#ThemeReveal #AtoZChallenge #Haiku #Photography #MondayBlogs

This is my fourth time participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

I’ve had great fun as well as a bit of stress the previous three years! But I’m ready to go again.

Year one was 2015 and I posted an author spotlight iincluding an interview with an author a day and a book review of one of the author’s books. I chose contemporary authors, many of whom published independently. These authors and their novels had made me think, laugh, and/or cry.

Year two, 2016 was devoted to Jane Eyre. I posted about my inspiration and passion. My posts were all about Jane Eyre, the book, characters, themes, symbolism, author, etc.

Year three, 2017 was devoted to poetry. I ambitiously took part in National Poetry Month as well as the April A-Z Blogging Challenge. I posted two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets, whose name or surname began with the corresponding daily letter.

This year, 2018, is my fourth year and my theme is poetry once again. On this occasion I’ll be writing a haiku a day, but I’m also adding a new hobby to the posts, photography. I will post one of my photos every day to accompany the haiku. I’m still learning but I’m gradually getting better at taking and editing photos.

Haiku (or hokku) is a Japanese verse form. In its English version, it has three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. A haiku often features an image to represent the essence of the haiku. It often refers to nature or seasons.

A Haiku aims to capture the essence of fleeting feelings in a specific moment in time, which becomes one with the universe.

It has been described as one of the most elegant and immediate poetic forms because it creates an aura of mystery and artistry in a short and intense outburst of syllables.

The challenge of an effective haiku is to capture the elusive instant, which reveals universal feelings, making it both ephemeral and eternal at the same time, by using just three lines and 17, or fewer, syllables. A Haiku is often written in the present tense and includes an enigmatic last line.

It wasn’t popularized in Western literature until the early 1900s. Paul-Louis Couchoud became one of the first European translators of the form who popularized this poetic form in Europe. Soon more were translated and written by French, Spanish and English speaking poets.

Western poets like W.H. Auden, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Jorge Luis Borges, Billy Collins, Allen Ginsberg, e.e. Cummings, Ezra Pound, Joanne Kyger, Anne Waldman, Richard Wright, and Sonia Sanchez also wrote haiku.

Here’s a beautiful Haiku written by North American poet Sonia Sánchez, published in her collection of poetry, Shake Loose My Skin (1999).

I love writing Haiku with one of my own photographs or in response to a photo prompt. I find it reduces the poem form to its very essence, the equivalent to flash fiction, in a poem.

Writing a haiku isn’t as easy or simple as it would appear. Sometimes I spend hours, even days thinking of the right word or the right combination of syllables to capture the moment and the feeling. Other times, it’s impossible to find the right words… and occasionally, the seventeen syllables flow from pen to paper, as if they had been in my mind for years, waiting to be written.

Here’s a haiku I wrote recently. It’s one of my favourite, so far. I took the picture and wrote it when I was experiencing complex emotions.

Clouds scream at howling tides.

Seize the fury, ride the storm,

Then embrace the calm…

Are you taking part in the April Blogging Challenge this year?

If you are, what’s your theme?

Feel free to add the link to your theme reveal in the comments 🙂

Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction Chellenge ‘Balloons’ #99Words


We love you.

We miss you.

At sunrise, all the children gathered in the playground to release their helium-filled balloons. Each carried a personalized message begging their classmate to come home.

‘How long will it take for Silvia to get the messages?’ Her best friend asked the teacher.

‘That’s hard to say,’ she replied, ‘but I’m sure she will receive them.’

‘When will she come back?’ Asked another worried child.

‘She may not come back, but she’ll know how much we all love and miss her,’ said the teacher, hoping one of the balloons would soften the kidnapper’s heart.


Sometimes there’s not much we can do against evil and injustice, except hope our positive messages and vibrations reach their destination…
This post was written in response to Charli Mills weekly Flash Fiction Challenge.


#writephoto ‘Don’t Look Back’ #FlashFiction #100Words

I hear their moans and eerie cacophony, louring me towards the grey arches.

Don’t look back!

My heels speed along as I count the pavement tiles, forty-five, forty-six, forty-seven…

A few more steps.

If I can reach the end of the alley I’ll be safe.

Don’t look into their eyes!

They’ll not chase me in broad daylight.

Keep walking.

They dare not leave the shadowy cloisters.

One more step.

I can almost grasp the daylight.


But a cloud drapes the sun and I’m plunged into darkness.

‘Stay,’ he begs and I look into his eyes as he sinks his fangs.


This flash was written in response to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo prompt. Want to join in?


I’m not a big fan of vampire novels, but following my daughter’s recommendation, I’ve just started reading Erica Stevens latest Vampire trilogy, Fire and Ice. Book 1 is free so I thought I’d give it a go! I’ll be letting you know how it goes.

I read and reviewed some of her Captive series novels in an earlier post here some time ago, book 1 is free, too in case you want to try it out. I’ve read and can recommend it, if you like paranormal.

