May 9th, 2019


Poetry and Magic

 [personal profile] janetmiles tipped me to this essay about poetry and magic.  Not everything I write is that intense, but some of it is.  The devotional poetry often is, and I do write actual spells sometimes.  The narrative poetry is usually less intense -- it's not good to leave the dial turned up to 10 all the time -- but climactic scenes can be very gripping.  Sometimes, you just want to read about a clover and a bee.

Call for Cosponsors of "Comfort Always"

EDIT 5/13/19: "Comfort Always" is fully funded, pending arrival of the donation.
[Unknown LJ tag] is seeking cosponsors for this poem:

Your EFA prompt contributed to the free-verse poem "Comfort Always." Setting up tents for the centaurs runs into a minor snag, but Filly knows how to fix it. Lots of fluff and comfort ensues.
458 lines, Buy It Now = $229

The World as Inspiration

Here's a good essay on the world as inspiration.

To be a creative person, you need experiences.  You need them like a cook needs a spice rack.  We probably have about a hundred bottles of stuff in our kitchen, from simples to blends.  I never stop exploring -- the recent discoveries of Nord Spices and grains of paradise are new favorites.  So go do things.  Go watch a dance, listen to a concert, take a hike, shop at a street fair.  Visit ethnic neighborhoods and meet different people.

Many of my experiences have worked their way into poems.  Fishing.  Crawling into a hollow tree.  Mexico City.  Tblisi.  Yellowstone.  How big  a bison is, how presiding, how godlike as it rises out of a pond to wander across the road.  That time a bird landed on my head and sang songs before flying away.  The way that people who can't read well will ask me, in particular, to read things for them because apparently the Universe never turned off my 'Public Scribe' sign.  Watching people make fudge, saltwater taffy, horseshoes, glass.

And you, my readers, you bring me your  experiences too and I weave them into my work.  Things you've seen, places you've been, castles and misty valleys and high deserts, kind people, rude people, all these little pieces that are the same and different than what I've encountered on my own.  I am large; I contain multitudes; you are some of me, and through you I am more of me.

If you want inspiration, go do  stuff.  The rest will take care of itself.

Robot Balancing

Here's an impressive video of a bipedal robot balancing on narrow surfaces.  What makes this impressive:

* The robot is top-heavy, like most bipedal models today, yet still manages to balance.

* Narrow surfaces are more challenging than wide ones.

* Uneven or wobbly surfaces are more challenging than stable ones.

* The robot crosses its feet over each other.  Look at the motion closely.  The hip, knee, and ankle joints must be very sophisticated to support this level of agility.

Notice that this biped is still tethered.  Here is an early video of the MIT robot cheetah, first in harness and then running free.  (Warning: robot abuse ahead.) A more advanced version can climb over debris and recover from shoves.  The current version can right itself after falls and even backflip.  Compare this progression to the bipedal robot shown above and you can imagine where it might go in a few years.

I fucking love science.  :D