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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

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ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.


"Ice Fishing"


In summer, the lake
is blue and fluid,
traversible only by boat.

In winter, the lake
is white and solid
enough to hike on.

So you walk on water,
and you cut a little hole
in the pale floor of the world.

You build a hut there,
with a brazier of coals
to help keep you warm.

For hours you may sit
on the little wooden stool,
dangling a hook into cold water.

But when the fish come,
they are stupid with cold,
and the biggest ones bite hard.

You can catch enough in a day
to clean and cook for a week,
for the Christmas feast.

* * *

Notes:

Fishing is a fun hobby with many benefits.

Ice fishing involves cutting a hole in a frozen body of water to catch fish in winter.  Here are some basic instructions.

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ysabetwordsmith
I found this list of "Universal Human Needs."  Certainly they're natural and common, but not universal.  Some people, for instance, want to be seen while others very much prefer to pass unnoticed.  Conversely, I think that many of these are general to most sapient beings, not just humans.  There's species variation, of course; any group-oriented species will tend to care about belonging whereas a solitary race usually will not.  

What really fascinated me about this was how differently people feel about these things, particularly the priorities.  Even the most basic survival needs vary; one person may care a great deal about sleep, but not worry much about food; another may scant sleep but fixate on food.  The whole thing came up when I was studying Calliope and Vagary.  The real reason they keep butting heads?  It's not just that they're a superhera and a supervillain, or stuck in an awkward relationship.  It's that their needs have very little overlap.  When their goals for survival, sanity, and comfort are opposed then they keep getting in each other's way.

It's a very illuminating character exercise to go through and mark what people's different needs are.

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ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] thnidu has posted the thoughtful demifiction "Dear Ms. Aquariana" which introduces her to Microfyne.

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ysabetwordsmith
Today I picked half a bag of blackberries.

The weather is sweltering again.  :( 

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ysabetwordsmith
Here is today's freebie. It has been inspired by prompts from [personal profile] shiori_makiba, [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, and LJ user Moonwolf1988.  It takes place in Quiar, a setting that I designed for K.A. Webb.


"Kin to the Shadows"


I am one who goes between
the night and the day,
the shape and the soul.

Kin to the shadows am I,
like tree-stripes in tall grass.

I wear my power as a cloak of dusk,
hiding my true form from hostile eyes.

When I take up arms, my enemies
see only what I would have them see:
I become large, elephantine, and
then they give me respect.

In that shape I can protect those
who are unable to protect themselves,
lift up burdens beyond my normal strength.

Death is lighter than a feather,
duty heavier than a mountain;
this is the secret of my endurance.

No one needs to know my hidden nature,
my hame of origin, that I am a tiger in truth,

for me to do a tiger's duty to the world.

* * *

Notes:

In Quiar, tigers are anthropomorphic thylacines.  Most of them possess a lot of magic, and many are shapeshifters.  They use cryptic abilities to survive in a world where two whole continents have tried to wipe them out.


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ysabetwordsmith
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 "anything goes."  You can ask for whatever you want.  Favorite settings, characters, storylines, themes, etc. are encouraged.  You may also request things you've wanted that I haven't done yet.  If you have been saving any prompts that haven't matched a theme yet, now is the time to post those.

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.

Stuck for ideas?  You can find prompts by ...
* picking some from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* browsing my Serial Poetry page or QUILTBAG list for favorites.
* looking up fun things on TV Tropes.
* plugging a favorite topic into your search engine and choosing a picture that looks interesting.


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 "anything goes." 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.



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.


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.


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 "anything goes."  I'll be soliciting ideas for ... anything at all!  Favorite characters, ideas for new ones, plot twists, stop-trope repairs, strange settings, whatever tickles your fancy.   Now's the time to bring out all your cool ideas that haven't quite fit a previous prompt call. 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.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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ysabetwordsmith
The following poems from the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

There are still verses left in the linkback poems "The Tornado Blew Away," "Unfamiliar Feelings," and "Tour Guides for All of Knowledge."  Linking to this page will reveal new verses in whichever poem you request.


