#Haiku: “Melancholy Autumn”

This week’s theme for Colleen’s poetry challenge is a haiku written by Sue Vincent:

clouds cover the moon,
beyond dawn's pale horizon
sun rises unseen  
©2020 Sue Vincent  

The idea is to use Sue’s haiku as inspiration for your own syllabic poetry. Remember, in this challenge we can use any of the following poetry forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Renga, Solo-Renga, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and Shadorma

The current standards for creating Haiku in English suggest a form with three lines and syllables of 3/5/3 (11 syllables). Even the more abbreviated haiku version with three lines and syllables of 2/3/2 (7 syllables) is now thought of more favorably than the traditional 5/7/5 format. Hybrid haiku are written with seventeen-syllables in one or more lines.

Most haiku are written about nature, the seasons, a beautiful moment in nature, an emotional experience while in nature, or change. A haiku should share a special moment of awareness with the reader.

mist meets earth
shrouding streets in gloom
foggy night

by Marsha Ingrao 2020

Revival of Colleen Chesebro’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writer’s Challenge

Colleen Chesebro invited me to reinstate the #WQWWC challenge she used to host with her blogger friend, Ronovan. They eventually chose to focus on poetry and so she opened it up to me to take up the challenge.

#WQWWC will start this Wednesday, December 2nd. Stay tuned for the first theme.

Blog Challenge Interview Series

Do you host or participate in blog challenges? It’s a lot of work. The enjoyment I get from blogging is to promote other hobby bloggers. So if you want to write a guest post or have an interview about the Challenge experience, please contact me. I’d love to feature you and your challenge on Always Write.

Story Chat

A BRAND NEW service to promote hobby bloggers is Story Chat. Your unpublished short story premieres on Always Write. My readers have a chance to chat about the story with you and their friends over a cup of coffee or glass of wine in front of a fire. Later, I will compile all of our thoughts into a summary post giving your story an encore.

Your comments and conversations are the best part of the day. I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

A Dry October Photo Walk

#Lens Artist – Amy, takes us on a photo walk as Challenge # 117. This week, and Terri with Sunday Stills makes it a dry one. Since we live in a semi-desert area, dry pictures abound. #Tanka Tuesday sweetens the challenge because it’s poet’s choice of theme and type of poem. So here goes, I’m going to combine all of the above along with Cee’s Flower of the Day and Becky B’s October Kinda Squares

My sister-in-law and her pets live with us now. Today we took our two dogs for a mile-long walk through the Woodlake Rose Garden. I was on a quest for pictures of dry beauty like a well-aged red wine.

For once, I couldn’t take pictures to make my Kiwanis group proud. Last weekend Kiwanis recruited 37 volunteers, students and adults who spread mulch to hold in the precious moisture.

Once we got past the Kiwanis section, which could be likened to garden of sweet white wine, I didn’t have to look far.

 
Roses
Spidery
Pitied
#Haiku 2/3/2

The garden sprinkling system fails consistently but the thirsty roses get some water. No one except Chuck House brings a hose and cleans them off. I wonder what would happen if all 7,000 Woodlakers came out to work in the garden for a couple of hours this fall?

Spiders are in heaven making silky webs to trap the dust and ashes in the air. The little bug on the rose can hide out almost anywhere in the garden except where he is. Does anyone recognized him?

Roses need deadheading constantly in the summer to keep them blooming beautifully. Due to COVID, we did not have the help this summer that we usually get from the students, and the Master Gardeners were not able to come until just recently. So you will see Zombie Roses on this walk.

Deteriorated
Dilapidated, dusty
Throw-away roses
"Wait," shouted the grasshoppers.
"Look at this elegant weave
Spiders created."
#Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

The garden could be the Secret Garden before it was rediscovered. The potential of beauty is there, covered with what looks like years of neglect. In reality, it’s only a few weeks. On the cobweb blanket, you can see the ashes from the forest fires.

This rose has company that puts it to shame. The beauty of the morning glory is deceptive. It chokes out its competition, the rose and takes over if left unchecked.

