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Poetry Fishbowl Open! - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Keep an eye on this post as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "monsters."  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 "E Meglio Star Solo" (14 verses, Fiorenza the Wisewoman).


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 "monsters." 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.  "E Meglio Star Solo" has 14 verses available and belongs to Fiorenza the Wisewoman.


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 bonus piece 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 "monsters." I'll be soliciting ideas for werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, Frankenstein's creature, dragons, chimerae, sea monsters, mythical beasts, lovable monsters, heraldic beasts, the misunderstood, monsters as disability pride, outcasts, nemeses, bullies, abusers, oppressors, slavers, psycho bosses, troubled relationships, supervillains, superheroes, monster hunters, fleeing in terror, questing for the beast, fighting monsters, resisting oppression, facing your demons, feeding the right wolf, genetic engineering, lairs, lonely mountains, the forest primeval, the dark, oceans, liminal zones, mad science labs, government buildings, The Tower, battlegrounds, graveyards, other mysterious areas, preternatural biology, special weapons, unusual vulnerabilities, radical transformation, wings, tails, horns, scale, fur, tentacles, the moon, cthonic symbolism, the unspeakable, the inescapable, the indestructable, things man was not meant to know, the nature of humanity (or lack thereof), what makes a monster, when the monsters are scared of the humans, hubris, 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 New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco 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 "E Meglio Star Solo." The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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34 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 4th, 2016 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A backchannel prompt from janetmiles inspired the free-verse poem "I Wish I Might." When a severely injured little girl wishes to meet a supervillain, one volunteer is brave enough to track down Render and ask for a favor. Flangst ensues.

212 lines, Buy It Now = $106
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 4th, 2016 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

(That might also count as a prompt from starcat_jewel; she pointed to it as well.)

Yay!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 4th, 2016 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

I've added to my copy of the poem, thanks.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 6th, 2016 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

And I just read my prompter copy. That is quite splendid. Thank you!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'd love to write out the rest of the thread. It's really a good look at how Terramagne copes with the challenge of supervillains.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 4th, 2016 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A backchannel prompt from Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Creatures of Chaos." Riposte and Lily deal with spoiled kittens.

Hold for prompter.
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: October 4th, 2016 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who are the real monsters here?

Echidna.

The dungeon master's encounter list.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 4th, 2016 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

Your prompt about the real monsters contributed to today's freebie, "God Help the Outcasts."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 4th, 2016 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

Your real monsters prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Real Monsters." The monster-in-the-closet's brother arrives, upset that someone is hurting his human boy.

60 lines, Buy It Now = $20
siliconshaman From: siliconshaman Date: October 4th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even Kaiju need cuddles too...

"Lets not make any more monsters" honey-bumping in T-America.

Some thing about Ashley's depression, [her internal monster].

signal boosted as usual to dw and lj.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

This inspired the free-verse poem "Honeybumping." Adalina ponders the implications of her superpowers and what she can do with them.

180 lines, Buy It Now = $90
siliconshaman From: siliconshaman Date: October 6th, 2016 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

In retrospect, that's a choice for protagonist that should've been obvious to me...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 10:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

:D It's also the second poem I've gotten from considering what superpowers are for, why people have them. Which is cool because it's not often explored in mainstream comics, and it should be.
siliconshaman From: siliconshaman Date: October 6th, 2016 10:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

you know, those are questions Ashley should really be asking herself, when she has a moment.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 10:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

I touched on that just a little, building on some of what you've laid out in "Blight," but I kept the focus mainly on Adalina. I did specify that the members of the team seem to have an easier time reading each other than themselves. But you've got plenty of room to develop this with Ashley.
siliconshaman From: siliconshaman Date: October 6th, 2016 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Right. That I'll do.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 4th, 2016 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hm. The Loch Ness monster?

You've done insight, which is kind of like self-awareness, and there's a good bit of empathy in there as well, so, hm.

Instead of fighting the monster, how about defeating one with kindness?

"That's not a monster. That's a differently-encultured non-hominid sapient."

"That's not a monster. [pause] THIS is a monster."

Ooh, you know, I don't think I've seen anything in _Fledgling Grace_ for a while.



Loki: In the end, you will always kneel.

German Old Man: [slowly rises to his feet] Not to men like you.

Loki: [smiling] There are no men like me.

German Old Man: There are *always* men like you.


For what it's worth (and may not be relevant to this prompt), I tend to perceive Tony Stark as a born sociopath who has learned to pretend that other people exist, and Loki as a made sociopath who has learned that he will be blamed no matter what he does, so f*ck that in the ear with a stick.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 5th, 2016 06:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

Your prompt about "THIS is a monster" inspired the free-verse poem "The Day of Their Calamity," which includes flashbacks to prior incidents along with Dr. Infanta's response to some of Israel's recent behavior. It's a bottom-ten country for sound reasons.

