April 6th, 2010

neutral

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "high fantasy."  (Any version of HF is eligible, including "set in another world" or "epic and heroic.") 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 "high fantasy." 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. Details are here.  New photos of sample scrapbooked poems are here.

4) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  The Twitter hashtag is #poetryfishbowl.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl. 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.

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 "high fantasy."  I'll be soliciting ideas for heroes, heras, heroines, heronets,* villains dire, comic relief sidekicks, phantasmagoric creatures, magical artifacts, fantasy weapons or tools, whole new ways to destroy the world, diabolical plots, endangered monarchies, epic plot twists, world themes, enchanted locations, and poetic forms in particular. (Hero = male lead, Hera = female lead, Heroine = female love-interest, Heronet = male love-interest.  Queerly sexed or gendered leads and interests are also cool.) 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 will go into my archive for magazine submission.
Fly Free

Poem: "Family Circles"

Here is today's second freebie poem, courtesy of new donor clarionj.  It was inspired by a prompt from jenny_evergreen.


Family Circles


Husband to wife
Mother to daughter
Father to son
Brother to sister
Aunt to nephew
Uncle to niece
Grandparent to grandchild
Cousin to cousin
And all between --

This is the strength of our family circles.
This is the way we weave our magic.
Each thread supports the others.
Each person's magic is multiplied and broadcast
Across the number of connections.

The elders sit in their chairs, rocking away.
The adults design the enchantment in all its intricacy.
The older children watch the toddlers
Who scamper through the flows without disturbance.
The infants blink their wise blue eyes and watch us work.

This is the secret of our family circles.
It is something our enemies will never guess,
Not with their one god and their one way of marriage
And the sad little fragments of their families.
They who cast single spells as individuals
Cannot hope to approach true power.

We are the Circle,
Which is always open
And unbreakable.