edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
You know what? I'm going to post the terrible poetry after all.

All spelling, capitalization, and punctuation faithfully reproduced (though you are missing half the effect of the purple ink and my weird handwriting). I have inserted line breaks between the poems for clarity, though the original text marks them only by a single blank line.

cut for length and embarrassment )

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Now I kind of want to find twelve- or thirteen-year-old me, give her a hug, promise her she'll make it at least to age thirty-five without humanity blowing up the planet, and gently suggest that if she wants to keep on writing poetry, she might find the constraints of strict poetic forms a useful challenge. *wry*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Here are seven more fills from the just-closed Three Sentence Ficathon, aka "My god, it's full of semicolons!" They are all really, truly, no-fooling three sentences long, no exceptions. You have no idea how much of a triumph this is for me! (Three are also strict-form drabbles, because I just like drabbles. And one's in iambic pentameter, because apparently I like to drive myself mad now and then.)

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20. For [personal profile] transposable_element: Oz books/Narnia, any, flying monkeys, written 3/6/15.

Nasty, Disturbing, Uncomfortable Things )

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21. For [personal profile] heliopausa: Narnia, VDT; any characters; the voyage home, written 3/6/15.

To Breathe Free )

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22. For [personal profile] rthstewart: Any, any, candlestick as weapon, written 3/7/15.

[Homestuck, Terezi & Dave]

classic detective games )

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23. For [personal profile] heliopausa: Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth/Macbeth, "I have given suck, and know how tender 'tis to love the babe who milks me" vs "he has no children", written 3/8/15.

Such a heart in my bosom )

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24. For [personal profile] elviella: Discworld, Polly Perks/Mal, "hold my flower"/"don't worry babe i got your flower", maybe not with actual flowers, written 3/8/15.

Maybe not with actual flowers )

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25. For [personal profile] transposable_element: Oz books, Glinda, not such a good witch after all, written 3/9/15.

Usurpation )

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26. For [personal profile] betony: Hamlet, Gertrude, that gun is loaded/but it's not in my hand, written 3/9/15.

Is that what you really want? )

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I have vague intentions of writing at least one more of the MCU/Star Trek: AOS crossovers that I inadvertently turned into a series, but that aside, I am done with the Three Sentence Ficathon. While no more prompts are being posted, I do encourage you to see if there are any you want to fill -- fills are still very much allowed and welcomed! -- and to comment on other people's contributions. :-)

(...and now to organize my fic directories...)
edenfalling: circular blue mosaic depicting stylized waves (ocean mosaic)
Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
of the rising moon.

---Mizuta Masahide


...I am quite sure I could not manage that degree of equanimity, but it's a good reminder that the way one looks at a situation can make a huge difference to one's emotional state.


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I did some more encyclopedia article editing today, both before and after work at the smoke shop. Dad says he'll send more tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers that my current can-do productive mood will last!

Other things I have done today: responded to an email about another potential editing job (for a smoke shop customer who runs a historical society about trains) which I had left hanging all last week because I did not have the spoons, answered several reviews, written 300 words of "Trollstuck" and 300 words of what might turn into an Aradia<3Aradia kinkmeme fill (hey, if the timeclone thing works for Dave, why not for the ladies?), and made a serious stab at cleaning out my real-life email address's inbox, which had become dangerously overgrown this past month and a half.

I am of the school of thought that says you should move any emails you want to save into specific sub-folders and delete everything else, because clutter is dumb and inefficient. Also, who cares about a series of six emails between me and my mom deciding what restaurant to eat at each time my parents come to Ithaca? Posterity does not need that kind of junk and neither do I. So away it goes!

ETA: 600-ish words of "Trollstuck," and part 20 is ready to post. Buuuuuuuut, I want to draw Jothan's picture first, for reference. So you will have to wait for Monday night. Sorry.

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ETA, 2/16/17: For the record, the customer with the editing job I mentioned? Is Longwinded Man. That interaction did not end well.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
The DRE at my church sends out a weekly inspirational email, which tends to consist of a poem she liked that week. Many of them are generically and forgettably uplifting, but I found this week's choice very interesting; it made me stop and reread it again, slower, and then a third time. I usually skim Jennifer's choices and immediately delete the emails. This one, as you can see, I am still thinking about.



Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
or press an ear against its hive.
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
or walk inside the poem's room

and feel the walls for a light switch.
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.
But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope

and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
1. A few days ago, someone did another non-traditional poetry installation. It consists of a series of clear plastic bags, filled with water, tied to the railing along Cascadilla Creek between Tioga St. and Aurora St. Inside each bag is a short poem.

This is not as reader-friendly as the poems tied to the shrubbery from a couple weeks back. For one thing, these poems are handwritten, which makes them slightly harder to read in the best of circumstances. Some of the inks bled into the water, staining the bags interesting colors but rendering the poems completely invisible. Some poems have partially disintegrated. Some poems twisted in the bags so they are curled up and, again, impossible to read. Even the ones that are both in clear water and facing in a visible direction are difficult to read, because of the creases in the plastic bags and the refraction of the water.

But it's a nice idea, and the two poems I've been able to read were interesting.

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2. I filled in for my absent co-teacher at church today. I was expecting to teach a lesson on Beltane, but when I received the lesson plan on Saturday, I discovered that the curriculum had been adjusted.

We did a lesson on Earth Day instead.

Now, this is less far-fetched for UUs than for many other religions -- we do, after all, include "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part" as one of our Seven Principles -- but still. I was under the impression that Earth Day is a secular thing. *sigh*

Also, I have now led guided meditation twice, and I have led basic yoga exercises. This is not at all what I am used to in a religious education program!

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3. I'm still poking away at "Intervention," which is now at 11,450 words. I actually wrote more than that tonight, but I also rewrote some previous scenes to tie in better with current and future plot threads, and to give Jahiem a few lines via ship-to-ship com, which required me to cut about 150 words from a scene to remove a suddenly extraneous com conversation.

"Intervention" requires a lot of thought and logistical planning: to keep track of who is where doing what when, to track who knows what when, to make sure the characters' actions are practical, to integrate technology into the plot or explain the absence of tools that should be in use, to hopefully not violate physics and biology too badly, and to clue in readers what's happened in the time jumps between scenes. I am very glad I am writing it all of a piece rather than trying to serialize it, because I keep running into things that I need to have laid groundwork for in previous sections, and every time I go back and stick that groundwork in, I have to make two or three other adjustments to pick up the logical consequences. It's like putting together a puzzle, only each time I slot another piece in, the other pieces change shape around it. *beats head against desk*

Also, when I'm finally done I will have to go back and work in some more descriptions of people dying, of the Cordites dealing with the sick and the dead, and the Red Cross people having, you know, emotional reactions to the tragedy they find themselves in the middle of. Because right now, it's a rather dry story -- there's some worry, and a fair amount of people expressing anger because it's easier to get angry than to break down crying (and also, they are genuinely angry at the way the Cordites are dealing with the plague and their attempts to help, and at the mineral Macguffin's interference with their diagnostic technology), but there should be more depth.

But I would like to get the actual plot finished before I do too much elaboration work on scenes (or puzzle pieces) that may well get shuffled around a lot more before I am done.

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4. The new ink cartridges did indeed seem to fix my printer, so apparently the problem with the black ink was just a dud cartridge. :-/ Anyway, this means I ought to finally print ch. 14 of "Secrets" and edit it. Except, oh god, I do not want to deal with that right now. I really, really don't. I don't even know why, but every time I think of that I have this... I dunno, non-physical total body flinch.

Very weird. I should buckle down and edit it anyway. Perhaps Wednesday, which I have off from work?
edenfalling: golden flaming chalice in a double circle (gold chalice)
We were scheduled to do a UU-specific lesson this week, but the assistant DRE got swamped by life and did not have time to write up a lesson plan. So we got dumped in with the 1st grade and kindergarten classes for a combined Easter lesson.

We gathered in our separate classrooms, then met in the Arch Room for the lesson. We started by lighting the chalice and singing the Seven Principles song (which is a new innovation this year: simplified versions of the 7 UU Principles set to the tune of "Do, a Deer" -- it's awfully cute), and doing brief introductions. Then Helen Ann read a rather boring and incoherent picture book about Easter (why are kid's books that explain religious holidays so uniformly awful???), after which I attempted to ask leading questions to connect the idea of Jesus coming back from the dead with spring bringing a rebirth of plant and animal life. I am not sure how well I succeeded.

