The Power of Brevity



I had the privilege of writing about one of my favorite topics in the January/February issue of Southern Writers Magazine – haiku!

I love to write haiku just for the sake of writing haiku. But did you know there are many ways haiku can help you with other writing? I describe several techniques I’ve used in this month’s issue. Here’s a clip:


If you’d like to read more and are not a current subscriber, I highly recommend Southern Writers for their consistently helpful articles in each bi-monthly issue. For more information on subscriptions, please click HERE.

And of course, if you have any questions on any of these techniques, feel free to leave a comment!

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Banana Airplanes


No more bananas
No more “Here comes the airplane”
My hangar is closed

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Allie’s First Christmas


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Advent Calendar Day 2: Tiny Ornaments

Tiny ornaments
Memories from Christmas past
Treasures hung each year

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is giving a Christmas ornament that represents an event that year. My kids each, of course, had a “First Christmas” ornament.

When they were growing up, the ornament might have represented an activity they were involved in (like hockey, soccer, band, etc.)


When they grew up and had homes of their own, I gave them each the ornaments we’d collected throughout their childhood. (It was, admittedly, as sad thing for me to give them up!)

Since then, I continue the tradition with engagement ornaments.engagement

tommyAnd family ornaments.





What are some of your traditions?

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National Poetry Day: The Seashore

It’s National Poetry Day (in Britain). That’s okay. I’ll take any excuse to write haiku. 🙂

I hope as you read,  you’ll hear the waves, taste the salt in the air and feel the sand between your toes!


 sandpiper dashes
down to the sea and back
view from my hammock


14522816_10208577950499894_2794564749405966620_nthe sea foam vanquished
to quiet passing currents
now I’m an old man
~Steve Vanek






 A kiss by the sea
Only us in that moment
A seagull cries



Seagulls wait and watch
Anticipate tossed morsels
Each cries, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

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One of best parts about being a grandma is seeing the world through my grandchildren’s eyes. Today, I watched leaves with Allie, and wondered what she was thinking as she stared up in wonder.

Green stars sparkle with
light so bright it makes me blink
Grandma calls them leaves




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Happy Birthday, Mom


4. Grandma the beauty - 15April 28 is my mom’s birthday. Today, she would have been 81 years old. It’s only the second birthday she hasn’t been with us, and still, I feel that split second urge to call her to say “Happy birthday.”

I try to cherish that split second, for it’s in that tiny moment that I feel she’s still with us.

I wrote a tanka for my mom’s birthday today. Since I still feel her with me, I hope she likes it.

Happy birthday, Mom.
I miss you every day.
But you’re still with me.
For in my reflection I
See you smiling back at me.

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Nisei, Sansei

In the last thirteen months, I’ve lost my mother and two uncles. Yesterday, I learned from my cousin that my Uncle Cold Outside (here’s how he got that name) passed away, the last member of the Sasaki Nisei generation.

May they all rest in peace, and may the Sasaki Sansei generation keep them alive in our stories and traditions.


the last Sasaki
proud Nisei generation
lives on in Sansei

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All Perfect

IMG_6568I’ve been looking forward to giving a workshop at Ozarks Writers League on February 21, and have become even more excited as I prepare the PowerPoint presentation. Is it possible for us to inspire ourselves? 🙂

The workshop is titled “The Perfect Haiku,” and I must admit, initially I shuddered at the title. I’ll explain why in my workshop.

With the start of a full time job, I haven’t spent much time writing haiku, (or writing much of anything else for that matter!) in the six months since I began working. But this morning, as I perused this blog for examples of haiku to use in my presentation, I felt as though I’d visited an old friend.

So many memories captured in these haiku, and the seventeen syllables of each takes me back to what I experienced as I wrote them.

This morning, I wrote a new haiku to describe the feeling:

I open the door
to a room full of memories
good morning, old friend

If you’re in the Branson area on Saturday, February 21, I’d love for you to join me. We’ll learn about some of the haiku masters, and I’ve got lots of writing prompts to inspire you to write and share the power of your seventeen syllables.

Click HERE for more information.

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Man’s Best Friend

My brother lost his best friend a few days ago, a friend who was by his side every moment for fifteen years–when he walked to the mailbox, cooked dinner, tinkered with his car, swam in the pool, slept at night.


And so, when he texted me that Chance was gone, I cried with him. Not only for his loss, but for the memory of losing my two best friends, Jubie and Bear–not to death, but to divorce.

Jubie and Bear2

So I wrote this haiku, for sweet Chance, and all the dogs we’ve loved and lost.

Rest well, dear friend
By my side so many years
My heart lost its wag


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