Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open! This is the perk for the Poetry Fishbowl meeting the $250 goal three times. Today's theme is "The Big One." 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.
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. The Big One lists a number of main characters with their locations and activities for starters.
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 "The Big One." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.
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, 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.
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 "The Big One." I'll be soliciting ideas for superheroes, supervillains, gray capes, nonhuman soups, blue-plate specials, naries, first responders, citizen responders, hapless victims, Pacific Northwest and Californian tribes, scientists and other folks specializing in seismic or related issues, military forces, clergy, traveling, taking cover, running for your life, searching for survivors, rescuing people, counseling, troubleshooting, discovering problems, finding creative solutions, asking questions, learning what you can do, fault lines, earthquake shelters, cities in ruins, smashed landmarks, liminal zones, old-growth forests, beaches, sandspits, marshes, tsunami inundation zones, deserts, mountains, roads in various states of repair and disrepair, buildings, airports, harbors and bays, docks, ships, inner space, the subconscious, churches or temples, triage areas, counseling centers, alarms, photogenic megaquakes, tsunamis, landslides, liquefication, fires, floods, earthquake-resistant furniture, unforseen circumstances, emergency tools and supplies, physical first aid, emotional first aid, self-help, personal growth, different schools of therapy, therapeutic tools, trauma, fear, grief, horror, helplessness, traumatic, stress, when the whole world changes out from under you, superpower manifestation, things that can be detected and/or fixed with superpowers that are difficult or impossible to address without them, 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 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 later use.</form>