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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 all 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 "Xenolinguists and Lost Languages."  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.

Some of my series play into this.  Frankenstein's Family has the werewolves speaking Dacian.  Polychrome Heroics has Dr. Infanta speaking Basque, Aidan speaking a version of Proto-Indo-European, Pips (secretly) and Walden (openly) speaking Pictish, lots of people speaking Native American heritage languages, and Roger the Pirate speaking who knows what else.  The Blueshift Troupers have a different derivative of Proto-Indo-European.

Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:
Winterfest in July Bingo Card 7-1-18
Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-23-18

Click to read the linkback poem "Wings, Dragons" (16 verses, A Conflagration of Dragons).

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 "Xenolinguistics and Lost Languages." 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 Dreamwidth, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, 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.  "Wings, Dragons" has 16 verses and belongs to A Conflagration of Dragons.    

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 "Xenolinguistics and Lost Languages." I'll be soliciting ideas for linguists, polyglots, translators, adventurers, archaeologists, anthropologists, sailors, police, firefighters, clergy, superheroes, aliens, uncontacted tribes, minorities, conlang mavens, other people who deal with exotic languages, translating, listening, reading, speaking, writing, constructing languages, reviving lost languages, following other languages into dark alleys and rifling their pockets for loose grammar, traveling, learning a new language, troubleshooting, discovering problems, finding creative solutions, confronting deception, asking questions, exploring new techniques, classrooms, libraries, archaeological digs, remote villages, exoplanets, outerspace, ships, the glory road, offices, churches or temples, magical laboratories, trading posts, other places of unusual linguistic activity, dead/dormant languages, rare/dying languages, heritage languages, constructed languages, alien/fantasy languages, linguistic genocide, language nests, heritage-language newspapers, untranslated/untranslatable documents or concepts, isolate languages, first contact, unforseen circumstances, when the whole world changes out from under you, cape fights, alien invasions, rare phonemes, atypical grammar, English is as pure as a cribhouse whore, 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 "Wings, Dragons."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

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Current Mood: creative creative

20 comments or Leave a comment
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2018 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from inspired the free-verse poem "Where Symbols Had the Power." It's about a language of magic and science.

36 lines, Buy It Now = $15
zianuray From: zianuray Date: July 3rd, 2018 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Using ASL in magick / ritual

Small-town high-school offers Esperanto as elective and gets surprised at how many want to learn it (and community too!)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2018 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your high-school prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Learning Together." A foreign language teacher in Mercedes decides to teach Esperanto as a means of promoting tolerance.

194 lines, Buy It Now = $97
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2018 06:58 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from inspired the free-verse poem "Different Than Yours." Shiv struggles to deal with the ghosts of Christmas past, and finds hope in unexpected places.

105 lines, Buy It Now = $53
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2018 08:01 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from DW user Satsuma inspired the free-verse poem "A Certain Form of Humility." Johan learns to ask for help, with some surprising results.

155 lines, Buy It Now = $76
This poem already has $50 donated toward it, leaving $26 to be fully funded.

Edited at 2018-07-03 10:13 pm (UTC)
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: July 3rd, 2018 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Finding the first text sample of an unknown language - possibly with Implications.

Figuring out who someone is from their translator/languages.

Differences in tense implications between languages and resulting confusion.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 3rd, 2018 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)


This inspired today's freebie, "His Eyes Uncovered."
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 4th, 2018 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)


Several prompts combined to inspire the free-verse poem "The Limits of My World." Cheersquad talks to a young speedster who is recently paralyzed, and upon discovering a mutual interest in languages, lays out some of the many things she could do.

237 lines, Buy It Now = $119
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 4th, 2018 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)


Your Army of One prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Power of Language." Whether made of words or numbers or colors, language is a living growing thing, and like all life it evolves.

134 lines, Buy It Now = $67
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 4th, 2018 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

I still have poems to write, but it's late and I'm tired. More tomorrow.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 5th, 2018 11:07 am (UTC) (Link)


Many prompts combined to inspired the free-verse poem "An Inner Strength." After rowdy children make a mess, Ida sends Kenzie to help Many Tongues clean up, which get them talking about Plains Cree.

357 lines, Buy It Now = $179
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 5th, 2018 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt about Shaeth inspired the free-verse poem "Drunk Talk." His followers gather words for drinks, drinking, and drunks -- including some in an unfamiliar language. This alerts Shaeth to a whole new group of followers.

90 lines, Buy It Now = $45
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 6th, 2018 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)


Your beer prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Sucking Brew." Sometimes learning a language all at once has drawbacks, as Bruno discovers when sharing his gift in the Maldives.

126 lines, Buy It Now = $63
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 6th, 2018 06:12 am (UTC) (Link)


Your Feathered Nests prompt inspired the free-verse poem "A Lively Feast." Humans and Fifers have some different tastes in food, and different ways of describing them, but there is still common ground.

58 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 8th, 2018 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "The Day That Holds All Time Together." Turq celebrates Christmas with Ansel and Janie, in which some of the gifts revive his Chinese heritage.

300 lines, Buy It Now = $150
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 11th, 2018 07:01 am (UTC) (Link)


Several Dreamwidth prompts contributed to the free-verse poem "If You Talk to Him in His Language." Pips meets Walden, and they have very different ideas about their heritage language.

571 lines, Buy It Now = $286
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 13th, 2018 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from DW user Dialecticdreamer inspired the free-verse poem "A Different Vision of Life." While visiting Italy, Griffin decides to learn Italian with super assistance.

823 lines, Buy It Now = $412
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 17th, 2018 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)


A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "When You Strike and Overcome Him." Ansel and Turq participate in the raid on the Umsetzung Complex to capture Carl Bernhardt and his evil associates.

507 lines, Buy It Now = $254
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 20th, 2018 08:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

The second in the raid set is "In the Depths of Your Grief." Turq finds out what happened to one of his cohort.

1129 lines, Buy It Now = $565
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 26th, 2018 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)


Continuing with the raid, I wrote the free-verse poem "A Way Out of No Way." Ansel and Turq go under the STEMZ Building to talk with a herd of centaurs and coax them out of their cells.

237 lines, Buy It Now = $119
20 comments or Leave a comment