A Tasty Chocolate Cupcake

Surprise!

I bet you were expecting to see a delicious, fresh-baked chocolate cupcake right out of the oven.

Cupcake Painting for a birthday party

Nope, just a delicious looking cupcake that made its way onto the blank canvas.

On Saturday, my friend Denise (from Wine and Canvas) is hosting a birthday party at her yoga studio for a young girl in our community. She asked if I would teach a painting class for the girls.

Denise is teaching a 30 minute yoga session first, and then the birthday girl, and nine of her friends, are going to get creative! I thought this was a wonderful idea for a child’s birthday party!

Cupcake Haiku

Dollop of icing
atop the rich, gooey cake.
Time to celebrate.

~Nicole

 

I’m a Night Owl

Mornings are horrible. That may seem like an exaggeration, but really, it’s how I feel.

I have never been a morning person. In fact, when I was younger I remember my parents trying to prod me out of bed. Once I made it out of bed, there was usually a 10-15 minute time frame in which I curled up on the floor and pulled a blanket over my head. My dad used to call me “the little turtle.”

I can safely say that nothing has changed except for laying on the floor with a blanket over my head. I have two alarm clocks alerting me to get out of bed. I hit the snooze button every five minutes on both alarm clocks for about an hour—my husband loves this.

Once I am up, if coffee isn’t readily available, there is going to be trouble. We have our coffee maker set up to brew before I am even thinking about getting out of bed.

If you are wondering why I am rambling on about mornings and how much I hate them, well, that was what I was thinking about as I “fooled” around with some words. I have been studying the poetry section from The Portable MFA in Creative Writing and this is what stirred my emotions today.

I Hate Morning Haiku

A cloud of covers—
Stay hidden until the end.
Bitter, black coffee.

~

And remember, the mantra for the week: “Don’t get it right, get it written.”

By the way, thanks for reading my blog even though I have had a few proofreading mistakes that would embarrass my 4th grade English teacher. Sorry Mrs. Eisinger, I’ll try to be more careful.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

~Nicole

The Rustling Leaves

The shorter days are forcing me to run at dusk or in the dark. Last night, I chose a section of town that is new and only has a couple of homes in the subdivision. I knew this route would have less traffic, but it’s heavily wooded and lacks sufficient lighting.

What I didn’t count on was crossing paths with another person enjoying the evening. I was a lone runner climbing the hill leading into the woods when I met another person walking towards me. It’s a strange feeling when all that is recognizable is their long shadow and illuminated silhouette.

At that point, my imagination began to take over.

Eerie Haiku

The rustling leaves—
stranger lurks in the shadows.
Gone, without a trace.

~

Tuesday’s Writing Tip from the book The Portable MFA in Creative Writing:

This week is about “stirring the pot.” Spend about 45 minutes each day (break it up into 15 minute increments if needed) writing in your notebook.

“Record snippets of dreams or thoughts you have throughout the day…pay attention to sounds you hear, foods you taste, sensory physical details of your daily life that stick in your mind. Just ‘fool’ around with some words.”

Mantra for the week: “Don’t get it right, get it written.”

I allowed myself some time to do this today, although I find it difficult to break away from the morning pages. Those take about 30 minutes, and I don’t have an additional 45 minutes on top of that to let my mind wander some more.

So today it was a combined effort. For the next few weeks I am going to try to adhere to the MFA guidelines rather than the Morning Pages. Sorry Julia Cameron, you’ll have to wait.

I love this book and plan to share more information as I read along. I think it would be an amazing experience to go back to school for an MFA in Creative Writing.

Do you have any EERIE stories to tell, or poems to share? I would love to read them.

~Nicole

The Peregrine Falcon

I am reading the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs. Though I am not finished, I am loving this book for many reasons.

First, it’s peculiar. A teenage boy’s grandfather fills his head with tales from the past and pictures to spook anyone. As the boy becomes older, he is skeptical of these tall tales. On the grandfather’s death-bed, he asks the boy to find out if the tales are true.

After his grandfather’s death, the boy does just that. He travels to a remote island off the coast of Wales. He discovers an abandoned orphanage that houses very surreal looking photographs that are all to familiar.

The book is strange and thought-provoking. I don’t believe the author intended this, but I feel like it’s also a story about a seemingly ordinary boy wanting to be extraordinary, while many of the extraordinary characters in the book wish they could be ordinary.

I also love this book because it has many peculiar photographs included to help paint a picture of what or who resided in that orphanage. I am a visual person and love pairing a good photo with a bit of prose or poetry.

