#NaPoWriMo Day 9: Capturing Rainbow Butterflies

Capturing Rainbow Butterflies (2020) bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

Capturing Rainbow Butterflies (2020)                                    bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

A to Z Challenge

When I went to Sweden as an exchange student at thirteen, I had already been playing piano for eight years. Imagine my surprise to find that their scales had an H note. Mind- warping alternate reality.

half-step  the smallest distance possible between two notes

harmony (from dictionary.com)

  1. any simultaneous combination of tones.
  2. the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
  3. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: write a concrete poem

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write an ekphrastic poem

I went to dictionary.com and typed in ekphrastic to explore the word further than my general understanding, and nothing came up, so I took a look at the entry for Ekphrasis on Wikipedia. It didn’t add a lot to my understanding of ekphrastic poetry, but I did like some of the phrases in the description such as: illuminative liveliness and rhetorical vividness. So today, I will attempt to approach liveliness and vividness with my words.

The poem

A Harmony of Rainbow Butterflies

A Harmony of Rainbow Butterflies

#NaPoWriMo Day 8: A crooked line

a new idea

A to Z Challenge

glissando – to slide: playing a very fast scale by a sliding movement

grave – very slow

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: Start with a line from another poet.

PAD Challenge

Prompt: Write a future poem

The Poem

(first line from anne carson bot)

A future voice in the dark

I am asking you to study the dark
to glimpse a future,
a glissando played grave
on the backs of eyelids

Is the crooked line imagined?
this jag in the path
weighted with time
grooved with new purpose

a texture, an echo
soft, small comforts
a distant tune of
what might have been

Innovations in Klecksography

Ode to man's moist mouth resized

Hi everyone! In preparation for poetry month in only two and a half weeks, I thought I would get in the mood by diving back into the joy of klecksography. If you haven’t read my previous posts on the matter and have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to take a quick look at my post Gobolinks and Blottentots before reading on.

Like most creative endeavors, setting klecksography aside and coming back to it with fresh eyes led to new ideas. Today’s innovation was dripping the watercolor pain with an eye-dropper instead of a paint brush.

At first I was disappointed. There wasn’t enough color and there was too much water.

After those attempts dried, however, I put more drops of paint on them with a brush and really liked the results. So my ink blots will be a two-part process (until the next innovation): eye-dropper then brush.

I think I set aside klecksography for two reasons:

  1. I couldn’t get myself to draw on my inkblots.
  2. I didn’t want to mix my magnet kits.

Today, neither of those “problems” were an issue. I opened my Mustache Poetry Kit and found all the words I needed and the inkblot already illustrates it perfectly (if I do say so myself) without any drawing on it.

I hope to make these every day for a while. If I do want to draw on them, I’ll make a color copy, or scan them. As for mixing my magnets? I’m not sure yet. I got a bunch of colored whiteboard pens when I was doing this before, thinking I could color code the ones not from the main set and then wipe them off. However, using only the words provided in the kit creates interesting artistic parameters.

What are you doing to get ready for poetry month?

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

 

F is for fainéant

cut wood between trees

Today’s new word:

fainéant n. an idler. adj. idle; indolent.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“After (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “After Dinner,” “After You,” “After Hours,” and/or “After I Finish Writing This Poem.”

Note: My poem has been deleted because it will be coming out in an anthology December 2019.

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Happy Reading and Writing!

E is for eleemosynary- Poem:Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

iStock_000013284658_Small burning money

Today’s new word:

eleemosynary adj. 1. of or relating to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
2. derived from or provided by charity. 3. dependent on or supported by charity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

“Write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.”

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“For today’s prompt, write a stolen poem. And no, don’t steal anyone’s poem! But you can write about doing such a thing. Or stealing hearts, stealing time, stealing minds. Or steeling your mind (remember: I don’t care if you play on my original prompt). Steal away into a comfortable place to write and break some lines today.”

My poem

Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

Your altruism is in the mail
to eleemosynary systems of dilution,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to bypass through donated time, but
bureaucracy can ruin every good intention
Your altruism is in the mail

Regulations, rules–there must be control–change
behavior through punishment or reward,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to circumvent: offering temporary shelter;
donating clothes; preparing meals: inconvenience
Your altruism is in the mail

No one wants your eleemosynary roofs
if they mean invasive monitoring and checks
your altruism is in the mail
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Native Guard: Poems by Natasha Trethewey

Happy Reading and Writing!

