Haiku Friday: Today

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Today:

to write one haiku
may be today's only art
it's all up to you

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, one, art, you

Writing: Don’t Give Up

Here’s another great story I read on Hillel Black’s blog (www.hillelblack/blog/) which I recommend you read if you want to learn how big-time editors work.

A manuscript was submitted to Alfred Knopf, one of the biggies of American publishing. They rejected it, saying, “Very dull. A typical record of family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions."

Months later, this same manuscript showed up in a pile of unsolicited manuscripts in the Paris office of a Doubleday editor. The editor didn’t feel like reading them, so he told his assistant to reject them all. Before doing so, his assistant began reading one of the submissions and could not put it down. She told the editor he really should read that one. He did, and changed his mind. Doubleday published it.

That manuscript was “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Aside from the Bible, it became the most successful book ever published.

The moral: don’t give up.

Technorati Tags: writing, give up, Hillel Black’s blog, Alfred Knopf, editors, publishing, The Diary of Anne Frank, bible

Compost: In Brief, Why I Ghost

I believe strongly that we should all share our wisdom, whatever it happens to be. It does no good to anyone locked up inside us. And one of the best ways to reach the most people is via the written word, whether in books, pamphlets, blog posts, or articles on the web. The written word is one of the most powerful forces there are in changing the world. It has a long and distinguished history in doing just that.

I ghost because I am part of that sharing.

Technorati Tags: compost, write, ghost, ghostwriting, wisdom, books, pamphlets, blog posts, articles, written word, history

Haiku Friday: Judgment

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Judgment:

if you want to judge,
condemn someone as a fool,
first look at yourself

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, judgment, judge, condemn, fool, first, yourself

Sharing History: Glamour in the White House

Michele Obama is a glamorous woman, and reminds many people of another glamorous First Lady, Jackie Kennedy. Many women in my “Making History” classes have written about the effect Jackie Kennedy had on them, nearly fifty years ago. Here is one of my favorites:

“Sherry” shared her admiration for the new First Lady in the early sixties, motivating her volunteer work for a Washington DC Arts project headed by Mrs. Kennedy. As a thank you, Jackie Kennedy invited the volunteers, all 500 of them, to a White House Tea. Although Sherry was seven months pregnant at the time, she was determined to attend – after all, how many times would Jackie Kennedy ask her to tea?

The tea was held in the Red Room, where they were served dainty puff pastry stuffed with tuna pate, made by the French chef Jackie had imported into the White House. Carrying her teacup and plate of pastry, Sherry gingerly sat down on a delicate antique red-plush sofa. The sofa was not comfortable for a pregnant woman, so she struggled to get up, balancing her teacup, plate, and outsized abdomen. To help herself, she grasped the wooden arm of the sofa and pushed off.

Imagine her horror when the arm came off in her hand! She immediately sat down again, hoping no one had seen. But how could she fix the sofa, she wondered desperately. Showing the resourcefulness and creativity that made her such an outstanding volunteer, she stuck the arm back into its socket using tuna pate as glue! As far as she knew, it was never discovered.

If you’d care to share a story about this topic, please leave a comment here. At the end of each month I’ll gather up the Sharing History comments and pick one at random from a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing my e-book: your choice of a Making History Workbook.

Technorati Tags: history, writing, Michele Obama, Jackie Kennedy, glamarous, admiration, fashion, affect, first lady, Washington DC, tea, Red Room, tuna pate, glue

Compost: Goody Beagle’s Plan for Today

Goody Beagle here again. Today my plan is to sleep, pee, eat, and sleep. Maybe eat some more, if there’s anything dropped on the floor. I don’t feel like writing even though it is my turn to blog, according to my human. But that’s because she doesn’t feel like writing either. Is this fair, I ask you? I’m the one with no thumbs! Maybe she has forgotten that inconvenient fact.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say. If you don’t like it, take it up with my human. Don’t blame me, I’m just a dog.

