My 100 Days of Haiku


I did it! My first-ever “100 Days” project. I was inspired by someone else’s 100 days of haiku and decided to give it a try. I set a few guidelines for myself:

  • Write about something that happened that day
  • Post every day, no skipping days

I’m pretty happy with how I did. There was only one day that I missed on accident. I’m surprised it didn’t happen more often. During the first week, I was so worried that I wouldn’t think of anything to write about, I got over excited and posted more than one per day! Then I fell into a pattern of waiting until the end of the day to write the haiku, so that I could review the day and pick a topic. This often slid into, “Boy I’m tired, time for bed, oh wait…. Aaack, the haiku!”


Day 85

For a creative medium, I’m glad I picked haiku. It was different from the drawing and painting I’d been immersed in previously. I can’t imagine doing one whole Zentangle per day, it would take me too long. A haiku can be completed in just a few minutes. Using the Notegraphy and Font Studio apps for styles, background art, and photo overlays was fun. And I mostly enjoyed the challenge of trying to fit a thought into the 5-7-5 syllable pattern. It’s similar to trying to fit into 140 characters on Twitter.


Day 32

I definitely hit a laggy period, especially around the 80-day mark. I don’t remember why. Was it that life was uneventful? Or had I gotten tired of the practice?

It was fun to share! Knowing that I would post these publicly, I worked to anonymize some situations. A few haikus that got the most response seemed to be inspired when I had a bee in my bonnet, haha!


Day 99

As day 100 approached, I wondered if I’d miss writing a haiku every day. I can’t say that I miss it. It felt interruptive and stilted at times when I noticed an experience I wanted to share, and I had to stop and mentally save it to see how I could massage it into the 5-7-5 pattern. I prefer to just let the expression flow. But it’s still fun to create haikus. Here’s an experience I had the other day, a funny photo and riff on a song title. I realized a few minutes later, it was a haiku that wrote itself!


If you’d like to visit my 100 Days of Haiku, plus a few extras, you can see them all here.

Why I Don’t Like Gamification

Originally posted elsewhere in October 2012. Thank you to Timehop for resurfacing it. Still as true for me today as ever.

The other day, I tweeted this:

Do X years of experience make you an expert? Is your whole reputation reflected in # of status points? This is why I don’t like gamification.

Here’s the story behind the tweet:

The customer community that I manage has a built-in status points system (we use Jive). Status points are earned by different activities done in the community, such as posting documents or having an answer you provide marked as “correct” or “helpful”. Different status levels, from “Getting started” to “Super Cyberhero”, are reached as more points are earned.

An employee who is a community member emailed me to request:

My status level is at Level Two out of Five and I’m not able to change it. This can be misleading to customers who may not know who I am, and who may judge my expertise based on my status level. Can you override the point system and update my status to the highest level? This will give them more trust in my expertise.

My response to this has two parts: one part technology, and one part earned trust.

On the technology side, the status level graphic can be replaced with another graphic, such as “Employee”. This is something we have considered implementing, but haven’t done so.
Pro: This would clearly mark which community members are company employees.
Con: The indicator of how many points an employee has earned would be removed.

Which brings me to earned trust. Even if I *could* override the earned status points* and change the person’s status to the highest level, I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. Should I update his status to “Expert”? I don’t know – *is* he an expert? I don’t feel qualified to make that designation. Does having built a product make you an expert on it? Maybe…. or maybe not. Should all employees be marked as Experts? Probably not. Then how would we decide who is, or who isn’t, an Expert? Who would decide?

The points system reflects a member’s *actual* activity in the community. Points are earned when content is contributed, and when other members provide recognition. I think it would be appropriate to mark employee profiles with a graphic in addition to reflecting the points earned. To simply change the status to the highest level would be more misleading – it would imply that the member was more active in the community than he actually is.

Maybe I am biased. I don’t consider myself a gamer, and am not particularly motivated by points and badges. I do understand that game mechanics can provide excellent support for desired behaviors, such as healthy eating or getting household chores done. My favorite gamification success story is Speed Camera Lottery: instead of just penalizing speeders, the camera captures drivers who obey the speed limit and rewards them with the potential to win cash (funded by the speeding ticket fines). Brilliant! This is a game I can get behind!

But racking up numbers just for the sake of numbers – number of LinkedIn connections, Facebook ‘like’s, badges – seems to be missing meaning. What is the desired behavior that is being supported? Or, whose desired behaviors?

And to elevate a member’s status points so that his contributions will be more accepted or respected… sorry, no can do. Those points – that trust – must be earned.

* I’m sure the points can be overriden. Thank you in advance if you want to teach me how. But I’m not interested in going there.

Sharing. It works!!

The other day, I re-shared a Tiny Buddha post about respecting and accepting our own desires and intuitions. I’ve been doing a lot more consuming and re-sharing these days, rather than blogging, and I’d been questioning the value. Seeing myself referenced here in my friend Tracy’s “Less is More” post was a total surprise. Thank you, Tracy, for reaffirming that sharing works. Sharing can help others in ways that we can’t predict or imagine. ❤


lessAfter a stint of furious blogging (well, for me anyway), I’ve been finding it hard to do a post at all. I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. I’ve heard it argued that if you give yourself the goal of posting once a week, you’ll find something to say. But I’ve watched others who make it a regular habit, and I would have to say that not everything they post really needed to be said. Maybe for them it did – I guess I shouldn’t really judge their efforts. But for me, I want whatever I write to be worthwhile. I don’t want to create a post just because I promised myself I would.

