ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Notes:

These are the characters appearing in "Everything That Is Real About Us."

Read more... )Uniform: Casual boy clothes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Intrapersonal Intelligence, Good (+2) Shodo
Poor (-2) Broken Family Background
Powers: Average (0) Super-Intellect
Motivation: To belong.

Tex Airey -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and long black hair with just a little wave. He keeps trying to grow a mustache and beard, but they come in thin and scraggly. He has numerous children, all out of wedlock and all from different women.
Qualities: Good (+2) Con Artist, Good (+2) Fast, Good (+2) Gamer
Poor (-2) Lech

After the 2003 opening of the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino, the Chukchansi Tribe has developed a bad habit of disenrolling its own members. Hundreds of people have been ejected, denying them benefits, and thus giving the survivors a larger share of the pie. The tribe has ousted members of documented ancestry and several of the last native speakers of the Chukchansi language. Between 2003-2013, the tribal membership plummeted from around 1800 members to about 900 members.

In T-America, some tribes still have serious membership problems. Different states have handled this in different ways. Some have designated an existing reservation to accept rejected individuals, so long as they can prove tribal ancestry from the U.S. government rolls. Even if they are no longer counted among their tribe of birth, the government is still liable for its obligations to them. Others have set aside a new reservation from government-owned land, in support of people who want to establish a new tribe from the fragments of several old ones. However, both of those solutions only apply to residents of that state and/or its tribes. There isn't really a national solution yet. Additionally, a few tribes have voted to take in people rejected by related tribes, but this has its own pros and cons. The government is also negotiating with some tribes to sever the dependent relationship, giving them back more of their treaty land but no longer providing payments, in the hope that they can become independent. This would at least get the U.S. government out of the argument over who is or is not "Indian enough."

Watermark (Culaccino) (Vedette Fedele) -- She has light olive skin, brown eyes, and short straight brown hair with a wide stripe of bluish-breen. A blue-and-white tattoo of a wave wraps around the upper part of her left arm. She comes from the municipality of Cosoleto in the region of Calabria in Italy. Vedette is a soft butch lesbian, and prefers lovers of moderate to butch persuasion rather than femmes. Her personality is fluid, easily shaping itself to the current context around her. Skilled at reading people, she makes both friends and business contacts easily.
Watermark works as a bodyguard for the Marionettes, particularly in cases where raw physical violence is not ideal. She uses aikido and de-escalation skills, along with subtle touches of her Water Powers, to keep people safe. If provoked, though, she is entirely capable of making limbs swell to immobility or of filling someone's lungs with water. Her nickname comes not from the colored hair but from her habit of leaving dangerous opponents with a permanent spiral scar by distorting the water within skin cells, so that she and others can recognize them easily in the future.
Origin: When she was thirteen, she got swept away by a flood and presumed lost. She returned three days later with a broad aquamarine streak through her hair, and Water Powers.
Uniform: On duty, she wears a masculine business suit. Off duty, she wears fashionable masculine clothing, usually from Italian designers. For swimming, she likes turquoise and white striped swim trunks with a bareskin top.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Adaptable, Good (+2) Aikido, Good (+2) Bodyguard, Good (+2) Connecting with People, Good (+2) Dancer, Good (+2) De-escalation
Poor (-2) Worrywart
Powers: Average (0) Water Powers
Vulnerability: As a Water elemental, she takes double damage from Fire, whether superpowered or ordinary.

"We English speakers have tried our best to describe this phenomenon with the phrase “water mark,” but Italians have had this term on lock for quite some time. Whispering the word culaccino makes us want to sit back, relax and sip an ice-cold drink on a hot, lazy day -- and then we remember that it’s fall, and we want to hop on a plane ASAP."
-- Italian Words We Don't Have in English

Here is Watermark with some friends, and a closeup of her Bareskin top. The one on the far left is an Earth elemental tattooed with roses and ivy. Watermark is next, with her blue streak temporarily colored brown. The woman in the pink swimsuit is a transwoman with Fire Powers, and a flaming tattoo on her thigh. The one on the far right is a transman, an Air elemental tattooed with angel wings on his back and birds on his wrists.

