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Participation was vigorous. There were 45 comments on LiveJournal and 31 on Dreamwidth. Please welcome new prompters helgatwb, and LJ user Ng_moonmoth. You have them to thank for the second freebie.
Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Casting for Answers"
"In Our Many Images"
"Indoor Men and Outdoor Men"
"It Takes Three"
"Like the Two Wings of a Bird"
"The Many Loves of David"
"The Power of Two"
"Temperate in Politics"
"Uncounted Colors of the Stars"
"Was Blind But Then Did See"
"Hatching into the Future" (Dragonsilk, 4/4/14 fishbowl)
"Soldier Boy" (Fiorenza the Wisewoman, 1/7/14 fishbowl)
"Peace Offerings" (Polychrome Heroics, 4/1/14 fishbowl)
Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, read the unsold poetry list from April 1. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available. There are still several verses of "Hatching into the Future" remaining, which you can reveal by linking to the unsold poetry list or a favorite poem from the March fishbowl.
Most of the currently sponsored poems have been posted, with a couple still pending. Backchannel copies of the rest have gone out to prompters. Per the $200 goal, "Soldier Boy" is the free epic. Per the $250 goal, that's one tally toward a bonus session. Per the $300 goal, there will be a half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics later this month.
Donors this month include: librarygeek, alexconall, janetmiles, chanter_greenie, LJ users Ng_moonmoth, the_vulture, Anthony & Shirley Barrette. Welcome new donor Ng_moonmoth, who is partly responsible for the extra freebie.
The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
I'm seriously thinking "squash" would fit there, because "zucchini" is a general queerplatonic partner word, and "squish" refers to asexual crushes. I pretty much can't trip over a lexical gap without wanting to shovel something into it.
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Torn World is a science fantasy shared world. This is the character sheet for Tetefii (who is adoptable, by the way). One interesting thing about Northern culture is they don't have rigidly defined professions or dress codes according to gender, although there are a few gender-specific rules. They're also pretty loose about sexual orientation, although of course some people have strong preferences. Far more important in most people's lives is their occupation role: domestic (working in the village) or ranger (working in the wilderness). But there are always some people who blur the lines ...
"Outdoor Men and Indoor Men"
Tetefii likes men.
She likes them tall and short,
old and young, funny and solemn.
In particular, she likes
indoor men and outdoor men.
During the long winters,
she cuddles up with domestics,
their soft hands finding
all the right places.
During the brief summers,
she runs wild with rangers
who show her hidden grottoes
where nobody will notice
if they are not, for a few minutes,
actually gathering food and craft materials.
Tetefii likes men,
but not just men --
she enjoys the company
of men who wear dresses and raise children,
who are not so loud and fierce
and always concerned about
putting a bead on somebody's necklace
and, sometimes, she looks to
the women who wear breeches
and take snow-unicorns on long journeys,
their arms full of adventure instead of infants.
The thing about middle work is this:
you're never only a domestic or only a ranger.
You're always a little of both,
a bridge binding the two halves together,
a rocker between age-mates.
The thing about flexibility in love is this:
you find a lot more of it that way.
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! Today's theme is "genderqueer people." 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 "Hatching into the Future" (Dragonsilk, 20 verses).
Note #1: Today is April 1, which is my birthday. (Yes, I'm working, I love my job, it is fine, and you can give me prompts as presents.) I don't enjoy pranking, and especially not today. Thank you.
Note #2: The entire datastream of the world is corrupt for about the first two weeks of April, until all the pranks have been found and labeled. Therefore, if you want to leave a prompt that benefits from a supporting article, it helps immensely to link to an older one.
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 "genderqueer people." I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.
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. "Hatching into the Future" belongs to the series Dragonsilk and has 20 verses.
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 "genderqueer people." I'll be soliciting ideas for transfolk, two-spirits, genderfluid or agender people, gays, lesbians, asexuals, historic figures, genderqueer shamans, gendershifting deities or heroes, other folks with uncommon sex/gender identity, alien or fantasy genders, bigots, gender scholars, discovering something unusual about sex/gender, changing sex/gender, coming out, passing, falling in love with an incompatible gender, transbashing, plot twists, holy places, stages and theatres, bathrooms, bedrooms, other places where sex/gender may be an issue, confusion, self-hate, the joy of self-discovery, adaptive equipment, pride flags or rings, historic legends about genderqueer people, queerplatonic or otherwise queer relationships, vocabulary, 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 "Hatching into the Future.") The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
Here's a glossary of genderqueer terms. See also my list of QUILTBAG characters.
I have a linkback poem, "Hatching into the Future" (20 verses, Dragonsilk). I need a volunteer to host this.
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.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.
( New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )
Let me give you mine:
1) She has a goal of her own, not somebody else's goal.
2) And some resources with which to pursue it, such as personal skills, virtues, or tools.
3) So then she runs around doing proactive shit to the struggling plot while the author screams, "No! NO! It wasn't supposed to happen like that!"
4) Then she flips off the author and does whatever the hell she wants.
5) Also, if there are guys interested in her, she does not fall in love or bed with one who is obviously an asshole. (Secret assholes are different. But they will Get Theirs when she finds out their true nature.)
More simply: if she's doing things, she is a hera. If things are being done to her, she is a heroine.