#SoCS: Celebrating 100 Days

Feet on the Ground by Maria L. Berg 2022

If you’re curious and want to look back over what I created every day for 100 days, you can click on October 2021 in the column on the right under Archives, and hit “older posts” at the bottom of each page until you get to October 1st when this posting streak started.

Head in the Sky by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “In the.”

Wading In

In the gray
in the office warming
in the office chair
in the house that
rejected its drainpipe
tossed it to the porch
In the expectation
of a possible visit
for repair In the
cleaner, but still messy
interior with the vacuum out
and waiting in the fifth
hour since waking, still hazy
drinking coffee and
chomping on a candy cane
In the morning pages
in the artist sketchbook
in the middle of the desk
I let the words flow in the
stream of consciousness I hope
to wade in all day

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Answer.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Clean Slate.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #243 is Temerity. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 69 words.

Facing the Future

If, after a year of temerity,
one finds oneself in disparity
and wishing for a clean slate

wait, and think if erasure
is truly the only answer
before taking such a drastic step

all those hard-earned failures
failed better to face again
and the neural trauma
it will take to clear
every foolish and rash
deed from your pate

might be worth this heap
of embarrassment
in the end

Kitty Yells 100! by Maria L. Berg 2022

And we have arrived! Here we are at the end of the journey: 100 days of photographs and poetry. It has been fun, and I have explored so many new ideas, techniques, and forms. I hope you have enjoyed my triumphs and failures through this writing experience. I’m going to attempt a week (or two) off, then come back with some new experiences for 2022.

If you’ve enjoy 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. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#SoCS: Resolve to Dissolve

Sky Writing by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today, in response to Of Maria Antonia’s 2022 Weekly Photo Challenge prompt “A New Year,” I tried something I’ve been thinking about. Using the same clear plastic that I used for my “snowglobes,” I created a filter with written words and put them in the world. This opens up so many possibilities, an exciting discovery to start the year.

Snow Writing by Maria L. Berg 2022

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “resolve.” I am resolved to have a day of stream of consciousness. Let those thoughts flow unfettered. When I looked up resolve, I was surprised to find it’s almost a janus word. It has the definition I expected: to come to a definite or earnest decision, but it also means to break up or disintegrate. It also has the musical meaning to progress from dissonance to consonance which could work well as a triple meaning in a poem. If my song ends resolved, is it determined to act, dissolved and broken, or just not dissonant? It can also mean to clear away or dispel (doubts, fears, etc.), so in that way it is a janus because if you resolve an issue, you can come to a decision about it or clear it away and dispel it.

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Harbinger. I am a big fan of the word harbinger.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Light.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #242 is Goodnight. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 45 words.

On the Cusp

We have said goodnight but
light’s fingertips grip the horizon
the triumphs and horrors dissolve
and for a moment peacefulness
smells like melting orange dreamsicles
and the chill of brain-freeze
does not hurt but excites
almost every note I breathe
is a harbinger of resolve

A Bright & Shiny New Year by Maria L. Berg 2022
Dreaming of a Happy New Year by Maria L. Berg 2022

If you’ve enjoy 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. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

Happy Reading and Writing!

#SoCS: Everything is yummy when you give it away.

The Spirit of Altruism by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s prompt, altruism, inspired me to finally make an open hand bokeh filter. I like how it turned out. Then I had fun filling it.

Giving is Growing by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “yum.” My family gathered for gift giving last night and my mother made the most delicious strawberry cake. Yum. This morning I put the super-soft slipper socks that my sister gave me onto my frozen feet and wow they are yummy. I opened the Starbucks mug from my bother and it came with Holiday coffee which I am drinking. Yum. And it’s perfect with the old fashioned donut holes I bought for this morning’s breakfast. Yum. But the yummiest was waking up to my favorite kitty who came to cuddle with me and gave me loud purrs for Christmas. So yummy.

Handful by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I repeated what I did last week and browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Memento.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Gift.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #241 is Din. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 19 words.

Weihnachtsgespann

Through the din
of crumpling paper
and electronic toys
she presented an
unwrapped gift,
a delicate memento
to cherish.

Helping Hands by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoy 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. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

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!

#SoCS: Nostalgia for Opposites or the Opposite of Nostalgia

Picking the Happy Memories by Maria L. Berg 2021

Last night I made a candle filter. I thought I would try it with the fisheye lens technique to create flickers of nostalgia.

