Tag Archives: poet

THE PLANETS: a scifaiku poetry collection by Wendy Van Camp


THE PLANETS: a scifaiku poetry collection
written and illustrated by Wendy Van Camp

The planets have fascinated humanity since the dawn of time. We’ve looked up into the heavens and wondered what these wandering stars are and why they are different from their more stationary cousins. In modern times, humans have sent probes to all the planets in our solar system, sending back tantalizing views from faraway worlds. The planets are woven into our culture and history. They are signposts of our journey ahead.

This collection of 108 science fiction haiku poems (scifaiku) will take you on a journey of exploration showcasing tiny moments of wonder with each of the planets of our solar system.


The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection nominated for Elgin Award

The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection is nominated for the 2020 Elgin Award

It is with great pleasure that I announce that my first poetry collection has been nominated for an Elgin Award! This is an award given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association for the best poetry book of the previous two years.  It is an honor to be nominated this year.

Winning an Elgin has been a dream of mine for as long as I’ve been a poet. If you are a member of SFPA, there is a PDF of my book available to you to view on site. I hope you’ll consider “The Planets” as you make your determination of which books to vote for in 2020.

The book is available at all major online book retailers including AMAZON

Haiku Finds Wabi Sabi by Marjorie Miles

A Haiku paints a word picture. It is simple in form – three lines, the first containing five syllables, the second, seven, and the third, five, for a total of 17 syllables. But there is nothing simple about a Haiku’s power to capture the heart of your life experiences.

I was in the last phase of cancer treatment when I heard the Voice for the first time. While awaiting the arrival of the radiologist, I closed my eyes. That’s when I heard, the command.

“You need to write a poem!”

Without missing a beat, the same Voice insisted, “And it needs to be a Haiku!

On a small scrap of paper, I wrote the following:

Radiation! Zap!
Search and find the mutant cells

As I re-read what I had written, my hands involuntarily clapped when I reached the word, “gone”. Then, a quiet calm permeated my being, along with a certainty that I would survive.

That night my husband, Ben, suggested I challenge myself to write five a day. And so began my haiku writing practice…

I was grateful to begin a new story. Having pushed past surgery, chemo, and radiation, a new hair color, and a new “normal”, I was ready to start a new story.

After years of neglect and silence—thanks to my haiku writing routine—my poetry Muse, and I had been happily reunited.

About a year later, I heard the Voice again! It said, “Start a Writer’s Group to support individuals whose words and stories need to be heard”.I didn’t have a clue how to accomplish this. However, during a sleep dream, I received a guided meditation to invoke the Muse and guidance to use the images, symbols, and feelings that surfaced as writing prompts.

So, began “Writing with Your Dream Muse” classes, and we are still writing today…

Life was good. I finished writing my book, “Healing Haikus”—A Poetic Prescription for Surviving Cancer”, and was the contributing author to five other books.

I was beginning my fifth-year cancer-free. Once you have heard the words, “You are cancer-free”, you think the “scare” is over. However, some stories have a sequel.

Mine does and it begins, “You have a recurrence”.

I continued my daily poem-making…

I had just completed my latest CT scan, and I was looking forward to the weekend.

The telephone rang.

The voice of my oncologist cried with urgency into the telephone, “Get Marjorie to the Emergency Room! It’s in her brain!

Fear gripped me. The next chapter in my continuing story would be a game-changer!

And it was…

The last entry in my haiku journal before my brain surgery was July 17, 2015

Cancer in my brain
You slipped by the barrier
Back into my life

The following day, I underwent brain surgery to remove one large and three smaller cancerous tumors. While recovering, my intestines perforated, and I required an emergency colostomy.

Life’s crescendos come
Quietly as a sunset
Dipped in marmalade

Despite the odds against my survival, I did!

I am a miracle!

I needed—more than ever—to write again.

At the same time, I was learning to wear a colostomy pouch, I needed to adjust to my new “compromised” brain.

My precious communication skills forever changed! How cruel to return my Muse to me… Damaged!

However, the most painful and serious deficit I encountered was difficulty in writing. Writing and haiku connected me to my Muse and to all my important relationships. Sending even a text or a simple email can be excruciating. Words come out scrambled. My ability to express myself on paper is severely hampered. Writing for long periods can leave me cranky, tired, and disoriented.