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ysabetwordsmith
This poem was commissioned by [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "social gathering" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. It belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is the linkback perk from the July 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It's spillover from the June 7, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Paantha. It also fills the "yes" square in my 6-1-16 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

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ysabetwordsmith
Today I picked a baggie of blackberries.

Round two, I watered the morning glories.  We got more rain, but they need extra.

Something yellow is blooming in the wildflower garden.  It looks similar to partridge pea, but the flowers are smaller and the leaves don't fold up. 

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ysabetwordsmith
I have sent out prompter copies from the July 5 fishbowl and from the Creative Jam this past weekend.  If you haven't got yours, please let me know and I'll resend.  At least a couple of them went astray this time, which happens periodically. 

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ysabetwordsmith
 Thanks to a donation from LJ user Lone_cat, there are 3 new verses in "Bearers of Witness with Justice."  This is why it's a bad idea to provoke a traumatized superwhale.

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ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Sunday Yardening
Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 7-16-16
Thursday's Yardening
Hard Things
Monkeys Use Tools


This week's Creative Jam went well. You can read about what I wrote, and the poem somebody else wrote for me.

The poll is currently open for you to vote on favorite themes for the Poetry Fishbowls later this year.

There will be a bonus fishbowl on Tuesday, July 19 with a theme of "anything goes."  Mark your calendar so you can give me prompts!


Poetry in Microfunding:
"Holding Hope and Love" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Cheersquad gives Zima some ideas for helping Lakia.  "A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 5 new verses.  Aidan and Saraphina wrap up in the Wood Room.  "Bearers of Witness with Justice" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aquariana and Irene support Steel and Moderato through the trial of the Japanese whalers.

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" "To Ride Death" (poetry), "Rammer" (nonfiction).  Currently writing: "Catch of the Day," "A Cold Clear Night" (fiction).


The weather has been warm and intermittently wet.  Currently blooming: zinnias, petunias, marigolds, million bells, moss rose, pansies, comfrey, echinacea, morning glories, yellow coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, chicory, Shasta daisies, coreopsis, milkweed, blackberry lilies.  Large blackberries are at their peak.  Crabapples and apricots have green fruit.  I found a Cope's gray tree frog in my office last night, and carried him outside.

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ysabetwordsmith
So far the strangest thing to get into my office around the air conditioner is a tree frog.  I heard a rustle, thought it was a mouse, looked around and found ... a little gray lichen-colored frog.  :D  I picked him up in a tissue and put him outside.

I didn't even know we had tree frogs.  All I've ever seen around here are common toads.  I've only seen tree frogs in the forests at local parks.  How flattering!  I looked up amphibians of Illinois and believe this was a Cope's gray tree frog

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ysabetwordsmith
I have collated the theme suggestions from Dreamwidth and LiveJournal, and now you get to pick your favorites.

Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I will keep it open until at least Tuesday evening.  If the answers are clear then, I'll close it.  If not, I may leave it open a while longer.  I'll use the votes to help decide which themes to use in the fishbowls for late 2016.  Bear in mind that some of the supporters are not on LiveJournal, so not all votes may be visible.

PLEASE READ THE RULES BEFORE VOTING!

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ysabetwordsmith
Today I planted a few more morning glory seeds, still trying to get a patch established around the base of the utility pole's support wire.  

Also we're getting a little rain.  :D  I heard thunder, checked the map, and dragged the clouds closer. 

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ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] thnidu, there are 4 new verses in "Bearers of Witness with Justice."  The Japanese whalers make their situation worse yet again.  Cliffhanger!  This donation gives the setup but most of the response is still over the horizon.

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ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the July 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] shiori_makiba.


"Where All Tears End"


Evil is an action, not an object.

It has no substance unto itself,
only direction once set in motion.

Evil is what you do, not who you are.

No one is born evil, only becomes
that way through a series of choices.

It is like pure water falling from the sky,
to turn muddy running over dry earth,
and then to become bitter salt when
it joins the ocean where all tears end.

For evil does not begin in hostility,
but in sorrow, and it flows from grief
to rage to hate like a flood picking up
flotsam and jetsam along the way,
ravaging down slopes into the ocean.

So evil ends as it begins,
in tears.



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