Freya Pickard, How D’ya Do?

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Welcome to the first ever interview in the new How D’Ya Do blogger interview series!

 

I am pleased to introduce Freya Pickard to you as my first interviewee in what I hope is a continuing series, to be posted the first and third Friday of every month. My intent is to feature bloggers who regularly host prompts and challenges for the rest of us prompt challenged writers. I have plenty of people in mind for this but if you are interested and maybe have a particular time that you would like to be featured, feel free to contact me. Expect the questions to be similar but not exactly like Freya’s as I would tailor them according to what I already know or what I would like to know.

Without further ado, Freya Pickard, how d’ya do?

I am Freya Pickard and I blog at https://purehaiku.wordpress.com and at https://dragonscaleclippings.wordpress.com

You can also find me at: –

https://www.facebook.com/FreyaPickardAuthor

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQEB3_wlAGM0_FY9w5NTrmQ

https://twitter.com/FreyasClippings

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/freya-pickard-1b775b106

https://www.patreon.com/posts/as-thank-you-to-22747580

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/freyapickard/

Describe your prompt. How do you determine the theme? 

Twice a year I open my blog at Pure Haiku to submissions of classical haiku on a specific theme. I choose the theme that seems most significant to me at the time! Sometimes I’ll find myself writing haiku on a particular theme and realise that it has lots of potential. Other times the idea will just pop into my head and I’ll think – that’s an interesting word to explore …

What is the schedule for your prompt?

At the moment I open Pure Haiku in January for publication of haiku in March – April and also in September for publication in October-December. Each submission window lasts just under 3 weeks and is announced on the blog. After the closing date I read through all the haiku and choose the best for publication. I aim to get back to everyone with a reply before the haiku start being published. (I can only offer free exposure for the writers of the selected haiku!)

How long have you been hosting this prompt?

I created Pure Haiku in 2011 with the aim of promoting classical haiku and it slowly evolved into what it is today. I’ve recently created a video to promote the site – https://youtu.be/oVyWYIU3lww

What do you enjoy most about inviting others to take part in your prompt?

I love getting people to write classical haiku. I love getting people interested and excited about the theme I’ve proposed. And I absolutely love reading all the submissions at the end of the submission period – it is so inspiring and thought provoking!

What is most challenging about hosting this prompt?

Finding enough quality time to sit down at leisure with all the haiku in order to decide which are the best haiku to include on my site. Sometimes I can’t decide between haiku which can be frustrating!

When/ how did you first become interested in haiku? 

I learnt how to write classical haiku in the English language when I was doing my English Degree at college. One of the lecturers who took part of the creative writing module was very encouraging about my haiku and they’re  something I’ve always written, on and off since my early twenties.

What is it about this poetic form that appeals to you?

I love the brevity and the idea of depicting an entire picture/scene in just 17 syllables. It’s a real challenge and difficult to do, especially to make it read easily and conform to the way I prefer haiku to be written! But it’s a way of honing my craft, of getting me to describe something in only a few words instead of rambling on for ages about it.

Do you have a haiku pet peeve?

I get annoyed when people tell me something through a haiku instead of showing it – it takes all the magic away from the form.

What is something you have learned from hosting this prompt?

However many times I ask for certain things such as no images, only 5 haiku per submission etc etc you’re always going to get those who DON’T read the guidelines!

Describe or list any publications of yours, haiku or otherwise.

I have had haiku published in a number of magazines in the past. More recently though I’ve been publishing my own work, including haiku and have just published my 11th book! You can find a haiku at the beginning of every chapter in Vintrig’s Kingdom and Vintrig’s Throne. I have also published 2 e-books of poetry, Insides and My Mythology in which haiku are prevalent. And if you don’t like reading poetry in e-books, both these volumes can be found in my paperback collection, This Is Me.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1540388204/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490085391&sr=8-2&keywords=freya+pickard

https://www.amazon.com/Vintrigs-Throne-Isu-Magan-Book-ebook/dp/B077CGJYQQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510658077&sr=8-1&keywords=freya+pickard

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Insides-Dragonscale-Delvings-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01M2UQAWJ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1476688930&sr=8-2&keywords=freya+pickard

https://www.amazon.com/My-Mythology-Dragonscale-Delvings-Book-ebook/dp/B07NGQQ3DJ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1549884842&sr=8-2&keywords=freya+pickard

https://www.amazon.com/This-Me-Dragonscale-Delvings-3/dp/1543262023/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1526203670&sr=8-6&keywords=freya+pickard

***

Freya begins posting the selected haiku for her most recent theme, “Emergence”, on Monday, March 4th through April.

