Just a Note … December 1, 2015

autumn tree

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday I didn’t post and will be a little late posting today since I’m preparing an e-book for Chèvrefueille’s Publications .. I think I wrote somewhere that my haiku:

rain drips
off old bamboo wind-chimes

won first prize for the Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – October Kukai, and that prize is publication of an e-book of my work and presentation of my work on CDHK during the month of December.  I was going to delve into my archives of published haiku and waka, but as I began to write the first lines in the book, I changed my mind and decided to write a new collection of haiku and waka for the book.

Now I’ve finished the first draft …  Francesco Neri who writes on Word Press under the pen-name of  Sisko Black on VETRINA MENTALE D’EMILIO DEI NERI  has generously offered to do the lay-out of the book and modify one of my photos for the cover.

This experience has given me a great amount of energy, though at times it’s kept me off my blog. I’ve decided to go on now and finally publish some of my work as self-published e-books unless of course a publisher would like to step in ( 😉 ) and I’m hoping to find a way to hard copy at least one booklet this year.  Fingers crossed.

Thank you all for dropping by.

Ciao,  Bastet (Georgia Koch)

Kukai winner- rain drops – November 3, 2015

Bamboo wind chimes

rain drips
off the old bamboo wind-chimes

© G.s.k. ‘15

This morning I was blessed with a wonderful confirmation of my haiku art.  The above haiku won the Carpe Diem Haiku Kai: Kukai of  “Peace of Mind”  the Fall Kukai event.

The other haiku I submitted were:

[this young lark]
in the pomegranate tree
songs of autumn
(numbered 14)

© G.s.k. ‘15

along the river
buzzing insects play
– hide and seek
(numbered 15)

© G.s.k. ‘15

“The winner of the Kukai is given the opportunity to make an e-book of his/her haiku with a maximum of 30 pages and he/she will be the featured haiku poet in the month after the kukai.” (in this case we’re speaking of December 2015).

Chèvrefeuille’s new Kukai is as follows:

“For .. this new haiku contest, I have chosen the following theme: WINTER and of course that’s a very broad range of things and scenes. So I love to challenge you to write/compose haiku in which you can “feel”, “touch”, “smell”, “taste”, “see” and “hear” WINTER, must be easy … don’t you think so too ….!
Submission starts today. You can submit haiku (only haiku with a maximum of three new (unpublished) haiku) until December 23rd 10.00 PM (CET) to our email address:


Please write: kukai Winter in the subject line.”

Charles Dodgson Was An Indie Author!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Yesterday we went for a walk along the shoreline of Riva Del Garda and then we went to the library once it opened.  I was particularly interested in getting something in English, preferably poetry.  What I decided to take home was this copy of Alice in Wonderland and the Great Gatsby.

Now, I’ve red bits and pieces of Alice in Wonderland in English over the years and have seen films based on the book.  But I’ve never read the whole book in English (read it a few times in Italian though 😉 ) so I felt it was really about time!

I like to read introductions.   Once upon I time I used to just jump over them, but over the years, I’ve found the background information to be really fun.

Here the introduction begins in a “Oh, how boring to have to tell this story which everybody knows, but oh well…I might as well get it over with…” sort of attitude and I’m informed that of course Alice in Wonderland was a story that mathematician Charles Dodgson told to a little girl, Alice Liddell and her sisters one afternoon whilst he and another friend were off having a picnic.  He ad-libbed the story as they rowed up the Thames from Oxford to Godstow so well, that his friend Duckworth wanted to know if he were inventing it as he went along.  The children loved the story and Alice insisted that Dodgson should write it down for her, which he promised to do.

One thing led to another and finally Dodgson was convinced by his friends that he should publish the book.  He contacted John Tenniel to do the illustrations, who was already popular though his Punch cartoons and for his illustrated edition of Aesop’s Fables, he was very good at drawing animals in unusual situations.

It seems that Dodgson was a very difficult client and hounded Tenniel until he was perfectly happy with the illustrations.  In the introduction it says that i Dodgson used Tenniel dictatorially, almost as amanuensis to give visible form to his ideas which he didn’t have the talent to draw…but here, have a look:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADodgson paid Tenniel for his work and he paid for the printing of his book as well…and in fact used Macmillan only as a publisher on commission!  I don’t know when Macmillan acquired the rights to Alice in Wonderland, though it was after his death in 1898…for even the last publication where he wrote the preface there is reference to his expenses in printing the books:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor more information about Lewis Carroll read here on the Wikipedia.  Then of course Goodreads,and The Lewis Carroll Society of North America.

I also think this article is very interesting…for example I didn’t know that Dodgson was also a photographer! Oxford DNB: Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge:

This bit is interesting from the Indie Author point of view:

“Dodgson sought always to provide his readers with books of the finest quality, and because of an unusual relationship with his publisher, Macmillan, he achieved exceptional results. Macmillan arranged for printing and distribution of his books in exchange for a 10 per cent commission, but Dodgson paid all costs of printing, illustrating, and advertising, retaining control and making all decisions. He was, consequently, able to suppress the first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 because his artist, John Tenniel, was not satisfied with the printing of the illustrations; and, dissatisfied himself for one reason or another, he disposed of an inferior edition of The Game of Logic in 1886; in 1889 he condemned the entire first run of 10,000 copies of The Nursery ‘Alice’, and in 1893 scuttled the sixtieth thousand run of Looking-Glass.”

Well…let me go on now and actually continue reading Alice in Wonderland…I’ve gotten to where Alice has just escaped from the White Rabbit’s house….I was just fascinated by the author whom I’ve actually read very little about, as is par my usual (sigh), so perhaps you all know all this info, like the introduction implies…but for me…it’s news!

Oh, have a good day!

Thoughts: Women and Writing

Sahm King at the Arkside of thought did a post today that I found not only relevent to poetry but to women’s place in society and in particular, the arts.

We’ve all been aware that J.K. Rowling recently wrote a crime novel.  We also know that she wrote under a pseudonym.  She did this probably in order to test her writing abilities and in order to pass from the Harry Potter era to something completely different.

She was betrayed by someone in her law firm (who has had to pay her damages by the way).   By blowing her cover, her book which was a slow seller became an over-night success on the strength of her Potter reputation.  Old news.  The real question is not that she wanted to try to publish without her Harry Potter success pushing the sales of her new book.  The question is why did she choose to publish as a man.

It was because of the genre of the book.  American and English publishers are convinced that women writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, Crime and similar genres will not sell.  I’d like to think that they are only afraid of missing out on their male buyers because they’ve been written by a woman, however I’ve a sneaking feeling that even female readers would have their doubts before buying a crime novel written by “Mary Mercy”.

Women have been pigeon holed.  Women are good at writing romantic stories or children’s stories.  How much more so since the invention of Chick Lit, for pities sake.  Thanks to Emily Dickenson, women can also write poetry and hope to be published if their poetry is feminine enough.  A poet from the Iraqi war zone publishing about the horrors of war, might not get published if that poet is a woman.

Some interesting reading:

I’m Sorry, But Your Poetry Just Ain’t Girly Enough by Sahm King

Why Did J.K. Rowling Use a Male Pen Name For her Crime Novel on Policymic

What’s in a name? Why authors use pseudonyms? on DW (a german e-zine) This article states that on the whole women publish crime books and are sold in Germany without any particular problems…but read on.

Have anything to add?