2021 Review & Planning for the New Year

The Snow is Watching by Maria L. Berg 2021

A Review of Experience Writing 2021

This fall has been intense: jumping out of bed every day to explore new photography ideas and write a poem. I know exactly what I’ve been doing since October first, but what was I up to last January?

I’m glad I took a look because I don’t want this year to be an exact copy of last year, but I have the same revision goals. I made a lot of progress, but not as much as I would like. So this year, to switch things up, just a little bit, the focus will be on Novel Revision Motivation.

Last January, I didn’t post much, but I did discover TBR Con (To Be Read Convention) a free online writers convention that I enjoyed. I looked it up and the TBR Con 2022 schedule is up. Shelly Campbell, who was kind enough to do an interview about her revision process last February, will be part of the Worldbuilding 101 panel on Monday January 24th at 2pm PST.

In February, I also had a guest post by author Ferrel Hornsby with her revision tips.

In March, I took Cat Rambo’s online revision class and started a series of posts demonstrating my work revising a short story:

  1. Revising a Short Story: working through discouragement
  2. Revising a Short Story: Pacing and Structure
  3. Revising at the Scene Level
  4. Revising a Short Story: the penultimate pass
  5. Revision: Using Feedback to Strategize

I also discovered Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS) which I enjoy participating in each week. Having one day a week that is completely stream of consciousness is an idea I enjoy. Glad I checked over there today. Looks like Linda has a daily blogging challenge for January called Just Jot It January, in case you’re looking for a daily blogging challenge for the new year.

April brought National Poetry Writing Month, in which I wrote 30 poems in 30 days and the A to Z blogging challenge. This year I chose janus words which are very interesting words that mean one thing and its opposite.

In May I did an intensive demonstration of creating a poetry revision process and revising a poem. There are eight parts and it starts with Revising Poetry: Creating a process.

The final post in that series came out in June and then I took July off. In August I had some fun photographing and drawing flowers and I discovered the Changing Focus Challenge and made my first multi-media video with bokeh, music, and poetry. My piece is called Pathways.

In September Experience Writing had a guest post from author, poet, bioethicist, physician, lawyer and social critic, Jacob M. Appel called Vision and Revision. I attempted to do another multi-media video for the theme Reflections, but it didn’t come together.

October was October Poetry Writing Month OctPoWriMo, and Writober (flash fiction) and I found Tourmaline.’s Halloween Challenge which got me started with daily photography prompts.

In November, I made up my own daily photography prompts and continued daily photos and poetry, participating in Writer’s Digest’s November Poem a Day Challenge. I also won National Novel Writing Month attempting a rewrite of the novel I started in 2019. I wrote 50,000 words but the draft is far from complete. Guess what I’ll be working on in 2022.

And this month I made another daily photo prompt calendar, continued to write a poem every day, and made a multi-media project for the Changing Focus Challenge prompt Rest, Sleep and Hibernation.

That was a busy year. Looking back, I did a pretty good job of sticking with my revision theme. Though I did not complete as many revisions as I would have liked, I explored my process and have a better understanding of the steps I need to take to succeed. So here’s to a year of motivated revision!

If Snow Could Talk by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

New Year’s Resolution

And the cycle continues
but something has to change
the barefoot and bicycles
will arrive too soon
coming or going
they will circle
and what will I have finished
what sweet delight
prepared to serve
the gibberish and frothing
fills pressed pulp
like teeth in a shark’s
wicked grin and yet
I continue to chum
the dark waters
and the dollars and itches circle
coming and going
when will the attention rapt
be enough to keep me in my seat
carving to the revealed
that is supposed to be inside
but I find never finished
and we cycle again
the spokes bent
the tire always needing air
the road uphill both ways
the music and stars
will arrive too soon
and any interest in taming the gibberish
will float on the froth
and effervesce

Snowflakes by Maria L. Berg 2021
The Ball Drops by Maria L. Berg 2021

The New Year

Tomorrow all day The Poetry Project is having its 48th annual poetry marathon. Hundreds of poets will be reading their poems. What a great way to enjoy the first day of the new year.

I signed up for Sarah Selecky’s Six Weeks, Six Senses writing program to jump start some short stories this year. I get my first prompts tomorrow.

