Tag Archives: Tanka

Poetry Friday ~ Live Your Best Life!

26 Jun


“…Lives of great men all remind us
   We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
   Footprints on the sands of time…”

It’s the fourth week of the month! Time for a theme prompt at Colleen’s 2020 Weekely Poetry ChallengePat R. from last month’s challenge picked the theme. The theme this week is the quote above taken from A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth.

Photograph by Damir Spanic

LIVE

Great men remind us

do what gives your life purpose

find your life’s passion

Our time on Earth is a gift

Live your life to the fullest

I believe I’ve found the work that gives my life purpose and passion. Writing has become part of what makes me who I am, and I eat, sleep and breathe stories. Seriously, I don’t know what my life would be like or how I would go on without writing.

That being said, I do enjoy other activities like reading, being out in nature, kayaking, drawing, photography, fashion, baking . . . I love spending time with my family and playing with my dog, Scribbles. I have an adventurous spirit and relish traveling to different parts of the world and learning about other cultures, meeting new people and trying things I’ve never tried before.

Photograph by Eirik Skarstein

Wishing everyone a fabulous day! Live your best life!

Poetry Friday ~ The Merchant of Venice

29 May

Hi, everyone! It’s the fourth week of the month, which means, we get a Theme Prompt! Merril D. Smith, the winner from last month’s challenge selected a quote from Shakespeare’s A Merchant of Venice as this month’s theme. Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

This week’s theme is:

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

After each good deed

no parade or accolades

Take a step higher

on heaven’s ladder until

you have reached St. Peter’s gate

I read The Merchant of Venice in high school, and I remember having mixed feelings about it. The Jewish loan shark (okay, moneylender) Shylock horrifed me with his request for a pound of flesh as payment for a loan.

Here’s a rough and short summary of the story: A man named Antonio owned a fleet of merchant ships. One day, a gold-digging friend of his, Bassanio asked him for a loan so that he could pursue a rich woman named Portia. But Antonio’s ships had not come in with his merchandise yet, so he had no money to lend him. Instead, Antonio tells his friend to ask Shylock for the loan promising that he’d pay it back once his ships return. When Bassanio asked Shylock for the loan, instead of charging extremely high rates of interest, as he usually did, the moneylender asked that a pound of Antonio’s flesh be the payment if the loan was not paid within three months.

Three months went by, and Antonio’s ships had not returned. He was told that they were lost at sea. It was time to repay the loan, but Antonio was broke. Shylock had him arrested and demanded his pound of flesh. Bassanio, now married to the heiress Portia, offered her money to pay the loan. However, Shylock held a grudge against Antonio because he considered him competition in the loan business and an anti-Semite (which he was). Shylock insisted he must be allowed to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio as per their contract.

Long story short (too late), Portia, (Bassanio’s rich wife) dressed as a lawyer (?) managed to safe Antonio’s life. She won the case against Shylock by stating that there was no mention of blood in the contract. Therefore, if he could extract a pound of flesh from Antonio without spilling any of his blood he could go ahead and do so, but if he spilled one drop of his blood he would go to jail. Of course, Shylock knew it would be impossible to cut out a pound of flesh from a man without an enormous amount of blood shed.

In the end, Shylock lost his daughter and part of his wealth to another of Antonio’s friends, and was forced to become a Christian (antisemitism). Antonio’s ships came in afterall, and he and his friends lived happily ever after with their spouses. At times, I viewed Shylock as a villain and other times as a victim. Nevertheless, The Merchant of Venice is a story worth reading.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a fabulous day!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

22 May
Photograph by Balaji Malliswamy

Hi, everyone!

Every 3rd week of the month it’s Photo Prompt time at Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. I won the last photo prompt challenge so I had the privilege of choosing this week’s photo. I chose this intriguing and somewhat scary nature photo by Balaji Malliswamy.

Colleen’s words:

Remember, a photo can be a metaphor for your poetry. Think about the mood, the theme, and the color. Think outside of the box. We know there’s a crocodile, but what else is going on here? What do you smell? What do you hear? There’s more here than meets your eye. Surprise me!

There are many movies and books that depict crocodiles as monsters, but they’re simply animals trying to survive in the wild. Here are a few fun crocodile facts:

  • Crocodiles are reptiles.
  • The physical characteristics of crocodiles make them good predators.
  • Crocodiles are fast over short distances.
  • Crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal in the world.
  • The muscles that open crocodiles jaws however are not so powerful, reasonably strong people could hold a crocodiles jaw closed with their bare hands.
  • Like other reptiles, crocodiles are cold-blooded.
  • Crocodiles can survive for a long time without food.
  • Most crocodiles live in fresh water rivers and lakes but some live in salt water.
  • Crocodiles eat a variety of fish, birds and other animals.
  • Crocodiles release heat through their mouths rather than through sweat glands.
  • The saltwater crocodile is the largest species of crocodile.
  • Some crocodile species can weigh over 1200 kg (2600 lb).