Then Erin explained the growth of plants from seeds to flowers, using the same backdrop and velcro aids that I remember using two years ago for a lesson on plant sex. (Hi, we are UUs; we teach science in church for kicks.) Scott then did some guided exercise (pretending to be stones and eggs and seeds, then plants growing, then rabbits hopping) which is a good way to bleed some excess fidgets out of small children. Then we planted poppy seeds in small cups of dirt, and I dug a roll of masking tape out of the art supply closet so we could label them with the kids' names.

Then I led a guided meditation, which is not a life skill I ever thought I would have need to acquire. Who knew? It was about a lotus blossom opening in your heart, and spreading blue light and love through your body and out to touch all the people around you. I think it would have worked better with some quiet New Age background music, to play through the points where I was supposed to pause -- I never paused more than about ten seconds, and instead improvised a lot, because I do not trust five-year-old kids to keep paying attention without audible cues that the activity is not over.

And then we passed a hand squeeze around the circle and went back to our respective classrooms for a plastic egg hunt. All in all, I pronounce the morning a success. \o/

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On my way home, I passed a house where someone had tied five or six short free verse poems about speaking, silence, and healing to the bare, whippy branches of a decorative hedge. The wind had torn one loose, which I picked up and attempted to pin in place via judicious interlacing of several branches. The poems themselves were interesting -- not great art, but thought-provoking, especially in their presentation. However, they really needed better copy editing. One in particular was marred by two places where the poet had meant to write "healing" and "only," but had mistyped, and an auto-correct program (or spell-check) had replaced them with "Ealing" and "Orly," respectively. *headdesk*

Still, the poems and their presentation were a lovely little gift. I am glad I was paying attention and had the time to stop and read.

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Some minor progress on ch. 4 of "The Courting Dance" tonight. This new version begins with interaction between Cor and Aravis, continues through some useful character development for Cor, and is now (I think) working up to Cor going to ask Corin to explain stuff to him. So I have thus far avoided the history bog that kept stalling and deflecting my previous attempts. Hurrah!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
As I was working on Tug of War, my [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic response for this week, I at one point looked up Shel Silverstein's poem "Hug o'War." That ended up having relatively little to do with the fic as written (though if you were wondering about the title? now you know where my head was), but it did remind me of another Silverstein poem I have always loved:


Listen To The Mustn’ts

Listen to the MUSN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.



...So is that Naruto's theme poem or what? :-D
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Another random snippet from "Harvest," my ongoing attempt to write about Ekanu Thousandbirds and Denifar Rollesdun in Gwynorae. Ekanu is planning to go back to Vinaeo when she leaves the Ileara chapterhouse; Laefa oku Daeluach, one of her pledged students, is thinking of going with her. This conversation or something like it definitely happens during the course of "Harvest," but I doubt it will appear in the finished story... at least not as-is. (Its tone is all wrong.)

Harvest: Lullabies )

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The Vinaean lullaby is a hastily adapted version of the first verse of a slightly less morbid lullaby I wrote for a different fantasy world altogether. (Someday I may get around to writing one or another of my vaguely outlined novels set in that world. But probably not.) Anyway, the original song goes like this:

The Woodwife's Lullaby )


Optionally, you then repeat the first verse and trail off very slowly on the last note. If I had a piano, a reliable scanner, and the knowledge and ability to post photos to this journal, I would write out and post the melody as well, but as those conditions do not apply, I won't. (It's in slow 4/4, each line takes two measures, there is no melisma, and it is, I think, in Dorian mode... but even if I'm wrong about that, it sure as hell isn't major.)
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!" and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your LJ and explain what they mean to you. These words were given to me by [livejournal.com profile] snaegl.

(If you ask for words, be prepared for me to flail and take a day or two and perhaps crib them directly from your journal's interest list, because I suck at this sort of game. If I ever went on a TV show where they ask how well you know your 'fill-in-relationship' person? I would fail so hard you'd have to invoke ESP 'overlook me' fields to explain how I could possibly miss so many details.)

I got a little long-winded for some responses, which I have cut to be polite and to avoid spamming people with boring details about my life.