Babble On #Poetry Challenge No.125 #haibun#haiku

At the Faery Whisperer it’s time for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 125, using synonyms for “origin & write”. Like it or not here is a haibun.

poetry-badge-blue-2.pngIn the beginning was the Word. So they say. They say the Word was spoken by the Creator, that speaking was Creation, and the idea was, it was to be all Good. They say that Creator was the first voices in the head, but it was scary because Creator was the Author and the Voice, and the characters got confused.

There was give and take. Deals were made; deals were broken. People needed a lexis to stand on. Books were made. Pages were taken from books. Words rained and reigned and reined.

The people  marveled at the words in their ears and in their hands and in their power. But because they were not prepared to listen they could not hear. Unable to hear, they babbled. On and on. Still, they grabbed at sticks and scratched in the dirt and tried to draw themselves back towards Creation.

 

Words the tools we wield

Sharp, blunt, cold; soft, warm, healing;

We create our world

 

 

Occupancy

six sentence story copy.jpgSitting at his laptop to do his pre-season reconnaissance as he called it, he reviewed the recordings from the an-cam to see if it warranted a return to that overgrown cellar hole to erect his tree stand before bow season began next week.

This clearing was especially attractive to deer because of a gnarled apple tree, the only surviving witness to the time when a family would have occupied a house that would have stood where now there was a barely perceptible depression that held fifty-foot maples.

Though tumbled stonewalls provided ample evidence that all these wooded acres had once been fields and farmsteads, the wildness of the treed land made it hard to imagine, but thinking back to that overgrown cellar hole surrounded by thick brush and swamp on one side and steep ledge on the other, it was somehow easy to imagine that that particular farm would have been isolated and poor even back in its heyday.

Looking through the images from the an-cam he knew the trek in to that spot had been worth it; the motion sensor had been activated by a doe and her fawn and then another, and finally an enormous ten-pointer.

He sat up, intent on the screen, curious as to why the deer suddenly froze, then leapt away into the woods and out of camera range; he shivered involuntarily, knowing for certain only that he would not be hunting in that area.

Forever afterwards he would try to reconcile the presence of a little girl in an old-fashioned dress and thick leather shoes in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night, a little girl who smiled right at the an-cam before vanishing far more abruptly than the deer had.

***

Denise has put the prompt out. It’s “clear“. Go to GirlieOnThe Edge to link your story and read and comment on others. The link opens on Thursday. Rules? Six Sentences. Play nice.

How D’Ya Do? (An interview series)

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Come by ShiftnShake this Friday (12:01 A.M. EST) to read the first ever interview in the new How D’Ya Do blogger interview series!

 

If you are a blogger who regularly hosts prompts and challenges for the rest of us prompt challenged writers, feel free to contact me to schedule your interview. Otherwise I will start knocking on your doors, in no particular order. I am encouraged that Freya Pickard did not shut the door on me and has agreed to take part in my inaugural interview.

Come by to see Freya this Friday.

Stepping Up

The prompt word for Six Sentence Stories is “perch”. Go to GirlieOnthe Edge to link your own six sentence story or to read more offerings. I am using the prompt to further Ilene Higginbottom’s career. See the entire Ernest &  Marge & Ilene series as is and so far here

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Ilene had begun the interview with confidence and high hopes but as it progressed she knew it was not going well and before he could continue with his canned questions and condescending commentary she shared with the middle school principal her intuition that he was not going to hire her for the secretarial job.

“Administrative Assistant, Ms. Higginbottom, and before you presume that I have made up my mind, please, do tell me what gives you the leg up on the other candidates that happen to all have more experience and education.”

