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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, September 3

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, September 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "craftership." I'll be soliciting ideas for crafters, artists, gallery owners, museum curators, critics, anthropologists, end users, new users, geeks, mechanics, designated users, inventors, Super-Gizmologists, builders, gatherers of raw materials, masters/mistresses, apprentices, other people who make things, getting in the zone, building tools, mastering a craft, creating a body of work, exploring a new craft, learning what you can (and can't) do, paying attention to details, taking pride in your work, bending the laws of physics, recovering from setbacks, healing through crafts, workshops, homes, laboratories, community centers, counseling rooms, hospitals, shop rooms in schools, trade schools, other places where people do crafts, artwork, crafts, gizmos, super-gizmos, ceramics, fibercrafts, wordwork, smithcrafts, historic crafts, archaeological artifacts, instruction manuals (or lack thereof), apprenticeship, dexterity, personal growth, patience, failure, success, and poetic forms in particular.

Among my more relevant series for the main theme:

An Army of One requires learning crafts to become more self-sufficient.

Arts and Crafts America is all about craftership in its many guises.

Clay of Life follows a blacksmith and his golem friend.

Fiorenza the Wisewoman features many practical and a few magical crafts.

Frankenstein's Family involves both science and handicrafts.

Laquerware is Edopunk about technology built in layers.

Polychrome Heroics has a great deal of gizmology and super-gizmology, and most people there have some sort of hobby.

The Steamsmith features alchemy instead of the science that underlies our world.

Or you can ask for something new.

I have a linkback poem "The Arc of the Mental Universe" (14 verses, standalone).

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 3. 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 donations total $100 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; four of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be four 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. 

I want to promote linkbacks pointing people to the "Fishbowl Open" post on Tuesday. I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of "The Arc of the Mental Universe" (standalone).  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Twitter or LiveJournal, rather than all on Dreamwidth.

(See the complete list of current perks.)


If you enjoy my poetry -- or if you just love poetry in general, or want to promote interest in crafts -- 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!

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