Posts Tagged With: Haiku

It’s Spring! Time for a Bumper Sticker Giveaway!

After the longest winter of my life, I am ridiculously happy to announce that spring has OFFICIALLY HIT HALIFAX, CANADA!

Phew. Honestly, you cannot imagine my relief. Things were getting pretty grim for a while there. I’m looking at pictures from Celeste DeWolfe over in South Korea, who seems to spend all her time going to Cherry Blossom festivals and eating giant cotton candy balls, and then I look out my window, see seven-foot-high snowbanks, and think “Aw man.”

But today it was above zero and the snow’s finally melting and everything is glorious! Therefore, I have been inspired to run a …

Imminent Danger bumper sticker giveaway!


The prize: 

1 bumper sticker, as follows …

bumper sticker 1I have one on my car, and it’s super fly. You will be literally the coolest person in the galaxy if you have this bumper sticker on your car.


How to enter:

Since I’m feeling whimsical today, in order to enter I want you to write me a haiku. Post it in the comments on this blog post, or post it on my Facebook page, or, heck, even tweet it to me (@michellishelli).

The haiku can be about anything you want — my book, sheep, the dichotomy of good and evil, whatever floats your boat. I’ll pick my favorite, and the winner gets an awesome bumper sticker!

In case you don’t know, a haiku is three lines, with the syllable scheme 5/7/5. Here’s an example:

Holy cow, it’s a

super awesome giveaway

I sure hope I win

Terrible? Yes. Technically correct? Also yes! Haiku me, people!


The deadline:

Let’s make it … 9 am EST on April 13. So that gives you the weekend to think up an awesome haiku and send it my way.


Happy haiku-ing, everyone!


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Categories: My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Editing Tip: 10 Ways to Get Past the First Chapter

We shall begin today’s lesson with a personal anecdote.

My current goal is to edit Chasing Nonconformity. This is going very poorly, because every time I sit down and open up the file, it begins on page 1 — also known as Chapter One. Now, logic dictates I would just skip ahead in the document to wherever I need to edit and go from there. But before I do that, I happen to notice a slight re-wording I can do on paragraph three. Okay, that’s better … oh, but I don’t like how Eris rolls her eyes in paragraph five. And I missed a comma in paragraph 7 … maybe I should keep reading …

Three hours later, Chapter One has completely changed for the zillionth time and I’m no closer to finishing the darn draft than when I started.

As I’m learning, the trick to editing a book is to get past the first chapter. Once you’ve broken through that barrier, sky’s the limit! No, I take that back. There is no limit. The first chapter is a pair of steel shackles and you are the Hulk, summoning up your anger, stoking the fires of your wrath, bigger and hotter and higher and flamier until BOOM! Free of the shackles, free of the first chapter, ready to show the rest of your story who’s boss. (relevant link)

Thus, I present to you …

10 Ways to Get Past the First Chapter

  1. Highlight Chapter 1, cut it, and paste it at the end of your document so it isn’t the first thing you see.
  2. Never turn off your computer or close your document file so you can always keep your place in the manuscript.
  3. Hire someone to slap you in the face with a lightly salted salmon fillet every time you try to edit Chapter 1.
  4. Change the font color of Chapter 1 to white text so you can’t see it.
  5. Search “Chapter 2” and don’t look at the screen until you know you’re in the right place.
  6. Hire someone to slap you in the face with a braised lamb shank every time you try to sneak back to edit Chapter 1 whilst pretending to edit the rest of the manuscript.
  7. Hire someone to scream directly in your ear every time Chapter 1 appears on-screen in order to mentally connect the first chapter with complete terror.
  8. Commit a crime and go to jail. Hard to edit Chapter 1 without a computer.
  9. Hire that guy from Inception to sneak into your mind and brainwash you into forgetting Chapter 1 exists.
  10. Summon up some basic willpower and just skip the first chapter.

As you can see, some are more practical than others. I myself will be starting with #3. I wanted to go with #6, but lamb is significantly more expensive than salmon and I am poor.

Thank you for sharing in my madness. For all those Canadians out there, Happy Thanksgiving!


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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 35 Comments

A haiku for every occasion

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but haikus are “the shizzle”, as teenage hoodlums like to say. For many years I lived in ignorance of this fact, fruitlessly pouring my heart out into birthday and Christmas cards, desperately trying to convey my thoughts and feelings in blathering prose that left everyone involved exhausted. Then I discovered haikus.

They are simplicity brought to life. They are the spark of human imagination, codified into lines of 5, 7, and 5. They are, quite simply, perfection.

Also, they’re super handy. It is a universally known law that when confronted with a haiku, the reader will be far more interested in counting the syllables of each line than in, say, the actual contents of the haiku. This can work in your favour in multiple ways. The most obvious, I think, is that eternal problem of what to write in greeting cards.

Take birthday cards. You could spend half an hour gathering your thoughts and putting them to paper, cringing at each cliched sentence, well aware that the person receiving the card will be utterly unimpressed by your half-hearted babbling that inevitably uses the words “happy” and “birthday” seven or eight times over the course of the message. Or you could write a haiku, and watch in peaceful contentment as the card-receiver discovers your haiku and happily sets about counting the syllables. It’s a win win! You spared yourself the time and agony of etching out a heartfelt sentiment, and you gave the card-recipient a fun little game to pass the time.

Now, I’m very proficient at knocking out haikus left and right, but I know some people aren’t. Therefore, I have helpfully created a series of “Happy Birthday Haikus” for you. Simply pick the haiku that matches the number of syllables in your birthday boy or girl’s name, slot in the name, and you’re good to go!


1 syllable

Happy birthday, _____

Of all my friends in this world,

None compare to you!

2 syllables

On this day, _____

Eat cake, laugh and shout hurray,

For it’s your birthday!

3 syllables

My dear _____

On this most birthful of days,

I shout hip hurray!

4 syllables

Oh _____

I think you know what I’ll say,

Happy birthday! Yay!

If you know someone with a first name longer than five syllables … well, tough. Ditch them and get friends with more manageable names.


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Categories: Random, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Haiku Attack!

So I was going to post a writing tip today, but then I got bored and decided to go rooting through my ENIGMA file folder instead. ENIGMA was a short story club I formed in university, which at its heyday had a grand total of four active members. Apart from one very exciting and never-to-be-repeated occasion, I was the only person who ever actually wrote anything. But that’s cool, because I like writing, so pickles to them.

Anyway, I happened upon a trilogy of haikus that I wrote for one of our meetings. As you will see, this epic triad is titled “Out of Time” — a reference to the essay I had due that day. Instead of finishing said essay and handing it on time, I elected to procrastinate for several weeks beforehand, and then started writing that essay the day of. I believe I went on to hand it in three days late. But the story has a happy ending — we were only penalized 3% a day, so I ended up with a respectable mid-80s grade. Huzzah for lenient teachers!

And now, my haiku trilogy:

Out of Time

Time is up for me

I snatch and grasp for it now,

But I am too late

Blank space on a page

My essay is due today

Come, inspiration!

Shimmering starlight

Elephants flounce in the snow

Slightly off topic?

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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