ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from LJ user Ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] ellenmillion, and [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem contains canon-typical violence, hostile language, boundary violations, and other minor mayhem. No supervillains or would-be heroes were seriously injured in the making of this poem.

Read more... )

Fig is still afraid of hairbrushes

Jul. 26th, 2015 11:11 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
And I kinda think the maniacal way Groucho reacts when he is brushed doesn't help.

Poem: "Habitat Foreclosure"

Jul. 26th, 2015 09:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu. It has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth.

"Habitat Foreclosure"
-- a vembletroon

Nincompoops in power cannot do the math of water shortages:
It's farms and factories at fault, not homes.
Take this to the bank: habitat foreclosure is at hand, aquifers running dry, glaciers absent without leave, and doom gathering in every empty lake.
Fracked! Cracked! Thanks to this, the water that remains is no longer potable.

* * *


"Habitat foreclosure" is a phrase I coined some years ago to describe situations where environmental changes make an area unsuited for human residence. This is happening in parts of China, Russia, Africa, etc. where settlements are being abandoned due to drought, dust storms, and other problems which have exceeded feasible coping strategies.

Read about the vembletroon form.

The West Coast drought is behind the water shortages, but the highest demand is not from individual use but from industrial and agricultural uses.  Therefore the problem cannot be solved by individuals or cutting municipal supplies.  

Well, now I can say

Jul. 26th, 2015 10:27 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I've seen all three Hobbit films. Assuming the sun doesn't expand into a red giant before the third one ends.

Fishbowl Sales Update

Jul. 26th, 2015 08:59 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The ticker for the Poetry Fishbowl is broken, not on my site but on the provider site.  :(  Hopefully they will fix whatever they broke in their latest update that is trying to offer us new buttons that don't work.

Current tally = $562.50

Sold poems: 
"Silkbag" (freebie)
"Coloring In"
"Everything Goes"
"Hearing What Isn't Said"
"Silken Wings"
"Humbug or Hope"

All perks have been activated.  Tally is still open through Sunday night though, and will be closed on Monday morning.  I am continuing to post sponsored poems.  Today's project is making spaghetti sauce though, so my computer time is less than usual. 

speaking of books to read

Jul. 26th, 2015 09:53 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
This is a good time for commissions: down to three, I think. And still waiting for my copies to come in.

Shaun in the City #2 and #3

Jul. 26th, 2015 10:11 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
(These aren't appearing in chronological order. My apologies. They're appearing as I catch up with curating, editing and uploading photos and writing the associated words!)

Not long before the Shauns left London, Keiki and I stole a day during the very short gap between our trips to Turkey and Washington DC in May to take a final shot at bagging all the sculptures. We’d nabbed 16 on our first go and done the hardest of the four trails, so I thought we had a fair chance of doing at least two more. As it turned out, we managed exactly two trails and 17 more Shauns before my feet and shoulders called time on the adventure. I reckon we could have gotten halfway through the third trail before we had to get our train back to Birmingham, but I would’ve been crying by the time we got home. It’s not so bad carrying a baby, a rucksack full of baby stuff and a dSLR for a couple of hours, but when you’re spending the whole day on your feet, it can get to be a bit much.

We popped out of Oxford Street tube station around 11 AM and immediately set about our first task: Shaun’s Trail, involving 11 Shauns.

Baa-bushka, Carnaby Street

+17 including several ridiculous selfies )

Since I was still feeling pretty strong and Keiki had had a nap and a feed during the first trail, we headed back up toward Covent Garden and launched directly into Timmy’s Trail, which involved 7 Shauns.

Me, Keiki and Flash! Photo by some nice French tourists.

+12 )

I began walking toward Temple station with the intention of doing a bit of the trail in the City before heading back to Euston, but once I arrived at Temple and sat down to await a train, I realised I was not up for it and would be better off returning to Euston, having a coffee and a bit of cake and then boarding the train home. So I did, regretfully abandoning the London hunt at 34 out of 50 Shauns. Still, I think we didn’t do too badly!


Jul. 26th, 2015 08:34 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Goodness, that was rather a dull week, not helped by the weather being very iffy particularly towards the end of it, and rather militating against anything in the way of extended walks.

There was a slight moment of drama one night over aged P's alarm, but it subsequently turned out that the intermittent bleating sounds were actually the battery of partner's old mobile in its death-throes.

