Voting for the January Haiku Contest Now Open!

I know you’ve been waiting for the poll to open on this haiku contest; thanks for your patience while I’ve been slogging through my day job’s week from hell.

There was a small conundrum with the entries for this contest, but first let me say how wonderful it was of everyone to submit so many poems!  The problem, though, is that a bunch of the entries, albeit thoughtful and interesting and fun, didn’t really conform to the format/style guidelines outlined in the contest rules.  That is, some of the entries weren’t 5-7-5 syllables.  So all those poems which didn’t fit the guidelines have been reserved and will be part of a new short poem contest in March, with the same prize as this contest.

But many of the entries fit the haiku form I outlined beautifully, and these viable haiku are presented here for you to enjoy and vote on!  Voting will be open for a week, until Wednesday night next week.  You can vote once a day, so it’s like approval voting — and so remember that voting for all of them is like voting for none of them.  Feel free to share this post with others, too, so lots of people can enjoy the haiku and vote.

And if yours is one of the entries listed below, please make sure to check back on this blog to find out who wins.  If it’s you, I’ll need your contact info so I can mail you your prize, a copy of the new anthology Strange New Words by Ari Marmell.

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January Haiku Contest Entries

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from veronicahaunanifitzhugh:

Reaffirmation

Do you resolve to
hold me when I pull away
and kiss still my tears?

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from JoanneBest:

what I may intend
isn’t always in my reach
still I keep trying

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from Greg:

My New Year’s resolve
to eat less, exercise more
lasted till Friday

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from Sky Vani:

failed resolutions
with joint forces strive to goal
~ living happily

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from mjlamarche (#1):

resolutions; clouds
wind-threshed, light-slivered. squeezed by
goals other than mine.

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from Tshering Dolkar:

to let go of me
that you I like river flow
like flower just be

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from laine:

My mind says “Achieve!”
or the year will be a waste.
My heart disagrees.

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from Mjlamarche (#2):

each year’s promise drops
its seed on dry, frigid ground.
the harvest? pure joy.

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from David Hutt:

resolutely hitchhiking:

packet of Gauloises,
she passes me some red wine.
won’t quit hitchhhiking.

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from Maria:

Hope burgeoning, blooms
The new year clears life’s losses
Clouds bursting, Renewed

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January Haiku Contest

Hello there!  I’ve been thinking it’s time to do another haiku contest, and in honor of New Year’s Month, the theme of the contest is New Year’s Resolutions.

Here’s a quick reminder of what the haiku form is all about:  it’s a poem with seventeen syllables divided into three lines offering both description and comment.  The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven, and the third line contains five more.  Traditionally haiku often were about nature in some aspect, but within their brief imagery the poet often embedded some sort of opinion (the comment I referred to before).  You can take on as much of that form into your haiku as you like, but for the purposes of this contest, please use the three-line/seventeen-syllable format, as part of the challenge is to express your idea in that tight space.

The subject of your haiku is to be New Year’s resolutions.  The winner will receive the excellent new anthology (in paperback) Strange New Words: Tales of Heroism and Horror by Ari Marmell, celebrated author of fantasy and horror and other speculative fiction.  Anyone who has won a contest on my blog in the last six months is not eligible to win this prize, though you are more than welcome and even encouraged to participate by submitting a haiku for fun and by voting on the entries later.

You may enter as often as you like by submitting your haiku in the comments section of this post.  Please make each entry a separate posted comment; any entries posted together will be considered one entry.  (This just makes it easier to figure out what your intentions were when I’m putting the voting together.)

The deadline is, naturally, the end of New Year’s Month!  So you have until midnight U.S. central time on January 31st to get your entries in.  After that, I’ll put the voting together, and you the readers will determine who wins the contest.

Happy New Year!  I look forward to reading your haiku!

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UPDATE 1/14/14:  There has been such a wonderful response to this contest so far.  Thank you all!  Please stay tuned to this blog for more posts about this contest, for more information about voting, etc.  I intend to communicate with all entrants via this blog as much as possible, but I will also be posting updates on my Facebook author page, which you can get to by clicking on the link in the sidebar to the side of this screen or by clicking here.  Remember, the deadline to enter the contest is January 31st, and the voting will happen soon after that.  Keep checking back — or better yet, subscribe to this blog to get my posts sent straight to your email (and make sure your settings are arranged to get my posts “immediately”).  Thanks again!

Government Shutdown Haiku Contest Results

Well, interestingly enough, in our most recent haiku contest, there was a three-way tie for first place!  Rather than go through a run-off vote, I’m just going to declare all three the winners and send a copy of the prize to each.

Congratulations to Margo Bergman, Cindy Clayton, and Marie Marshall for their equally winning entries.  I will contact each of you about getting your prize to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest and who voted!

