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Poetry Fishbowl Open! - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED. Thank you all for your enthusiasm.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is the perk for the main August fishbowl meeting the $200 goal.  Today's theme is "Monster House."  (If you're new to this series, you can read the previous poems on the serial poetry page.)  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.

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 "Monster House." 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) 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.

3) 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"

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) 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 "Monster House."  I'll be soliciting ideas for family members, their monster housemates, in-laws, other people who interact with them, household items, magical artifacts, quirks about the house, other preternatural locations in the area, personal conflicts or challenges, side scenes from previous events, everyday issues transmuted into urban fantasy versions, 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.)  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

41 comments or Leave a comment
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janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: August 16th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I quite like the seeing-eye gremlin. What's going to happen when the daughter gets old enough to go to school? Or are her parents homeschooling her?

Also, I've managed to lose track of your series poetry landing page. I thought I'd bookmarked it, but it isn't there. Would you consider including a link to that, maybe on the Penultimate Productions site, maybe near the Poetry Fishbowl landing page?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)


I linked the serial poetry page near the top of the "Fishbowl Open" post, in case some people hadn't read the Monster House poems yet. Here it is again:
ellenmillion From: ellenmillion Date: August 16th, 2011 06:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to see the Monster House through the eyes of a disbeliever. :)

Alternately - what kinds of weeds grow in those gardens?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)


From the garden prompt I got "Weed by Weed," which is today's freebie, posted separately.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: August 16th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
What happens to a house's monsters when the people leave them behind? Die, leave town... the Crazy Gremlin Lady?
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: August 16th, 2011 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's sort of where the series started -- In "Eviction, Noticed".
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: August 16th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

Form prompt

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Form prompt

From the double-dactyl prompt I got "Home Is the Hunter," about the bogeyman.

8 lines, Buy It Now = $5
jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: August 16th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
So I just went and re-read everything. We never found out what was in the Easter eggs!

Whatever happened to Grandpa?

That coffee that Grandma and Mom were going to have would be nice to hear about, too.

I'm with Ellen on the weeds, too, and the yard in general. I imagine some of the less house-friendly monsters might lurk out there.

I also want to hear about our girl going to school. Farther in the future, what about that seeing eye dog? Maybe a reverse were-wolf (ie. only human at the full moon)?

Who is baby brother's special friend?

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)


Scroll down to see the thumbnail "Sonset" under the comment by meeksp.
siege From: siege Date: August 16th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if any of the other children at school have monsters, and are those monsters problems or friends?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)


I combined the monsters at school prompt with others from janetmiles, jenny_evergreen, and meeksp to get "Thunder Without Rain." It's a creepy story about a creepy boy in the daughter's class at school, written from her perspective.

39 lines, Buy It Now = $15
meeksp From: meeksp Date: August 16th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd also like to see more from the daughter's point of...um, from her perspective, I should say.

Do any of the monsters have families?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)


From the prompt about monster families, plus prompts from minor_architect and jenny_evergreen, I got the free-verse poem "Sonset." It's a Veterans Day poem about the little old lady ghost and her son, along with the family in Monster House, and it's set early in the series.

49 lines, Buy It Now = $20
eseme From: eseme Date: August 16th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I will also admit to being curious about the kids going off to school. Do school have monsters? Ghosts who haunt the playground because it is a fun place to be?

I am also curious about outsiders, particularly those neighborhood "beautification" groups that try to get everyone to have the same, supposedly "perfect" house. After all, this is about the house, as well as the people and monsters.

I love some of the prompts suggested above, and look forward to seeing what comes of them!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 17th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC) (Link)


Scroll down to see "The Picket Fence Committee" under a comment by siliconshaman.
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: August 16th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
In a lot of the poems, its the monsters coming to the aid of the humans. It'd be neat to see the humans come to the aid of the monsters.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)


Scroll down to see the thumbnail for "Restoration" under moonwolf1988's comment.
moonwolf1988 From: moonwolf1988 Date: August 16th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to see more on the radiator dragon, where he came from and whether he has parents or siblings somewhere.

Is there a monster letting agency, job agency, or something like it that sends monsters to comfortable homes/people that need them?

Did the daughter find anything else in that fairy nest?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)


From the prompt about the radiator dragon, plus others from aldersprig and the_vulture, I got the free-verse poem "Restoration." Learn how he came to live in Monster House! (Note that this poem takes place very early in the series, between "Home Shriek Home" and "Sticky Fingers.")

110 lines, Buy It Now = $55

Edited at 2011-08-16 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: minor_architect Date: August 16th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
First of all, ditto to Meek's prompt about monsters with families and Eseme's prompt about schools with monsters!

I'm curious about the little old lady ghost. Is she haunting the house now because she lived in it herself long ago? Or does she have a different story?

Also: is there a graveyard in the area? Does it have any resident ghosts (or zombies or vampires or what-have-you) that visit the Monster House crew? And if so, is that a good or bad thing? >;)
jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: August 16th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I second wanting to know more about the little old lady ghost!
whuffle From: whuffle Date: August 16th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Boogeymen. In closets, under beds. There's no possibly way that a house like this one can't have at least one of them. So, does this group of boogeys get along with each other? Is there a guild or support group for boogeys dispossessed of their homes when the inhabitants kick them out or stop believing? A sort of wayfarer's inn for boogeys?
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: August 16th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm also curious about Grandmother and her basement laboratory and her interactions with her daughter and granddaughter.

Interacting with more mundane neighbors, coworkers, classmates ... if indeed there is much mundane, or if ~everyone is frantically trying to keep up a complicated cover story.

Would anyone be foolish enough to try to introduce an ordinary pet -- cat, dog, fish, rabbit, ... -- into this household?

Has this motley crew ever rejected some not-so-mundane would-be visitor or resident for not being a good fit, or some conflict of habit or habitat?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 17th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)


I combined the prompt about mundane neighbors with another from zianuray to get the list poem "House Rules." It's a short set of notes the daughter wrote down for dealing with ordinary people.

10 lines, Buy It Now = $5
fayanora From: fayanora Date: August 16th, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is it too late? I wondered how much the blind girl uses her magic eye at school. I figure, being blind but being able to read with that magic eye could cause some problems with the teachers who don't believe in magic. Or does she just have braille?

Also, is there anything that scares the monsters?
fayanora From: fayanora Date: August 16th, 2011 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
What if a monster fell ill? What would happen? I hope it would get better, but until it did, what then? What kinds of diseases might different monsters get?

Also, any trees in the area? Those trees have dryads?

This series reminds me a bit of the Weasleys in Harry Potter, who have a ghoul in their attic and gnomes in the garden. :-)
41 comments or Leave a comment
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