#Writober Day 2: Feelin’ a little batty

Bat on the Blood Moon by Maria L. Berg 2022

R. I. P. XVII Readers Imbibing Peril

Peril of the listen! This morning I finished listening to Dante’s Inferno. I think Clive Barker was heavily influenced by this work while making Hellraiser.

Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge

Today’s prompt is “Bats.” I used the same fabric as I did last year, but I turned it into filters to vespertilian effect.

Halloween Bats by Maria L. Berg 2022

Writober Flash Fiction

Today’s visual prompt is a picture of “Duchesse,” a soft sculpture by Amanda Louise Spayd. I’m going to stick with my theme of happiness in grief and grief in happiness. I feel like it guided yesterday’s story well.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s story, The Strange and the Familiar

Her mother pushed the doll toward her, twisting it to make the bunny ears and arms move, but it stayed completely stiff, staring into Vespasiana.
“Go on, honey. Take it. I know you’re missing Grandma. I bet that’s why she gave you this special friend. So you can talk to her about it,” Mom said.
“Grandma didn’t like dolls, or lacy things.”
“Sure she did. You just didn’t see them because she kept them packed away to keep them safe.”
“Mom, I don’t want it. It’s creepy. It stole Grandma’s teeth.”
Vespasiana’s mother turned the doll and her eyes grew wide as if looking at it for the first time. She shook her head and bit her lip. “Well, take it to your room. Your Grandma specifically said she wanted you to have it. It was in her will, so it must be worth something. Take good care of it.”
She shoved the bunny-eared thing into Vespasiana’s chest, so she instinctively hugged it, then went back to making dinner. When Vespasiana stood frozen, staring at her with a helpless look, she said, “Go on. Put it in your room, then hurry back for food. I’m making spaghetti just how you like it.”

Maria L. Berg #Writober7 Day 2

#Writober Begins Tomorrow: bring on the spooky thrills and chills

Here Comes Writober photo by Maria L. Berg 2021

In my mid-September post How to Capture the Love in Apathy and the Apathy in Love, I spent a little time looking forward to fun events in October. Now it’s almost here, and I hope you’ll join me for all the reading, writing, and photography fun.

R. I. P. XVII Readers Imbibing Peril

Peril of the Short Story! So far I’ve read a couple stories from The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, but had to return it to the library. I have it on hold, so I’m waiting to be able to check it out again. While I’m waiting, I have H. P. Lovecraft’s stories in The Dunwich Horror and The Colour out of Space to keep me feeling creepy.

Peril of the Screen! To start off my Halloween horror binge, I watched Hellraiser and Hellbound:Hellraiser II. I used to have a lot of problems with blood, and body horror, so maybe that’s why I remember these films as being scary. Now they are mildly gross, but the monster effects are entertaining. I also found my Muppet Show VHS tape with the Alice Cooper episode and the Vincent Price episode, so I’m enjoying watching that.

Peril of the Fiction Read! I haven’t started yet, but I have a lot of thrillers on my kindle I want to read. I’m going to start with These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall. I won a copy of The Year of the Monster by Tara Stillions Whitehead from Library Thing Early Reviewers, so I ‘ll also be reading and reviewing that as soon as I get it.

Writober 7

This year I’m returning to the original #Writober format of writing a flash fiction story each day. I think in the past, I found this goal overwhelming (and thus dropped out) because I was trying to write stories of just under 1,000 words. This year I’m thinking of writing stories of 250-500 words. If I get excited by my idea, I can always write more.

Each flash fiction will be inspired by an image. I’ve put this year’s selections in a folder on Pinterest. If you would like to join me, the images can be found here. I’ll be starting with the image in the top left, Fairy tales? haha, please . . . by AlvaroCardozoW.

I hope you will join me and put a link to your story in the comments, so I can read and appreciate it. If you can’t commit to a flash fiction story every day, that’s okay. Join in whenever the image inspires.

Tourmaline .’s 2022 Halloween Challenge

I found so much inspiration from this photography challenge last year. Here’s this year’s calendar:

I found the challenge a couple days after it started last year and missed “Monster” (and pumpkin), so tomorrow won’t have a comparison to last year. It’ll be a fun, new challenge.