 

Haiku Contest Closure and Some Changes ’round Here

So now that the US government is back open for business, the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest is officially closed.  We had so many great entries!  Thank you to everyone who participated.  And in the comments this contest elicited from across my various social media, the general consensus from many, regardless of party affiliation or lack thereof, could be summed up in this non-competing poem:

“Crisis averted
in the eleventh hour.”
Nice work, pudknockers.

Later this weekend, I’ll be posting all the entries for the contest and giving you, the readers, an opportunity to vote on your favorites.  Majority wins in this poll, and the winner will receive a copy of TimeSlice.  Look for more details and the actual voting in my next blog post.

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You might have noticed there was no Fashion Friday post yesterday.  I thought about doing one on lariats, which are a fun and versatile jewelry accessory, but I couldn’t get a decent picture of the one I’d made.  I thought about doing one on the trauma of haircuts — yes, really — but it felt too indulgent even for me.  I thought about featuring a hat, but the cool weather we had at the start of the week dissipated again.  In short, nothing was really coming together in time for yesterday’s scheduled post.  So I let it go.  Maybe I’ll revisit those ideas again later.

In my realm, Fashion Friday is a “blog project,” something (much like the Rêveurs Revelation Fashion Project) that I find entertaining and fun and which gets me posting on a regular basis even when I don’t have something more literary to share.  And periodically I evaluate how those blog projects are doing.  The inciting incident for Fashion Friday was that I wanted to bring hats back into fashion, and then it just expanded into other accessories.  It’s been a way for me to indulge a hobby of mine while also, sometimes, writing about more meaningful things (such as body image or beauty or self-confidence), and it’s been a fun way to get other writers involved in my site as guest contributors.

Now that autumn is here and hats are back on the horizon, we will see more of those, because I do still want to see them make a bigger comeback even in places where it doesn’t get snowy and cold for several months out of the year.  And I’m still very much open to having guest bloggers contribute to this series.  I will still, from time to time, write pieces about those issues I mentioned.  But I’m not going to go nuts trying to post something every week for the sake of posting something every week.  It’s not that there’s anything wrong with weekly posts — that is, ultimately, my goal in general — but these other things are just taking up more of my time than I have right now.

The reason for this is actually a good thing:  I have a bunch of pots on the writing stove, as it were.  Look for news about a magic realism novelette coming out in the not-too-distant future.  I may also be re-releasing one of my books of poetry that’s gone out of print.  I’m continuing work on the fantasy series I’m in the middle of — the first novel of which is currently being shopped around and which is sitting on about half a dozen agents’ desks at the moment.  The book review assignments are piling up around me.  I’m also itching to start a new novel, a stand-alone, and the NaNoWriMo‘s siren song has already begun its perilous waft to my ears.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on.  But it’s good stuff, and as much as I love my hobby, I want to devote more time to the literary stuff.

I am intensely grateful for all the new readers who have joined the Sappho’s Torque community since the inception of Fashion Fridays.  All of you, please feel free to query me if you’d like to do a guest post!  I hope you continue to enjoy the other treats on the blog between future Fashion Friday posts.

I’m considering some other changes around here, too.  You might have noticed a few little tweaks to its appearance over the last couple of months.  (Maybe not, though, as they’ve been subtle.)  I’m looking to spruce things up even more in the near future.

Exciting developments are afoot in the world of Angélique.  Stay tuned.

And watch over the next couple of days for the Government Shutdown Haiku Contest voting opportunity.  Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Cheers.

Government Shutdown Haiku Contest

While the government shutdown may or may not have been inevitable, you probably knew I’d find some way to attach a haiku contest to it, especially after the 2012 Republican Primary Haiku Contest and the 2012 National Political Conventions Haiku Contest both did so well.

Here’s a little refresher on what constitutes a haiku:  It’s a very short poem whose origins are primarily Japanese, whose three lines are measured in syllables numbering 5-7-5, and which (as we often learn in elementary school) traditionally has something to do with nature.  There are a couple of other considerations here, too, for the poetic purists.  A good haiku will entertain a play between pure description and commentary on the subject matter.

So here we go!  Enter as many haiku as you like, in the comments section below.  Contest is open for as long as the government isn’t.  (And who knows how long that will be?  Better get your entries in soon!)

The prize is a book of poems:  TimeSlice.  This anthology of poets who live in or are connected to Houston, some through their teaching in The University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, was published by Mutabilis Press and contains a wide array of gorgeous verse from both the “literary” and “underground” poetry scenes in 21st-century Houston.  A few of the poets featured include Edward Hirsch, Carolyn Adams, Tony Hoagland, Varsha Shah, Adam Zagajewski, Robert Phillips, Iris Rozencwajg, and Ken Jones*.   (Click on the above link to MP’s site to see a list of all the poets included.  It’s quite a list.  It’s quite a book.)

Ready?  Get set…  Haiku!

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*  Full disclosure:  I’m in the book, too.