D is for dysphemism

Today’s new word:

dysphemism n. 1. the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression for a more neutral one. 2. an expression so substituted, as “cancer stick” for “cigarette.”

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own sad poem, but one that achieves sadness through simplicity.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

Note: I have removed this poem because it will be coming out in an anthology. 🙂

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Poems: Maya Angelou

Happy Reading and Writing!

Realistic Goal Setting vs. Creative Chaos

Rising in the West

The Chaos

Moments after I published my last post with realistic reading goals that I would put in my planner for January, I went to the library and checked out twenty-five books that were not on that list. I’m glad I did. There’s nothing wrong with my reading gluttony. I should not have imagined I could reign it in.

My approach to submissions is similar. Today, I saw a tweet about the guest editor at Smoke Long wanting story submissions, and from her interview, it sounded like she might like one of my stories, so I spent most of the day completely re-writing it and submitted it. Not in the plan, but I submitted and I think the story is much better today than it was yesterday, so mission accomplished.

As you can see, my ideas for my writer’s planner that I laid out in my last post were an interesting hypothesis for my experiment, but do not hold up to the creative chaos of how I actually work.

Realistic Goals

Deadlines

One aspect of the planner, however, the main one of knowing dates for deadlines in advance, has worked and I did submit to the first two deadlines on my list, on the very last day, but still. Stories submitted. I think the idea of having some specific deadline goals each month will definitely work for me and if I already had these dates in a planner and didn’t spend so much time finding them out in the first place would save me a lot of time for writing new work.  So this will be my main goal for the planner: finding deadlines for magazines and contests that will be predictable for next year.

Knowing all the options

The other aspect of the planner that I think will work is a daily overview of a literary magazine. Though literary magazines appear and disappear, often without warning, I’m still in shock that Tin House closed its doors, I think I can come up with 365 options for writers to think about with links to their websites, so the writer can learn more and submit if it looks like a good fit.

While at the library (checking out all the books) I found The Pushcart Prize XLI: Best of the Small Presses 2017 Edition (2017 Edition) (The Pushcart Prize). This was a great find for this part of the project. In the back of the book it lists all of the small presses, with their addresses, that submitted pieces for consideration. For fun, I went through the list and picked out every listing for Washington State. I was surprised how many there are and how different each small press and magazine is from another. I have already submitted to one of the magazines from that list. The great thing about the Pushcart Prize collection is I can read the stories and see which magazines think which stories represent them the best and which magazines publish the most award-winning stories and poems.

The Design

For the experiment, I wanted to create the planner pages in open office so all of you can play around with it with me. I like the idea of being able to fill in the planner on my computer and/or print it out and have a physical copy.

My initial attempt to create the daily layout was frustrating, so I headed to Youtube and found a couple of videos that clicked with me and got me started.

Jenuine Life

Mariana’s study corner 

The trick was to use shapes and text boxes. Though it was very time consuming, I came up with an initial draft of my idea.

feb one left                                           feb one right

So now the experiment can move into data collection. I hope you will join me. What do you think of this initial idea? How’s the layout? Does it include everything for a motivational daily planner? What types of physical properties would you change: shapes, colors, backgrounds, fonts, etc.?

My next step is to create all of the pages for February and start using them, re-evaluating and incorporating feedback each week.

Happy Reading, Writing, Planning and Submitting Your Work!

Review: A Compendium Of Collective Nouns

Over the weekend, I went to West Seattle and had brunch with an old friend. After we ate, we walked around the shops. In a home furnishings store, I noticed a beautiful book and had to have it. So I am now the proud owner of: A Compendium Of Collective Nouns

A Compendium of Collective Nouns: From an Armory of Aardvarks to a Zeal of Zebras from Woop Studios.

The collective nouns in this book were researched from The Book of Saint Albans, An Exaltation of Larks: The Ultimate Edition by James Lipton which I talked about in my post Exploring: Collective Nouns, and other historic examples of collective nouns.

A collection of collective nouns is fun for anyone and everyone who enjoys playing with words, and this book is beautiful as well.

A Disguising of Tailors

This is the page I turned to in the store that turned this book from, Oh, I want this, to I’m taking this home with me. As a person who worked many years as a seamstress and tailor, I absolutely love the idea of being part of a Disguising. I’m going to extend that to A disguising of costumers because it’s just perfect. As you can see, the full page graphic designs are also eye-candy.

