Indian Chemistry

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 11:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Indian food is delicious because it combines ingredients whose flavors have little or nothing in common, the opposite of Western methods.  Kudos to the folks who thought of doing science to analyze why it is so yummy.  The flavor pyramids are fascinating.  Also, has anyone else noticed the mushrooms are Pagan?

Okay, that works.  I am now trying to figure out if I can get my internal database to run backwards and match foods for minimum overlap instead of searching for little bits that hook into each other like when I put the Earl Grey into the white peach ice cream.

The Year So Far

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 07:34 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter
JANUARY: moonlight; cold; busy.

FEBRUARY: snow; winter piled on winter.

MARCH: melting (i hope)

Rix_Scaedu's Prompt Call Now Open

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 04:42 pm
aldersprig: (anthropologist)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Rix Scaedu has a prompt call open! It is here - - and is themeless.

Prompting is free; signal boosting or tips get you more words or more prompts.


Poem: "Dancing the Stars Down"

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 02:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl, prompted by [personal profile] alexseanchai.

Warning: This poem contains partial nudity and the end of the world.

Read more... )

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 12:50 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED for prompts.  I hope to keep writing for the last few prompters.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "surviving the worst."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Click to read the linkback poem "To Choose a Direction" (Heliodrax, 17 verses available).

What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "surviving the worst."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.

Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.

3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted. "To Choose a Direction" belongs to Heliodrax and has 17 verses available. 

Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale in one series.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "surviving the worst."  I'll be soliciting ideas for urvivors, desperate people, heroes, villains, innocent bystanders, being prepared, facing challenges, solving problems, thinking outside the box, proving yourself, glorious success, abject failure, damage along the way, souvenirs and mementos, the bad part of town, dungeons, doom planets, the wilderness, that place everybody told you not to go but you did anyway, situations where the deck is stacked, shipwrecks or other transportation failures, endings and beginnings, worst case scenarios, whatever doesn't kill me had better run for its life, the end of the world as we know it, survival skills, coping skills,  and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "To Choose a Direction.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

Local Wildlife Reserve

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 12:09 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Grand Prairie Friends is trying to raise money to buy 91 acres of forested property in Coles County, Illinois.  It's adjacent to two other large parcels already owned by the same organization, making it useful for protecting species vulnerable to habitat fragmentation.

Shades of Us

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 11:30 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I was pleased to see some articles about diversity today.  This one discusses skin-toned fashions such as hosiery and shoes being expanded to cover more shades of nude.  This one presents a department store that's planning to offer gender-neutral clothing and organization, instead of men's/women's; alas, a temporary showing, but it's a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, March 3rd

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 10:21 am
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin
Personal Stuff

So, a week or two ago I decided to stop doing the daily status posts because it was starting to feel like they were just a way to mark time. Yesterday or the day before or maybe Saturday, I realized that even if this was the case, that's still a useful and necessary function. Without the simple act of typing the day and date at the top of the screen five out of every seven days of the week, I find myself much more adrift in the world, unstuck in time like a Vonnegut character (but without, to the best of my knowledge, any abduction to an alien sex zoo). I have a hard time registering the passage of time or conceiving of things in chronological order at the best of times.

I've spent a lot of the time between about Valentine's Day and this past weekend feeling too tired to do anything but sit there, which left me with a lot of time on my hands to think. It wasn't all high-quality thought or productive thought. For instance, I think the decision to quit doing status posts came somewhere in there. There were some useful insights into my life in general and the way I live it.

The most recent important insight is that if I feel like the status posts I was making were perfunctory and pointless and conveyed nothing important, then the solution isn't to stop posting on a regular basis but to start making meaningful posts.

This is the first one, which I'm making more or less to break the ice on the concept.

Let me catch you up on a few things.

First, my exhaustion of the past two weeks was nothing entirely new, as I have both a chronic fatigue condition and a chronic sleep disorder. It did not really resemble my normal fatigue or sleep deprivation, though it felt like a combination of the two. Usually February-March is my good period, because I sleep so much better in the deep cold. But instead of waking up each morning feeling refreshed and renewed and full of energy, I woke up feeling like I hadn't slept at all. This was weird.

