Do you.. haiku? And would you, could you?

I’ve always loved poetry, right back to when I had to memorize “Jabberwocky” and perform it for my Theater Arts class. And believe me, it’s a mouthful!

And getting poetry published is darned hard – I have managed to sell a few pieces here and there, but for the most part it’s been a rough go of it. But I do love haiku and if you’re looking for a wonderful way to get into poetry, may I suggest haiku?

Here’s one of the most famous ones, from Basho – translated from the original Japanese, so there is some difference between translations but you’ll get the idea..

The old pond;
A frog jumps in β€”
The sound of the water.

(Robert Aitken)

I think it’s an excellent example of what haiku is all about – you instantly imagine the pond, see the frog and create the sound in your mind – and it’s done!

Often I try to apply the same technique to my writing – I don’t have to describe every aspect of a room to fill the reader’s imagination – sometimes a few words, carefully placed, can deliver more than line upon line of description!

I sold this one to Scifaikufest Magazine in 2009:
History Lesson

painted faces glare
stabbing at empty spacesuits
our descendants scream.
And this one to NiteBlade Magazine the same year:

Spacewalk

Raindrops
run
across
the inside
of my helmet
I dream of dry land.

If you’ve never read or consider writing poetry, why not take a look at haiku and see if it’s for you? It doesn’t take a long time to compose and can really clear your mind for a few minutes – I find it a great break from writing!

And don’t forget to enter the Goodreads giveaway – I’m handing out FIVE paperback copies of “Strictly Business” and I’ll ship them anywhere in the world! Come on and click the link below and get into the drawing!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Strictly Business by Sheryl Nantus

Strictly Business

by Sheryl Nantus

Giveaway ends October 14, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Do you haiku? I do!

I’ve always loved poetry and when I discovered haiku it was like being handed the biggest, best chocolate bar of all time to munch on.

Haiku, to keep it short and ’cause I an’t good at dis here type of tings, is a type of Japanese poetry that is short, sweet and packs a heck of a punch within very few words. Let me illustrate this with one of the most famous haiku from Basho:

old pond . . .

a frog leaps in

water’s sound

Read it again. Enjoy it, savor it. You see the image of the pond, the frog… and you see the splash without the word being written. So much and in so few words.

One of the misunderstandings about haiku is that it’s got to be written with five syllables on the first line, seven in the second and five in the third – the 5/7/5 taught in classrooms everywhere. This has proven not to be necessarily the case or the rule – the mistake came from people looking at the original Japanese poem which probably did have a 5/7/5 format and then translating it into English – and as anyone who knows a second language can tell you, a word doesn’t ever translate perfect both in meaning and in syllables. The idea is to get your concept across and not be trapped by the 5/7/5 format these days.

The Haiku Society of America has many more resources if you want to look into this type of poetry and I highly recommend it if you’re looking to experience a whole new world.

But what I *really* want to tell you about is NaHaiWriMo!

Imagine National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) but for haiku writers. Yep, for every day in February you’re invited to write a haiku and post it here on Facebook. If you’re interested in dabbling with haiku and looking for a fun, friendly community to visit I can’t say enough good things about this group. You’ll also see everyone’s poems and enjoy the efforts from fans around the world.

In closing I’d like to toss out one of my earlier works – it sticks to the 5/7/5 and was written before I discovered I didn’t have to be formal:

Land Ho!

first steps in red soil

atop the shallow crater

inukshuk looks back.

In closing I hope you’ll visit the various haiku sites and find out more about this short and sweet type of poetry. And maybe you’ll even NaHaiWriMo!

πŸ™‚

dribblings and such…

Well, it’s been a busy two weeks. Got the parental unit off and away, and raced back to my work on "Blaze of Glory" to get it ready. Didn’t want to make the editor wait, considering she asked for the full, so I finished it up yesterday and now it’s in her inbox… we’ll see where it goes from there; I’d love to sell to this publisher. It’d be a Good Thing.

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Meanwhile, my back has seriously given out on me – possibly because of all the rain we’ve been having, partially because of the stress of said parental unit visiting. I’ve had to cut down/out on a lot of my workout activities just because it’s too darned painful. Although the Wookie does a mean back massage; I can tell you that… it’s still a day-to-day thing whether I run for the Aleve or not. If it’d just stop raining…

*sighs*

And now that my Muse is wandering free again, we’re chugging away on a steampunk western story – we’ll see where she goes, but it’s interesting to scoot over to a new genre. Because, ya know… I can!

OH!

