April 21st, 2020


Poetry Fishbowl Open!

The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED. Thank you for your time and attention. Please keep an eye on this page as I am still writing.
NOTE: We still have only partial internet access.  These are some ways you can help:
* Less-plotty prompts will go faster and easier than more-plotty prompts.
* Things that don't need much if any research will go faster and easier than things needing a lot of research.
* Using established characters will be a huge improvement over needing to make new ones, especially lots of new ones.
* Short forms are particularly welcome.
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "Interspecies Cooperation."  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.
I'll be soliciting ideas for Homo sapiens, hominids other than Homo sapiens, fantasy species (elves, dwarves, centaurs, unicorns, dragons, etc.), aliens, uplifted species, animals with superpowers, humans with animal traits, fish out of water, ethicists, activists, heroic leads, antagonists, other people involved in interspecies cooperation, negotiating, mediating, bartering, riding, hunting, cooperative fishing between humans and dolphins, crafting, speaking, listening, reading, writing, discovering yourself, testing boundaries, creating connections, coming of age, learning what you can (and can't) do, shocking people, changing the world, accomplishing the impossible, recovering from setbacks, returning home, wilderness, rural areas, farms, pony clubs, charities, training schools, trading posts, alien planets, fantasy worlds, other places where species work together, teamwork, complementary strengths and weaknsses, interspecies equipment (e.g. saddles), nonhuman furniture (e.g. cat shelves), domestication, white spots, interspecies adoption, etiquette, bigotry, human-animal relationships, virtues, values conflict, betrayal, alienation, rebellion, the heroic journey, personal growth, imprint vulnerability, rites of passage, and poetic forms in particular.
Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:
Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-18-19
Ladiesbingo Card 9-2-19
Spring Fest Bingo Card 4-1-20
Among my more relevant series for the main theme:
Beneath the Family Tree shows several hominid species living together.
Clay of Life features a friendship between human and golem.
A Conflagration of Dragons has the Six Races plus the dragons.
Diminished Expectations includes the humans, the Diminished, and the oids.
Feathered Nests features interactions between the humans and the alien Fifers.
Frankenstein's Family spans human, vampire, and werewolf cultures.
The Godship Wanderers has humans living with different alien species.
Kande's Quest features humans, war elephants, and white demons.
Kung Fu Robots includes humans and robots.
Monster House is urban fantasy with a wide range of monsters as well as humans.
The Moon Door features humans and werewolves.
Polychrome Heroics has characters from many different species in addition to humans. .
Starfather is about interspecies adoption.
Submerged Nebraska has sentient manta rays and cockroaches.
The Yellow Unicorns involves humans and unicorns.
Or you can ask for something new.
Click to read the linkback poem "Putting Everything in Its Place" (9 verses, Arts and Crafts America).
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 "Interspecies Cooperation." 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.  "Putting Everything in Its Place" has 9 verses and belongs to Arts & Crafts America.

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.
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 "Interspecies Cooperation." See above for details.  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 "Putting Everything in Its Place."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for future use.


Today is sunny, mild, and windy.  I fed the birds.

Currently blooming: purple-and-white Rembrandt tulips, redbuds, gold currants.  The new redbud in the savanna has its first few buds this year.  :D  Honeysuckle is starting to open.  Lilacs are budding but not open yet.  Woodland poppy has a big yellow bud.

So I broke this thing ...

“I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.”
Neil Gaiman

That's easy: You put the food out and they all stampede toward it. Isn't this answer obvious? Has this man never foolishly opened a can of cat food while wearing shorts amidst a litter of kittens? Food brings the whole pride running.
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Poem: "When Something Feels Good"

This poem came out of the April 21, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from Dreamwidth users Thnidu and Ari_the_dodecahedron.  This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.
This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them.  There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.

So far sponsors include: DW user Thnidu, rix_scaedu

12 lines, Buy It Now = $10
Amount donated = $2
Verses posted = 1 of 4

Amount remaining to fund fully = $8

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