#Writober Day 24: Use the Things That Haunt You

Haunted by Maria L. Berg 2022

This Week’s Contradictory Abstract Nouns

To finish out October, I’ll be looking at finding the evil in good and the good in evil until Wednesday, and then finding the weakness in strength and the strength in weakness through Saturday with my images on Sunday.

When I was thinking about drinks for the Halloween Challenge the other day, I watched an animated version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Dr. Jekyll believed that good and evil were qualities that could be separated into their purest forms with the intention to remove evil completely. His experiment failed, but he did manage to find the evil in good and the good in evil.

NaNoWriMo Prep

Yesterday I started my free trial of 4theWords. I wanted to give myself some time to get used to it before November, with the hope that it will be a fun motivational tool to use to write my novel draft. The sign-up was straight-forward and they did not ask for any personal information other than an email. I watched the walk-through video, then tried my first monster battle which consisted of writing 250 words within 30 minutes. I decided to work on my Writober flash fiction story, and quickly defeated three monsters, and had 750 words of a draft. What I wrote was downloaded as a word doc with the click of a couple buttons. So, so far, so good.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “haunted.” Since I already did some images with a new ghost filter, so I wanted to find something about “haunted” that wasn’t specifically ghostly. So I opened my dictionary and found:

haunt v 1. a. to visit often: FREQUENT b. to continually seek the company of 2. a. to have a disquieting or harmful effect on: TROUBLE b. to recur constantly and spontaneously to c. to reappear continually in 3. to visit or inhabit as a ghost.

I found it interesting that the idea of ghosts didn’t come into the definition until the last. So how do I create this image of frequent trouble? I thought of an image I painted after I was robbed, of long fingers reaching for my guitar. I decided to try creating these ghostly fingers.

Frequent Trouble by Maria L. Berg 2022


I didn’t see a prompt for today, so I thought I would create a poem to look at the good in evil and the evil in good.

Sudden Losses

Cold dinners in dying candlelight, wax dripped over handmade tablecloths swept smooth over milk-crate tables, worried waiting extinguishing imagined intimacy, the cruelty of equations with passion over time unequal in each lover’s mind.
The second time, there were no instruments to take, only sentimental value and fear remained, and the new alarm that startled them to leave the pillow case containing the disappointments of violating rummaging.
Another argument on the way home, after feeling the ecstasy of camaraderie,
beauty and elegance of shared glamor, the delusional comfort of acceptance when told “you can ask me anything,” prying a bit too far, picking a scab never healed, crashing painfully into the barrier.
The replacements never lived up to what was taken, not that the original possessions were of better quality or held more value. They were of then, of there. He said it was good they were gone. They would lose their hold. But he was wrong.

Haunting by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s inspirational image is “Racing” by Valera Lutfullina. The image shows three giant greyhound-ish dogs, racing, teeth bared in the dark, along a highway where a truck with blood smeared along one side of its front looks much like a “bunny” on a track at a dog-track. Upon close inspection, there is a red light in a black rectangle in the windshield, and no apparent driver, which makes me think the truck is autonomous.

I followed the ceiling trail of blood and bits to the far end of the lab and found where the dogs, or at least a dog, had broken through the wall into the storage area where we kept the pellets and food. From the shape of the destruction I now imagined a greyhound larger than a bus, ripping and tearing through the building. Pellets were all over the shelves and floor. The rack of smaller test animals had been knocked over. They were all gone. There was barely any blood as if they had been gulped whole.
I continued to follow the path of destruction through the offices, feeling ice in my veins and hot rocks in my gut. My mind was like a chilled void trying to avoid any thoughts of guilt by focusing on finding the dogs. I know I wasn’t thinking clearly, because if I had found the dogs in the building, what did I think I would do? I would have been ripped apart like Dr. Shift.

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 23 2022

#OctPoWriMo Day 25: Fueling the Spirits

An Apparition on the Lake by Maria L. Berg 2021

For Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge, haunted, I took my single ghost filter to see what’s haunted in my world.

Toward the Light by Maria L. Berg 2021


Here we are starting our last week. I’ve decided to continue my daily poem practice through November by participating in Writer’s Digest’s November PAD Chapbook Challenge. After I finished my poem revision series last spring, my next goal was to create my first collection. I started exploring my themes and writing and submitting poems with that intention. Creating a chapbook this November, exploring my themes through the prompts will be a good way to continue in that direction.

Today’s prompt, “cup,” is a good one for me right now because I’m weary of burn-out, especially as we approach NaNoWriMo. I need to be rejuvenating, getting excited to write even more, and yet, the excitement I felt at the beginning of the month has waned. I need to refill that well in a big way. The 2018 prompt was “the door goes both ways.” I’m going to interpret that in terms of energy flow.

Distract the Ghosts

My cup seems to empty
before I drink
my ghosts are gluttons
but spirits sink
having trouble refilling
on never enough
like the torrent
spilling from the rupture
in the rubber bag in the well
never full after so many
pulls and yet thrown down
to spill again

This abrupt cut of current
is but the wrong song
skipping, repeating, leaving
the needle too long
on the same boring line
Changing the channel
breathing into the
haunting hues will
excite juices again
to fill my cup with
torrential thoughts
like hot honey
Quick! Distract the ghosts

Haunting Hues by Maria L. Berg 2021

Happy Reading and Writing!