Writober Day 17: The Smell Of Death

bokeh skulls appear to rise from leaves

by Maria L. Berg 2017

I will never forget the smell when I returned to New Orleans after the hurricane. It permeated everything. It’s impossible to describe, but it’s a mix of rot, blood, excretion and this sickly-sweet horror that triggers the gag reflex until it is so stuck in your nostrils and pores that you realize it will always be a part of you–The smell of death.

This image makes me think of Little Shop of Horrors (1986) which I paired with the wooden jigsaw puzzle Artifact Puzzles – Garden of Death in the first October Pairings

Is this a killer plant? Is the plant haunted? Or is Death spending a day off tending the garden?

#vss very short story

They knew they had wandered into Death’s garden when a stray step released spores shaped like skulls, moaning on the wind.

#OctPoWriMo

And The Dragon Chose . . .

Though I do not understand the title of today’s challenge, it sounds inspiring and a bit ominous. Today’s challenge is a Dr. Seuss challenge to only use 50 unique words to write the poem. This is based on the bet that led to Green Eggs and Ham. I found an online rhyming dictionary the other day, so I think I’ll start there, choosing words that rhyme with scent and death.

Botrytis Battle

Brown spotted signs of death
And furry gray mold
Botrytis claims his garden
A battle to unfold

Death enters his garden
His step releases spores
In saprophytic appetite
A germ of many wars

Insects carry conidias
Fellow soldiers in arms
Spotted brown colluders
Carry mold that harms

Wounded cuticle weakens
The infection breaches the sheath
Shaking his head sadly
Death grips his snath and swings

Notes on today’s poem:

That was way harder than I thought it would be. The original poem was 74 words and I figured many of those would not be unique, but I was wrong. That took a ton of creative editing, but it was a great challenge.

These poem prompts paired with the #Writober images are helping me come up with some unique writing. This poem was also inspired by an article on cannagardening.com called Botrytis Cinerea: a highly infectious crop killer. Thank you to everyone for the inspiration.

#FlashFicHive

flashfichive day 17

graphic by Anjela Curtis

Our #Writober image prompts lend to writing horror, sci-fi and fantasy. What other genre could we add to the mix? Today’s image makes me think Gothic Horror like Edgar Allan Poe or H. P. Lovecraft, or we could try Noir Mystery or a Cozy Mystery (the Death’s day off story). It could end up a Comedy or Satire. What genre do you want to explore today?

Happy Reading and Writing!

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#Writober Day 13: A Well In The Woods

A well in the woods

photo by Maria L. Berg 2017

This is one of the wells at Longmire in Mt. Rainier National Park. This well sits directly to the left of the cabin in the woods. The well definitely makes me think of The Ring a great spooky movie for those you doing RIPXII’s Peril on the Screen.

Why is this well in the woods? What’s in the well? Is it lucky or unlucky? Should your character make a wish or run like hell? I #FlashFicHive has anything to say about it (and the fact that it’s Friday the 13th) I’d keep the coin and start running.

#vss very short story

The volcanic minerals kept them young as the forest and mountain aged around them. Their pale faces appeared rarely, deep in the well, reflecting the moonlight.

I’m still looking for players for #pessimisticmoustache. Please join me on twitter.

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: Art in the wayward mind

Today’s prompts at OctPoWriMo.com paired with my well image made me think of “filling the well” from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition
So I grabbed my copy of The Complete Artist’s Way: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice and found the section called Finding Water. I opened to a random page from that section and copied it. Not finding words I liked, I flipped through until I found a page with the Title The Abyss. I copied that and cut it up to play with the words from the page. Here’s what I came up with:

The Abyss - a cut out word poem using a page from The Artist's Way

Now that was fun!! The poem I cut out worked well with a page in my art book. YAY! I like that the monster looks like he’s smiling up at you from the bottom of a dark well and the colors look like the mineral stains from today’s #Writober inspiration photo. I may want to add some detail like bricks from the well, but for now I don’t want to touch it.

What’s fun about the poem fitting in this section of my art book is I made windows in other pages, so it changes multiple images. Here’s a picture of the open spread and what the monster looks like with the left page folded over:

So much fun. I love how these pages are going to evolve over time. I’m so glad that #OctPoWriMo is working with my art book.

