November 30th, 2018


Poem: "The Tree of Damocles"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, as part of the Christmas thread inspired by Dreamwidth user Siliconshaman.  It also fills the "Christmas" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winterfest in July bingo.  This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.  It comes after "Emptier of Bad Thoughts."

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them.  The rate is $0.25/line, so $5 will reveal 20 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.
So far sponsors include: zianuray, DW user Gingicat, DW user Erulisse, janetmiles, DW user Technoshaman

481 lines, Buy It Now = $120.50
Amount donated = $67.50
Verses posted = 93 of 168 

Amount remaining to fund fully = $53
Amount needed to fund next verse = $0.50
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $0.75

Warning: This poem contains some intense and controversial scenes. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes holiday triggers with extreme emotional stress due to past abuse, hypervigilance, flashbacks, fear of punishment, hatred of Christmas, challenges of introversion, difficulty expressing needs or asking for help, poor use of current resources, aftermath of recent (and older) sexual assault, reference to domestic violence with a Christmas tree, which also plays into why Shiv says no at knifepoint, sarcasm and general belligerence, fear of angels due to past religious abuse, past neglect, avoiding the scene of recent sexual assault, bathroom issues, and other angst. This poem may be rough reading for survivors of child abuse or other folks with holiday issues. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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Poem: "Under a Blood-Red Moon"

This was the linkback perk poem for the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl, originally hosted by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It is spillover from the October 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by an image prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion and another prompt from [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah. This poem also fills the "Gothic" square in my 9-30-18 card for the Fall Bingo fest, and the "Saffron" square in my 9-5-18 Spices card for the 1000 Words or Less Bingo fest.

Warning for gore and monsters.

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The Chosen One in Children's Literature

This article raises a valid point, which is that the Chosen One motif can cause problems.  But I see different problems, and therefore different solutions.

First, almost none of the Chosen Ones are in fact chosen.  They're fated, which is not at all the same thing.  Usually, they get no choice at all, and neither does anyone else.  This often makes for boring stories.  The fix for this, of course, is to have someone actually sit the fuck down and pick a hero  from a pool of promising candidates.  It might not always be the most obviously heroic traits that are needed.  Sometimes, dragons are slain by brains instead of brawn.

Next, we have the problem of the Chosen One.  The drawback with this approach is that heroism is dangerous work.  What happens if your hero gets captured, crippled, or killed in action?  Or dies of dysentery?  You're hosed.  It makes much more sense to have a team who can trade off as needed.  One of these days, I really want to write that basketball fantasy piece.  Pass the Macguffin!

Lightly mentioned in the original article is the problem that the Chosen One is customarily white (and I would add, straight, cisgender boy or girl, and otherwise socially approved).  We do see some that are poor peasants, a few of which are even genuine instead of lost royals.  Mostly the Chosen One is an ideal.  The only way to fix this bottleneck of representation is to represent other types of character in the same role.  If you mess with the role at the same time, you haven't fixed that problem. So we need Chosen Ones who are black, who are disabled, who are genderqueer, etc.  We need prince/prince and princess/princess pairings too.

Sure, I love a good story where the hero is ordinary and becomes extraordinary through hard work.  But that one solution won't fix the above issues.

Native American Children's Books

When I was little, my parents hunted high and low for books by and about other cultures, especially Native American ones.  I searched for them in bookstores, museums, oddity shops, and events.  It was harder to find any then.  It's easier now.  Here is a list of Native American books for children by contemporary authors, just in time for holiday shopping.  I am pleased to see a range of light to dark topics, and at least one of them is bilingual.

Never forget.

Poetry Fishbowl Report for November 6, 2018

Our theme this month was "Family of Choice." I wrote from 1 PM to 5 AM, so about 14 hours, allowing for lunch and supper breaks. I wrote 6 poems on Tuesday and another 23 later on.

Participation was considerably higher, with 19 comments on LiveJournal and another 77 on Dreamwidth. Please welcome new prompters Soupshue and [personal profile] fuzzyred, whom you have to thank for the second freebie. I'll need to post that later.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Confused, Screwed Up, But Here"
"A Corresponding Clarity of Purpose"
"Emptier of Bad Thoughts"
"From This Intolerable Overload of Feeling"
"His Family's His Crew"
"The Lair of the Dragon Scouts"
"Merely an Exaggeration"
"A Purrfect Family"
"Reconciled Differences"
"Unless You Let Us Know You're Down There"
"Wabbit Season"

"Under a Blood-Red Moon" (standalone, October 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl) (linkback perk)
"On the Crust of an Unfinished Planet" (Polychrome Heroics: The Big One, Mercedes, October 2, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl) (free epic)
"The Tree of Damocles" (outside fishbowl)

Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, watch for the unsold poetry list from November 6. That will include the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

I have posted all the poems sponsored during the fishbowl. Donors this time include [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] satsuma, [personal profile] janetmiles, and Anthony & Shirley Barrette. There were no new donors. Per the $200 goal, "On the Crust of an Unfinished Planet" is the free epic. Per the $250 goal, that's two tallies toward a bonus fishbowl. Per the $300 goal, we had a half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics.

The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.

Unsold Poems for the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl

The following poems from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my Dreamwidth profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods. There are still verses left in the linkback poems "The Open Gyre," "Growing Green, Growing Gold," "Mysterious and Impermanent," "Greater Than the Sum," "Nascent Wisdom," "A Lively Feast," and "Between the Normal and the Abnormal."

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