Do you enjoy reading about Vampires?

Any recommendations?


#IWSG ‘Celebrations’ #amwriting #InternationalWomensDay #ProudWoman

This month’s IWSG question for debate is, ‘How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?’ comes just a day before International Women’s Day, so I’m combining both ideas in this post, that is celebrating writing goals, personal goals and celebrations in general.

Pride in our lives and work, and the celebration of goals we’ve reached, is relevant every day, but especially today, which is a day for celebrating our achievements as women.

As a part-time writer (I wish I could be full-time), I don’t set goals in stone, because I don’t want to feel frustrated if I don’t reach them on any given day, so, as I wrote in one of my previous posts, I write short notes to myself after spending some time writing.

Most recent Writer’s Journal, on the right.


My notes, which could be called my Writing Journal, include four points:

  • A summary of what I’ve been doing, writing, editing, finishing a chapter, researching, rereading, etc.
  • I might include a word count, especially when I’m starting off, but now that I’m at the editing stage, I’m actually cutting out words, so I write down the total manuscript word count, just to keep a check on it, but it’s no big deal. Sometimes a word or a sentence takes days, and others you cut out 300 words, or write 5,000. My overall goal is to be working on my manuscript for as long as I can as often as I can. 
  • Thirdly, I remind myself what to do the next time I sit down to write, which could be the following day, or the following week. It’s usually something like, ‘finish editing chapter 10’, ‘have a nother look at the end of the first chapter,’ ‘check the dates for….’ etc.
  • The final point is important, I write how I feel about what I’ve been doing. It might look something life, ‘I feel so pleased I finally sorted out chapter X’, or ‘I’m still not sure about….’, etc.

The first thing I do when I sit down to write is read my last diary entry and take it from there. However, it really depends on my mood. I might not follow my own suggestions, although I usually do. It helps me to stay focussed.

One of my ‘stellar moments’

I’ve had some wonderful moments as a writer, such as when I hit publish on Amazon for my first novel, All Hallows at Eyre Hall. Then when it was an Amazon Bestseller lists on several occasions, and I can say the same for Twelfth Night and Midsummer. The mostly good reviews and some successful blog tours, also made me feel very optimistic and infused with courage.

Another fabulous moment was having my books in my hands in the CreateSpace print edition for the first time, and my one and only book presentation of All Hallows, was also a unique day.

I celebrate these occasions as I suppose most people do. with those of my family and friends who can share the moment with me (my family and friends are all over the world, so it’s not easy), either going for a drink or a meal.

Overall, my first three novels have brought me untold hours of joy, frustration, happiness, and fulfillment. It’s been a learning process and even a struggle, at times.

I’m proud of my achievements and I celebrate every day I write as a good day, because I love the freedom, creativity and satisfaction it brings. I’m a simple creature, that’s really enough for me.

However, the best is yet to come. I hope My fourth novel, now in the rewriting/editing phase, which is a contemporary, romantic suspense, will bring me more reasons to celebrate, hopefully this time in the traditional publishing route. This is my provisional cover and title.

I’m also proud to celebrate being a happy woman almost every day. Todays’ a little different because instead of taking it for granted I can spell it out and reinforce the joy being alive, being a person and being a woman brings me.

I’m proud and thankful to be a mother, grandmother, daughter, cousin, wife, teacher, mentor, friend, writer, blogger, poet, photographer, dreamer, person, and alive… every day.

#CarrotRanch #FlashFiction Challenge ‘Marry me’ #JaneEyre

This is my response to Charli Mills’

March 1: Flash Fiction Challenge

Prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a raven. Respond by March 6, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published March 7). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!


Marry Me, Jane!

‘Soon I shall be a bridegroom,’ said Mr. Rochester.
Jane looked down at her plain, governess dress and remembered Blanche Ingram’s extravagant clothes, noble features and glossy, raven hair.
‘I’ll leave at once. Miss Ingram will have plans for Adele.’
Jane refused to witness the man she loved marry a beautiful, yet unworthy gold-digger.
‘You would have me marry that frivolous woman?’ Rochester shook his head. ‘You think so little of me, Jane? I ask you to pass through life at my side as my best earthly companion.’
Rochester kissed her hand. ‘Jane, say Edward I will marry you.’


It’s amazing how the mind works. I saw the picture of the raven and thought of Blanche Ingram’s hair! For those of you don’t remember, she was Lord Ingram’s daughter, who Mr. Rochester used to make Jane jealous, tease her and perhaps find out if cool Jane loved him…

I’ve tried to capture the moment Rochester asked Jane to marry him, which is no doubt one of the most dramatic and romantic scenes in the novel. Jane is convinced that he’s going to marry the awful Miss Ingram, but Mr. Rochester recognises gold when he sees it, even if it’s hidden under an ugly dress!