A Flicker of Nostalgia by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “opposites.” In my experience opposites attract, but today I am more interested in nostalgia and its opposites. Living in the moment is the opposite of nostalgia, but aren’t my perceptive filters and emotional experiences in the now driven by those memories I would dwell in if nostalgic? Isn’t it healthy to face, visit, perhaps dwell in them a while, looking toward the future? Is it futurism that is the opposite of nostalgia? Or are they both a form of fantasy? I pick and choose which memories create a warm glow in the same way, as a futurist, I pick and choose which signals and drivers to extrapolate into possible futures. Nostalgia itself triggers cycles of fashion and entertainment, wanting to bring the best memories into the present only starts their cycle into the future, so where is the opposite?

Wired for Nostalgia by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I repeated what I did last week and browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Bite.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Variegated Skies.

Quickly’s prompt is Pretending.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #240 is Pavonine: of or resembling a peacock. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 81 words.

A Peacock-Feather Fan

This roaring wind and rain
bite through the heavy gray
Yearning for the day’s opposite,
I imagine variegated, pavonine skies
hues of blue and green
water and sky in conversation
Waves crash as if ocean-side
If only this nose tickle
was from salt and sand
As I fill another tissue,
I pretend a peacock-feather fan
in hand, wispy tendrils tickling
As I create a delicate
breeze to dry my perspiration
on a lovely opposite day
of peaceful relaxation far from now

The Sounds of Nostalgia by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoy 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. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

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!

#SoCS: Mistletoe and Other Tree Parasites

Holiday Parasite by Maria L. Berg 2021

Yesterday I discovered a new technique through another happy accident. I left my lights on after the shoot yesterday, and noticed how they reflected in the glass of the sliding door as if they were outside. I used that to create bokeh in the trees this morning. It’s a great discovery for taking outdoor bokeh on a rainy day.

Romantic Parasite by Maria L. Berg 2021

Stream of Consciousness

It’s stream of consciousness Saturday. The prompt for today is “tree.” In preparation for today’s photo prompt, I read up on mistletoe, and learned that it is a parasitic plant that grows on trees. It not only strangles its host tree and hurts its growth, it is also toxic to humans. Romantic, right? Makes you want to kiss someone? Since it’s toxic, it’s been used medicinally in many cultures. The whole kissing under it appears to be spawned of male toxicity, as in the white berries are a sign of virility because they represent sperm? Oh, creepy traditions.

New Poem

For today’s new poem prompt I repeated what I did last week and browsed my WordPress Reader and found:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC). Today’s word is Certify.

Paeansunplugged’s Ragtag Daily Prompt Saturday is Crimson.

Molly Shea wrote a fun Cleave poem called Gym Membership. A cleave poem might be a fun challenge for today.

Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #239 is Smuggle. This challenge includes a word limit of exactly 66 words.

That was a fun bit of discovery. And I think I’ll try to wrap that all into my sleep theme for December. Let’s see what that all inspires.

Crimson Morning Light

Even when certified, I must sleep
officially declared possessing, my eyes close
meeting certain standards, my breath slows
no law covers this nightly transport
the dream smuggler of kermes vermilion
a scale insect, a sap parasite
writhing with nymphs, squashed to crimson
the color of the light behind
my closed lids, the pulsing blood
singing the sun, rising to greet
sneaking through curtains, the day begun

Kisses in the Trees by Maria L. Berg 2021

If you’ve enjoy 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. If you get a chance to take a look, please press the hearts on the images you like. It will help my work get noticed. Thank you.

The Changing Focus Blogging Challenge

December’s theme is Rest, Sleep, and Hibernation.

Motivation and Reward: The pleasant dreams calendar is working. Look at all those stars. Last night was the first night so far that I slept through the night, and I remembered a small part of a dream.

Tools: Still having a cold, and thus being tired, really exhausted, appears to be the only sleep tool I’m using at the moment.

The multi-media project: I started playing with the soothing sounds I’ve been collecting, and I could listen to the kitty purring with rain and wind all day. Here’s the beginning of what I came up with so far:

Soothing Sounds by Maria L. Berg 2021 (recommend listening with headphones).

I’m starting to explore my feelings about sleep in my daily poems, and since I rediscovered my Z filter, I’m catching lots of dreamy Zs in my photos. So some imagery is starting to take shape.

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!

#OctPoWriMo & #Writober Day 11: A Darkness Falls

Night Dancing by Maria L. Berg 2021

For Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge,”night,” I had some fun creating my own starry night in the daylight.

OctPoWriMo

Today’s prompt, “horses,” took me by surprise. I have odd, mixed feelings about horses. I’ve been to horse camp, a dude ranch; my sister trained a horse in the field I walked through on the way to elementary school every day, but I don’t have much of a fondness for horses. A girl fell during a ride and broke her leg at horse camp, and the horse my sister was training gave her an awful kick. I almost got bucked off during a ride. I guess I see them as unpredictable.

