Wreaths of Light

Owl Wreath in Nature by Maria L. Berg 2021

For today’s images I tried something new. I thought I could just loop my lights in a circle and make bokeh wreaths, but that didn’t work. Then I remembered a metal loop a friend had given me with the idea of framing my fabric glass. I wrapped the lights around the metal loop, and it worked, but I needed serious distance to get the whole wreath in the shot. For some of the pictures, I put the wreath on my hearth and took the pictures through my open door from as far as I could push back into a bush and tree on the other side of the porch. For others, I hung the ring outside on my door and took the shots from the end of my driveway. I’m excited I got the look I was going for. I might try some more of these with different lights.

Rainbow Wreath on the Hearth by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

Wreath in a Breeze by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stupid Cold

My nose is stuffed like a turducken frying
My nose is as productive as the elves making toys
My nose gushes like Niagara Falls during weeks of rain
My nose is a geyser building pressure, about to blow
My nose is as sore as calf muscles the day after a marathon
My nose is as useless as my laptop without a charger
My nose is as frustrating as slow internet
My nose is full of itself like a megalomaniac with a podcast
My nose is as evil as a troll on social media
and stomping on people in Norway
and people who prey on the elderly
and identity thieves, and thieves in general
because it stole my ability to breath and think
My nose has turned me into a whiny mouth-breather
I know it’s doing its job fighting the germs
but it feels like I’m a casualty

Wavy Wreath by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun.

The Changing Focus Blogging Challenge

December’s theme is Rest, Sleep, and Hibernation. I didn’t get much done yesterday. I have a terrible cold and feel sorry for myself, but this challenge inspired me to clean my room to make it more relaxing for sleep. I also made a “Pleasant Dreams” calendar to mark the days that I don’t sleep with the computer, and I am happy to say, I put my first star on it this morning. It was a really tough night since I can’t breath through my nose, but kitty woke me up, wanting out, just as my dream was turning into a nightmare, so I can happily report, I did not have any nightmares.

Techniques I used last night:

  • Clean room
  • Unplugged computer and internet at least an hour before bed
  • bedtime tea
  • Write a worry list (I was surprised how well this worked. When I looked at the list of things that worried me about sleep and nightmares, it didn’t seem so bad)
  • Hot shower
  • positive imagery ( I propped open a page of my Tiffany glass book with a beautiful stained glass scene where I would easily see it from my bed)
  • read by bedside lamp (not overhead light)

And kitty cuddles definitely saved the effort.

So though I did not sleep through the night, and got up often, I call that a complete success for night one.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Playing in the Snow I Created

My World in a Snow Globe by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today I tried something new. I used clear plastic to create a new filter with some glue and glitter. Using the fisheye lens, my world became a snow globe. Using it as a bokeh filter, I created snowballs with light. Then I tried throwing them.

Making Snowballs by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poems

Though the drafting part of the Chapbook Challenge is over, I plan to continue my daily poetry habit. On days without a dVerse poets pub prompts, I will work through In the Palm of Your Hand: A Poet’s Portable Workshop(associate link) by Steve Kowit and The Creative Writing Coursebook(associate link) by Julia Bell and Paul Magrs.

There is also Wednesday Poetry Prompts on Writer’s Digest. Yesterday’s prompt was to write a yesterday poem. 😁

Today’s prompt from Laura for Meeting the Bar at dVerse Poets Pub is to write a Fragment Poem.

Clinging Fragments

I. Like a snowball on the right day
clings to more snow and grows,
these fragments find each other
and combine into fresh states of play

II. Plastic-coated self / with impenetrable walls
wambles toward the evening / after pushing
to exhaustion / again I fight into the correct coil

III. In the jelly shower of imagination
where no one will deliver a pizza
yet past this loop of secretive neighbors
humility returns with the hitchhiker

IV. Being human is a window turned to mirror
the mind’s eye light-painting an orange glass globe
never in the same place in time / though I see
the trees and houses from the other side

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today the Next Steps are posted on Writer’s Digest. I have until January 15th to revise and submit the poems I wrote in November. Yesterday, I copied all of my poems into a Scrivener file. Today, I’ll create a template page for reviewing each poem and start looking at the work I did.