There are many types of stealth weapons. Watermark has last-ditch knives laced into her boots. A covert coin knife has a hilt and sheath made from two halves of a coin. Her keychain knife is a Mini Black Night Watchman. A comb knife is typically made of rigid plastic so it won't set off a metal detector. Her money clip also contains a hidden knife. This wicked little gem is a pressure point weapon. Hit someone in a sensitive place, and it increases the effect. Watermark is wearing it in the palmar position for slapping or grabbing, but it could also be worn on the back of the hand, the way some people use heavy rings as brass knuckles.


Sandy Vierra -- She has naturally tan skin, brown eyes, and long curly brown hair. Her body is muscular with wide shoulders, flat chest, and narrow hips. Her heritage is predominantly Latina with some Chinese plus a little British and Italian. She speaks English, Mandarin, and Spanish. Athletic and boisterous, Sandy loves communal sports such as beach volleyball or cooperative obstacle courses. She also enjoys waterfront recreation such as beachcombing and exploring tidepools, and she volunteers to protect baby sea turtles from predators as they scramble toward the waves. On the weekends she likes to visit the Pacific Ocean; during the week she favors the Merced River. Her favorite reading is the trashy fiction characterized as "beach books."
At home Sandy has landscaped her entire yard with plants, primarily native to the area, that require no supplemental watering except to establish new ones. Her house is a lovely little one-bedroom cottage with a studio loft which she has turned into a personal gym. One of her neighbors is a Yokut man who likes to make things from traditional materials. Sandy trades him things from her yard in exchange for him looking after her place when she gets called in to work suddenly or is injured.
Sandy serves as a firefighter in Mercedes, California. Her courage and energy make her very popular with her teammates. She is interested in learning soup care, but hasn't had an opportunity yet. Sandy is not good at ladythings such as painting her face or walking in high heels. She thinks she's hawt enough in fireproof pants and a sport bra. She is right.
Qualities: Master (+6) Boundless Energy, Master (+6) Courage, Expert (+4) Athlete, Expert (+4) Firefighter, Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Beach Fun, Good (+2) Hawt, Good (+2) Teamwork, Good (+2) Thermodynamics, Good (+2) Xericulture
Poor (-2) Ladythings


Saltation (Digo Ingram) -- He has ruddy skin, brown eyes, and short curly brown hair. He wears a short beard that goes from ear to ear, wrapping under his jaw. He has some pretty radical scars from a beach accident, but the big ones are hidden under knee-length shorts and a t-shirt. Digo enjoys beachcombing, and often picks up litter as he goes. He also makes and plays percussion instruments from junk. Often he incorporates large pieces of beach garbage, such as hubcaps or PVC pipe; the chemical changes caused by water can create fascinating influences on the musical notes produced.
Digo took a double major at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, studying both the biology and geology of coastal environments with an eye toward environmental preservation. Currently he works for the California Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup, primarily replenishing beaches by moving sand from undesirable locations (such as harbors) to desirable locations (such as shrinking beaches). Sometimes he also helps with marine search-and-rescue; in the picture, he's holding a mask after recovering the body of a supervillain who drowned when he dove into the ocean to escape arrest. Christopher also does presentations on environmental awareness and the creative application of superpowers in professional work.
Origin: During a college field trip, he was swept away by a rogue wave and battered against the rocks. While submerged, he struggled to regain control of himself and move purposefully through the water -- and his superpowers manifested. He spurted up onto a large outcropping of rock, where the Coast Guard managed to rescue him.
Qualities: Master (+6) Naturalistic Intelligence, Expert (+4) Citizenship, Expert (+4) Water Sports, Good (+2) Junk Percussionist, Good (+2) Marine Biologist, Good (+2) Marine Geologist
Poor (-2) Fear of Fire
Powers: Expert (+4) Beach Powers
His superpowers primarily influence Earth and Water, allowing him to influence local ocean currents and control the movement of sand. He can manipulate Air also, but only at Good (+2) level.
Vulnerability: He takes double damage from fire. This has left him with a strong fear of it, not phobia level (since it is a reasonable fear) but enough to be bothersome at times.
Motivation: To protect the beaches of California.
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 "family of choice" 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, and directly follows "An Atmosphere of Shame."