In the book, Miss Peregrine is known as the headmistress of the orphanage. A haiku follows…

The Peregrine Falcon - Worlds Fastest Bird.  I was lucky enough to rescue one many years ago....

 The Peregrine Haiku

Bird of prey soaring—
She’s high above the island.
Protecting her young.

 Is anyone else reading a good fantasy novel?

~Nicole

The Merry-Go-Round

I like to think I am a happy person most days, but today I am harboring some anger that I thought would be best expressed through an image and a haiku  (I found the image on pinterest).

Not only am I angry, but today I am seeking patience—a trait I do not possess. I am ready for a change. I am ready to move on. My dreams are overflowing from my mind to my notebook and to conversations with friends and family, but I feel stuck in one phase—a phase that is not allowing me to move forward.

I try to explain to myself that this is where I need to be, but I feel like I am wasting my time…wasting my talent. There must be something more fullfilling waiting for me.

The merry-go-round of lifeThe Merry-Go-Round Haiku

Merry-go-round creeps.
I wait for the motion to stop—
New horizons.

Although I have a wonderful family and very supportive friends, I feel like I am surrounded by darkness. In this darkness I can see the changes I want to happen, but the changes are not moving out of the darkness. It’s like those dreams are whirring by and waiting for their time to come.

“In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”

-Theodore Roethke

Do you ever feel stuck in a phase of life that you just want to be over?

~Nicole

What’s Behind the Door?

Today I was searching for some inspiration for a haiku. I came across a blog by Giorge Thomas. She created a blog post with a poetry prompt. Her prompt was based around doors.

Giorge believes there is something “mystical” about doors, particulary in older buildings. So, I found a picture of a door on Pinterest and challenged myself to create a haiku.

photos of unique doors | Unique Entry Doors: Welcome To Fabulous! - Places in the Home

What’s Behind the Door Haiku

Knock, knock, on the door.
I considered going in—
Embrace the unknown.

Please visit www.giorgethomas.com for more poetry and inspiration.

What is your favorite form of poetry?

Have a great week!

~Nicole

Paint the Town

On Friday, October 17th, Denise hosted another Wine & Canvas event at Illuminate Yoga Studio. We had 18 people, our largest group yet. The painting we chose was “Make a Wish.” But, as the creativity was unleashed many people changed their painting to say Peace, Love, Joy, Blessings and other greetings.

It was such a joy to create this painting with many new faces and many familiar faces. Some of the ladies that attended have been to all three events Denise and I have offered. We are very grateful for all who have attended, and I am grateful for Denise, who has been a wonderful friend and host for these events.

Make a Wish painting for Wine and Canvas

“Make a Wish” Haiku

Believe in yourself
and your wishes will come true—
Grateful and humble.

Here are a few images from Friday’s event.

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There will be another Wine & Canvas event on Saturday, November 15th at 6:30.

Wishing you a great week!

~Nicole

 

An Autumnal Sunset

I have been spending a lot of time outside because this happens to be my favorite time of year. And, I am trying to enjoy the gorgeous weather we are having before the snow flies, or the cold, dark days set in.

While on a run two nights ago, the sun was setting in the west, but rain clouds had settled in the east. It made for an intense sunset. Rather than letting the pictures explain, I wanted to Haiku this event. Yes, I just used Haiku as a verb…seemed appropriate.

An Autumn Sunset

Autumn sunset with cotton candy clouds

Intense autumn hues,
clouds stretching from west to east—
Whispy cotton candy.

If you noticed, I strayed from 5-7-5. In the last line I used six syllables—artistic license. I don’t stray from the rules of haiku often, but it was appropriate today.

~

MFA in Creative Writing

I picked up a book called The Portable MFA in Creative Writing about a year ago. I have been to school for several things. I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and I also studied at an art school, but didn’t receive a certification. Anyway, I love school, but at this point in my life I simply cannot go back to school for one reason or another. Let’s just say money.

I have read all sections except for the poetry section. I started this yesterday and I wanted to share a few notes. It may seem obvious, but for those of us who are not only poetry writers, but writers of other genres, this tidbit is something to remember when searching for the perfect word(s).

“A good poem makes us sit up and take notice. A short story or novel may take us on a roller coaster of highs and lows, but is never as immediate as a poem simply because we expect to live in the world of the novel for the long haul. We settle in. We meander through.

In a poem every word counts, no matter how small, how seemingly insignificant. There is no filler in a poem, no transitional passage that works mainly to orient the reader to a shift in time or a particular setting.” Page 198

I’ll share more thoughts from my reading at a later date.

Does anyone have an MFA in Creative Writing? Was it worth the time and money?

~Nicole