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Poetry Fishbowl Open! - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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 fishbowls meeting the $250 goal three times.  Today's theme is "Hart's Farm."  (This is historic fantasy set in Sweden circa 1850, featuring rural family life, community, and diverse sexualities.  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.

The previously mentioned family situation has concluded, so my availability is back to normal.  However, we made two trips to Detroit, Michigan from central Illinois within two weeks, and that's before  paying this month's regular bills and some periodical ones also due.  If you can spare a little extra for the mid-month fishbowl, now would be an especially useful time for donations.  I'm enabling some perks this time that don't usually appear in the bonus fishbowls, to help encourage donor activity.

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 "Hart's Farm." 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 "Hart's Farm."  I'll be soliciting ideas for any previous Hart's Farm characters you'd like to see again, new people on Hart's Farm, neighbors and villagers, alternative sexuality/gender identity, family history, family dynamics, everyday tools, objects associated with Swedish or Irish culture, challenges based on gender or sexuality, interpersonal problem-solving, milestones of life, side scenes from previous events, life in community, farming, Hart's Farm buildings, local fields and forest and waterfront, linguistic tidbits (Swedish, Norwegian, Irish, English), oral tradition, Swedish or Irish folklore, local cuisine and culture, nonsexual intimacies, 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.

Perks: I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and an extra one if there's at least one new prompter or donor. The rest will be available for audience members to buy, and whatever's left over will get listed on the Serial Poetry page.  If donations reach $100 by Friday, June 22 then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic.  At $250 you get a piece of bonus material about a poetic series.

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Current Mood: creative creative

29 comments or Leave a comment
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: June 19th, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
How do the tensions of a bad harvest affect the family (for instance, apple and grape crops here in the Northeast are going to be pretty badly borked by the April snowstorm after the hot March)

Do they have a reverse-Rumspringa?

They are a farm; are they subsistence or profitable? If the latter, how do their customers handle them?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 19th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)


From your prompt about customers, I got the free-verse poem "Farm to Market." Folks from Hart's Farm go to sell crafts and crops at the market. Auduna is nervous about visiting the village again.

83 lines, Buy It Now = $41.50
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: June 19th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Squee! I've been waiting for this one since you announced it.

Nyckelharpa and/or Celtic Harp.

Lutefisk and/or Colcannon.

Reindeer and/or Sheep

Polska and/or Irish Step Dance.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)


See "Snow-Driven" below for your reindeer. Lutefisk and colcannon are in "A Kettle of Fish."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)


The musical instruments inspired the free-verse poem "Like Nobody's Watching." Auduna tries to make sense of the Hart's Farm dances with their jumble of Scandinavian and Irish steps. Astrid has a better idea.

56 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)


The prompt about sheep turned into "Shepherding the Flocks." This free-verse poem features both farming and parenting skills, and a couple of rare breeds of Swedish sheep.

46 lines, Buy It Now = $20
aura55 From: aura55 Date: June 19th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
*jumps up and down in joy* YAY Hart's Farm! =)

So uh, I have a prompt. I was wondering whether all the people on the farm are Swedish?
And if they are, what would happen if someone who was not joined their family? Would some of them want to learn their language and possibly develop a sort of a family language that is a mix of the two?

And if you don't want to introduce someone new, do they have any sort of a private language anyway?
I know me and my family speak in a mix of several dialects of our mother tongue, with added titbits from about 4 other languages. It's basically incomprehensible to anyone else.

So my prompt is basically people speaking to each other in their own private dialect, I suppose. =D
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 19th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)


From your prompt about languages, I got the free-verse poem "A Chorus of Voices." I've posted this as today's freebie.
aura55 From: aura55 Date: June 19th, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

YAY! Awesome! =) Thank you.
e_scapism101 From: e_scapism101 Date: June 19th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who has left the farm...and why? Did that person come back again?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)


There's a story within a story here, and it begins when something startling happens to Dýrfinna's daughter Drífa. Afterward, the matriarch Ola tells how her grandmother left home and fell in love, which may or may not connect with the current conundrum. "Snow-Driven" is free-verse.