Warning: This poem is flangst. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Shiv has trouble relaxing and having fun, due to his history of abuse and neglect, so a beach trip is more complicated for him than for most people. ECR Boy! The poem includes multiple flashbacks, social anxiety, financial anxiety, extreme body modesty, hypervigilance, reference to past near-drowning, emergency manhandling (by Aida of Shiv and by Shiv of Edison), flibbering over acceptance vs. rejection, awkward interactions with another family, mild overstrain of superpowers, awkward apologies, Edison is blunt as a bowling ball and has no filter because he is four, and Shiv is little better due to past abuse, frustration over solar limitations, and other challenges. On the whole, though, it has a positive tone. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. This is the second in the beach thread, and you'll need it to make sense of later poetry as well as [personal profile] dialecticdreamer's story "Family Stories."


Read more... )

Monday Update 9-25-17

Sep. 25th, 2017 02:18 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "We Must Bear Witness"
Poem: "An Atmosphere of Shame"
Poem: "Black Swan Lake"
Saturday Yardening
Crowdfunding Creative Jam
The Jewel in the Heart of Quantum Physics
Birdfeeding
Hard Things


The half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics is now complete.  I have a few new poems up already, and more to post.

"Branded in His Memory" is fully committed, so if you pledged money toward that, now is the time to send it (not counting the person who specified a later date of donation).  Look on the sale page to see the tally; I had to put it there because the donor comments kind of spread around several posts.

The discussion "Working Around Microphones" has gained a lot of attention. If you're concerned about accessibility and diversity, please check out this list of ideas for supporting everyone's comfort and communication. If you're an organizer, or you know someone who is, by all means print it out and pass it around.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet enjoys a shower and Valor's Widow starts cooking.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 23 new verses.  Pips and Jules discuss what to get for G and Joshua after the fire.  "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses.  The Iron Horses tell Kenzie what happened to the gaybashers.  

Weather has been hot and muggy.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells,  firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, frost asters, torenia, purple aster, sawtooth sunflowers, pink sedum, purple sedum.
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Wow, that festival took a lot out of me. Taking the day off Friday was a terrific plan; I slept until roughly lunchtime, then spent the rest of the day being entertained by the Small Monkeys, Now Much Less Small Than When They Were Born. This resting helped me not keel over and die on my NYC daytrip until it was almost time to go home; I shall report on that later. First, the final two operas I saw.

"Elizabeth Cree" was a world premiere, based on a novel by Peter Ackroyd which I have not read (and do not plan to read). The small cast wore Victorian costuming to match the setting and moved amidst a mixture of physical furniture, a movable open metal staircase, and projected silhouettes and text.

I enjoyed this quite a lot, more than I'd expected; I did not quite figure out the mystery until it was about to be revealed, and all of the singers were incredible, particularly Daniela Mack as Elizabeth Cree and Joseph Gaines as Dan Leno. Before I went to see it, I called it a "murder opera," and I stand by that - several brutal murders are discoursed upon and shown in filmed silhouette, and the policeman is more concerned about his own future should he fail to solve the murders than he is about the victims.

Thematically, Murder as Spectacle was reiterated in several different ways, and critiqued by Karl Marx and George Gissing. Women's constrained roles, and the results of those constraints, also popped up, both through what the characters did and through what we the audience thought of what they did. In short, I thought this was great, and I would see it again. I'd put it my second favorite of the festival premieres, after "We Shall Not Be Moved."

Opera News review. Schompera review.

I saw "The Wake World" last night; notably, it was staged at the Barnes Foundation, one of Philadelphia's major museums. Most of the action took place on a long catwalk, with the audience seated or standing around it. The audience was free to move around, and sometimes the singers (mostly chorus, sometimes soloists) moved amid the audience as well.

I liked the idea of that, but in practice I found the constant audience movement distracting from the music, and sometimes I had difficulty seeing over people because I am not tall. The music itself was dreamlike and stuffed with overblown purple prose, most of which I quickly began to ignore in favor of just enjoying the splendid singing. The protagonists, Lola (soprano Maeve Höglund) and The Fairy Prince (cross-dressing mezzo Rihab Chaieb), were excellent in singing, acting, and embodying sex appeal, which was a good thing, since the plot (?) was just a weird, color-based advancement through a dream palace to achieve the ideal lover. Or something like that. The Fairy Prince managed to be really sexy in his three-piece suit and pipe while also mansplaining the palace and its rooms to Lola, which made me kind of hate him. I know characterization and plot was not the point, though, and the whole thing was successful as a spectacle that pushed against boundaries of opera staging, plus the chorus had a lot to do, yay - I used to sit next to the chorus' conductor, Liz Braden, back when my choir was conducted by Donald Nally.

