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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 your for your time and attention.  Please keep an eye on this post as I am still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "family of choice."  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.  Clay of Life features Menachem the blacksmith and Yossele the golem traveling together.  Frankenstein's Family is unconventional.  The Moon Door is about a chronic pain support group (and werewolf pack).  One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis focuses on substance abuse and developing a new religion.  Path of the Paladins includes a variety of chosen kin such as Shahana & Ari, Johan & Althey. Polychrome Heroics has many found-families including Antimatter & Stalwart Stan, Aquariana and the whales, Cassandra and Groundhog, Danso and Family, Dr. Infanta and her Guardians, the Iron Horses, Officer Pink and Turq, Pain's Gray and his gang, Shiv and all his people (shh, don't say the F-word).  Schrodinger's Heroes and the Blueshift Troupers both feature teamfamilies.  Beyond that, this is a good time to request sequels about any established found-families you wish to follow further.

Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:
Family Ties Bingo Card 11-5-18

Click to read the linkback poem "Under a Blood-Red Moon" (7 verses, standalone).

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 "family of choice." 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.  "Under a Blood-Red Moon" has 7 verses and stands alone.    

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 "family of choice." I'll be soliciting ideas for housemates, friends, neighbors, coworkers, beat partners, dance partners, gaming groups, honorary relatives, foster families, clergy, counselors, best enemies, superheroes, supervillains, runaways, gangs, soldiers, refugees, trauma survivors, the whole QUILTBAG, other people who make their own families, discovering yourself, meeting new people, getting to know each other, weaving your lives together, supporting each other through hard times, traveling, fighting, struggling to survive, counseling, coming of age, creating a home, establishing traditions, exploring your town, intentional neighboring, discovering problems, troubleshooting, finding creative solutions, confronting deception, asking questions, exploring new techniques, learning what you can do, helping others, placemaking, houses, apartment buildings, group homes or thematic housing, neighborhoods, parks, community centers, churches or temples, counseling centers, clubs, other places where people find family, Friendsgiving, Friendship Day, National Good Neighbor Day, queerplatonic relationships, Boston marriage, Easterns, a friend in need is a friend indeed, imprint vulnerability, personal growth, frustration, determination, unforseen circumstances, rites of passage, superpower manifestation, friendship jewelry, Terramagne locational jewelry, game night, 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 "Under a Blood-Red Moon."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for future use.

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Current Mood: creative creative

19 comments or Leave a comment
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 6th, 2018 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "A Purrfect Family." It's about a house full of pets.

Hold for original prompter.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 6th, 2018 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)


Based on several backchannel prompts, "Wabbit Season" is today's freebie.
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: November 7th, 2018 01:43 am (UTC) (Link)
One God's Midlife Crisis please.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 7th, 2018 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt turned into the free-verse poem "Merely an Exaggeration." A drunken fight leads Shaeth to remark on how alcohol affects humans.

90 lines, Buy It Now = $45
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: November 8th, 2018 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem

Thank you. Unfortunately I can't fund itmyself at the moment.

(Yes, I like it. I like it a lot. :) )
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 7th, 2018 05:01 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "The Blue Bird of Happiness." Halley and Edison have made a videogame about birds and the pursuit of happiness. Cheersquad tests it out.

373 lines, Buy It Now = $197
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 7th, 2018 07:56 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Reconciled Differences." Johan and Althey meet up with Shahana and Ari. Fumbling overtures are made.

205 lines, Buy It Now = $103

Satsuma sent $50, and someone else sent $10 general that I'm throwing in, so that leaves $43. I'll get the first part posted when I can.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 7th, 2018 10:57 am (UTC) (Link)


Your Blueshift Troupers prompt led to the free-verse poem "His Family's His Crew." Lane walks the ship at night and muses about his people.

49 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 7th, 2018 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

Much more to write, but I need sleep now.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 9th, 2018 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from inspired the free-verse poem "From This Intolerable Overload of Feeling." Justin spooks Turq, and Ansel helps clean up the aftermath.

360 lines, Buy It Now = $180
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 10th, 2018 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from janetmiles inspired the free-verse poem "The Lair of the Dragon Scouts." Superkids explore nature.

132 lines, Buy It Now = $66
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 13th, 2018 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)


Siliconshaman sent me a backchannel prompt to weave with a storyline he's developing for Shiv and Luci. It starts with his story "Tangle." I have written a set of four sequential poems. There will likely be more from both of us later as events unfold.

"Confused, Screwed Up, but Here"
This poem is written in free verse. Following the events of "Tangle," Shiv falls prey to Chyou's attention. Luci's attempts to soothe his jangled nerves are interrupted by her family demanding her attention.
320 lines, Buy It Now = $160
Available for publication after "Tangle" is posted.

"Unless You Let Us Know You're Down There."
This poem is written in free verse. Shiv flees from Blues Moon and seeks refuge with Tolli and Simon.
232 lines, Buy It Now = $116
Available for publication after "Tangle" and "Confused, Screwed Up, but Here" have been posted.

"A Corresponding Clarity of Purpose"
This poem is written in free verse. Righteously pissed over what happened to Shiv, Tolli calls Boss White to give him an earful.
213 lines, Buy It Now = $107
Available for publication after "Tangle," "Confused, Screwed Up, but Here," and "Unless You Let Us Know You're Down There" have been posted.

"Emptier of Bad Thoughts"
This poem is written in free verse. Simon suggests comfort cooking as a way to help Shiv feel safer and stop thinking about what just happened.
620 lines, Buy It Now = $310
Available for publication after "Tangle," "Confused, Screwed Up, but Here," "Unless You Let Us Know You're Down There," and "A Corresponding Clarity of Purpose" have been posted.

Edited at 2018-11-13 03:48 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 13th, 2018 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your prompts inspired the free-verse poem "Welcome to Wolfenoot." The graduates of the Homemade Families course gather to celebrate Wolfenoot.

134 lines, Buy It Now = $67
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 13th, 2018 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Animal Mentors." Keras brings home a new cat, and everyone helps Smokey settle in.

59 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 14th, 2018 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)


Several prompts contributed to the free-verse poem "The Beginning of Love." When Heron feels out of his depth, he panics quietly and in an orderly fashion. Mallory takes a while to figure out how to reassure him that he is a great father.

164 lines, Buy It Now = $82
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 14th, 2018 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)


Your Danso prompt inspired the poem "More Than Blood." Danso and his siblings become an official family, with acknowledgement of various other ties.

118 lines, Buy It Now = $59
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 15th, 2018 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)


Your last prompt inspired the poem "Some Stages of Instability." Kenzie pushes himself a bit too far and learns what he needs to do in order to regain more of his flexibility.

245 lines, Buy It Now = $123
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 16th, 2018 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from DW user Siliconshaman inspired the free-verse poem "The Girl Who Loved Bugs." Saffi Lyn Ancey has always liked bugs, and after the berettaflies appear, it turns into a passion. But not everyone approves.

60 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 19th, 2018 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from inspired a pair of poems, both written in free verse:

"Whatever You Do to the Animals"
While hiking around the Blackfeet Reservation, Warshirt encounters an unexpected complication.
359 lines, Buy It Now = $180

"Reaching Out to Rescue One Another"
Warshirt takes Spotted Deer back to his cabin.
496 lines, Buy It Now = $248
Available for posting after "Whatever You Do to the Animals" has been sponsored and published.
19 comments or Leave a comment