#SoCS: Splicing the Frayed Ends

Rope Burn by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “rope” inspired me to get out and take some pictures. Living near water and boats, rope takes on a special meaning of securing connection. Here’s an excerpt from my journal this morning:

“I was tied in knots. The rope fraying, unraveling, the rope tossed, wasn’t fastened at the other end and fell in a heap when I tried to climb.

“Unroped the weak trunk/stalk bends; the boat floats from the dock lost; the vines don’t rise.

“Roped the weak fibers grow strong; twisted and entwined the brittle become bendable; the separable, inseparable; the meek, brave. Rope connects the floating to the stable; tethers the roaming home; anchors the flighty to ground. Rope can tear and burn the skin when held, but also holds the opposing as they pull, growing stronger as they repel.” ~Maria L. Berg

On the Ropes by Maria L. Berg 2022

The dVerse Poets prompt from Thursday was to try the Synchronicity form. I started playing with it yesterday, but didn’t get very far, so I thought I would try again today. The form is a non-rhyming poem of 8 three-line stanzas. Each stanza has a syllable count of 8,8,2. It is in first person and has a twist presented in the last two stanzas.

The Rope

The rope hangs from the reaching branch
of the ancient maple next door

Its looped shadow reflects below
changing as a breeze whispers through
the leaves

I believe it has always hung
there, dry, aged, and fraying, yet strong

The branch may be the weaker link
How much weight will it take before
it breaks?

An eagle screams as the others
gather and motion me over
to join

The threat of danger makes my bare
skin erupt with goosebumps as I


One after another they climb,
put a foot in the loop, and swing
Scream! Splash!

This time I will dare to let go
of the rope swing and fly into
the lake

Bowline by Maria L. Berg 2022
End of the Rope by Maria L. Berg 2022

#SoCS: Everything Turns Into Dreams of Flight

A photograph of a large seagull flying past the slope of Mt. Rainier.
The Auspice by Maria L. Berg 2022

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “fortune.” Here’s an excerpt from my circular journey in my journal this morning.

“The greatest of my fortunes is letting go of the past, of gathered resentments, and disappointments, turning them into new paths of discovery, changing them into flying dreams. How else can I explore “fortune” today? Dictionary: fortunate (comes before fortune) adj. 1. bringing some good thing not foreseen as certain: Auspicious. . . . Auspicious: adj. affording favorable auspice. Auspice: n. observation by an auger especially of the flight and feeding of birds to discover omens. What a fun full circle to my stream of consciousness about turning past disappointments into flying dreams. “

A bokeh image of a fairy flying from a seeding flower.
Dreams of Flight by Maria L. Berg 2022

#NaNoWriMo & #NovPAD Day 7: A Healthy Ruin

Tied Within the Egg by Maria L. Berg 2021

Yesterday, I looked ahead at week ten of ModPo and was inspired by the work of Erica Baum. Specifically her collection “Dog Ear.” I’ve complained in the past how surprised I am that almost every book I get from the library has dog-eared pages. Who would do that? How hard is it to use a bookmark? However, I was fascinated by how Baum saw the combinations of words from the folded corner of a page and the next page as poetry. I dog-eared one page in my copy of Ken Follett’s Eye of the Needle (affiliate link) and felt like I had done something terrible. But then I remembered all the literary magazines I have. It didn’t feel bad at all to “ruin” a copy of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (affiliate link) in the name of poetry.

Varialalia by Maria L. Berg 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

The prompt is to write a health poem. I thought it would be fun to type a poem from the lines from lines that have to do with “health” from my folds.

Live Fast: Die Young

Corinne feels tempted
and then there’s the kids
who leave her younger
sister with gunshot wounds . . .
and go upstairs
and falling off their clothes
trying their old room,
but then to run a line
and you inside of her,
know previous gunshot
going to be their shut.
Hard to do here in the old
and consider lost count, or
and Dad thing like
they whelming each
in the off

Corinne by Maria L. Berg 2021


I had a lot of fun dog-earing those pages. Now to find some motivation for my novel. I checked out How to Write a Damn Good Mystery (affiliate link) by James N. Frey from the library. I think I’ll read that for a while and see if that gets me going.