I like the 2018 prompt “Falling through the cracks.” I really like the picture I took of the broken sidewalk in the warm sun of New Orleans, but my poem about watching ants isn’t very exciting. There are a couple of things I like from the poem :

“The alluring scent guides you ever after.” I like the idea of scent and human pheromones, how we fight our natural smells that might be our animal pheromones and yet created an entire industry of scents to attract. This makes me want to re-read Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins again.

“Forever in need . . . Famine or greed?” Though I put a line between these two, this is a question that defines everyone’s life: philosophy, religion, politics, everything is need, but the question is why do we need and how do we fulfill those needs. Needs and choices for need fulfillment define every story.

Will my feelings about horses, and falling through the cracks combine in a night of needs and greed?

The Cascade form has a fun repetition that should work well with sonic surrender.

A Darkness Falls

tonight’s moonlight falls
falls through the cracks
the cracks in the panes

shadows gallop through starlight
like wild horses across the walls
tonight’s moonlight falls

rushing like waterfalls
spreading darkness heavy falls
falls through the cracks

blindly crawling over tacks
tracks bleed familiar paths
tracking the cracks in the pain.

A Twinkling of Stars by Maria L. Berg 2021

Writober

Logline: An arrogant gossip hears noises coming from his shower. Exploring the drain isn’t enough, after cutting a whole through the floor, he finds that his problems run much deeper.

Today I’m going to attempt to let the story grow in my subconscious by ignoring it today. Like saying “Don’t think about an elephant,” makes you picture an elephant, don’t think about my story, think about anything but my story, should get ideas rumbling around for drafting tomorrow.

When the Stars Come Out by Maria L. Berg 2021

Happy Reading and Writing!

#OctPoWriMo & #Writober Day 10: Walking on Air with a Wisdom of Owls

Nutty Owls on the Brain by Maria L. Berg 2021

For Tourmaline .’s Halloween Challenge “owl,” I woke up with owls on the brain. Then I ate them, so I had to look for more owls. I found a parliament in the bedroom closet.

Parliament by Maria L. Berg 2021

With all the birds and little bats in the area, I thought there would be owls about, but I haven’t seen any. Now that I made an owl filter, I can put owls in the trees and all over the lake. I’ll fill this place with owls when the rain stops. For now, I’ll play with my wisdom of indoor owls.

A Colorful Sagacity by Maria L. Berg 2021

OctPoWriMo

Today’s prompt is “End-Stopping.” I find this constraint intriguing in combination with sonic surrender, since sonic surrender has been all about flow. How will it feel to put stops in that flow, like large stones in a river? It also asks about stops and endings. What do I want to stop, to end? And when it stops, what will begin?

The 2018 prompt was “Walking on Air.” I tried the Con-Verse form and wrote a poem called “She Knows They’re Watching.” I think end-stopping each line could work well with the Con-Verse form.

Stop: I Want to Get Off!

I dance on air without care.
My face aches joy, smiles to spare.

I spin, dizzy and sick with love.
Stop the ride! I want to get off.

Is an end but a bend in the road?
A pause in my perceptual code?

Suspense lies between feeling and action.
My gut lost to the free-fall of passion.

That’s not the same ecstasy I yearn for now.
The burn in my mind combines rich words I’ve found.

I climb to new heights as I fight gravity’s pull.
Where my rhyme-rhythms collide with clouds, I stay fueled.

So I turn and I twirl, as in flight, round every bend.
My perceptions connect spaces and make shapes again.

Perched by Maria L. Berg 2021

Writober

Since this weeks twitter chats were both chatting about NaNoWriMo, and I’m looking at plotting today, I thought I’d look back at my detailed NaNoWriMo posts from 2017 for inspiration. Those posts are filled with great prompts, exercises and links.

Logline: An arrogant gossip hears noises coming from his shower. Exploring the drain isn’t enough, after cutting a whole through the floor, he finds that his problems run much deeper.

