Daily Haiku: Feb. 19, 2017

canning day
apple peels quilt
the table top


by Jan Benson
tinywords, 13.3, Feb. 12, 2014

 

Posted in Appreciating Poetry, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Daily Poem, Experienced Poets, Haiku, Jan Benson, Japanese-style poetry, Language Arts, literacy, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems, Writing, Writing Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Feb. 18, 2017

train whistle

dry grass bending

to the wind

 

 

by Maureen Sudlow

Posted in Appreciating Poetry, Beginning Poets, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Daily Poem, Experienced Poets, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Language Arts, literacy, Maureen Sudlow, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems, Writing Haiku | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Feb. 17, 2017

october again
redder than the maple
a wish

by Lucia Fontana
Modern Haiku
,Vol. 48:1, Winter–Spring 2017

Posted in Appreciating Poetry, Beginning Poets, Daily Haiku, Daily Poem, Experienced Poets, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Lenard D. Moore, Lucia Fontana, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems, Writing, Writing Haiku | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Born a Writer?

I often judge writing contests, both non-fiction and poetry. Recently, I judged the North Carolina Poetry Society’s annual contest in the haiku category. Although it was blind judging, and the winners’ names still haven’t been revealed, I’m sure the winners worked hard to perfect their haiku. Passionate writers work hard at producing quality writing.

It always irks me when some authors, many of whom  teach, make the comment that one is a born a writer. When we were of school age, we learned spelling and composition and basic writing skills. In adulthood, we write letters and memos in the course of our day.  But we are not born writers. I’ve never read about a writing gene. And, even if we interpret that statement loosely to mean that we are born with skills such as observation–part of being a writer–then we need to qualify it by stating that our writing skills must be cultivated and practiced.

We can develop observational skills; a facility with language through reading a lot of good writing in a particular genre; take workshops; and  attend good critique groups. Many people become good writers or published ones later in life through practice and learning to be observant– key elements in being a good writer of any genre. Writers need to describe what they wish to convey in specific terms, and that requires good observation and reflection. We also need to practice how to write succinctly, deleting extraneous words and finding simpler ways of expression.

How do you practice observation? Whatever you see around you, something ordinary, for example, ask yourself if it’s really ordinary. Is there anything unusual about it? You practice being observant by first asking questions about how and why things are the way most people perceive them as, and how and why they are not what most people perceive.

If you are writing informational pieces, question commonly-held perceptions or beliefs. Be a contrarian, be a devil’s advocate. If you are writing a creative piece, observe shapes,  sizes, and the color of things.

When I write how-to books on  writing informational and creative pieces, I do so  because people need to learn how to be good writers. It’s not automatic. Everyone has to read and practice how to write like “a writer,” even if from the time they are young, their teacher tells them they have a knack for writing.

In judging the recent haiku contest, it made me reflect on how people can become better writers by judging contests. My method of judging a contest involves reading each piece in the beginning, two times. Then I let each sit for a day. I re-read each piece two times, the second day, and I start eliminating those that are inadequate. I don’t start eliminating pieces until the second day, because I might run the risk of overlooking  a few, which at first glance, I didn’t reflect on enough. The entire process of elimination can take several days or a couple weeks of re-reading poems each day.

In judging haiku, for example, I ponder symbolism; whether there is depth of meaning or layers of meaning; diction (precision of words, particularly with verbs); evocative imagery; word economy; and style. I love to see haiku with literary techniques, such as alliteration and assonance. If done skillfully, alliteration and assonance, even in a short poem, can enhance it. If they are done sparingly in a short poem, they don’t distract the reader.

As a poet, I not only select words for their meaning, but also for their sound and how they contribute to rhythm. Further, does the poet express himself/herself in a subtle way, without explaining?  Does the haikuist embody the haiku spirit: understanding natural phenomena; having a sense of spirituality or humility; and seeing the beauty in the ordinary?

As long as you keep reading good writing in your genre, you’ll never stop learning and improving. You’ll pick out styles you enjoy of other writers and incorporate their techniques into your own.

Spend an hour each day/night, if you can, reading and reflecting. This not only gives you writing ideas, but it renews you. If this isn’t possible, then perhaps write just fifteen minutes a day in a quiet space or play soothing music to block out household noise. I spend two hours each evening reading and reflecting. I am able to do this because during the day, I have strict guidelines for getting my work done efficiently without distraction. I answer my phone only during the noon hour or after 4 p.m., and I return phone messages then.