The middle school principal’s unfortunate word choice precipitated an awkward silence in which his face turned successive shades of darkening pink as Ilene carefully uncrossed her right leg and put her artificial leg forward.

“As a middle school principal I am sure that you can appreciate the value of different experiences and varied educational backgrounds, Mr. Penny; you should consider me for the position because I’m a hard worker who will always step up.”

Without waiting for Principal Penny to respond Ilene hurried away down the corridor, but paused to look into the office that she had wanted to work in, the office with its two walls of windows that looked out on the entryway and the lobby, and its two walls of file cabinets, upon which a mop-haired boy perched haughtily, his Vans dangling at eye level with Ilene. Ilene raised her eyes and fixed the boy’s gaze, holding it until he hopped down off the cabinet and sat in a chair, all without a word, all witnessed by a slack jawed principal who heard himself tell Ilene Higginbottom that she was hired, and could she possibly start tomorrow.

Admitting Denial

DzdgFAeXcAAiTMq.pngIt’s funny because it’s true. If you agree it’s because you know.

If we were to talk about the elephant on the page, what color would it be? The funny truth so succinctly portrayed is that writing is a consuming obsession.

The man in the picture may have at least two obsessions, two powerful habits that impact his life and perhaps those around him, but why is it that only one of them is generally acknowledged as a bad habit? Only one of his habits has a tried and true twelve-step program that has been adapted and adopted by other quitters of other bad habits and depravities. Yes, he can find support and counseling for his addiction to alcohol and even his compulsive gambling. But his compulsive writing? All bets are off.

His inclination, (he might say destiny) is to seek other writers, (some might say enablers). Unlike the group he met with over his other addiction, this group is not at all alarmed for him when he admits to voices in his head. “Write on!” they say. They are not concerned when he admits to not attending fully to his day job, the pay job, because of his preoccupation with writing. They nod and smile knowingly when he talks about a recent all-nighter when he wrote pages and pages of gibberish. “There’s some gold in there,” they encourage. “Glean it, spend another night or any stolen time and revise it. Write on!” They all joke about their wild antics, writing on napkins in restaurants, about looking as if they are taking notes in meetings when really they are drafting a novella that just came to them. They all know first hand that writing is a distraction to the lives they are expected to live. They know that it is highly unlikely that writing will ever improve their finances. Yet they applaud our pictured writer when he admits he’s thinking of leaving his day job (the pay job) so that he can attend more fully to his writing addiction. “Yes! Go for it! Write on!”

I ask you, dear Writers, why are writers not taken in hand by their loved ones and committed as other addicts might be, for their own good? I imagine you’ll tell me something about discovery versus recovery, but please do tell me.

 

Parts

working-template-for-ff-challenges106.pngThe February 14, 2019, Carrot Ranch prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about valentines. It can be Valentine’s Day, the exchange, love for another, romance, or friendship. Have a heart and go where the prompt leads!                              The prompt led to the expanding group of friends who often end up at Ernest and Marge‘s place. The long version, 613 words, is on the Ernest and Marge page, way down near the end.

 

 

Parts

“S’up Nard?”
“Marge. Ernest. Was at the auto parts store; thought I’d stop by.”
“You’re shop foreman now, why’re you the one always running to the parts store?”
“Good to get fresh air.”
“Ha! Who is she?”
“Nard’s blushing,” Ernest noted. “There is someone!”
“There is. Can Kris and I join you and Ilene and Lloyd tonight when you go out for dinner?”
“This Kris must be special; you’ve never introduced your lady friends.”
“Yeah. One thing to know though…. Kris is the new parts man. Kristof.”
Ernest recovered first. “Does he make you happy?”
“Yes.”
“Nathan’s Grille, 6:30.”
***
“Nard. Kris? Hello. Take a seat.”
“Leonard,” Ernest corrected Marge.
Kris laughed. “I call him Lenny. I guess this is a surprise?”
“I’ll say. At the dealership Nard always joked around insinuating that Lloyd was gay when all this time it was Nard trying to get his motor running with the wrong parts.”
Kris snorted, choking on his beer. “That’s what I told him!”
Clearly hidden, behind walls of glass—”
“Lloyd, let me finish this poem! I know a rhyme.”
“Don’t, Marge. This is a family friendly place.”
“And this is our family. Welcome Kris. Congratulations, Leonard. Cheers.”

