Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 66: Destination and Guide

Entry for Colleen’s Poetry Challenge.  This is a senryu. The prompt words are guide and destination, but you can only use synonyms. I don’t know about this one. . . I tried XD The second line gave me a lot of trouble. Not sure which version sounds better >_>


sky bathed in bright light

echoes of angelic hymns

she’s finally home


sky bathed in bright light

angelic overture plays

she’s finally home




Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge #65

I thought I would try Colleen’s poetry challenge. One of my first times writing for a prompt. The prompt words are ambition and change, but you can only use synonyms. Haiku are so short it is hard to use those words, but I tried to represent it symbolically.

amber fireball
melts into the horizon
college dorm room view

My First Publication

This actually happened about two years ago, right after I took a writing hiatus.  I was just writing haiku and short poems at the time.  Since I knew nothing about poetry, I’m not sure what spurred my inspiration XD  A poem of mine was published in a poetry magazine,  Three Line Poetry, Issue 37. I write under the pen name Tessa Brant.

first freeze of winter

trees stripped down to twisted claws

sky gray as my heart

It didn’t work well as a haiku because of the metaphor, but I liked it the way it was. Haiku is a reflection of Japan, simple, understated beauty.  My writing tends to be purplish, so I suck at writing haiku XD

One of the cool things about short poetry and haiku is that every word carries so much meaning. I love the simplicity of it, such a stark contrast to the way I typically write. I have a few more short poems I plan to submit to this magazine.  I suppose it’s not much to brag about, but my first publication credit will always have a special place in my heart.

I want to get back to writing short stories. I submitted my short story, “A Crown of Dandelions,” to Glimmer Train awhile ago, and it was not accepted XD  In hindsight, submitting my first short story to one of the most elite literature magazines was a mistake.  Maybe that’s not the right word, but I was definitely aiming too high.  Kind of like expecting an Oscar on your first feature film. It’s a good story, but it needs better editing. Also, it has a sci-fi vibe to it, so I’m not sure literature magazines are the best place for it.  I’ll figure it out eventually. In the meantime I just need to write.

I Had a Baby

The reason for my long absence is that I had a baby.  I’ve been gone for like 2 years I think?  Maybe more. . . I had a hard time getting pregnant, and then the actual pregnancy was very difficult on my body because I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I also developed pre-eclampsia that necessitated an emergency C-section.  I gained 40 pounds during my pregnancy and dealing with that and a history of anorexia was hard. I’ve lost all the excess weight, but it’s taken almost a year.

It was all worth it though! I’ve never been more exhausted, but my heart has never felt so full.  It’s cliche, but true 🙂 The desire to be a mommy was all consuming, so I put writing to the side for a bit.  Now that I’m coming out of my  sleep-deprived stupor, I’m trying to get back into it. I work 4 days a week, but it’s hard to get much done when I’m home with her. She demands 110% of my attention. Some days even more XD

Anyway, my daughter is 50% Japanese and 50% Caucasian. I’ll post some pics :3 We went to Japan late last year so that she could meet my husband’s family.  It was a great trip. We hope to go back every other year so that our daughter can connect with her Japanese heritage.  My husband is a Japanese citizen, but we live here in the USA, at least for now.




First Time Submitting to a Literature Magazine

*flails*  I finally did it!  This is the first short story of original fiction that I’ve written, polished, and submitted to a literature magazine.  I’ve mentioned it a few times on this blog as the suicide story.  I’ve also referred to it as Short Story D.  I’ve spent several years writing, but it was exclusively fanfiction, which can’t be published.  I sent my story to Glimmer Train and will send it to a few others in the next week.  The rate of acceptance for this magazine is 1/1000, so the odds are against me.  I guess that’s a bit of an understatement XD  I’m expecting it to get rejected, but that’s okay.  The endpoint for me is becoming a good writer, and I improved so much in the process of writing and editing this story.  Although, getting something published would be a nice bonus 🙂

I’d love to post the story or snippets on my blog, but I can’t because the majority of literary magazines want first publishing rights.  By posting it to the internet you’ve published it, so most literary magazines won’t accept it.  Although I’ve seen some in the past year that have deleted that clause from their submission guidelines.  The exception is critique sites that are password locked.  Glimmer Train takes blog published fiction, but many others do not, unfortunately.