I was planning on taking a little time off, maybe switching to once a week for a while, but today, the final day of 2021, I will have posted new photos and poems every day for 92 days straight. It feels silly to stop 8 days short of 100, so I’ll keep it up through the first week of January.

Instead of creating a new photography prompt calendar, I will use Of Maria Antonia’s 2022 Weekly Photo Challenge Bingo Card:

So come back tomorrow and join me for some photography and poetry for the new year, and maybe I’ll have some ideas of how we can stay motivated to revise our work.

Rushing In by Maria L. Berg 2021

Happy Reading and Writing!

A New Palette for Looking Forward

Snowball Fight by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

Enraptured

What joy to play with light
to join it frolicking
blue flashing white
orange blushing pink
or smiling yellow
I slow the shutter
and move the lens
thinking I can control the dance
but the ecstacy
is in the unexpected
when what I’ve captured
is a delicious panoply
no longer of its parts
but a melded mutation
in motion and now singular
to be copied, resized, or manipulated
but never reproduced

Blue Moon by Maria L. Berg 2021
Firefall by Maria L. Berg 2021

What’s Next?

Yesterday’s post was my 90th day of posting new photos and poetry every day. Though the new year is a good mile post for starting something new, I’ve decided to keep going until I hit 100 days. That will take us through the first week of January. Then it’s time to get back to revision and other writing experiences.

What would you like me to explore in 2022? What would you like to experience here on Experience Writing? What are your writing and reading plans for 2022? Any questions I can help you with?

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Sun Worship on a Snowy Day

Reindeer Log by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

Oh Sun, We Have Missed You

Today we worship the sun
eyes closed, we absorb
It pets us with photons
enters us and makes us light
See orange turn to pink
behind our lids
filled with warm calm
our cheeks lift
as our faces float
We curl up and breathe it
let it fill our cavities
like bird bones
The vibrating surface
reflects its caresses
like blown kisses
shimmering fire hearts
sent across the lake
The shadows have already shifted
the sun moved to the next window
but our eyes still glow

Yule Log by Maria L. Berg
Water Log by Maria L. Berg 2021
December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Fuzzy Mittens on a Snowy Day

Kitty Mittens by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s photo prompt “mittens” inspired me to get wrapped up in my snow clothes and go play in the snow. Kitty came out to guide me home.

My Snow Angel by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

Slippers for Hands

I don’t own any mittens
I searched the drawers
and the cubbies in the closet
I have gloves
gore-tex gloves for skiing
knitted gloves lined with fleece
wine colored gloves with white fur cuffs
but no mittens
I shouldn’t be surprised
but I am
I always had mittens
growing up
off-white wool mittens
from Sweden
but you don’t need mittens
in New Orleans
since I never liked mittens-
I found them restricting-
why would I replace them
after evacuating
the closest thing I have
to mittens
are the slipper socks
I got for Christmas
when I first saw them
I pulled them over my hands
and tugged them up my arms
and said “or sleeves”
so I pull them on now
they are so soft inside
they reveal how dry my hands are
so I remove them and slather my skin
with moisturizer-wait-then apply again
I want the full softness experience
I pull my mittens up
over my elbows
like fuzzy opera gloves
the navy, white, and sky bumps
feel good on my face
I have no fingers
I have no thumbs
I can pick up my book
open it to my bookmark
but the pages turn in bunches
I cannot turn to the next page
after much trial and error
I bend down and stick my tongue
to the upper right corner
at first the saliva collects
tiny blue fuzz
but then
success
I read that page
and the next
with warm hands
wrapped in soft hugs

Snow Kitty by Maria L. Berg 2021
December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Sunlight on the Snow

Snow Love by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today I learned that I can make bokeh shapes with sparkles on the snow. If the sun had stayed out, I would have played with all my filters, but it only peeked out from the clouds for a moment.

Such Lovely Snow by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

Snow Day

Sunlight dancing on the snow enraptures
sparkling rainbows on every surface captivate
blissful seagulls dive and rise in thrilling chase
floating, flying fervent frenzy of freedom
rapturous revival raw and wild
the still silence entrances
a dreamy delicious day

Snow Love Two by Maria L. Berg 2021
December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Return with the Snowglobe

Waking Up Inside a Snowglobe by Maria L. Berg 2021

This morning I received a real snowglobe world.

