Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Writer's AHA Moment

When we write, we like to talk about the reader's AHA moment. What about a writer's AHA moment? Here it is my writer's AHA moment. For writers, rejection is one side of the coin. No one will feel happy about it, but what can I do? Since writing plays, I have developed a "survivor's mechanism." Sending the manuscript out to other places right away? Well, yes and no. For my plays, yes. However, I don't do that for my haiku, haibun, and tanka unless I am sure they are really good. What do I do? First, I dissect the poems. For haiku, I first separate the fragment and the phrase and look at each part, checking the juxtaposition. Doing so, it comes my AHA moment--I see why the poem doesn't work. The same goes to tanka. Since a tanka has the upper verse and the lower verse, I separate them into two parts. "Aha," I say to myself. "I see why it got rejected." The process of dissecting is not joyful; the discovery is. Such is my writer's AHA moment.

Here is a tanka of mine published in Lynx XXXVII: 2 June, 2012, with my own Chinese translation.

autumn approaching
yellow leaves begin to fall--
back home
what fruits are in season now?
it's been so long since I left


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