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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.  Watch for further poems to appear, as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "building a future."  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 "Knitting into Community" (Polychrome Heroics, 16 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 "building a future." 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.  "Knitting into Community" belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics and has 16 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 get a half-price sale for one week in one series.  Everyone will get to vote on which series to feature in the sale, out of those with extra poems available.

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 "building a future."  I'll be soliciting ideas for visionaries, sibyls, futurists, science fiction writers, engineers, gizmologists and super-gizmologists, architects, urban planners, computer programmers, crafters, parents, establishing communities, making families, having babies, caring for children, going to college or other advanced learning, constructing buildings, space colonies, museums, world fairs, oracular temples, space exploration, construction toys, craft tools, computers, divination devices, 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 New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco 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 "Knitting into Community.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

35 comments or Leave a comment
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eseme From: eseme Date: March 1st, 2016 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think building a future has a lot to do with building family and community. I hope we get lots of prompts on chosen family.

That makes me think of Hart's farm, and how that community grows and evolves. Also of Danso and family, and checking in on how the kids are settling in together. Or Damask - how are they doing? Growing pains? Is Kane able to use his skills without being scolded?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)


Alas, Keane is not yet able to use his skills without aggravating his headmates. "Your Pain, Your Greatest Ally" details his latest attempt, which works wonders for him. But who knew that Clarity had a temper?

474 lines, Buy It Now = $237
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 3rd, 2016 05:37 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "More Admirable Than Conquest." Cassandra has volunteered for babysitting when Yona is ready to give birth, and she gets a little more family action than she was expecting because of how everyone pulls together.

500 lines, Buy It Now = $250
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: March 1st, 2016 07:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Trying to turn a hope into a reality.

Seizing the day because the chance may never come again.

One task at a time.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 1st, 2016 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your "seize the day" prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Baroque Motives." We finally get to see Contretemps in full display as the magnificent bastard that he is, manipulating everyone to create the future that he desires.

180 lines, Buy It Now = $90
ng_moonmoth From: ng_moonmoth Date: March 1st, 2016 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

The future of the Lacuna

ysabetwordsmith and I engaged in an extended backchannel discussion over the past week about what would need to happen for the Lacuna (An Army of One) and its neurodiverse culture to even have a future. The story arc that is emerging seems to have developed enough shape to start telling the stories.

Thus: The Lacuna will not survive long absent a functioning trade network, and its culture is threatened with being crushed between two opposing forces that are unwilling to stand down while the other represents a threat. Can its inhabitants and their culture find a way to survive, and eventually grow?

As the series always goes, one step at a time -- one by one by one. It's going to take a while to unwind all this.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: The future of the Lacuna

This inspired the free-verse poem "To Regard Old Problems." Hootowl leads a small expedition into the Sargasso to survey their resources.

60 lines, Buy It Now = $20
From: technoshaman Date: March 1st, 2016 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ashley and Haruko contemplate seperately, then their thoughts drift towards each other.

Shiv wonders what the f--- he's going to do on the outside. Screwing his courage to the sticking point, he asks for help.

Eric has kinda blown his old world away. He and TeJay talk about what's next.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)


Your second prompt contributed to the free-verse poem "The Passport to the future." The prison wants Shiv to come up with a plan for his education. Having no idea where to start, he asks Dr. G for help.

404 lines, Buy It Now = $202
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 1st, 2016 07:46 pm (UTC) (Link)


A DW hive prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Who Rekindle the Inner Spirit." It spans Week 2 of the berettaflies situation, as Adalina struggles to cope with her changed circumstances by reaching out to other people similarly affected by recent events.

150 lines, Buy It Now = $75
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: March 1st, 2016 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I'm going to have to science the shit out of this." (Or, perhaps better, "We.")

Who gets to form colonies in space? Will it be solely the province of nations, or will private space flight / construction be allowed? (And if it's not allowed, will people rebel against the constraint?)

It's hard to move forward with festering wounds. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, properly used, seem to help.

Sometimes building a safe and functional community means excluding or encapsulating the unsafe and unwilling to function. But Geek Social Fallacy #1 is "Ostracizers are evil." How can this be reconciled?

According to Dale, I carry on my hip (my smartphone) more computing power than the NASA Apollo command center had. Does this ability to find & manage information and communicate instantly join or divide us?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)


See "To Regard Old Problems" thumbnailed above.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 1st, 2016 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Different in the Way We Perceive the World." Ansel and Turq discuss human trafficking, discretion, and what that means for their respective futures.

294 lines, Buy It Now = $147
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 1st, 2016 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Anthony Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Infinite Potential." It looks at the future of renewable energy.

Reserved for prompter.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 1st, 2016 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from my_partner_doug inspired today's first freebie, "BUILDING A FUTURE."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 12:05 am (UTC) (Link)


Continuing the hive idea from DW, "Capes and Credos" is a free-verse poem about someone trying to kidnap Adalina. Just because the first part of the plan works, doesn't necessarily mean the rest of it will continue to go as expected.

232 lines, Buy It Now = $116
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Building Sandcastles in the Rain." It looks at the sad process of trying to make a better world only to see other people screw it up.

Reserved for prompter.
ellenmillion From: ellenmillion Date: March 2nd, 2016 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Designing a city

What bad credit/big debt does to future plans

Building by hand

One photo: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/photos/afterwhitepaintdownstairs.jpg

And a sketch: http://hotlink.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/housebuilding3.jpg
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your sketch inspired "Housebuilding," posted as the second freebie.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 2nd, 2016 03:44 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Of Fairies and Futures." It's a bittersweet exploration of what happens as little girls grow up.

28 lines, Buy It Now = $15
rowyn From: rowyn Date: March 2nd, 2016 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd like to know what Fiorenza's future looks like, please.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: March 3rd, 2016 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Buoni Frutti." Fiorenza speaks with her students about whether they would like to become wisewomen.

70 lines, Buy It Now = $35
35 comments or Leave a comment
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