ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your enthusiasm.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "first contact."  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 "Worse Than the Disease" (Polychrome Heroics, 19 verses).

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 "first contact."  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, Digg, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl, #promptcall, and #crowdfunding.  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. "Worse Than the Disease" belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics and has 19 verses. 

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 to be selected in an audience poll.

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 "first contact."  I'll be soliciting ideas for aliens, fantasy races, explorers, ordinary people in extraordinary situations, fish out of water, other folks who may be the first to meet strangers, crashing a starship, stumbling over a settlement, discovering new ideas, touching each other, plot twists, alien planets, other realms, mysterious temples, schools, doors and gates, stone circles, crop circles, other places where strange meetings occur, sufficiently advanced technology, magical artifacts, ray guns, peace treaties, 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 Lewis Turco's The New Book of Forms 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 "Worse Than the Disease.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-03 04:24 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Is it really first contact with the fae given how many stories about the fae there are?


Date: 2014-06-03 04:30 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
First contact with... the metaphysical, the spiritual, the Other greater than a single human lifespan or even a whole culture. (Not in a Deistic sense, but as a new idea in oneself.)

Re: Prompt

Date: 2014-06-03 08:01 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Looking forward to it!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-03 05:09 pm (UTC)
brushwolf: Icon created by ScaperDeage on DeviantArt (Default)
From: [personal profile] brushwolf
When Cook's men showed up, the kwaKwala were reverent, peaceful, and more than a little scared because they thought the newcomers were ancestors returned from the dead. That's the only cultural context they had for deathly-pale people apparently eating maggots (rice) and traveling in a huge black canoe larger than any canoe ever built. Maybe that's something you could use?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-03 09:45 pm (UTC)
perfectworry: the sun is up the sky is blue it's beautiful and so are you (come out and play)
From: [personal profile] perfectworry
• something out there is watching I Love Lucy
Edited (https://twitter.com/transpacifique/status/473943873786351617) Date: 2014-06-03 09:47 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-03 10:54 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
A first contact in which one party is surprised to make contact, and another party is merely surprised that the other one was not already aware.

Loving the idea of "One of Each."

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-03 11:51 pm (UTC)
chordatesrock: The Punishment of Loki by Louis Huard (detail) (Default)
From: [personal profile] chordatesrock
First contact with others like yourself.

Because of time travel, A meets B for the first time, and B meets A for the first time, and those are two different events.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-04 01:28 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
First contact with an AI.

An alien race that lives on a vastly different time scale (faster or slower).

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-04 02:05 am (UTC)
rosieknight: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosieknight
I'm not sure you can use these first two, as they don't quite fit the poetry fishbowl idea.

Blue-shift Troopers first contact?
J.A.R.V.I.S. first contacting with Tony? (Or the other Avengers?)

These should be fine, though!

First contact made by two groups of children.
First contact between soups? Maybe the origins of S.P.O.O.N.?
The Voyager golden records. Possibly with a very confused group trying to figure out what they mean? (These records.)
First contact with a dragon.
First contact interrupting a snowball fight.
First contact with a non-corporal species.
Physical first contact long after actual first contact.
First contact with the wildlife on Earth.
Invading alien army vs. Australia. Fight! (Ok, I'm in a silly mood on this one.)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-04 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Seconding the origins of SPOON idea so darn much!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-04 02:15 am (UTC)
kshandra: Porcelain figurine of a dragon embracing a smaller dragon; the smaller one is pointing to the larger one's heart (YouTouchMyHeart)
From: [personal profile] kshandra
In memory of [livejournal.com profile] jaylake, I give you the venue where so many of us made first contact with him: A room party. (Pizza and Hawaiian shirts optional.)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-04 11:00 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
If the fishbowl is still open when you read this, there's a bit of synchronicity from XKCD today: Here


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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