#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 8: The Found of the Lost

Warm Surprise by Maria L. Berg 2021

This morning when I woke up, my idea for “lost” was to take pictures in crevices, vents, drains, inaccessible corners, etc., but my camera battery was dead. That has been happening too often lately, so I ordered an extra battery. I’m surprised I never did that before.

While I waited, I did a Bing search of “lost” to see what came up. I was not surprised to see a lot of movie names. The only thing that came up that was interesting was “Lost in Random.” I clicked on it and it turned out to be a video game which looked like it might be my cup of tea except for the fighting parts. I get all stressed in the fighting parts of video games.

I then tried “lost” in Google and got many of the same answers as Bing except Google had “Lost Lake” which surprised me by not being a movie or a video game, but many places in Western Washington. People appear to lose lakes around here–a lot. I am surrounded by about sixteen lost lakes. But since I was looking at pictures of these lost lakes, it seems to me they were not lost, but found, named, reported, recorded, visited, etc. This got me thinking about the absurdity of naming something “lost” (and naming in general, an issue for me forever). And of course I have a whole new novel idea. This brain, I swear. But that’s for after NaNoWriMo. I guess it’s a good thing to know what I’m doing next. Not like I was lacking in things to do.

By then the sun had come out and I went out to enjoy it and saw those adorable little fungi growing out of the dock. They looked so out of place, they looked lost. Thus I ran back in and got the camera and my photographic challenge took a new turn.

Got Lost? by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

The prompt is to write a poem with the title “(blank) of the (blank),” replacing the blanks with a new word or phrase. The idea of naming a lake Lost lead me to my title, “The Found of the Lost.” While taking my pictures, a little photo story happened that made me smile.

The Balls of the Fall

Left Behind by Maria L. Berg 2021
Still There by Maria L. Berg 2021
Surprise Twin or. . . . by Maria L. Berg 2021
All the Lost by Maria L. Berg 2021
Yet Another by Maria L. Berg 2021

The Found of the Lost

Lost can be defined
in cost to the loser
but lost can be temporary
and lost could be good
like a pock lost by new skin
or a lock lost when you want in
or a rock lost while drowning
Lost can be defined as not knowing
where one is, these days its
harder and harder to do
everything and everyone
is lost in time
glossed over
moss covered
Lost can be defined as
the space place and time
before found which comes
around again more or
less often and then
less often
Lost is a feeling
when a wanted thing isn’t found
like a piece of saved fabric
or a purpose
or a soul
Lost can be that thing you thought about
but forgot about but suddenly want more
than anything
will die without
but can’t have
Lost is that scream I made
when I came home and the
only instruments I had left
after Katrina were stolen
and the police wanted serial numbers
they were my body, they weren’t numbers
those aren’t victimless crimes
those aren’t ensured
when they’ve only recently been
reattached because their sounds
made me cry
I bet they sit in corners
lost in dark shadows
because they are haunted
by my touch


I put “word crawls” in the search bar on the top right of this sight and was taken to a post I did on November 11th 2019. The word crawl that day was The Joy of Painting Crawl, but then I noticed that there were some interesting statements about my main character. In 2019 I wrote the basic idea for the novel I’m re-writing now. I’m glad I hadn’t been looking at those posts during the first week, but today, the comparison is fun.

I went to the post that would correspond with today, Crossing The Threshold on #NaNoWriMo Day 8 and had fun looking through my past self’s thoughts. It’s fun to see that I’m more on track to write a full draft this time. I’ve set up so much more of the plot at the front end that many more things need to happen before I get to the scene I was working on that day. However, this morning’s scenes to be Crossing the Threshold for my Detective. She’s still trying to figure out who lived on the property, why it was abandoned, and why nobody seems to know. The simple task from 2019 could work in today’s scene when Naomi goes back to the property.

There wasn’t a word crawl chosen for Day 8 so I looked back through the posts. On Day 4 I found The Hunt for your Muse. I think I’ll play through that this morning. I’ll leave The Joy of Painting Crawl for Day 11.

Gutted by Maria L. Berg 2021

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

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 7: A Healthy Ruin

Tied Within the Egg by Maria L. Berg 2021

Yesterday, I looked ahead at week ten of ModPo and was inspired by the work of Erica Baum. Specifically her collection “Dog Ear.” I’ve complained in the past how surprised I am that almost every book I get from the library has dog-eared pages. Who would do that? How hard is it to use a bookmark? However, I was fascinated by how Baum saw the combinations of words from the folded corner of a page and the next page as poetry. I dog-eared one page in my copy of Ken Follett’s Eye of the Needle (affiliate link) and felt like I had done something terrible. But then I remembered all the literary magazines I have. It didn’t feel bad at all to “ruin” a copy of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (affiliate link) in the name of poetry.

