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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your support and enthusiasm.

Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is the perk for the August 6, 2013 fishbowl meeting the $250 goal.  Today's theme is "One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis."  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.

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 "One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis." 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"

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.

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 "One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis."  I'll be soliciting ideas for gods, mortals, followers, drunks, bottle demons, holy ground, disreputable places, refuges, moments of personal growth or discovery, learning life skills, horrible realizations, taking care of people, plot twists, side scenes from previous events, gaps in the storyline that need to be filled, everyday issues transmuted into fantasy versions, cursed or holy artifacts, symbols of faith, crafts, magic, alcoholism and addiction, recovery, dysfunctional dynamics, families of choice, survival, 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.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Current Mood: creative creative

19 comments or Leave a comment
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: August 20th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glenta meets Eshne.

Applications (educational? planning?) for the beer bottle soldiers. Are they still running tiny glass wars for entertainment and tips?

ETA: someone who's not a drunk but could use support while trying to fix self-inflicted life messes.

Edited at 2013-08-20 07:14 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)


From your prompt about Glenta meeting Eshne came the free-verse poem "Jump Lines." Eshne starts over as a chandler making candles for the God of Drunks, but it takes a while to figure out all the necessary tools and supplies.

80 lines, Buy It Now = $40
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt about the beer bottle soldiers led to the free-verse poem "Glass Dancers," which I have posted as today's freebie.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: August 20th, 2013 06:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
There are bottle demons. Are there bottle angels, and if there are, what do they do?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Crystal Wings." Glenta mistakes a bottle angel for a bottle demon, and tries to smash it.

127 lines, Buy It Now = $63.50
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)


From a prompt by my_partner_doug I got the free-verse poem "Outdated Directory." A mage summons Shaeth, not realizing that he is no longer God of Evil.

108 lines, Buy It Now = $54
rowyn From: rowyn Date: August 20th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
The benefits of drinking in moderation (like the antioxidants in red wine).
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Crystal Wings." Glenta mistakes a bottle angel for a bottle demon, and tries to smash it. Bottle angels deal in the good things that can be done with fermented beverages, such as you mentioned.

127 lines, Buy It Now = $63.50

Edited at 2013-08-20 10:48 pm (UTC)
catsittingstill From: catsittingstill Date: August 20th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Creation and imagination can feel intoxicating. I wonder if the God of Drunks would tap into that in some way?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)


This prompt led to the free-verse poem "The Distillation of Senses." Shaeth wonders what the artist and the minstrel are doing in his temple when neither of them are drunks.

107 lines, Buy It Now = $53.50
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: August 21st, 2013 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
My sister's red mustang convertible is the first example that comes to mind, actually.

The first time of dyeing the gray away

Some of my favorite Gods could be any age: Hotai, Ganesha, Brighid, Coyote, for example. Others seem tied to a time of life. What happens when Pan or Bacchus gets elderly and things don't work the way they used to?

Mead, Melomel, and Metheglyn

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)


From the mead prompt came the free-verse poem "Bottled Sun," in which Shaeth and Trobby learn about the uses of flavored honey beverages.

For sale after "Crystal Wings."
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: August 21st, 2013 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Shaeth and his relationship with those who are adversely affected by drunks being drunk, e.g. children and spouses.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 05:07 am (UTC) (Link)


This prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Winestains." Denore is an artist whose mother was a drunk. Shaeth is learning that it's not just drunks themselves who need the temple, but also their family members.

Available after "The Distillation of Senses" is funded.
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: August 21st, 2013 06:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Alas, I have no monies for either of them at the moment.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 09:08 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

That's okay. Other folks might chip in. If nothing else, they go in the archive for possible perks or sponsorship later.
elisem From: elisem Date: August 21st, 2013 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking of Sylvanus just now, in his aspect of the god of boundaries (fields and forests) and also his aspect of the god of shepherds, because of the presence in the list of prompts of the following words: "holy ground, disreputable places... horrible realizations, taking care of people." So I would love anything you'd like to do with Shaeth (or anyone you choose) in any of those neighborhoods.

Edited at 2013-08-21 04:57 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)


From your prompt I got the free-verse poem "Picking Up the Trash." Shaeth wanders the border places and seedy areas, collecting drunks in need of his aid.

80 lines, Buy It Now = $40
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 21st, 2013 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

I've done at least one prompt by everyone, so I'm wrapping up now.
19 comments or Leave a comment