Haiku Haiku (National Poetry Month)

The Haiku originated in Japan over a thousand years ago. They are short poems that consist of only three lines. Traditionally, they follow the 5-7-5 syllable rule. Although it should be noted that some people use variations of this rule. There are some Haikus that use 4-6-4, or even 5-3-5.

Like most poetry, they can portray complex emotions in a limited amount of words. The most popular subject of the Haiku is nature. Though you can write about anything that you choose. Haikus do not have to rhyme, and usually don’t.

In honor of the month, I’ve decided to share a couple of the Haikus that I wrote:

Get Ready                                                  Make an Entrance

Fortune is to come                                    Spring creeps in Shadows

Let us not forget today                               Trees and flowers blossoming

Prepare for blessings                                 The frost says goodbye

Even In My Dreams (Nat’l Poetry Month)

As many of you may know, April is National Poetry Month. I don’t write many poems anymore, because I’ve become obsessed with writing longer works of fiction. Not to mention, the poems that I used to write were mostly free verse.  They didn’t follow any rhyme scheme or anything of that matter. I never took the time to try other types of formats.

But in the spirit of the month, I thought I’d post some of my poetry. Throughout the month I intend to play around with different types of poetry and post them on here. I’m slowing getting back in the habit of sharing my writing, so I thought it would be good to kick things off with a poem:

I look down at me feet

As you laugh at your feat

Shoulders slumped, eyes diverted

Alone among many, but no shield in sight

Peace is loss

For in times of rest, you’re still there, picking, probing, plucking

I cry out for mercy

It only fuels you

Enlarges the daunting flames you throw at me

The only refuge is within my dreams

Until blue skies fade and merge into a black abyss

 And I feel the raindrops fall

First, cool on my skin

A great relief

Then pouncing, muggy, sticky

Beads of sweat form on furrowed brows

A pulsating rhythm strumming against my chest

 a sudden emergence

Watching shadows creep across the wall.

I Had A Strange Dream

Once you wake up, memories of your dreams linger only for a moment. I can attest to this. Most dreams that I have don’t last very long and if I don’t write them down, I’ll forget. There are exceptions to this rule. I’ve had several dreams from my childhood that I can recall in very clear detail. I’m not sure why some stick around and some don’t. I guess it’s the same reason that we retain some memories while others are lost forever.

Anyway, I had a dream last night that freaked me out. It wasn’t necessarily a nightmare but was creepy nonetheless. I’ve been thinking about it all day. Strangely, the clarity of the events hasn’t waned at all since I woke up. So I thought I’d share it.

It started on the campus of the (first) middle school I attended. I was standing on the outside of the gates about to enter. There was a narrow entrance that lead to a large court yard. From the street, the courtyard’s view is blocked by brick walls unless you’re standing at the gate. But as in dreams, everything was distorted and I could see the courtyard although the brick wall was there. Instead of my back facing the street where pickup occurs, there seemed to be a whole other part of the school there because there were buildings behind me..

There was a great threat lingering in the air. I just know that we had to get out of there. And by we I mean myself and a hoard of people I didn’t recognize. Everyone was waiting for the bus, pacing frantically, and on their phones.

Suddenly a large black van was charging towards us. I have no idea who was in the van, but was deathly afraid. I knew that these were the people out to get us. A moment later a yellow school bus was speeding towards us from the opposite direction. Everyone immediately started running for the bus as the van gained on us. I don’t remember who was driving or even actually boarding the bus but in an instant I was on and we pulled off. We were flying. On a school bus. I was sitting in the the exact seat that I hogged back in the seventh grade – the second to last seat on the right. I had a clear view of all of the other passengers.

From what I overheard, some covert agency had sent those van guys to get rid of us. Not exactly an ideal situation, but I’ve experienced worse in dreams. Then things started to get a little creepy for my taste. A girl seated directly in front of me was talking about how she was glad that she had taken pictures of the pages of some book she was reading for when they confiscate the books. I remember thinking that people are trying to kill us, and she’s sitting there worried about a book. Before I could verbalize my disbelief, I was no longer looking at the back of the girl’s head, but her skeleton. She turned in to a skeleton. Just poof. Dead.

I was horrified so I started screaming.  But I was the only one reacting to her. In fact, they weren’t even reacting to me freaking out. My eyes scanned the bus and they were sitting completely motionless looking straight ahead as if they were in a trance. I leaned over in my seat and tried to nudge the guy sitting across from me in the arm, but he didn’t even flinch. I didn’t want to be the only person alive/conscious when we met our doom so, I was literally losing it at that point.

Then my mom appeared in the dream a few seats up talking about egg noodles , chicken broth, and spinach  on the phone.  She was so loud and boisterous  that I think I realized  I was dreaming and I woke up. Turns out she was actually on the phone with my aunt telling her what she was going to make for dinner tonight.  (She’s on a diet.)

I’m usually annoyed when she wakes me up , but I didn’t complain this time. I was so happy that it was a dream and that it was over.

Thanks mom.

