March 19th, 2015


Poem: "To Choose a Direction"

This was the linkback perk poem for the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It came out of the February 2015 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "animal transformation" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. All 17 verses have been posted.

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Unsold Poems from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl

The following poems from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

There are still verses left in the linkback poem "To Choose a Direction."  Linking to this page will reveal new verses of that.

"Bunker Skills" (Polychrome Heroics)
Regarding the SCA, they're a valuable archive of traditional skills. This led to the free-verse poem "Bunker Skills." Mallory goes to a SCAdian event and learns about improvisational cooking.
100 lines, Buy It Now = $50 SOLD
(This is set a few months down the timeline, has already been sponsored, and will be posted after some other poems have been published.)

Mallory drifted through the faire,
borrowed skirts swishing around her ankles,
and tried to think of herself as this Maudelyn person
whom she was trying to portray.

Maudelyn was the daughter of travelers,
her parents sometimes working as traders
and other times as entertainers,
often in trouble and never knowing
what to do with themselves or their daughter

"The Cutting Edge" (Polychrome Heroics)
A DW prompt for Shiv inspired the free-verse poem "The Cutting Edge."  After the hospital comes the trial, and brief encounters with people concerned about Shiv.  He really doesn't deal with any of that well.
60 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"The Discontinuity of Science" (Torn World)
The Upheaval prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Discontinuity of Science." Two people who are really just low-grade observation techs get a sideline view of the disaster as their technology tears itself apart.
70 lines, Buy It Now = $35

Efeilyu made the last few
delicate connections to bring
his monitor screens active,
then signaled the lab
that everything was ready.

Teloim jittered in her seat,
checking and rechecking
equipment that was already set

"The Inheritor of Our Fear" (Polychrome Heroics)
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Inheritor of Our Fear."  A fork stalks Mallory because he doesn't think that soups should have kids.  Heron and Ham are outraged.
294 lines, Buy It Now = $147

Mallory caught a bus to
the Sanger Women's Center
in time for the baby class
offered for college mothers

"Right and Responsibility" (Polychrome Heroics)
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Right and Responsibility," an immediate sequel to "The Inheritor of Our Fear."  Mallory and Heron deal with the aftermath of the stalking incident.
248 lines, Buy It Now = $124

When Mallory woke up, she was
stretched out on the futon -- which was
still in couch mode, rather than bed mode --
and covered with her new peach blanket,
the fabric warm and fuzzy under her fingers

"Lay First the Foundation" (Polychrome Heroics)
A DW and a backchannel prompt inspired a comparison-contrast between overt and covert uses of superpowers as illustrated through events in world history.  "Lay First the Foundation" is written in free verse.
56 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"The Shadow of His Hand" (Polychrome Heroics)
A prompt about Hadyn inspired the free-verse poem "The Shadow of His Hand."  When Hadyn gets worried about a friend, she has to figure out what to do about it.
182 lines, Buy It Now = $91

Hadyn enjoyed art class.

Unlike math or reading, it wasn't
something you could flunk;
as long as you gave it a good try,
you got credit for the work

"The World Keeps Spinning" (Polychrome Heroics)
From a DW prompt I got the free-verse poem "The World Keeps Spinning."  Cassandra experiments with liquor.  It doesn't go all that well.
230 lines, Buy It Now = $115

Cassandra has survived the worst
that life could throw at her,
and she's still kicking.

She has survived growing up
with parents who think sex is dirty
and superpowers are evil

From the betrayal prompt came a triptych of free-verse poems in the series Frankenstein's Family. All three of these follow the story "Urgent Business" by DW user Dialecticdreamer, so first that needs to be published, and then these can be posted in order, whenever they're sponsored.

"Man's True Nature"
When Fridrik steps in a trap, Shandor brings him back to the castle for help -- but convincing Fridrik to accept it is easier said than done.

Igor was feeding the chickens when
Shandor and Fridrik returned from the forest
through the slanting afternoon light.