Step 2: Review and Read for Themes –

Here’s my revised review checklist from my post Revising Poetry-a Demonstration Part Two: The First Redraft

  • Identify POV, tense, form, voice
  • setting, narrative
  • themes, moods
  • identify sensory details
  • identify best lines
  • mark weak verbs & nouns
  • words to mind map
  • mark areas to expand
  • highlight cliche language
  • make easy cuts
  • choose what to edit to (theme, idea)
  • brainstorm alternate titles
  • make notes to guide re-write
  • do mind maps
  • free-write around best lines, character and narrative
  • do research
  • write a narrative poem

Throwing Snowballs by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun.

The Changing Focus Blogging Challenge

December’s theme is Rest, Sleep, and Hibernation. After brainstorming a bit last night, I thought I would start by collecting my own soothing sounds. Sounds I came up with so far are: kitty purring, the fire in the fireplace, waves on the lake, a breeze in the trees, bird songs, and rain.

I have a dream diary, which I have attempted to use over the years. I’m hoping as I progress this month, dream imagery will help me come up with some ideas for bokeh filters for the video.

Motivation and Reward: Today will be the first full day that the laptop is not allowed in the bedroom. I’m making a sign for the door to remind myself and a calendar to put stickers on to reward myself.

Tools: I’m going to re-read Teach Yourself to Dream (associate link) by David Fontana, PhD. I downloaded audio books to my mp3 player in case I need sounds to go to sleep.

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

Happy Reading and Writing!

December Daily #Prompts, Challenges, and Plans

December Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

I am enjoying how my photography is progressing. Like October’s daily photos, November’s daily photos built on each other, creating all sorts of happy accidents and new ideas. So I’ve created another calendar of daily one word prompts for December, starting with Lights, of course, because I’m excited to go play with some purple in my palette.

Seeing Purple Lights by Maria L. Berg 2021

As usual, my daily prompts led to a surprise. My camera does not see purple LEDs the way my eyes do. I was planning to combine the purple with other lights, but the challenge of trying to get my camera to see purple kept me busy. I tried every white balance setting, and every paint effect and the camera kept seeing blue.

In the Purple Light by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poems

Though the Chapbook Challenge is over, I plan to continue my daily poetry habit. On days without a dVerse poets pub prompts, I will work through In the Palm of Your Hand: A Poet’s Portable Workshop(associate link) by Steve Kowit and The Creative Writing Coursebook(associate link) by Julia Bell and Paul Magrs.

Yesterday’s poetics prompt at dVerse was to use a line from the ABBA hit Dancing Queen. I chose “Watch that scene.”

In Perspective

Watch that scene unfold
through the teary, bleary
eyes of a cold, and menthol haze
created glazed-butterscotch dream
catch that sheen on everything
watch that scene unfold
the one near the end
when everything goes wrong
while sipping reheated soup
and Throat Coat tea
and it is still formulaic
still contrived that everyone
will turn their back at once
that takes time, too much
time for this scene
and the reversal doesn’t
happen, people fade away
But as I watch this scene
and the warmth flows
down my throat, my tea tells me
“the Earth laughs in flowers”
and I smell them in the steam
flowing up my sore nose
and I might understand
why the formula, so
obvious, is used so often,
because there will be an end
to this suffering, these
germs will eventually leave.
I see past the teary haze,
and burn my tongue.

Purple Lights in the Mirrorworld
by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

The next step of last month’s poetry challenge is to select and revise the poems and arrange the collection into a Chapbook manuscript. Like I did with my poetry revision demonstration, I will use this experience to create and revise my process for creating a collection.

Step 1: Organize – Today I copied each of the poems from November’s posts into a Scrivener file. My template has three sections which I can use to move the poems into themes, or styles, or however I choose to organize them. Today, however, I’m not reading through them; I’m only copying them into the project file. That will give them all another day of rest, so I can see them with fresh eyes tomorrow.

