Above is a moment of inspiration, gazing at the moon with my daughter last summer. Luckily, my husband happened to snap a picture, as it's also the scene for my haibun"Hexagram 54 of the I Ching" included in Contemporary Haibun Online's spring issue:
I actually learned about haibun while working closely with Every Day Poets. I've been really lucky in terms of finding editors to teach and encourage me. I'm so grateful that I've had so many editors cheer me along the way. In fact, I'd like to dedicate this post to Robin V. Herrnfeld, who was one of my first editors/ readers/ encouragers, and who passed away just before the magazine took a hiatus.
Before they hit pause (which I still hope is a temporary thing), EDP featured a haibun contest in 2012 along with this helpful, explanatory essay on the form, which is really what got me started writing them. I wasn't so sure when I first heard the term. I cannot write haiku for the life of me, and haibun sounds intimidating, doesn't it? A fancy, shmancy term for fancy shmancy poems. Actually, like a lot about what's beautiful in Japanese art, there's a simplicity to haibun. In a nutshell, haibun is just a kind of prose poem with a haiku attached at the end (Somehow I can write haiku, but only when they're part of a haibun. It's part of the weird, haibun magic world.) Of course, there's a little more to it than that. Constance Brewer, another EDP editor, put it really well in the essay I just mentioned/ linked to above:
The prose poem shouldn’t be a piece of flash fiction with a haiku attached, but rather a reflection on a physical or emotional journey the writer has undertaken. The prose poem should be haiku-like in its execution and revelations, and form a juxtaposition with the haiku.
Sounds easy? No, not at all, but they're really fun to write and have helped me access haiku, which I've always admired but, as I mentioned, failed at being able to write. (Little wonder; I'm not known for concision.) What I like most about haibun is you have to read them, not about them, in order to start to really appreciate them. If you are already a lover of microfiction or flash fiction, I can pretty much guarantee you'll love the form.
Here's the link to the whole spring issue. I'm about to grab a cup of tea and read the whole thing myself. Let me know what you think!
Hope you enjoy my piece!
I was thrilled to receive the news that my flash fiction story "Practice Terrible Acts of Cruelty and Senseless Acts of Loneliness" was an honorable mention in the WOW Fall Flash Fiction Contest judged by literary agent Rachel Brooks. Almost as nice as the mention was the feedback I received from the judge and editors, not to mention an Amazon gift card, which will go to sustaining a very serious and possibly dangerous reading habit (dangerous on my wallet, that is.)
As anyone knows who follows me on Twitter or Insta (ahem...hint, hint!), I am something of a book addict. I have a pretty long book wish list on my Amazon account, so I'm pretty damn excited about my gift card. Anyway, since I wrote the story last fall, I have gone back and rewritten parts of it. I'm tempted to publish the story here on my site, but because I've changed it a little I think I will re-submit it. It was definitely a confidence boost to hear that the judges liked it and found parts of it very funny. When (and if) it's ever published, I hope you'll enjoy it, too!
In the meantime, you can read the fabulous winning entries here.
Wish me luck!
(This iconic Coppertone baby moment as performed by my puppy and toddler makes a cameo appearance in my homage to auto fiction.)
I'm so excited & flattered that "My Own Struggle"-- my humorous homage to#Autofiction & #KarlOveKnausgaard--is up at both Easy Street Magazine & Lascaux Review today: http://www.easystreetmag.com/an-exercise-in-autofiction/
Thank you Stephen Parrish for choosing the perfect artwork to go with--Edvard Munch's "Weeping Nude". Incidentally, that's really how I look in the morning, actually. Sheesh, I need a haircut.
I had a lot of fun writing this one, and of course the original idea was all my fabulous editor's Camille Griep's, who suggested I channel my endless griping about the weather this winter into something a little more creative/ constructive. Funnily enough, I actually had Knausgaard on my mind today anyway, as 1. the second part of his NYT travel essay is up at last, here:http://www.nytimes.com/…/karl-ove-knausgaards-passage-throu… and 2. I take my daughter to Song & Story hour every Tuesday, and, yeah, it's not fun, but at least now I giggle to myself every time, imagining that surly Norwegian taking his daughter to do the same, miserably clapping his hands, stomping his feet, rattling a baby rattle in a mini-parade-- an incident he basically compared to suffering the tortures of the Spanish Inquisition.
Well, I'll stop there. You can read the essay for more of my thoughts on the phenomenon that is Autofiction and Knausgaard.
And if you do, please let me know what your thoughts are!
What a great challenge I participated in a few weeks ago!
A writer friend Samantha Memi was kind enough to forward the challenge to me, and I answered Harvard Book Store's call for micro fiction (or is it microfiction?) on any subject, written between February 1 and February 15 (so my story was about the Matisse cutouts at the MOMA...sort of), and my story was selected, squee! If you can't make the launch event tomorrow at 7 pm at the Harvard Book Store, I hope you'll still consider purchasing the anthology in which my story "Life Lesson #49" is included. You can purchase it here.
Or more details about the launch or where to buy a book here: http://www.harvard.com/event/microchondria_ii_launch_party/.
I'm really excited to be included in this anthology. Micro fiction is always a great exercise for a writer like me, who, as some of you who followed my old blog know, can easily go on and on and on and...You get the point.
Even better, you have four gorgeous covers to choose from. If you do purchase a copy, please let me know what you think of the story good or bad. I always appreciate feedback, and thank you for your support!