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1. Fanfic

Hello, pastime that has eaten my life since 2002! (Has it really been seven years? Wow. Where does the time go?)

Hmm. I still think sometimes, that reading and writing fanfiction is a weird hobby in a lot of ways... )

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2. Homework

The former bane of my life. *grin* Seriously, I never saw the point of homework when I was in school, and somewhere between 1/3 to 2/3 of the time, I didn't bother doing it. This is the main reason my grades were so variable. When teachers did not grade homework, I usually got As. When they did grade homework, I often dropped down to Cs. *shrug* I got a little more responsible about assignments in college, but not much. And I confess that I still fail to see the point of homework in general -- if you can't teach a concept during a lesson, why do you think your students will learn it on their own when they're tired, distracted, and resentful at the theft of their free time?

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3. Star Island

Home of the only lake-within-a-lake in North America! (Or at least that is the claim.) Also home of my family's summer cabin. It's been in my dad's family since shortly after WWII -- I think Grandpa bought the lease in 1948 or 1949 -- and when my dad and aunt die, it will pass to me, Vicky, and our cousins Eric and Brian. I know Vicky and I will latch onto the cabin with both hands. I suspect Brian will also, but I am less sure about Eric.

Anyway, Star Island is in Cass Lake, on the Mississippi River in north-central Minnesota. The island is mostly contained within Chippewa National Forest, though the south shore and scattered patches here and there are still private land. Our cabin is on forest land, and as such, we don't own it; we lease it, long-term, from the Forest Service. This means we have fairly restrictive codes about cabin appearance, septic fields, etc. Our cabin has a red roof, which is grandfathered in because it was red before the Forest Service decided green and brown are the only acceptable colors for blending into the trees and underbrush. We are on the east shore, which is a huge, curving bay with at least three miles of open water between the island and the mainland. Most of the east shore is a tall, sandy bluff, but it flattens out to the north, allowing a portage in to Lake Windigo.

Star Island is named because it has a number of sharply defined points, rather than being sort of lumpy and round like many other islands. It does not, however, look anything like a star. It looks like a giant mutant chicken. (Seriously. Go to Google maps, search for Cass Lake, MN, move the view a little northeast out into the lake, and see for yourself.) The northwest point is the head, Anderson's Point (northeast) is the tail, and Lake Windigo is the folded wing. (Alternatively, Lake Windigo is a giant mutant egg visible through the miracle of ultrasound. Variety is good!)

You know, I am going to take this opportunity to post some poetry I have written about Star Island over the years, because I really do love the place that much, and I don't know a better way to convey the sensation of a small, semi-tamed sliver of the North Woods, adrift on miles of water.

Instead of a Rainbow (1998) )


Reflections (1998) )


Inland, Walking South (2001) )


Island Dreams (2002) )


Being Apart (2003) )

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4. TJS

Torey J. Sabbatini, my elementary school -- the "all round school," as the slogan went. It was a circular building, with a square jammed into one corner to hold the principal's office and related rooms. The library was in the center of the circle, surrounded by a ring hallway, with wedge-shaped classrooms outside that.

This is where I met [livejournal.com profile] snaegl, back in first grade.

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5. Reading

I read, therefore I am.

(You think I am kidding. Well, yes, I am... but not nearly as much as you suppose.)

I can, a little, remember times when I did not know how to read -- or rather, I have memories from before I could read... )

Like I said: I read, therefore I am. Or perhaps: I am, therefore I read.

It comes to the same thing either way.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
In honor of National Poetry Month (speaking of which, why is there not an international poetry month? inquiring minds want to know!), I am going to inflict one of my old poems on you. *grin*

I wrote this in summer of 2001, after taking a walk on Star Island.

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Inland, Walking South

This is the trees' graveyard,
here along the grassy path, lined by mounds
and hollows and thin, many-trunked birches,
ghostly in the leaf-green light.

Fifty years ago and more, )

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In other news, I definitely overdid it yesterday at work -- my cold struck back with a vengeance overnight. *sigh* But I seem to be getting moderately better, and tomorrow is a shorter shift (7 hours vs. 9 hours) which I can probably cut down even more (leaving at 5:30pm is a long and honorable tradition), so hopefully I won't relapse again.

*scuttles off to try writing "Secrets"*

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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