October 18th, 2011

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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 October 4, 2011 fishbowl meeting the $200 goal.  Today's theme is "Monster House."  (You can read the other poems in this series on my 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) 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 "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, gaps in the storyline that need to be filled, 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.
monster house

Poem: "The Kiss"

This is the freebie for today's Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from the_vulture, aldersprig, and meeksp.  It belongs to the Monster House series, and you can read other poems in this series on my Serial Poetry page.


The Kiss


The first year that
we took our daughter trick-or-treating,
she dressed up as a Hershey kiss
in a costume of smooth brown satin
wrapped up in real tinfoil
with a white-and-blue ribbon
sticking up from her pointed hat.

The tinfoil crinkled with every step
and she moved in a cloud of cocoa scent
thanks to some fragrance oil,
because she wanted to wear a costume
that everyone could enjoy.

When people gave her candy,
we didn't have to prompt her to thank them,
and we giggled every time she smooched someone.

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Poem: "The Goatherd Troll"

This poem came out of the October Crowdfunding Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from stryck who then went on to write another poem inspired by it.  Read the related poem "Horns and Hooves" by stryck.  I decided that posting this one was only fair in return.

Saanen goats look like this.  They are a very popular breed of dairy goat.


The Goatherd Troll


The troll does not live under a bridge,
but in a tidy little cabin up the mountain
where the grass grows in sheltered meadows.

He keeps a herd of thirty white Saanens,
their calm temper a soothing presence,
their bells like distant music.

He milks them every morning and every evening,
ushering each one into the stanchion
with a scoop of grain and a kind word.

Let other trolls mug the travelers for their gold.
He makes soft white cheese to sell in the market
and daisy chains to share with the human girls.