#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 🙂

A-Z April Blogging Challenge: Theme Reveal!

This year, for the first time, I’ll be taking part in the A-Z April Blogging Challenge.

My theme is going to be: Author Spotlight April 2015.

I’ll be including one author per day, whose name or surname starts with (or exceptionally includes), the corresponding letter for the April Challenge.

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Authors will all have a few things in common:

  • They will all be authors whose books I’ve read and enjoyed.
  • They publish independently or with small publishing houses.
  • They’ve started publishing on kindle in the last few years.
  • Many (not all) are debut novels.
  • Their books are on kindle.
  • They agree to being featured.

I want to keep the posts to as close to 600 words as possible, firstly because we’re all busy, and we all want to read as many blogs as possible, so the shorter they are, the more we can read. Secondly because as a result of taking part in Flash Fiction Challenges, I’ve learned (and try hard to apply!) that less is more (Please read my post about what I’ve learned from Flash Fiction) .

Each post will feature a short (150 word) review of their book by me, telling you why I loved it, and the answers to three questions I’ve asked the authors in (under 150 words each).

The post will also include:

  • One of their book covers and one author picture.
  • Links to their Amazon and social network pages.
  • The three questions they’ll be answering are:

Question 1. Pitch your novel. Why should a reader download your book, bearing in mind all those on offer? How is your book different? Engaging? What kind of readers will enjoy it?

Question 2. What are you working on now or what would you like to write about next? Have you started another book? Are you writing anything now? What type of novel is it? Is it different to your previous one, or is it a continuation or part of a series?

Question 3. What would you like readers to know about you?

As most of you know, although I’m a writer, I much prefer reading to writing, as I’ve explained in a previous post, so I’m really excited about being able to tell you about the books I’ve enjoyed this last year, and introducing you to all the wonderful authors 🙂

I love reading, so I love authors: the people who take the time and make the effort to write books for us to read.

On the other hand, it’s not easy connecting with readers, and there are literally millions of books available to be read, so any exposure which allows readers to connect with authors and books they might enjoy is a welcome thing.

I know it’s a very ambitious, but I already have my list of authors, and I’m in the process of contacting them. Many have replied already, so I’m all set, and you?

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My eldest grandson, Alejandro.

 

I enjoy all sorts of books, but there will be mainly historical and contemporary romance, drama, and comedy, as well as thrillers, mystery, and crime fiction, and some literary fiction, too.

Hope you have time to drop by and have a look at the amazing authors who’ll be joining me!

I’ll also be having a look at as many other blogs taking part in the challenge as possible.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other blogs taking part or sign up and join in yourself, there’s still time!