The Broad Street Review's critique.

Dates are already set for next year's O18, so I am going to assume this year's festival was a success for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Go them!

Palazzo Publico

Sep. 25th, 2017 12:37 pm
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[personal profile] cmcmck
We paid our customary visit to the Palazzo Publico which fronts onto Siena's main square (the one where the Palio horse race is run).

The buildings are simply full of wonders!

View across the square from the palace:

We went first to the wall paintings of good and bad government. These are world famous and I see something new every time I look at them. The pig in this image (it's 15th century) is a Cinta Senese- a recognised breed which is still very much around as you'll see in a later post:



There's pics! )

Internetsmanship

Sep. 25th, 2017 06:53 am
supergee: (bug)
[personal profile] supergee
Alex Acks on how to win an online argument (fsvo win)

Thanx to File 770

Kit Reed 1932-2017

Sep. 25th, 2017 06:22 am
supergee: (mourning)
[personal profile] supergee
Kit Reed has been publishing excellent novels and short stories (sf, mimetic, and, as she would say, transgenre) for almost 60 years. We enjoyed her company at many ICFAs and Readercons. RIP.
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Maurice took a detour on his way to Mamzelle Bridgette’s in order to visit the curio shop that dealt in jade bracelets, so that he might commission one suitable to MacDonald’s purpose. He therefore arrived a little after his usual hour to discover that he had an unexpected visitor.

Why, Uncle Hector! I hope there is no trouble in the family?

No, all well, Euphemia sent you a few almond cakes – and she says these are just for you, sent a further parcel for the workroom.

'Tis very good of her. Tea?

Thank you, I will.

While the tea was coming, Maurice waved Hector into the more comfortable chair and sat down himself, mentioning that he had Lady Trembourne coming shortly.

Very early in the day for that lady!

Maurice gave a small grim smile. Does she desire to be dressed by me, at such short notice, she must take what time I may spare. Hector returned his smile. But was there some particular matter you desired to open to me?

Why, Sophy was thinking that though Sam wishes keep Thomasina at school a little longer, since they are in no necessity to send her into service or put her to an apprenticeship –

Maurice, whose investments included a share in Sam Jupp’s exceedingly profitable livery stables and carriage-hire business, nodded.

- when there was that notion that 'twould provide an excuse for visiting here that she desired find her a place, put the idea into her head that though she would not wish Thomasina to earn her living by her needle –

'Tis indeed a hard life –

- you might bring her on into the business more generally. Is a good clever girl, excellent fine reports from the schoolmistresses, an eye for fashion, already goes quiz her aunt Tibby on matters of style.

Maurice pondered a little. Indeed he had wondered about matters of succession. Why, I daresay I shall see somewhat of her during the family yuletide gatherings, and mayhap Sophy might bring her along some day.

Hector nodded and said he would convey this invitation to Sophy. Also, Her Ladyship becomes most concerned over the plight of needlewomen –

I have heard somewhat of that from Lady Pockinford –

- and I confide she would be well-advized to convoke with you upon the practicalities of any philanthropic enterprize she purposes.

Well, now she may come visit me for fittings again I daresay we shall have opportunity to speak upon the business.

Hector cleared his throat, sat back in his chair, crossed one leg over the other. She also, he said at length, takes some concern over Mr MacDonald.

Maurice raised his eyebrows.

She thinks it entire beneficial that he has become a member of this club of yours, where he may be with fellows of like kind. But she comes to some apprehension that has already been beguiled by some fellow, and hopes that 'tis some fellow that will not do him hurt, and wonders had you observed anything that might illuminate the question.

(Well, that answered the question in his mind of whether MacDonald went home and quite immediate recounted what he had been about to Lady Bexbury.)

Why, said Maurice with a little considering frown, indeed he becomes quite the favourite and there are fellows make up to him, but I cannot think of any one in particular that he shows favour to himself –

Only, Hector went on, she takes the thought that those years of mutual devotion that he had with the late Viscount, can have been little preparation for any matters of fickleness and deceit -

(Really, Maurice thought, it was entire unreasonable to feel quite sick with jealousy over a dead man.)

Well, he said, I will look out for any signs, and hoist storm warnings if necessary.

