October 30: I am . . . #OctPoWriMo #Writober

In One Ear and Out the Other by Maria L. Berg 2020

Last night, I framed one of my fabricglass pieces. It was so nice to wake up to the sun shining through it.

OctPoWriMo

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 29

I enjoyed the imagery in Rallentanda’s poem

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is I am . . .

Layered

I am a filter
a sponge, a sea cucumber
transforming the discarded

I am a creator
a silkworm, an orb weaver
stitching new dimensions

I am a canvas
a cuttlefish, a chameleon
changing hues and patterns with each discovery

I am a seer
an eagle, a hawk
watching patiently for movement

I am a tome
an elephant, a whale
heavy with memory and wonder


My fabricglass piece from outside

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image by Jakub Rozalski

micro-story : When the war ended, the meka warriors were left wandering the toxic borderlands. Always on alert, they were avoided by all but the suicidal and insane.

October 29: Exploring the Tracks #OctPoWriMo #Writober

Along the Tracks on a Bright Sunny Day by Maria L. Berg 2020

Today’s prompt inspired a new bokeh filter and photography project. I used wire and tape to create “tracks” on a square-cut bokeh filter. Then I put lights over paintings in my office to put those tracks into and through spaces where no tracks had been before.

OctPoWriMo

The New North/South Line by Maria L. Berg 2020

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 28

Sci-Fi Fable by Mark Jones

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Exploring the Tracks

Forms Puente or Octain Refrain

When Concept Comes to Form

straight to work
her hands hurry
with nervous impatience
each step clear
she feels the possibilities

~when concept comes to form~

she sees the intolerable
specks of dust inside the lens
glaring in the light
but they are her signature
they are evidence of honesty

Out of the Blue by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose Critical Mass by Photocosma

micro-story : When he began his experiments with black holes, the excitement of small discoveries, publishing and proving his theories, may have blinded him to the big picture. Now, staring into the powerful void of his creation, he knew the heart-wrenching horror of playing God.

October 28: Choices Along the Journey #OctPoWriMo #Writober

The Golden Path by Maria L. Berg 2020

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Today I received my copy of Emporium by Aditi Machado (amazon associate link) Winner of the 2019 James Laughlin Award, so I thought I would recommend reading some of her poems.

Recommended poem: Four poems by Aditi Machado

Online journal: Conjunctions

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 27

Magic Spells by M.K. Vecchitto

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is choices or journey

Forms Fable or Lannet

Choices Along the Journey

She faces threats with effort and courage
defends creative space from distraction
two choices arrive of equal value

Wishing balance, she refuses to act
until a unique solution guides her
as waters rise, she leaves comfort behind

Instinct, an ally, leads toward challenges
this new world is not as she imagined
unpredictable and tempestuous

but pushing through rewards with abundance
the journey back is restful and quiet
resurrected the fool, wide-eyed, renewed

beginning fresh, energized with passion
facing hope with a lucky, shiny coin

The Greener Path by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image of a woman on a cliff by a mausoleum

micro-story : When I had insomnia, I would often climb the hill just before sunrise. I enjoyed the creepy lone mausoleum on the outcropping, slowly emerging from the morning mist, otherworldly, full of mystery. These chilly daybreaks had become my ritual, so her first appearance was jarring, a trespass. At first, I believed my sleeplessness and the slanted light played tricks on me, but she lingered and I realized the trespass was mine.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror fiction story The Voice Within by Steven K. Beattie

Online magazine Aphelion

October 27: A Magical Night #OctPoWriMo #Writober

OctPoWriMo

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Magical Halloween

Forms Terzanelle or Decuain

When the veil is thinnest

yearning for power
over fear of the unknown
chant into the night

ancient recipes
to command earth’s forces
and fight the unseen

something from nothing
symbols of knowledge reveal
the boundary torn

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image by Anton Semenov

micro-story : Mikey had tricked the guardian into opening the portal to the depths of nightmares. He was starting to regret trapping his little brother down there. If he couldn’t bring him back, Mom was going to kill him.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror flash fiction story An Advocate for Nearly Any Situation by Hayley Ilso

Speculative online magazine Asymmetry

October 26: Tappswave Poetry Form #OctPoWriMo #Writober

Tappswave by Maria L. Berg 2020

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Recommended poem: Five Poems by Carolyn Forché

Online journal: World Literature Today

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is What makes me different?

Forms Yesterday, we were challenged to create our own form. I got a start on it, but needed more time to play around with my ideas. I knew I wanted to incorporate internal rhyme and repetition with slight variation.

I wanted the form to reflect my daily interaction with my environment, so here it is, the Tappswave form:

The Tappswave is made of one or more eight line stanzas. The eight lines are couplets of sensation then reaction that repeat with variation. Each couplet has its own rules of rhyme and rhythm.

Lines one and two: Observation and attention like light shining on the water.

Line one: specifically describe a sensory experience
my example An odd sharp chirp came from my plum tree
Line two: memory or emotional response
my example making me think of children shooting laser-guns

Lines three and four: Choppy, all one and two syllable words, like a cluster of small waves.

Line three: Expand on the sensory experience of line one, include internal perfect and familial rhyme to the last word of line one.
I believed the tease or plea was a bird high on a branch unseen
Line four: memory or emotional response to line three with internal perfect and familial rhyme to the last word of line two.
the alarm bell rung, damage done when I was young

Lines five and six: Show what’s underneath the surface. Use words that rhyme with fish or types of fish for the internal rhymes.

Line five: Reveal a revelation about the sensory detail in line one.
At last my search reveals the perp on his perch
Line six: memory or emotional response to line five.
and I’ll pass on the sass of this non-bird’s wrath

Lines seven and eight: Reflection and refraction/ ebb and flow

Line seven: Line two slightly changed to show reflection
That laser-gun battle rages on
Line eight: Line one with a slight change
An odd sharp chirp from my plum tree

If I chose to write another stanza, I would start with a related but different specific sensory detail and explore it through the pattern of the eight lines.

My first Tappswave poem

Searching Out the New Sound

An odd sharp chirp came from my plum tree
making me think of children shooting laser-guns
I believed the tease or plea was a bird on a high branch unseen
but the sound an alarm bell rung, damage done when I was young
At last my search reveals the perp on his perch
and I’ll pass on the sass of this non-bird’s wrath
The nerve-shredding laser-gun battle rages on
as an odd sharp chirp from my plum tree

Plum Tree Laser-guns by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image that was hanging on my friend’s wall.

micro-story : She had always been told she had statuesque beauty. Once she had a fully integrated neural implant, she spent all of her time in the virtual world. Feeling no attachment to her gangly limbs any longer, she decided to fully embrace that beauty.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror flash fiction story “Shedding” by Deborah Sheldon

Horror online magazine AntipodeanSF

October 25: Breaking the Rules #OctPoWriMo #Writober and #NanoPrep

Since I finally got started drawing on my inkblots, I continued and made this two-headed gator creature.

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Recommended poem: An Approach by Roger Lewinter

Online journal: BOMB Magazine

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 24

Anxiety by cie
I liked how the two Joseph’s stars fit together to tell the challenge of facing fear.

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Breaking the Rules

Forms Create your own poetry form

A sprig of parsley

I bite into a parsley sprig and as its slightly bitter flavor reaches my tongue
I remember a time full of possibility
of juice bars and homemade fashions
utopian ideals of altruism
heady philosophies, discourse and exchange
I nibble at tasty lacy leaves and remember easier beliefs

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this epic fantasy landscape

micro-story : As his canoe rounded the bend, he gasped and pulled his oar to slow his approach. The recent earthquake must have caused a mudslide, revealing that what he had always believed to be large white stones was actually a giant skull. He heard a rumble and his canoe rocked. He couldn’t help but personify the quaking of the earth.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror flash fiction story Autumn Leaves by Paul Kindlon

Horror online magazine Mystery Tribune

NaNo Prep

This certificate may say I’m prepared for writing my novel, but I’m not feeling it. Luckily, I still have time.

My main goal for this week is to read. I’m going to read as many of the novels and stories I’ve selected as comps as I can. I also want to finish up my futurist thinking classwork.

October 24: Daring #OctPoWriMo #Writober and #NanoPrep

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Recommended poem: In the Dark Times by Andres Rojas

Online journal: Diode Poetry

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 23

I Still Believe in Magic by Esther Jones

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is doing something you’ve always wanted to do

Forms Joseph’s Star or LaJemme

Ever since I started playing with klecksography, I intended to draw on my inkblots and put poems on them, but I couldn’t get myself to do it. I even made photocopies of a lot of my inkblots, but still couldn’t get myself to draw on them. So to go along with today’s theme, I grabbed one of my inkblots, drew this happy creature on it and wrote my poem on it. I dared to try a poem form I’ve been wanting to try as well: a grid in which the poem can be read in rows, columns, and/or diagonally.

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this still from The Double by Richard Ayoade

micro-story : She was tired of running up the stairs only to stare into an empty room. What did she think she would do if she saw the source of the banging, the footsteps? Her nerves were quickly fraying. What could she do?

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror fiction story each thing i show you is a piece of my death by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer
An entertaining epistolary work.

Horror online magazine Apex magazine

NaNo Prep

Today I have a regional prep workshop. I’m excited to see what they have to say and to get to know the participants in my region better.

October 23: Being Grateful #OctPoWriMo and #Writober

OctPoWriMo

Dodge Poetry Festival Eleven days of poets reading their work online.

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is being grateful

Forms Trolaan or La’libertas

Satisfied Stillness

Thinking of gentle calm
thankful for this time
tender moments together
tension melting in his soft breaths

Having this time to appreciate
harmony in closeness
home in the curl of cuddles
holding soft warmth between us

Achieving ataraxia wrapped in fuzz
appeased by a wave of lethargy
aware of each choice left unmade
abounding in snug sloth

Coziness breeds gratitude
clinging this cool, rainy day
cautiously hoping time will stand still
cramming all the good into now

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose Last night together

micro-story : Suddenly I was standing in a circle of light, like a spotlight was shining down from a star in the night sky. Then I felt a tugging sensation and my feet lifted from the sidewalk.

October 22: Follow Your Gut #OctPoWriMo #Writober and #NanoPrep

I Escaped the Void by Maria L. Berg 2020

OctPoWriMo

Read for inspiration and craft

Recommended poem: Residual Rubbernecking by Charles Bernstein

Online journal: The Baffler

Spotlight Poem from OctPoWriMo Day 21

Gongura on the Tongue by Sunita
I found it interesting that she also related flavor to pride.

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Follow Your Gut

Forms Acrostic or Ottava Rima

For today’s poem, I had some fun. I looked up a list of horror podcasts and randomly clicked somewhere in a show and wrote down the first thing I heard. I used those lines to inspire my Ottava Rima.

Once I Escaped the Void

Taking a deep breath, I escaped the void
our restlessness was to me a paradox
an opportunity to be employed
like the worn off number on the celestial jukebox
repetition of continuation kept us annoyed
like each of the sullied grains freed from the sandbox
let them scatter into the universe
their upsetting choices making it worse

I understand the importance of most death
it can’t stop me either
though I’m flummoxed to draw my next breath
under the weight of that ravenous seer
time to strike and leave bereft
the shadow people in their fever
hands reaching out of the dark
leave a burn, a tender mark

Large heaps of flesh-colored wax
were scattered around the room
disobeying any logical syntax
melting in flame, bloom a heady perfume
the heat weaves it’s cracks
to the inter-dimensional vacuum
scattering me to the adverse universe
to disperse and traverse the inverse

Death from the Void by Maria L. Berg 2020

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose “Lost” by Alex Timmermans

micro-story : The stranger arrived with the fall, leading a wild boar by a sheer scarf. They approached silently from the thick wood to the east, as if they did not possess enough weight to crunch a dry leaf. Yet everywhere they walked, trouble became too heavy to bear.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror flash fiction story There’s Enough Room in There for All of Them, in the End by Lillian Goode

Horror online magazine Reflex Fiction

NaNo Prep

This week’s goal of getting to my desk at 9:30 am every morning is going well. It helps that the chair at my desk is the only place I can sit comfortably since I hurt my tailbone.

It’s hard to believe there are only ten days left. I will be focused on my timelines, character arcs, and plot-points. When I need a break, I’ll be reading as much as I can.

October 21: Tasty Flavor #OctPoWriMo #Writober

summer squash, pole beans, kale, Swiss chard and a lemon cucumber nicely displayed on a wood countertop

I had trouble with incredibly slow internet all day, so I’m cutting this post short.

OctPoWriMo

Poetry prompt Today’s OctPoWriMo prompt is Taste

Forms Free Verse

The flavor of pride

Summer ends and flits away
leaving behind its bounty
the ears of corn from Father’s garden
have no need for butter or salt
the light-yellow kernels sweet and juicy
release the rays of the sun
delighting the tongue

Writober

For today’s visual prompt, I chose this image

micro-story : The house, so full of its tragic past, too full for the new inhabitants, was well-lit and welcoming. The first of many deceptions.