Welcome to WordCrazyAuthors

Your WordCrazy hostesses, Michelle O'Leary and AJ Caywood, welcome you to their blog about writing and hope you enjoy the mind-bending mania. Feel free to join in with your own brand of insanity...crazy loves company.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Is Coming...

But I'm afraid it's not the goose that's getting fat! One of the glorious and horrible things about the Holiday Season is the quality and quantity of food. Everyone has that special dish that they only make during this time of year, whether it's an entrée, side dish, or (God help us) dessert. My mother is famous for her kahlua truffles, my sister has a Jell-O mold that's addictive, and my other sister makes a special bread without which the holidays just wouldn't be the same. And none of them are making me any skinnier.

As complaints go, though, it's a pretty stinkin' minor one. Weight comes and goes, but family memories are forever. And the pleasure I get from consuming all these delicious, once-a-year dishes more than makes up for any weight gain. (Seriously, as a chocoholic, one kahlua truffle is worth at least a pound all by itself. ;) The comfort of great food only underlines my gratitude and joy in being with my family and friends during the holidays, and in providing my son with the chance to be with them as well. I spent too many years away from home to take it and my family for granted.

I've learned that creating wonderful memories with those you love is the best part about life, whether it's during a holiday or an average day of the week. There is nothing more important than being with loved ones, and during stressful occasions (like mad shopping rushes or staring aghast at the weight scale) I remind myself that it could be a heck of a lot worse.

So remember to feel the love, have a Happy Holidays, and pass the fudge. ;)
Peace & love,

Friday, December 11, 2009

Twitter Haiku Challenge!

Twitter is a fun social network, great for meeting new people, exchanging ideas and info...and finding new addictions. My latest addiction was founded by a Twitter user named @baffled, who began a daily challenge to create haiku poetry (senryu is also accepted) incorporating a word-of-the-day. You can find @baffled on Twitter, or do a search on Twitter under the topic #haikuchallenge to see the latest entries. Even people who don't Twitter can join in the fun by going to Baffled's site: http://haikuchallenge.tumblr.com/

What follows are my challenge entries so far for December. I hope you enjoy reading my haiku/senryu poetry, and please feel free to comment on likes or dislikes! I'm greedy for feedback. ;)

Challenge word haze
Moon glows undaunted
Through haze of jealous thin cloud
Celestial pride.

Challenge word field
Fawn takes light steps in
Wide field of unbroken white
Innocent courage.

Challenge word course
Glacial cold seeks and
Follows its instinctive course
Ancient memory.

Challenge word myth
Ancient icy wind
Smothers world in white, turning
Footprints into myth.

Challenge word wager
Sun meets horizon
Wager lost against twilight
Night reaps its rewards.

Challenge word barely
Sweet treasure's wrapping
Brushed aside, barely breathing
Succulence revealed.

Challenge word delicious
Delicious slow touch
Inviting eyes, wicked smile
Wordless seduction.

Challenge word courage
Dragonfly hovers
Meeting my curious gaze
Small jeweled courage.

Challenge word beyond
He is light and joy
Child of a sorrowful womb
Love beyond tears.

Challenge word void
Brave stars fill the void
With their slow and distant dance
Hope enclosed in night.

Challenge word doubt
Full arching willow
Reaches beyond doubt to sky
Then falls weeping.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Do You Haiku?

Recently I discovered the difference between haiku and senryu—wait, let me step back a bit. First, I saw the word senryu and thought, “What the heck is that?” Then I discovered the difference between haiku and senryu. I had no idea that senryu even existed. I was fascinated by this little piece of the world of Japanese poetry, and intrigued to find that it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

As an amateur haiku poet, I admit to having a great deal to learn about the mechanics and nuances of haiku creation. If you’re here looking for a lesson from a haiku master, you’ve stumbled into the wrong blog. You’re perfectly welcome, of course, but if it’s detailed, official information that you seek, there are infinitely more knowledgeable sources than me. About the difference between haiku and senryu, I found this link enlightening:

Haiku originated with the Japanese, a people that have an unbelievable talent for quiet elegance and simple majesty. Haiku revolves around the magic number 17—a traditional Japanese haiku is made of 17 characters or less. This does not translate well into Western languages, however, so when we adopted this form of poetry, we changed it from 17 characters to 17 syllables or less. I hope the Japanese people see this as a compliment—imitation being the greatest form of flattery—and are not offended that we’ve bastardized their poetry.

Both haiku and senryu are in this form, 17 characters or syllables in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 respectively. But where haiku traditionally focuses on aspects of the natural world, senryu focuses on human nature. There are nuances to both forms of poetry which govern their creation, but this is the simplest description and basic difference between them.

(Admittedly Amateur) Examples:

Singing and silence
Fill distance between lovers
Sweet feathered courtship.

My child’s smile could light
Vast rooms full of grim shadows
Joy chasing sorrow.

I’ve not ventured far into the realm of senryu, but I’m excited to learn about it and itching to practice. As a nature lover, it’s easier for me to create more traditional haikus, but challenge is good for the soul and mind. And hopefully, while I’m practicing, experienced senryu poets will be kind. If you see my senryu efforts elsewhere on the net, please don’t point and snicker.