Vibrant
Velvety
Contrast

Withered
Crumpled petals
Faded
#Haiku 2/3/2

Some of the plants are not as loved as the roses. My great-grandmother used to make persimmon cookies. I do not think she would be happy to see this dry tree.

Some areas of the garden have still not been adopted by organizations. In those area anything goes. In this case, the rose is surrounded, not only by thorns, but by weeds.

Lost in a weed patch
Propagating constantly
Drowning in ashes
#Haiku 5/7/5

Once in a while, you have to look up. The trees tell the long time story. Those blobs are cobwebs and debris.

After the garden walk, Cindy and Flo went home, Kalev and I drove home the back way on Sentinel Butte Road looking for more dry pictures. We weren’t disappointed. You can see the dusty, smoke-hazed, 157-AQI-sky. You can barely make out Colvin Mountain in the background.

It struck me that Woodlake is the perfect example of “the haves and have nots” when it comes to water. Wherever there is water, even just a speck, you see green life blooming. Otherwise you see brown deterioration.

Life-giving water
Sucked dry by super hot skies
Humans tricked the fruit 
Giving them a plastic teat
Yielding oranges once more.
#Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

I read this quote on Sylvia Bacon’s website,

“Beauty can be seen in all things; seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph”

Matt Hardy

The weed and dead limbs contrasted to attract my attention.

As I drove around the corner, the hillside on the left marked the end of the dry land and the beginning of irrigated groves of orange trees.

I hope I achieved my goal of seeing and composing the beauty in this dry photo walk.

These images are inspired and submitted for the following blog challenges:

Don’t Forget to Head Over to See Kerry

https//www.kerrylizblack.wordpress.com

The Memoir Challenge: Enjoying the Similarities and Differences Between Generations and Locations

Welcome to Always Write, Irene Waters. I met Irene in June reading one of her marvelous book reviews. We chatted a bit and I found out that she was interested in photo and writing challenges. She agreed to tell you about her favorite challenges and also what it was like for her to host a challenge.

Thank you for for being here.

Irene Waters Interview

by Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

What prompted you to begin to host a writing/photo challenge?

When the memoir challenge ended it left a hole which I decided to fill by running my own challenge with a twist. @Irene Waters


I enjoy participating in both photo and writing challenges. For photos I love Cee’s challenges as well as Lens-Artists and Paula’s Five word challenges. Although these are predominantly photo challenges I can’t help but weave story, often memoir around the photos I post. I came to writing challenges later. The first was a memoir challenge (no longer happening) and then I found Carrot Ranch’s 99 Word Flash Fiction. When the memoir challenge ended it left a hole which I decided to fill by running my own challenge with a twist.

Was this one of your dreams?


I can’t say it was a dream to run my own challenge although it was a dream to share memoir with others who perhaps hadn’t considered memoir a pursuit of interest.

What was your purpose in hosting the challenge? How does it help photographers or writers?

 I had hoped that the challenge would give us social insights into the way the world has changed between not only generations but also between geographical location. The prompt could be responded to in any form the participant enjoyed – prose, poetry, flash, photographs, sketches or any other form. I hoped that it would give both writers and photographers a way of writing/ displaying memoir and finding value in reading the differences and the similarities between generations and locations. I love it when a conversation starts and one post prompts memories in a reader/viewer previously forgotten. 

How long have you been doing this?

The first challenge was in January 2016 and I stopped in 2019 when my husband and myself were both diagnosed with and undergoing cancer treatments.

How much time does it take? 

I made it easy on myself and made the challenge monthly. I knew how much work was involved and I knew I was time poor. Don’t be fooled – people who run challenges put a lot of work into them.

If you stopped hosting the challenge, why was that?

As I have already mentioned I stopped due to health challenges but it was getting difficult to keep going anyway. Although it was only monthly it was difficult coming up with topics that would not cause anybody any angst.

Did you start a different challenge?

No.

What would you do differently?

Do as the Lens’Artists – find a team of memoir enthusiasts and take turns in setting the challenge.