Yet, I NEED to write a daily haiku.

Invisible ink
Where I look to retrieve words
That are still hiding

I was struggling with my conflicted feelings about what cancer had taken from my life, and gratitude for being alive. I decided to write everything I was feeling…raw and uncensored.

Tears flow today for
What was and what might have been
Grief robs gratitude

I wrote furiously until I finally exhausted all the anger and frustration I had been holding inside.

Then, something magical happened.

For the first time, I saw my cross-outs, squiggles, write overs, BIG LETTERS, and small letters as ART!

Letters and words swerve
On road maps of consciousness
From an artist’s hand

Through several thwarted attempts to write a “perfect” haiku, I was astonished that my frustration and my pain could be transformed…into art.

Writing haiku has given me a different lens in which to view the world—one that is much rosier.

When I learned about the Japanese art and philosophy called, Wabi Sabi, a way of life that focuses on finding beauty the within the imperfections and impermanence of life, I decided that I was a Wabi Sabi Practitioner,

Words tumbled wounded
Bleeding blessings from poems
Created to Heal

My next chapter, Wabi Sabi Haiku Word Art, has already started…

Dr. Marjorie Miles is a best-selling Amazon author and Wabi-Sabi Haiku Word Artist. She fulfills her passion for creative expression as a writer, dream worker, poet, and speaker. Her miracle-filled life includes living beyond lung cancer, brain cancer, and a life-saving colostomy.

She facilitates monthly “Writing with Your Muse” groups, offering inspiration and guidance to aspiring authors. Her uplifting memoir, Healing Haikus: A Poetic Prescription for Surviving Cancer, demonstrates the powerful effect of creative expression on healing.

Incurable romantics, she and her husband exchange original poems they create each morning. His are rhyming poems, and hers are haikus.

Author Interview: Michelle E Lowe

It is always a pleasure to feature local authors on my blog. I ran into Author Michelle E Lowe at WonderCon and thought she had a beautiful booth. Naturally, I had to invite her for an interview. Please welcome this steampunk author extraordinaire to No Wasted Ink.

Author Michelle E LoweMy name is Michelle E. Lowe. I’m Georgia born native who has spent most my life near the Atlanta area before pulling up stakes and moving clear across the country with husband, Ben, and our two daughters. History piques my interests, especially European history. I’m a big nerd at heart. I love reading science-fiction and fantasy stories, and I enjoy old B horror films. I also get a kick out of playing classic Atari video games and I oil paint as a hobby.

I’m a daydreamer and animal lover. I have a very old kitty named October, and one very demanding guinea pig. I took up writing as a serious career choice twenty years ago, learning a lot and sharpening my skills along the way.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written small stuff throughout my life. Short stories, poems, things like that. When I was nineteen and in college for graphic design, I was alone, grieving in my dorm room. I’d just lost my older brother, Jimmy, in a motorcycle accident. To occupy my mind, I decided to write out this story that had been playing around inside my head for a while, and once I started, I couldn’t stop! I swear, it happened in a snap. As hokey as it sounds, in a split second I’d found my calling. I like to think Jimmy was telling me something.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I received my first positive review for my book, The Warning. Writing a book and putting it out there is a huge accomplishment. And while we go through the process of writing and publishing, we don’t know whether all our hard work will be well received by readers or not. We don’t even know if we know what we’re doing! Then something happens. Someone you’ve never met has not only read your book but has posted a glowing review. After I began receiving positive reviews for my books, it got me thinking that, hey, maybe I do know what I’m doing.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

Legacy-The Reunion is the second installment to my steampunk/fantasy series. It basically picks up where the first book leaves off, but with a completely different storyline. In this story, Pierce Landcross discovers that his long-lost parents are imprisoned in Newgate Prison and goes in to rescue them. He soon finds out that there has been an inheritance left to the family and when Pierce goes to the lawyer to collect it, he discovers that in order to claim the fortune, he must first follow a series of clue throughout the Netherlands to its location. Pierce is also accompanied by a beautiful and clever young woman, Taisia Kuzentsov, and together they seek out the loot. Their quest isn’t without risk. A dangerous bounty hunter who has his eye on the inheritance and on the price on Landcross’s head is tailing them, waiting for the right time to act.