Varialalia by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

The prompt is to write a health poem. I thought it would be fun to type a poem from the lines from lines that have to do with “health” from my folds.

Live Fast: Die Young

Corinne feels tempted
and then there’s the kids
who leave her younger
sister with gunshot wounds . . .
and go upstairs
and falling off their clothes
trying their old room,
but then to run a line
and you inside of her,
know previous gunshot
going to be their shut.
Hard to do here in the old
and consider lost count, or
and Dad thing like
they whelming each
in the off

Corinne by Maria L. Berg 2021


I had a lot of fun dog-earing those pages. Now to find some motivation for my novel. I checked out How to Write a Damn Good Mystery (affiliate link) by James N. Frey from the library. I think I’ll read that for a while and see if that gets me going.

When Painted Emerald by Maria L. Berg 2021

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

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 6 & #SoCS: The Generally Suspect

A photograph of s
The Suspects by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today I thought about The Usual Suspects (affiliate link), the line-up on the cover. Then I thought about Clue (affiliate link) and the color names of the suspects. I also thought about “suspect” as a verb and I suspect that led to some introspection about what I find suspect about my suspicions.

Looking Suspect by Maria L. Berg 2021

I don’t generally like this in-camera “Poster” effect, but I’m glad I’m in a use-everything phase. It was a great choice for my criminal crayons.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Today’s stream of consciousness prompt is fun: Close eyes and point. I imagine myself closing my eyes and pointing all day. It could be dangerous. It says to use the closest print material which for me is A Compendium of Collective Nouns (affiliate link). I’m closing my eyes, opening the book to a random page., I point, and open my eyes . . . L. I got a full yellow page with a big black capital letter L. I tried again and got the letter P. Tried again got the letter E but at least there were some eagles on the page. The collective noun for eagles? A convocation. Finally I landed on a word, “generally.” Generally, I wouldn’t find that very exciting, but since I worked so hard to get to it, I guess I’ll journal “generally” for a while this morning, take a look at generally’s relationship to the usual suspects.

Generally speaking I don’t use generally a lot. Usual has unusual, general has no ungeneral. It has specific. I’m into specifically. Generally accepted, that sounds drab, muddy, generally acceptable sounds judgy and mundane. What is a good aspect of generally? Generally not toxic, not harmful leaves open specific incidents of possibility. Generally understood as convenient, yummy, a good book, those work. People have different tastes, but a general consensus of yummy or convenient is usually worth a risk, so . . .

Maria L. Berg’s journal Nov. 6, 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

The prompt is to make a location the title of my poem.

The Abandoned Property Where the Body Was Found

I thought it would be good exercise
to ride my bike the three miles to practice
I bought a back-pack style padded case
for my bass, lights for my bike, velcro
reflector strips that tied the cuffs of my pants
a safety orange vest with reflectors for my chest
riding with my bass wasn’t that hard
but that road, that road was treacherous.

No twisting, two-lane road should have that much traffic
no sidewalks and barely space between road and railing.
And those hills, three miles shouldn’t have impossible,
winding hills with blind turns, and trucks. No matter
how many times I rode that road, I always had to hop off
and walk to the top of one of the hills, it wasn’t a hill
but a small mountain or technically the other side
of a valley within a mountain. Riding a bike is not
easy around here. And fenders didn’t do much in this rain.

I thought it would be good exercise
to walk the three miles from practice
it was a bit scary without sidewalks
and barely any room between the road
and the hillside when it got dark, but I had
a headlamp, and reflectors, and there wasn’t as much traffic
I never suspected a large abandoned property. Don’t
even know how you got there from the road.
Never saw the burned out mobile home or
the fallen carport by the house.
But she was there the whole time.
Inside a garbage can, tossed away, abandoned
decomposing alone among nature’s reclamation
I rode by. I walked by. I listened to the music I was
learning to play, and would perform soon at the
bar down the hill. I focused on not getting hit.

Burning Suspicions by Maria L. Berg 2021


I’m keeping steady at 2,000 words each day. I’m not quite in the story yet, but I’m getting there. This morning I was so happy that my Scrivener set-up is working for me because I had a few ideas for each section and just jumped in and wrote a little bit before “writing time”. It’s great to not have to search through and waste time, but get where I want to be while the thought is there.

While I was doing my timed, wild, stream of consciousness morning pages, I happened upon an interesting way to make yesterday’s scene more important to the novel. It treads a fine line of really working, or not working at all, but I like how it could tie some things together, so I’m going for it.

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

Happy Reading and Writing!