Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poetry Fishbowl Open! - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! 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.

Also, if you're thinking about using my poetry as a holiday present, the next couple of months will be better for that than December; if I get overloaded, it'll take longer than if people spread out requests for scrapbooked poems and such.

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." 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. Details are here.

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.

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 whose eddresses I already have. If you want to see the poem inspired by your prompt, give me your eddress; I recommend using {at} and {dot} to discourage spammers. 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.

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. (What is horror? What makes horror horrifying?) I am especially looking for:

  • monsters

  • creepy settings

  • hair-raising events

  • things that scare you

  • and poetic forms

  • I typically favor disturbing ideas over hack-n-slash for horror, but I'm willing to take on a diversity of prompts. 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. The rest will go into my archive for magazine submission.

    Tags: , , ,
    Current Mood: busy busy

    38 comments or Leave a comment
    flutterbychild From: flutterbychild Date: October 14th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
    monster: one's own self-perception
    things that scare you: feeling abandoned and unloved
    poetic forms: free verse
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
    And the creepiness ensues! I bundled these all together to create "In the Glass," a poem about loneliness and inner violence, set on a beach.
    52 lines, Buy It Now = $20
    morningdove3202 From: morningdove3202 Date: October 14th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Horror is so not my thing, with the major exception being sci-fi horror....

    creepy setting: Alien Science Lab

    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Okay, I combined this with minor_architect's photo prompt. The result is "Signal to Noys," about the disturbing things found inside an alien spaceship after shooting it down.
    25 lines, Buy It Now = $10
    dulcinbradbury From: dulcinbradbury Date: October 14th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Things that scare me...

    I have always wanted to have a child. I have always known I would have a child. I've always been afraid of having and not having a child. These are not the same thing. I am terribly afraid that I won't be a good mother. That I'll fail in the ways my own parents did. That I won't do many of the things they did nearly so well. I'm afraid both of changing and not changing.
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Things that scare me...

    I combined this with flutterbychild's prompt about feeling unloved and abandoned. The result is "Motherless," a poem explaining why monsters are monsters.
    14 lines, Buy It Now = $10
    moosl From: moosl Date: October 14th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Feed the fish:

    Edited at 2008-10-14 06:38 pm (UTC)
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I combined this with dulcinbradbury's prompt about motherhood. I also recalled some African folklore about bush-demons that haunt a woman, making it impossible for her to bear a child. The result is "The Mummy Child," about an eerie form of haunting and how it got started.
    34 lines, Buy It Now = $15
    From: minor_architect Date: October 14th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Something that scares me: large numbers of things which, by themselves, would be completely innocuous. One hundred ladybugs crawling on your ceiling. (This has actually happened to me and I had an extremely hard time staying in that room. I mean, what were they all there for?) An abandoned shop crowded with music boxes. A cellar overrun by mice. A house full of dolls. You get the idea.

    Photographic prompts: The Murder in Question's gallery. Go down 16 rows and look at the "plugged in" pic in the last column. You may wish to ignore all the rest. It's mostly gore.
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Actually, several of those photos are good. That one with the bony foot in the red shoe? Made me think of anorexia and Cinderella, which led to "If the Slipper Fits."
    37 lines, Buy It Now = $15
    whuffle From: whuffle Date: October 14th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Monster: Working hard to be a good parent only to find many years later that you have failed.
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)


    Hi, new person! Thanks for jumping in.

    From your prompt and the previous one by dulcinbradbury I got the poem "SKPA in San Francisco," a pitch for a truly disturbing "Anonymous" support group.
    19 lines, Buy It Now = $10

    You people are creeping me out. Keep up the good work!
    wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: October 14th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
    The thing that scares me the most is the a-priori assumption that different=wrong.
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 14th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I combined this with some recent news about religiously inspired violence. The result is "Evil Fruit," a poem about how religion can be twisted around to inspire wickedness instead of virtue.
    30 lines, Buy It Now = $15
    glitteringlynx From: glitteringlynx Date: October 15th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC) (Link)
    writing from the perspective of a zombie

    why do zombies need to eat brains in particular, anyway?

    clowns scare the bejeezus out of me (apparently it's a common phobia)

    something involving undead which is not about zombies or vampires
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 15th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC) (Link)
    I took the part about zombies eating brains, and fleshed out an explanation. The result is "The Hungry Organ."
    37 lines, Buy It Now = $15
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 15th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)


    Prompts seem to be winding down, and I'm getting tired. I plan to close the fishbowl around midnight, so if anyone still wants to get a prompt in, you've got about an hour left.
    just_the_ash From: just_the_ash Date: October 15th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
    Things that scare you: Sarah Palin.
    ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 15th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
    This one is so timely, I'm going to post "The Repair Job" as another freebie.
    38 comments or Leave a comment