Haiku Diem reached Day 365 today!
In my Haiku Diem blog post about this milestone, I announce that I’ll be producing a book of the best haiku from the past year, and that my readers will be able to vote on the final three to be included, and possibly win a free copy of the book just by voting. (Please do check it out, and cast your votes!)
Here, I’d like to ruminate a little on the other announcement I made in that blog post: that I’ll be changing the format of the haiku I write from 5-7-5 to 3-5-3. And I’d like to begin by confessing that, except for tomorrow’s haiku, which I wrote yesterday and which basically just announces the change in syllable counts, I’ve never written a 3-5-3 haiku!
When I first got the idea, I thought I should probably write some ahead of time to get a feel for how hard the task might be and to build up a reserve to give me some margin for days when I might not be able to write one. This is what I did when I started Haiku Diem; I wrote about eight haiku ahead of time, and the buffer they gave me lasted quite a few weeks. Eventually, I began to get more comfortable, usually writing the next day’s haiku the night before so I could post it just before heading off to work in the morning, and only occasionally getting ahead by one or two haiku.
Then came my broken ankle. Homebound, I no longer had a morning rush to get to work. I began writing my haiku the same day they would be posted. And I grew to love it.
It made a qualitative difference in my experience of the writing process for the daily haiku to be truly daily. I got even more comfortable with this exercise that I once feared could turn into a death march. Even after I was on my feet again and back at work, I continued writing each day’s haiku on that day – usually on the shuttle to work, but sometimes at lunch. And a couple of times, in the evenings after busy days when I almost forgot to write them!
Those days are now over, though. Now I shudder at the thought of an afternoon wearing on while I haven’t yet managed to squeeze some thought or image into just eleven syllables. (The first and last lines of these haiku can only have three syllables each, for goodness sake!) Have I therefore stocked up on some 3-5-3 haiku to ease the transition?
Though I’m honestly as worried about my ability to meet this new requirement as I was about the original task, I have not resorted to the precaution I took the first time around. Maybe I just couldn’t shake off the habit of comfort I’ve developed, or maybe I was just too busy the past two weeks to do it. Either way, I don’t have them.
Tomorrow, I’ll post the prosy announcement-haiku I’ve already written. Then, hopefully some time during that day, but possibly on Sunday morning, I’ll write my first real 3-5-3 haiku.
I’m looking forward to seeing it!
As I haven’t posted here in some time, I’d also like to quickly update my readers on some of my other online activities this year:
I created this site to promote my as-yet-unpublished novelization of the life of Joan of Arc. My hope is that if enough people “like” the page, I can use the numbers to persuade some publisher that it will indeed sell, despite the fact that it’s written entirely in the second person. Please check it out! Read the excerpts I continue to post, and if you like them, click the Facebook “like” button on the site to record your support for the book.
Last Christmas, I posted this dark take on Santa Claus after I couldn’t get it published in any science fiction or fantasy magazines. (Beware: this is not your mother’s Santa!)