Now, the thing is, I have made a careful lifelong study (not always strictly voluntarily) of my insomnia. I know what it feels like. I know what it's like to lie awake at night, and I was not lying awake at night. I was going to bed at a reasonable hour and losing consciousness, but waking up feeling exhausted, and I couldn't figure out why.

So I asked myself: what changed? It took me a while to figure it out because of the timeframe problem alluded to above, and because I didn't have a lot of energy to play out hypotheticals.

But once I started thinking about why I was sleeping fine right up through about February 13th and became thoroughly exhausted thereafter, there was a single obvious answer: that was the day we brought home a pair of sick six month old kittens from the shelter.

The kittens don't sleep in my bedroom, but my office/the catroom is right on the other side of the wall from where my head is. They've been much more active at night when no one's around than during the day, and apparently been making enough noise at night that Jack, in the opposite corner of the upstairs, could hear them clearly. I'm generally the lightest sleeper in the household, so my working theory is that their antics are enough to almost rouse me, again and again, so I never got into the deeper sleep cycles.

I worked this out only a couple nights before I flew out to spend time with my mother (which is what I'm doing right now), but I tested the theory by using my noise-blocking earbuds instead of my normal ones and woke up feeling a lot more like myself. So now I know that for when I get back. I'm not a big fan of sleeping with the noise-blockers in (they're less comfortable, and also they've given Jack a scary moment when he couldn't wake me up), but eventually the cats may settle down, or I might get used to them. And eventually they won't be restricted to a single large room of the house, so they can go be wild somewhere else... although it's also possible that once they're allowed into my bedroom they'll sleep more at night than during the day, due to the availability of warm bodies for snuggling.

The kittens came home to us with some respiratory infection, which we've been treating. They each took turns being worryingly listless and for a while we were using the description "wretched little snotbabies" as a term of endearment, though they're recovering nicely. Sleep problems aside, it's good to have cats in the house again, and it's nice that this time they belong to us as a family. Jack really pushed for it to happen, and I'm glad he did. Left to my own devices, I would have probably waited a full year after Dorian's death to adopt again... but I can easily see that turning into another year, one "just a little more time" at a time.

There are some things you are never really ready to do. These are often the things that need the most doing.

Current Status

I've been having some low emotional days, with very little creative traction. It turns out I left my dopamine boosters out of my pill planner somehow. Fortunately I brought a bottle of them with me, as I take them more often than the other pills in the planner. I imagine at some point while I was packing I probably made the decision to leave them out of the planner so the compartments are less crowded, reasoning that I would just take them from the bottle as needed. The problem is that without that first nigh-unto-automatic first dose in the morning, it's just hard to get anything done.

I've added the dopamine boosters to my planner.

Work Stuff

This week is going to be another two-update week, and the updates are going to come on Wednesday and Friday rather than Tuesday/Thursday due to situational adjustment and the pill thing. I'll be blogging more about what's going with various things like the chapbook and the new story I started just before my lethargy-palooza, possibly on a one-a-day basis and possibly more often.

March Crowdfunding Projects

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 01:11 am
ysabetwordsmith: (Crowdfunding butterfly ship)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
What are your planned crowdfunding projects for March? What did you accomplish during February?

The March Creative Jam will be Saturday 14-Sunday 15 with a theme of "Portents of the Past and Future." Please check in then to leave or claim prompts!

Call for Prompts

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 01:10 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 LJ user Lb_lee is hosting a Selfathon.  Leave prompts about "self" and get ficlets.  There are perks for donations.

Love Has No Labels

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 12:46 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I was charmed by this display of kissing skeletons.  Regrettably I couldn't find the video on the Love Has No Labels website, but they have other cool stuff there.  I am particularly pleased to see that the demonstration included a wide range of prejudices to be set up and knocked down.  I'm also delighted that they highlighted different kinds  of love, including at least two different pairs of best friends.

In Terramagne, people do this kind of thing a lot, adding "Love has no power differential" for the soup/nary couples.

