2015 Goals: February Status Report

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1. Work towards getting The Muse published.

After spending a few weeks researching prospective agents, I finally got brave enough to send out two query packages. This is the first round of queries I’ve sent out since hiring an editor for my manuscript. It’s also the first run of a revised query letter.

I wish I could say all the revisions paid off instantly, but nothing involved with writing is instant! I’ve already received a rejection letter, which was actually very polite and even nice! While rejection sucks, receiving any sort of response is a win. This one in particular didn’t leave me feeling like a failure because it told me to keep trying, (this agent just didn’t feel like the right fit for my work).

While I wait for the second agency to respond, I’m busy working on the next round of queries I’ll be sending out in March.

2. Start writing Lineage.

On the shelf at the moment, as per my plan!

3. Submit poetry.

February turned out to be a pretty great month for poetry!

Back in January I submitted three haikus to local haiku competition and they ended up getting ranked as Outstanding (a status given to only 45 out of more than 600 entries). My haikus were put on display at a cultural festival and were also published in an ebook. All the details can be found in my recent post, A Haiku Victory!

In other haiku news, I quietly completed National Haiku Writing Month via NaHaiWriMo’s Facebook Page. The daily prompts were incredibly challenging (for example, the word “nuclear” was a prompt), but I loved every minute of it. I ended up writing more than 50 haikus by month’s end. Stay tuned as I’ll be posting selections soon.

In addition to NaHaiWriMo, I continued my involvement in the Poetic Asides community via Writer’s Digest. I didn’t miss a single Wednesday Poetry Prompt.

As for my black out poetry submission, I’m still waiting on the results to this challenge: WD Poetic Forms Challenge: Erasure Poetry. Regardless of how this one turns out, I’m still very inspired by this form. A new collection is already in the works!

4. Don’t give up or get distracted.

When it came to poetry and queries, I’d say I was pretty darn focused this month!

5. Be flexible.

As always, I’m staying open to opportunities and inspiration wherever they may be hiding.

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And let’s not forget the word of the year:

Persistence

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How are you doing with your 2015 goals?

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c.b.w. 2015

A Haiku Victory!

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Since embarking on the challenge of writing 30 Haikus in 30 Days back in November, my obsession with the haiku form has not diminished. So, when I heard about a local haiku competition I jumped at the chance to participate.

The prompt was simple: write an Arizona inspired haiku. I must have cranked out twenty, before I settled on three to submit.

pale light follows dawn
mountains ripple in the sky
coyote’s last howl

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Summer’s end is near
clouds of dust and monsoon rain
hover in the sky

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yellow cactus bloom
withers in the summer sun
alone in the sand

Weeks went by and then I discovered an email in my inbox announcing the results of the competition. It turns out two of my haiku earned Outstanding honors and would therefore be on display at the festival at a special Haiku Expo. In addition, they would also be published in an ebook, (the first two haikus were chosen). The ebook is gorgeous and well worth downloading!

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The ebook is free! Click on the image for more information.

To say I was excited is an understatement. After failing in so many competitions, it’s nice to find myself in the winner’s circle for once! It may be a small, local competition, but it feels pretty big to me. There were over 600 entries and only 45 haikus received Outstanding status.

The competition was launched in conjunction with the Arizona Matsuri Festival – a Japanese cultural festival that has been a local mainstay for more than 30 years. I’ve gone before and have always enjoyed the bright colors, food, and cultural beauty on display.

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Arizona Matsuri Festival – Cultural Exhibits

This is the first year for Haiku Expo and they did a nice job displaying the Outstanding and Honorable Mention haikus. Each haiku is handwritten on a piece of wood, giving the nature-inspired haiku a very organic feel.

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Haikus On Display!

While at the display, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the judges. After learning my name, he instantly knew my work – right down to how many haikus I entered. He then told me my work embodied everything haiku is supposed to be. After spending so much time immersing myself in the practice, this compliment means the world to me.

I read through some of the other poems on display and I must say I am so proud to be included among so many talented poets. Every haiku was so beautiful!

Given the success of the competition, I’m hoping the Haiku Expo will be even larger next year!

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The first Haiku Expo at the Arizona Matsuri Festival. May there be many more!

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c.b.w. 2015