My poem today is about the most dangerous predator on the planet, man.

“I am an evil man. I do not love anyone. I wish harm to everyone and good to myself. I am an egoist. I am not God. I am a beast, a predator.”  

From The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

*

The Stalker

The silent stalker

camps outside your home and waits

Followed you all day

He claims to add balance to

your soul ’cause he’s seen your horns

Photo by Viktor Mogilat

I hope you liked the post! Let me know what you think in the comments below. Enjoy the rest of the day!

Poetry Friday ~ Transition & Harmony

15 May

Hi, everyone!

Kerfe from K. Lines That Aim To Be (Blog) chose this week’s words for Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. We can’t use the exact words. Instead, we must find synonyms to use in their place.

Transition & Harmony

Poetry Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-poem-the writer next door-Vashti Q-Tanka
Photo by Tim Marshall

Together

The world is changing

Look at the shape we are in!

Must we all adapt?

Every fight is a chance

Real gain does not come easy

Photo by Hidde Rensink

My editor informed me this morning that I’ll be getting my manuscript back this afternoon. Yay! I’m happy, excited and a little nervous. Even though she’s kept in touch sending updates every Friday, and had always said she hadn’t encountered anything mayor to correct I still can’t help feeling the jitters – that’s just me. Well, this means I will be quite busy this weekend. I can’t wait for you guys to see and hopefully read this book. It’s been the most fun to write so far, and I’m beyond excited about it.

I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Enjoy this day and the weekend, and don’t forget to count your blessings!

photo by Shane Rounce

Poetry Friday ~ The Day After

1 May

Hi, everyone! Happy 1st Day of May!

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge No. 175, Theme Prompt. This month’s theme is: “The Day After” chosen by Elizabeth from Tea & Paper (Blog)

Photograph by Jr Korpa

The Day After

As we hike through the wounded city

We search for something live and bright

Any remnant that we once

existed in the flesh

my ghost finds nothing

except the clear

evidence

that we’re

gone.

Photgraph by Clement Falize

Brilliant scientists

experiment in lab coats

doomed us all to hell

“This is the way the world ends,

not with a bang, but a gasp.”

I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but for a while now I’ve been reading about how scientists are working with microorganisms to engineer them to perform certain tasks. There’s good that could come from this, for instance, if a bacteria was to be engineered to locate and kill only cancer cells in a person’s body, leaving the healthy cells alone. If this works, other microorganisms could be used in the same way to rid the body of many diseases. Things can go horribly wrong, though. So many discoveries and inventions were made for the good of the people only to end up in the wrong hands and used for atrocities –– just ask Einstein. I know this all reads like the premise to a Sci-fi novel, but once scientists discovered how to read and map a strand of DNA they’ve been busy experimenting with things we can’t even imagine. Who knows what they’re cooking up in those labs? Like maybe a solution to the overpopulation problem no one wants to talk about. Like maybe engineer a virus that can target the old and diseased, and kill them by the thousands? That can certainly solve the overpopulation problem in the world while maintaining the young and strong safe. After all, they are the future.

Poetry Friday ~ The Night Sky

27 Mar

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

Photo by Mark Basarab

It’s the fourth week of the month – time for a Theme Prompt! Last month, Colleen Chesebro from Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge selected Sally Cronin to pick this month’s theme:

The Night Sky

I am the night sky

you are the feverish stars

that fill up my soul

You are the night sky

I am the stars you embrace

only to help me

shimmer all the more brighter

you hold me close until dawn

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a safe and happy Friday!

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Poetry Friday ~ Comfort & Worn

13 Mar

Welcome, everyone! Happy Friday the 13th!

I have several topics I want to address today, and it’s going to seem random. I apologize in advance.

Firstly, let’s talk about the coronavirus and COVID- 19. Unless you’ve been vacationing on the moon you’ve heard these terms before. The coronavirus has been around for a long time. It’s the same virus associated with SARS in 2003. COVID- 19 is the disease caused by the newly identified type of coronavirus that emerged in China in December 2019.

COVID- 19 symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath. Now, these symptoms are similar to the flu, and we are in flu season so if you have these symptoms call your doctor and let her know, but don’t go crazy thinking you have COVID- 19. Don’t automatically go to the ER without speaking to your doctor first because if you don’t have it the ER (emergency room) is probably a great place to catch it, and if you do have it you’ll most likely pass it on to people that are probably in a more vulnerable state than you are. Please call your doctor and act calmly.

There is no coronavirus vaccine yet. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow and staying home when you’re sick.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds (about a round of Old McDonald had a Farm). Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.

I’m not a doctor, but I’ve worked in the medical field closely with doctors for many years. There are a lot of nervous people out there acting in panic, and that only makes things worse for them, others and people in the medical field who are only trying to help. You can calm your nerves by simply keeping yourself informed and by applying the 3 Ps: Positivity, Preparedness, and don’t Panic.