And over here, at The Fib Review, you can find one of my poems!!! If you’ve never delved into the Fibonacci way of doing poetry, take a look… it may appeal to you math geeks. I sure found it interesting to create with this sort of format…

yay!

Discovering Walt Whitman…

One of the things that always irks me about my supposed-good education is that every once in a while I literally trip over a HUGE gap in my knowledge that must be filled.

Thus, Walt Whitman.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Victorian part of Second Life titled Caledon and tripped across the library that has a variety of projects going on – Little Dorrit is the basis of next month’s Book Club and they just started a discussion on Folklore of the British Isles by a Canadian Professor who thrills with her voice.

And, Walt Whitman.

Specifically, "Leaves of Grass", 1855 edition which is to be the topic of discussion for the next few months every Tuesday evening at the Caledon Library. I attended my first meeting last week and was absolutely thrilled/enthralled/terrified at the depth of conversation going on about just the PREFACE to the book.

So I rushed out to me local bookstore and picked up a copy because while I may like ebooks there are just some things that demand paper copy.

Wow.

Just.. wow. I’m not even through the intro and I’m knocked back on me heels.

And a little ticked that while I’ve heard of the man I’ve never really read any of his works. Which punches a hole in my education, as I said before.

But now I’m hanging with peeps who are into it. Along with many other classics that I wouldn’t ever dream of picking up and studying alone.

I *heart* Second Life.

and, hopefully, Whitman.
 

sometimes you need a light touch…

I guess this needs to be prefaced with a short story about how I learned to type.

You younglings may not remember this, but WAY back in the past there were typewriters. Not sleek, cool electric typewriters that hummed when you turned them on and danced around the page, but large killer clunkers that you had to hammer on the keys as if you were pounding in a nail; punching through a fabric ink-dipped ribbon to get a letter onto the page.

that is what I learned on. It sat in a case where you could lock down the top and transport it, probably causing a hernia along the way if you really had to move it more than once a year. But I sat there and hammered out my first words. Lord knows where it is now…

anyway, for years my husband has chastised me for keeping the same pressure up on my poor little keyboard – slamming my fingers down on the keys as if I were trying to punch through that ribbon still. He claims that he can hear me anywhere in the house when I get on a roll and I don’t doubt him.

which was all fine, until about a year ago when I broke my left little finger due to a foul ball slamming into my left arm and bouncing up my hand, breaking the finger.

eep.

three months in a small brace and since then it’s been weaker than ever – aches during bad weather and yes, painful to type. I’ve had to literally remember to only brush my finger over the keys; not pound them ’cause it hurts so much. I expect there’s some sort of story there about early arthritis and all that and no, can’t sue the ballpark. Although I’m never going to a game again.

ANYWAY, every time I have that pain in my finger (which is quite often, since I’m a Bear of Little Thought when I get on a roll) I remember that sometimes you don’t need to hammer at something to get the best result. Sometimes a light touch will get the job done much easier and with less pain than slamming into it at full force.

meanwhile, I’ve become heavily addicted to Zyngo in Second Life, still sending out poetry and working on "Blaze of Glory". I’m determined to not settle for the small presses this time around; life’s too short to spend my time hawking a book that you won’t find on shelves unless I put it here. All or nothing.

at least for the novels. Poetry, well… that’s another thing.

over and out.

The Triolet! (what, you’ve never heard of it?)

While thumbing my way through various types of poetry in one of the Second Life Workshops I discovered the Triolet. Basically it’s a rhyming poem with the odd (?) arrangement of

A   
B
a   – Rhymes with 1st line.
A   – Identical to 1st line.   
a   – Rhymes with 1st line.
b   – Rhymes with 2nd line.
A   – Identical to 1st line
B   – Identical to 2nd line.

now it may look simple, but it’s not. Really. And it’s a bit hard to get the rhythm right when you’re not only focusing on rhyming (which most poets these days seem to shy away from ’cause it’s just Not Cool) but also the workings of said poem.

here, for example, is a famous triolet:

Thomas Hardy (1840 – 1928)

How Great My Grief

How great my grief, my joys how few,
Since first it was my fate to know thee!
– Have the slow years not brought to view
How great my grief, my joys how few,
Nor memory shaped old times anew,
    Nor loving-kindness helped to show thee
How great my grief, my joys how few,
    Since first it was my fate to know thee?

so I gave it a shot – check out my St. Patrick’s Day poem over at Associated Content!

and then why not give it a shot?

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1528272/pass_the_beer.html?cat=42

and, again… great fun in Second Life!