Using A Pen Name and Confidence

I’ve gone back and forth over the last couple of months whether to use a pen name or not. I guess I could say  that I’m not completely confident in my writing.
I actually have another blog where I write under a pseudonym. I think the anonymity gives me a freedom that I otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s on that blog, that I post things I would never have the guts to post on here. They’re stories that contain darker themes, or are just extremely personal to me. I’ve gotten some positive feedback, and that makes me feel good. But when I do, I sort of wish I had written it under my own name. It’s gratifying to know that someone likes something that I created.
It’s that source of freedom that allows me to be most creative, because I’m not worrying about whether my mother will come across it and cringe at scenarios that my mind created. I don’t have to worry if someone I know in real life will see it. It’s safe.
It wasn’t until being on WordPress a couple of months, that I realized how insecure I am with my writing. I don’t necessarily mean my ability to write, because I’m completely winging this whole thing. I’m literally learning as I go.   I mean that I would promise to update, and then get discouraged halfway through because I knew I wasn’t being true to myself. So I just never did.
I write for myself, but I would be lying if I said that positive reviews didn’t make me giddy inside. The same goes for not so good reviews. Reviews allow you to get a feel of what is and isn’t working. I love them all.
I’m trying to find a balance of how much I’m willing to share. For now,using a pen name adds a sense of protection.

Delirium Book Review: (Contains Spoilers, Kinda)

11614718Delirium, by Lauren Oliver, is set within a dystopian future in which love is considered a disease. Not just any disease, no. It’s the most vile, inhumane disease that exists. Better known as amor deliria nervosa, it’s been deemed the central cause of every bad thing that’s ever happened. As a result, everyone must undergo a lobotomy at age eighteen to rid themselves of it. Underage males and females are kept separate.  Most music and entertainment has been completely banned, except those explicitly stated in The Book of Shh– the manual that dictates what can and cannot be consumed for leisure. It also warns of the dangers of love.  The protagonist, Lena, is about three months away from the required ‘procedure” that all eighteen year olds must go under. It will rid her of her ability to love. Things are fine at first. Lena can’t wait until the procedure, remembering what how damaging love was to mother. Her family is infamous in their city due to her mother’s suicide. Her mom was never “cured” despite undergoing the cure several times. As a result, Lena lives with her aunt.  She’s seen as the more level-headed one between her and her best friend, Hannah who is always sneaking out and going to forbidden parties. That is, until she meets Alex, a guard that works for the city. Only He awakens something in Lena that is completely foreign to her, a world filled with underground parties and forbidden music. She soon learns that Alex is a part of the resistance and that his job is just a cover. As their romance blooms, she decides that she cannot bare to go through with “The Cure,” and can’t picture a life without Alex. They make plans to escape into the wilds -basically exile outside of the city where they can be free to love. The book chronicles their escape that almost kills them both.

Book 2, Pandemonium, picks up showing the severe consequences of their decision.

Let me just say, Lauren Oliver writes some of the most beautiful prose I think I’ve ever read.  This is book one of a Trilogy. I completed it in less than 24 hours. I had a hard time taking breaks even though my eyes were tired. The premise of love being a disease intrigued me. I had never read anything by Oliver before, and I wasn’t disappointed. The ending will leave you in tears and rushing to order/checkout/ borrow book two.

5/5 stars all the way!

Book Review: Mindspeak By: Heather Sunseri

Mind Speak ReviewMindSpeak, by Heather Sunseri, is a thrilling read. I would recommend it to anyone who reads YA. It’s geared towards young adults with a heavy sci-fi back-story.The story is told from Lexi’s point of view. She has a secret ability to influence people by inputting thoughts into their head – mind-speaking. Lexi has been hidden away at a prestigious boarding school by her father, an infamous geneticist, who has dabbled in controversial research. She’s been told that this was for her safety. Besides a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer’s in a nursing home, her father is her only immediate family. She finds herself in danger after he ends up dead. All she knows is that people are after her father’s research journals and that she must find them before they do. The arrival of an incredibly handsome student named Jack may be the only person who can give her the answers she needs. She becomes captivated by his eyes and he’s the only person who seems to understand her. But can she trust him? He holds secrets of his own and with each question that gets answered, two more arise.

I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The action doesn’t really pick up until about halfway through, but it’s worth the wait. For the amount of scientific information in the book, you’d think it would be filled with difficult science jargon. It’s not. Heather Sunseri masterfully explained each topic in a way that was easy to understand. She kept me on my toes the entire time. Each time I thought I knew how the story was going to develop, she threw in another curve-ball. I, like Lexi, had a hard time figuring out Jack’s motives while silently rooting for them as a pair. By the time I reached the last third of the book, I couldn’t finish it fast enough. Overall, I give it it 4/5 stars.

Cons:

The only gripe I have with this book is that the ending wasn’t exactly resolved, although many questions are answered. It’s book one of a trilogy. I’m guessing that she picks up right where she left off in book two. I can’t wait to start on book two!

Book One, Mindspeak is available for free as an eBook on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Mindspeak-Heather-Sunseri-ebook/dp/B00B5N9SZ4