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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.  Please keep an eye on this post as I'm still writing.

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

Among my projects that feature rare orientations or relationships: An Army of One, Beneath the Family Tree, Clay of Life, Feathered Nests, Frankenstein's Family, Hart's Farm, One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis, The Origami Mage, Path of the Paladins, Sort Of Heroes, The Steamsmith, and Walking the BeatPolychrome Heroics has all kinds of options.  In shared worlds, The Blueshift Troupers and Schrodinger's Heroes have plenty of variety.

See also "Romantic Orientations in My Characters," "Sexual Orientations in My Characters," and "QUILTBAG Characters." I am particularly interested in exploring nonsexual orientations, such as Pips' attraction to bosses.

Click to read the linkback poem  "The Attack of the Dragon Shrimp" (10 verses, unicorn series).

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 "Rare Orientations." 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 Attack of the Dragon Shrimp" has 10 verses and belongs to the unicorn series.    

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, there will be a half-price sale in one series.

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 "Rare Orientations." I'll be soliciting ideas for lovers, kinky playpartners, friends, zucchini, beat partners, dance partners, housemates, familiars, deities and followers, other relationships, aces, outcasts, seeking a relationship, finding each other, falling in love/like,  asking questions, deepening intimacy, building trust, starting a household/family, betraying someone, breaking up, facing thresholds, discoverying yourself, learning what you can do, believing, disbelieving, studying sex/gender dynamics, bedrooms, coffee houses, ice cream parlors, classrooms, dungeons and other playrooms, patrol cars, skating rinks, other places people pursue uncommon relationships, vocabulary of orientations, crushes, squishes, latches, partnerships, other attachment bonds, different kinds of courtship, promises, commitment symbols, mating scents and other signals, strong feelings, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, equality and inequality, alienation, rejection, privacy, 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 "The Attack of the Dragon Shrimp."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

18 comments or Leave a comment
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 6th, 2018 07:06 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Anthony & Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Sex Objects." It's about people's intense attachment to their iPhones.

Hold for original prompters.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 6th, 2018 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your orienteering prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Sexual Orienteering." Lawrence helps Stan to approach sex/gender dynamics from a more familiar perspective.

105 lines, Buy It Now = $53
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 6th, 2018 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)


Some Dreamwidth prompts contributed to the free-verse poem "Pied-à-Ciel." Astin and Palmer appreciate the growing comforts of home.

96 lines, Buy It Now = $48
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: February 7th, 2018 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)
When life seems like an Escher drawing.

Not who or what you thought you were.

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2018 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)


This contributed to the free-verse poem "Like a Road Through Mountains." Damask talk about their experiences in sex and romance.

152 lines, Buy It Now = $76
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2018 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)


"Primary Relationship" is today's freebie.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2018 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm done for the night.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2018 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)


This contributed to the free-verse poem "The Shapes of Trees, the Movement of Rivers." Several neurovariant folks team up to bring down a bad therapist.

159 lines, Buy It Now = $80
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2018 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Looking In, Looking Out." It explores how people search for relationships with a group or an individual focus.

41 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2018 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Dinner for Four: A Sedoretu Romance." Storytellers pass on, but stories continue, and young people still fall in love.

61 lines, Buy It Now = $31
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 8th, 2018 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "The Stimulation Den." One AYES without its ship-body, one guy who isn't all that excited by human bodies, and a pleasure palace in space. Won't this be fun?

200 lines, Buy It Now = $100
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 8th, 2018 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "L’amore è Cieco." Fiorenza and her father Giordano travel to Faggiola to see how Timoteo is doing.

131 lines, Buy It Now = $66
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 8th, 2018 10:40 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "A Pattern of Devotion." Hefty and Fiddlesticks have one kind of relationship, Roger and Diamond have another, but they're all connected.

178 lines, Buy It Now = $89
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 10th, 2018 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)


A quiet outing for Pips and Joshua gives them a chance to deepen their relationship and talk about the challenges of running a suddenly expanded household. Then one of the town bullies assaults Pips, and Joshua deals with the aftermath. This is hardcore hurt/comfort with a focus on competence, loyalty, and trust.

681 lines, Buy It Now = $341
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 10th, 2018 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt contributed to the free-verse poem "Surviving Difficult Times." Calliope and Vagary wind up in a cape fight outside of Rabid City. It does not go well.

328 lines, Buy It Now = $164
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 13th, 2018 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)


This contributed to the free-verse poem "Without Having to Speak," a sequel to "Small Beautiful Bones." Cuoio's new Family wants to know how his team is doing after the incident.

527 lines, Buy It Now = $264
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 13th, 2018 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)


Your friendship prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Time to See What I Can Do." Shiv still isn't enthusiastic about cosplay ... until Luci and Gray come up with some fresh ideas.

248 lines, Buy It Now = $124
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 20th, 2018 05:29 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt about Riley inspired the free-verse poem "Where You Begin to Learn New Things." The second appointment of the day introduces Riley to a sex/gender doctor who proves very helpful.

1368 lines, Buy It Now = $684
18 comments or Leave a comment