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Poetry Fishbowl Open! - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
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!  Today's theme is "horror: demons."  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.

Watch for the linkbacks perk to go live.  Click to read "To Attend a Ball" (The Steamsmith, 20 verses).

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 "horror: demons." 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 new 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 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.  dreamwriters has volunteered to post the verses this month, so you'll need to notify her of your linkbacks in a comment to her post, in order for them to count.  "To Attend a Ball" belongs to The Steamsmith series and has 20 verses.

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; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three 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, you get a piece of bonus material for a poetic 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 "horror: demons."  I'll be soliciting ideas for demons, fallen angels, clerics, innocent bystanders, lost souls, mistaken identities, holy symbols, sacred or profaned weapons, dimension-traveling devices, seals and sigils, ancient tomes, symbolic locations, dimensional gates, mythic places, churches, underworlds, summonings or banishings, escapes from hell, deals with the devil, exorcisms, conversions, infernal or celestial languages, 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, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "To Attend a Ball.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

52 comments or Leave a comment
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jenny_evergreen From: jenny_evergreen Date: October 2nd, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Child demons.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)


From the prompt about child demons came the free-verse poem "Marks of Devotion." It features a baby-demon out of African folklore. It follows "A Hole in the Blanket" but skips ahead in time, so it's not for sale yet.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: October 2nd, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Demons - battling your own.
Battling someone else's.
* I recently had a friend cut off communication, because her demons and mine butted heads.

Less emotionally - Printer's demons. Well, devils.

Wherein lies the line between demon and god?

Someone who puts on a demon-face, demon-guise: why? for what purpose?

Make-believe demons and real mingling.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 2nd, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)


The prompt about battling demons led to the free-verse poem "The Demon in the Bottle." Shaeth discovers that separating Trobby from the influence of alcohol is not as simple a process as he thought it would be. And he wasn't expecting the demon at all. This is a darker, creepier poem than the earlier ones in this series.

98 lines, Buy It Now = $49
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: October 2nd, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
What kind of demons could a Steamsmith chase off?

Also, did any of the Kungfu robots have to deal with a demon?
siege From: siege Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
How about Maxwell's demon? ;)
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: October 2nd, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fallen angels vs. original issue demons.

Distinguishing between (or failing to) that which scares us and that which is evil.

Lilith's children.

Cultural assimilation and re-defining "foreign" gods.

Multiple perspectives on 'necessary' evils.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)


From your prompt about fallen angels, I got the poem "Two of a Kind," which I've posted as today's freebie:
e_scapism101 From: e_scapism101 Date: October 2nd, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
A demon that doesn't want to be one or doesn't know that it is one. Trivial demons for annoying things. A fight with a demon that goes in an odd direction. The demon in the clockwork vs. the ghost in the machine.
siege From: siege Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's a trivial demon: Titivillus, who is considered by some to be the canonical typo demon.
rowyn From: rowyn Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Something about Radd, the erstwhile mercenary from Paths of the Paladins, dealing with some (literal or metaphorical) demon from his past.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm happy to revisit Radd in "With Its Head Cut Off." I found him stumbling through a frozen forest with a severed head in his hands. And that's the good part of the tale. Yes, really.

168 lines, Buy It Now = $84

Edited at 2012-10-05 12:38 am (UTC)
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

The 'mockup' book ala 'The Necronomicon' that isn't.

small protections.

When the only way out is through.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)


From your prompt about the only way out came the free-verse poem "The Shadows in the Valley." Demons pursue a soul on the way to judgement.

24 lines, Buy It Now = $10
siege From: siege Date: October 2nd, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
When trouble isn't a demon, even if it looks like it is.

"Some of the nicest people..."

Becoming demonic, or demonic unbecoming.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt about demonic unbecoming led to the poem "Moulting." A devil inexplicably begins to sprout feathers, and tries to hide it, but winds up finding help in an unexpected place. This poem is written in unrhymed quatrains.

188 lines, Buy It Now = $94
ellenmillion From: ellenmillion Date: October 2nd, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 02:16 am (UTC) (Link)


Your "Fallen Angel" picture inspired the poem "After the Departure." It's a direct sequel to "Moulting" and shows other denizens of Hell responding to what happened. It is written in unrhymed quatrains.

This poem will become available after "Moulting" is sponsored.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: October 2nd, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry; most of what I can come up with today involves stupid word twists, rather than real prompts.

Demon rum

Demon-strative (Can demons feel affection, or even love? If they do, how do they show it?)

Demon-strata (I know there's a hierarchy of demons as there is of angels. How rigid is it? Can an individual demon move up/down?)

Has Don Candido ever had to deal with a demon?

Maybe relevant, maybe not, but what happened after the lurking shadow fought the black cloud?

Are vampires demons or something else?

Demo(ro)nic (What happens to / with / about a really dumb demon?)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 2nd, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)


Regarding "Demon rum," see "The Demon in the Bottle" above.

"The Demon in the Clockwork" deals with structure and disestablishmentarianism, per "demon-strata."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 2nd, 2012 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)


A prompt from Anthony & Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Infernal Felines." All cats have a bit of the Devil in them, urging them to do nefarious things.

20 lines, Buy It Now = $10
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)


I combined your prompt about emotional demons with ellenmillion's "Strange Portrait" prompt and something that Aoifes_aisle said on Dreamwidth about psychological demons. The result is "Denial," a poem about creating and banishing demons of the mind and heart. Creeeeepy.

33 lines, Buy It Now = $15
laffingkat From: laffingkat Date: October 3rd, 2012 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I've always been drawn to stories of deals with the devil, whether literal or metaphorical. I sometimes feel as though some of the medications I take to manage chronic illness are a sort of Faustian bargain, though perhaps that analogy would be even more apt for someone healthy using steroids for better athletic performance or using a supplement to try to improve their memory or alertness.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)


Deals with Devil led to "Deviltry on Steroids." Written in unrhymed tercets, this poem explains how athletes learned to abuse substances to enhance performance, with a little infernal assistance.

33 lines, Buy It Now = $15
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: October 3rd, 2012 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Since nobody else has yet picked up on the prospect of "demon" being a verbal corruption of "dimension traveler" (my favorite example of which is Bob Asprin's series of Mythadventures), let me throw this one into the ring: Since the Schroedinger's Heroes crew deal with threats from parallel universes (aka, other dimensions), what about one of more of them teaming up with (or being recruited by) someone from the "Stillpoint" as shown in the Monster House series?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 08:03 am (UTC) (Link)


The request for a Schrodinger's Heroes/Monster House crossover inspired the free-verse poem "Hypercube Roots." Dopplegangers from a hell dimension are impersonating people, but most people aren't even noticing. What will it take to identify them and send them back?

64 lines, Buy It Now = $32
natasiakith From: natasiakith Date: October 3rd, 2012 02:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey! I found it open!

Love is illegal in Hell. It happens to the residents, anyway.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 3rd, 2012 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)


I followed the idea of forbidden love to a circle of Hell where all is silent. No tears to cry, no voice to scream. And that's what it takes for some people to find each other. "Wild Hearts Can't Be Spoken" is written in free verse.

48 lines, Buy It Now = $20
52 comments or Leave a comment
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