I did not get the academic things I thought I might get completed done. I would put this down to the anomic lethargy that often overtakes me in ye olde familye mansion, but on the other hand I was bashing out my daily episodes of [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan. I have noticed that whereas I tend to need particular conditions for doing SRS BZNZ scholarliness, over the last 2 months I have found myself continuing the ongoing intrigues under distinctly sub-optimum conditions (never did I think I would find myself tapping out passages of continuous prose with html markup on the tablet - curses, autocomplete! - in airports, etc).

(On which latter topic, am extremely gratified at the intelligence that there are those that would be interested in the collated and consolidated memoirs of Madame C-. This could be a possibility...)

Nil culinary to report except a loaf of Khorasan flour made.

[personal profile] jazzyjj posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Hi everyone. I had originally planned on posting something at my journal regarding the ADA'S 25th birthday/anniversary, and I might still do that. I'm thinking it over. But I thought I'd post this link here. Fyi, I'm the one who commented about being yelled at by a couple voc/rehab people. Here it is:

Is it Rude to Say No?

Jul. 26th, 2015 09:35 am
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[personal profile] noelfigart

Originally published at Noel Lynne Figart. You can comment here or there.

I’m running across something that is making me squirm a little bit. It seems that we have messed up badly in teaching the younger generation (and goodness knows my generation has its own issues) about an aspect of manners that is going to make it really hard on them.

There is this huge frustration I am seeing in the 18-24 crowd because they seem to have been taught that the act of saying no is aggressive and shows bad manners.

I am not a paragon of good manners. I was taught them and I do not always practice them. Not the fault of my teachers *grin* but a personal failing that I recognize.


Good manners is a great tool for setting boundaries. It’s bad manners to answer the phone during a meal because you’re supposed to put your attention on the people present. It’s bad manners to use mealtime to hold someone captive for a harangue because it is supposed to be time to interact pleasantly. Yes, parents using mealtime to yell at you for bad grades was bad manners. They’re supposed to call you on the carpet for that at another time. Indeed, the expression comes from the idea that you’d be standing on the carpet in your father’s study to be scolded. NOT in the dining room. (Dad didn’t have a study. I got scolded in my bedroom)

Let’s take the invitation. Good manners requires that you ANSWER the invite. It does not require you to say yes. If you want to/are able to go, you say, “Yes, thank you!” The no does require a few more words. You have to thank ’em for asking. Then you say you’re sorry you can’t come. You may volunteer a reason if you really want to, but you’re not required to, and the host is not supposed to ask for a reason.

All right, what about hugging. It’s bad manners not to want to hug someone, right?

As a matter of fact, indiscriminately wrapping your arms around people is not only horrible manners, Miss Manners herself would describe it as assault. Offering is okay, sure. But refusing the hug is perfectly fine manners. I don’t much like hugging strangers, myself. I stick my hand out to create some space and make it obvious that the touching I am okay with is a handshake. Good control of facial expression, especially around the eyes, can make this kindly and warm.

LOL. If I had my way, we’d move to the Asian greetings that don’t require touching strangers, but that’s not current North American etiquette.

Good manners was never meant to get people to knuckle under to poor behavior. The point of good manners is to help people get along. Part of getting along is having a way for people to say no to things gracefully. But good manners doesn’t even require that you sweeten a no. Good manners does not require that you answer the door every time someone knocks. It does not require that you answer the phone on every ring. It does not require that you respond to every request for money, nor does it require that you say yes to every invitation.

In fact, in Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, she says, “In fact, etiquette has no such requirement. The mistake arises from the fact that it does recognize that one has duties toward others, which is why it will not put up with such duty-dodging attempts as “Why should I thank Grandma for the check just because she wants me to?” And it does require being polite to others, even when they are no role models themselves.

“But that is a far cry from declaring that courtesy means taking everybody else’s orders.”

I know people tend either to love or hate Miss Manners, but I adore her. She’s no doormat and has an utterly wicked sense of humor. One of the things she cautions about in the chapter on saying no politely is that people usually get themselves in trouble when they try to explain themselves saying no.

So, for what it is worth, yes, one should learn to say no, and do so politely. That usually consists of a “No, thank you.” or some such then shutting ones mouth. She encourages a warm and regretful smile and possibly that’s not a bad idea. And the non-verbal “no” that is common in many cultures? No US culture (nope not even the South) requires it, so we’re off the hook for this.

Gloucester Addiction Relief

Jul. 26th, 2015 04:29 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's an excellent way to reduce the damage done by addiction

Terramagne does things like this.  They put more effort into crime prevention, partly because the crimes can be a lot worse than here if they involve superpowers.  

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2015 09:59 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] el_staplador and [personal profile] mrissa!

Cultural Pyramids

Jul. 26th, 2015 03:41 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I have long said that the pyramid of needs is only one way of organizing those values.  Check out the Blackfoot version.

