A Rose is A Rose

When I went to post my haiku from the May Shiki Kukai, I realized that I have written and posted quite a number of rose haiku lately, so I thought I would collect them all in one place. I guess I don’t live in the City of Roses for nothing!

cascading moonlight…
remembering how
she loved roses
(May 2012 Shiki Kukai)

letting go
the last petal
on the butterfly rose

grandma’s old letters
the lingering scent
of heirloom roses
(Caribbean Kigo Kukai #34)

rose petals
the warmth of your hand
in mine
(Runner Up in Kathy Uyen Nguyen’s NaPoWriMo Free Book Giveaway Contest #1)

leafy reflections…
after the rain
the stillness
(Christine Villa’s Haiku My Photo Challenge)

In this last haiku, you have to look at the photo to see the roses. 🙂

Ups and Downs

 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway, Day 25:

Today’s question, and my response:

Is there some aspect of the writing life that doesn’t feel the way you thought it was supposed to feel? Is it normal to feel uncomfortable sometimes? How important is it to be able to embrace the ups and downs of the writing life without letting either the highs or the lows throw you off course?

I never thought I’d be writing nonfiction. Although I often conflate events, change names, tweak the details, and clean up the dialog, everything I write, from personal essays to poetry, is essentially nonfiction. And that feels very uncomfortable sometimes. When I was first starting out, I had an established writer tell me that while she thought I was a good writer, my essays were neither humorous nor inspirational. That baffled me, especially because she thought she was being helpful. What was she trying to tell me? Since my writing was good, then I could only conclude that I was a dull person, not worth reading about. Yikes! I’ve since put this little incident into perspective, and what I think now is this: any kind of writing, be it total fantasy, thinly disguised fiction, or nonfiction leaves you a bit vulnerable. The ongoing challenge is to believe in your own worth, and not blow the criticisms or the accolades out of proportion.


morning solitude

Today’s NaHaiWriMo prompt was to write a haiku from a different perspective. Yesterday I was walking on the indoor track at the gym. I’m not the fastest walker anyway, but I’m especially not fast when I am thinking about writing haiku, as I was on this occasion. So I had to keep stopping and jotting notes on my index cards. I saw a lot of retreating backs, and a number of people even regularly lapped me, but hey, I came out of it with 2 miles of walking completed AND an index card full of haiku and haibun starters, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t.

morning solitude
the retreating backs
of other walkers

Just Different

 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway, Day 24:

Today’s question, and my response:

Kristina brings up a very interesting word: normal. Does being a writer ever make you feel like you are not “normal”? Do you think other people are “normal”? How about other writers? Is “normal” a word that is typically used to describe writer mamas or is there something “abnormal” about us?

This is something that I think about a lot. Does that already make me not “normal”? I prefer to think of myself as “different”. I read a lot. I think a lot. I daydream a lot. I like to write a lot, and even when I’m not writing on a piece of paper or using my keyboard, I’m composing in my head. Last month, I interviewed 34 poets for my blog, and guess what? I discovered that pretty much all of them discovered their calling early on in life. So I think a writer is born that way, with fine-tuned sensibilities to both the natural world and human nature. If that makes us writers different from most other folks, then I like being different!

knowing her only

I’m back to writing haiku for NaHaiWriMo again, after a much needed break. I’m not sure whether I will be writing and posting daily, or writing daily, but not posting, or posting and writing sporatically, or… The point is that I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to produce this time around– I’ll just write for fun when I can. With the end-of-school year activities already beginning, I can see that the next month will go by in the blink of an eye.

Today’s prompt was a somber one– to write an in memoriam haiku for Hortensia Anderson, a talented and much loved haiku poet who passed away on Monday after a battle with cancer and other health issues. I never met Hortensia in person, but I felt like I knew her, through our Facebook friendship, and through reading her lovely haiku, haibun and tanka in various journals.

knowing her only
through her words…
morning birdsong

Here are two favorites of mine that she wrote: a haiku that appeared last year in The Heron’s Nest, and a very recent haibun in Contemporary Haibun Online.

To Print or Not to Print

 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway, Day 23:

Today’s question, and my response:

Have you thought about self-publishing? Will you? Why or why not? If yes, what do you think you will self-publish first? If you’ve already self-published, will you do it again? Why or why not? Tell us what you have learned about self-publishing.

When I first started writing, I think I had a bit of an obsession with not just getting published, but getting published in paper and ink books. I’m over that now. I guess I felt that if something was in print, it was therefore more “permanent”, and also, that more people would read it. To be quite honest, I have no idea what the sales figures are for any of the print anthologies and journals my work has appeared in. And even less of an idea whether owners of said media actually read my essays or poetry.

As a consequence, I am far more open to employing a variety of approaches for disseminating my writings, including blogging them on my own blog, doing guest posts for others’ blogs, submitting to online journals, and using other social media. I am totally open to both self-publishing, or traditional publishing, if I should get so lucky, but not until I feel I have amassed enough of a polished collection of work (personal essays, haiku, and haibun in particular), to make sense to try to publish. I’m getting there!


By Any Other Name…

 2012 Writer Mama Every-Day-In-May Book Giveaway, Day 22:

Today’s question, and my response:

Children ask where babies come from, but writer mamas should ask, “Where do awesome titles come from?” Where do you think awesome titles come from? How do you find yours? If you are unsure, share some titles you think are brilliant. (Don’t forget: 50 words is the minimum comment length).

Titling a piece of writing is always my final step, whether writing a poem, a blog post, or a 2000 word personal essay. I liken it to getting to the dessert stage, after a particularly satisfying repast. Sure I always have a working title, but as I like to tell my writing students, I can’t put the finishing touches on the title until I know exactly what it is I have just written about!

A title should draw the reader in, and intrigue them enough make them want to read the piece, but should also accurately reflect some angle of the writing, so as not to be misleading. Some of the favorite blog post titles I’ve come up with from this month’s book giveaway are: Stay Tuned, Mission Accomplished, Do the Math, Right to Write, No Guilt, Way Fun, No Reply, and Total Surrender.