This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, March 2, 2021 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "Alternate History," which actually has two aspects: history that went differently for natural reasons, and history altered by time travel or other external means. I'll be soliciting ideas for historians, famous figures, obscure people who made a big difference, adventurers, diplomats, traders, inventors, families, nomads, loners, hermits, superheroes, supervillains, social engineers, alternate artists as warmongers, college selection personnel have more historic influence than anyone realizes, urban planners, failure analysts, ethicists, activists, rebels, wild young things, other people who make history, building or using a time machine, making a historic discovery, arguing over what history was really like, changing things, missing an opportunity, spotting an opportunity, picking fights, making friends, solving disputes, troubleshooting, improvising, adapting, social engineering, cooperating, bartering, speaking, listening, taking over in an emergency, discovering yourself, studying others, testing boundaries, creating connections, coming of age, learning what you can (and can't) do, sharing, fixing what's broke, upsetting the status quo, changing the world, accomplishing the impossible, recovering from setbacks, returning home, time travel nexus points, Jerusalem, Londinium/London, Cahokia Mounds, lost cities, traditional ethnic structures, alternative building styles, multigenerational homes, apartme
Among my more relevant series for the main theme:
Artists as Warmongers is a new idea I want to explore, positing how our world's famous artists might be some other world's infamous tyrants.
Beneath the Family Tree is a community of three different hominid species in prehistoric Europe.
Clay of Life is historic Jewish fantasy.
Los Conquistados features mishaps in Spain's attempt to conquer the Americas.
Fiorenza the Wisewoman is historic Italian fantasy.
Frankenstein's Family includes humans, werewolves, vampires, a mummy, and two doctors in historic gothic fluff Romania.
Hart's Farm is a free-love community in historic fantasy Sweden.
Lacquerware is Edopunk about the development of alternate computer technology in historic Japan.
Polychrome Heroics has ordinary humans, supernaries, blue-plate specials, superheroes, supervillains, primal and animals soups trying to live as best they can. This includes many divergences from the timeline of local-Earth.
The Steamsmith is historic British steampunk. The Arc of Joan uses the same setting but an earlier time, in which Joan supports the English instead of the French.
The Time Towers posits that there is no such thing as a fixed point in time, because time works like a Jenga tower: some blocks are loose and easy to move, while others may require many moves to alter the pressure dynamics enough to move the one you really want to move.
Or you can ask for something new.
I have a linkback poem, "Of Gold and Standards" (9 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, March 2. 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 "Of Gold and Standards" (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 alternate history -- 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!