The Swirling Purple Lights by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun.

The Changing Focus Blogging Challenge

December’s theme is Rest, Sleep, and Hibernation. To meet this challenge, I will attempt to document a concerted effort to achieve better sleep. My main issue is that ever since hurricane Katrina, I sleep with my laptop on with some show I’ve already watched a million times playing. I know it’s bad for my sleep, but at first that was the point, it helped stop the nightmares by waking me up throughout the night. I recently had some horrible nightmares with the computer going, so it’s not working and it’s just a bad habit.

I have accumulated many tools, read books, and tried to sleep without the computer, but I keep going back. So for this month’s Changing Focus, I am going to use this month-long project to conquer my sleep issue. Though it will be hard, I think I’ll have to go cold turkey and just not allow the laptop in my bedroom. But I will want something to listen to to fall asleep, so I think I’ll start by listening to an audio book or meditation track and see if that works.

But how do I turn this journey into a multi-media project? That is not clear yet. I’ll do some brainstorming today and hopefully come up with some ideas.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 30: The End of November Challenges is Only the Beginning

A white flower in bloom
Winter Flower by Maria L. Berg 2021

This morning I went out to get a picture of my first winter flower, and took some shots into the house.

A cat on a yellow and white striped towel that looks like it's floating in rhododendrons and red berries.
Magic Blanket Ride by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s final prompt of the challenge is a two for Tuesday:

  • Write a the end poem, and/or…
  • Write a the beginning poem.

Only the Beginning

This is not an end
but a pause to attend
to bending light and hours
dead, then begin again
to render hope and engender
excitement in shadow
never ending contrast
to blend and send
a whirling

Flower Cat by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. Sale on Now! Get 20-60% off when you use code CYBER5.

NaNoWriMo

I won! 50k words but that’s only the beginning of this draft. I’m going to take time tomorrow to look over what I’ve written and take notes of important props and plot points and work on writing a complete outline before continuing the draft.

Congratulations to everyone who wrote a novel draft this month!
November Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021 Please leave your links in the comments. I hope you will join me.

I have enjoyed the one word prompts every day for two months now, and I plan to continue. Tomorrow I will post a new calendar of December prompts. I find it fascinating that one word can help me see in new ways. I rewarded myself for winning Nanowrimo with some new lights, and I’ve reconfigured the mirror world, so I’m excited to see how my techniques build on each other through December.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 29: The Next Slant

On the Slant by Maria L. Berg 2021

This morning the sun came out and did my work for me. Mr. Kitty is known in the biz to be an uncooperative model, but he didn’t know today’s theme was slant.

It’s a good day to reread Tell all the truth but tell it slant by Emily Dickinson.

Telling It Slant by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a next poem.

What’s Next?

Doesn’t help to ponder
only think up possible
contingencies, or plan
escape routes aplenty
I mean pretense
dictates portance
but I’m pretending
while planking
that all will remain placid

Pondering doesn’t help the
possible up-link only
plans contingencies, a
plentiful route, escaping
pretense and mean.
People don’t average well
Portance, though archaic, dictates
pretending. I am but horizontal,
planking while placid.

Slanted Shadow Cat by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. Sale on Now! Get 20-60% off when you use code CYBER5.

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!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 28: Reclaiming My Time

Reclaiming the Light by Maria L. Berg 2021

For today’s images, I crumpled up the photos that I tore up for my visual poetry and let them reclaim the light in the mirror world. I love the way the lights reflect off the crumpled glossy photo paper.

Beyond the Curtain by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a slow down poem.

To Reclaim My Time

To reclaim it,
first it must be taken,
or in an undesirable state,
displaying wrong or improper
conduct to be recalled from,
before rescued, subdued, or tamed
My time runs wild and wanton
How will I demand to obtain its return
and regain possession, to slow
its exponential speed, and hold it still,
still while I breathe
still while I think
no ticking, no tocking
no hands, or faces, or digits
only the hum of the space heater
and the warm, soft, micro-fiber blanket
holding me to the couch
and plush blue socks
holding me to the thick carpet
and the wine, and the wine couch
cushions, supporting my weight,
seconds, minutes worth of seconds
squirm under those cushions, but
I won’t let them escape
eventually they will tire themselves out.

