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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 for your time and attention.

Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is a perk from recent fishbowls meeting the $250 goal.  Today's theme is "Walking the Beat."  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.

Walking the Beat draws from diverse literary traditions including women's literature, queer literature, romance, and local color.  If you aren't familiar with those genres, you have time to do some exploring before the fishbowl opens.  This is my only popular series with a purely contemporary setting, rather than anything speculative, so the diversification is useful.

Also, "Her Crystalline Voice" still has verses to reveal, so you can do that by boosting the signal for this fishbowl.  Tell me where you linked and I'll post your verse(s).

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 "Walking the Beat." 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 "Walking the Beat."  I'll be soliciting ideas for Dale and Kelly, their neighbors and friends, queerfolk, people with handicaps, famous people of Boston, police or other public servants, Boston marriages, adaptive equipment, household items, romance, Deaf culture, sign language, lesbian culture, Boston-area or other relevant news events, squabbles over gender/ability/class/race/etc., side scenes from previous events in this series, everyday issues, coping with challenges, veteran issues, the city of Boston, local attractions, genderspace, other places that Dale and Kelly might have visited, 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 Lewis Turco's The New 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.

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Current Mood: creative creative

27 comments or Leave a comment
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: January 21st, 2014 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'd like to see what happens when Kelly meets an attractive (to her) person who shares her background in deaf culture. I'd suspect there'd at least be an initial flurry of mutual attention being paid, whether or not anything serious - even a long-term friendship - ever developed from it. How would Dale handle it? What happens when the green-eyed monster raises its ugly head in a relationship that already has several stress factors to overcome?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 21st, 2014 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Jealousy

From this I got the free-verse poem "Green Eyes." Dale's hidden insecurity makes it hard for her to deal with Kelly making a new friend.

186 lines, Buy It Now = $93
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: January 21st, 2014 07:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someone else moves into the neighborhood - maybe someone Dale arrested back when, but who has actually managed to get out of the crime cycle?

Someone treats Kelly as "less than" because she's Deaf. (Is she deaf or Deaf, by the way?)

A situation where Kelly is able to help out because she's Deaf.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Every Step Toward the Goal." Dale meets a young man who used to belong to a gang but has since become interested in restorative justice.

98 lines, Buy It Now = $49
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 25th, 2014 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)


Kelly is Deaf, by the way.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: January 21st, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Walking the beat" conjures up all sorts of images from Boston cops literally walking their "beats" or patrol areas to marching bands walking in unison to a drumbeat.

One concept that refuses to go away is that of a beekeeper who "walks the beat" of all her hives checking to see if everyone is okay.
Hopefully something here will be of use to you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)


Your beekeeper prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Sweetening the Pot" in which a woman named Pamela wants to get a hive and other folks in the neighborhood are nervous about that.

117 lines, Buy It Now = $58.50
From: rhodielady_47 Date: January 22nd, 2014 10:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

This brings back memories...back in the 60's we lived in Memphis, TN and one of our neighbors kept bees on the second floor balcony of her house. To the best of my knowledge no one ever had a problem with her bees.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

A little forethought can address most of the concerns that people have about bees, so they don't bother anyone -- and that's in the poem.
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: January 22nd, 2014 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
"Walking the beat" conjures up all sorts of images from Boston cops literally walking their "beats" or patrol areas to marching bands walking in unison to a drumbeat.

Actually, every October, Somerville (which is maybe an hour by subway from JP) hosts Honk!, a marching band celebration where marching bands all over the country (and a couple from outside of it) come to honk their horns and entertain people with stilt-walkers, chicken hats, and general anarchy.

I'd love to mesh that with your idea of literally 'walking the beat.'

From: rhodielady_47 Date: January 22nd, 2014 10:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Sounds wonderful to me--love the visual that comes with the chicken hats!
How can a parade be complete without the Shriners arriving in their little clown cars?
Boston anything can't be complete without bagpipers, kilts and drums either!
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: January 23rd, 2014 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
It's a pretty trippy experience, to be sure! I did a sketch crawl of at least one of them, and the pages are labeled with the post-script "anyone who sees these will think I've lost my mind again." Since there isn't much money in street bands these days, the people who do come run on passion--and also a good supply of alcohol.

I missed it this year, sadly. Though there weren't any Shriners or pipers, believe it or not! (Though there was at least ONE New Orleans band and the Star Wars cantina song was a popular choice of songs.)

From: rhodielady_47 Date: January 23rd, 2014 07:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
New Orleans bands are a law unto themselves and they aren't complete without at least one person dancing with an umbrella.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 24th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)


The conversation between rhodielady_47 and lb_lee about parades has inspired the free-verse poem "A Two-Way Street." Dale and Kelly help organize a parade to smooth over some tensions in Jamaica Plain.

135 lines, Buy It Now = $67.50
siege From: siege Date: January 21st, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
A fire happens in Jamaica Plain.

There's a mime in the park today.

Why graffiti?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)


The mime wound up in "Silence Is Golden," today's freebie.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 25th, 2014 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)


Your fire prompt led to the free-verse poem "Her Steadfast Voice." A restaurant catches fire while Dale and Kelly are there, and they help get everyone out.

93 lines, Buy It Now = $46.50
From: siliconshaman Date: January 21st, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder what Dale & Kelly would do if faced with evidence of a police officer [or officers] breaking the law...

Something involving a stray kitten perhaps? [totally white cats are prone to being deaf after all].

Dale & Kelly meet their polar opposites...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)


The kitten prompt appears in the free-verse poem "Dog Days," along with assorted other misadventures involving the human and furry residents of Jamaica Plain in the heat of summer.

144 lines, Buy It Now = $72
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your police prompt inspired the free-verse poem "A Long Way to Fall." Police corruption is a problem in the Boston area, and it creates awkwardness in the neighborhood.

153 lines, Buy It Now = $76.50
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: January 22nd, 2014 02:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Finding the lost.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)


See above the thumbnail for "Dog Days."
From: technoshaman Date: January 22nd, 2014 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. It was King Day recently; how does Jamaica Plain celebrate that?

Boston marriages... hmm... Dale and Kelly encounter a pair of spinsters who aren't married even though they could be... explore?

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)


Not all Boston marriages are the same, as Dale and Kelly discover in the free-verse poem "Unspoken Vows."

52 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 07:54 am (UTC) (Link)


A Dreamwidth prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Lyrical Gestures." Dale and Kelly attend a folk concert in the park with a sign language interpreter ... but it's the after-dark performance that really steals the show.

71 lines, Buy It Now = $35.50
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 08:47 am (UTC) (Link)


From Dreamwidth, an ice-skating prompt led to the free-verse poem "Wonderland Anyway." Dale and Kelly used to go ice-skating together, and that's just not feasible anymore. So they explore variations on the theme.

80 lines, Buy It Now = $40
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 22nd, 2014 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

I'm turning in now.
27 comments or Leave a comment