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Agitation

Agitation,    by D. Avery

“Okay, I really need some cream. I can’t believe I didn’t get enough the last time shopping and now I’m right in the middle of five different baking projects. Take the car but take it easy.”

They lived rural, but not so rural that there was a cow around. They lived on a back road, but not so far back that a trip to town and the store was really anything more than an inconvenience, an expenditure of time and gas, but a trip that delighted the newly licensed teen, who was always looking for wheel time.

“Listen, I don’t need this cream so badly that you need to speed, so just take your time. Drive carefully!” she yelled after him as he gleefully raced out the door waving the keys overhead.

“Of course, Mom!”

He went straight to the store and because he managed to arrive in record time, he had extra time to further hone his driving skills on the return trip. No small feat of navigation, the return trip involved a network of back roads that eventually linked back to their back road. Some of these back roads were further back than others; some were quite twisty, some quite bumpy, and all were washboarded, so that going straight, even on the straightaways, was a challenge at the speeds he attained. At the four corners where the last long back road linked at long last with their back road he found there was space enough to blow some donuts. And having at last come full circle, his route finished, chore complete, he coasted though the last corner then turned quite neatly and slowly into their driveway. He parked the car expertly and precisely in its spot, walked into the house, and hung the keys on the peg.

“Where’s the cream?”

“Oh yeah.”

He returned to the car and picked the carton of cream up from the passenger’s side floor where it had somehow tumbled. He meticulously wiped the carton clean with his shirttail before parading it ceremoniously in to his mother, who opened it immediately. When she tipped the carton of cream into her mixing bowl nothing poured out. Opening the carton up wider she discovered butter.

He could not explain how the carton contained butter. Picking up the opened carton, he examined its thickened contents as well as its boldly printed label, which clearly said cream.

“Huh. Do you want me to go back to the store?”

***

This 410 word story has been revised and reworked from an earlier six sentence story. I am republishing it because it is new and improved and because I am linking it to Stevie Turner’s “Share Your Story” contest. Yikes.

 

Fixed

This is the third, the first being Crunch, and the second being six sentence story copy.jpgPlugged, all written as Six Sentence Stories, the weekly prompt hosted by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. Head on over to share  your six sentence story that uses the word ‘milestone’. 

 

Fixed                                                                    

Mom never said too much when we were both boxing, especially when we fought against one another, but now she’s practically my publicist, promoting my matches so she can promote my brother, updating the press and the fans as to his condition, telling them, “He’s off the respirator, breathing on his own, a milestone, but still in the fight of his life.”

The papers loved her and her unwavering faith that my brother would emerge from his coma, her belief that he would recover, but they also loved the story of how he got there, beaten unconscious by his little brother in a boxing match.

Mom downplays that as much as she can, says things like, “He used to fight with his brother, now he fights for his brother,” and I go along with Mom’s brotherly love story, get in the ring as often as I can to try and help out with the medical bills.

My matches sell out, packed with people hoping to see me lose my temper again, hoping to see me beat another man almost to death, but the fans have been disappointed. I, who was leading in my division, am fighting like a third rate amateur, not hitting hard enough, letting my guard down; I haven’t won a match since putting my brother in the hospital.

Mom listened to the fight in my brother’s hospital room, but she doesn’t say anything about my latest loss; she’s too full of news about him, claims he smiled, another milestone.

Loosed (quadrille #73)

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It’s the Monday before Valentine’s Day, so Quadrille #73, the d’Verse offering brought to us by De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo), is entitled  A Prelude to a Kiss. The poem must be exactly 44 words and must include the word kiss. Eww, romance. Here goes.

 

Loosed

Oh, how the drunk slip

unmoored, three sheets,

loosed lips finally admit

love for you with sloppy kiss.

 

Lying silent at retreat of night

awash in dawn’s rising tide of light

sober scared, lips clenched tight.

You turn to me, and kiss me right.