There are many ups and downs in any career, and perhaps writing has one of the most, because of the many rejections writers receive. Focus on riding them out by re-submitting rejected pieces soon after revision, or simply by trying another publication. Keep your momentum up.

And keeping your momentum up, often involves announcing your accomplishments all ways you can. If you don’t, not many people will hear about them. Good feedback is essential.

Discouragement often kills writers. Always try to keep a bright perspective. I have two post-it notes on my computer: Do something enjoyable each day, and Identify the happiest moment of my day.  Referring to these, helps me keep a bright perspective.

Copyright 2017 by Charlotte Digregorio.

Posted in Appreciating Poetry, Beginning Poets, Contests, creative writing, Experienced Poets, Haiku, Informational Writing, Judging Contests, Language Arts, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Craft, Writing Skills | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Daily Haiku: Feb. 16, 2017

crow caw to crow caw endless rain




by Patrick Sweeney
Modern Haiku

 

Posted in Appreciating Poetry, Beginning Poets, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Daily Poem, Experienced Poets, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Language Arts, literacy, micropoetry, Patrick Sweeney, Poetry, Poets, Short Poems, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku, Feb. 15, 2017

no kids the silence of snow

by Susan Burch
The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, June 2016

 

Posted in Appreciating nature, Beginning Poets, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Daily Poem, Experienced Poets, Japanese-style poetry, Language Arts, literacy, micropoetry, Poetry, Short Poems, Susan Burch, Writing, Writing Haiku | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Daily Haiku: It’s All About You

People tell me, every once in awhile, that they’d like me to run some of my haiku in The Daily Haiku. However, it is reserved for your haiku and senryu.  Here, you will find poets from thirty countries, and the list is forever growing, since haiku and senryu are written in dozens of countries.

Off hand, I can think of some of my favorite haiku and senryu poets in these countries: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England, Japan, Malta, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Bulgaria, Korea, The Philippines, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, India, France, South Africa, Slovenia, Serbia, Switzerland, The Philippines, and The Netherlands.

Readers who want to be included in The Daily Haiku can always send me their previously-published haiku or senryu in English. Please send a few that have been published in well-known haiku journals. I will be happy to consider them. You can email me: c-books@hotmail.com

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know that I don’t just include poetry, but pieces about such topics as the how-to’s of writing articles, columns, and books. Writing can be fun, but writing for publication is even better.

Some people are frowned upon when people ask them what they do as “work,” and they respond,  “I am a writer.” Often, one is not taken seriously as a writer by even family and friends until they begin to publish regularly. Perhaps those people think of writers as having the good life because “they sit around and daydream.” Getting published, I think, validates us in many ways. We gain people’s respect, and this naturally lifts our spirits.

Writing is a good life, but also a hard one. The paychecks aren’t regular ones, so any way we can receive appreciation, helps us keep up our momentum work-wise.

Just a reminder for those of you living in the Chicago metro area. A reception is being held for me by the Fremont Public Library in Mundelein, IL at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 15, in honor of my illustrated haiku exhibit and my book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All.

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I hope you can make it for conversation and refreshments. And, if you are new to haiku and senryu, I hope you will learn from the exhibit.

Further, I received word not long ago, that my next haiku exhibit will run from April 1 to July 1 at Northwest Community Healthcare’s Wellness Center in Arlington Heights, IL. I have given haiku workshops at hospitals before, and participants really tap into the healing nature of haiku and senryu, so I am looking forward to doing an exhibit in a healthcare setting. This exhibit is sponsored by the Northwest Cultural Council in Barrington, IL.

I was also honored this month to have my haiku featured in the Haiku Canada Review with a broadside inserted in the publication. Twelve of my haiku and senryu were selected, along with my bio and photo.

I  receive a lot of recognition for my work, but this is no accident. It is because I have been a published writer for thirty-seven years. One doesn’t become a published writer in one day. The good news is, that everyone who wants to, can achieve their goals with dedication.

I hope my blog encourages you, and that you learn from it,  and that it shows you that you, too, can succeed as a writer.

 

Copyright 2017 by Charlotte Digregorio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Appreciating Poetry, Art, Charlotte Digregorio, creative writing, Daily Haiku, Exhibit, Haiku, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Haiku Exhibit, Poetry, Publishing, Senryu, The Daily Haiku, writers, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments