What color is your portal? Change it with online paint chips.

I opened a portal

I opened a portal (2020)                 bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

Yesterday I started a new Coursera course: Songwriting:Writing the Lyrics with Pat Pattison through Berklee College of Music. One of the first lessons conceptualized a song as three boxes, stacked with the smallest on top. The top box fitting inside the middle box and both fitting in the bottom box. He used this imagery as the build and progression of the song.

I liked how he used “the boxes” and thought it would be a good way to approach a poem, so I thought I would take a look at what was going on at #dVerse Poets Pub to inspire some words to put in my boxes.

I felt like the #dVersepoetics prompt presented by HA: About Portals, was perfect for my poem. I talked a bit about portals and doorways while I was Excavating my mind. The prompt inspired me to open a portal in the side of the house and capture some photographs of the dimensions on the other side.

Where we can see the virus

Where We Can See The Virus (2020)    bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

Where there are tiny dinosaurs in the trees

Where There Are Tiny Dinosaurs In Trees (2020) bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

I thought I would combine my portal ideas with Linda L. Krushke’s Paint Chip Poetry Prompt. I was looking for interesting color names a couple weeks ago for a poem, but didn’t find what I was imagining. The paint chip poetry prompt got me thinking and I searched again. Sherwin-Williams color families is exactly what I was looking for, so many creative color names with history and symbolism and oddity. It’s great. I can also explore Behr’s colors.

Armed with great inspiration, I lost all energy and interest 🙂 But I came back to it this morning, so I’ll call that a win.

The poem

Portals to here

Doors block and stop
when closed and locked hold
secrets and mysteries, create
yearning and discomfort, force

vocal expression out of context
the imagination runs rabid,
but when the key is found
and the door creaks, cracked

upon its hinges, it becomes
but a frame, lines and angles
to accentuate or break
the nouns within

Portals are but separators,
organizations to define
yours from mine from ours,
space from time, earthly from divine

find the vibration to pass
through the membrane,
concentrate, believe, transform
pass through to here

How long will it take to
notice the subtle differences
What color is your portal now?
Is it the drab aloe vera of the desert house

where I shaved my head
for the first time, or is it marine
like the flap of my tent I call the hurricane
that accompanies me on all my travels

did you walk through the door
that glowed like a sunset behind
the intricate carving of the head of Medusa
that I continued to visit every day in Venice

or is your portal no color at all
a carved opening in a cliff dwelling
showing the complete eclipse
where you look down through infinity, trapped

#NaPoWriMo Day 17: Obsolete Tech Not Yet Forgotten

artistic interpretation of the corona virus

If we could see the virus one (2020) bokeh photography by Maria L. Berg

I woke up still angry at the guy that came to my door and rang and knocked and knocked until I went up and yelled, “who is it” and he said “pest control.” After yelling, “I don’t need your services,” through the door, I knew he would go next door, so I ran to my backyard and watched him. No gloves, no mask, banging on the door. I yelled, “they don’t want your services either,” and he had the gall to say, “when will they be home? So their on vacation?” What is wrong with people?

I tried to let it go, but I encountered two attempted murderers (in my neighborhood (including coffee nose guy) in under a week. I do feel for people who need to work, but knocking on doors right now to represent pest-control is not only ironic, it’s deadly.

It felt like time to create a virus bokeh filter. I looked at a microscopic photograph of the virus and attempted to get the outer shape, then added wire for those distinctive fuzzy triangles. The wire shifted in this photo, but I still think it’s an interesting first attempt. My idea is to do a series of images outside when the light is right on the water, with the idea of what would we do differently if we could see the virus.

A to Z Challenge

octave – the interval between two tones with the same letter name which are eight steps apart in the key

obertas – round dance in fast 3, performed wildly. Also called oberek

obertaste – black key on the piano (German)

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: Write a poem that features forgotten technology

PAD Challenge

Prompt: Write an exotic poem

The poem

Obsolete Tech Not Yet Forgotten

During this pandemic,
with renewed interest in recording,
I have discovered
what was once the most expensive,
latest and greatest,exotic, must-have
spend-your-last-penny-on
equipment, is now forgotten tech

Things change so quickly
in this digital age
though analog is always
better in the ear
tech is a tool to make everything
easier and faster
but greed makes it useless in
under a year

This became clear two weeks ago
when I made Big Ben chime on watervases
I pulled out my M-Audio to record
my stunning accomplishment
to learn that there were no drivers made
since 2011 and those wouldn’t work with my system
Why, humans why? Monsters, why do you do this?
For three days, old chatrooms became home.

I conquered in the end
and believe me, my friend
I am the queen of my empty space
I can’t use Print Music
or my old video games
that I bought with good money
all those years ago
but I can record any noise that I want
and post it to SoundCloud or some other Spot
to give it away for free, I guess
because no one buys music anymore.

 

 

 

 

#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

#Writober Day 25: At the heart of it

Turns out at the heart of it I found ghosts and love 🙂

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is White. The suggested form is Musette.

Blank page

vacant
with potential
wakens

nothing
glaring light blinds
reeling

bleached bare
marks to be made
a flare

Note: I found this poem form more challenging than expected. I like it and think I’ll try some more musettes.

#Writober4

The image for Day 25 on the Pinterest board shows a red, glowing orb structure hanging in a swamp. Someone has traveled far to get to it.

My take: My first thought of this image was that the thing in the swamp had to be alien, but today I’m thinking that it’s more of a mutation, the swamp’s heart.

Micro-fiction: The throbbing became deafening and as I watched in awe the mound lifted from the swamp as if the cypress were a unified body drawing up their roots. There, before me, was a huge heart that glowed red with each beat. I felt that this was an ancient truth that only now wanted to be known.

Writing Process and Tools

How to Write Flash Fiction from Wiki How

Emotion: shame

Creepy verbs: malign, befoul, bespatter, vilify, villainize, revile

Story Cubes Symbols: rook/castle, die (dice), all directions, arrow, cell phone, lamb, fountain, worried smile, book

Woodland creature: skunk

Collective noun: a raffle of turkeys, a rafter of turkeys

Horror trope: werewolf

Oblique Strategies: Is there something missing?

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#Writober Day 24: Breathing

Today’s theme inspired more bokeh photography. My little skull candle woke up with dragon breath, sang a haunting tune, then did some fire breathing. I find shape bokeh with objects and people challenging, but so rewarding and fun.

#OctPoWriMo

Today’s OctPoWriMo theme is Breathing.

Breathing

The inhale smells like lilacs and gardenia / The exhales are either coffee or beer
In rush memories of lust and longing / Out pour vile words then pangs of guilt
Spirits rise to exhilaration / The fall, time will exact
Hope fills the empty spaces / Which empties the full ego
Each delicate touch renews / and darkness soon replaces
Every smile replenishes / The strength to fight depletes
Opportunities to dance increase / while self-control decreases
Voice to song now automatic / There is nothing left but focus
To act exhausts and rejuvenates / No passion to reject
Give positive word / in exchange for the negative
profit from the cleansing and face the loss
let pleasure be the antidote for pain
Breathe yourself alive

#Writober4

The image for Day 24 on the Pinterest board is a picture I took of my friends’ Halloween decorations.

My take: Dolls can be very creepy, especially the abandoned, the found, the out of place dolls in the world. Symbolic representatives of innocent human life and yet dead-eyed plastic gender-role training tools. These dolls gathering in a festively lit tree bring up so many questions.

Micro-fiction: Myrna sat down at the table in her back yard. She took a sip of her wine, looked up at the tree, and sighed. This was usually the only peaceful moment of her hectic day, but last week she had noticed the first doll. Every day there were more odd, old, filthy and broken dolls in her magnolia. Today’s additions appeared to include conjoined twins. Who would make a doll with two heads? Nothing made sense. She had given up wondering who would sneak into her yard to put dolls in her tree and she didn’t want to get close enough to see how they were attached. She took a deep breath then gulped down her beverage. The leaves rustled and giggled.

