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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.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "An Army of One."  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 "An Army of One." 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.

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.

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 "An Army of One."  I'll be soliciting ideas for neurovariant people, neurotypical friends and allies, social engineers, veterans, QUILTBAG people, traders, AYES sapient starships, visionaries, alternative families, stimming, colonizing space, planning ahead, storytelling, identifying problems, solving problems, helping people, challenging assumptions, making discoveries, recycling/reusing things, gardening in space, peacemongering, building a new society, major communal outposts, small isolated outposts, libraries, community centers, green spaces, starships, the Sargasso derelict junkyard, Passions, neurovariant/neurotypical differences, acceptance and welcome, radical transformation, the master's tools and the master's house, teamwork, de-escalation, conflict resolution, alternative justice, space exploration, sustainability, hope, 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.  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

16 comments or Leave a comment
ng_moonmoth From: ng_moonmoth Date: April 19th, 2016 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

The time seems right for this

Picking up some of the threads we've encountered in our backchannel story arc discussion:

I'd like to see what happens when Backup starts thinking about what the Lacuna needs to do to survive potentially hostile incursions from either Arm. He has a connection to Carina (through his brothers, to General Fallon, who may or may not be interested in talking directly with him at this point); OCS-397/Cernan has a connection to Orion (through a fleetmate who didn't defect, to the Orion Combined Forces); Router has some idea of how to get the Lacuna residents on board. They start talking.

Also, boosted here.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 19th, 2016 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The time seems right for this

From this I got the free-verse poem "Fortifications of the Future." Backup finds some makeshift games, which inspire him to think about the position of the Lacuna between the Arms. Together with his crewmates, he works on new ideas to secure their future.

204 lines, Buy It Now = $102
eseme From: eseme Date: April 19th, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I enjoy the social aspect of this story, how hand flapping is considered the norm, for instance. I would love to see more about the evolving social expectations, and how they are communicated to newcomers and visitors (or family back home).

I also really like the trading aspects, how they are gathering supplies and putting them to use in new ways.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 19th, 2016 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)


For trading, see "Crafts Out of Necessity," today's freebie.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 21st, 2016 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)


Your social prompt inspired the free-verse poem "As Is." It's a look at a mixed family and the challenges that a neurotypical person faces moving into the Lacuna. Armelle is just generally having a hard time anyhow.

386 lines, Buy It Now = $193
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: April 19th, 2016 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Someone whose only surviving family has stayed in the Lacuna and the choices they have to make to keep being a family.

Edited at 2016-04-19 09:43 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 20th, 2016 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)


This contributed to the poem "New Wine and Old Bottles." Bottleneck is surprised when his past catches up to him. He doesn't really know how to respond, and he's not all that good with emotions, but he tries anyhow.

172 lines, Buy It Now = $86
From: siliconshaman Date: April 19th, 2016 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder what happens when the Lacuna starts getting Non-NT immigrants? People who don't fit in back 'home' so leave to make a home where they aren't considered 'odd'.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 20th, 2016 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)


This contributed to the poem "No Measure of Health." A ship full of refugees comes to the Lacuna, all different people with the same reason for leaving a home that no longer felt safe to them.

176 lines, Buy It Now = $88
kestrels_nest From: kestrels_nest Date: April 19th, 2016 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some of the people who have chosen to stay, or come to, the Lacuna have families that might not be all that willing to either believe that they can survive/function "on their own" (other non-NTs don't count) and/or not willing to let go of them. Are any of them having problems of that sort?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 20th, 2016 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)


See thumbnail for "New Wine and Old Bottles."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 20th, 2016 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)


A Dreamwidth prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Flying in Freefall." A life support malfunction in a secret lab brings a scientist and her livestock to Supply Base Bounty 3D3N.

120 lines, Buy It Now = $60
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 20th, 2016 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Thinking River Thoughts." Sam's long-distance friend sends him wild iris and videos from her home.

56 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 20th, 2016 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

I actually managed to write a prompt for everyone! \o/ I'm still hoping to double back to a few more tomorrow, though.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 21st, 2016 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)


Further discussion with DW user Kyleri inspired the free-verse poem "To See the Air." Dr. Syden Caermichael feels uneasy after her close brush with life support failure in her lab. So Case makes her some wind chimes and mobiles to show that the air vents are still working.

106 lines, Buy It Now = $53
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 21st, 2016 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)


A Dreamwidth teaching prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Through Repetition of Thought." It explores both the challenges of having children on a not-childproofed ex-military starbase, and the strengths of neurovariant people.

128 lines, Buy It Now = $64
16 comments or Leave a comment