capriuni: Text: Glad Yule; Image: A sprig of holly (yule)


(Consider this journal entry properly bedecked).

This "Christmas season" is hard on everyone -- even those who enjoy & celebrate it can find it exhausting. And for those of us who don't -- or can't -- celebrate it (for whatever reason) it can be especially isolating -- particularly for those of us whose primary social connections happen through these here Interwebs.

So:

I'm posting this entry as an open discussion/chat thread, so that we have a place to chat and commune through the comment threads.

Come sip a warm (or cool, depending on your season) spiced beverage of your choosing, and grab a plate full of virtual goodies.

I'll be checking back in frequently over the next 72 hours or so.

Welcome! Welcome!

Edited to add:

I also can't forget (or, rather, I can, but should not) that today is also the first day of Hanukkah. So have a video that [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posted a couple of years ago:



Because I also know many are over saturated with Christmas songs, by now...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
It's the fourth "Magpie Monday" of the year, already!

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has embarked on her monthly writing marathon called "Magpie Monday," and is seeking prompts. She's named it "Magpie," 'cause she thinks prompts are the shiniest, and she loves to collect and use them. Her post explaining how it all works is here:

http://dialecticdreamer.dreamwidth.org/227683.html


I recommend her work -- she's adept at fuzzy, gentle fiction that never descends into twee or schmaltz, so if you're having a bad day, and need some kindness, pop over and give her some suggestions.

She does have a PayPal tip jar -- all proceeds go to paying medical bills -- though donations are voluntary. This month's theme is "Schooling vs. education" Help yourself by getting a wonderful story. And help her pay some serious bills for a serious cause.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
It's the fourth "Magpie Monday" of the year, already!

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has embarked on her monthly writing marathon called "Magpie Monday," and is seeking prompts. She's named it "Magpie," 'cause she thinks prompts are the shiniest, and she loves to collect and use them. Her post explaining how it all works is here:

http://dialecticdreamer.dreamwidth.org/218586.html


I recommend her work -- she's adept at fuzzy, gentle fiction that never descends into twee or schmaltz, so if you're having a bad day, and need some kindness, pop over and give her some suggestions.

She does have a PayPal tip jar -- all proceeds go to paying medical bills -- though donations are voluntary. This month's theme is "Ghosts and Echoes." Help yourself by getting a wonderful story. And help her pay some serious bills for a serious cause.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has embarked on her monthly writing marathon called "Magpie Monday," and is seeking prompts. She's named it "Magpie," 'cause she thinks prompts are the shiniest, and she loves to collect and use them. Her post explaining how it all works is here:

http://dialecticdreamer.dreamwidth.org/211002.html

(And, once I've thought up my own prompt, this signal boost earns me another 100 words of story).

I recommend her work -- she's adept at fuzzy, gentle fiction that never descends into twee or schmaltz, so if you're having a bad day, and need some kindness, pop over and give her some suggestions.

She does have a PayPal tip jar -- all proceeds go to paying medical bills -- though donations are voluntary. This Month's theme is "Bucking the system"
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Here is her description of how that works (Excerpted):

(Quote)
Today's theme is "building a future." 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.

(unquote)

Read the full details (and other people's prompts), here: http://ysabetwordsmith.dreamwidth.org/10493425.html
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has embarked on her monthly writing marathon called "Magpie Monday," and is seeking prompts on the theme "Disaster? Or Opportunity?" She's named it "Magpie," 'cause she thinks prompts are the shiniest, and she loves to collect and use them. Her post explaining how it all works is here: https://dialecticdreamer.dreamwidth.org/201806.html

(And, once I've thought up my own prompt, this signal boost earns me another 100 words of story).

I recommend her work -- she's adept, especially, and fuzzy, gentle fiction that never descends into twee or schmaltz, so if you're having a bad day, and need some kindness, pop over and give her some suggestions. She's very generous.
capriuni: text icon "Writer's Block" (blocked!)

Image description: The words "Writer's Block," with 'Writer's' smashing into a lengthened ascender of the 'k,' as though into a wall.


So: in revisiting Monster's Legacy, I've decided to rearrange the chapter order. From the beginning, I'd been working on the assumption that I'd start with the autobiographical poems in vaguely chronological order, and putting the poems based on "fables and fairy tales" somewhere near the end (like, maybe the penultimate chapter, before I close it up with more personal poems again).

I've now decided that the fairy tale poems should come first, because: 1) that's how people already categorize monsters, so the first (cognitive) step is less of a doozy, and 2) it will set up the context I want for my primary argument that: "Mainstream anxieties about disability are as just as rational as anxieties over the bogeyman."

And because this fables chapter will be my foundation, I've also realized it has to be broader and more substantial than it is now; it currently contains four poems, one of which I'm going to throw out,* one of which is based on a mostly unknown story (in America),** and a third which is based on an unfamiliar version of an 'old favorite'.***

That means: I have more poems to write! ... A-a-and part of me is wondering if this is a legitimate decision, or just a delaying tactic so I can put off finishing the thing, and face up to the risk and terror of actually publishing and selling it. I'm not sure which side of that argument is being voiced by brain weasels, either.


