#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 13 & #SoCS: Forging an Oracle

Marble by Maria L. Berg 2021

For today’s images, I wanted to build on yesterday’s fun discovery. The eye photo from yesterday makes me think of an oracle. Then I thought of a magic 8 ball. I used to have one and really liked it.I found an online 8 Ball, but it just wasn’t the same. The physical holding and shaking of the ball, watching the words rise to the surface, how could I capture the feeling and experience? I thought of the joy of Erica Baum’s photographs of clever found text in the world. I have a triangle bokeh filter.

Then I looked at the theme for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday which is “cam.” When asked to think of a word with cam in it, of course I think of camera, then camera, then camera, so I put cam in a search and got “campfire.” I haven’t had a fire yet this yea,r and I had a small dry log and some kindling in the fireplace from a photoshoot I did in October, so I decided to light that up as my background. Not exactly a campfire, but though it is not supposed to rain again until tonight, the world outside is way too wet, so the fact that I have one small dry log is in fact “lucky.”

With fire as my backdrop for my oracle, I needed to figure out how I wanted to gather my questions and my answers. How would my oracle answer yes or no questions? I wanted to find the text on things around me, but how to get the words in my triangle, in front of the fire?

The classic 8 ball had 20 answers: 10 affirmative, 5 maybe, and 5 no. I started taking pictures of text I thought would make good answers. Then I saw my word jars on the mantel and thought, what could be more found-text oracle than randomly pulling nouns from a jar to represent yes, no, or maybe? So I pulled out 20 nouns and got to work.

Bubble by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a luck poem.

Feeling Lucky?

I must be
the luckiest person:
I went to the oracle
and the oracle said
Only Yes or No questions
so I asked: Will I
meet my soulmate?
They answered: nest
Which is exactly
what I needed to hear
It makes sense that I
should make a home,
a comfortable place,
for love to be drawn to
Then I asked: Have I
found my purpose?
They answered: smoke
which confirms that
life is fleeting and I
need to follow
my heart, so I asked
the question burning
inside: Will I
be remembered?
They said: flavor
And I knew I
would leave
good taste
in the world.

I must be
the unluckiest person:
I went to the oracle
who said ask only
Yes or No questions
so I asked: Will I
ever find love? and
they answered: sneeze
which only confirms
that I sneeze funny
and it puts people off
I asked: Do I
have a purpose?
They said: poison
Which is what I’ve been
dreading; I’ll have to
quit my job before
that go-getter poisons them
against me. He probably
has already, so I
asked: Will anyone notice
if I am gone?
They answered: key
Exactly as I expected.
No one will miss me unless
I don’t turn in my keys.

Yes or No Answers by Maria L. Berg

NaNoWriMo

Last night I did 20 minute word sprints with my ML (municipal liaison) and the part of my story that had me a little stuck opened up in a new direction. It really is amazing to me how just knowing that someone else is out there doing timed writings “with” you does actually make a difference. Strange human mental gymnastics, but whatever works. I’ll be trying the zoom write-in today and see if that works as well.

Fire Oracle 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!

A Lucky Stream of Consciousness

This year’s Writer’s Games are over. I’m happy to say that one of my stories placed third in its event, so it will be published in the anthology. My first publication this year. Woohoo! This is the first Saturday I’m not working on a story, and am excited to have a Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The theme for today is Luck. Here’s a sample of my stream of consciousness writing on luck in my journal this morning:

“I’m still in disbelief of how unlucky, and lucky, I was yesterday. A simple act of gravity could have been a complete tragedy, but turned out fine. Talk about drama: hot water pouring over a frozen banana in the sink, I step out to get mint, and not wanting bugs to get in, close the sliding door behind me, but the house and gravity conspired, and the hinged bar fell. The door wouldn’t budge. At least I know that little bar does its job keeping people out, but I lock all my doors and windows at all times, so I was screwed. But luck was on my side. I still can’t believe how lucky I felt when the shop door opened. Maybe I wasn’t sure kitty wanted to stay in, so I didn’t lock it after I watered, or if he opened it telepathically, but somehow his recent choice to spend these hot, smoky days in the shop saved me, and the house. It was such a bit of luck, it felt spiritual, supernatural. Luck favors the prepared, but I was not prepared. Once I was back in the house, and had taken many deep breaths, I made the connection that it was Friday the 13th. It had never been a date I paid much attention to before. I wonder if I will take notice and act differently the next time.”

Maria L. Berg

Looking through my WordPress Reader, I lucked into a cluster of Flower of the Day posts: Zombie Flamingos’ black and white response to Cee’s Flower a Day challenge, inspired me to go out and try a black and white flower photo. I love it! And lalalaMonique has a flower a day challenge in which she draws a flower each day. I think I’ll combine all three (though I ignored Cee’s dahlia prompt).

Stumbling upon Cee’s flower-a-day was also lucky because the site has lists of all sorts of challenges. Because I want to focus on recording music on the weekends, I took a look at her list of Music Challenges. I like the blogging challenge idea at wRightingMyLife because it combines writing, photography, and music which is something I want to do. The theme this month is “Pathways.” Luck and pathways go together well.

My overgrown path almost plum-ripe

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie has something called Lucky Dip which today is a poetry prompt to write a Nonet which is a nine line diminishing syllables poem.

Fickle Luck

When all is shiny and bright as gold
the path ahead clearly unfolds
a gentle ease fills the day
no blockades in the way
birdsong fills the air
not a blister
or ache. We
call it
luck

When all is dark, and hope has run out
everything tried fails, leaving doubt
dare not ask what could go wrong
dread makes the day too long
chainsaws scream a dirge
the next turn will
be worse. We
call it
luck

And talk about lucky! I made the last of my quinoa, not sure what to eat with it, and just before I threw out the bag, I noticed a recipe on the back for Blueberry and Feta Quinoa Salad. And I had all the ingredients (except for cucumber). Delicious!