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*I've only heard "frobbing" used as "broad motions upon a device to determine what the components do," which is not the "aimless manipulation" described in the sources I could find, although they do match it with "twiddle" and "tweak" as intermediate and fine manipulation.
I have a linkback poem, "Changing Relations" (19 verses, The Moon Door).
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.
( New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )
WARNING: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes a bond gone awry, relationship problems, boundary violations, severe communication trouble, domestic violence in its more controversial mutual mode, injuries significant enough to require a trip to the clinic, messy medical details, social disapproval from various angles, ignoring sound medical advice, grudging assistance, acute stress response, and other mayhem. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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WARNING: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. Turq has a horrifying past, and thus, horrifying nightmares. This batch of nightmares features child abuse and neglect, medical torture, and related mayhem. He wakes up terrified and miserable, very much in need of comfort, but unable to seek out human contact. So he finds something else which is sort of soothing. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.
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In summer, the lake
is blue and fluid,
traversible only by boat.
In winter, the lake
is white and solid
enough to hike on.
So you walk on water,
and you cut a little hole
in the pale floor of the world.
You build a hut there,
with a brazier of coals
to help keep you warm.
For hours you may sit
on the little wooden stool,
dangling a hook into cold water.
But when the fish come,
they are stupid with cold,
and the biggest ones bite hard.
You can catch enough in a day
to clean and cook for a week,
for the Christmas feast.
* * *
Fishing is a fun hobby with many benefits.
Ice fishing involves cutting a hole in a frozen body of water to catch fish in winter. Here are some basic instructions.
"Kin to the Shadows"
I am one who goes between
the night and the day,
the shape and the soul.
Kin to the shadows am I,
like tree-stripes in tall grass.
I wear my power as a cloak of dusk,
hiding my true form from hostile eyes.
When I take up arms, my enemies
see only what I would have them see:
I become large, elephantine, and
then they give me respect.
In that shape I can protect those
who are unable to protect themselves,
lift up burdens beyond my normal strength.
Death is lighter than a feather,
duty heavier than a mountain;
this is the secret of my endurance.
No one needs to know my hidden nature,
my hame of origin, that I am a tiger in truth,
for me to do a tiger's duty to the world.
* * *
In Quiar, tigers are anthropomorphic thylacines. Most of them possess a lot of magic, and many are shapeshifters. They use cryptic abilities to survive in a world where two whole continents have tried to wipe them out.
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! Today's theme is "anything goes." You can ask for whatever you want. Favorite settings, characters, storylines, themes, etc. are encouraged. You may also request things you've wanted that I haven't done yet. If you have been saving any prompts that haven't matched a theme yet, now is the time to post those.
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.
Stuck for ideas? You can find prompts by ...
* picking some from the Bingo Generator prompt lists.
* browsing my Serial Poetry page or QUILTBAG list for favorites.
* looking up fun things on TV Tropes.
* plugging a favorite topic into your search engine and choosing a picture that looks interesting.
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 "anything goes." 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.
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.
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.
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 "anything goes." I'll be soliciting ideas for ... anything at all! Favorite characters, ideas for new ones, plot twists, stop-trope repairs, strange settings, whatever tickles your fancy. Now's the time to bring out all your cool ideas that haven't quite fit a previous prompt call. 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 first edition of Lewis Turco's The 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.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
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"Where All Tears End"
Evil is an action, not an object.
It has no substance unto itself,
only direction once set in motion.
Evil is what you do, not who you are.
No one is born evil, only becomes
that way through a series of choices.
It is like pure water falling from the sky,
to turn muddy running over dry earth,
and then to become bitter salt when
it joins the ocean where all tears end.
For evil does not begin in hostility,
but in sorrow, and it flows from grief
to rage to hate like a flood picking up
flotsam and jetsam along the way,
ravaging down slopes into the ocean.
So evil ends as it begins,