A Duplicity of Spies

This page is full of fun collective nouns. I especially like:

  • A venom of spiders
  • A duplicity of spies
  • A scurry of squirrels
  • and A galaxy of starfish

I highly recommend treating yourself to a copy of A Compendium of Collective Nouns: From an Armory of Aardvarks to a Zeal of Zebras from Woop Studios.

Also from Woop Studios:

A Raft of Otters: Collective Nouns Flash Cards from A to Z

A Zeal of Zebras: An Alphabet of Collective Nouns

 

How can you use collective nouns in your writing?

Happy Reading and Writing

 

Gobolinks and Blottentots

You may recognize these inkblots from my last post. The image on the left looked to me like two teddy bears playing with a ball from the moment I made it. The image on the right, however, originally looked like an angelic figure or winged creature (turned 180°), but when I looked at it again, I saw a canyon carved by water flow. Because the original inkblots were made with glitter-glue, the blue watercolor flowed like water and did not soak into the paper, so it even acted like mountain lakes flowing into a river in a canyon. It was very fun to make.

More Fun With Klecksography

Gobolinks and Blottentots

At the turn of the 19th to 20th century,  people expanded on Justin Kerner’s ideas of Klecksography, the art of using inkblots in illustration and created works of their own. Ruth McEnery Stuart turned the creations of inkblots and verse into a game called Gobolinks and John Prosper called the inkblot creatures he created and described in verse, Blottentots. Both of these books of inkblots and verse are now available online through Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg ebooks:

gobolinks coverGobolinks or Shadow Pictures For Young and Old by Ruth The Blottentots coverMcEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine 1896

Blottentots and How To Make Them by John Prosper Carmel 1907

Inkblots As Story Inspiration

I had a lot of fun creating a bunch of inkblots the other day. One of the great things about inkblots is they are a super-cheap, if not free (you can make them with things you already have in your house) art form and you can make them very quickly.

I did a little experimenting and found porous paper, like regular typing or printing paper works better than thicker paper. So any scrap paper you have lying about is the perfect canvas, and any drippable liquid will do. I used a cheap, hard-disc watercolor set with a lot of water. If you don’t have watercolors, you could use acrylics, or left over house paint. If you don’t have any paint, use mustard and ketchup. Use coffee or tea. Try mud. Why not? Make sure to protect your work area. I rolled out a bunch of butcher paper.

As I made more and more inkblots, my scrap paper got smaller and smaller. I found joy in the black and white blots that were about 2″ X 2″.  Many of them looked as if they could combine to become more detailed creatures, so I got out a metal board and some magnets and had some fun.

metal board and magnets play area

Looking at all these unique beauties made me ponder the stories they could tell. For those of you who have read Jumpstart Your Novel by Mark Teppo, what about using inkblots to inspire or illustrate your nine boxes?

Nine Box Plot

Or how about using your inkblots to access your subconscious ideas about your hero’s journey? Perhaps in a similar way to, or along with Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot.  The hero's journey in inkblots

You could also use inkblots to inspire setting and character:

spring garden

A spring garden

mantiss gnome


A garden gnome spinning on a spike

Character development: Use your inkblots with your characters like Rorschach tests to explore their psyches.

Group dynamic/ character interaction: Have your characters play a game of Gobolinks.

Since I am having so much fun with inkblots, I hope to find ways that they will help me enjoy my editing and revision process as well. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

Further Reading

Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity by Margaret Peot

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls

The Inkblot Pack: Includes the 10 Classic Inkblots for you to interpret & a beautifully designed journal with thought provoking quotes

And Just For Fun

Rorschach mask

As a photographer and a costumer, I imagine many possibilities for The Original Moving Rorschach Inkblot Mask, so I bought one. I should have it in about 10 days and will definitely write a review.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

Easy Inexpensive Halloween Decorations

These ideas from KellysDIY are so fun, I had to repost. Amazingly simple decorations to get you in the mood for #Writober. I think my Halloween decorating will be a month long process this year.

Halloween is just around the corner….so I found some ideas you can do to dress up your home….scary. Fun and easy to do.. I used felt for everything except for the white eyes and teeth. They’re just card stock. We have a covered porch, so I didn’t need to worry about rain. This was totally […]

via Easy Halloween Decorations — kelleysdiy