Thursday, October 23, 2014

What's Up Wednesday

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk as a brief way to keep up with other folks who are on their writing journey. The details on how to participate can be found here.

I'm also posting a day late because the week got away from me!

WHAT I'M READING - I am currently listening to the first book in the Hunchback Assignments YA series by Arthur Slade and really enjoying it so far. The audiobook narrator, Jayne Entwistle, does an absolutely phenomenal job. The story centres around a young hunchback named Modo, who has the ability to change his physical appearance. A very unique concept and definitely worth checking out!

WHAT I'M WRITING - The last couple of weeks I've been focusing again on an older WIP, an urban fantasy about werewolves and vampires. I'm importing scenes into Scrivener and doing some light editing, and it's been fun getting reacquainted with these characters and their story. My YA contemporary is currently simmering and processing. I've also been working on some collaborative poetry. 

WHAT WORKS FOR ME - Something that has really helped me be more productive is using the pomodoro technique. For anyone who gets easily distracted, it's a must try. It can be used for a lot of things, too, not just writing. On days where I feel intense resistance to sitting down to write, setting the timer for just 5 minutes has done wonders.  There are great pomodoro timer apps available too. 

For Mac: Tomatoes  
For iPad: Pomodoro Keeper 

WHAT ELSE IS NEW - Besides that, the days are getting colder and shorter, but we've had an absolutely beautiful fall. Been feeling a little blue lately, and I think it's because I know winter is just around the corner. I've started knitting again, which I find very relaxing, and downloaded a collection of patterns by Justyna Kacprzak called the OH SO TINY COLLECTION. It includes patterns for a bunch of adorable and teeny critters. :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Taste of Curaçao - a junicho renku

the deepening bow
of an orchid in bloom . . .
winter twilight

surrounded by stillness
the owl's hoot echoes

now that our baby’s
fast asleep
I can find my thoughts

her lips that morning
and the taste of curaçao

a sindoor box
on the dressing table
gathers dust

veiled in thin mist
a wave advances the horizon

why not take
the secret shortcut through
cherry blossom clouds?

reality fades
with a blur of fairy wings

lost in the tune
a flute seller doesn't feel
this sultry heat

at every breath comes
a bouncing shadow

blinded by the full moon
the stars
fall off the sky

earthbound for months
a leaf rides the wind


A junicho — composed on the net from 1 March to 27 April, 2012

The participants:

G.R. LeBlanc - Canada. Vs 1, 4 & 8
bhavani  - India. Vs 2, 5, 9 &11
Barbara A Taylor - Australia. Vs 3, 7 &10
Kala Ramesh - Sabaki - India. Vs 6 & 12

Originally published at A Hundred Gourds, September 2012


RENKU definition per the Haiku Society of America: A renku is a linked-verse poem in the popular haikai style, particularly as practiced by Bashô and later poets writing in his style.

Introduction to Renku by John Carley

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Heron's Nest, September 2010

This haiku appeared in The Heron's Nest a few years ago, and it was my first acceptance to this market. I was thrilled, and still am since it's one of the markets I still have difficulty getting into!

To access the current issue of The Heron's Nest, click here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gems: An Anthology of Haiku, Senryu and Sedoka

I was thrilled, earlier this summer, when I found out that the haiku I had submitted (all 10 of them) were accepted by Steve Wilkinson, editor of The Bamboo Hut Press, for inclusion in the upcoming anthology GEMS: An anthology of haiku, senryu, and sedoka.

Even more exciting was to be able to hold the book in my hands:

And then see my poetry and name in print: 

The anthology features work by 38 poets from around the world, such as Carole Johnston, Chen-ou Liu, Debbie Strange, Dennis M. Garrison, and Marianne Paul, along with many others. 

It is currently available through 

Kinda cool! :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I Write Haiku

I love writing haiku. 

Contrary to what many people believe, it is much more than a short poem written in three lines of 5 - 7 - 5 syllables. In fact, many English language poets have moved away from this misinterpreted rule. Contemporary poets even write one-line haiku. 

For me, however, the true essence of haiku has nothing to do with the syllable count, or how many lines it is comprised of. It is more about the intrinsically calming effect of the process. 

Writing haiku urges the poet to slow down and shift their awareness to the present moment. It fosters an appreciation for nature and of simple everyday moments. While for the reader, a well-crafted haiku can linger in the heart and mind like the soothing warmth of a cup of tea. 

It is poetry for the soul and can sketch joyous, funny, as well as melancholy moments, such as Bashõ's popular autumn dusk haiku:

on a bare branch
a crow has settled
autumn dusk

~~Matsuo Bashõ

Another wonderful thing about penning haiku is that it’s an ideal way to hone writing skills since strong word choice is essential when dealing with such a short form. There is no room to use two words if one will suffice. 

I also find deep satisfaction in being able to sit down for an hour and end up with two, or maybe three or four completed poems. Now, some haiku take time to perfect, but sometimes they come through you like lightning bolts, so fast that you feel like they came through a direct, divine connection.  

Those moments are wonderful. 

The process of creating and submitting haiku is also short compared to most other forms of writing and is an excellent way to add a little balance and variety to your writing routine. It is also a perfect way to gain experience and confidence in the submission process.  

So, why not try your hand at writing a haiku or two? There are many wonderful resources out there to get you started. And I’m sure once you do, you will be captivated by this wonderful form. 

To learn more about writing haiku, I strongly recommend the following resources:

You can also check out these online magazines for inspiration:

Or check out the #haiku hashtag on Twitter and join the fun!