Her Ladyship would be most displeased did he come to any harm. And I hope you demonstrate proper gratitude for the services he has done you.

Quite entirely: but I am sensible that there is little that I can offer such a fellow as any kind of recompense. Sure I have made contributions to Lady Bexbury’s philanthropies –

Hector nodded. But you have ladies coming, I must be away.

Maurice found himself left in some confusion. Was this a very indirect warning? But he had no time to linger brooding upon the matter, for, although he did not expect the Countess of Trembourne to arrive precise to the minute, nonetheless he confided that she would arrive before an entire hour had elapsed. He tidied up the fitting-room, laid out some fashion plates and some samples of stuffs, and minded to put the almond cakes out of sight. There were clients he would have been happy to share this treat with, but she was not among them.

In due course Lady Trembourne, followed by Lady Sarah Channery, was ushered in to the fitting-room. They were very much of that same high-bred English lady look: that fine straight fair hair that must have been an immense trial to any that had to dress it; the pale aristocratic features; the tall and slender, even skinny, figure. Lady Trembourne’s face was marked with its habitual expression of discontent. Lady Sarah, however, looked less than usual like a nervous mouse keeping company with a cat: perchance having a lover had conveyed her some confidence in herself.

They sat down and tea was brought and Lady Trembourne produced some fashion-plates that had given her a notion of how she should like her gowns made. Maurice was most greatly tempted to accede to her demands, for he could see that the styles chosen would not set her off to any advantage, but he had the reputation of Mamzelle Bridgette to maintain and that would do it no favours, so he began the delicate task of persuading her into somewhat that would do credit to all parties.

By this time this had been decided, and measurements taken, and Lady Sarah’s requirements also taken into consideration, several hours had passed. But at last Lady Trembourne declared that she had another engagement and swept out. Lady Sarah lingered, looked nervously towards the door, and asked in low and tremulous tones whether the establishment had some discreet chamber?

Maurice conceded that it did, and the terms upon which a lady might avail herself of it.

Lady Sarah was, of course, considerably younger than Sir Stockwell, and indeed than Lady Trembourne: but she was still of an age that was not suited by an air as of a naughty schoolgirl that has slyly deceived the mistress.

After she had gone – looking remarkable complacent for one that had but lately had remuneration demanded of her in return for silence – Maurice sighed, smoothed back his hair, and decided that he would go lunch at the club.

(Of course he had not the slightest expectation that he might encounter MacDonald there.)

At such a time of day there were few enough present, but Sir Stockwell had managed to escape his duties, whatever they were, at the Admiralty. Allard! he lowered his voice. Any news?

Maurice lowered his own voice. Has asked me about the discreet chamber, but indeed I do not know if that might be for a particular purpose, or whether 'tis just to be informed in anticipation. (He did not somehow feel inclined to reveal that yes, Lady Sarah had a lover. Since it was some friend of MacDonald, let him be the one to disclose it.)

Well, let me know do you discover more.

He moved away.

As Maurice deliberated between the cold beef and the ham, up came Tom Tressillian, looking extreme self-conscious. Maurice! Pray, assure me that I have not offended you –

Offended me?

Why, I know that you and Linsleigh have been friends this long time, and he was paying me some attention t’other e’en at the viewing of his painting, and you left most precipitate –

La, my dear Tom, you are entire welcome to enjoy Basil’s favours, sure we have not sworn some oath such as he was telling us at such great length did the members of the Theban Band: and I daresay 'twill come to some exceeding pretty picture - perchance all in black, gazing upon a skull?

O, providing you do not mind - !

Not in the least. But, my dear, figure to yourself my astonishment to see young Orlando Richardson in the company – does he follow in his great-uncle’s footsteps?

Tressillian sighed. Alas, I confide not, except that shows already a pretty talent for comedy.

Alas. For though 'tis by no means a pretty fellow, there is a certain, as they say, piquancy, to his looks, that I daresay his uncle had before he took to drink.

Well...

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:47 pm
ladyjax: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyjax
::Insert obligatory acknowledgement that a seriously long time has passed since I last posted anything of note::

Read more... )

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... )
minoanmiss: (Default)
[personal profile] minoanmiss posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
Dear Carolyn: In my childhood, criticism from my parents was the constant theme. My grades were never good enough, my room was never clean enough, whatever. As a result, I feel little to no affection for my parents now that I’m an adult, and I don’t spend much time with them or talk to them much. I just don’t like them very much.

