September’s Changing Focus Blog Challenge: Reflections

Last month I was excited to find the Changing Focus Blog Challenge, because I’m always looking for ways that my talents and creativity can work together, and a multimedia project around a theme each month felt like just the thing for me. I came up with, and executed, my Pathways response in two weeks. I like it, but it felt like a draft: rushed and rough, And I didn’t realize I didn’t have until the end of the month, so it was late.

So this month, I paid special attention to the end date, and got started right away with an oral poem to music for dVerse Poets Pub.

I thought about reflecting bokeh and tried several shots with the big mirror in the closet, and got some very interesting shots, but that needs a lot more practice.

The lake wasn’t calm enough to get much other than dock shadow. I took a few photographs of reflections in the windows, thinking of setting up scenes inside and doing an inside/outside type reflection.

I wrote more poems about reflections. I found a great site for kids that inspired me to do an acrostic, but that led me to working on a submission for Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction with the theme Redirections. I love how my work on pathways and reflections had my mind firing for redirections.

After I looked up “reflections” definitions and found “folding back,” I thought my daily inkblots that I started during “Pathways” could continue into this project and I thought about playing with my Rorschach mask, a mask that reacts to temperature change to change its black and white pattern. I couldn’t see through the mask, so the 10sec timed shots were very tough, but I had some fun with it.

However, a couple of minutes of that would take more space and time than my computer or I have; we would all get dizzy; and it seams like something I want to save for a more Halloween inspired piece.

I came up with some melodies in A-flat, chose beautiful chords with my capo on the fourth fret, and yet nothing was coming together. I even started a page in my hardback The Musician’s Notebook: Deluxe Edition, titled it “Reflections in A flat major.” But blank those pages stay. Perfectionism is a curse. Nothing will ever be perfect.

I took my small, ornamental mirror into the bathroom, creating eternal reflections, then I remembered that the large mirror in the office closet wasn’t attached to the wall. It was heavier than I would have liked, but and shoved, slid, carried it into the closet where I was working. I had ideas to film myself moving the mirror while filming to create more and less eternal reflection with my eyes and feet around the mirror: naked to full costume was also an idea through all of these processes.

By this time I was stressing and hitting other deadlines and any one of my ideas would take another month. So this morning, I decided I had to let this reflections project go and do a project every other month and be happy for the inspiration.

But this evening, the world provided. And this panoramic image says it all.

Pathways: a video, music, and poetry project

Update 9/2/2021: After enjoying all the oral poetry for the Poetics prompt this week, I thought the poets of dVerse Poets Pub might enjoy this for Open Link Night. I hope you will check out today’s special guest post from Jacob M. Appel on revision as well.

Here it is! My response to wRightingMyLife‘s Changing Focus monthly blogging challenge. The theme was Pathways.

I’ve wanted to try something that combines music, photography, and writing for a while, so this was a great inspiration to give it a try. This first effort was a bit rushed ( I happened upon the challenge halfway through the month), but I had a lot of fun with it and learned a lot.

While putting together the video, I learned how to do some animations with my photographs (haven’t figured out how to use them with my video editing software yet), and learned some techniques for combining motion and still photography.

Recording myself reading my poems was great practice. While practicing, some revisions and edits became obvious.

Writing music to go with the visuals and poetry was very challenging. Many of my ideas just wouldn’t work. I went through days of discarding recordings, but finally came up with the feel of pathways I was going for.

September’s theme is Reflections. I have a lot of reflection to do about my Pathways project. 😉

Little Red Geranium

Flower-a-day #12

For today’s drawing I used pencil, colored pencil, watercolor and crayon.

Glandularia? Sounds more like a glandular problem than a pretty flower.

Flower-a-day #11

My colored pencils didn’t have anything close to this pretty color, so I tried watercolor. That was fun.

Nemesia: looks like a baby snapdragon to me

Flower-a-day #9

Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge inspired me this morning. The three things to include in my post were: CREASE, BLEND, FRONT. I recently started doing daily inkblots again. Writing about faces in the clouds in my Nephelococcygia post the other day got me thinking about drawing faces over inkblots. However, I like the inkblots just how they are, so I couldn’t bring myself to draw on them.

This morning after I creased the page in my sketchbook, and was rubbing the paper to blend the water colors, I imagined creating bokeh pathways over the inkblots as symbols of mental pathways: paths of thought, neural pathways, etc. So I strung lights in front of the pages and had some fun results.

Pretty Potato in the Wind

The Sunday poetry prompt #348 from Poetic Bloomings is Weather or Not. This prompt feels very timely since I took my flower pictures in the wind this morning. That little purple potato flower did not want to stop dancing to pose for my camera.

Flower-a-day #8

The pages of my sketchbook with all the flowers so far.

And yesterday–the first time one of my closest friends came to this house, and during this summer of record drought and heat–it was so cold and cloudy she put on a sweatshirt that looked like two fuzzy blankets sewn together, and as she went to her car, it was raining. We had a great day, and I am seriously happy about the rain, but really, weather? She didn’t even see the mountain.

The Weather Couldn’t Cooperate

We sat bundled in
my Adirondack chairs
and stared at
the black plume
building behind
the firs.

I had imagined
dives and floats in
the summer sun,
a little brisk, but balanced
by hot tub dips
if or when needed

but the gray, thick clouds
didn’t break, and the breeze
began to bite, smelling heavy.
Like hanging weights in the nostrils, she said.
A cold wind, sharp with electrical fire
is not what I ordered for our visit,

her first visit in
these long-short fifteen years,
but the plums were ripe
and tasty as was the wine, inside
was warm, and the sweet frosting melted
as did the time.

As we said our goodbyes
we were both
delighted by the rain.

Ode to a red rose #SoCS

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “Ode.” Last week I was inspired to start my daily flower drawing practice and it made me draw every day which is amazing to me, and I love the black and whites photographs that I never would have thought to try before seeing zombie flamingos’ post last Saturday. So in a way this whole last week of posts has been an ode to Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Ode to a lone red rose
standing bold against the gray sky
its petals say see me

Maria L. Berg

I also started the Pathways project from wRightingMyLife last week and I have found that very inspiring. I created a new barefoot bokeh filter and tried it out this morning:

A blushing yellow rose

Flower-a-day #6

Today’s flower: begonia

Flower-a-day #5 Begonia

Space Alien Flowers

Flower-a-day #4