When Painted Emerald 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 6 & #SoCS: The Generally Suspect

A photograph of s
The Suspects by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today I thought about The Usual Suspects (affiliate link), the line-up on the cover. Then I thought about Clue (affiliate link) and the color names of the suspects. I also thought about “suspect” as a verb and I suspect that led to some introspection about what I find suspect about my suspicions.

Looking Suspect by Maria L. Berg 2021

I don’t generally like this in-camera “Poster” effect, but I’m glad I’m in a use-everything phase. It was a great choice for my criminal crayons.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Today’s stream of consciousness prompt is fun: Close eyes and point. I imagine myself closing my eyes and pointing all day. It could be dangerous. It says to use the closest print material which for me is A Compendium of Collective Nouns (affiliate link). I’m closing my eyes, opening the book to a random page., I point, and open my eyes . . . L. I got a full yellow page with a big black capital letter L. I tried again and got the letter P. Tried again got the letter E but at least there were some eagles on the page. The collective noun for eagles? A convocation. Finally I landed on a word, “generally.” Generally, I wouldn’t find that very exciting, but since I worked so hard to get to it, I guess I’ll journal “generally” for a while this morning, take a look at generally’s relationship to the usual suspects.

Generally speaking I don’t use generally a lot. Usual has unusual, general has no ungeneral. It has specific. I’m into specifically. Generally accepted, that sounds drab, muddy, generally acceptable sounds judgy and mundane. What is a good aspect of generally? Generally not toxic, not harmful leaves open specific incidents of possibility. Generally understood as convenient, yummy, a good book, those work. People have different tastes, but a general consensus of yummy or convenient is usually worth a risk, so . . .

Maria L. Berg’s journal Nov. 6, 2021

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

The prompt is to make a location the title of my poem.

The Abandoned Property Where the Body Was Found

I thought it would be good exercise
to ride my bike the three miles to practice
I bought a back-pack style padded case
for my bass, lights for my bike, velcro
reflector strips that tied the cuffs of my pants
a safety orange vest with reflectors for my chest
riding with my bass wasn’t that hard
but that road, that road was treacherous.

No twisting, two-lane road should have that much traffic
no sidewalks and barely space between road and railing.
And those hills, three miles shouldn’t have impossible,
winding hills with blind turns, and trucks. No matter
how many times I rode that road, I always had to hop off
and walk to the top of one of the hills, it wasn’t a hill
but a small mountain or technically the other side
of a valley within a mountain. Riding a bike is not
easy around here. And fenders didn’t do much in this rain.

I thought it would be good exercise
to walk the three miles from practice
it was a bit scary without sidewalks
and barely any room between the road
and the hillside when it got dark, but I had
a headlamp, and reflectors, and there wasn’t as much traffic
I never suspected a large abandoned property. Don’t
even know how you got there from the road.
Never saw the burned out mobile home or
the fallen carport by the house.
But she was there the whole time.
Inside a garbage can, tossed away, abandoned
decomposing alone among nature’s reclamation
I rode by. I walked by. I listened to the music I was
learning to play, and would perform soon at the
bar down the hill. I focused on not getting hit.

Burning Suspicions by Maria L. Berg 2021


I’m keeping steady at 2,000 words each day. I’m not quite in the story yet, but I’m getting there. This morning I was so happy that my Scrivener set-up is working for me because I had a few ideas for each section and just jumped in and wrote a little bit before “writing time”. It’s great to not have to search through and waste time, but get where I want to be while the thought is there.

While I was doing my timed, wild, stream of consciousness morning pages, I happened upon an interesting way to make yesterday’s scene more important to the novel. It treads a fine line of really working, or not working at all, but I like how it could tie some things together, so I’m going for it.

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!

Ode to a red rose #SoCS

The Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “Ode.” Last week I was inspired to start my daily flower drawing practice and it made me draw every day which is amazing to me, and I love the black and whites photographs that I never would have thought to try before seeing zombie flamingos’ post last Saturday. So in a way this whole last week of posts has been an ode to Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Ode to a lone red rose
standing bold against the gray sky
its petals say see me

Maria L. Berg

I also started the Pathways project from wRightingMyLife last week and I have found that very inspiring. I created a new barefoot bokeh filter and tried it out this morning:

A Lucky Stream of Consciousness

This year’s Writer’s Games are over. I’m happy to say that one of my stories placed third in its event, so it will be published in the anthology. My first publication this year. Woohoo! This is the first Saturday I’m not working on a story, and am excited to have a Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The theme for today is Luck. Here’s a sample of my stream of consciousness writing on luck in my journal this morning:

“I’m still in disbelief of how unlucky, and lucky, I was yesterday. A simple act of gravity could have been a complete tragedy, but turned out fine. Talk about drama: hot water pouring over a frozen banana in the sink, I step out to get mint, and not wanting bugs to get in, close the sliding door behind me, but the house and gravity conspired, and the hinged bar fell. The door wouldn’t budge. At least I know that little bar does its job keeping people out, but I lock all my doors and windows at all times, so I was screwed. But luck was on my side. I still can’t believe how lucky I felt when the shop door opened. Maybe I wasn’t sure kitty wanted to stay in, so I didn’t lock it after I watered, or if he opened it telepathically, but somehow his recent choice to spend these hot, smoky days in the shop saved me, and the house. It was such a bit of luck, it felt spiritual, supernatural. Luck favors the prepared, but I was not prepared. Once I was back in the house, and had taken many deep breaths, I made the connection that it was Friday the 13th. It had never been a date I paid much attention to before. I wonder if I will take notice and act differently the next time.”

Maria L. Berg

Looking through my WordPress Reader, I lucked into a cluster of Flower of the Day posts: Zombie Flamingos’ black and white response to Cee’s Flower a Day challenge, inspired me to go out and try a black and white flower photo. I love it! And lalalaMonique has a flower a day challenge in which she draws a flower each day. I think I’ll combine all three (though I ignored Cee’s dahlia prompt).

Stumbling upon Cee’s flower-a-day was also lucky because the site has lists of all sorts of challenges. Because I want to focus on recording music on the weekends, I took a look at her list of Music Challenges. I like the blogging challenge idea at wRightingMyLife because it combines writing, photography, and music which is something I want to do. The theme this month is “Pathways.” Luck and pathways go together well.

My overgrown path almost plum-ripe

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie has something called Lucky Dip which today is a poetry prompt to write a Nonet which is a nine line diminishing syllables poem.

Fickle Luck

When all is shiny and bright as gold
the path ahead clearly unfolds
a gentle ease fills the day
no blockades in the way
birdsong fills the air
not a blister
or ache. We
call it

When all is dark, and hope has run out
everything tried fails, leaving doubt
dare not ask what could go wrong
dread makes the day too long
chainsaws scream a dirge
the next turn will
be worse. We
call it

And talk about lucky! I made the last of my quinoa, not sure what to eat with it, and just before I threw out the bag, I noticed a recipe on the back for Blueberry and Feta Quinoa Salad. And I had all the ingredients (except for cucumber). Delicious!

Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS): Run Yonder

Young boy running on grass.
Go go go photograph by Maria L. Berg 2021

Yesterday morning I happened upon Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt. This weekly writing prompt offers a word prompt and a word limit. This weekend it is “Yonder” and the word limit is 44 words which I found familiar as it is the same as the dVerse Quadrille. I thought I would give it a go and remembered that it was Stream of Consciousness Saturday. The prompt was “run.” Those prompts could go well together, so I did some journaling.

I enjoyed the stream of consciousness writing and had some ideas for poetry but wasn’t ready to post yesterday. Today, I gave it another look and came up with a “yonder” poem of 44 words that I like.

Here is an excerpt of yesterday’s stream of consciousness:

. . . I used to love to run, through the woods around the lake, lil sjön in Sweden. Now, I run a few steps and I feel like I’ll die. So what “run” do I want to talk about? Colors run, mascara runs, people have the runs, a run in stockings, fingers run up and down scales, a keyboard, race to the finish, the rat race, sprint to the finish, flee from fear, run from a bad memory, from the past, run from the truth, run to love and hope, an embrace, someone’s arms, a familiar face, race to a banquet table, an all-you-can-eat buffet, “do you know where you’re running to? Do you like the things that life is showing you?” Run in place, on a treadmill, in a hamster wheel, run for the ball, run from the police, scatter, only have to run faster than the person behind you . . .

And here is the yonder quadrille poem I wrote this morning:

Ever Yonder

Beyond the hives filling with honey
and the rolling hills where we would roll too
through the soft, sweet grass that held us watching dawn
to the lapping waves against damp sand
we traveled so far to be here
where nothing became any clearer