Chapbook Release: Threads

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To celebrate the release of Threads on Wattpad, all posts this week will be excerpts from the collection. If you like the excerpt, I invite you to head over to Wattpad and read more!

To read Threads all you need is an account with Wattpad, which is free, easy to set up, and works on any device (phone, tablet, etc). That’s all there is to it!

Currently, Threads is published as an ongoing work, which means new haiku will be added over the next couple of weeks. It is free to read and enjoy. Hope to see you there!

Without further ado, here’s the first excerpt:

 

crows perch
on wires and trees
all the same

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Excerpt from Threads

 

The Wattpad Decision

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Over the last five years, I’ve written a novel, several poetry collections, and have multiple WIPs scattered across my hard drive. My muse is inspired and very active and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

However, the pile of rejections and changes in my day job have caused me to re-think my goals when it comes to writing. Do I want to be published in the traditional way? Sure, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for me.

I don’t say this because I have doubts in my ability to write. Nor do I question how much I love writing. My doubt lies more in playing the publishing game. It’s a tough industry and I find myself caught between hating to fail and knowing when I’ve hit my limit.

Over the last six months, I’ve been rejected more than I care to mention. It’s demoralizing to say the least, especially when I love the novel I’m pitching, (This has been the trend for not just the last six months, but the last 5 years). On the poetry front, it’s been a little more positive with good stats for my haiku blog and a strong showing in nation wide competition, but I’m still left wanting what every writer wants … readers.

During the same six months, my day job has taken off in ways I never expected. Achieving National Board Certification turned out to be a much bigger deal than I thought and it’s opened doors I didn’t even know existed. In the next school year, I’ll be taking on a new administrative role that comes with new responsibilities. I’m excited and passionate about doing more for my school and students.

When I sat down and put all these pieces together, I realized when I’m finding more success at the day job, the dream job has to change shape! I’ve looked into self publishing on various platforms, but the more research I did, the more I realized it just isn’t for me. The amount of time needed for things other than actually writing the book is far more than I have available!

Then, I discovered Wattpad. It’s a mix of social media and online publishing that allows writers and readers to interact. However, the appeal for me is the ability to publish a book that is accessible on any device with the Wattpad app. It reads like an eBook and allows readers to comment as they read. There are pros and cons like any other platform, but I like the wide audience (65 million members), the support features for writers, and the connections it has with the publishing industry.

I’ve decided to give Wattpad a try by starting with some small poetry collections. If I like the results, I may choose to go a little further. The endgame for me is to release my work out in the open and to have a wider readership. The social media aspect is also a selling point – I want more interaction with readers and the chance to interact with other writers beyond the blogosphere, (I love you all here, but it’s not as social!).

I’m pleased to announce my first collection is now available on Wattpad. Threads is a collection of contemporary haiku that explores subtle moments of nature and human existence. It’s a collection I originally created for the 2015 November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge, but have since edited and refined. It is currently published as an ongoing work, which means I will be adding new poems until the collection is complete.

All you need to read Threads is a Wattpad account. It’s free to join and works on just about every device (laptop, phone, tablet, etc). Click on the cover below and it will take you straight to Threads.

I’m so excited for this new venture, but I will also still be blogging! Stay tuned for poetry, photographs, and musings of a writer.

 

Happy reading!

 

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c.b.w. 2018

Haiku On Display

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Earlier this year, I entered some haiku into a local competition associated with the Arizona Matsuri Festival. Having had some success last year, (see A Haiku Victory!), I decided to give it a go, again.

This time around, I decided to write contemporary haiku that doesn’t abide in the “traditional” 5-7-5 syllable format. Even though the competition defined haiku as having strict syllable rules, there was a tiny mention of how contemporary English language haiku does not follow the same rules. Seeing as most of my haiku fall between 9 and 12 syllables, I was thrilled to get the chance to compete with my chosen format of haiku.

The gamble paid off! I ended up getting published in the Haiku Expo 2016 eBook, with a haiku that earned the rank of Outstanding in the competition. Only 41 out of 830 entries received an Outstanding rank, so I’m pretty excited to see my name listed in that group!

The eBook is free and is well worth downloading. It’s a beautiful collection of haiku from all different age ranges.

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During the festival, my haiku was on display at the Haiku Expo booth along with other Outstanding and Honorable Mention winners.

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Publication in any form is a nice way to start the writing year! 🙂

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c.b.w. 2016

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