Posts Tagged With: poetry

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!


Unrelated media of the day:

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

My Mother’s Sassy “Letter to the Editor” Jabberwocky Poem

Does everyone know what a “chicane” is? Essentially, it’s a curvy bit of sidewalk they put on a road to force traffic to slow down. See the below image:

So those round bits of pavement with the yellow caution signs are chicanes.

In my hometown of Aurora, the local government went absolutely crazy with chicanes. They were tired of people cutting through a quiet neighborhood to get from one major road to the other, so they ripped up the streets and infested them with literally dozens of chicanes. It’s practically a go-kart track if you try to drive through there now.

Naturally, no one actually slows down — they just zoom down the middle of the road. But the chicanes were irritating enough — and enough of a waste of taxpayer money — to prompt my mother, back in 2008, to write an ultra sassy version of the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll and send it in to The Auroran (the local newspaper). I found it quite amusing, and hopefully you will too!

Without further ado …


Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Settlers of Catan Song

I love Settlers of Catan. It’s one of my favourite board games, I’ll play it anytime, and I actually win a fair amount, which is of course a plus. During some random Catan game a few years ago, I apparently penned a song about Catan, which I recently re-discovered in an old notebook. Thus I present it to you (in slightly re-touched glory) …

* * * * *

Rolling in the Sheep

(to the tune of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep“)

* * * * *

(1st verse)

I just placed my second settlement on the board

I’m rolling wood, sheep, and brick, these resources I will hoard

You may ask me what I’m planning to do

Without no ore or wheat, you think I’m pretty much screwed

* * * * *

Furthermore, you say, why didn’t you build on eight?

If we only roll that number I won’t envy you your fate

But there’s a higher power in which I trust

Catan is mine to claim, and I’ll leave you in the dust

* * * * *

The dice are rolling, my hand is growing

I can’t help thinking that I’m gonna win this game

But a trend emerges, my horror surges,

I’ve got a bad feeling …

* * * * *


Oh god it’s all my fault!

I’m rolling in the sheep!

And no one wants to trade, ’cause they’re worthless

Call me the Shepherd of Defeat

* * * * *

(2nd verse)

Why won’t you trade with me, can’t you hear me sigh?

I even gave my flock some names to entice you to buy

This one’s Fluffy, here’s Buffy and Puffy too

Look at how sad they are, they wanna go home with you

* * * * *

My sheep are crying, my hopes are dying

I try to stack them, but they all come tumbling down

They’re just too squishy to build a city

I’ve got a bad feeling …

* * * * *


Oh god it’s all my fault!

I’m rolling in the sheep!

And no one wants to trade, ’cause they’re worthless

Call me the Shepherd of Defeat

* * * * *

Thank you kindly for your attention. Feel free to sing this at every opportunity, including on crowded trains and subways.

Mega-Giveaway ending tomorrow!

There’s still time to enter and win a free, signed copy of my debut novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It! Click here to check out the guidelines, and don’t forget that you’re welcome to enter as many times as you like.

Unrelated media of the day:

So this is apparently taken out of  a psychology textbook …

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Poem + My Editor Hard at Work!

Happy Monday everyone!

First off, I wanted to share this poem with you. The first line resulted from a rather silly conversation I had with my mother, and the rest followed. See if you can guess what the poem’s actually talking about:

I ate its ears in a fit of pique
Broken shards of brown
Cascade down smooth curves
Sprinkled across a carpet of cream

Also, I recently finished the re-write for Chasing Nonconformity, and I gave it to my mother to read when she went to Cuba for vacation last week. She just sent me some photos of her hard at work at the beach, editing my book, so I thought I’d share!

Cuba April 2014 039 (2)

Cuba April 2014 042 (2)

Doesn’t she look tranquil? She’s about halfway through the book, and has tentatively agreed to have the full edit done by the end of May. So, fingers crossed, I might actually be able to release this book this fall!

In other news … don’t forget to enter my giveaway! 

It runs until May 26 — click here for details!

Unrelated media of the day:

I may have shared this before, but I just came across it again and I love it, so here it is!

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

My Poem: “A Toothbrush’s Tale”

I was going through my old file folders yesterday, and I discovered this absolute gem of poetry. It’s rather terrible, quite absurd, and has a moral which is totally incorrect and should definitely never be learned by any child ever. Cringe and enjoy!

A Toothbrush’s Tale


Fred the toothbrush was a sorry sight,

For his toothbrush friends knew not his sad plight.

This young little toothbrush was unhappy, you see,

His plastic casing oppressed him; he sought to be free!


“But Fred,” his mother said, “That’s quite absurd,”

“All toothbrushes are plastic, haven’t you heard?

I love you, my son, but to be quite frank,

Your mental skills I couldn’t take to the bank.”


Disheartened and miserable, Fred looked away,

And resolved to leave town the very next day.

Away from Toothbrushia little Fred would fly,

For hope gave him wings, much like a pie.


Far past the Cheesecake Mountains he flew,

Dodging the cavities, root canals, and goo,

Then to Toffee Lake, that abominable mess,

Delight of little children, but alas, I digress.


Finally came our hero to a castle on the sand,

Where, waving from the window, was a tiny old man.

“Come, little toothbrush, I can help you!”

Cried the old man, sitting on the loo.


Eagerly young Fred alighted at his side,

“I hate being plastic,” the poor toothbrush cried.

“Don’t worry!” the man said, “That form’s such a joke!

Soon you’ll metamorphize into an oak!”


“An oak?” Fred stammered. “But what can that be?”

“Why, you silly toothbrush, an oak is a tree!”