Let’s stay positive, but prepared, and please don’t panic it only makes things worse for you and others.

I also wanted to mention that someone sent me a DM (direct message) on Twitter asking why I only feature certain people on my blog. First of all, I’m an equal opportunity blogger and always have been. I’m constantly volunteering to host people on my blog. If we know each other, and you want to be featured on my blog let me know. Contrary to what some people may believe I don’t own a crystal ball. If you’ve never asked me to feature you on my blog don’t bitch complain about not being featured on my blog.

Lastly, don’t allow anyone to influence your thinking or how you feel about another person. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Before you reject, turn your back on or completely disregard someone because another person told you to do so, think for yourself. Judge someone according to the way they’ve treated you and by their deeds. Make up your own mind who that person is. Don’t allow anyone to do that for you.

Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge (Synonyms Only)

Here are the two words selected by Ruth Scribbles, winner from last month’s Syllables Only challenge:

COMFORT & WORN

Photograph by Aimee Vogelsang @vogelina

With painted on smile

she raises silent uproars

Once she brought you cheer

and kept you safe through the night

you happily held her tight

***

Now she’s forgotten

in a dusty li’l corner

wearing tattered clothes

recalling when a simple

hug could heal that broken soul

Photograph by Dominic Romero @domr_

Have a fun, safe and creepy Friday the 13th!

Photograph by Franck V. @franckinjapan

Poetry Friday ~ Spell & Treat

25 Oct
Vashti Q-the writer next door-Vashti Q-poetry friday-tanka-spell-colleen chesebro-poetry challenge

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

Spell and Treat are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

I dance around flames
Outstretched arm cast magic charm
But now you’re the witch
making me forget my name
Your sweet, sweet love is to blame

Poetry Friday-Friyay-Vashti Q-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-tanka-poetry

I hope you enjoyed the Tanka. I used magic charm and sweet as synonyms for spell and treat. Thanks for the visit!

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-tanka-I put a spell on you

Have fun
and be safe!

Image

Poetry Friday ~ Enchant & Fly

13 Sep

Hi, everyone! Happy Friday the 13th!

Enchant and Fly are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Artist Luis Royo



Can You Hold A Burning Star?

Proud Elven Princess
dazzles with beauty and charm
She’ll capture your soul
You may think you’ve won her heart
til she swoops and slits your throat


Fantasy Artist Luis Royo

Thank you for visiting!

Poetry Friday ~ Instagram

9 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome to The Writer Next Door (Blog).

I’m Vashti Quiroz-Vega (Vashti Q).

 

Let’s talk about Instagram. I joined Instagram a while ago but I created the account, managed to post some pictures and then never looked at it again for months. There was a lot going on in my life at the time and I couldn’t handle another social media site. I’ve gotten a lot more involved on Instagram in the last few months and I plan to stick with it, because it’s actually a great site. Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert. I’m still learning and making mistakes left and right but I’m beginning to catch on. I just discovered how to do an Instagram story and I’m having some fun with that.

I love photography and art, so at first, I had joined Instagram to look and share beautiful and interesting photos and art. Now, I realize that Instagram is a lot more than just a gallery for pretty pictures.

Did you know that Instagram has been around for about 9 years already? Did you know that influencers are charging up to $100,000 for a sponsored post?

Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are also used on Instagram and posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement. As authors, we know the importance of engagement. And speaking of authors, Instagram is now the new social media place for writers. It’s a place where creativity and bookworms abound. So here are:

10 Instagram Tips for Writers | Jane Friedman

Instagram-writers-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-poetry_Friday-author-book_cake

Book cake from the launch party of ‘A Touch of Gold‘ by Annie Sullivan

Also check out, 25 Instagram Facts That You Want To Know – PastBook

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Instagram-Bookstagram-author-writers-poetry

As authors, it is extremely important for our work to be seen. What’s the point of writing books if no one knows about them or reads them? I believe we can gain visibility, followers, and increase sales by being active on social media and my favorite sites right now are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

If you haven’t joined Instagram yet, give it a try.

Check out my Instagram and follow if you like.


UPDATE:

I’m done with the first draft of The Rise of Gadreel! Yay! I’m busy doing my first round of edits. I’ll probably do one more round of edits after this one, before I send it to my beta readers.

Here’s today poem for Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Prompt Challenge. It’s the first challenge of the month, so it’s ‘Poet’s Choice of Words’.

BOOK

See me, read me, please!

I was written in her blood

for your enjoyment.

Unread I’m not a story.

Reading me will make me live.

The Rise of Gadreel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-Fantasy_novel-ghosts-witches-medieval times-magick

I’d like your opinion on my WIP’s title, The Rise of Gadreel. What do you think? Is the title interesting, intriguing? You can be completely honest.