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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl, inspired by [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "relabeling" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.

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ysabetwordsmith
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "outgrowing old idea."  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.

Click to read the linkback poem "Learning to See" (Seeing Hearts, 17 verses available).


What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "outgrowing old ideas." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.


Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.



2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.



3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted. "Learning to See" belongs to Seeing Hearts and has 17 verses available.


Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale in one series.


Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "outgrowing old ideas."  I'll be soliciting ideas for scientists, devout empiricists, youth coming of age, coming out, adults in mid-life crisis, elders entering their wisdom years, folks dealing with a new ability, people who get a clue, people who don't get a clue, three with a new song's measure, abandoning an old ideology, being torn up over changes, finding a new ideology, deciding to help someone, asking for help and getting it, getting in over your head, proving yourself, researching new possibilities, how to change ideas you've decided you don't want to follow anymore, foxholes, dungeons, bars or taverns, colleges, counseling offices, other places that tend to rupture people's reality tunnels, and of course reality tunnels themselves, epiphanies, books, horrible realizations, painful psychological ruptures, decompensation, endings and beginnings, solution-caused problems, ethical dilemmas, Objects of Change Alignment, other reality-tunnel wrecking balls, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "Learning to See.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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ysabetwordsmith
LiveJournal user Ng_moonmoth has written the demifiction "On Matters of Life and Death, Part 1."  It happens after the war in my series An Army of One.

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ysabetwordsmith
Compare and contrast Tomorrowland and Mad Max: Fury Road.  Tomorrowland actually gives us a rare glimpse of the WHOLE spectrum: utopia (too good to be true: the commercial), eutopia (not perfect but still awesome: what they're trying to create), pseudotopia (purporting to be a good place while actually sucking: Governor Nix's society), and dystopia (awful: the end of the world).  Fury Road is, of course, postapocalyptic dystopia.

At this stage, I'd classify America as a pseudotopia, falsely claiming to be #1 while in fact it's only #1 in prison population and quite far down the list for things like maternal health, vacation time, food security, academic achievment, etc.

I work toward a positive future.  However, I am aware that the people with most influence do not share my concerns or desires.  They are driving the world in destructive directions.  Even if we were to stop all that right  now, the damage already done will continue to cause problems for many years into the future.  The chance of people making those changes is very small.  Without that commitment, things will get a LOT worse.  

We are already seeing increased trends in many areas such as biosphere damage and climate change.  Here's a chart of boundaries of survival, which I frankly think is over-optimistic given that even the green zones are already showing measurable symptoms of distress such as the fact that California's snowcap just hit 0% which I think is a flaming red flag that they are living beyond their water budget.

So I concentrate on three things now: 1) Trying to make my little corner of the world a nicer place.  2) Preparing for disaster.  3) Establishing my right to stand in the foyer-ever-after and say, "I fucking TOLD YOU SO."



Believe that all things are possible.  Understand that some are more likely than others.  Trust that you can learn to tell the difference.

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ysabetwordsmith
See some OSHA guidelines on restrooms for people outside the gender binary.  My personal preference is that the first restroom installed anywhere be unisex, and after that, if you want to add gender-divided ones, you've got all genders covered plus the unisex one serves a bunch of other functions useful to many folks.

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ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Male Privilege
Poem: "In Want Of"
Poem: "Impossible Wings"
Poetry Fishbowl Report for May 5, 2015
Poem: "Dangerous Refuges"
Giving Back
What Sharing Really Is
Disability in Mad Max
Animals That Eat Antlers
Good News
Unsold Poems from the May 19, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl


The next Poetry Fishbowl will be on Tuesday, June 2 with a theme of "outgrowing old ideas." Please mark your calendars, and I hope to see you then!


Poetry in Microfunding:
"The Whole Universe Surrenders" is from the Damask thread of Polychrome Heroics.  There are 2 new verses.  Damask attempts to restrain telepathic kittens in her blouse.  "These Tiny Little Steps" belongs to Frankenstein's Family.  When Adam is seven and a half, he's a handful for his fathers to keep up with.

Torn World writing update:
Approved as canon: "Unicorns on Parade" "Spruce Deer" "Wandering the Heights" (poetry).  Back to me for edits: "Winterheart" (parts 2-3), "Stinging Like Nettles"  "Off the Clock" (poetry).  Currently in front of the canon board: "Ghost Bat" (nonfiction). Drafted: "Like Ash Before the Wind," "From Dark to Bright," "The Inappropriate But Useful Disposal of Lettuce" "A Thin Red Trail" (fiction), "Changes in the Wind" (poetry), "Southern Breads" "Tangleweed Article" (articles), Jularei (character sheet).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," "Raining Kittens," "Finding the Holes," "Broken Hopes," "Brewing Beauty," "Little Paws in the Licenses" (fiction), "The Smallest Invaders," "Raising the Future" "Beach Pies" "Unsolid Ground" "Riding from the Rescue" (poetry).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).


Weather here is warm and has been wet.  Sweet alyssum, peonies, torenia, blue lobelia, marigolds, petunias, portulaca, and ice flowers are blooming.  Mulberries, black raspberries, and apples have green fruit.  I've finished the last batch of planting except for one carton of assorted lily bulbs.

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ysabetwordsmith
Similar exercises appear in many resources, but these are AMAZINGLY more clear with the illustrations added.  This version is visual, as most commonly described.  

However, understand that not everyone with mystical perceptives has the visual mode.  It can manifest through any of your senses and will usually match your dominant sensory mode.  Some people have more than one mystical sense, and some have one that just doesn't match a physical sense -- sometimes called Sixth Sense.  I once spent a whole afternoon translating stuff from visual to audio mode for a musician friend.