I will still be exploring contradictory abstractions. The first couple of weeks of October I’ll be looking at wisdom and naivete, and truth and fiction to finish out the big 5. It’ll be interesting to see how my quest to capture images of these contradictions will interact with the Halloween prompts.

And I’ll be participating in the wonderful prompt from dVerse Poets Pub, so it’s going to be a busy, busy month.

Since I will be posting every day, I guess I’m also participating in Blogtober which I read is a blogging challenge to post every day in October.

What costume should I make this year? I would love some suggestions.

Come back tomorrow for the big #Writober kick-off celebration with some Stream of Consciousness Saturday too!

How to Capture the Love in Apathy and the Apathy in Love

Foundations for ME-ECO-CHANGE by Maria L. Berg 2022

Contradictory Abstract Nouns

Since I finished studying Calvino’s Six Memos, I had to decide which contradictory abstract nouns to dive into this week. I printed out an extensive list of abstract nouns and started thinking about grouping them to narrow down the list. I went back to Feurbach’s list of “Legitimate Aspirations” that I talked about in my post “The Beauty of Dissonance.” Since I had four colors of highlighter and a pen, I decided to attempt to group the list into the Big 5: beauty, happiness, wisdom, love, and truth. This was a fun, and challenging exercise. Many of the words fit into most, if not all of the categories.

When I had finished, I realized that it made sense to begin with the big 5, like an overview. The interesting challenge came when I thought about their contradictory abstract nouns. Here are the first five contradictory abstract nouns I’ll be looking at which I started this week:

  • love and apathy
  • beauty and ugliness
  • happiness and grief
  • wisdom and naivete
  • truth and fiction

If you have been following this study of contradictory abstractions, you may remember the writing tip that inspired me: “Find the despair in hope, and the hope in despair,” which you can read about in my post, “Contrasting Abstractions: The next phase in my study.

Applying that idea to this week’s study, I am looking for the apathy in love, and the love in apathy. That’s a difficult one to wrap my head around, but I’ll give it a go.

The other day when I was pulling out some fabric to change the sleeves on the pool noodles, I found a box of treasures I had completely forgotten about. It contained “Vogue Pattern Book” and “Penny’s Fashion and Fabrics” magazines from the early 1960’s. I absolutely love these pages full of information about the newest fabrics and other wonderful home-ec goodies like “Good Grooming For Young Men: the Why and How” and “A new approach to Table Setting.” It’s hard to believe I had forgotten I had them. This made me think of the two contradictory sayings (proverbs):

  • Out of sight, out of mind
  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder

So is the first one the apathy in love, and the second the love in apathy. Was the answer to my query hanging out in a box in my closet? If so, it’s probably hanging out in many boxes in many closets.

Continuing my idea of quilting, or knitting with light, I thought I would print some of my grid-images onto transparencies, and see if I could make some fun blackout poems with my found, re-treasured magazines.

Bold Odor by Maria L. Berg 2022

New Poem

Today is Open Link (#223) at dVerse Poets Pub, so I thought I would use a couple of today’s images to inspire my poem.

Her Head by Maria L. Berg 2022
Their Head

It all began on the ski slope
                        10 years ago
what yarns weave excitement
                  with a skier's move
It's all been shaped
            better fitting, taut, sleek
to spring back
                   tendency to "cling"
this not-too-flat construction
                    flattering, beautiful
a feature being exploited
              influencing the popular
and filling the stretch
                  all a result of texture
to permit cutters
          It's interesting lengthwise
and still be comfortable
                  shaped to resemble 
being made with function
                                a memory
unnecessary lock
                     divided into two
His Head by Maria L. Berg 2022

Looking Forward to October

Readers Imbibing Peril (RIP) I’m starting this reading challenge late again, but earlier than usual. I’m going to start with the short stories in The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer and see where it inspires me to go from there.

Tourmaline .’s 2022 Halloween Challenge I found so much inspiration from this photography challenge last year. The calendar is up:

It looks similar to last year, so it will be interesting to see how my study of contradictory abstractions, and new techniques change my approach to these prompts.

#Writober 7 This year I’m going to return to the original idea of #Writober which is to write a flash fiction story each day. Click on the link to see the thirty-one images I have in this year’s collection. I may do some revision and numbering before October first, but they look pretty inspiring. I hope some of you will join me this year.