Shandor was half-carrying Fridrik,
who left a trail of bright red blood
over the white snow

"Between Power and Vulnerability"
The day after the accident, Victor and Igor check to see how Fridrik is healing. An injured werewolf is a cranky creature.
346 lines, Buy It Now = $173

In the morning, Victor carefully extricated himself
from the cuddlesome pile of limbs that had
taken over his bed, leaving Igor and Csilla
entwined while he slipped into the bathroom

"The Noblest of All Animals"
Victor takes Igor and Shandor down to the village in search of justice. It doesn't show very often, but Victor is really not a safe person to piss off.
482 lines, Buy It Now = $241

After breakfast, Victor went to the back of his closet
and pulled out what he privately thought of as
his "lord clothes," the gold-piped black suit and
his best white shirt with pearl buttons all down
the front placket, gold cufflinks and stickpin,
tall black boots hugging his legs, then
a top hat and frock coat over it all.

Usually he felt pretentious putting on
such a show, but today it felt different.
Today it felt like armor,  like a knight
girding himself for the battle to come


Read "News Bulletin: The Massacre of Cascabel" and "The Conscience of the War"

LJ user Ng_moonmoth has written two pieces of demifiction based on my poem "Too Much Energy."  They do come with warnings, but if you read the source poem which inspired them, you'll probably be okay.

"News Bulletin: The Massacre of Cascabel" -- This gives an early glimpse of Carinan reactions to a major event in the war, which involved Spalling.  

"The Conscience of the War" -- Here is the beginning of the turnaround, poignantly portrayed in a war poem.


Skin Tone in Art

Here is an illustrated discussion about racism in comics. First, it's an example of the peskiness that people of color deal with all the time. Second, it's a sharp reminder to build clear character sheets if you are working on a team, and what can go wrong if you're careless about that or change things over time. Whitewashing tends to annoy people a lot.

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Wearable Devices

Here's an article speculating on potential harm from wearable devices.  Let's consider some possible issues ...

1) Does it emit radiation? If so, it's probably something you don't want next to your skin a lot.  Remember that the most common danger from radiation isn't a single big does, but the buildup over time, in which a lot of tiny doses definitely add up.  This could be greatly reduced by shielding. Companies probably won't bother unless consumers force  them to. But you can probably make your own.  Radiation from wearables isn't very strong so you don't need six feet of concrete to stop it.  Consider also that some wearables emit a lot more than others.  Don't choose a high-rad device if a low-rad one will do what you need.

2) Does it contain toxic materials? This is common, as things must be proven unsafe rather than proven safe. There are things which, again, you probably don't want to press on your skin all the time. This is easily solved by using a protective cover of something you're not allergic to and don't make go haywire.  Don't trust corporations to put your safety first; they are legally obligated (in America) to put their shareholders' profits first.  Don't trust government agencies either; they're interested in avoiding panic and making their donors happy.  You are not their priority either.  Look for reports by people who don't have a dog in the fight.  These are rare, but tend to be more reliable if you can find them.  Also if something is getting banned somewhere, it's probably not great for your body.

3) Does it interfere with your somatic motions, make your body part hurt, or cause some other physical problems? This is likely an ergonomic issue which may be affected by the size, shape, weight, etc. of the device. Later generations will probably improve. If you have this problem, try moving the device, carrying it in a pocket, etc. If all else fails, wait a year or two and test a newer model.

4) Does it mess with your social, sleep, or other life patterns? This tends to be a behavior issue, which is a combination of physical and nonphysical factors. Staring at a glowing screen at night can make you unsleepy (but not untired, alas). So can thinking about complex things  such as what someone's latest message means for your schedule tomorrow. If you have this type of problem, try modifying the times when you use your device. Staring at the gizmo on your wrist could cause your to walk into traffic and get hit by a car, or piss off your friend and get dumped. If you are having this type of problem, try changing the way in which you interact with your device and with people around you.

5) In any case, pay close attention to new technology before and after adopting it.  What are the financial, physical, social, and time costs?  What are you gaining by using this tool?  What are you losing?  I highly recommend the Amish rule: When deciding whether to adopt a new piece of technology, ask whether it does more good than harm.  If it does more good, adopt it.  If it does more harm, do not adopt it.  (You don't have the draw the line in the same place they do.  I don't, but I use the same rule.  Heck, even they argue over it.)  Really really think about this.  Don't grab something new just because it is new and everyone says it's cool.  Think about what it will do for you  and what you'll have to give up to get that.