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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 for your time and attention.  Keep an eye on this post later in the week as I am still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "weather."  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.

Click to read the linkback poem "The Least of These" (The Ocracies, 11 verses available).

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 "weather." 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 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.  Comment with a link to where you posted. "The Least of These" belongs to The Ocracies and has 11 verses available.

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'll get a piece of bonus material.

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 "world."  I'll be soliciting ideas for weathermen, weathered heroes, desert crawlers, strangers blown in on a storm, rainmakers, sun princes, weather deities, Oyuki-san, empathic environment, preparing for bad weather, making predictions, controlling the weather, getting caught in a storm, praying for rain, weathering the storm, huddling against the cold, watching the world burn, rebuilding from the ashes, hostile terraforming, wastelands, any port in a storm, shipwrecks, snow caves, creepy buildings, sanctuaries, habitat foreclosure, hostile weather, space weather, strange alien storms, bizarre seasons, personal raincloud, lightning revelation, demonic charcoal fog, redemption in the rain, first snow, the power of the sun, thunderbirds, 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 "The Least of These.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

29 comments or Leave a comment
ng_moonmoth From: ng_moonmoth Date: December 1st, 2015 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Brenda -- party of -- ???"

Looks like time to act on that reservation you've been holding on your ladiesbingo card for Brenda (P.I.E.) to encounter "unnatural (events, weather, beings)". Bonus squee for hitting the trifecta.

Also, standard German idiom includes the interjection "Donnerwetter!" (literally, "thunder weather") to mark an event that is surprising or shocking. Online translations typically get you "wow!" or "damn!", but the way I've heard natives use it brings "WTF?" more to mind.

Hmmm... dry lightning is responsible for a whole lot of wildfires in the more arid regions of the US. Have fun!

ETA: Oh yeah, the "Feed the Fish!" paragraph has been updated with weather ideas, but the theme is still "the end of the world as we know it".

Edited at 2015-12-01 08:14 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 1st, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: "Brenda -- party of -- ???"

From your "unnatural" prompt I got the free-verse poem "Sakura Snow." Oyuki-san is lonely, which leads to cold out of season. Brenda and Darrel find a solution to both.

80 lines, Buy It Now = $40
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 1st, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)


"The Addams Family Reunion" is today's freebie, prompted backchannel by technoshaman.
From: technoshaman Date: December 1st, 2015 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was one i was supposed to prompt you for more on... about a couple? I was thinking "caught in the rain"...

Vladimir, Lazlo, vs. late Feb cold snap.

It's getting cold, but Mallory has a fire in her belly...

Shiv gets to go outside.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 4th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)


See below thumbnail for "Fire in the Belly."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 4th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)


From your Mallory prompt I got the free-verse poem "Fire in the Belly." Mallory wakes up Damask in the middle of the night because she's having hot/cold flashes.

96 lines, Buy It Now = $48
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 4th, 2015 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)


Your "outside" prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Moments When the World Is Made Whole." Travis takes Shiv out to the exercise yard. They have some ups and downs, but it mostly goes well.

436 lines, Buy It Now = $218
ellenmillion From: ellenmillion Date: December 1st, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Temporal weather!

Weathered faces

'Weather' or not you want to.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)


Your "weathered faces" prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Something Opens Our Wings." Kennedy and Pinion deal with a dirgecraft emitting strange dark fog -- and then she finds out that he's hiding rather more damage than she realized.

466 lines, Buy It Now = $233
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: December 1st, 2015 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ignore the article, it's the image at the top that's your prompt:


Also, since I'm in a punny mood: "Weather or Knot", and/or "Weather: You Win or You Lose."

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 4th, 2015 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)


Your cloud prompt combined with some others to inspire the free-verse poem "When No One Else Will." It turns out that there's a lot more to those clouds than meets the eye at first glance, and meeting someone else who has one is scary and exciting.

124 lines, Buy It Now = $62
eseme From: eseme Date: December 1st, 2015 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just spent Thanksgiving on a farm, so weather and the outdoors are making me think of farms. Hart's Farm, please! Snow or rain or maybe fog.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)


Farm and snow appear in the free-verse poem "Hygge." During a blizzard, Aisling and Dýrfinna cuddle by the fire while Lia and Svanhilda romp under the covers. All my fluffy fluffness, let me show you it.

72 lines, Buy It Now = $36
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: December 2nd, 2015 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
"Don't like the weather? Wait five minutes; it'll change."

"We're going to have weather, whether or not."

"Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get."

"There will come soft rains"

A warm summer rain; maybe Frankenstein's Family for that one? Or anything, really.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)


Several of these contributed to "Weather Is What You Get."
kestrels_nest From: kestrels_nest Date: December 2nd, 2015 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Whistling up the wind...literally.


Edited at 2015-12-02 02:48 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)


From this I got the free-verse poem "Whistling Up the Wind." It describes the names of the winds that may be summoned. Sort of.

45 lines, Buy It Now = $20
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: December 2nd, 2015 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Geographic variances in seasonal markers: not just the "flip" of the seasons on the opposite side of the equator, but things like the "dry/wet/dry/monsoon" cycle; the joke about Upper Michigan's four seasons being June, July, August, and Winter (AKA 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad skiing); Arizona's claim to only two seasons - Snowbird and Road Construction; and my personal theory that the midwest has only two seasons - Summer and Winter, with the time in between consisting of arguments betwixt them as to who's going to be in charge that day. Add any others that you can think of, of course.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)


From this I got the free-verse poem "Weather Is What You Get." It's a ramble about different seasons, different kinds of nature, and the human experience of them.

48 lines, Buy It Now = $20
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: December 2nd, 2015 05:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The seasons, as seen from the viewpoint of the under-the-bed monster.

Sudden storms

Flash floods

Solar weather and the auroras

Solar winds
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)


For solar winds, see thumbnail of "Weather Is What You Get."
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: December 2nd, 2015 05:59 am (UTC) (Link)
After Spectrum move to Australia to try and distance themselves from their PR issues they find that the seasons, weather, language, food, gun laws, etc aren't what they're used to nor what they were expecting. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 3rd, 2015 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)


Thanks to some very enthusiastic input about the challenges of Australia, I present the free-verse poem "Like a Shag on a Rock." Tanger, Blastwave, and Levinbolt have found an overseas assignment but are having trouble getting supplies. Or anything else. Won't this be fun?

220 lines, Buy It Now = $110
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: December 3rd, 2015 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Oooh yes.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 12:44 pm (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Sandy Beaches." An engineer ruminates on his losses through the storms of New Orleans, and how sometimes superpowers come too little, too late. Sad poem is sad.

104 lines, Buy It Now = $52
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 2nd, 2015 12:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

I'm done writing for tonight. More tomorrow.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 3rd, 2015 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Tornado Blew Away." Sometimes children see disasters -- and superpowers -- very differently than adults do. But they still know a hera when they see her.

51 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 3rd, 2015 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "People Who Are Gone." A young woman flees from hardship and discovers the light she carries inside.

128 lines, Buy It Now = $64
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 3rd, 2015 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)


A couple of backchannel prompts from Shirley and Anthony Barrette combined to inspire the free-verse poem "From the Deepest Parts of Ourselves." Ansel takes Turq on a tour of Bluehill's downtown neighborhood, Cambridge Commons, to show him where the local resources are. There's some angst, because Turq is still skittish, but it's mostly fluff, and they're at it for hours. This is one of the longest poems I've written, and there is just no breakpoint. *headdesk*

986 lines, Buy It Now = $493
29 comments or Leave a comment