Old Pond Comics

Seabeck Haiku Getaway 2017 (Seabeck, WA)house


The Seabeck Haiku Getaway took place October 26-29, 2017.

The theme of the conference was: Taste.

The schedule included many workshops, writing sessions and crafts such as etegami and kite-making, writing sessions.

As cartoonist-in-residence, I drew comics during the event and presented them on the last day of the conference.

Quick links:apple

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 |

The road to Seabeck | Shark in the lagoon | Seabeck Conference Centre

Name tag | Shark in the lagoon | Scott Mason | Kite making | Talent Show | Kukai | fog | fog rainbow |

Etegami | Cathedral in the Wood | Anonymous haiku workshop |

Meditation | Group Photo |


The road to Seabeck

Seven women drove from Vancouver, B.C. to Seabeck, Washington in a rented van: Lynn Jambor (our excellent driver), Terry Ann Carter, Vicki McCullough, Jacquie Pearce, Julie Emerson, Elena de Sousa.


Waiting for the Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry



Ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend


Seabeck Historical Inn


Angela Terry was on the porch distributing the registration package. It was a beautiful day.


orange tree

The Historic Inn was cozy with fireplace on.


Outside the convenient store across the strees, pumkins were awaiting carving.

pumpkins pumpkins

Seabeck Haiku Getaway 2017

Day 1 - Thursday October 26, 2017

All activites took place in this building.

seabeck conference centre

Name tags

Participants created their own name tag. My reversible namegag featured a Pacific Northwest frog design and Japane rubber stamps on the other side.


7 p.m. After some problems with the projector, the conference began with introduction by Michael Dylan Welch, and a game of haiku bingo.

Seabeck haiku getaway 2017 Michael


Michael selected the Bolero of Ravel as the theme song for the conference. He showed us the final scene of the movie Les Uns et les autres by Claude Lelouch featuring the bolero. The music got stuck in our head for the rest of the conference..

Guest speaker Scott Mason read haiku.

Seabeck Haiku Getaway 2017 schedule Scott Mason

An amazing reading/performance of'Tokaido' by Terry Ann Carter.

Terry Ann Carter Terry Ann Carter


Day 2 - Friday October 27, 2017


I walked to the waterfront to see the sunrise.

seabeck sign sunrisemountaing sunriseleaf shells



When I reached the dock of the swimming beach, I saw a V in the water and a fin sticking out of the water! There's a shark in the lagoon! Tanya McDonald told me it's a mud shark. It's about 1 meter long, but still... A shark!

When I got closer, I saw there were actually two sharks in the water.


Conference - Day 2

In his workshop “Haiku Is _______”, Michael Dylan Welch invited participants to fill in the blank. At the end of the workshop, he drew a huge X on the board, challenging the definition of haiku.

Michelle Schaefer made us laugh by introducing her writing workshop about “Unsavory Characters” with a funny commercial featuring naughtyraccoons. The haiku written during the workshop were funny, disgusting, and unusual. You can write haiku about everything!


Sumi-e and Haiga Exhibit

sumie exhibit sumie exhibit


Exhibit of sumi-e paintings by Darlene Dihel

Etegami Postcard Painting Workshop

The workshop was led by Darlene Dihel, assisted by Dorothy Matthews and Melinda Brottem

Darlene Dihel introduced us to etegami, a painted greeting given to familyon friends for New Year's. You hold your brush really high, and move slowly. It creates squiggly lines. In etegami, the clumsier it looks, the better, says the teacher.

Everybody was excited to try. We were given four watercolour paint (yellow, blue, red, black) in a recycled CD case.

The teacher provided drawings of pumpkins, apples, grapes, wine glasses for reference. Even though we all used the same image, the results are different.

Here's a pumpkin by Michael Dylan Welch and a bullfrog by John Stevenson.


Dinning hall

dinning hall dinning hall

Elehna de Sousa presented photos of food to inspire us to write taste haiku.


Kathabela Wilson introduced us to her “Family Stew”, with flute music by Rick Wilson.

Ruth Marcus encouraged us to write haiku to her beautiful mandala in her workshop “Ekphrastic Mandala Haiku”

She distributed postcards featuring her mandala so we can write our haiku underneath.


Reading in Cathedral in the Woods

At 2 p.m. we walked to the Cathedral in the Woods for an outdoor reading.


The program started with a participatory reading of poems from The Wonder Code. Participants were handed out color-coded cards and invited to read poems.


