the January 22, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from thesilentpoet and Dreamwidth user Avia.  It has been selected in an audience poll for sponsorship out of the general fund.  This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.  You can read more about Baba Yaga and the Bible verse that inspired the title online.

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Poem: "Buon Natale"

This poem came from the January 22, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from wyld_dandelyon and Dreamwidth user Cadenzamuse.  It has been selected in an audience poll for sponsorship out of the general fund.  This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.  You can read more about Italian Christmas traditions and holiday foods online.

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On Ghazals and the Ghazal Sonnet

Here's an interesting essay about ghazals, a form of Arabic poetry.  Some poetic forms cross easily over language barriers; others do not, if they tie tightly into the particular features of the source language.

The khazal form in which I write much of my desert poetry was inspired loosely by ghazals.  For an example, see "The Pear Gate."

The kavita form, which I designed for writing "The Janardanakavita," was inspired by the shloka form used in the Mahābhārata and many other Indian epics.  Because English has a very different structure than Hindi, I took some features from the shloka and some from heroic couplets and other sources, to create a form that would carry hints of the classic Indian flavor yet still work gracefully in English.

Poll: Open an Epic

Based on the previous poll, I have posted "Faith as a Grain" and "Buon Natale"  in full.  You have $36.50 left in the general fund with which to open a new epic for microfunding.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I will leave it open until at least Friday night.  If there's a clear winner then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

There are three epics left: "Her Crystalline Voice" ($56.50), "The Mystery of the Worn-Out Slippers" ($75), and "A Comedy of Craft" ($78).  To see where those fit in the series chronology, visit the page for Fiorenza the Wisewoman.  To see thumbnails, visit the unsold poetry post.

Poll #1893674 Opening an Epic for January 22, 2013 General Fund
This poll is closed.

Which of these epics do you most want to open for microfunding?

Her Crystalline Voice
The Mystery of the Worn-Out Slippers
A Comedy of Craft