However, some people who know this say I’m going to regret distancing myself from them when they’re gone. Do you think that’s true? Should I make more of an effort to spend more time with them now so I don’t regret it later?

— Criticized


Criticized: Your friends would regret distancing themselves, if they were in your position. That doesn’t mean you will.

So, no, I don’t think that is universally true that distance equals regrets.

However, I do believe that seeing parents as people, instead of just as parents, is a more useful way to determine how to adapt your relationship with them over time.

What you describe of your parents is a child’s view of people who, apparently, thought that being a parent meant being strict and teachy all the time. I agree with you that it’s a cold way to go, and tough to forgive, but there are other aspects of parenthood that could provide a fuller and fairer picture. Were their parents that way with them? Was the culture around them one of “seen and not heard” and “spare the rod” orthodoxy? Did they tend not to question things about life in general, their parenting views among them? Was one of them softer but not strong enough to counteract the other?

And: What did they become after their active child-rearing years were over? Did they remain locked in a cold orthodoxy, or did they bloom a little when the weight of responsibility was removed? Are they trying to get to know you now, or are you still 12 to them?

Do you know them all that well as people, or did you distance yourself effectively enough that your last real impression of them was formed as you fled their home after high school?

I ask these questions entirely without judgment. People have their natural, even reflexive ways of looking out for their own health, and kids of unhappy childhoods can even have this need as their central motivation. It makes sense.

But when you get to the point where you’re asking whether this is the right way to go, my inclination is to suggest that you keep asking questions and see where your inquiry leads you. If you don’t feel up to digging all that out, that’s reasonable. Your prerogative. It might also make sense to spend a few sessions with a skilled therapist.

And it might be liberating just to try, once or twice, with no great expectations, to talk to your parents with a different image of them in mind as you do it.

They’re people. Possibly kind of stunted people who meant no harm but had no clue. People who might have interesting things to say if you asked them different questions, and/or with a different objective in mind. Not “I want them to say they’re sorry” or “I want just once for them to be warm and welcoming,” but maybe “I want to see them how their friends do,” or one of my favorite suggestions from a long-ago chatter, “I want to approach them as an anthropologist would and see what I find out.”

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.

Read more... )

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.

the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Sandy stroked the lovely back at present turned towards him, body out-flung in relaxation after pleasurable exertions. If Geoff was dog-like, Maurice Allard was more like a cat, and he never knew whether the claws would be out or whether it would be curling up and purring.

Maurice rolled over and looked at him. Is it not time you were leaving?

What, have I over-stayed my welcome?

Maurice glowered. All I may offer now is my company: even if you are not, I am by now entire done.

I am wont to consider myself a somewhat prickly fellow: but you are entire porcupine. Am I supposed to hurry into my clothes and pretend this did not happen?

Maurice sat up and clasped his arms around his knees. Why, are fellows enough will try to pretend 'tis not happening even when 'tis.

That cannot conduce to much felicity in the act. But might I not enjoy your company?

Maurice looked at him in astonishment. How could you so?

Why not?

Oh come, here you are a fellow of learning, that Chumbell will admit even did you never attend Oxford, and very widely accepted in Society, how could you find my company agreeable?

My dearest friend is a former courtesan that had no education but what she gleaned as a child of the theatre, and is quite the wisest person of either sex that I know. You are a fellow that appears entire accepted and respected at the club –

Maurice snorted. I first entered the club by that discreet back door that admits young fellows that will oblige members for a guinea or so –

Also, while I daresay ladies will go cry up your eye for style and fashion, 'tis also given out that you are a fine businessman, that you manage your money very prudent, have sound investments

How do you know all this?

Sandy sat up. Because, my dear fellow, I had your relatives coming to me, one by one, to inform me that indeed you were not one to fall into hysterical panic, that were you worried about some matter to do with your establishment there was surely something behind even did you not see clearly what it was, that I should not be put off by your manner, that is entire what is expected in your profession, that you have quite made something of yourself -

Maurice groaned.

My dear, said Sandy, taking him by the shoulders, I fancy that you will feel a deal better once you have dined – is there anywhere nearby we might go do so?

You cannot wish to be seen dining with me! He threw himself off the bed and began looking for the clothes he had quite recklessly discarded.

