Monday, July 25, 2016

The First Annual H. Gene Murtha Senryu Memorial Contest


The first Annual H. Gene Murtha Senryu Memorial Contest, 2016 - Honorable mention. Published in Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, and Prune Juice: Journal of Senryu, Kyoka, and Haiga.

If you enjoy my haiku, you can read more on my home page, by checking the haiku label here on my blog, my haiku board on Pinterest, or by visiting my Instagram or Twitter accounts. 

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Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, July 18, 2016

New York City and Other Stuff - An Update

Wow, the weeks are zooming by! Can't believe it's mid-July already -- although it didn't feel like it at the beginning of the month. We had a very cool spell -- actually felt like fall -- but the weather has changed and it's been very hot and humid the last few days. I don't like humidity at all and hope it eases up soon.

We can't ever seem to win. Either it's cool, or hot and humid. Ah well, it's still better than winter. ;)

We've had a hectic couple of weeks -- our son graduated from school and then we were in New York for a few days. It was a great place to visit, but there was a little too much hustle and bustle for my taste. We saw Cirque du Soleil though which was fabulous and probably the highlight of the trip for me. I loved visiting the Lego and M&Ms store, too. So much fun!

Here's a simple collage from the M&Ms and Hershey store. 
Look at the size of that KitKat! lol


And, how cool is this? We found it at the Lego store. 
We are all Big Bang Theory fans at our house so had to get it.


And this one is at one of the 9/11 reflecting memorial pools, Old Orchard Beach, and then a selfie from the gang while we were waiting for Cirque du Soleil to start.

And, last one is of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Absolutely breathtaking!


While in New York, we also got an offer on our house, which we accepted. We had started moving forward with the townhouse we wanted to buy. Put a deposit and had to hurry to pick everything out as closing date was on the 28th of this month. Everything was going fine, only thing left was our house inspection, which went off without a hitch. They just came across a few tiny, minor issues -- nothing to worry about, so we thought we were home free.

Next morning, we find out that the woman got cold feet and they are backing out. Talk about feeling like we got punched in the gut. Especially after giving a non-refundable deposit on the townhouse.

Now, thank goodness, the builder/developer has been very understanding. As long as we put a conditional offer on the unit we want, he has offered to hold the unit for us (he won't even be showing it) until all the other ones are sold. So at least for now it gives us a bit of safety net.

If the unit sells though, we lose our deposit -- which really sucks -- but there's nothing we can do about it. If it doesn't pan out, I'm just going to take it as a sign from the Universe that the timing's off and we need to stay put for a while longer. Ah well, at least now I'll be able to enjoy our renovated patio for at least one more summer, and I'll have fresh blueberries throughout the month of August. So yay for that! :)

With everything going on, I've also decided to push back PULSE's (my YA Urban Fantasy) launch date to early 2017. I was hoping I'd be able to stay on track during the summer, but it's not happening.

Well, that's about it on my end; what adventures have you all been up to so far this summer? I'd love to hear all about it if you're up to sharing! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Cattails Journal, January 2015



Originally published (in text form only) in Cattails, January 2015.

If you enjoy my haiku, you can read more on my home page, by checking the haiku label here on my blog, my haiku board on Pinterest, or by visiting my Instagram or Twitter accounts. 

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gems Anthology, Bamboo Hut Press, 2014



Originally published (in text form only) through Bamboo Hut Press, Gems: An anthology of haiku, senryu, and sedoka, 2014.

If you enjoy my haiku, you can read more on my home page, by checking the haiku label here on my blog, my haiku board on Pinterest, or by visiting my Instagram or Twitter accounts. 

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Easy Steps to Better Haiku

by Jane Reichhold
for ages 11+

Haiku are little and seem easy to write. Because they are so small, even tiny errors can seem huge. You, as the writer, have only seconds in which to impress the reader, so you want to make the experience as specific and pleasurable as possible.




One of the most important actions a reader takes is picturing the haiku images in his or her mind. When your eyes read “old pond,” you, as a reader, are expected to do more than think about seeing two little words on the page. You are being asked to think of some old pond you have known or seen. Maybe it was a pond in a zoo, or out on a farm, or a secret one in the woods. But to read a haiku successfully, you have to go to the trouble of finding the best “old pond” image that is stored in your memory bank.

This action is vital to haiku and is the actual making of the haiku.

By using one image per line, as most poets do when writing haiku, it gives the reader an opportunity to pause and picture each mind image. This is because the reader's mind is forced to slow down before it swoops over to the beginning of the following line; however, if this is done too often, the haiku risks sounding choppy.

But long ago, the Japanese, who created haiku, discovered that poets could build haiku lines in a way that would encourage the reader to quickly shift his or her eyes to the following line to reach the next image.