For me, the need to know and understand is fundamental.  Social connections are luxuries from a philosophic point of view, although in this context I need people for practical concerns; but I just don't have as much intrinsic NEED for other people as most folks seem to.  And my transcendence can't turn off no matter what I or anyone else may do; like my sense of self, it is indelible.  The base of my pyramid is, more explicitly than for most people although it is true for everyone, the biosphere of the Earth.  No biosphere, no nothing.  Because I know that, my behavior is very different from people who place their own body's needs at the base.

They're all just concepts.  You can prioritize them in any order you want.  Some orders are more effective than others.  I'm not terribly impressed with the planetwide results of personal-body-needs as a foundation.

Rumpole and the Cumberbatch Factor

Jul. 25th, 2015 11:06 am
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[personal profile] legionseagle
As people may or may not be aware, Horace Rumpole, Old Bailey hack has returned.

In the Thames TV series of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, Rumpole was played by Leo McKern and the scripts were written by John Mortimer; in fact, in a reversal of the usual proceedings, publication of the short stories for the most part came after the corresponding TV episodes had wrapped, and, as a result, TV is "canon" in a particular way which it might not be in the case of, say, a TV adaptation of an author's work.

When they returned, on the radio, they first starred Timothy West as Rumpole, then were a hybrid with West playing the older Rumpole and Benedict Cumberbatch the younger and now Cumberbatch has assumed the old grey wig (acquired secondhand; one careful owner, a Samoan Chief Justice irrc).

And, on the radio, they work very well. They're expressly done as period pieces (they'd have to: they feature legal aid) which avoids the TV Rumpole problem of how he manages to be sixty-eight throughout, while other members of his Chambers progress from pupil to High Court judge all around him. Furthermore, it allows you to see Hilda not as the terrifying old battleaxe which she is in the TV show (with very occasional softening around the edges in later series) but as a brittle, insecure young woman trapped with a young child in a loveless marriage to an emotionally constipated man who regularly gambles with their financial security by playing pointless pissing matches with judges and fellow members of chambers.*

And yet --

The makers of the radio version have made one change to the basic set-up which not only makes my teeth hurt every time I think about it but which I think illustrates Emma Thompson's recent point that the acting industry is more reactionary than it was in her (which is roughly speaking my) youth .

Details behind cut, for those who don't want to be spoiled.

Read more... )

*Yes. Rumpole does have principles, and it was those that got me hooked on the series in the first place and have ensured I remained hooked. But it's become increasingly apparent to me that they're the sort of principles for which other people suffer, not him.

** She cancels an affair she was planning to have, mid-removal of her underthings, because Ken Cracknell, the other party, reveals he's set Rumpole up for a fall. Rumpole's Return

Poem: "Everything Goes"

Jul. 26th, 2015 03:22 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Warning: This poem discusses natural disasters.

Read more... )

At last the arrival of Mr F-

Jul. 26th, 2015 10:09 pm
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

It is indeed very foolish of me, but on the morning of the day I expect Mr F-, I feel as I suppose some village maiden might feel at the return of her sweetheart. What a silly creature you are, I tell myself.

My correspondence brings me a letter from dear Mrs S-, who is very excited at the prospect of their visit to the W-'s estate, seeing dear Lady W- (on whom she has already called once or twice, as in her present condition Lady W- is not making calls, and likes extremely) and also that paragon of womanhood, Mrs F-, and exploring the limestone quarry with Mr S-, who is in the highest hopes that it will contain some most fascinating fossils.

The most extraordinary thing, she goes on: her younger sister V- recently called on her, in a most unusual, she can only say, very chastened mood. This unexpected renewal of sisterly relations quite took her back to the time when she was little V-'s favourite within the family and the big sister she desir'd to emulate with all her heart.

She did not, goes on Mrs S-, disclose the precise reason for this unwonted change in spirits but only says that she has been a very foolish ill -advis'd girl, at which Mrs S- can only speculate as to whether she has been lured into high play, allowed a gentleman inappropriate intimacies, or insulted one of the patronesses of Almacks. Or merely commissioned a gown that she now finds makes her look a complete frump.

Even more astounding, young V- desires her elder sister's aid in resisting any attempt to marry her off to the Earl of E-, which her mamma thinks would be a very excellent thing: as there are no other likely Dukes, being a Countess is almost as good. But my sister says that at least the Duke of M- was a handsome young man that danc'd very well and not a shrivelled old wretch of whom she hears very adverse report. Is this not quite amazing, writes Mrs S-, for I had thought that the title and the position mattered to her far more than the man.

