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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Please keep an eye on this page as I am still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "craftership."  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.

Among my more relevant series:

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.

Currently eligible bingo card(s) for donors wishing to sponsor a square:

Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card 6-18-19

Arts and Crafts Festival Card 9-1-19

Ladiesbingo Card 9-2-19

Click to read the linkback poem "The Arc of the Mental Universe" (14 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 "craftership." 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.  "The Arc of the Mental Universe" has 14 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; 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.

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 "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. 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 "The Arc of the Mental Universe."  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: September 3rd, 2019 06:06 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt inspired the free-verse poem "All That Was Great in the Past." Halley's former professor is having a hard time buying a new gizmo.

45 lines, Buy It Now = $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 3rd, 2019 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Of a Mingled Yarn." While shopping for himself, Shiv spots some yarn that he thinks Halley would like, and things snowball from there. I have created a yarn monster.

80 lines, Buy It Now = $40
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 4th, 2019 01:23 am (UTC) (Link)


Today's freebie is "The Artists Among Us" inspired by a backchannel prompt from Dreamwidth user Rabidsamfan.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 4th, 2019 01:47 am (UTC) (Link)


Your prompt inspired the tanka "Biwa." It features a musical instrument.

5 lines, Buy It Now = $5

By the way, the Lacquerware series may be found on the Serial Poetry page.
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: September 4th, 2019 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Polychrome Heroes - someone, not necessarily a gizmologist, learns to make things their super power needs.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 10th, 2019 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)


This led to the free-verse poem "The Robe of Wisdom." An old patchwork robe assists with meditation, and inspires new ideas.

113 lines, Buy It Now = $56
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 4th, 2019 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)


Your Army of One prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Pay Attention Every Millisecond." The Lacuna gains a new glassblower from an unexpected angle.

117 lines, Buy it Now = $59
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 4th, 2019 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)


I combined your prompts in the free-verse poem "As Natural as Walking." Klariffa expected to be a sheperdess like her parents. But Alazar, God of Art, had other ideas.

116 lines, Buy It Now = $58
- $50 donation
= $8 left to be fully funded
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 4th, 2019 07:15 am (UTC) (Link)


This led to the free-verse poem "The Xanadu Flask." It follows the development of the Mingei Movement in Arts and Crafts America, along with its distinctive blue-gray pottery.

65 lines, Buy It Now = $33
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 4th, 2019 11:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Done for the night!

I still have more to write, but I'm calling it a night.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 5th, 2019 11:14 pm (UTC) (Link)


A backchannel prompt from Anthony and Shirley Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Until the Sunlight Pours Through." Kenzie explores more of Chippewa-Cree crafts.

Hold for original prompters.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 6th, 2019 10:31 am (UTC) (Link)


Your knitting circle prompt inspired the free-verse poem "A Feeling of Being at Home." Hannah's knitting circle has some new folks and other developments, as they make dolls for children in distress.

167 lines, Buy It Now = $84
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 10th, 2019 06:24 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Because the Therapist Continues to Grow." Dr. G searches for places to learn new skills.

200 lines, Buy It Now = $100
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 10th, 2019 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)


Several DW prompts inspired the free-verse poem "A Fine Sweater." Shiv and Luci knit up some of their sari yarn.

223 lines, Buy It Now = $112
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 11th, 2019 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "A Candle Inside a Multicolored Lantern." Addie can't knit, but she discovers a knack for tinsmithing instead.

182 lines, Buy It Now = $91
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 13th, 2019 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)


This inspired the free-verse poem "Another Expression of Art." A nutritionist visits Blues Moon to talk about food as edible art and how to make a healthier menu.

586 lines, Buy It Now = $293
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 19th, 2019 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)


Several DW prompts inspired two related poems:

"The Making of a Wonderful Sculpture"
Shiv, Tolli, and Simon visit the Raleigh Metalwork Show.
176 lines, Buy It Now = $88

"To Be Something Stronger and Better"
After the Raleigh Metalwork show, Shiv and Tolli make things in the workshop.
462 lines, Buy It Now = $231
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 19th, 2019 05:35 am (UTC) (Link)


Your spray paint prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Slash That Shit." Shiv comes up with a whole new idea for graffiti that is devastatingly clever.

142 lines, Buy It Now = $71
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: September 20th, 2019 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)


Your commission prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Most Genius Thing That Man Created."
Shiv gives Molly the knife that Tolli and Simon commissioned.

127 lines, Buy It Now = $64
19 comments or Leave a comment