There's the "decision" half of my writer's block.

The "frustration" half comes from not finding the source material I want to link back to for a few of those new poems -- especially the poem I want to write about Hephaestus (yeah -- yet another relatively obscure character, but it'll involve name-dropping the really famous gods). I could swear (By Hermes, naturally) that, back in early 2011, I read that Plato argued that artists should not make images of Hephaestus, because people might take depictions of his physical disability as literally true, rather than a metaphor, and that would tarnish the idea of gods as perfect, and thus, would be blasphemous (This is what inspired me to title my brief folklore blog: "Plato's Nightmare/Aesop's Dream"). Only, now, no matter what keywords I put into search engines, I can't find anything even close to that.

Other stories I want to write (about), and now cannot find anywhere: An e-text of the 14th C. romance of Aesop, which spells out how he was physically disabled black African ex-slave (I can buy a book of the translation from Amazon, but I want to have an online version, durnit!), and the story about the "real" Mother Goose was Charlemagne's grandmother, and how she had one enormous, deformed, (goose-like) foot, and walked with a crutch.****

So I am now appealing to my circles for help with Google-fu. Halp?! Any ideas?



*Footnote One )

**Footnote Two )

***Footnote Three (content warning for suggested pedophilia without so much as impaired consent) )

****Footnote Four )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So she's looking to collect as many shiny prompts as she can. Go -- give her things to build stories around!

She lays out the mechanics Here; this month, the theme is "Transformations"
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Some of [profile] ysabetwordsmth's family are dealing with a bad batch of mayhem -- their car has died half-way through a cross-country trip with no large city nearby, and repair costs are more than they have in their budget.

To help raise money for the emergency fund, [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has put up a prompt call. For a $5 or more donation, she'll write a just-for-you 500-word ficlet based on your prompt, on the theme "Pay it forward" or "helping hands."

She's put the details in a post, here: http://dialecticdreamer.dreamwidth.org/181870.html. She's a very good writer, and a dollar per drabble's worth of story from her is an excellent deal.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
A week early (Happy Labor Day!). [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is collecting shiny prompts, again! This month's theme is "Birth and Rebirth" (either literal or metaphorical). Here's the official prompt call

Give her a prompt, and she'll give you a story (she's really rather good).

Here's the post which is the index of the story worlds she writes in: Welcome and Primary Map.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So she's looking to collect as many shiny prompts as she can. Go -- give her things to build stories around!

She lays out the mechanics Here; this month, the theme is "Dilemmas"
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So -- there's a woman in my reading circle: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, who's pretty nifty. And every second Monday of the month, she hosts "Magpie Monday," and asks folks to give her prompts (like a magpie, she just wants to collect the ALL the shiny!). Then she spends the day, from wake-up to can't-keep-eyes-open, writing ALL THE THINGS.

So, this last Magpie Monday (the 8th), she posted a theme for the month: "Equal does not mean 'Identical'!"

I prompted her with my own retelling of the British folktale Sammle's Ghost. And she responded by writing this (in just a couple hours!! <3):

Rain of Sorrows )

*-*-*-*-END-*-*-*-*

Naturally, I wanted more, so for this most recent Crowdfunding creative jam, I prompted her again, and got this:

Rebuilding Home.

Life is good! :-)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So, as some of you in my circles may remember: Back in July of 2011, I wanted to write an entry for Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream about an "Aesop's fable" my mother told me repeatedly from the time I was very small. But I couldn't find out any background on the 'Net, because (it turns out) it was a fable she herself made up, by splicing two different Aesop's fables into a single story, and then, she misremembered the origin, being convinced she read it somewhere (The entry is here: The Lame Man, the Blind Man, and the Donkey: a fable on the birth of a fable)

So: as of just a little while ago, I've decided that I will, in fact, write something for B.A.D.D., and that it will be about that Disability version of the Bechdel test I came up with... And I thought I'd start out with what I remember as the earliest "favorite quote" my mother had: one that she would recite to me almost every time she finished reading some particularly interesting something. Now, I could swear she had told me the quote came from Gloria Steinem:

When we read, we don't learn, we recognize.


And that struck me as a nearly perfect place to start my argument for why representing the less privileged people in our stories is so important. But I wanted to make sure I had the wording right... So I tried looking up the quote (or a paraphrase of the quote) on Google... And have come up with zilch... zip. Nothing -- either attributed to Steinem, or anyone else. Putting those keywords into the search box only gets me scholarly, and quasi-scholarly, articles on how to teach children to read (and to links of articles about how baboons can apparently learn to read words...

Does the quote ring any bells, or flick on any lights, for my circle folk? Or is this another case of my mother not recognizing herself as the source?
capriuni: photo of a roe deer yearling, with text: "The real world is magic enough" (unicorn-real)
Namely: when did the idea that unicorns disappeared in the Great Biblical Flood become part of the common culture?

I mean, in the medieval period people believed to things: 1) that they themselves lived after the Great Flood, and 2) that unicorns existed in the real world.