She cannot see that her arguments would be considered very persuasive by parents that have declared they have washed their hands of her: unless she can confirm the adverse reports concerning the Earl. My dear Madame C-, you know everyone and sure would be able to tell whether this is just some freakish distaste of my sister's (though I think marrying a man that old would not be a prudent course in one so very young) or whether there are good reasons to eschew the match.

I am somewhat surpriz'd that Mrs K- does not consider three dead wives a bad sign in an intending husband, but I turn to and set out the case against the Earl (adding some information from my sisterhood which of course may not be adduced to young Miss K-'s parents, but may provide force to Mrs S-'s pleas on her behalf).

And then, at last, after several hours when I find I cannot fix my mind on female philosophy and am reduced to taking up my much-neglect'd embroidery, Hector admits my very dearest Mr F-, and I send him at once to fetch brandy and madeira.

We look happily into one another's faces. Mr F- indeed looks a little worn by his recent travails with the works, but otherwise very well. We kiss, then spring apart as Hector comes in with the tray.

I sit down upon the sopha and pat the place beside me. Come, my dear, sit down and have some of this very excellent brandy that Mr H-'s friends in trade have procured.

We exchange a little news, and then Mr F- looks at me, smiles, and says, I hear that Sir Z- R- has been immortalising your lovely bubbies.

O, only one of them, I say, although parts of the other may be glimpst peeking from the drapery. I demonstrate how I sit as antipodean Flora, with the wombatt in my lap - and then, I say, he will complete the background with an assortment of the antipodean plants from his garden.

I have, it is true, rearranged my garments to indicate the effect. This leads to an impromptu celebration of the rites of Venus, for Mr F- seems quite overwhelmed and cannot keep his hands from me.

This is most delightful, although Mr F- then apologises for his boyish eagerness after so long an interval. O no, I say, you may have been impetuous, my love, but there was nothing of boyish awkwardness or clumsiness there.

(I wonder has somebody spilt upon the sopha some aromatick substance stimulating to the senses, as civet or such, but I can discern nothing.)

(I realise that again, events have overtook anticipatory precaution, but mayhap, I say to myself, 'tis really true what the surgeon told me after the Prussian that it was not likely I could thereafter bear a child, and I have been making an unnecessary layout on spunges for years.)

I hold a small soiree that evening, and although several regular favourites are not in attendance, it is still an agreeable occasion. Dear Biffle looks in for a short while, and squeezes my hand very much as he kisses it: we exchange no conversation but he looks most happy.

Mr P- looks positively amiable, and begins to discourse to Mr N- upon his projected opera. Mr N-, of course, is well-acquainted with Irish legend and is happy to relay this information to Mr P-. I am sure it sounds a deal more fascinating in Mrs O'C-'s charming native tones. In the interval of the musick, Mr G- D- joins in the conversation and remarks that he knows of many Irish airs that might provide a suitable effect.

History of Jamaica

Jul. 25th, 2015 09:58 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... as unearthed by Nalo Hopkinson.  She's one of those writers who likes to do serious research for her F&SF novels.

I would like to add: the perception of stupidity, laziness, and clumsiness is not an accident or a random stereotype.  It is a misinterpretation  of the tactics for survival and resistance by slaves against their owners.  If the master thinks you're rebelling, you'll be punished or killed.  But if you can make them think you're unable  to do better, they're surprisingly easy to fool and will let you alone.  So slaves quite frequently wasted resources, broke or lost tools, dragged their feet, let the livestock out, stole food, and generally did everything they could, as discreetly as possible, to make the masters' lives less pleasant.  

Those strategies linger in poor communities today.  Why bust your ass when all the benefit of your labor gets creamed off for the benefit of people who hate you?  You'll never be permitted to earn more than subsistence wages, so you might as well do that with as little effort as you can possibly get away with.  Where there is no reward for harder work, you get passive resistance.

So when you read my writing about the slave descended cultures of the Americas and Caribbean, you can see many of the same roots.  It's often there in the language, the personal and community dynamics, the food, and especially the ways people deal with problems.  Each place is unique, with its own local culture -- Jamaica is different from Cuba and from New Orleans.  They're related through the common experiences of colonialism and slavery, yet distinct in local resources and historic events.  The diversity is beautiful.  As that plays out in my storytelling, you can see how people from different cultures might handle things like superpowers (Haiti is one of the bottom-ten countries for soups) or getting kidnapped by alien slavers (in which various black folks used their family lore to devise survival strategies).


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Dee Burris Blakley

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