Then, Elena de Sousa read from various publications, and ended with a reading of a rengay written with Michael Dylan Welch.

Nicholas Klacsanzky gave an emotional reading from “Zen and Son”. His book features haiku by his father George Klacsanzky as well as his own haiku written in response to his father's.


Julie EmersonDavid Berger, and Jacquie Pearce read their Plums kasen renku 


David Berger introduced us to the buried treasures of Hood Canal: razor clams.

Clam digging is a family activity.On low tide, everybody goes on the beach to dig for clams with shovels or tubes. If you see bubbles on the surface of the water, it means there's a clam buried in the sand. It's called a Clam Show.



In the mid-afternoon, I skip some sessions to explore the grounds of the Seabeck Conference Centre. There's lots to do at Seabeck: bouncy bridge, peace pole, totem pole, fairy garden, rabid woolf, lagoon mud shark, cathedral in the wood, waterfront, cemetery, coffee shop, braille map, tree house, sundial.

explore board

Bouncy Bridge

Bouncing bridge at Seabeck

Tree house

tree house

Rabid Woolf

This Halloween decoration freaked out lots of people with its realistice features. Tanya McDonald and Michelle Shaefer were brave enough to go visit it at night.

Seabeck Conference Centre

house mushroom orange treelagoon

Aroun 6 p.m. I saw the half moon. A perfect half moon, halfway through the conference.


Haiku Kite Making

Haiku kite-making workshop by James Rodriguez


Hao Shen

Visiting mathematician Hao Shen gave a talk about “Mathematical Thoughts in Ancient Chinese Poems” The crowd enjoyed hearing him read poems in Chinese, especially Basho's haiku 'Old Pond'.

Anonymous workshop

At 9 p.m. Susan Constable led the first anonymous haiku workshop. Participants placed their haiku in a snake basket.

Susan Constable snake

Movie night

At 10 p.m., we watched a short film about homeless baseball player featuring a haiku by Michael Dylan Welch.



Various - Day 2



Saturday October 28, 2017

Conference - Day 3

Collective Meditation

At 7:30 p.m., before breakfast, about 10 people met for a early morning meditation led by Nicholas Klacsanzky

sunrisemeditation cartoon

Morning fog

Around 10 a.m. I took a walk in the woods to experience the fog.

Because of the frog droplets, the morning sun rays were visible through the trees.

sun rays trees fog rainbow

At 10:50 a.m., there was a spectacular fog rainbow in Hood Canal. I lasts about 20 minutes.

boat fog rainbow seabeck WAfog rainbow seabeck fog rainbow seabeck WA


Porad Haiku Award

award Terry Ann Carter

Announcement of the 2017 Porad Haiku Award results by Richard Tice (contest coordinator) and Terry Ann Carter (contest judge), with flute music by James Rodriguez.

Group Photo

I took a selfie while the photographer was setting up for the group photo.

group photo Seabeck haiku Getaway 2017

Angela Terry led “A Taste of Haiku” experiential writing workshop. She gave us a ziploc bag containing 2 baby carrots and four packets of 'taste': vinegar, salt, sugar, hot sauce. We tasted each flavor and wrote haiku. We discovered vinegar tastes really good with carrots.

Angela Terry packets


For the Kukai, participants submitted poems written at or about Seabeck or recent poems about autumn subjects. We selected our 7 favorite poems.


“Personal Taste in Haiku” panel discussion featuring Terry Ann CarterScott Mason, John Stevenson, and Michael Dylan Welch

panel seabeck



Talent show

Host Michael Dylan Welch wore asquid hat to introduce the performances: music, dance, poems, and even a joke by John Stevenson.  

michael dylan welch with squid hat at Seabeck 2017 talent show talent show seabeck 2017


Sunday October 29, 2017

Conference - Day 4

Outside the convenience store, the pumpkins were now carved.

carved pumpkins

On the final day of the conference, participants sat in a circle to share their favorite moment of the conference. I presented 14 comics I created during the conference.

Guest speaker Scott Mason was given a book signed by all participants of the conference.

Scott Mason

After lunch, it was time to leave Seabeck. What an amazing conference!



Fog on the ferry

As soon as the ferry left the coast, we were surrounded by a blanket of fog.

ferry mountain fog

The fog on the ferry.

sun in fog

waiting at the border,

sunset sunset



Thanks to the organizers of the Seabeck haiku Getaway 2017for a fabulous conference!



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