June 24th, 2013


Poetry Fishbowl Report for June 4, 2013

This month's topic was "sleep and dreams."  I worked from 1 PM to 12:45 AM, so about 9 hours 45 minutes allowing for breaks.  There were trickles and spurts of prompts through much of the day.

Participation was higher this month, yay!  A total of 21 people sent prompts.  There were 43 comments on LiveJournal and 22 on Dreamwidth.  Welcome new prompter DW user Chanter_greenie.

I wrote 17 poems, all posted now.  Most of the poems were free verse, along with an indriso.  Some poems had consistent verses though.  Most used one or two prompts, but I had a few that bundled several prompts.

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American Giant

Here's an interesting new business model from American Giant clothes.  

I like the idea of cutting out the middlemen, doing the work locally, and paying factory workers a decent wage.  I love the idea of designing clothes from an engineering perspective and making them to last.

Unfortunately the online-only model is a dealbreaker for me when it comes to clothes and most other products.  If they had a storefront, I could watch for one and try on the clothes.  But most things, I won't buy unless I can touch them, unless it's an exact duplicate of something I've already handled.  That's because few products meet even my minimum standards of performance ("Will it get the job done?  Is it non-hazardous?").  The only things somewhat less subject to that barrier are things I can test equally well online, such as text or images, which is why crowdfunding works well for me.

I'm concerned about the trend of commerce shifting to cyberspace, because for me, that usually puts things out of my range. I don't like the way society is becoming less participatory.  Take bookstores -- I've seen the industry go from a zillion small individual stores plus a few chains, to the era of chain stores and the marvelous megastores, to the fucking book desert we have now where the nearest bookstore is an hour away from me with a shitty little magazine section, almost no music, a shrinking collection of books, and a massive ereader booth right in front of the door.  To me this doesn't say "Come in and fall in love with some books!"  It says "Buy our gadget and go home and read ebooks."  Fuck it.  If I'm going to read on a screen, I'll support bite-sized crowdfunding.  If I'm going to pay for a paper book, I want to hold it in my hands first, and I'd like to have a nice place to browse the shelves.

Monday Update 6-24-13

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Wonder Woman
Women and Agency
Watch "True Colors"
Slavery in Star Wars (18 comments)

The half-price sale for Fiorenza the Wisewoman is now complete.  Two out of the three poems sold, and those are linked from the sale page and the series page so you can read them.

The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, July 2 with a theme of "unlikely heroes and implausible villains."

Poetry in Microfunding:
"Landfather" belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.  Johan and Larn talk about their connections and the future.

Torn World writing update:
Currently posting: "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal" (fiction).  Approved as canon: "The Wander Tent" (fiction), "Unicorns on Parade" "Spruce Deer" (poetry).  Back to me for edits: "Winterheart (Parts 1-3)" "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands (Parts 1-4)," (fiction) "Stinging Like Nettles" (poetry).  Currently in front of the canon board: "Ghost Bat" (nonfiction), "Wandering the Heights" (poetry). Drafted: "Like Ash Before the Wind," "From Dark to Bright," "The Inappropriate But Useful Disposal of Lettuce" "A Thin Red Trail" (fiction), "Changes in the Wind" (poetry).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," "Raining Kittens," "Finding the Holes" (fiction), "The Smallest Invaders" (poetry).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).

We've had a mix of sunny and rainy weather, mostly mild.  A lot of the grass seed I've been sowing has turned into lovely little threads of green.  That's basically my main outdoor accomplishment for this rather mucked-up growing season.  Last year everything baked to death, this year it was chilly and wet so long that I got almost nothing done.  Oh well.  There is now actual lawn instead of bare dirt or weeds in more places.  So yay.  I've been picking mulberries and black raspberries, fruit as far as the eye can see.  Pie cherries are also ripe but I may not bother with those this year.  We don't eat them as much as the others.  The yuccas are in full bloom, as are daylilies.  Echinacea, gaillardia, yellow coneflower, and some other stuff is just starting to bloom. 

Introducing Terramagne

I've had a number of discussions over the years about what's done wrong (and occasionally right) in the world of comic books, like sexism and ableism and racism. Recently LiveJournal user Baaing_tree gave me a good idea for a superhero character. Me being me, I puttered around with character ideas and then built a world to put them in. I figure, I can't draw comics, but I can write the same kind of genre and fill it with the kind of diversity I like.

Terramagne is my superhero setting. It's pronounced "Terra Main" like Charlemagne, and it means World of Greatness.

If you want to understand the infrastructure, start here.  For a character introduction, see the prose poem "Damask Speaks."  If you don't like spoilers, start with "Cut to the Quick," which is the origin story poem.  See the series page Polychrome Heroics for more.

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Story: "Squiggles" 1508.07.11

"Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal"


My new ant farm is all set up in my room. It's inside a fast-time bubble. This way I can watch the colony grow without having to wait forever. Ants live everywhere but each region has some different species. Some species live in many regions, others only one. So ants give terrific clues about how ecosystems bump against each other and merge or push back and forth. I'm gathering lots of data for my project this year and my ant farm will look great in the display.

Mom is still screaming about it on the other side of my bedroom door, though. Guess I forgot to ask permission before spending an insane amount of money on pet bugs. I'm pretty sure she'll give in eventually since it's for school.

I can't believe how much money I still have left. Those Horse Fair tourists bought out every Squiggle Mouse except our breeding stock!

See the landing page for "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal."