October 6: Following Desire #OctPoWriMo #Writober and #NanoPrep

Centers by Maria L. Berg 2020


Poetry prompt Following desire

Form Monotetra

Desire is the ear at the curtain

Imagine stopping all the clocks
and uninvited mental knocks
having the cutest fox who talks
star in a box, star in a box

The veiled curtain alligator
is a mystery creator
until the reveal much later
gator traitor, gator traitor

Alight with pockets full of rocks
flights of fancy with soaring hawks
who don’t care why you stopped the clocks
translator squawks, translator squawks


The poetry theme made me think of the movie It Follows, so the visual prompt is a photo by Ben Ward which also makes me think of the poster for that film.

micro-story: The jolt of the car suddenly stopping had flung my phone from it’s holster into the backseat. I crawled back there to retrieve it. I didn’t want to even look out into the foggy pitch-black night without the ability to call for help. I didn’t see it anywhere. While I was pretzeled, rummaging under the seat, I heard a click and the creak of the driver’s-side door opening. I froze, but it wasn’t like I could hide. My leg was in the air between the seats.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror short story Active Imagination by Michelle Wilson

Horror online magazine 50-Word Stories These are fun. I recommend reading a bunch of them.

Today’s horror movie is It Follows. There was a lot of hype for the film when it came out in 2015 and I remember being unimpressed, but since it appears to be my theme for today, I’m willing to give it another try.

NaNo Prep

Today, I’m going to get back to some Futurist Thinking (the class I’m taking on Coursera) to develop the future of my story-world. I’ve been collecting signals–things that are happening now that could influence possible futures–and have a bunch. So I think I’ll try the exercise of randomly selecting three to combine into forecasts.

Hopefully, this will help me get away from things that people are already exploring and find completely original possibilities.

Once I find a few forecasts that excite me, I’ll play around with putting my protagonist in a few scenarios and see what happens.

October 5: To Write From the Heart

The Heart by Maria L. Berg 2020


Today’s poetry prompt is writing from the heart

Form shape poetry or Lysentia Rhyme

Listen to the living heart

My heart, though essential to my body,
is but a pump, a circulator
It is my voice, resonating through my being,
that is my living heart, the heart of me

My heart, though beating to the world’s rhythms,
is of this place, the lapping of these waters
It is the scream of the eagle overhead
and the roar of the hummingbird’s wings

Each morning, though the night was restless,
is an adventure, a search for nature’s news
that resonates with my voice and grows
with my living heart until I have to share.


Today’s visual prompt is this pulp cover of Rat in the Skull

micro-story At night, as the scientists slept, they worked in secret, building and testing their exo-suit. Under the bright lights, while the scientists tracked the data from their neural-implants, they ran a counter-experiment to find their strongest representative. The day the new researcher joined the lab, no one could find subject 243.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror short story Enchantmentland by Jay Taggart

Horror online magazine Every Day Fiction

Horror movie of the day The Host


Today I’m going to do timed writings (10 to 15 min.) with each of the settings I listed in the Exploring your settings exercise I did yesterday. I’ll try to do very detailed descriptions of what my protagonist sees in that location and also create the “mood” of the place.

October 4: Falling Onto the Page #OctPoWriMo #Writober and #NanoPrep

Falling by Maria L. Berg 2020


Poetry prompt Falling

Form The Blitz

Process of Falling

Let go the grip
Let loose the tether tied
Tied up tight
Tied to an anchor
Anchor at the bottom
Anchor’s away
Away from doubt
Away, up, up, and
And I stutter
And my pen stops
Stops to check
Stops the flow
Flow of thoughts
Flow of images
Images in color
Images of purpose
Purpose of pen scratches
purpose of passions
Passions grip
Passions bright sparks
Sparks to start the engine
Sparks to light the flames
Flames to burn the inner-critic
Flames that warm intention
Intention to guide the hand
Intention will create the frame
Frame the busy thoughts to focus
Frame some rules to find a new link
Link the opposed to find bridges
Link the absurd to find promise
Promise to keep trying
Promise of gaining momentum
Momentum keeps the ball rolling
Momentum comes with continued action
Action is coming to the page
Action is trusting as I fall
Fall in love with the process
Fall and then get up again
Again to risk and stumble
Again to experiment and fail better
Better words will come
Better lines will connect
Connect my meaning to understanding
Connect me to clarity
Clarity is a window needing washing
Clarity is the droplets I can’t capture
Capture that Aha! moment
Capture the fleas for a circus

That felt good, like I cleaned out my brain with water from a mountain stream.


Today’s visual prompt is a haunting image by Alex Andreev (I couldn’t find the title)

micro-story: Ananke found the giant humanoid sculptures on the hill fascinating. She would ride out to stare at them whenever she needed time alone, enraptured by their detailed, realistic surfaces. Today, one returned the favor.

Read for inspiration and craft

Horror short story Sinister Universe by R. Michael

Horror online magazine Theme of Absence

Today’s horror movie is Color Out of Space with Nicolas Cage and if I’m up for it Mandy. I haven’t seen either and I’ve been curious.

NaNo Prep

This week’s NaNo Prep 101 theme is Build a Strong World for Your Characters. I like the Exploring your settings exercise because it not only explores settings for each of the plot points, but also relates setting to mood.

How do you like to approach World Building? What are your tips and tricks for creating believable settings?