#Writober Day 23: Anticipating the Trees in the Forest

Through the Forest by Maria L. Berg 2022

Contradictory Abstract Nouns

So this week I looked at two sets of abstract nouns:

Find confidence in fear and fear in confidence This week I tied this in with the perfectly imperfect and it could be represented by my tainted Halloween treats: It takes confidence to ring doorbells and demand candy, but there is precedence for fearing what one might get. But I don’t think I captured this contradiction earlier this week. Today’s prompt for the Halloween challenge is Forest. The saying “Can’t see the forest for the trees,” is used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole. Fear can be like that, and so can confidence. If one is completely confident in a detail, she may be surprised by the big picture, and if someone is confident in the big picture, they may be struck in the face by a detail.

Forest Through the Tree by Maria L. Berg 2022

Find death in life and life in death. For this image, I really liked using decomposing leaves as filters. It shows the circles of life through the seasons, but also the image brings a new life to the dead leaf. I pick the mounted deer head decor image as a close second.

Autumn’s Veins by Maria L. Berg 2022
Head of Each Household by Maria L. Berg 2022

NaNoWriMo Prep

This year for National Novel Writing Month, I think it will be fun to bring my study of contradictory abstract nouns to writing a novel. My idea is to turn the Big 5 into my main characters and have them experience a mystery. Using the wonderful worksheets from Writing & Selling Your Mystery Novel by Hallie Ephron, I’ll be personifying abstractions as sleuths, victims, villains, side-kicks, mentors, red-herrings, enemies, and friends.

Because I want to approach this draft completely through my characters, I’m exploring the character creation parts of the acting classes on Masterclass. I’m already finding useful ideas to explore the physicality of my characters. I like the idea of thinking about how my character exercises and doing that exercise to become that character. Maybe one of my characters is into meditation and yoga, on days when I’m focused on that character, I can start my day with a yoga video. I’m also thinking of creating personas with costume, wigs, make-up to really get outside myself. I don’t want to take time away from writing, so I’ll keep it simple, but I think it could be a fun way to get out of myself, and into my characters’ physicality.

I’ve also been thinking about gamification. I still haven’t tried 4theWords. I looked at it last year, but didn’t like the idea of typing my novel into the game. I’m still not sure how I feel about it, but I’ll give it another look. My other idea is to create a game board for myself based on clue. Once I figure out my settings, characters, possible deaths, etc. I can create a game that not only encourages word count, but hopefully generates ideas. I can create figures representing my characters to move around the board and when they meet, write their interactions.

I’m also organizing my office into stations, so when I lose steam at the computer, I can type on the typewriter, then move to a notebook and colorful pen, then put post-its on butcher paper, or draw with a crayon, anything to keep the juices flowing, then circle back to the computer.

I’m going to print out my favorite contradictory abstraction images and cover the wall behind my desk for inspiration and start collecting everything that sparks thoughts about contradictory abstractions and their mysteries in a “compost journal.”

I want the words to flow this year, and to have a lot of fun. I hope you’ll join me. I’ll be posting more prep ideas this week.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “forest.” I had fun creating a scary tree then using light to grow a forest.

Forest by Maria L. Berg 2022
In the Ghost Forest by Maria L. Berg 2022


I didn’t see a new prompt today, so I went over to Poetic Bloomings and found today’s prompt is to write an “anticipation poem.” Since I’m starting to anticipate NaNoWriMo that feels like an appropriate prompt for today’s poem.

Letting Go to Know Them

I want to be consumed
invaded, presumed secondary
present for clarity, for dictation
I prepare in anticipation
of possession by personified
abstraction and interactions
of contradictory unknowns
I desire a mystery
a murder of the cruel
inner-critic whose misrule
finally comes to an ecstatic
end through synthesis
of passion and practice
and psychological slight
of hand making hours disappear
turned to scenes to grip a seer
transforming words into feelings
and actions, and dreams
The anticipation tastes sublime
sweet and sour, dripping thyme
fresh and tingling like the open
window during rain, cleansing
readying an open vessel
for consumption.

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s inspirational image is a “horror concept” illustration by Tithi Luadthong.

I run as hard as I can, but the bus pulls out while I am still a block away. Stupid cute dog tied to a fire hydrant. It’s not like I had a choice. I had to stop and pet it and talk to it and look for its owners and scowl at them. It’s the last bus. That’s why I threw off my right shoe when its heel broke as I ran. And now it starts to rain. At least the cold droplets will cool my cheeks and wash off some of the sweat.
I find the crumpled plastic bag left over from lunch in my backpack, and tie it around my stocking. Hobbling the rest of the way to the covered bench of the bus stop, I notice someone across the street, standing under a large, black umbrella. At first I think it’s a young woman about my age, having a similar situation, so I lift my hand in a solidarity wave, but she doesn’t move. I try to see her face, floating over a sea of red scarf, and in the odd slant of the solitary street light shadowed by her umbrella, her eyes look like they glow red. I figure she’s wearing rose-tinted lenses, but at night?

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 23 2022