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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 as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "anything goes."  You can ask for whatever you want.  Favorite settings, characters, storylines, themes, etc. are encouraged.  You may also request things you've wanted that I haven't done yet.  If you have been saving any prompts that haven't matched a theme yet, now is the time to post those.

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.

Stuck for ideas?  You can find prompts by ...
* picking some from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* browsing my Serial Poetry page or QUILTBAG list for favorites.
* looking up fun things on TV Tropes.
* plugging a favorite topic into your search engine and choosing a picture that looks interesting.

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 "anything goes." 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 "anything goes."  I'll be soliciting ideas for ... anything at all!  Favorite characters, ideas for new ones, plot twists, stop-trope repairs, strange settings, whatever tickles your fancy.   Now's the time to bring out all your cool ideas that haven't quite fit a previous prompt call. 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.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: busy busy

39 comments or Leave a comment
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ellenmillion From: ellenmillion Date: July 19th, 2016 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unexpected opportunities

Anything Torn World. :)

A cross-over or AU

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 19th, 2016 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your opportunity prompt contributed to the free-verse poem "To Do the Brave Things." Japan responds in unexpected ways to the trial of the whalers, and Steel has to decide on a reply.

214 lines, Buy It Now = $107
moonwolf1988 From: moonwolf1988 Date: July 19th, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Where did the radiator dragon come from?

Anything Quiar (or for any of the other collections).

A Monster House and Frankenstein's Family crossover.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 19th, 2016 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your Quiar prompt contributed to today's freebie, "Kin to the Shadows." Some time ago, I mentioned a tiger who routinely disguises herself as an elephant, so this is from her perspective.
eseme From: eseme Date: July 19th, 2016 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is an extra busy and stressful week, and I could use some contton candy fluff or poems very heavy on the comfort.

Settin s I think of - Hart's Farm, someone being accepted into the Lacuna, officer Pink, or Stalwart Sam and Antimatter.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)


Per your requests for Stan and Lawrence plus fluff, here they are having a very intimate conversation, which is about personal experiences and their futures rather than sex, but Stan being demisexual this is very arousing. It's for a school assignment, which requires some careful finagling from Lawrence so that Stan doesn't freak out over it. They learn a lot about each other. "The Outcome of Vulnerability" is written in free verse.

424 lines, Buy It Now = $212

Edited at 2016-07-20 05:51 am (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon From: wyld_dandelyon Date: July 19th, 2016 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
What does a character do on their day off, or when, unexpectedly, she realizes that All the Things are (temporarily) done?

I still love Monster House and Hart's Farm. And Torn World, of course!

Shapeshifters of one sort or another.

I like this theme. It feels free! So another possible theme for a poem is freedom.

Now I shall go tweet for you.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 19th, 2016 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt about shapeshifting contributed to today's freebie, "Kin to the Shadows."
my_partner_doug From: my_partner_doug Date: July 19th, 2016 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll keep the crossover idea going with these:

Steel & Evil Schrodinger

Fiorenza and any of the monsters from Monster House

Shaeth & the Lord or pr0n
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 10:27 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your Evil!Schrodinger and Steel prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Shiny Little Things." When a white cat appears on the dock, Steel is happy to help him make a little mischief.

132 lines, Buy It Now = $66
ng_moonmoth From: ng_moonmoth Date: July 19th, 2016 07:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

(leers) Anything?

But, first --

A Kung Fu Robots piece, please?

Then, a couple of things with a more prurient focus.

Per the comment thread we spun out in "With the Gravity Off", the Lord of Pr0n has noticed that some of the stimming toys ("We Underestimate the Power") many of his customers are now sporting look strikingly similar to sex toys he's seen, but doesn't have the resources or the trade connections to get. He's willing to plant a few hints about alternative uses and see what he can find out. And their being toys suited to neurovariant people would make them a specialty item, with appropriately higher profit potential for an export business. Astin may not want to handle the shipping, but I bet Anne Goede would be interested.

And, just in case it doesn't get selected, I noticed (after I voted, alas) that one of the Fishbowl themes in the poll is "Screwing with Expectations". Please feel free to insert a comma between the first and second words, and have fun in any of your universes!

Edited at 2016-07-19 07:46 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 19th, 2016 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: (leers) Anything?

Well, that was inevitable. You found the one robot who insists on being both male and female, instead of neither. I give you the free-verse poem "Fuzzy Intuition." :D

26 lines, Buy It Now = $15
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: July 19th, 2016 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unrequited something positive

Unexpected silver linings
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 19th, 2016 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)


For silver linings, see "To Do the Brave Things."
From: siliconshaman Date: July 19th, 2016 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Image prompt!

Follow up to Overheating Elements please?

Victor doing Mad Science.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)


As a sequel to "Overheating Elements" I wrote the free-verse poem "Tempering the Impact." Fortressa and Socket have tried ignoring the revelation, which hasn't worked. Now it's time to talk.

248 lines, Buy It Now = $124
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: July 19th, 2016 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh goodness! Not having a theme actually makes it more difficult for me to come up with something ("I'll take 'choice paralysis' for $100, Alex").

Okay. Hm.

*think ponder ponder think*

More about Horace the porcupine (Aldornia and Zenobia)?

More about Maryam the Steamsmith?

How is Terramagne handling Pokémon Go? (That's cool; the dictionary in my browser automagically added the accent in Pokémon.)

For some reason, the word Pokémon is making me think of fishmongers. I have no idea what setting they belong in, though.

Creamsicles are yummy.

How do rocks get *into* shoes, anyway? And once they get in, why don't they get out the same way?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 22nd, 2016 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)


Your creamsicle prompt inspired the free-verse poem "A Life by What We Give." Ansel introduces Turq and Skippy. There is frolicking at the skatepark, and then delicious food. A little angst, because of their respective life challenges, but mostly fluff.

444 lines, Buy It Now = $222
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)


A prompt from Anthony Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "The Sincerest form of Endorsement." It's about plagiarism at the Republican National Convention.

Hold for original prompter.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 07:04 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Just to Feel Alive." While Dale and Kelly are out walking, Dale misses being able to run up and down the park terraces.

Hold for original prompter.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 21st, 2016 06:41 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad you're getting such a kick out of Cal and Vagary! :D "Meaning Only in Relationship" follows up as they do the paperwork together to start couples counseling. Gods know they need it. This poem is written in free verse.

110 lines, Buy It Now = $55
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 11:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

Still have more to write, but need sleep now.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2016 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)


For the Duchess via DW I wrote the free-verse poem "The Rainbow Sails." Congratulations, you found a second nomadic culture in the Ocracies setting, this one nautical. Their government is anemocracy.

22 lines, Buy It Now = $10
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 21st, 2016 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Shirley Barrette inspired the poem "Ice Fishing." What it says on the tin. This is written in unrhymed tercets.

Hold for original prompter.
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