I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stories for Sendai - Guest Post by J.C. Martin

Today I'm hosting J.C. Martin of J.C. Martin, Fighter, Writer. As you may know, during the Japan Disaster a couple of friends and I organized and ran Write Hope, an online charity auction of all things kidlit. At the same time, J.C. came up with the wonderful idea of putting together an anthology of stories, with the intention of selling these and raising money for the people of Japan. She's been hard at work ever since on STORIES FOR SENDAI.

In her words,

Stories for Sendai is a collection of 20 uplifting and inspirational short stories and poems about the strength of the human spirit. All proceeds from sales will be donated to charity in aid of victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
Take it away J.C.


Thank you, Rach, for hosting today’s leg of the blog tour!

Seeing as Stories for Sendai is a charity anthology dedicated to the brave people of Japan, I thought I’d write a post about one of the country’s most popular forms of literature: the haiku.

In its original form, the Japanese haiku, despite its apparent simplicity, has to contain several elements: apart from the syllabic content that we are familiar with, a Japanese haiku should also contain:
  • A season word intrinsically associated with a certain season, that will immediately give the reader a sense of time and place.
  • An ‘aha’ moment, when the haiku invokes a sudden and profound realisation in the reader.
  • A sense of connectedness to nature. Haikus are naturalistic poems that connect the reader to the natural world. Any poems in the haiku form that does not refer to nature are called senryus.
  • A sense of sabi, or solitude.
A contemporary haiku in English does not strictly follow any of these rules. In fact, some English haikus do not even conform to the traditional 5-7-5 syllable rule. A total of 13-17 syllables is generally accepted.

Now I’m no poet, but here’s a haiku I attempted:
Stories for Sendai,
Only seven ninety-nine,
Buy and help Japan!
Do you write haikus? Feel free to share your favourites!

And don’t forget, Stories for Sendai is on sale now at these links:

Amazon US:

Amazon US (Kindle):

Amazon UK (Kindle):

CreateSpace eStore:

And send a copy of your receipt to storiesforsendai (at) ymail (dot) com, and you’ll be entered in a draw to win cool prizes, like gift vouchers, books, and critiques! One entry per purchase, ends July 15th!


Thanks for the intriguing info on haikus J.C. I didn't actually know any of that (beyond the syllable requirement)! Everyone, don't forget to buy your copy of Stories for Sendai to help support the people of Japan. And it would make a great gift as well!


Clara Gillow Clark said...

What a wonderful, worthwhile cause! I'm going to amazon.com to purchase this book! Happy 4th of July, Rach!

Misha Gerrick said...

I've written some Hiakus just for the hell of it, but none good enough to share.

I actually prefer traditional style hiakus, based on nature and (preferably) in the 5-7-5 form.


J.C. Martin said...

Rachael: Thank you so much for hosting this leg of the tour! Really appreciate everyone's support so far!

Clara: Thank you! Hope you enjoy the read!

Misha: Like I said, I'm not much of a poet, but I can appreciate s bit of it. The nature ones do paint really vivid images in very few words.

Cally Jackson said...

Stories for Sendai is such a wonderful idea, JC. I'll definitely be buying a copy. :-)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I heard a story on NPR today as I was driving to work about the positive human impact that has shown with regard to the tragedy in Japan. It was really inspirational and reminded me of this.

Anonymous said...

I'm free flowing poet.. or I like to think I am!
Such a great book! well done. x

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