#FlashFicHive

Post “unlucky” lines at a hashtag and quote-RT

flashfichive day 13

graphic by Anjela Curtis

As I mentioned before, @writingevents is a typo. It will take you to the twitter page of Alex and Jude in Bath, England. Mica Scott’s Free Writing Events is @writevent

Today’s hashtag games and themes are:

NEIGHBOR   LOVE/HATE   JINX   EYES

FEELINGS ABT TIME PASSING    5TH LINE ANY PG

friday writing events

micascottikole.com/events/ from @writeevent

I think #FridayKiss might be seeing some unlucky lines from yesterday’s story.

#Writober

Yesterday, I did some wandering about the internet and found some other people doing Writober in different ways.

@NestHaron’s Writober 2017

If you visit #Writober on twitter, you’ll find a graphic of word prompts by @NestHaron who is Zsolt Fazekas from Romania. His bio says he was born in Transylvania. I’m enjoying that some of the people doing #Writober are writing in French. My French is rustier than I thought.

writober2017

Xero Reynolds

Searching my wordpress reader I found Xero Reynolds. He’s writing from Colorado and is attempting the daily writing to create one story like I mentioned in my #Writober update. He shares his stories on his website.

I hope you’re have a great #Writober and finding tons of fun, spooky inspiration for your writing and reading.

#Writober Day 8: Hungry Tree In The Military Cemetery

Tree eating military gravestone

photograph by Maria L. Berg 2017

This tree takes me straight to Poltergeist only these gravestones stayed in the cemetery.

Any of the Poltergeist movies would be great for those of you doing the RIPXII Peril on the Screen challenge.

#vss: very short story

He blamed the trees for his losses; roots tripping his men; branches scratching. The trees seek punitive damages beyond the grave.

#OctPoWriMo

Theme: How Could I Know

The prompt at OctPoWriMo.com suggests the poetry form called Joseph’s Star. It’s a syllable line rule ( Syllables are 1, 3, 5, 7, 7, 5, 3, and 1) poem like a haiku but it creates a diamond shape and you can repeat the pattern in as many stanzas as needed. I like these poetry form prompts.

How

could I know

a large tree would grow

when the bird dropped the seed cone

while flying over your stone

out of all the dead

and find life

there.

How

did its roots

find food in old boots

of hallowed ground deep with you

do I dare imagine, too

reaching searching first drink

inside the loosened

seems of the

box?

How

could I know

it would cradle you

suck in your essence like food

lift you through its veins of wood

make you one with it

are you a

tree?

 

#FlashFicHive

Develop a story inspired by a word cloud.

FlashFicHivewordcloud

#FlashFicHive Day 8 Word Cloud by Anjela Curtis

I think some of these words will work nicely with today’s prompt. Until now, I hadn’t thought of a nest with eggs in that tree. Or maybe our protagonist finds a bag full of money in a hole in the tree, or under the limb holding the grave stone or . . . Ooh, this is a treasure trove of ideas.

#RIPXII Peril On The Screen

Because my whole face and head have been invaded by the mucous monster, I spent my Saturday in bed feeling sorry for myself. To feel like I accomplished something, I decided to tackle The Peril On The Screen challenge.

Horns – * * * * (Four Stars)

Horns was not what I expected. It was much better. It had elements of dark comedy and a rich mystery wrapped up in religious symbolism and a truly horrible premise. It even had some Stand By Me moments with flashbacks to the main players as childhood friends.

Swiss Army Man -* * (Two Stars)

This movie was a disturbing, fantasy portrayal of necrophilia. Though I liked the imaginative arts and crafts and am impressed by the obsession it took to raise the bar for fart jokes,–That bar has flown to an unimaginable new height–I felt icky and worried for the writer, director and producers when the film ended.

Watching Horns and Swiss Army Man back to back, I was impressed at how Daniel Radcliff brings his characters to “life” (Ha! Ha!), and wondered if, in trying to get away from Harry Potter, he hasn’t made some odd choices.

The Cabin In The Woods – * * * * (Four Stars)

When I watched this movie before, I may have only caught part of it, or been distracted because, though I knew the plot and remembered the monsters in their cubes, I did not remember that the cast included the likes of Thor, Jamie from Zoo: Season 1 and the Alien huntress herself- Sigourney Weaver.

This movie is so fun. It is a lesson to writers that any trope, no matter how over used, can be seen in a new and create way.