“But I don’t want to be wooden,” the toothbrush said.

“Don’t worry,” the man chuckled, “it’s like being dead.”


Terrified, poor Fred ran for the door,

But the old man pinned him via two-by-four.

“Abracadabra!” he cackled with glee.

And just like that, Fred turned into a tree.


The good folks of Toothbrushia soon forget Fred had left,

They cried for a while, but they weren’t very bereft.

So you see, little children, the point of this story,

Don’t complain, and don’t whine, or you’ll be sorry.


Unrelated media of the day:

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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.


Unrelated media of the day:

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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?

Unrelated media of the day:



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Book Review: A Sense of Light or Darkness by Lizbeth Wright

The lovely Lizbeth Wright sent me her poetry collection … in physical form! Woo! I just feel so much more legit as a reviewer when I can hold the actual book in my hands. Points for style, Ms. Wright!

And now … THE REVIEW! Dum dum dummmm …

The Booka_sense_of_light_or__cover_for_kindle

A Sense of Light or Darkness

The Genre


The Author

Lizbeth was born and raised in Las Vegas, where she graduated from UNLV with an English degree in 2010. She loves to write, her favourite colour is brown, and her main forms of entertainment are video games and movies. Several of her poems have won awards and been published in both print and audio collections.

The Plot

Since it’s poetry, it doesn’t really have a plot. All the poems do, however, have something to do with either light, or darkness, or both — hence the title of the collection!

The Review

The poems in this collection are beautiful. The imagery is at times haunting, at times ethereal. I love the theme of these poems — light and darkness. It’s very Kingdom Hearts (video game), which the poet mentions in the preface was one of her inspirations. I’m not a huge poetry fan, but I definitely enjoyed reading this collection.

Several of the poems in this collection really stick out in my mind — namely, Full Moon, Shadows, and The Tower Window. My favourite is definitely The Tower Window — it’s creepy, it’s intriguing, and I feel like there’s some moral to the tale, although I can’t imagine what it might be. I love when a poem really evokes emotion in you, and tells a story that you remember long after you’ve read it. That’s what The Tower Window did for me.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars for the collection as a whole ( but 5 out of 5 for those three poems I mentioned!)

Check out Lizbeth’s blog here.


Unrelated media of the day:

Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga apparently sang a duet together. Did anyone else know this??? Anyway, here it is. I like that Tony’s just rolling with it and having a ball.


Shameless plug of the day:

The Goodreads Giveaway for Imminent Danger is on until April 11th. Enter here!

(Open to CA, USA, UK)

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Poetry …

I am not a poet. Well, I am. I’m just really bad at it. Or maybe I’m really good at it, but I just think I’m bad because poetry baffles me.

Since all my writing projects are at a standstill due to extreme amounts of writer’s block (and also the beautifully addicting World of Warcraft), I shall share with you today my latest attempt at poetry.

Prepare to be awed.

time is unfolding

and memories fade

clock hands are turning

with each passing day

your words are unlocking

the secrets I keep

your presence is soothing

my mind as I sleep

a comet is streaking

a path through the stars

your kindness is healing

my hidden-most scars

the midnight bell’s tolling

brings out a rare smile

and I nod when you ask

if I’ll stay for awhile

So? Were you awed? If I shook your world to the very foundations of your soul, I apologize. It was not my intention.

Unrelated video of the day: All the Harry Potter Spells Ever

So someone went through all eight Harry Potter movies and compiled all the spells cast into one, 17 minute youtube video. It’s insane. It’s awesome. You probably won’t get more than 3 minutes in, but that’s okay.

Image Source:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

“Poetry of a Madman” Book Review

So I was scrolling through my “Blogs I Follow” page yesterday, and I found this post by Jason Alan. In the post, he mentions that he’s had his book of poetry, Poetry of a Madman, up on Amazon for over a year with no reviews. And I thought to myself, “I can review things”. Hence this post. Oh, and check out that link, because he’s offering the kindle edition for free (for a limited time), so snap up a copy before it’s too late!

The Book

Poetry of a Madman

The Genre


The Author

I don’t know much about Jason, so instead I will quote the blurb on his WordPress blog: “Short stories, rants, poetry, unfinished novels, and look! Cows!”

The Plot

It’s a book of poetry. It doesn’t have a plot. Sheesh.

Basically, it’s a collection of poems, most of them by Jason, with the first section devoted to guest poets.

The Review

Poetry of a Madman was a very interesting read. My experience with poetry is mostly limited to what I read in English class, so I didn’t have any expectations going in. And I was quite impressed with what I found.

Many of the poems are about serious topics — current issues, the human state, etc. — but there are also a selection of more light-hearted pieces that really drew me in. One of my favourite poems was “i am, part one”, which Jason wrote years ago, lost, and is now trying to recreate. I loved the cadence of the poem and the imagery he used — when I read it, I found myself kind of singing along in my head. I think this poem would make an excellent song.

Another favourite was “digital heartache”. I don’t want to give away too much, but to give you a taste of the awesome:

“my farmville crop is sprouting weeds

these angry birds have too many needs

my mafia family has ceased to get paid

and my warcraft warrior never gets laid”

The book has a lovely blend of poetry. There are sad poems, happy poems, quirky poems, funny poems, and thought-provoking poems. I’m a bubbly person by nature, so I enjoyed the funny/quirky ones the most. But overall I thought Poetry of a Madman was a great poetry collection, and I definitely recommend it to all you poetry lovers out there.

The Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Click here to purchase a copy of Jason Alan’s Poetry of a Madman.

Categories: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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