About a week and a half ago, one of my writer groups had a thread about your day was going – the only catch was that the response needed to be in haiku form. That was the second day of stomach flu at our house, so this was my response:

Rest on the soft couch
TV, crackers, and soda.
Boo, norovirus


Aaaand then the norovirus took over and I was out of commission for a week (hence no blog posts). But I enjoyed writing the first haiku so much, I decided to make it a daily thing.

I remember learning about haikus in elementary school. They were so simplistic my friends and I spent a week on the playground making them up (yup, nerdy writer even then).

I wrote haikus on and off throughout the years whenever I was reminded, but had basically forgotten about them until my husband and I moved to Japan. While there, we had regular culture lessons with the other ESL teachers. Most of the lessons were interesting, but not life-changing: tea ceremony, fans, clothing, origami, food, etc. However, we did have one lesson on haiku writing from a professional Japanese poet. I’ll never forget how she described haikus: “a moment in time, frozen, and expressed through carefully chosen words meant to convey a specific feeling.” With that definition, haikus became much more challenging. If I took a crack at a traditional style haiku, it might read like this:

Still. A far car alarm.
God paints his canvas. Birds chirp.
The sky grows. People stir.

It’s extremely challenging, and rewarding when the right mix of words come: the sound, order, and meaning all working together to get that one desired results. I, for one, prefer haikus with a bit of a twist at the end:

Early shopping list
Kids dream about Christmas day
And fight over ads

In any case – traditional, humorous, or basic – haikus are a worthwhile daily challenge, and I encourage you to follow me over on Twitter to check out my daily attempts – or try to write your own!