148 lines, Buy It Now = $74

Edited at 2012-06-20 05:48 pm (UTC)
the_vulture From: the_vulture Date: June 19th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, what do the neighbours have to say about them? What about the local clergy? How are these responses handled?

How conflicts handled between family members?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 19th, 2012 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)


Exploring neighbors and clergy led to the free-verse poem "Who Stands Beside Me." When Hrafn's mother passes away, the people at Hart's Farm pull together to provide support. In the village, the responses are mixed; and people work through that as best they can.

164 lines, Buy It Now = $82
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)


See also "Comforters" for one approach to conflict resolution at Hart's Farm.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)


The prompt about conflict resolution inspired the free-verse poem "Behind the Red Robe." Auduna finds out about Rowen's body in a particularly awkward way, and their reactions stress out a bunch of other people around them.

181 lines, Buy It Now = $90.50
meeksp From: meeksp Date: June 19th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like that you linked to the origin and meaning of the names in the character list for this series. How do they go about choosing names for the children born into this group?

The story of Cavan Hart and the origins of the farm. Why was it named after him rather than any of the other founders?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm picking up your question about Ayako from the freebie poem. "A Kettle of Fish" is a free-verse poem with Fabrice the painter and his model Ayako in the kitchen discussing supper plans with the cooks. Foreign languages, tastes in food, and art make for interesting conversation.

83 lines, Buy It Now = $41.50
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)


I meant to write the naming poem yesterday but didn't have time. The free-verse poem "Brought to Bed" tells how Auduna chooses a name for her baby and some Hart's Farm customs surrounding a new arrival.

187 lines, Buy It Now = $93.50

rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: June 19th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
sorry, not vey creative & in a rush this morning.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 19th, 2012 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your request for chickens led to the free-verse poem "Hens and Flowers." Astrid goes to gather eggs. See the pretty rare breed Swedish chickens!

57 lines, Buy It Now = $20
zianuray From: zianuray Date: June 19th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Non-sexual intimacies like private words/languages or signals based on shared experiences, not to exclude but as shorthand references or

massage, open-air/public vs private/shielded, clothed or unclothed or

how are things like allergies vs preferences handled? cologne, etc. or

hairbrushing/scalp massage or

just handholding between friends which we need more of in the Midwest (sad face)

(ETA: did donate general fund)

Edited at 2012-06-19 08:19 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 19th, 2012 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)


See above "Who Stands Beside Me" for hairbrushing, hand holding, and much other comforting touch.
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: June 20th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)

non-sexual intimacies

Sharing secrets

Singing together

Growing up like siblings

New: How about someone who learns to act as a translator for a deaf farm-member in the absence of a formal sign language?

Are there any Hart's Farm-only holidays or unique-to-the-farm celebrations?

Is there a person who makes sexy lingerie for the farm-hands?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: non-sexual intimacies

For growing up and celebrations, see "Snow-Driven."
rickybuchanan From: rickybuchanan Date: June 20th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Ohh, so happy to see this world busy with new poems! I don't have any specific prompts today - I'm really sick at the moment and it's making my creativity tend towards the non-word-based stuff .. I'm enjoying reading everything though :)

Thank you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 05:12 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm sorry to hear that you aren't feeling well. It turned into a perfectly usable prompt. "Comforters" is a free-verse poem about what happens when people get sick at Hart's Farm.

60 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 08:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

Brain is mush. Bed now.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: June 20th, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
These all look awesome and it's going to take a lot of willpower to select just a few!

ETA: Oh, and I'm sure it's me being stupid and overlooking it, but I see two references to the poem "Snow-Driven" only no listing with a price. Help?

Edited at 2012-06-20 02:25 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


>>These all look awesome and it's going to take a lot of willpower to select just a few!<<

Thank you! I'll get prompter copies sent shortly.

If it helps, we currently have $30 in the general fund, enough to cover any of the $20 poems. Hart's Farm is eligible to open a microfunded epic. I'll also try to put the poems into chronological order today.

>>ETA: Oh, and I'm sure it's me being stupid and overlooking it, but I see two references to the poem "Snow-Driven" only no listing with a price. Help?<<

That's my goof, not yours. I forgot to put the name in the entry. "Snow-Driven" is $74.
29 comments or Leave a comment