Do you suppose that must be quite obvious that we have been about committing a capital offence, do we go dine?

Why else would you be in my company?

I might wish to give Lady Bexbury some present – say a fine fan, or a decoration for her hair, or a bracelet – and wish to be assured that 'twill sort with her wardrobe; I might be going to write some piece in a newspaper or even a pamphlet, upon the business of fashion and the sufferings of needlewomen; or, since 'tis given out that I am very clandestine and under a false name a writer of novels, seeking information for some fine tale of the silver fork school now that the Gothic strain is no longer in fashion.

Maurice stared at him.

Sandy slid off the bed and began to gather up his own scattered garments and to remember where he had left his spectacles. He observed Maurice moving about the room and was reminded of Josh Ferraby describing a panther: Josh was wont to enact whatever animal he was talking of, in private conversation, if not when he addressed scientific meetings. Undoubtedly something feline.

Well, said Maurice, when they were both dressed, do you care to dine at a common chop-house there is one in the next street.

So they went around the corner and into the next street and found a comfortable booth in the chop-house and ordered beef-steak and ale, and while it might not be as finely-cooked as anything that came out of Euphemia’s kitchen, it was perfectly wholesome and very welcome. Even did they sit in entire silence.

Eventually, when hunger was satiated, Sandy pushed away his plate and said, why do you stare so at me?

Maurice shook his head. You – surprize me. He fell silent again.

Indeed, said Sandy, in order to do something that looked like making conversation, I fancy that 'twould be a pretty gesture to buy some present for Clorinda that would be somewhat unexpected. Sure I have given her a deal of books over the years –

Jade bracelet, said Maurice. She lately saw some lady wearing one and wondered would it suit her.

I have no experience whatsoever in buying jewellery for ladies –

Say you so! (Well, that had evoked a smile.) I have a fair notion of the kind of thing she meant, and know where I may acquire one: I am also well-acquainted with the dimensions of Her Ladyship’s wrist. I will be about the matter and send it to you.

Or, said Sandy, I might come and collect it.

So you might, had you no more pressing business.

They looked at one another. 'Tis exceeding good of you to take the trouble, said Sandy.

Sure I owe you some favour.

They fell silent again, drank up their ale, and left. The rain had stopped. I can walk from here, said Sandy. Shall, I daresay, see you at the club if not before.

Maurice nodded and turned in the other direction.

Sandy shrugged mentally, and walked off towards Clorinda’s house.

Where he found her, seated at her desk and scribbling away with great ardour.

My dear, surely you have not been all this while at that immense bore Linsleigh’s party for his painting, that I daresay includes a deal of fellows in dishabille.

No, had opportunity to pursue this investigation –

That minds me, I am a sad forgetful Clorinda when I have been burying myself with abbots and monks and priors &C – came a note for you from Geoffrey Merrett, the boy was hoping for a reply but we sent him away. But do you write a reply, we might send William.

Sandy looked up from the note. He writes that something very troubling has occurred and would desire dine with me at his club at my earliest convenience. But I think we may spare William until the morn: I will write something now and he can take it then.

Clorinda got up from the desk and waved him towards it. Be about the matter and we can give it to Hector. Sure I hope 'tis not that he has got the lady with child. And, now I am come back from the Middle Ages, I mind that there was another troubling matter I wished open to you.

After the note had been given to Hector with instruction that he need not dispatch it immediately, and he had brought in port and madeira, Clorinda pushed the book in which she had been writing into a drawer of the desk and went to sit down by the fire.

May be nothing at all, she said, but Lucy Lowndes came call, saying that she had been to call upon Gretchen Paffenrath, and found her in a very great taking, saying that she thinks she saw her husband lately while she was shopping in Oxford Street. But did not want to go too close and did not get a clear view, but ‘twas very like indeed.

Hmm, said Sandy, I am surprized that he did not immediately go call upon her.

He may not know that she was left so very well-provided by Mr Knowles: oh! I hope he tied up any settlement carefully against any claim by that dreadful fellow.

I fancy Sebastian Knowles might know somewhat of the matter: I will go call upon him as soon as maybe.

Sandy suddenly sneezed.

My dear! I hope you do not go take a chill. You had better go to bed at once, I will send Prue up with a warming pan.

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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.

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Dee Burris Blakley

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