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Poetry Fishbowl Open! - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! 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.

Cyberfunded Creativity

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

2) 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 here, 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.

Additional Notes

1) I've been posting 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.

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I've been sending copies of poems to people whose eddresses I already have. If you want to see the poem inspired by your prompt, give me your eddress; I recommend using {at} and {dot} to discourage spammers. These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's genre is speculative fiction. I am especially looking for:

  • characters

  • settings

  • speculative motifs or objects

  • events

  • poetic forms

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. I'm also going to try my hand at specialized filtering, so I can post something just for sponsors. The rest will go into my archive for magazine submission.

Service Note: My Internet connection was patchy yesterday, out today, and just came back. Hopefully it will stay intact now, but if I disappear, you'll know why.

Tags: , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

33 comments or Leave a comment
tonithegreat From: tonithegreat Date: February 19th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Could be that my connection is wonky, could be that the filters are making it so I can't get confirmation that I've commented, so please excuse this post if it is a repeat.

Speculative fiction setting: A society/place/world where the tragedy of the commons has been solved.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 19th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)


Whew! That one took a while!

"The Forging of Brisingamen" is a science fiction retelling of a Norse myth. Here you get to meet my Bonos, a delightful alien race who prefer cooperation to competition, and who solve conflicts by having sex. The poem is free verse, 8 lines per stanza, with much alliteration in homage to traditional Norse poetry.
96 lines, Buy It Now: custom pricing.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: February 19th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Character: A dolphin genegineered or borged to produce human-understandable spoken language.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 19th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I put this together with haikujaguar's "musical instruments of aliens" and "musical weapons." The result is another very long free verse poem about a galactic war and how the cetaceans save Earth. "Weapons of Mass Destruction" is ... on the disturbing side.
136 lines, Buy It Now: custom pricing.
kadiera From: kadiera Date: February 19th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
an event from today's news: cell phone signals on the moon.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 19th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I put this together with "first contact" from haikujaguar to create "Signal Moments," a free verse poem in which a cell phone dropped into a lunar toilet leads to first contact.
47 lines, Buy It Now $20.
haikujaguar From: haikujaguar Date: February 19th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
first contact


Form: rispetto!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 19th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have written a rispetto, "With Respect to Fwoosh," describing the symbolism across several cultures. (Um, make sure Shame doesn't have his mouth full if he's reading this over your shoulder.) It's short and sassy and just what I needed after the long serious ones. I like the rispetto form; here's the version I used:
8 lines, Buy It Now: $5

And that's the last prompt, so I'm done until I get more. I'm going to break for supper now. I should be back online in a couple hours.
haikujaguar From: haikujaguar Date: February 19th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wait, here's another good one: the musical instruments of aliens.

Hmm, I almost typed musical weapons.
dianavilliers From: dianavilliers Date: February 19th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Have a landscape - you may wish to populate it differently.
If you want to send me anything, my @livejournal address works
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 20th, 2008 01:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Poem: "Beneath Blue Eyes"

Beautiful picture! From this and haikujaguar's rispetto form I created "Beneath Blue Eyes," a poem about alien ruins.

Beneath Blue Eyes

The mountains are sharp as molars, rising high
Above the plain, and cupped among them, the lakes.
Each one is round, and blue as a baby’s eye;
The crater’s rim is perfect, unmarred by breaks.
Unseeing, still, mirroring an empty sky
The water conceals its terrible keepsakes.
Every alien city lost, drowned and dead –
All questions unanswered, last words left unsaid.

Edited at 2008-02-20 01:42 am (UTC)
chibibluebird From: chibibluebird Date: February 20th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
will you make me a poem about a cute animal that takes over the world?
starfish, maybe. or isopods!

the motif/event is probably terraforming.

my favourite form is the pantoum.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 20th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Isopods it is, something like these, in fact:
"The Song of Tongues" is a pantoum about alien isopods who replace human tongues. Sometimes, being invaded isn't a bad thing...
52 lines, Buy It Now: $20

Edited at 2008-02-20 04:06 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 20th, 2008 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Winding Down

I'm planning to close the Poetry Fishbowl at midnight (Illinois time) so you've got a bit more than half an hour left if you want to post a prompt.
dkolodji From: dkolodji Date: February 20th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure what the time difference is, but just in case I've made it before midnight in Illinois.....

my prompt suggestion is:

weavers and menders of the small rips of time.....

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 20th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay, you made it!

I was hoping you'd catch one of my fishbowls eventually.

I put your prompt together with chibibluebird's pantoum form. "The Hourglass Girls" explains why black widow spiders are busy and venomous.
28 lines, Buy It Now: $15
dkolodji From: dkolodji Date: February 20th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
One more for you.....

A future reaction to "Boulevard des Fosses, Pontoise, 1872" by Camille Pissaro as it is viewed during a loan to an art museum on Mars.


anamacha From: anamacha Date: February 23rd, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a device in order to funnel money into your donation button, right? The cyberfunded creativity thing. So why are some of teh works paid and others you just post out here?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 23rd, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the fishbowl is partly about cyberfunded creativity and partly about inspiration. The donation button is new; this is is only the second time I've done it. The setup is based on some observations about how the market works.

1) People like getting things for free. Also, people are giving me their time and ideas. So, I always post at least one poem free, both to attract attention and to reward people who post prompts.

2) Donor perks are popular; people like getting extra things in exchange for donations. So I added a special post just for donors this time.

3) People often bug me for copies of things I've mentioned, which aren't published yet. The "Buy It Now" option allows people to pay me roughly what I'd get from an editor, and have something made available immediately, instead of having to wait for some editor to like it and publish it.

4) The more profitable a given type of writing is, the more time and energy I can afford to spend on it. So if people really love something, they can give me money and tell me what they want more of, and I'll try to aim in that direction.

5) Anything that doesn't get sold or posted as part of a fishbowl goes into my archive, and I can sell it elsewhere.

So it's a balance between free samples and paying work, basically, the intent being to give my audience a chance to interact with me in a way that puts beans on my table and poetry in their hands.

33 comments or Leave a comment