Technorati Tags: Goody Beagle, plan, eat, sleep, pee, floor, write, blog, human, dog

Haiku Friday: Vines

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Vines:

blood-red roses spill
from vines so tall and tangled
they block the windows

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, vines, roses, red, tall, tangles, windows

Writing: Back Up!

Recently a friend of mine lost all her work when her computer crashed – because she had no backup. This is every writer’s nightmare. Just the thought of it makes me shiver.

I once read a story about Ernest Hemingway. He had just finished a novel, and packaged up the only copy and gave it to his then-wife. This was way before computers, and maybe even carbon paper – or Hemingway didn’t feel like using carbon paper, I don’t know. Anyway it was the only copy. He asked his wife to mail it to his publisher in New York, while he went off to chase the bulls in Pamplona or something. Well, his wife got on the train to Paris, taking the novel with her and meaning to post it to New York once she got to Paris – but she had a brain fart and left it on the train!

It was never recovered. Hemingway could not write it again – he had finished with it. All he could do was grieve and feel this bottomless pit of empty. When I read this story I got the cold chills and icy sweats from horror. I felt Hemingway’s grief within my own soul. I mourned for that lost novel. I was absolutely furious with his wife, and wished she was alive so I could shriek my pain at her.

I sometimes dream about finding that lost Hemingway novel … which would probably be worth tens of millions of dollars today. Back in the 1920s he would maybe have made a couple thousand, if he was lucky. I still wonder where that novel is.

The moral of Hemingway’s story, and my friend’s, is of course – BACKUP! Never, ever, forget.

Technorati Tags: writing tip, backup, computer crash, Ernest Hemingway, novel, copy, mail, publisher, lost

Compost: List Making

I’ve always been an inveterate list-maker. Maybe it’s just because I have to write things down in order to believe they are real. I believe it’s also because list-making reduces my stress.

About twenty years ago, I was undergoing a particularly stressful time. I was in the throes of changing jobs, moving to a new state, selling my house and buying a new one, hunting for a new school for my daughter, and saying goodbye to friends. There was a lot to do. My lists were long, and getting longer.

No matter how diligently I wrote everything I had to do down on my ever-growing lists, I was haunted by the feeling that there was something I was forgetting. I was sure it was an important something. But the only time I remembered what that something was, was when I was asleep. Nearly every night I’d have the same dream – I dreamt I remembered the something. I would wake up, breathe a sigh of relief, and then go back to sleep. In the morning I remembered having the dream, remembered waking up, remembered the relief — but I never remembered the “something” itself.Finally one night when I woke up after the dream, I got out of bed, stumbled across the room to my desk, and scribbled “the something” down on a scrap of paper, making a list. Then I went back to sleep.

In the morning when I awoke, again I remembered the dream, remembered waking up, and still did not remember the something. Ah, but that didn’t matter now! I had written it down on a list! Saved at last! I scampered over to my desk, excited and filled with curiosity about what I would find.

This is what my list said:

Needles
Flint


???? To this day I still have not figured out what those words meant. I do not know what my subconscious was trying to tell me. Maybe it was just playing a joke on my conscious mind – you know, kind of a “gotcha.” But the really interesting thing is that from that time onward, my feeling of having forgotten something important went away and never came back.

I have come to believe that the point of this story is that what you write is not as important as the act of writing.

Technorati Tags: writing, list making, lists, stress, job, change, moving, selling, buying, hunting, new, school, forgetting, dream

Haiku Friday: Looking

Here’s my haiku for today, on the topic of Looking:

you do know, don’t you
look outward or look inward
the view is the same

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

At the end of each month I’ll gather up the haikus in the “Haiku Comments” that meet the criteria and pick one at random in a drawing, and send the winner of the drawing one of my e-books: your choice of Haiku for the Seasons I, or Haiku for the Seasons II.

Technorati Tags: haiku, writing, syllable, looking, know, outward, inward, view, same