Yes, there is something to be said for consistency of timing. I would prefer to be known for consistency of (or at least above average) quality. I hope to limit the number of times…

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On Learning To Love Offensively (For Those Weary From The Fight)


I especially love “I no longer allow myself to be burdened with those who see me as an enemy. Their perceptions are formed from a distance anyway, and so I simply refuse to be defined by them. The more you know who you are, the less threatened you are when someone attacks you and the less interested you are in attacking back.

I am not very concerned with convincing others to agree with me either. I simply speak my heart clearly and continually and unwaveringly, trusting that those whose hearts echo mine will come alongside me.”

john pavlovitz

Person in field

This is getting simpler.

I’ve recently found a clearing of sorts; a place where my mind and my spirit are finding peace and rest no matter how loud and ugly things get—though it wasn’t always this way.

For a long time I let the angry, mean-spirited, violent noise get the best of me. That happens to so many good people out here trying to change things, trying to care about stuff that matters, trying to help build the world they wish to see.

Spend enough time in the thick of the fight and you become conditioned to it, poisoned by its cynicism and contempt, hardened by its continual cruelty. Face the world in a battle posture long enough and you lose the ability to live any other way.

Too many people can only function if they have a villain to war with, a cause to rail against, an evil to condemn.

I’m conscientiously objecting to that fruitless war these days…

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Somewhere After The Rainbow (Moving Beyond Profile Pics)

After the events of the past week in the US – the marriage equality ruling and the Charleston hate crime – I have been wondering what can *I* personally do to help effect positive change. This is new territory for me. I’m grateful for Pastor John Pavlovitz’s suggestion:

“Laws and amendments and judicial rulings can change policy, but only relationships can alter people. I’m inviting those with rainbow profile photos (and those who echo their sentiments) to engage those of differing opinions, who are willing to have a conversation; not a public, passive-aggressive volleying of Scripture quotes and personal jabs and article shares, but an honest, open, fully vulnerable exchange.

That’s the only way we move forward from here, the only way we can fashion something deeper and more lasting and more worthy of co-owning.”

john pavlovitz

Rainbow Heart

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Marriage finally came down last week—and both Hell and Heaven broke loose, depending on your perspective.

Exhilaration soon followed for those seeing this as a long overdue victory for civil marital equality, while outrage reigned for religious folks believing it to be the final nail in the coffin of Biblical Matrimony.

And there was of course, a flurry of sentiments from both sides on social media; effusive celebration and grief-laden hand wringing flying in as fast as your browser could refresh.

Yet nothing in all of those eloquent words from either side, spoke as clearly and loudly as the brilliant prismatic display of love and affirmation found in the rainbow profile photos now dominating timelines worldwide. That’s been the most visible, most revelatory element of the past week, with over 26 million people already choosing to “Amen” the Supreme Court’s decision using their own images.

Perhaps the most telling aspect, is that these multicolored flags haven’t just been flown by the LGBT…

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One More Rainbow

Image source: @BarackObama

Image source: @BarackObama

I felt so much joy seeing all the rainbows filling up my Internet feeds today. I clicked “like” on the news stories and expressions of joy and support for marriage equality. At first, I didn’t re-share any of the stories or images. Sometimes I’ll re-share a news story in order to get the word out, in case someone might have missed the news. In this case, I seriously doubted anyone had missed this news, regardless of their opinion on the issue. I also felt that, because “likes” are visible, people following me could – and would – see that I was “liking” the news of today’s ruling. I thought, “Do people really need to see one more rainbow, supplied by me?”

And then I remembered something I read a few days ago, related to the Charleston hate crime and the continued work we as a society need to do to fight racism. Karen Walrond invites us to Say Something:

…if you truly want to fight racism, then please, speak out against racism.  Make it clear, in your own words — not just retweeting or resharing the words of Jon Stewart or someone else — tell folks how you feel.  Take a stand, for heaven’s sake.  (But then, after you’ve done that, do freely share articles and posts and links to organizations that fight racism. Amplify, amplify, amplify. Because frankly, those of us who are of colour need white voices to help amplify the cause.)

After remembering Karen’s words, I did make a start by re-sharing a rainbow image celebrating marriage equality. But I realized that my own words were missing. Here they are:

I am so happy that the freedom to marry* is now legal for same-sex couples across the nation! I have seen the hurtful effects of discrimination of all kinds – individual, legal, and institutionalized. I have often wondered, lamented, and felt hopeless about the possibility of change. Today’s ruling shows that change CAN happen. It is proof of hopefulness and perseverance in the face of hate, exclusion, and daunting odds. 

And I can hear the mental tapes of my childhood upbringing saying, “Don’t post a rainbow online! What if someone targets you?” To those voices, I say, “Just think if I were gay. Would you still tell me to hide?”

Time to celebrate!!
#lovewins #marriageequality #NOH8 #chooselove #onefamily #diversity #inclusion

*Great post here on the difference between “right to marry” and “freedom to exercise that right”

Image credit: @BarackObama

Art: Seeds of Love


My final watercolor class is tomorrow. We’ll be exchanging Seeds of Love (mini mandalas). Here are mine. We only need to bring one, but I needed more than one attempt to create something gift-worthy! The upper right one won’t be gifted, it’s a hot, orange mess! I’m happiest with the bottom two.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking this six-week class from Michele Faia and happily recommend her!

Updated: Ready for tomorrow!