I spent about a week writing the rough draft of this story and months revising it.  I don’t delete anything, so with each revision I just opened a new document.  There are 18 drafts XD  I’ve never revised something so much.  Complicating factors were the non-linear storyline and my rough transition from fanfiction to original fiction.

Now I start work on another short story.  I’m not sure if I want to do the one about the little girl with an abusive father or the mother that loses her son and develops a relationship with the little girl that gets his transplanted heart.  I’ll probably do the transplanted heart one because I’ve already started that one.

I took a break from blogging because I just had so many things going on in my life.  I’ve taken numerous 7 day+ writing/reading hiatuses as well.  I might talk about it at a later point in time.  I wish my life was more stable, but it’s not and probably never will be.  I’m flying to the other side of the country tomorrow to meet up with Dr. Millis, one of the best hip preservation surgeons in the world.  It’s looking like my last hip surgery in May 2014 has failed.  The surgery wasn’t with Dr. Millis, but I saw him in 2013 and really liked him, so I’m hoping he can help me.  I’ve had 3 hip preservation surgeries at this point, so I’m hoping I can hold off on another one for 1-2 years.  My right hip is still partially dislocating, which is as painful as it sounds.  Did I mention how much I hate my hips XD  Wait, I mean hip in the singular sense.  The left one had a scope and is behaving quite nicely.  My right hip is a factory reject 😦

The Light Flickers Within Our Hearts

A close friend of mine is struggling, and she’s much younger than me.  For her birthday, I got her the book All the Light We Cannot See.  It’s a beautiful metaphor for life.  As an aside, it’s an amazing book. Anyway, I went searching for an inspirational quote to put inside the front cover, but I couldn’t find one that fit her specific situation and used light as a metaphor.  So I wrote some inspiring words for her, or at least I attempted to do that XD

“During the bleakest moments we walk in the shadows, fumbling around in our search for answers. If we look hard enough we’ll find that the light is within our hearts. Sometimes it is buried under so many layers of grief and sorrow it seems an impossible task to uncover it, but it has always bee there. Never give up. Even if we can’t see it, the light flickers within, a bastion of hope in the desolate landscape of life.”

Inside of the Book Cover 


I cut the names out for obvious reasons.  I could probably write something better if I spent enough time on it.  I just realized I used the word “within” twice.  Oops XD  Hopefully she likes it 🙂

I’ve been away for a bit.  It’s a combination of things.  I became addicted to the literary critque site Scribophile.  I’m editing the umpteenth draft of my suicide story, and will then submit it to a few literature magazines.  I’ve started on another short story.  I’m getting an MRI + contrast/lidocaine injection on Oct. 14th.  My hip surgery may have failed, and I’ve cried so many tears over it.  It might not be so bad without the partial dislocations, but they are frequent, sometimes happening 4+ times a month.  It’s as painful as it sounds.  My husband’s family is coming over from Japan in October.  I’m so excited 😀  I haven’t seen them since I hurt myself seven years ago.  I’m still working full time as a retail pharmacist, which can be very stressful.  My parents moved to the other side of the country, and our relationship has improved.  In the midst of it all I’m trying to get pregnant XD   I’ve been having issues with anxiety, but I try to just take each day as it comes.  I find it helps me cope with life.

Haiku Attempt #1

I thought I’d try writing some haikus because I love prose.  I’m not a poet by any means though, so suggestions are always appreciated 🙂  I tend to be overly verbose, so I thought this would be a good challenge for me.

Haiku 1

As night advances

The sun falls on bloody knees

A final goodbye.

Haiku 2

The plip-plop of rain

Echoes throughout the garden

In tune with the frogs.