#Tanka 33 — Light and Shadow (plus some scintillating “shades of”)

In June meadow land,
she meets her silly shadow
and it makes her laugh.
Winter’s black dog locked in cage;
birds, bees, butterflies abound.


I dedicate this tanka poem to my shadow, which needs locking up in a cage permanently, if it can’t behave itself.

Last week, I reached the conclusion that I was flogging a dead horse with the juvenile fiction market; I just don’t write the type of novel that appeals to contemporary children or young adults. Okay, full stop and amen to that.

Fast forward to this week, by which time my shadow had convinced me that I should give up novel-writing altogether.

On Monday morning, I went to check the results of the First Three Pages of a Novel Competition in The University of Winchester Writers’ Festival. As I scrolled down the page in search of them, my shadow said, “You’re deluded if you expect to find your name there, considering you’re probably up against brilliant writers, including MA creative writing students.” Then I read this…

Highly Commended: ‘Counting Magpies’ – Sarah Potter

To my utter amazement, I had reached the top six with the opening pages and synopsis of my adult speculative fiction novel. But it gets better, because in the reviewer feedback, amid some wonderfully encouraging comments, it said the magic words

…shades of Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman.

Well, those are some “shades” I can deal with; the sun has definitely got his hat on and is coming out to play.

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

16 thoughts on “#Tanka 33 — Light and Shadow (plus some scintillating “shades of”)”

  1. From where I sit, some 6,000 miles away, that shadow is huge, and it is attached to a fine writer, and a finer person, and I’m damned proud to know it/her. 🙂 Congratulations once more, Sarah! I’m proud of you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw this quote today that said something along the lines of how we believe in Santa but not ourselves and it is true. BUT far better to be like that than full of yourself xxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What an absolutely thrilling and deserved win dearest Sarah – and it is a win! Just at the right time, just what you needed before your shadow took over all together. Your marvellous Tanka is one for me too…that black dog has been nipping at my heels for too long. I got my feedback and was greatly encouraged by it, will share more on that with you later 🙂 The sun has got his hat on and he wants to dance and sing and make merry with you my dear friend! ❤ xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dearest Sherri 🙂
      Ooooo, I will look forward to hearing about your feedback, and am glad that it was encouraging.
      The sun hasn’t got his hat on today, here. It’s grey, misty, and raining, so we will have to dance in the rain with our wellies on and our umbrellas up, just like in the old movie xxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Many congratulations Sarah, I’m very pleased for you, it’s great news and great feedback. I know that shadow well – in the space of a couple of weeks I’ve had a story published but my novel was rejected by an agent. It’s easy sometimes to think it would be nice to just stop trying! I hope that encourages you to get Counting Magpies out there one way or another!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, so much, Andrea 🙂 The whole literary agent and publisher thing is a sort of Catch 22 situation. I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that being signed up by an agent is as hard (if not harder) than getting a publisher, but unfortunately more and more publishers are using agents as their gatekeepers. At the moment, I’ve submitted to a small publisher who has a good track record with non-fiction and has just branched out into fiction, specifically speculative fiction. Whether I’ll get anywhere, who knows? I suppose I ought to try a few agents, too, but am just winding myself up into a state of optimism first (a heavy winch required!). I have great faith in your writing, Andrea, so just keep trying and I’ll let you know if I hear of any open submission windows at publishers who mostly keep their windows firmly closed!

      Liked by 1 person

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