I'm assuming that the idea was around sometime before Shel Silverstein wrote his song (I won't credit him with the power to create the idea out of whole cloth – what I've learned of him since I first became a fan has made me thoroughly dislike him as a person).

First of all, the idea of the Great Flood is such a despicable one, but that particular demise for unicorns is such a killjoy. … It may be perverse, but I prefer to think of them as hunted to extinction by foolish and greedy humans.
capriuni: Text: The Muse is Willing but the Brain is Mush. (Brain-mush)
This video is unlisted, so only those people who find a posted link can see it, because, basically, it's a W.I.P.; when I have a finished version, I'll make that public.

Here's the link: http://youtu.be/DHYYnwKnxVQ -- I figure it's the easiest way for most people to hear what the tune sounds like. I'll print out, scan, and post the score later, for those who can read music, but can't run videos...

Anyway, here's what I wrote in the info section, and the reason I'm posting it at all: my muse and I need help ... so... Help?

(Quote)
Usually, when I get the idea for a song, the subject, idea and lyrics come FIRST. But this time, the tune came first, and I don't even know if it's a happy tune or a sad one. So I'm going to ask you to join me in a game I used to play in grade school:

Give me a topic, and I'll write about it -- in this case, I'll try to write lyrics about that topic that fit this tune. And once I have some lyrics, or at least an idea for a theme, then I can illustrate it for real, instead of sticking you with abstract MicroSoft Paint art

Deal?
(unquote)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Now that I

a) am learning how to make simple, slide-show-based videos with "Windows Movie Maker" and

b) have a means to record my own voice-overs,

I'm thinking of making a series of slide-show based videos out of this post My own version of the Bipedal Privilege Backpack (each video focusing on two or three privileges at a time, and illustrated with stick-figure cartoons).

And I'd like to open with a discussion of what "Privilege" is, and what it means to have "an invisible backpack" full of it.

So I'm asking my circle:

What counts as "privilege"? Is privilege always founded in culturally determined biases? Is that the difference between "privilege" and "natural ability"?

and also: Whence the metaphor of the "invisible backpack"? Who thought that up, and what was the inspiration?

Ugh.

Aug. 31st, 2011 10:32 pm
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (ugh)
Two biological facts about me:

1) Ever since I was about 8 or 9, it has been usual for the "parting shot" of a bout with the Common Cold Virus (after the sniffling, sneezing, sore throat, etc. is out of my system) to be a flare up of cold sores on the insides of my lips and cheeks. It's just been the usual way for the virus to work its way through me.

2) My asthma, which I've kept mostly symptom-free for these last six years or so, with a daily dose of Benedryl-clone, is triggered by mold, dust, smoke and ...stress.

---

Last night, I had a flare up of asthma symptoms, even after my usual daily dose. And this morning, even though I had no outward signs of a cold, I woke with a cold sore.

I've also had intense, bordering-on-nightmare dreams, these last two nights, which I can't remember well enough to describe, except that they involved punching and fighting.

... I think, perhaps, this last week of waiting through Irene, knowing that I had no easy way to evacuate (and no way to hide in the closet or bathtub during the storm, as experts all say you should), has taken a temporary toll on my immune system.

This whole week, I've felt like I'm fighting jet lag.

So: tell me a happy thing? Please?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I like the shirt, but I hate the description I wrote for it -- help?

Shameless Alligator -- proofread )

This is a little less clunky, but still:

Shameless Alligator In-Joke. )

And here's a design I am entirely unsure of altogether. Here's the Mug version; there's a shirt version, too, with the full page visible (which has doodled bunnies on't).

Plot Bunny P.S.A. )

And yes, that's my handwriting, and I made up the random start of a story just so that I could have word-stuff as a background design.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Object of discussion: Shirt (or mug, or mousepad, or whatever) with a picture of an alligator, and the words "Shameless Alligator," in fat hand-lettering.

Question -- Should I also add the word "Agitator"?

Either as:

A) "Shameless Alligator Agitator," or
B) with "Alligator" struck out, as if fixing a typo, or
C) Not include "Agitator" at all?

I've got everything drawn and inked, except "Agitator." and I need to make a decision before I scan it.

Thanks, in advance, for answering.

[Edited to add: I both Version B ("Shameless Proofread") and Version C ("Shameless In-Joke"); the in-joke one takes up less space (natch), so it's better for small items, like refrigerator magnets and trucker hats. I've got a trucker hat ready for posting for sale, but I'm stumped as to what to do for a description. So I'll post it tomorrow, after sleep.]
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (question)
When I was a Teen, and in my early 20s (~1980s), and Mother and I would attend politically / protest-oriented events, a common phrase we'd see printed on tee-shirts was "Shameless Agitator."

And I got to wondering: is there a specific historical context for this phrase? Was it a common epithet thrown around in newspapers to refer to Suffragettes, for example? Or labor leaders? Can it be traced back to a particular quote?

Bit of random, personal trivia: Once, one of us (either it was I, or my mother, who then shared with me), misread one of those shirts as "Shameless Alligator," which then became a running joke between us until the end of her life. That memory recently came back to me, and that's what's gotten me curious about this...

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