Box of Needles by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoyed the photographs I’ve been taking, I’ve added some to my RedBubble store and I’m excited about the new products. The abstract bokeh really lends itself to product design. So fun. Sale on Now! Get 20-60% off when you use code CYBER5.

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!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 27: Burn to Memory

Burn to Memory by Maria L. Berg 2021

I have been wanting to play with candles in my mirror world, so inspired by today’s prompt “burn,” I thought I would give it a try.

Burning Bright by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a remix poem. It’ll be a fun day of looking back over the poems I’ve written this month and finding connections.

Burn Blue by Maria L. Berg 2021
Burn Brighter by Maria L. Berg 2021

Burn to Memory

Memories are malleable
innocently altered
but upon condition
I could finagle
to enable a feeling of wild abandon:

as wild as a huckleberry
after the first frost
a crisp, tart-sweet burst
as wild and fresh as raindrops
collected in the yellow petals
of a buttercup among ferns
as wild and fresh and vibrant as light
breaking through the thick gray.
You won’t be as pleased
as I am with my display

It’s not that you were unexpected
or unwelcome, or unwanted
we found a balance
exceedingly vague
Did you notice
the gravity pulling
you into orbit while it was there,
or only after it was gone?

Memories are malleable
innocently altered
when recalled
you’ll be at a loss
for a cause.

Memories are malleable
innocently altered
they sit in corners
lost in dark shadows
because they are haunted
by my touch.

Burn Hot 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!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 26: Digging a Deeper Well

Deep in my Heart by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to title the poem “Well (blank).”

Guiding Lights by Maria L. Berg 2021

Well Digging

He likes to dig
he digs potatoes
he digs beets
but he’s also
just digging a hole.
If it fills with water
will it be a well?
Or is it already a well
full of ideas and potential
that at this age doesn’t
need refilling, but
only deeper mining,
a wellspring of
rocky soil, worms
and pill bugs
that need to be excavated
and piled in other places
deeper and deeper he
will dig until one day
it is no longer fun.

Looking Deeper 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!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 25: Thankful For

Corrupted by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s images were inspired by the happy accidents created by digital video stutters and glitches. This thanksgiving I am so thankful for digital bokeh photography. The instant images and limitless possibilities of exploration bring be so much joy.

Twisted Paths of Corruption by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a thankful poem.

The Little Things

uninterrupted time in
new combinations of light
captured and frozen
to match images pre-seen
once figments now creations
to bring elation on repeat
simple and healthy activity
free except electricity
and time, precious time
rationed commodity
of juggled priorities
I give thanks
to this place
where there is space
for creating worlds
temporary, but not
put away while still
inspiring daily
growth

Digitally Corrupt by Maria L. Berg 2021

NaNoWriMo

I’m very thankful for the inspiration NaNoWriMo is giving me on this re-write. I’ve come up with a lot of new ideas that make my characters more interesting and relatable, and connections between the characters that are fun and unexpected. None of this would have happened this month without NaNoWriMo. My most interesting ideas have come during the regional write-ins which is convincing me that I’m a more social (digitally social) human than I like to believe. Getting today’s words in might be a little tough, but there’s always tomorrow. Good luck everyone who’s trying to write around family gatherings today.

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!

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 24: Where the Dark Goes

Darkness Falls by Maria L. Berg 2021

Waffling in the Dark by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

Today’s prompt is to write a response poem. I thought I would write my response to the only poem I posted last year in November “Imagination’s Playground.”

Logic’s Office

the unimaginative death
is an office of impossibilities

until the doors open
and the windows let the light in
and the focused light ignites a spark

then there are only two impossibilities:
inertia and acknowledgment

then there is only
to walk into the light

.

A Black Hole 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!