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May 7th, 2019 - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Please keep an eye on this space, as I am still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "Officer Pink: Aftermath of the Raid."  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 Officer Pink thread has been exploring this arc for a while. "When You Strike and Overcome Him" begins the raid on the Umsetzung Complex. I have made notes for further poems about Officer Pink and Turq, including the raid arc, if you want to use those as inspiration for prompts.  I expect these to run long, so seconding is encouraged.  If anyone can actually think of a short-running prompt for this theme, that would be awesome too.

I have a linkback poem,
Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:
Tarot Bingo Card 4-30-19

Click to read the linkback poem "Hyggelig," (10 verses, Hart's Farm).

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 "Officer Pink: Aftermath of the Raid." 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) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.

3) 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.

4) 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"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your Dreamwidth, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, 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.  Comment with a link to where you posted.  "Hyggelig" has 10 verses and belongs to Hart's Farm.

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.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; four of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be four months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale in one series.

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 "Officer Pink: Aftermath of the Raid." I'll be soliciting ideas for police, medics, counselors, other first responder, superheroes, supervillains, mengeles, other mad scientists, centaurs, Turq's cohort, other trauma survivors, farmers, rescuing people, getting rescued, staring, speaking out, traveling, exploring new discoveries, creating connections, teaching each other, counseling, coming of age, learning what you can (and can't) do, dealing with the past, confronting abusers, recovering from setbacks, making new friends, the Umsetzung Complex, the Technical College of New Jutland, town of Ava, Douglas County, Bluehill, Conrad's farm, Iron County, public institutions, parks, counseling centers, homes, outdoor classrooms, trauma, stress, types of abuse, mad science, recovery, friendship, family, reunion, free will, personal growth, frustration, discrimination, determination, imprint vulnerability, failure, success, 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 New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco 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, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "Hyggelig." The rest of the poems will go into my archive for future use.

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This is today's freebie, inspired by [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah. It also fills the "Two of Stones - Challenge" square in my 4-30-19 card for the Tarot Bingo fest. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem was composed by a character locked in a mad science compound.

"Walls of Air"
-- a villanelle

Imagine that the walls are made of air,
Their stone and mortar melting into mist,
And you could walk through them without a care.

Your skin is made of shadows, and your hair
Is lank where it lies clenched within your fist.
Imagine that the walls are made of air.

The hands that reach for you will strip you bare,
But slip your bones like bangles from your wrist,
And you could walk through them without a care.

So turn your back on all that held you there
And turn your face to all that you have missed.
Imagine that the walls are made of air.

Ignore a thousand eyes that frown and glare,
The droning crowds whose currents rend and twist,
And you could walk through them without a care.

They have no power over one aware
That all is made of dust and chaff and grist.
Imagine that the walls are made of air
And you could walk through them without a care.

* * *


Blaize (Ophelia Plath) -- She has fair skin, dark blue eyes, and straight hair that falls just past her shoulders. Most of her hair is black, but on top of her head it is white-blonde, creating a dramatic two-toned look. She is a centaur with a bay coat, two white socks in front and two stockings in back. Blaize is 16 years old at the time of rescue. She was 10 when her father died, and her mother began to entertain a series of boyfriends. Blaize spent more and more time away from home, especially at the library. When she was 13, a procurer invited her to a writing group, then drugged her and sold her to Carl Bernhardt. Blaize is a talented writer, especially poetry. People like her because she is a good listener and very patient. She hates small spaces, though, and once released she resists going back indoors.
Origin: Mad science torture. Carl Bernhardt cut her in half and spliced her upper body to the lower body of an Anglo-Arab mare.
Uniform: None. She is kept nude.
Qualities: Good (+2) Listener, Good (+2) Patient, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Wisdom, Good (+2) Writer
Poor (-2) Claustrophobic
Powers: Good (+2) Toughness, Average (0) Centaur
Centaurs are stronger and faster than ordinary humans. Most of the surviving centaurs have an additional superpower which helped them to withstand the trauma of their creation. The more common ones include Healing, Regeneration, Toughness, Super-Constitution, and Super-Immunity. Some of them also have Super-Strength or Super-Speed, and they are stronger or faster than other centaurs.
Vulnerability: Poor balance.
Due to Carl Bernhardt's erratic practices, centaurs also tend to have physical problems. Blaize has difficulty coordinating movements between her human and equine halves, leading to balance issues.
Motivation: To escape.

Anglo-Arab horses are graceful with good temper.

* * *

A villanelle is an interlocking poetic form.

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