ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (fishbowl)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Please keep an eye on this space, as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "history written by the losers."  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.

Click to read the linkback poem "Lead Us in Peace" (18 verses, Clay of Life).

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 "history written by the losers." 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 LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, 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.  "Lead Us in Peace" has 18 verses available and belongs to Clay of Life.

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 "history written by the losers." I'll be soliciting ideas for historians, other chroniclers, invaders, the oppressed, the misunderstood, ordinary people, outcasts, refugees, fish out of water, abuse survivors, the women that men don't see, QUILTBAG folks, people of color, people with detested superpowers, "evil" races, untouchables, burakumin, former or current criminals, foster children, others on the fringes of society, fighting a holding action, retreating, losing everything, looking in the window, taking people for granted, expecting the unexpected, surviving oppression, hiding, upstanding, speaking truth to power, facing your demons, punching up, protesting, storytelling, battlefields, reservations, cities, slums, classrooms, hideouts, alleys, subways and sewers, liminal zones, government buildings, libraries, oral tradition history, poorskills, unpaid labor, self-sacrifice, emotional labor, disruptions, linchpins and ripplepoints, time travel, the Underground Railroad, unusual vulnerabilities, history books written by the losers, painted hides, minority languages, subversive literacy, subversive education, humility, humiliation, appreciation, social evolution, 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 "Lead us in Peace."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-02 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rix-scaedu.livejournal.com
People who wind up married to, or otherwise having or being in families with the victors, willingly or not.

'Unimportant' war stories and 'forgotten' theatres of war.

The resurfacing of hidden caches.


Date: 2017-05-02 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Your prompt about hidden things inspired the free-verse poem "Cache Flow." It talks about how people bury treasure and, sometimes, never return to claim it.

28 lines, Buy It Now = $15

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-02 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] my-partner-doug.livejournal.com
How about the viewpoint of Neanderthals, on the rise of Cro-Magnons?


Date: 2017-05-03 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
From this I got the free-verse poem "We Will Fade into You." It explores what the Neanderthals left to the Cro-Magnons.

26 lines, Buy It Now = $15

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-03 01:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
janetmiles here.

As animals are going extinct -- the thoughts of the last of a species?

The thoughts of a sun whose gravity field isn't tight enough to keep a far-outlying planet, as the planet swirls out of orbit?

(I read this suggestion somewhere, but don't remember where) Someone has gone back in time, not to kill Hitler (or other historical figure) but to "rescue" him to another place and time. What do the historical figure's memoirs look like?


Date: 2017-05-03 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Your gravity prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Celestial Dehiscence." A sun waves goodbye to a wayward child.

13 lines, Buy It Now = $10


Date: 2017-05-03 07:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
For the Iron Horses, I wrote the free-verse poem "All These Things Woven into Something." An altercation at a powwow leads to a discussion about what it means to live between worlds.

228 lines, Buy It Now = $114


Date: 2017-05-03 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Divisible History." The people of Roluma history is not whole, but splinters, and nobody really comes out of it intact.

66 lines, Buy It Now = $33

Done for the night!

Date: 2017-05-03 10:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I still have a few prompters to cover, but I need sleep now.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-05-03 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I know the fishbowl is closed, so this is not a prompt; it's just for your amusement. I just saw this on the askamanager blog:

"The first place I worked out of college, there was a particular employee who was known for coming back from conferences with a minor sniffle, and passing along the bug to everyone he came into contact with, then all of them being out for days with the illness. (He was apparently very good at picking up germs AND fighting them off. It was like the worst superpower.)"


Date: 2017-05-05 08:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Anything thrown in the general direction of a fishbowl is fair game if I happen to find it inspiring. ;)

From this I got the free-verse poem "A Matter of Opportunity." One of Dr. Bloch's coworkers has a really unfortunate tendency, and he has an idea about how to fix it.

233 lines, Buy It Now = $117


Date: 2017-05-03 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Black and the Red." It talks about the history of red and black Seminoles, and how they feathered out after the Fledging.

54 lines, Buy It Now = $20


Date: 2017-05-04 07:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
From a DW prompt I got the free-verse poem "Morning Waits at the End of the World." Nebuly talks over about his feelings with Marjoram and Amergin, who help him understand that it's natural to feel unsettled after making a big change.

282 lines, 274 counted, Buy It Now = $137


Date: 2017-05-05 01:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Beneath the Willow Tree." Mingxia belongs to the Willow Tree Women's Group, a support network for disenfranchised grief. She tells them about the mixed emotions of finding Turq.

308 lines, Buy It Now = $154


Date: 2017-05-05 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A backchannel prompt from Anthony Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Split Between Two Lands." It compares the experiences of Chinese and Japanese immigrants to California.

Hold for original prompter.


Date: 2017-05-05 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A backchannel prompt from Anthony Barrette inspired the free-verse poem "Miasmas of the Past." It's about Holocaust deniers.

Hold for original prompter.


Date: 2017-05-05 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Several DW prompts inspired "Hidden Histories," written in unrhymed couplets of Norse alliteration. It's about sneaking valuable texts out of a warzone.

8 lines, Buy It Now = $10


Date: 2017-05-16 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
A DW prompt about the marginalized inspired the free-verse poem "A Conversation Between Body and Soul." Calliope and Vagary explore dancing as a means of healthy touch. It does not go as planned.

480 lines, Buy It Now = $240


Date: 2017-05-29 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Continuing with the Iron Horses from a DW prompt, I wrote a diptych:

"The Place Where the Journey Begins"
The Iron Horses rescue a young man tangled in a barbed wire fence.
763 lines, Buy It Now = $382

"We Are All Related"
The Iron Horses take Kenzie to a safe place for recovery.
1091 lines, Buy It Now = $546


Date: 2017-07-13 10:36 am (UTC)
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