Writing Process and Tools

Emotion: Frustration

Creepy verbs: avenge, revenge, deserve, return, balance, serve

Story Cubes Symbols: hand, parachuting, worried smile, alien, bee, pyramid, house, question mark, foot print

Woodland creature: humming bird – a bouquet of hummingbirds, a charm of hummingbirds, a glittering of hummingbirds, a hover of hummingbirds, a shimmer of hummingbirds

Collective noun: a cog of robots

Horror trope: bio-chemical attack

Oblique Strategies: How would you have done it?

 

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo Day 27 and #CyberMonday Sale at #RedBubble!

Day 27
Word count:51,225 words
Word count goal: 54,000 words
Mapping the Hero’s Journey: Overview
Save The Cat: Finale

Happy Cyber Monday! Are you one of those people who takes advantage of online sales  to get a jump on your Christmas shopping? If so, you may want to take advantage of the 25% off sale of my art products at Red Bubble.

 

Use Code CYBER 25 for 25% off EVERYTHING!

It may be hard to believe, but these designs, like many of the images I’ve shared this month, are created from photographs. This year I’ve been working very hard to master bokeh shape photography. I have hand-cut many unique filters for my camera lens and use different light sources as my color pallet. The movement of the monsters and dragons above, is the result of shutter speed and slight movement of the camera while taking the picture. If you would like to know more about bokeh, this is an informative article: Bokeh for Beginners.

#vss very short story

Meredith knew the elves in Santa’s workshop couldn’t compete with her eye for design, so the day after Christmas, to give them plenty of time, she started sending designs and patterns to the North Pole. Next year, her kids would be trend setters.

Plotting with Tarot

I may have passed the 50,000 word mark, but my draft is not finished. Today, I did a reading for my MC’s New World. He has risked his life and been betrayed by everyone he loves. Nothing will ever be the same. What will his New World be like?

New World Card.jpg

New World: Two of Cups- balanced relationships

The worst part of the new world: Nine of Pentacles upside-down- living beyond your means

The best part of the new world: Seven of Swords- tempted to sneak away from a particular situation that is not working for you any more, rather than dealing with it head on. As you do not feel ready to deal with the issues, you are aiming for a solution where you can just escape and not have to worry about it all

My interpretation: This is an interesting reading for my upcoming scenes. Because of the betrayal my MC faces, to help his family, he may lose everything he worked so hard for all of his life. He may want to go it alone after all of the betrayal, but his family is what he cares about most. If he ran, he would have nothing left. To get to his New World of balanced relationships, he will have to resign himself to his new situation and though he will get back to working too hard, he has a new understanding of who he’s doing it for and why.

Ask Your Character

  • Do you have, or have you ever had any tattoos or piercings?
  • If you got a tattoo what would the image be and why?
  • What is that image or symbols special significance?

Word Of The Day

sinecure: n. an office or position that involves little or no responsibility, work or active service; a cushy job

8 Action Verbs:

Assessed           composed            detailed           extended

involved           oversaw            retrieved            tutored

Poem prompt

Write a poem about your shadow. (Some ideas for brainstorming: How does it change when you move? What does it look like in different kinds of light, in different situations? What would happen if you lost it? Does it have a secret life?) from Creative Writing Now

Shadow

Backlit
Elongated, stretched
Tall and proud
Striding

Side-lit
Crossed, oblique
Awkward and askew
Stumbling

Overhead
Short, squat
Distorted and underfoot
Stymied

Awesome Sentence Challenge

Free play- Make two list: A list of nouns and a list of verbs. Play with combining nouns and verbs that you don’t think you have ever combined before.

Today’s Simple Task

MC clearly reaches goal.

Warm-up Exercise

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Write a scene in which your character does something impossible.

Recommended Word Crawl

Feel like you need a magic potion to finish NaNoWriMo on time? Try The Witch’s Brew Crawl.

Happy Reading, Writing and Shopping!