What inspired you to write this book?

The Legacy series as a whole was something I wanted to get into because steampunk seemed like a creative and exciting genre to write. What truly inspired me, though, was the characters. I had a whole host of characters in my head and I had no real place to put them until I decided to make a go at steampunk writing.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I like a story that keeps moving, so I write in a fast-paced manner that keeps readers engaged and entertained. I like my writing style to be meaningful and even thoughtful, but also fun and enticing.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

Legacy has to do with characters and how they’re related to one another, even one character who has lived a former life. Legacy-The Reunion pretty much means a reunion of characters.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There is a certain message that is woven into these books. In elementary school, my class once played this game where a teacher told one student a short story in secret and then that student had to whisper it in the ear of another student and then that student would whisper it, and so on. When the last student was asked to recite the story told to them, it was a completely different tale then what the teacher said. As a story goes on they begin taking on other versions, which in most cases is harmless, but for others, it can be deadly.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Not really, no. I wish I lived an adventurous life like my characters, but alas, I’m merely a storyteller, locked in a dark room all day. 😉

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I do read a lot. It’s hard for me to say who is has influenced me more, considering that I read different books from different authors. I’m a great admirer of Neil Gaiman’s style of writing. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a teenager, reading his Sandman graphic novel series. I also enjoy Anne Rice’s work and her beautiful ways of describing her characters and the world in which they live in. Chris Wooding’s work is something I’m very fond of. His world-building skills are something I’m truly jealous of. That man knows how to write fun and exciting stories made for television, and who also has a great knack at bringing the reader right into the world he has created.

If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?

Catherine Rudy. You may know her, but I would choose her as a mentor because she was my mentor. She runs a nonprofit online writer’s workshop class called Wolf Pirate that I was fortunate to find many years ago. She allowed me into her program and helped me learn how to write! Before, I was just telling a story, but she taught me the rules of writing and because of her and Wolf Pirate, I’m the writer that I am today.

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

With the first Legacy book, my publisher designed it. Now that I’m moving forward as an independent writer, I’m doing it all on my own. For the second, Legacy-The Reunion, I did the artwork. I was nervous about doing so, for I read how frowned upon it is for writers to make their own covers, but it actually turned out pretty well I think.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I once read that you can make anything by writing. And it’s true! Writing opens minds, introduces new perspectives, and brings people into worlds they never knew existed. Writing is an art form that is beautiful, tragic, complex, stunning and horrifying. My best advice for writers is to develop a thick skin. Take constructive criticism with a grain of salt and learn from what others tell you. Trust me, you’ll grow as an author that way. And read! Read! Read! Read! When a writer is reading, it’s different from non-writers. We’re not just reading, we’re studying! We’re finding out new ways to describe things, broadening our vocabulary, and learning how these other authors thread their stories together. Whatever genre you write, reading will help significantly when you put your own pen to paper. Don’t concern yourself about getting that first rough draft just right, either. First drafts are meant to be free spirits and very ugly ones too. You only need to get your story out of your head and onto paper or in a Word document. Worry about making it look pretty later during editing. And don’t rush. It’s so easy nowadays to toss out stories for the whole world to see. Yet the ease to publish shouldn’t mean that the art of writing needs to be forgotten or ignored. It doesn’t matter how good the story is, if readers are distracted by poor writing and grammar flaws, you’ll lose them quick!

All in all, read more, write with passion, but edit with care and devotion toward the craft, and learn from others. Most of all, write what you love.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! Thanks for taking the chance on a little ol’ unknown writer like me when you decided to read my books.

Legacy the reunion front book coverMichelle E. Lowe
Lake Forest, CA





Legacy-The Reunion

Publisher: Nordland Publishing 




Scifaiku: Wendy Van Camp Published in Far Horizons Magazine

Far Horizons Cover february-2018


Far Horizons Magazine publishes my (4) poem scifaiku poetry series “Energy of Mars” in their 2018 February Issue. The magazine features science fiction, fantasy and horror stories and poetry and is free to read online. This issue is in cooperation with the small press: Grimbold Books. Come check it out!