Let us say I have written:

the sea
a child throws a stone 

breaking waves

When you read that out loud, you can feel the drop in your voice at the end of each line. We often say the poem feels “choppy” – like waves in stormy weather. However, if I can connect two of those lines so they flow together, I can get rid of one of the choppy places. Just that small trick greatly improves and smoothes out the sound and feeling of the haiku. 

When I look at the poem, I feel the best two lines to connect would be “the sea” and “a child throws a stone,” so I try:

a child throws a stone 
at the sea

Do you see how simply adding ‘at‘ smoothes out the sound of the haiku? Sometimes we call this section of the haiku the “phrase” because it sounds just like a phrase should in English.

But now I have one more image I need to add “breaking waves.” This is called the “fragment” because it is only a fragment of a sentence. 

I could write my haiku as:

the child throws a stone 
at the sea
breaking waves


Now I have too much flow between the images so that it sounds and feels like a sentence. We do not want this in haiku. We are out for more excitement.

If I move the fragment to the top of the poem it will stand alone and feel like a good fragment.

breaking waves
a child throws a stone 

at the sea

Can you feel how differently you read this version of the haiku? Can you see which line is the fragment? Which two lines form the phrase? Do you see what makes this haiku unexpected and funny?

It is unexpected because the first line gives the image and idea of waves breaking on the shore. When the reader reads this, I hope that he or she will imagine tall waves tumbling over each other. Then the reader is asked to see a child throwing a stone. When that image combines with the sense of the first line, one could wonder, “Is the child throwing stones to break waves?” However, when the last line is read, the reader understands that it is the sea breaking its own waves, and a child has become part of the sea by having a good time throwing stones.

And I hope you have a good time finding the haiku in your life!

❖❖❖

Jane Reichhold
Author and translator, with a special interest in haiku, tanka, and renga, Jane Reichhold is a three- time winner of the Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award. She has been a member of the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Poets of Northern California, Haiku Canada, Haiku International (Tokyo, Japan), German Haiku Society, and Poetry Society of Japan. She runs the web site Aha! Poetry (www.ahapoetry.com).

**This article was previously published in the digital magazine Berry Blue Haiku.

**Download a pdf version of this article here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Hundred Gourds, March 2014


Originally published (in text form only) in A Hundred Gourds, March 2014.

If you enjoy my haiku, you can read more on my home page, by checking the haiku label here on my blog, my haiku board on Pinterest, or by visiting my Instagram or Twitter accounts. 

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Monday, February 1, 2016

January Roundup

Wow, the year is off to a zooming start! Here we are -- February 1st already. Crazy! Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

January was a blur. Part of that probably due to the fact that we have put our house up for sale and I've been busy cleaning, organizing, and decluttering. We've been thinking of downsizing for a while and started visiting other houses/condos/townhouses to get an idea of what's out there, and of course, the bug got us and we decided to go for it.

My husband and I are both in a place in our lives where we want less stuff, more simplicity, so this quote right now really resonates with me. :)



The For Sale sign has been up since Tuesday and we had our first open house yesterday. We got lots of positive feedback, so fingers crossed. And, my office has never looked so good! lol 

Writing-wise, I have't been as productive as I'd like, but I managed to get new words down for a total of three days a week (a few hundred words each time so it all adds up). Right now I'm working on a writing course offered through one of Holly Lisle's websites: https://hollyswritingclasses.com/

The one I'm taking is a free three-week class called How To Write Flash Fiction That Doesn't Suck. I'm really enjoying it so far. Since I struggle with finishing stories, I'm hoping it will help. The class is also geared toward the idea of having 5 completed flash fictions stories that you can either submit to markets or combine in one collection and self-publish. 

I learned about the class when I heard an interview Holly did a while back on the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast (which is an awesome podcast, by the way!). I have been mulling over the idea of trying the Indie route for a while and hearing Holly talk about why she's moved from traditional to indie publishing really helped me realize that there are so many valid reasons to do so.

The self-publishing world has evolved so much over the last few years and no longer hold the stigma it used to. If an author is willing to work hard and not simply view it as a short-cut (because to do it well it does take a lot of hard work) I think it's a very valid option.

I've decided to start by putting together a haiku collection of my work. I know it won't sell a million copies, lol, but I think it will be a great project to learn the self-publishing ropes with. I've also started an email list for any of you that would like to keep up with my progress. You can sign-up for it here.


CLICK HERE TO JOIN

My mailings will be short and sweet and I know it takes a while to build one up, so I figured I might as well start it now. I'll probably be sending out special offers to my email list subscribers when the haiku collection is ready, too.

Other than that, I had a short story for kids appear in the January 2016 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk (available through Smashwords). It's a fantasy story called Doggone Dust and the first short story for kids I've had out in a while, so I was pleased with that.


And, before I wrap this one up, I figured I'd share a picture of my dog, Haley, which I posted on Instagram that past month. It's gotten the most likes I've ever had over there -- yes, I think it's safe to say Instagramers love their pets! 


That's it for now folks. Happy February!!!! :)