Poem: "We Must Bear Witness"

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:03 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from ZB on Dreamwidth, [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, [personal profile] alexseanchai, [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, and [personal profile] serpentine. It also fills the "punishment" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Dr. Infanta thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains imagery which may disturb some readers. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It takes place during and after World War II. Thus it features genocide, discrimination, extreme violence, death and destruction, killing captive Nazis via superpower, jailbreaking, erotic art, orphaning, traumatic rage, war trials, extrajudicial execution, and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding if this is something you want to read.

Read more... )

Poem: "An Atmosphere of Shame"

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "naked / vulnerable" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features multiple references to past child abuse and neglect, social anxiety, financial anxiety, extreme body modesty, jealousy, shame, sex/gender diversity, creepy mannequins, visible scars from past abuse, unwelcome attention from Dr. G who quickly extrapolates the origin of Shiv's scars, unwelcome touching of Shiv by Edison who is too young to have learned better, lingering awkwardness from Halley's prior violation of Shiv's boundaries, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is the beginning of the whole beach thread, so you need it to make sense of the later poems and the story "Family Stories" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer.

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fadedwings: (bird love)
[personal profile] fadedwings posting in [community profile] common_nature
I love these beautiful noisy birds. We have a few that come to the yard. It's hard to get pictures though because they're a bit shy. I had to take this between the railing on my porch.
Read more... )

The Grief Hole by Kaaron Warren

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: July 2016 by IFWG Publishing
Format reviewed: Trade paperback, 336 pages
Genres: Supernatural, psychological horror
Source: Library
Reading Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017
Available: Publisher (print) ~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia~ Kobo

There are many grief holes. There’s the grief hole you fall into when a loved one dies. There’s another grief hole in all of us; small or large, it determines how much we want to live. And there are the places, the physical grief holes, which attract suicides to their centre. Sol Evictus, a powerful, charismatic singer, sends a young artist into The Grief Hole to capture the faces of the teenagers dying there. When she inevitably dies herself, her cousin Theresa resolves to stop this man so many love. Theresa sees ghosts; she knows how you’ll die by the spirits haunting you. If you’ll drown, she’ll see drowned people. Most often she sees battered women, because she works to find emergency housing for abused women. She sees no ghosts around Sol Evictus but she doesn’t let that stop her. Her passion to help, to be a saint, drives her to find a way to destroy him.

Kaaron Warren is a multi-award-winning author and The Grief Hole shows why. I’ve held off reading her work for a while, since horror is really not my jam. However, when The Grief Hole was nominated for a Ditmar Award, I knew it was time for me to dive in.

At first glance, the book looks like supernatural horror. Theresa can, after all, see ghosts. These ghosts reflect the way a person is most likely to die.

However, the ghosts are not the scary part.

Although they’re keen to gather more of their number, they are ultimately powerless background noise. As the story progresses and Theresa comes to understand things better, they become somewhat more sympathetic.

Instead, what is clear from the start of the novel is that it’s about human monsters. The story is divided up into Interventions. These are times when the ghosts around someone are so numerous or otherwise strange that Theresa is prompted to act: to commit some deed that results in death or incarceration for the perpetrator. She’s very clear she acts out of a sense of justice, rather than revenge.

However, this doesn’t make Theresa a good person by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, we’re shown all the ways that Theresa herself is monstrous. She thrives on the suffering of others, often poking at emotional tender points and claiming it’s to help. She frames newspaper smeared with blood from her cousin’s suicide, looking on it as somehow inspirational. She keeps files of atrocities reported in the media. And she jumps to conclusions about what her ghosts are trying to tell her, acting on information that is sometimes incomplete or incorrect. She shows how good intentions are sometimes self-delusion.

While the ghosts aren’t exactly central to the story, I still refused to read this story after dark. The author does a fantastic job of creating an oppressive atmosphere that lingers over the reader as much as the characters. Towards the end, the story took on a dark fairytale resonance, somewhat reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm or the story of Bluebeard. This is enhanced by the characters, some of whom feel otherworldly. Theresa’s aunt Prudence is a prime example. Her association with the colour red and the way she always carries balloons with her gives her the feeling of a hallucination, only kept partially at bay by the fact she’s visible to people other than Theresa.

I can’t say I enjoyed The Grief Hole; it is not a book intended for comfort or enjoyment. However, it is a well-written and thoughtful examination of grief and altruism. It won three major Australian awards this year and most certainly deserves the accolades it has received.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Pool for "Branded in His Memory"

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:45 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] mama_kestrel says, "I'll be able to put in $50 on the 29th. Can anyone join me?"

