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Bonus Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Bonus Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I have closed the poll for the bonus fishbowl, a perk from three fishbowls meeting the $250 goal.  The winner is Hart's Farm, a historic fantasy series set on a farm in Sweden, with a focus on community life and a wide diversity of sexual preferences.  (The current period corresponds to something like 1850-1920).  You can read the poems via the Serial Poetry page.

The bonus fishbowl will be on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.  The previously mentioned family situation has concluded, so my availability is back to normal.  However, we made two trips to Detroit, Michigan from central Illinois within two weeks, and that's before  paying this month's regular bills and some periodical ones also due.  If you can spare a little extra for the mid-month fishbowl, now would be an especially useful time for donations.  I'm enabling some perks this time that don't usually appear in the bonus fishbowls, to help encourage donor activity.

I'll be soliciting ideas for any previous Hart's Farm characters you'd like to see again, new people on Hart's Farm, neighbors and villagers, alternative sexuality/gender identity, family history, family dynamics, everyday tools, objects associated with Swedish or Irish culture, challenges based on gender or sexuality, interpersonal problem-solving, milestones of life, side scenes from previous events, life in community, farming, Hart's Farm buildings, local fields and forest and waterfront, linguistic tidbits (Swedish, Norwegian, Irish, English), oral tradition, Swedish or Irish folklore, local cuisine and culture, nonsexual intimacies, and poetic forms in particular.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  This fishbowl is open to everyone, and you may share the announcement with anyone interested in the motifs that Hart's Farm incorporates.


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.

I'm going to host a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog on Tuesday, June 19. I'll be soliciting ideas for thematic characters, objects, plots, settings, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend about half the day, from early afternoon to evening, alternating between this site and doing stuff offline so my back doesn't weld itself to the chair.

Perks: I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and an extra one if there's at least one new prompter or donor. The rest will be available for audience members to buy, and whatever's left over will get listed on the Serial Poetry page.  If donations reach $100 by Friday, June 22 then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic.  At $250 you get a piece of bonus material about a poetic series.

If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote interest in Hart's Farm -- please mark the fishbowl date on your calendar. Drop by and give me some ideas, comment on the posted poetry, encourage people to come look, whatever tickles your fancy. I hope to see you then!

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