Top Of Class, Bottom, a ficlet of Edally Academy

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 01:04 pm
aldersprig: (Tairiekie)
[personal profile] aldersprig
This story comes during There Are Lessons You Only Learn in Pain, Chapter 20 of Edally Academy.

It is written in reply to [ profile] Rix's suggestion to this request for questions, after the successful Domain Name Fundraiser.

Read more... )

March Theme Poll - open to everyone!

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 10:33 am
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
[personal profile] aldersprig
I will write at least one public story, as well as the two for the Patreon rewards, this month or early next month, based on this theme.

Poll #16499 March Theme Poll
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9

What theme would you like for March?

View Answers

Stranded World (Setting)
3 (33.3%)

Fae Apoc (Setting)
3 (33.3%)

Love Stories (motif)
1 (11.1%)

Hurt/Comfort (motif)
0 (0.0%)

micro-flash-fiction (type)
2 (22.2%)

Demifiction (type)
1 (11.1%)

Vas' World (Setting)
0 (0.0%)

Dragons Next Door (Setting)
5 (55.6%)

Obsession (motif)
1 (11.1%)

Survival (motif)
0 (0.0%)

This poll will remain open until 3/4/15, 10:00 p.m. EST. If you do not have a DW account, you can vote in the comments.

My Patreon is here.

Pi(e) Bingo Card 3-2-15

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 01:00 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is my card for the Pi(e) Fest.  It's all about the food and the funny number that begins 3.14...

I'm hoping to attract some new readers through this fest. People are starting to show interest in specific prompts. If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl. Any other ideas for monetizing this? Let me know.  See all my 2015 bingo cards.

Underlined prompts have been filled.

Pi(e) Bingo Card

Dream Pi(e)Humble Pi(e)A Finger in Every Pi(e)American as
Apple Pi(e)
Easy as Pi(e)
Cutie Pi(e)“Pi(e)-ku” poetry contest? (Think Haiku.)That's my Pi(e)Pi(e) EyedPi(e) means Thanksgiving and Christmas and picnics.
“Come to the nerd side we have Pi(e)”Pi(e) in the SkyImage and video hosting by TinyPicMissing Pi(e)Blue Ribbon Pi(e)
Let them eat Pi(e).Georgie Porgie, pudding and  pi(e) Pi(e) PlatePi(e) ThiefThat is not Pi(e)!
The Pi(e) CheerPi(e) a gift from the Gods.Pi(e) ThrowingThat person really knows their pi(e)."Shut your
pi(e) hole."

Read "Marshmallow Hearts" by Dialecticdreamer

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 12:55 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
You can now read the whole story "Marshmallow Hearts" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer.  Part 5 just posted, or begin with Part 1.  Aidan helps Groundhog and Cassandra deal with the aftermath of the SPOON fight.

2015 Rose & Bay Award Results & Runoff Poll

Sunday, March 1st, 2015 11:25 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Rose-Bay)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Read about the results and runoffs for the 2015 Rose & Bay Awards.

The February voting period is now closed for the 2015 Rose & Bay Awards. These are the results. See below for runoff polls to break the ties; this round of polling will close at the end of March 7 and results should post on March 8 or thereabouts.

Congratulations to the winners!
The winner is "Icon Day" by Tod Wills aka [personal profile] djinni.

There is a tie between "Long Hidden" by Rose Fox and Daniel Jose Older, editors, Bart Leib, publisher; and "Stories from the Crossroads" by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters .

There is a tie between "The Great Indian Poetry Collective" Shikha Malaviya, Minal Hajratwala, and Ellen Kombiyil; and "A Bird is not a Stone: Palestinian poetry in translation" by Sarah Irving.

The winner is "Humon Comics" by Humon.

Other Project:
There is a tie between "Bingo Card Generator" by [personal profile] magibrain  and "Schrodinger's Heroes" by Elizabeth Barrette aka [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith.

The winner is Sarah Williams aka [personal profile] dialecticdreamer , patron of the Poetry Fishbowl.

You can review the previous posts from this award season:
Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!

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