The following poem belongs to the Torn World project, a science fantasy shared world. (If you're new, see Start Here for Readers and Start Here for Contributors.) Long ago, people tried to get something for nothing by borrowing energy from Time itself -- and they shattered the world in their greed. Now the shards are rejoining, but dangerous remnants of distorted time still exist, including time crystals and the mysterious Others. People of various cultures have learned to cope, but it isn't easy.
Fandom: Original (Torn World)
Prompt: Northern/Southern Lights
Summary: Fala and her age-mates study the lights in the sky.
Content Notes: None.
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Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! This is the perk for the fishbowl meeting the $250 goal three times. Today's theme is "Monster House." (This is suburban fantasy set in contemporary America. You can read previous poems in the series via 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.
The last linkback poem is still unfinished, so I'm reactivating it for this session. Click to read "Alone in the Bee-Loud Glade" (Hart's Farm, 15 verses). This poem is now complete, yay!
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.
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"
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. 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.
Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem. One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal. "Alone in the Bee-Loud Glade" belongs to Hart's Farm and has 15 verses.
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 human housemates, monster housemates, other folks who interact with them, household items, personal artifacts, family accomplishments or conflicts, milestones of life, complications due to having monsters in the family, locations you'd like to revisit, places associated with monsters, locations associated with suburban life, 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. Linkbacks reveal verses of "Alone in the Bee-Loud Glade.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
This is the second freebie for today's fishbowl session, courtesy of new prompter jb_slasher from Dreamwidth. It was inspired by a prompt from rix_scaedu. This also fills the "Dirty/Messy" square on my card for Cottoncandy_bingo. The poem belongs to the Monster House series, and you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.
My son stood at the base of the porch
with his friend Melinda beside him,
both of them covered head to toe in mud
that trickled down their small bodies
to pool beneath their sneakers.
The explanation of this was less than clear,
as he picked at drying flakes on his forearm
and she finger-combed her black hair to rattails,
something about a puddle portal and a dare
and a very friendly earth dragon.
"You," I said to them,
"will go stand by the faucet so I can hose you off.
You are not coming into the house like that."
A muffled chuckle beside me
made me turn to glare at the bogeyman.
"You," I said to him,
"were supposed to be watching them,
by which I meant you were supposed to stop them
from getting into trouble."
"You're a parent," the bogeyman said. "You should know
anything that can be fixed with soap and water
does not qualify as trouble."
At the far end of the yard,
the mud puddle rippled,
clay-colored coils rising and then
"You," I said to the bogeyman,
and then shook my head.
"Nevermind. Just ... go get the soap."
This poem was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion. It has been sponsored by zianuray. It belongs to the series Monster House, which you can explore further on the Serial Poetry page. Read about the cinquain form online.
-- a cinquain
poke through the holes
in the cardboard boxes:
time to release the dustmice at