The Wagazine Winter Edition is Available!

The new winter edition of The Wagazine is now available. I wrote an article about bringing home a cat or kitten for the first time. The link is highlighted above. Please check out page 30 if you’re a cat lover.


Save Room for Dessert; wine, cheese, chocolate

Back in September, I wrote about delish dessert wines for Rochester Women magazine. Here’s the haiku I wrote:

Grapes, berries, and spice.
Cordial glasses filled for an
evening delight.

My goal is to unify the last word of each line. Here’s the rewrite:

Dessert Wines Haiku

A rich vintage port—
swirl and sniff the sweet aroma
savor each sip


 Do you like sweet dessert wines?

Have a great Thursday!


The Tea Room at Maywood Mansion

In October, I went to the Mayowood Mansion. I wrote a haiku about the tea room located on the property. I went through the creative checklist and I discovered a few things that I wanted to revise. Rather than focusing on the room, why not focus on what goes on in the room.

Touring Mayowood Mansion

This is the original:

Mayowood Mansion Tea Room Haiku

A tea room sits on
a hillside. Waiting for guests—
now, it’s time for tea


Here is the rewrite:

Mayowood Mansion Tea Room Haiku

An exquisite teapot
black tea leaves steep—

I focused more on the subject as prescribed in The Portable MFA’s Creative Checklist. I also like the unity of the last word of each line.

What is your process for revising a poem?

 Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Endings and Beginnings from Week 8

Tuesday’s Writing Tips:

Portable MFA in Creative Writing

The 8th and Final Week: Endings and Beginnings

How do I know when my poem is really done? The best method to know a poem is done is to keep revising it until you have worn out the impulse to work on it.

Write about your own poem: what you like in it, what you love about it. Write about what you remember in terms of the process of writing the poem. Did it come all in a flash? Did it germinate slowly? Did a specific memory or incident prompt it?

Rewrite the poem taking the heart out of the poem…yep, the most important thing. Then, rewrite it a second time and go where another theme or subject start to bubble up. Follow that lead. Finally, rewrite a third time using the last line from the rewrite. Forget everything that came before the last line. Make your end your beginning, and see what happens.

Creative Checklist:

  1. What is the strangest thing you’ve written during these last eight weeks?
  2. What is the least finished?
  3. Have you looked at the beginning, middle, and end of your lines in your poems?
  4. Have you faithfully done your outside reading?
  5. Go back and read the first poem you tackled by that intimidating writer. Is the poem more resonant for you?
  6. What have you written that truly surprised you?
  7. According to your own eye and ear, how has your writing changed over the last eight weeks? Is it messier? Deeper? Worse? Better?
  8. And finally, how has your sense of yourself as a poet changed?

Throughout the week I will answer the eight questions above. I’ll start today with the first—the strangest thing I’ve written. I found the haiku, Trapped, from November 5th along with the picture that I posted with it.

Trapped Haiku Poetry

Trapped Haiku

Weave a tangled web—
Freedom exits as she speaks.
Soon her mind stops.

Here’s the second rewrite:

I am free to choose
the direction of my life—
dreams boiling over.

Here’s the third rewrite: 

Dreams boiling over
like a Dali painting.
Swarm, ooze and paralyze.

Here’s another rewrite: 

Soon her mind stops—
dreams slowly fading.
a lackluster life.

Hey poets, how do you determine when a poem is complete?


Unwilling to Listen

Do you know someone unwilling to listen? Perhaps they aren’t young as noted in my haiku. Maybe it’s someone you have known for a long time…maybe it’s someone you just met…maybe it’s you.

Arrogance Haiku

he ponders not one word—
unwilling to listen

There is a hint of time included in this haiku as discussed on Tuesday.

Now let’s change up the point of view:

Arrogance Haiku

I ponder not one word—
unwilling to listen

Which poem speaks to you and why?

If you haven’t had an opportunity to read this month’s wine column in Rochester Women Magazine, take look at Uncorked Dessert. It is on page 36 and features fabulous dessert wines from local wineries.


Time and Space from Week 7

Tuesday’s Writing Tips:

Portable MFA in Creative Writing

Week 7: Time and Space

This week the book talks about stanzas that are concerned with time, and the space between the stanzas. Because I am writing haiku, I am tweaking the lessons a bit.

This week, look back at some poems or haiku by other authors. Read several to yourself and notice any breaks in the poem and how it affects you as the reader.

This week right in someone else’s voice. It can be a character or someone from the street or someone you know intimately.

When you shift the poem does the feeling, the tension, the conflict seem to drain out of the poem? Or is some new energy injected into the poem by taking the “I” away?

I love that this point came up…switching point of view. I have tried this already.

The Hate in Her Eyes Haiku

the hate in her eyes
means the time has come
she’s back on the road ’til….

I wanted to capture the anger a parent may feel being pushed on the road to increase sales for their company. That feeling of leaving behind your family and friends for another day or two or three.

This isn’t my lifestyle, but I used to travel all the time. I don’t know what life would have been like if I would have had my family close to me. Thankfully, I work and I come home for the most part.

Does anyone spend a lot of time away from family?