I consider writing fiction a form of advanced puzzle solving involving creating characters who because of their nature experience conflict and work their way through it in the manner of the plot. This is not the only consideration I put into creating stories and I have written at length elsewhere on this blog about my ideas on creating stories.

To warm up to written word play and problem solving, I like to write poetry. I work on having more words convey more, have more muscle, by seeing what works in poetry. Sometimes I write haiku, other times sonnets or sestinas. Another form to just exercise verbal dexterity is the cinquain.

A cinquain is a short poem consisting of five, usually unrhymed lines containing, respectively, two, four, six, eight, and two syllables.

Here are a couple of my attempts at playing with cinquains:



of ice, playing


Enslaved to the giant planet.







Red dust

blowing over

canal etched arid plains

pocked by cold, dark impact craters.