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Here is my card for the June Bingo Fest on the theme of Wedding | Honeymoon | Divorce.  Bingo will run from June 1st until June 30th.  This month we will be celebrating all things wedding. When I say all things I mean all things, proposals, wedding, honeymoon and or divorce. (See all my 2015 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out.  I've had a few requests for this and the results have been awesome so far.  This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Underlined prompts have been filled.


June Bingo Wedding | Honeymoon | Divorce

FearWorryCake FailVows or PromisesCuriosity
Consent is sexyorientationSurprise pregnancySuch a gentlemanSuperpowers
LacePanic AttackWILD CARDringsFriendzoned
SeclusionDramatic proposalTrustmutationSex on the beach
Do You Feel What I Feel?I think we should separate for a whileAlexithymia (Obscured Emotions)Polyamoryexperimentation

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ysabetwordsmith
I've never liked Yoda's "do or do not" quote.  This is why

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ysabetwordsmith
 ... from someone who's seen both sides.  Yes, it is this obvious.  It is also this obvious to some of us who simply have otherlife memory of penis perks.  We're still the same people.  It just gets read differently if the label doesn't match the contents.

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This poem came out of the September 2013 Creative Jam. It was inspired by this sculpture in a series by Choi Xoo Ang. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] chanter_greenie. This poem belongs to the series Diminished Expectations.

Warning: This poem contains intense material about wants and needs, body shape and disability. Also the setting is dystopic. If these are sensitive topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the April 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "supernatural elements" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.

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ysabetwordsmith
Our theme this month was "gentlemen in distress." I worked from 12:30 PM to to 4:30 AM, so about 14 hours accounting for breaks. I wrote 9 poems on Tuesday and another 19 later.

There was good participation, with 49 comments on LiveJournal and 43 on Dreamwidth. A total of 22 people sent prompts. Please welcome new prompters [personal profile] liliane and LJ user Starcat_jewel. You have them to thank for the second freebie.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the May 5, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"All Mingle Their Waters"
"Attainable Goals"
"A Cultural Control Problem"
"A Gentleman in Distress"
"If You Do Not Change Direction"
"The Nature of the Season"
"Riding from the Rescue"
"Scrambling for Crumbs"
"Surviving Hell's Kitchen"
"These Tiny Little Steps"
"Tomato Pie and Ice Cream"
"The Whole Universe Surrenders"

"Dangerous Refuges" (A Conflagration of Dragons, 6/14/14 Creative Jam)
"Heard for Himself" (Clay of Life, 4/3/15 Poetry Fishbowl)


Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for May 5, 2015. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

All of the sponsored poems from May have been posted. Backchannel copies of the rest have been sent to the prompters. Per the $200 goal, "Heard for Himself" was the free epic. Per the $250 goal, that's one tally toward a bonus fishbowl. Per the $300 goal, "Quiet Rooms" is the bonus material. This month's donors included [personal profile] rix_scaedu, Anonymous gifting to [personal profile] stardreamer and [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] gingicat, LJ user Clockworklady, [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] redsixwing, LJ user Starcat_jewel, [personal profile] lone_cat, [personal profile] mdlbear, and Anthony & Shirley Barrette. Please welcome new donor LJ user Clockworklady.


The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.

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This is the linkback perk poem from the May 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl, originally hosted by DW user Dialecticdreamer.  It came out of the June 2014 Creative Jam, inspired by DW user Thebonesofferalletters.  It also fills the "Comings & Goings Freestyle" square in my 6-10-14 card for the Fanbingo fest.  So far, 10 out of 14 verses have been posted.   Linkers include: DW user Dialecticdreamer, Anonymous, janetmiles, DW user Curiosity, DW user Librarygeek, and wyld_dandelyon. This poem belongs to the series A Conflagration of Dragons.

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ysabetwordsmith
The folks who make The Big Bang Theory have demonstrated how you give back to support the source that contributes to your success.  They acknowledge that science has been a big inspiration to them and that science geeks have supported the show with enthusiasm.  So they closed the loop by sponsoring scholarships for STEM field students.

Now imagine if every successful television show or movie would give back to whatever made them successful.

See, this is why I protect wolf habitat and survival: not just because they're one of my totems, but because I write about wolves.  They inspire me, I write about them, I protect them, and there continue to be wolves for me to enjoy.  We help each other.  It is a cycle, as most successful things in nature are cycles.  I don't just pick up bits of tribal languages and walk away with them.  I link back to language nests and tribal right petitions.  I do potlucks and giveaways and know enough to do a blanket dance in rounds of 4.  Because it's not just about weaving a handful of native characters into what I write, but also about living this part of my cultural heritage, and doing things that help it survive into the future.  So too with crowdfunding: people give me ideas, I give them a free poem.  I boost signal for creative friends, and they do the same for me.  Sometimes people who feel that they're getting a lot out of the project will sponsor a piece they didn't prompt, just to make other people happy and keep it moving.  That's a basic tenet of the gift economy: the gift must move.  You maintain the cycle.

You give back.

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Here's a post about sharing that points out some problems, but doesn't do a great job of solving them. My thoughts ...

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ysabetwordsmith
 So now the robot cheetah can run AND jump.  Link courtesy of my partner Doug.

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ysabetwordsmith
Here's an interesting essay about disability in Mad Max.

EDIT 5/29/15: LJ user Arielstarshadow found another good essay by a woman with a similar disability to Imperator Furiosa.

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