My Snowglobe Footprint by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

The prompt at Poetic Bloomings today is Prompt #366 – Many Happy Returns which challenges us to write a return poem.

Fleeting

She will never return
that woman of yesterday
before this morning’s snow
before the candycane
melted in this coffee
she is but a blip of history
a snug memory
of the woman I used to be
She will never return
that woman of this morning
before putting on boots
to make footsteps in the snow
before grabbing the camera
to make snowglobes
before jumping back
under the covers
to cuddle with the cat
and listen to him purr
she was still half asleep
and she stayed there
with all the possibilities
ahead of her
I will never return
the me staring out the window
at the large white flakes
falling from the thick gray
meeting the water, so I
really do feel like I’m
in a snowglobe
I am but a moment
now a snug memory
a blip in history
I will never return

Receiving Snow by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. While you’re looking, please click the hearts to like the images on the RedBubble site. It will help my work get attention. Thank you.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#SoCS: Everything is yummy when you give it away.

The Spirit of Altruism by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s prompt, altruism, inspired me to finally make an open hand bokeh filter. I like how it turned out. Then I had fun filling it.

Giving is Growing by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “yum.” My family gathered for gift giving last night and my mother made the most delicious strawberry cake. Yum. This morning I put the super-soft slipper socks that my sister gave me onto my frozen feet and wow they are yummy. I opened the Starbucks mug from my bother and it came with Holiday coffee which I am drinking. Yum. And it’s perfect with the old fashioned donut holes I bought for this morning’s breakfast. Yum. But the yummiest was waking up to my favorite kitty who came to cuddle with me and gave me loud purrs for Christmas. So yummy.

Handful by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I repeated what I did last week and browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Memento.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Gift.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #241 is Din. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 19 words.

Weihnachtsgespann

Through the din
of crumpling paper
and electronic toys
she presented an
unwrapped gift,
a delicate memento
to cherish.

Helping Hands by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoy the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Hunting the Elusive Rest

I found this month’s prompt Rest, Sleep and Hibernation very inspiring, and I’m excited to share my finished multi-media video. I really enjoyed how the stills and video fit with the sounds I collected and arranged. And it was fun to put my poem in the fire. I hope you find this relaxing and restful.

Eating All the Sunlight-Soaked Oranges

Pretty Christmas Oranges by Maria L. Berg 2021

I enjoy getting a little orange in my stocking every year. Today, I played with visualizing the joy of that experience.

Adding More Oranges by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

A Precarious Achievement

It was a beautiful ceiling,
a feeling of wishing
the time I wasn’t home
flickers across and distorts
our lives.
Games and cookies further generalized
while the implications stimulated
giving us candles, the yard
was spectacularly vulnerable.
Eliminating rationality,
I went into the street
with more decentered
notions of weaknesses.
Prepared for senility,
they made sure to keep
the windows hot/cold.
Only just beginning
not to improve, but
nothing came back.
From their fragmentation?
She’d say insufficient metaphors.

They Left to Join the Sun by Maria L. Berg 2021
A Stocking Full of Oranges by Maria L. Berg 2021
December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Christmas Duck Giving

Giving Christmas Duck by Maria L. Berg 2021

What does giving look like? Yesterday, while rummaging around looking for yeti things, I happened upon this dishtowel I forgot I had. The universe gifted me this Christmas duck, so I decided to give it some gifts.

A Frog for Its Head by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

On Vacation

We visited
something else disappeared
pieces of shared experience
taking up residence
in the paintings
on your forehead
and the crook behind
a slightly bent left leg

The apartment didn’t want to keep me
If wallpapered, the same place
so we met in other places
If only your smile were digestible
when we stayed together
we reflected their appearance
these women
during clenched fists

It isn’t fair that the flavor or feel
is neither sugar nor milk
to my coffee
I let you finish my reach
forward to cut into the bits
before depositing them
to encounter the rebuke

Duck in Santa Hat by Maria L. Berg 2021
Christmas Duck Songs by Maria L. Berg 2021
Showered with Gifts by Maria L. Berg 2021
December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!