The Month of October
October is my birthday month and I have a lot of people trying to steal my thunder. My son, two granddaughters (one turning sixteen), my dearest and patient friend Patricia (I make her read things I write), my youngest daughter’s father in law, my nephew, my former sister in law…damn it’s a lot of people already so I might just stop there.
Instead of my usual post on the books I have read, I thought I would do a post on me. Don’t stop reading! If things were different my birthday present to me would have been a trip to Japan, where my dearest unlegally (yes, I know the word is wrong but I am trying to be funny) adopted daughter, (the taller one in the photo, the other is an Italian friend of mine who shares my love of Japan) lives. The post on me is to make me feel better.
And please forgive any layout problems. WordPress have made navigating small things like fonts really scary for tech unsavvies like me, but I’m hanging in there.
I have long believed dreams don’t have expiry dates but the older you get the harder it becomes to wait. There must be thousands and thousands of people that can relate to this out there. When I decided to blog and to be an author (meaning admit I dabble), I knew it would be difficult. It was; it is. However, most writers, good, bad, or indifferent would still rather suffer than give it up. Unfortunately, this desire to persevere takes a toll on confidence and on the body. Sitting at computer for hours at a time has a price. Why do we do it? I honestly wonder and then things happen, and you know exactly why you do it.
I have made no secret of the fact I have fallen in love with the many forms of Japanese poetry. The careful selection of minimal words to say so much is an art form I hold in awe. I have trouble being concise. Consequently I have applied myself to improving. I took a chance and put my attempts out there in all three of my poetry books. They have been my learning platform. Expressing the emotion, the concept is extremely important. Readers connect this way. Getting it wrong and I have so many times, can be disheartening. Well, it can be unless you don’t learn something from the experience.
I wanted to write contemporary romance, a series in fact. I wrote book one but realised I had a lot to learn. At the same time the world of poetry fascinated me. That in fact they were connected, didn’t hit me until just recently. When a writer is blocked, the advice given is to put it aside and come back to it. I put mine aside but didn’t like not writing so I took up the poetry, it provided a means of connecting dots, of finding the areas I needed to work on.
Some people attack their dreams (writing for example) with finesse. Some like me who suffer from insecurity, attack their dreams with fervour and fear in equal quantities – nightmare material. Reworking small pieces does not let my distraught half take over. Instead, it reminds me patience is a virtue, allows me to think things through and to breathe. Is it now spilling over into my novels? I think so. I hope so. Writing any poetry, whether it be haiku, tanka, or free verse, is challenging. The form is a hard taskmaster. As a result though, it has reinforced the idea that getting it wrong is okay because I can fix it. Easy with smaller pieces. Now I have to learn to apply the principle to bigger pieces like novels.
A friend talked me into submitting some of my poetry, an almost certain anxiety attack but I did it. Facing those fears though, accepting rejections and then taking on board necessary changes has begun a growth, has become a learning strategy. Recently I submitted to a wonderful New Zealand poetry journal called Kokado, and they accepted three of my pieces for publication in their Journal 33, 2020.
Over the moon, I have commandeered my blog under the birthday pretence and am going to showcase these pieces here. I call it sharing my excitement. You probably call it – captive audience. The following haiku, tanka and haibun were all first published in Kokako (September 2020).
Now, I have to be honest, I have also included sneaky links to my books. Not perfect, they are part of a work in progress – the making of a writer – me. Pride of place however has gone to my entries in Kokoda. I got it right and it makes me want to keep going so stayed tuned. It may not happen again for a long time but having had it happen once I am inspired to keep going in both the poetry and my novels.
I can’t thank Kokado enough for providing the impetus to keep working.