Wednesday, May 5, 2021

NOVEL RESEARCH From the Writer's Perspective

Researching specific topics or locations for a novel has always been a form of entertainment for me. In this time of social distancing, research has also substituted for planned vacations. Browsing through photographs, taken before lockdown, replaces the activity of local excursions.

In the month of June, I will begin a new blog series - NOVEL RESEARCH From the Writer's Perspective - starting with a special post featuring authors who have previously participated in an interview that included this final question:

Researching a new novel takes the author on a journey to many new places, whether through books, movies, newspapers, or physical travel. What did you most enjoy about the research process of your recent novel or WIP (work-in-progress), and where did the research take you?

Authors to be featured in the June 2nd premier post are:

  • Elizabeth Wilder (E.E. Wilder) Granite Hearts
  • Cheryl Lynn Martin Pineapples in Peril
  • Sandra Nikolai False Impressions
Future Wednesday interviews will focus on the author's research of a specific topic.
While a writer's research process can be instructive,
details about the subject matter are often the most entertaining.

I look forward to reading details about the novel topics authors have chosen to research for their writing projects, and expect to thoroughly enjoy wherever their research takes us.


Monday, May 3, 2021

#AtoZChallenge Reflections 2021


In 2011, I took a gamble and participated in my first AtoZChallenge with a Hawaiian theme. Because I missed the 2020 challenge, my plunge into 2021 was the 10th challenge for me. I signed up on the last day of the Theme Reveal deadline, having made my decision that morning to participate. Instead of moving forward with plans to post blog interviews of other authors' research projects, I decided to first post 26 articles about "novel" topics I had researched over the years for various reasons. Writing the first drafts was an enjoyable task. Reliving these research events by way of the AtoZChallenge made the month of April a fun way for me to reconnect with society after strict lockdown.

Even though my best laid plans included visiting every blog site listed on the official sign-up sheet, I only made it through #155 plus other blog sites I found through comments left on sites I visited. I will sign up for the "Road Trip".

Participating in The Scavenger Hunt was sort of hit and miss for me. I always forgot to look for the words while reading posts and often had to retrace my steps to find a word on the list. I did find 20 of the 26 letters, missing only cobweb, hat, leaves, scissors, velvet, and yellow. Why I couldn't find "hat" is beyond me! My list is included below.

One of my blog posts was entitled "Etymology and Envy" with photos of a worn dictionary and thesaurus. I mention this in reply to the question of whether I consulted a dictionary for my word choices. Although I did use Google to find my X-word "xylocarp".

Thank you to the AtoZ team members for the tremendous amount of work that goes into planning and executing such a wide spread and popular project. The sign-up sheet was easily accessible and simple to use. I consulted it daily to visit additional participants. Unfortunately, I was not able to visit everyone but plan to participate in the Road Trip.


AtoZChallenge2021 Scavenger Hunt

I chose to join the Scavenger Hunt challenge and was pleased to see that one of my blog posts fit right in – Whale Migration! The best part of the rules was that the word didn’t have to be in the title. I located 20 of the 26 letters. Here are the blog sites I found with the chosen letters:

A is for — Apple 🍏  A - Z 2021: The Apple doesn't fall far from the Tree (

B is for — Bear 🧸J-Dubs Grin and Bear It – As Always, More to Come (


·                     C is for — Cobweb πŸ•Έ


D is for — Dragon 🐲 The Other Side blog: #AtoZChallenge2021: D is for Dragon, Purple (

E is for — Evil πŸ‘Ώ Black and White: E is for Eden ( (In Eden grows every kind of tree that is pleasant to sight and good for food, as well as the infamous Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.)

F is for — Flowers πŸ’ A Joyful Chaos: D ~ Daffodil Selfie (As I lowered my phone into the flowers . . .)

G is for — Game 🎲 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge ( (some of my favorite online games that revolve around travel:)


            H is for — Hat πŸ‘’


I is for — Island 🏝  I is for Island – Anne Higa

J is for — Jewelry πŸ’ Chapters From My Life (X is for)  It can be a book, a jewelry,

K is for — Key πŸ”‘ Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (2021) Alphabet "k"- and the word is "kEYWORD" | Slogans, Catch lines and Tag lines (  Today’s letter is “K” and the word is “Key Word”


·                     L is for — Leaves πŸ‚


M is for — Men πŸ‘¬ George Dixon | Tarmangani ( (with the 135 pound black powder spar torpedo mounted to the sub, Lt. George Dixon ordered his men to load up.)