What steps did you take to get your challenge ready? 

It was simply a matter of coming up with a topic and writing to the topic myself, posting and inviting people to join in. The challenge had been running only a short time when Charli from Carrot Ranch invited me to write a memoir piece monthly on her site with an invitation to readers to participate in my challenge. This certainly created an audience for Times Past which helped immensely.

How did you follow up with your participants?


I would get participants to leave a link on my site in the comments and then visit each of them leaving a comment on their site. Hopefully other participants also dropped by and read their work as well.

How did you attract people to participate? / How do people usually find out about your challenge? Are you a part of a group on social media that picks up your challenge and promotes it?


I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to social media. I have facebook, twitter and instagram accounts but I rarely visit them. I relied primarily on word of mouth so to speak and having the article on Carrot Ranch linked was a big plus for me.

Do you determine winners? If so, how?


I didn’t determine winners. I think everyone who enters any challenge is a winner – we all have our own stories and none are more worthy than the other. I must admit it is a buzz when you are chosen by Cee or Lens Artists as an example of work that appealed to them – but I don’t know that either of those challenges would consider them winners.

What do you do with the entries? 


I have a Times Past page where there is a link to every challenge. It makes it easy for people to find them and follow links if they wish.

Given your experience with both hosting a challenge and participating in challenges do you think they are a valuable tool for writers and photographers?

Absolutely. Firstly for many challenges are a way that a writer or photographer can have their work viewed by others. It is also a way of honing skills and getting the creative juices working. Most importantly it is a way to meet like minded people and have conversations that you can only have with another writer or photographer. It may just be a meeting of minds that sees a friendship begin.

I hoped that it would give both writers and photographers a way of writing/ displaying memoir and finding value in reading the differences and the similarities between generations and locations. @Irene Waters

Bio

Irene Waters published her memoir Nightmare in Paradise in 2019. She blogs at Reflections and Nightmares She is interested in memoir having completed a Master of Arts with her research thesis examining the difficulties a sequel memoirist faces. Another passion from childhood is photography. She enjoys combining writing and photography on her website. She lives with her husband and two dogs on the Sunshine Coast of Qld in Australia.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am – 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.

View all posts by Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist →

Thank you, Thank you

Thanks again Irene for participating in the Blogging Challenge Series on Always Write.

As a side note, Irene is collaborating with me in the Rodeo Flash Writing Contest.

Watch for Carrot Ranch Signs along the way.

#Tanka: Kittens Backward and Forward

Time for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday. This week we are working on the form #Tanka 5/7/5/7/7

Nineteen and a half
Scardy, my beloved friend
Woebegone, my heart
A place to foster kittens
Nurture, keep safe, give away 


Thanks for reading. For other #Tanka this week along with writing instructions Check out Colleen’s site: https://colleenchesebro.com/2020/09/29/colleens-2020-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-197-specificform-tanka/

Reminder All Y’all Hobby Bloggers

Carrot Ranch launches this year’s fabulous Rodeo Flash Fiction (and Poetry) Contest on October 5th. Week Three will happen RIGHT HERE on Always Write.

#Haiku The Night Skies of Elderwood, Maui, and Melbourne

WELCOME TO TANKA TUESDAY!

This month’s theme is:

The Night Sky

Night blooms
Promised dreams
Maybe
Daylight slumps and sleeps
Snoring with coyote's call
Signals predators
Mr. Moon
grumpy, sinister
Plots evil
Hides his face
From tree owls lurking
On the prowl
City Life
Differs
Lights control
City lights
glamor of the dark
Reflected
Summer nights
Incendiaries
spark the dark

Tonight I strung together a garland of #haiku for your nighttime enjoyment. I used all three standards: 3/5/3 and 2/3/2 and the least popular but what I learned first, 5/7/5.

Can you tell which skies are from which location?

Thank you, Franci Hoffman, aka Eugi’s Causerie II, who picked this lovely theme.

If you are uninspired, check out the other participants of Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday.

Mark Your Calendars for Oct. 5th

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo Contest. Week Three will be right here.