August 30th, 2015


Terri Windling on Perfectionism

Terri Windling has written a lovely essay on perfectionism and how it can destroy creative people.  Now consider that the educational system is less and less inclined to tolerate mistakes of any kind, ever, at all.  It raises the stakes from a very young age, which predictably results in more children getting suspended (they're doing that in preschools now) and vomiting from stress during standardized tests.  Imagine what that's doing to the creatives among them.  >_<

Unsold Poems from the August 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl

The following poems from the August 4, 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 "Learning to See."  Linking to this page will reveal new verses of that.

"The Brightest Thing in the Day"
Your prompt about self-harm dovetailed neatly with notes I've had for Cassandra. Past and present stresses push her into some desperate measures. Groundhog finds out -- but his reaction is very different from previous experiences she has had. Competent dispatcher is competent. I have a competence kink. Let me show you it. "The Brightest Thing in the Day" is written in free verse.
536 lines, Buy It Now = $268

It's over now, or at least
it's supposed to be over,
but Cassandra doesn't know
how to feel about that, except
it doesn't feel over.

She's gone through the meetings
with people for and against clipping,
from forks to concerned parents, and
even met a few other survivors like herself

"Only in Acceptance"
This combined with several other prompts to make the free-verse poem "Only in Acceptance."  Damask muse about their situation and how to improve it, thinking about what makes friendship and family work.
110 lines, Buy It Now = $55


We remember what family is like,
what Maisie grew up with.

We're not Maisie, but
we still want to have a family.

"Spinning Family"
Your age-set prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Spinning Family."  It describes the primary social connection for Northerners.
37 lines, Buy It Now = $15

"To Put Together a Family"
A Monster House prompt inspired the free-verse poem "To Put Together a Family."  An unsympathetic home leads the nephew to seek refuge in the house on Hollow Oak Drive.  Fortunately SOME people know what family is all about.
144 lines, Buy It Now = $72

In the coldest, darkest part of January
my nephew showed up on the porch.

In his shirtsleeves.

I pulled him into the living room
and said, "What the heck is going on?"

Continuing with Ansel's storyline, he gets into some soup issues at work, resulting in a triptych of free-verse poems.  You'll see some coworker relationships and also how he deals with other soups.

"The Individual's Own Reason" shows Ansel starting to take on more cases believed to involve superpowers, which are challenging for the police to handle.
216 lines, Buy It Now = $108

"I want you to start taking
more of the soup cases,"
Chief De Soto said to Ansel,
entirely without warning.

"What?" Ansel said, startled.
"I don't ... I mean, you know that
I'm not a real soup, right? That is,
the color change is real, but I don't
have any powers beyond that. I can
do the outreach, talk to kids like Skippy,
sure, but supervillains?" He shook
his head. "I don't know if I'm
cut out for that, Chief."

"Forgotten to Breathe" introduces some new supervillains who are making Ansel's job more difficult.  He gets in over his head.
484 lines, Buy It Now = $242

Ansel was in the middle of lunch when
Bert hollered, "There's a theft in progress
at an ATM -- patrol's already on the way
to cover that -- we're heading for where
someone spotted that blue dog to see
if we can catch whoever's behind
all these crazy-colored critters!"

Already in motion, Ansel
wolfed down the rest of his food
and scrambled for his patrol car
to follow Bert and Justin in theirs.

"When We Get the Rough Times" features Ansel and Chief De Soto discussing how the incident went and what could be done better in the future.  Also Skippy is really, really serious about his role as soup mentor.
464 lines, Buy It Now = $232

Ansel woke to find himself
stretched out in a hospital bed
with Chief De Soto sitting beside him
reading a children's magazine.

He felt worse than that time when he had
accidentally gotten shot with a zatzer in training.
His whole body felt half-numb and prickly,
like a foot that had fallen asleep and was
just beginning to wake up and complain.

Social Justice in Science Fiction

Here's another essay about the Hugo Awards and whether science fiction is devolving into social justice stories. 

Devolving?  Really?  The genre that began with Mary Wallstonecraft  Shelley's scathing condemnation of a protagonist who was everything society lauded and also an imbecilic dick?  The genre where Gene Roddenberry cast his bridge crew with all the colors?  The genre that has, basically, made a profession out of screaming "NOT THAT DOOR!" at society and occasionally giving us a Tomorrowland-esque vision of awesome the future could be if humanity would only pull its head out of its ass?

Shut.  The fuck.  Up.

Poetry Fishbowl Report for August 4, 2015

This month's theme was "friendship, kinship, and families of choice." I worked from 12 PM to 6:15 AM, so about 16 hours 15 minutes, accounting for lunch and supper breaks. I wrote 10 poems on Tuesday and another 6 later.

Participation was a little lower, with 18 people leaving prompts. None of them were new.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the August 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"American Roots"
"American Wings"
"Carrying On"
"Muscadine Days"
"A River So Long"
"The Surface Tension of Injured Souls"
"The Trees That Came for a Wedding"
"Walking with a Friend in the Dark"

Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for August 4, 2015. That will include the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

All currently sponsored poems from this session have been posted.  There were only seven donors this time, all regulars: [personal profile] janetmiles[personal profile] mama_kestrel[personal profile] lone_cat[personal profile] dialecticdreamer, LJ user Ng_moonmoth, Anthony and Shirley Barrette.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.