N is for — Nuts πŸ₯œ #A to Z Challenge 04-09-21 Indigenous Foods | Words On A Page ( The nuts are the size of a cantaloupe

O is for — Orange 🍊  Kairn of Glen Feirnaugh. “Grandpapa tell us a story.” The… | by John G Swift | Apr, 2021 | A Writer Darkly     (Blazing bright orange hair shone in the sun like her head was afire.)

P is for — Pen πŸ–Š Doesn't Speak Klingon: Mabel #AtoZChallenge M Mabel smirked at that and picked up a pen.

Q is for — Questions 1.) MOLLY'S CANOPY | Growing family trees one leaf at a time  Q is for Questioning everything; 2.) Questions to ask your Characters #AtoZChallenge2021 ~ Jemima Pett

when it rains it pours! Q is for Questions…. – Just another Christian woman… ( 3. Question | Beth Lapin's A to Z Blog 2021 ( Ask questions of others.


R is for Rainbow  1.) Rainbow ( The blog’s name says it all!

2.) Blog of Author J Lenni Dorner: #atozchallenge R is for Ronel, Rainbow Colors, Rook, Room 42  “Rainbow Colors” is from Usborne’s ‘Hello, Baby!’ series.


·                     S is for — Scissors


T is for — Tiger 🐯 1.) Jingle Jangle Jungle: Totally Awesome 80's - E #AtoZChallenge 1982 - Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor; 2.)  My Ordinary Moments: Q is for Quaffing beer at a Quaint bar #AtoZChallenge ( “. . . we had decided to go to Tiger Hill

U is for — Uniform πŸ’‚ Blog of Author J Lenni Dorner: #atozchallenge U is for Uniquely, Unicorns, Ugly, Understanding, Unspeakable “Unicorns in Uniform” is part of a Phonics Readers series!


·                     V is for — Velvet 🧢

W is for — Whale 🐳 Gail M Baugniet - Author : Whale Migration Between Alaska and Hawaii #AtoZChallenge2021 (


X is for — X-ray 🦴1.) Fondlers Anonymous: X is not for Xpectations But It'll Have to Do ( no clever X word here. I could have done something about X-rated... or X-rays..(maybe a stretch, but I’ll take what I can find!); 2.) X is for X-rays – Anne Higa


·                     Y is for — Yellow  πŸ’›


Z is for — Zipper 🀐 1.) Chapters From My Life Find your X-factor, be Xtraordinar - XYZ is also a code for zipper down 2.) Z = Zipper / Fermeture Γ©clair 🀐 #AtoZchallenge 2021[Quilt] (


Mahalo and Aloha,



Sunday, May 2, 2021

ITS OWN PACE - Waka, a Japanese form of Poetry

Not lilacs, in this case, but lilac-colored bougainvillea
Its Own Pace

Nine, going on ten
With three months of summer, then
fifth grade at St. Luke’s

Reading assignments follow
Math class and Catechism

Ride your bike home; don’t
dilly-dally afterwards
or you’ll miss supper

Pies in the oven, chili
on the stove, wash your hands first

Please, thank you, and yes.
While lilacs bloom and grass grows,
hollows slowly fill

Moving forward, remember
your youth, forget the deep loss.

Most of my poems only bow politely to the renshi form of poetry. This poem is my attempt at the Japanese form of poetry known as waka, which is 3 lines of 17 syllables (5-7-5; this part later known as haiku) followed by two lines of 14 syllables (7-7).
The poem addresses a tragic situation in a young person’s life. The focus is on the coping mechanism of moving past the pain and incomprehensible nature of an unnatural occurrence. There are no parameters to restrict the types of tragedies that would cause such sorrow. To a child, delineations do not exist.
The hollowness that follows deep loss must fill slowly. Debilitating ache eases until only a dull throb persists as a reminder, often when one least expects the memory to rise. The challenge is to remember the goodness, the healthy body of youth, and endless possibilities of a hopeful future.
Being told to forget the deep loss does not mean to ignore the occurrence. Instead, allow the healing waters of time to gently flow through your mind, diluting pain and bitter sorrow along the way. Keep in mind, though, that poems do not offer advice. Rather, they draw from the reader’s own mind solutions already considered. In the peaceful atmosphere of quiet reading, it is possible to see solutions in a new light, and determine a course of action.