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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 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 ...
* seconding someone else's prompt, which makes it more likely to get written.
* reminding me of something we discussed previously regarding a character or storyline.
* picking something from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* browsing my Serial Poetry page or QUILTBAG list for inspiration.
* naming a favorite character, setting, or storyline you'd like to see more of.
* looking up fun things on TV Tropes.
* requesting a poetic form (tanka, sonnet, etc.)
* 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 two editions 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

20 comments or Leave a comment
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Lycoris." It's about resurrection lilies.

Hold for original prompter.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: August 15th, 2017 08:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Also known as "Naked Ladies".
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

It's in there. So are several other names if you look for them.
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: August 15th, 2017 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps something with Officer Pink? Maybe something with him as a background character?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 19th, 2017 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Sacrificed Part of Himself." Ansel and Janie take Turq out to visit Ansel's grandparents on their farm.

917 lines, Buy It Now = $459
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: August 19th, 2017 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Thank you!

Also, this event was on today in Alice Springs. I think it might align with some of your interests.
zianuray From: zianuray Date: August 15th, 2017 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
A cat adopts Shiv. Maybe a Russian Blue?

Monster House prepares for Halloween.

A bank teller opens the capsule from a drive-thru and finds Halloween candy instead of actual business.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 11:38 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your Halloween prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Tricky Treats" about spooky candy.

6 lines, Buy It Now = $5
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)


A Dreamwidth prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Chaos and Destruction." Jerryrigger tells a wannabe anarchist what anarchy is really like.

80 lines, Buy It Now = $40
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)


The world hasn't ended, therefore it must have an Alex! Okay, I'll buy that logic.

"For Whose Sake" is a free-verse poem in which Capricorn gets curious about the girl who just debugged Kraken's open-source operating system for managing a health nexus.

133 lines, Buy It Now = $67
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Anthony Barrette inspired the poem "The Whole of Civilization." It's written in unrhymed tercets and links Nagasaki with North Korea.

Hold for original prompter.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 15th, 2017 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)


From your decluttering prompts I got the free-verse poem "What Makes a Hoard" about when it's time to gather or release things.

32 lines, Buy It Now = $15
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2017 05:04 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Pixy-Led." Walden teaches Simon how to lead people astray, and he puts it to good use.

252 lines, Buy It Now = $126
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2017 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW Monster House prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Boys on the Porch." Courting teenagers out front, chaperone indoors. Aww.

26 lines, Buy It Now = $15
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2017 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Transcend Apparent Limits." Sparring isn't just about exercise, it's also about trust. Cuoio and Chiara are really into both of those things.

117 lines, Buy It Now = $59
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 16th, 2017 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

Still have more prompts to fill, but I'm calling it a night.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 20th, 2017 10:00 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Fluffy." Hulk discovers a litter of kittens after a battle.

138 lines, free
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 24th, 2017 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)


An earlier prompt about Calliope and Vagary led to "Can't It Just Be What It Is?" They visit a food truck park and talk about sex/gender stuff.

331 lines, Buy It Now = $166 lines
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 31st, 2017 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from spawned two poems about Shiv, actually two parts of the same excursion, and that was as far as I could cut it down because there was no other breakpoint.

"An Atmosphere of Shame" features Shiv agreeing to a beach trip with the Finns, and then needing to acquire some new supplies for it.
467 lines, Buy It Now = $234

"Everything That Is Real About Us" is the beach trip itself. The Finns seem weird to Shiv, but they're growing on him, and that helps make up for a lot of crappy things in his past. Despite some bumps along the way, he enjoys himself.

1889 lines, Buy It Now = $945
Available after "An Atmosphere of Shame" has been sponsored and published.

Honestly I suspect that "Everything" will have to wait for a quarter-price sale and/or a pool (or a lottery win). This is by far the longest poem I've written, nearly double the previous recordholder. I'd rather not try to microfund it because it'd take forever to finish.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 31st, 2017 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt inspired the free-verse poem "For Any Creative Assignment." Joshua is bemused to find a supervillain on his doorstep asking for a job.

600 lines, Buy It Now = $300
20 comments or Leave a comment