Midday Weekend

It’s your first day feeling unemployed. Two and a half years in the past, your grandfather, the Allfather of your family, is gasping and screaming at the six o’clock news, “I can’t contribute,” while his wife and daughter pin him to the hospital bed. Winter swells between your phalanges, beneath your patella.

The awareness of your conditions is the same color. When not trying to be productive, you turn the house upside down looking for the glasses you don’t remember losing over a week ago.

creek ice
meets in the middle
at some point
all memories

Midday Weekend

Call for Poems: Send Me Your Tiny Haibun!

It’s been a long time since there’s been some proper collaboration on this blog—far too long. I’ve been itching to do another thematic collection. They’re easier to put together than doodleku challenges, or, say, sorting through a ton of emails. More importantly, while I’ve been quite productive with my own writing over the last four or five months, I miss the energy and diversity of everyone’s work.

If you’ve been following the blog (if you have, thanks for reading!), you may have noticed I’ve been doing a lot of haibun. Specifically, micro haibun. Or tiny haibun (if you’re me). Or small bunnies (if you’re Johannes S. H. Berg).

If you’re completely new to the blog (if so, welcome!) and/or new to haibun, haibun is the combination of poetic prose and (traditionally) a haiku. The prose and haiku complement one another rather an illustrate or repeat what the other half has said. Something new comes into being by the combination of the two. There are plenty of examples on my blog. You might also check out journals like Haibun Today or Contemporary Haibun Online.

So what about the tiny part? I came back to haibun as a genre via my studies in flash fiction. During that time, I’d come across Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer and obsessed over the concept. I wrote hint fiction after hint fiction. After all, it wasn’t that far off from haiku. Then it occurred to me last summer… what if I paired it with a haiku? Needless to say, it stuck.

Of course, I can’t have all this fun on my own. That’s where you come in.

I will take tiny haibun until Tuesday, September 30th. For this particular project, I will take up to 5, and usually I’ll take at least one. I reserve the right to ask you to try again if nothing really catches my eye (that really does mean try again!), or I may ask you to make revisions.

Theme/What to write about: Open topic! Run wild.

What form: Haibun. Particularly tiny haibun. This means the prose of the haibun must be 25 words or less. Your prose may be paired with either haiku or tanka. (Tip: The 25 words doesn’t include the title.)

How many: As many as you want! I will take as many as 5 and no less than 1 (though see comments above).

When: Send them in by Tuesday, September 30th (I will wait until the whole world has reached the end of the 30th).

Where to send and what to include: Send an email to aubriecox [at] gmail [dot] com with “TINY HAIBUN” in the subject line. Paste your haibun in the body of the email. Please and thanks. Make sure you include your name as you want it to appear in the PDF.

Additionally of you want me to link back, please send along the name and link of your blog/Twitter account/website/etc.

Other important stuff and things you should keep in mind:

• Most journals and magazines will consider these works published.
• If your work is already published, include the publishing credits (it’s kind of important and a nice thing to do).
• You, as the writer/artist/poet/etc, retain the rights to you work before and after it appears on my blog/in the PDF.

Call for Poems: Send Me Your Tiny Haibun!

I Doodle, You ‘Ku 2014 – The Lowdown

March is finally upon us. This means a few things: Spring is coming (for the northern hemisphere if this polar vortex ever releases us from its vice), a new slew of deadlines will blow right by (have you seen how many journals have deadlines for March 15th?), and my blog is about to explode with doodles and poetry.

For my doodleku veterans, I know this is old hat, but it never hurts to have a little review.

Doodleku? Whazzat?

In short: The combination of a doodle and a short poem.

In length: Some may consider it a sub-genre of haiga; however, there’s a tad more wiggle room for overlap in image and poem content than traditionally acceptable in haiga. The form is meant to be exceptionally playful, and may include haiku, tanka, senryu, kyoka, gogyoka, small stones, or really any short poem (10 lines or less). I’ll even open it up for some short poetic prose (say, 50 words or less).

Examples of doodleku can be found by clicking the tag “doodleku,” or browsing I Doodle, You ‘Ku 2012, I Doodle, You ‘Ku 2013, and the e-collection Things with Wings.

Okay, that’s cool. So what’s so special about March for doodleku?

It sort of fell into place due to the surrounding months: January for a couple hundred folks is the Mindful Writing Challenge, February is National Haiku Writing Month, and April is National Poetry Writing Month. March was just kind of sitting there; it looked like it needed some love. It was also worked well for me at the time.

When, in 2012, I had asked my followers if they would be interested in a month where I posted doodles and they wrote poems. Everyone more or less shouted, “Yes!” Stuff happened in March, which I called “I Doodle, You ‘Ku,” and now it’s back for its third year by popular demand.

Nifty! I’m game; what do I do now?

Just show up! I’ll post a doodle every day on the blog, and everyone is invited to write a poem in the comments to accompany it. Post as many poems as you like. As a note, it really helps if you set the comments so that there’s an email address or blog that I can find later if I need to contact you (see below).

Don’t worry about being “right” or “wrong.” Just jump in. Write what comes to mind. I like to think we’re a pretty friendly lot.

As a side note, you’ll be able to find all the days linked here. So if you miss a day, or want to go back and write more/edit, or read what others wrote, you can get to a specific day quickly.

What about when March is done? Is that it?

Not quite. At some point in the future, I’ll select my favorite poems from each day and put them together (with the doodles) in a free PDF collection. Since life has happened, I haven’t finished my projects from last year, so something for this year is probably a ways down the road. Nevertheless the idea is that at some point, you may get an email from me asking permission to use your poems (which is why it’s really important I have some way of contacting you).

The first year’s collection was Things with Wings (linked above). Other collaborative PDF collections can also be found under “Projects.”

A few final things to consider:

• Some journals may consider the works posted in comments as “published.”

• You, as the author, retain the rights to your work before and after it appears on my blog/in the eventual collection.

• I know many participants like to post the poems they write daily on their own blogs, but please do not post the doodles on your own site. That being said, feel free to link back to each daily prompt.

• Doodleku on!

I Doodle, You ‘Ku 2014 – The Lowdown

Mindful Writing 2014 – 31

It’s a quarter after four on the last day of the month, the first day of the lunar new year. A day that is fading.

Snow whirligigs down like crystalized starlight, bright against the darkening forest behind my house. From the kitchen window I consider how many doors I have to go through to reach the sky.

Perhaps too many.

Perhaps enough to teach me how to fly.

leaning into
the light
I line up the corners
to fold
another paper crane


February is NaHaiWriMo. Are you in? If not, here’s some reasons to consider joining.

Mindful Writing 2014 – 31