Plot Points

  1. Opening image/MC’s world: Is the entire story in the bathroom, or do I open with my professor gossiping in class? Maybe the opening scene is him entering the bathroom on his cellphone gossiping about his students or other teachers. Who is he speaking to? Is it the dean with a complaint?
  2. Inciting incident: hears noises in the shower
  3. Refusal: thinks something is stuck in the drain
  4. Meeting the mentor: watches favorite DIY guru video on phone
  5. Point of no return: there is no drain, no pipe, nothing
  6. Tests, Allies & Enemies : I may have a little fun with my setting. Is the toilet a friend or foe? Is the bathtub complaining or offering Sage advice? 🤔
  7. Approach to the inmost cave: false achievement – cuts hole in floor
  8. The ordeal: Has to face childhood trauma of animal attack–an opossum or a skunk, those would both be scary. Then, while he’s freaking out, the animal gossips about him in familiar voices?
  9. Reward: finally sees the harm of his fault, but that’s only the beginning.
  10. The road back: I think the complaint from the dean at the beginning will become a physical threat.
  11. The resurrection: He jumps through the hole he made into the terrifying space under the bathroom floor to hide from the victim of his loose lips and thoughtlessness.
  12. Return with the elixir: he tells the student/other teacher something terrible about himself to save his own life, but then the gossip makes his life unlivable.

Outline

Making progress. I like the turn this took at the end, bringing one of his gossip victims in as his judgement. I have my theme: loose lips have consequences. And my turn: when he has to face his childhood trauma. I’ll work on a chiastic outline and share what I come up with tomorrow.

Happy Reading and Writing!

My Consciousness Streams on Day 2: #OctPoWriMo #Writober #SoSC

Though today is Day 2 of OctPoWriMo and Writober, it’s also Stream of Consciousness Saturday, so I thought I would start the day with some thoughts on “inspire/aspire/expire.”

Unedited Stream of Consciousness

At first I thought of the note I made yesterday about surrender: hope/disappointment/death and it fits. After looking up the words and finding the connection to breath, I wanted to move around, inhale, raise, fly, hold, exhale. My original interpretations of each word were far from breath. Inspire as a challenge, guiding to new thoughts, new ideas, excitement. Aspire as something or someone to look up to, something one strives for and wants to be, qualities one wishes to acquire, skills one practices to master. Expire, I thought of death, but like the death card it can be any ending which really means a turn or change. It doesn’t need to be the last breath, but the beginning of the next. breathe/desire/breathe again.

~Maria L. Berg

OctPoWriMo

The prompt from 2018 Day 2 was “Poems and notes to you.” The image is a still from a 1941 Looney Tunes Porky Pig cartoon called Notes To You. I don’t think I made the connection to, or watched the cartoon back then. There are a lot of odd references, and a great ghostly twist at the end.

I’m going to keep “Surrender” as a theme for every day this month. Specifically, sonic surrender. Continuing my stream of consciousness and keeping the prompt in mind, here’s today’s poem:

breathe / desire / breathe again

inspire to acquire
to acquire breath
breath and excitement
breathe delightment
delight in inquiry,
synergy, serendipity,
connections with recollections
memory in emergency
emerging to aspire
arise and pine
in fire’s desire
thirst to soar
so struggle in
ambition’s direction
toward more and more
the apex point
pointing against the sky
eye-popping, intoxicating
impassioned urgency
to fly high not to
expire until ready to
breathe again

Writober

Yesterday’s fun combination of an image and a memory led me to lots of questions and ideas. So today I thought I’d do some research and brainstorming.

Research – First, I wanted to know more about the image if possible, so I looked up the artist and I’m glad I did. On Alex Timmermans’s website he has videos about his liquid plate process, and beautiful photographs in his portfolio. The group of photos that includes one with the boar, is called “Storytelling.” Knowing that he uses taxidermied animals took some of the magic out of the image, but I’ll get over it.

I didn’t find anything specific about Alex Timmermans’s inspiration for the image, so my next area of research turned to the mythology of boars. I found some interesting stuff at Trees for Life. Even a story about Merlin hanging out with a wolf and a wild boar when he gained his powers of prophesy. This site said that boars are guardians of the forest in Princess Mononoke which I have never seen. This idea sounds promising for my story, so I know what I’ll be watching this evening as I brainstorm story ideas.

I finished off my research by taking a look at Dream Meaning. It says dreams with boars are positive dreams that speak to an ability to face challenges to your happiness. It also says that the wild boar symbolizes people who are instinctual, and act on instinct to protect their interests and family. It represents the effort and will to solve your problems. It also means to stay strong.

A couple of the specific boar dreams listed might apply to the image:

  1. “If you hunted a boar and you caught it” : the man with the boar in the image will be lucky and get everything he desires which will make him truly happy.
  2. “When a boar attacked and persecuted you”: This might apply to my wheelbarrow and shovel man. It indicates that someone he cares about will be his enemy. He won’t believe it’s happening, but it’s true. That could be an interesting twist in my story. Something to think about.

How are your stories coming? Have any spooky ideas yet?