276 lines, Buy It Now = $138
From: technoshaman Date: October 4th, 2016 08:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
We haven't heard from Victor and company in a while. Last I heard there was some concern about the werewolves?

Tim the tentacle monster gets into the Halloween spirit. Then the alarm goes off, and things get *interesting*.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

Your werewolf prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Not Behind the Bars." When a traveling menagerie comes to the village, trouble ensues.

312 lines, Buy It Now = $156
ng_moonmoth From: ng_moonmoth Date: October 4th, 2016 10:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

Prompts

Signal boosted via a demifiction prompt.

This month's theme coincides with the theme for a local convention I attended this past weekend. Here are some ideas stemming from panels I attended.

Many monsters inhabit the Uncanny Valley. For such monsters, are we in their Uncanny Valley? Is this something that can be overcome?

I choose to interpret "meant to" in the phrase "things man was not meant to know" not in the common fashion of those things being taboo, but instead in the way that some rope you found in the garage was not "meant to" be used to hoist the engine block out of your car. Sooner or later the rope, or the man, will break, and the consequences will not be pleasant.

One important defining characteristic of monsters is that their behavior does not align with our expectations. Someone of a scientific bent who encounters a monster might well be inclined to try to figure the behavior out so it can be dealt with, rather than fleeing in terror. (A Conflagration of Dragons comes to mind here.)

Dehumanizing a population is a historically very successful tactic for inspiring war and genocide. (Many of the images from WWII propaganda on both sides portray this well.) The important questions regarding this are: Who gets to be human? Who gets to decide this?

Also, one last monster idea from the same (apparently fertile this month) ground as the first idea: sentient carnivorous kudzu.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Prompts

Your prompt about dehumanization inspired "Defining Humanity." Folks in the Lacuna debate the parameters of humanity and who gets to set them.

64 lines, Buy It Now = $32
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 6th, 2016 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Prompts

sentient carnivorous kudzu

Oh dear GHODS, no!
siliconshaman From: siliconshaman Date: October 6th, 2016 10:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Prompts

Yup, that's 'nuke it from orbit' nightmare fuel...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 6th, 2016 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Prompts

I think Dialecticdreamer had an idea along those lines.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 4th, 2016 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

Several Dreamwidth prompts inspired the free-verse poem "A Monster So Hideous." When one of the village boys teases Adam, it outrages Igor, and Victor hastens to intervene.

128 lines, Buy It Now = $64
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 5th, 2016 08:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A Dreamwidth prompt inspired "Taking the Night Watch." Brenda and Darrel know various ways of helping their friends cope with nightmares.

38 lines, Buy It Now = $15
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 5th, 2016 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

Still have prompts to cover, but I'm done for the night.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 5th, 2016 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

Backchannel prompts from John Palmer and Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Batan Kyuu." The Japanese whalers have assorted responses to being landbound.

92 lines, Buy It Now = $46
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 7th, 2016 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A couple of Dreamwidth prompts inspired the free-verse poem "Certain Anthropological Researches." Turq escaped from mad science torture, but Carl Bernhardt is still out there trying to learn more about superpowers.

152 lines, Buy It Now = $76
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 7th, 2016 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A couple of Dreamwidth prompts inspired the free-verse poem "The Strongest Souls." Cassandra has a few scars from self-injury, and still struggles with urges to hurt herself. Groundhog helps her cope.

386 lines, Buy It Now = $193
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 11th, 2016 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A backchannel prompt from Anthony Barrette inspired two poems that are out of sequence, happening later in the timeline, so I'm not posting prices.

"The Oldest Associations" is written in free verse. Junket deals with a disaster on the job.

"The Sustaining Bonds" is written in free verse. Junket stumbles through the aftermath of a disaster.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 12th, 2016 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A Dreamwidth prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Carry Them With Your in Your Heart." Ansel finds Turq's family. Turq freaks out and gets stuck in human form. Ansel helps him cope.

290 lines, Buy It Now = $145
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 17th, 2016 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem

A Dreamwidth prompt about Kincade inspired the free-verse poem "His Capacity for Self-Redemption." Dr. Bloch's CPR class turned into a long, detailed exploration of what education usually looks like in T-America with some accommodations for the prison context and individual needs of the students. There's even some discussion of challenges raised by ethnic variations, disabilities, and soup care.

888 lines, Buy It Now = $444
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