Prior to the Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, please visit my post about The Big One. That's not nearly all my notes, which are over 300 pages (maps take up a lot of space) now, but it contains most of the stuff needed for effective prompting. If you just want to skim until you find a scene you like and then stop, that's fine. Special thanks to my West Coast consultants including DW user Technoshaman (air support), DW user Ng_moonmoth, DW user Starbit (Bay Area, California), DW user Kengr (Portland, Oregon), and DW user Dialecticdreamer.
I highly recommend reading the first two Big One poems, "The Oldest Associations" and "The Sustaining Bonds." However, those are really intense, so I'll understand if not everyone wants to read them. I can write across the entire range from fluff to doom, so feel free to request a mood or intensity level in your prompts.
I have sketched out information about characters, locations, intensity of damage, and some events. If anyone else wants to write about the Cascadia Cataclysm, and you need references to make sure you don't step on what I'm doing, let me know who or where and I'll send you the relevant notes. Once I've written about a location so you can see what the earthquake looks like there, it opens up for fans who want to do demifiction -- public announcements, letters to the editor, lost person flyers, notes stuck on a wall, the usual post-disaster stuff. So far that's San Bernardino, but more will open soon. We had a blast with this in Berettaflies and I'd love to do it again. Just make sure I get a copy and a link so I can connect things. Also, I'm trying to date entries more carefully, so do that too. See the 2016 calendar.
You can prompt for characters, settings, events, or whatever you want to see. I've listed a lot of the scenes that I already know about. Anyone can request those straight from The Big One post, or second someone else's prompts, if you don't want to write out your own. I will write as many poems as I can, but I may not get to everyone this time if complex prompts (like X and Y at City plus dangers) spread out over a lot of long plotty poems that don't combine well. Prompts that get seconded by more people are more likely to get written.
Brief generic prompts (like "traumatic stress" or "landslide") are easy to stack with other prompts and may get used repeatedly. If you're stuck for ideas, grab any of the prompts off the list of suggestions above, or use either of the emotion lists from the Bingo Card Generator to produce a single prompt. This is a good option for anyone who feels overwhelmed by information or choices.
Drafting new characters takes time. The more of that I need to do, the slower the writing goes. So if you want to make it go faster, focusing on established characters is one way to do that.
If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts. I am now.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
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.
I'm going to host a Poetry Fishbowl on my blog on Tuesday, September 18. I'll be soliciting ideas for thematic characters, plots, settings, objects, and poetic forms in particular. Chances are I'll spend a good chunk of the day, from afternoon to evening or more, alternating between this site and doing stuff offline so my back doesn't weld itself to the chair.
Perks: I will post at least one of the resulting fishbowl poems on the blog for everyone to enjoy, and an extra one if there's at least one new prompter or donor. The rest will be available for audience members to buy, and whatever's left over will go into my archive for magazine submission.
If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to help me destroy the West Coast -- please mark the fishbowl date on your calendar. Drop by and give me some ideas, comment on the posted poetry, encourage people to come look, whatever tickles your fancy. I hope to see you then!