I am willing to extend the quarter-price option for "Branded in His Memory" beyond the sale proper if people have confirmed their intent to sponsor it.  These mega-epics are so big, they rarely sell at full price, so it's to everyone's benefit to catch them in a sale.  If you're looking to shop in the sale but have not yet done so, here's a great opportunity to get the most bang for your buck.  The one person who's seen this piece so far is raving about it.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, there are 23 new verses in "The Higher a Monkey Climbs."  Jules and Pips discuss how to support G's family after the fire.

Poem: "Black Swan Lake"

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the September 2017 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "merfolk" square in my 9-1-17 card for the Pirate Fest bingo.


"Black Swan Lake"


She swims,
her long neck
a graceful curve,
her black feathers
sleek and unruffled.

Sometimes,
she changes.

She swims,
her two feet
now a single fin,
her black breasts
bobbing in the water.

In both forms, she
is the secret mistress
of Black Swan Lake.

* * *

Notes:

See the black swan in bird form and mermaid form.

Mermaids appear in legends from around the world, including Africa.

Hummingbird Grooming

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:05 pm
yourlibrarian: BeautifulDay-no_apologies_86 (SPN-BeautifulDay-no_apologies_86)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
Yes, some more hummingbird pics. Do you wonder how this hummingbird achieves its bedhead look? Why with a rather long (for a hummingbird) grooming session!

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I finished this earlier in the week, and decided to offer it for the half-price sale since it's so big that it's unlikely to sell for full price.

"Branded in His Memory"
Summary: A mass-casualty incident brings Ansel to the Christian Care Rescue Mission in Bluehill. It's an ugly mess, but he does a wonderful job of helping everyone recover -- not just from their fresh injuries, but whatever put them in a homeless shelter to begin with.
$1555 lines, was $778, sale price $389, quarter-price $194.50

I'd rather not open another epic for microfunding, but this one is big enough that if you buy the whole thing (or pool with someone to do so) then it automatically gets the quarter-price rate.  That's true for any of the other epics that cost $100 or more.

Saturday Yardening

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:41 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is hot, muggy, and sunny as I discovered when I went outdoors to plant bulbs.  I wound up watering plants, and only planting the fist-sized purple frittilaria bulb in the purple-and-white garden.

Many of the flowers are drying up, although a few are still blooming.  Sedum and goldenrods are flowering vigorously.

Still not much activity at the birdfeeders, but we saw a squirrel doing acrobatics on the hopper feeder and another bird near the fly-through feeder that may have been a phoebe or a flycatcher.  It was dark with a white belly, but seemed to have more of a crest than a dark-eyed junco.

EDIT 9/23/17 -- I went back out and planted 12 blue miniature iris.  I put 4 each in the purple-and-white garden, goddess garden, and wildflower garden.  \o/

I need to get out and gather/redistribute seeds.  Many of my wildflowers have gone to seed.  :D

Working Around Microphones

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:36 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Recently I came across a couple of discussions about technology, public speaking, and accessibility. One of them is in [community profile] access_fandom and links to the other which is a Unitarian-Universalist post. The crux of the matter is that people with hearing impairment often need amplification in order to hear, but not everyone is willing or able to use a microphone. And those groups don't always know about each other's concerns, which causes friction.

Read more... )

One-Card Draw

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:01 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon is doing a one-card draw.  Tipping gets you an extra card, or you can buy a 5-card reading.

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:07 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open with a theme of "black swans."


What I Have Written

"Black Swan Lake" is the freebie.

From this I got the free-verse poem "Revisitation." Shaeth hears a prayer from a long-time follower, and this time decides to answer it.
47 lines, Buy It Now = $20


From My Prompts 

[personal profile] alatefeline  has written the poem "I Don't See Black Swans" about compensation and decompensation.

Loose-leaf Links #48

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:00 am
calissa: A black and white photo of a large, dark teapot and a small Chinese teacup with a fish painted on the side (Tea)
[personal profile] calissa

Earl Grey Editing, Loose-leaf Links, loose-leaf tea, plum and cinnamon tea, The Tea Centre

Loose-leaf Links is a feature where I gather together the interesting bits and pieces on sci-fi, fantasy and romance I’ve come across and share them with you over tea. Today’s tea is Plum and Cinnamon, a new blend from The Tea Centre. It’s a bit more cinnamon than plum for my liking, but makes a lovely afternoon tea.

Follow Up ) Awards News ) Community and Conventions ) On Equity ) For Writers ) For Readers )

 

And lastly, Christina at Books and Tea has a review of two tea-flavoured candies. Yum.

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Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

London foxen

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:16 am
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] common_nature
So yesterday I was waiting to cross a street in the middle of the day and I glanced at the person standing next to me and they were a fox.

We crossed the road and I fumbled for my phone and started following them ...

A fox walking down a London street in daylight.

Photo-story ensues )

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