#Writober Day 27: Carving Pretty Things Into Weak Flesh

Halloween Carving by Maria L. Berg 2022

Contradictory Abstract Nouns

Today, I start looking at the last of my chosen Halloween themed abstract nouns: finding the weakness in strength and the strength in weakness. This morning’s thoughts took me full circle to watching Hellraiser to start the Halloween season. Those movies are all about carving and weakness of the flesh. I’ve always found it fascinating how something as strong as human skin— that keeps all our moving parts together, stretches and grows with us while we slosh and throb about—is also so fragile. Any small, sharp point, even a thorn or tiny sliver of wood can open us up and let our vital fluids pour out, leave us open to infection and even (in extremes) death. Why, if we’re so evolved, don’t we have cool armor like an armadillo, or a pangolin? I would say our thermoregulatory system and our immune system are the strengths in that weakness, but still, pangolin armor.

Nano Prep and Looking Forward to November

Yesterday I started thinking about what I want to do here at Experience Writing during November. At first, I thought I would only post once or twice a week with dVerse poems, but then I remembered the Writer’s Digest Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge, and how continuing daily prompts really improved my abstract photography last fall, so I’m going to continue to post every day through November with photography, poetry, and things I learn while working on this year’s NaNoWriMo novel draft.

For my daily photography prompts, I will continue to explore contradictory abstract nouns. As I talked about back in mid-September when I finished Calvino’s Memos, I organized a big list of abstract nouns into the Big 5, highlighting the words with different colors that I thought put them into those categories. During November, since my characters will personify the Big 5 and their contradictions: Love/Apathy; Beauty/Ugliness; Truth/Deceit; Wisdom/Ignorance; and Happiness/Misery, I’m going to look at the other abstract nouns on the list that I put into these categories. I’ll make a calendar and put it up this weekend.

I’m glad I decided to try 4theWords, the words flow in a hurry, and I’m having fun. I hope it continues to motivate when I switch from my horror flash fiction to my novel.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is Carve. Trying to think of “carve” differently this year, I looked it up on dictionary.com and found these three definitions in a row:

  • to make or create for oneself (often followed by out): He carved out a career in business.
  • to carve figures, designs, etc.
  • to cut meat.

These three together put very horrible images in my head. So using my new tiny brad idea from yesterday, I created a couple moving carving tools, and drew figures and designs on plastic in an attempt to replicate the texture of “meat.”

Carving Ms by Maria L. Berg 2022
Moving the Knife by Maria L. Berg 2022


I’m not sure what happened this year: Tourmaline disappeared after Day 8, and there hasn’t been an OctPoWriMo prompt in five days. And no one joined me for Writober Flash Fiction (here at least). It has been a bit of a loner Writober. Luckily, I’m a lone water nymph who doesn’t mind throwing her voice into the void.

Today, however is Open Link Night at the dVerse Poets Pub, so whatever poetry I do come up with, I can share with this great supportive global community of poets.

When I Carve

When I carve into
this supple flesh
plump yet starved
of expression, indecision
of first incision stalls—
the point will pierce
raising fears as it nears
even the fierce flinch
and words will mince as
silver gashers glint
and a shiver quivers

bends, stretches, holds
then gives, slits, permits
lays open to grit
the slash brash
is but a start
this endeavor
is to sever, however
clever, to gut the glut
omit the pit, and outwit

then slice—twice
at any price a bargain
to excise this vice
and sacrifice the dry ice
to spice up this carving party.

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s image is “Dark Ice” by Denis Loebner.

A faint greenish glow rose along the horizon. I thought I was imagining it, perhaps remembering a research trip to Alaska I had taken during graduate school. But no. It was there. The hum grew louder, as did Dr. Harish. He was chanting in a language I did not recognize. Then the ground shook. As I tried to steady myself, and avoid falling into Dr. Nakamura, the light on my helmet glanced upon something moving under the ice. I stifled a scream.
“What was that?” I whispered.
No one responded. Only Dr. Harish’s moaning mysterious tones and clicks, gutterals, and hisses, pops and grunts echoed in my helmet. I felt dizzy, began to see grotesque images dancing in my head. Scenes from past, present, the unknown whirling together, the vastness of time eternal, nothingness eternal. The ground shook again. This time I fell to my knees on the hard ice. I felt the pain in my knees, but I was still falling as if time had slowed and I would fall that short distance forever. And then it opened. The darkness below me under the ice slit open revealing and eye. A giant swirling black inky cornea within a glowing yellow iris.  I recoiled. It was as if I was swimming in the sight of a god., and I had never imagined such fear. I suddenly understood what all the “fear of God” was about and knew my insignificance. And yet, I was supposedly on a mission to save the Earth. How were we, three puny humans on this ice, one of us chanting, one standing silently, and one on his knees about to puke in his helmet doing anything to stop this asteroid?

Maria L. Berg Writober7 Day 27