Poem A Day Challenge: April 4-6

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My haiku experiments continue for the 2015 April Poem A Day Challenge (on Poetic Asides via Writer’s Digest). Through my daily practice I’m finding that for every ten haikus I write, I end up with one worth posting. I’ve learned my process is about finding the rhythm that fits my mood and the images swirling in my mind. My days are always so busy and filled with movement, so I love how haiku gives me a chance to slow down and just be.

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April 4, 2015
Prompt: departure

I.
gust of wind
sends wishes flying
dandelion seeds

II.
fall’s last leaf
finally departs
winter’s barren tree

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April 5, 2015
Prompt: vegetable

I.
radishes grow
when nothing
else will

II.
sweet pea curls
grab onto
the stake

III.
red tomatoes
full of holes
the birds win

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April 6, 2015
Prompt: things-not-as-they-appear

I.
a stone on the shore
until it hops
lakeside toad

II.
red maple leaf
caught in the green
of mid-June

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c.b.w. 2015

2015 Goals: March Status Report

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1. Work towards getting The Muse published.

I sent out two more query packages. One has already responded with a rejection, while the other has not responded. It’s only been a couple of weeks, so a response of some kind is still possible. As for dealing with another rejection, I proudly added it to the others and made immediate plans to move forward.

As March comes to an end, I am busy tailoring three more query packages for the next round of agents on my list. One of them requires a synopsis, so I’ll be working hard polishing my synopsis draft.

2. Start writing Lineage.

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

3. Submit poetry.

I submitted poetry to two different competitions:

  • Poetry! Goodreads Newsletter Contest – I didn’t make the finals, but it’s the first time I entered a poem in this competition. I get email notifications all the time, but never do anything about it. This month I decided to take the plunge, which means I hit a personal best!
  • Robert Spiess Memorial Competition (via Modern Haiku) – I submitted five haikus at the last minute! This competition is probably way out of my league, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.

I also completed another month of National Haiku Writing Month’s daily prompts via NaHaiWriMo’s Facebook Page. While February is the official haiku writing month, the organization offers up daily haiku writing prompts every month. I ended up writing close to 40 haikus during the the month of March.

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.

4. Don’t give up or get distracted.

This month brought its fair share of distractions, including the passing of my beloved grandfather. However, I still managed to stick to my writing goals. In many ways, my daily practice offered some escape from the grief.

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

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?

– – –

c.b.w. 2015

Rejection Isn’t All That Bad

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The results for the 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge are in and I can honestly say the best poets were selected. The winner wrote some great poems all month long as did the four runners-up. In fact, two of the top five were among my favorite throughout the challenge. I am so happy to see them get the recognition they deserve!

My name was not among the winners list, but I’m still really proud of what I accomplished. Not only did I complete the challenge, but I discovered a true passion for the haiku form. For me, finding this passion is better than winning a competition.

Despite ending up in the slush pile, I am proudly adding this experience to my rejection file. While it’s instinctive to wallow (rejection is not exactly a pleasant feeling), the ninja writer in me is just motivated to push even harder and try again. In this case, my word of the year – persistence – is definitely flexing it’s muscle!

To celebrate both my newfound passion and another rejection, I’ll be constructing a chapbook for the haiku collection I created for the challenge. My muse and I are busing working on design and layout elements, so stay tuned!

The haikus continue to flow, along with senryu (haiku-ish poems dealing with human nature). The Wednesday Poetry Prompt on Poetic Asides keeps me inspired and my journal full. To close things out, here’s my most recent attempt at senryu:

scuffed with age
her wedding band sits beside
a cold cup of tea

 

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c.b.w. 2015

2015 Goals: January Status Report

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1. Work towards getting The Muse published.

I’ve been quite busy on this front! My list of prospective agents continues to grow as I peruse the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino. I now have 14 literary agents on my list and I’m currently personalizing my query letter to align with their individual interests.

Towards the end of January, I participated in a Twitter Pitch event launched by a literary agency. My twitter pitch was not favorited, which means I can add another rejection to my growing collection. I don’t view this as a bad thing as gathering rejections is just part of a writer’s life.

2. Start writing Lineage.

Poetry, work, and query packages were the priority in January, so Lineage has been hanging out in the background. This isn’t a surprise to me as I don’t really plan on sitting down to write this thing for another few months.

3. Submit poetry.

This is another area where I was busy!

I entered three haikus in a local competition. Every year the downtown area plays host to a Japanese cultural festival. For this year’s festival there will be a haiku exhibit where winning poems will be displayed. I’ll know by February 14th if I made the cut.

I’m also holding true to my goal of hanging out with the Poetic Asides community via Writer’s Digest. Every Wednesday there is a prompt and invitation to post a poetic response. I use this opportunity to practice writing haikus and to read through the work of other poets. I love everything about this community of writers and the inspiration that comes with it. I’m happy to say I posted a poem every single week during January.

Lastly, I’m still waiting to hear on two competitions I entered back in December 2014: WD Poetic Forms Challenge: Erasure Poetry and the 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. Results aren’t expected to come through until February, so I guess we’ll wait and see!

4. Don’t give up or get distracted.

I stayed relatively focused. I wrote something almost every day and worked consistently towards pitching The Muse. My knitting habit and a nasty cold may have stolen a few days, but otherwise, my writing stayed front and center in my life!

5. Be flexible.

I’m finding inspiration everywhere. After a long hiatus, I’m back to walking to work in the morning. The silence of the world just before dawn has inspired a ridiculous amount of haikus.

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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