Today I went through the 73 poems and noted this: 9 published, 34 that feel complete and 30 that need revision. Ah, 30. That is a bit more than I had hoped, but some of these only need work on the titles and/or the endings (my two really HUGE weak points). I also have about 6 possible titles to play with right now and a few ideas about what I would do if I ended up sectioning the thesis, but we shall see.
Of the poems I don’t have submitted I found 14 that were either in the need work or complete pile that I need to either send out this week and/or revise.
I still have a lot of work to do.
I’m still worried I’m not really writing anything new and/or of merit if I do scribble down a few things.
I think I’d feel more self-assured about this whole process if I could get one of my two chapbooks that are already circulating accepted for publication.
I know I should chill, part of the whole point of the theis process is that I get to have it read in detail by my advisor and then a revised version read by two readers. But I want them to see a good product, ya know?
Might take off tomorrow since hubby is home. But that needs to be the last day. September is a busy poetry month!
Last night I manged to go through all my poems: published (the small pile) and unpublished and I made a list of anything was strong and/or that I wanted in my thesis.
So I’m editting this post as I go through the day and I’m terrible at math! I spent this morning writing the titles of all the poems I noted as possible thesis poems onto some old business cards I had (instead of taking all the poems to photocopy and or pulling 100 documents or something to print individual poems from!).
Well update from 1pm. I just went thru all the “strong” and “weak” poems and I was able to pull most of the ones that are in my two chapbooks but I am going to use a few, or potentially I am going to use a few. I now have 75 poems that I need to compile into a txt document and then print. It is going to be a bit time consuming to do so on the laptop but it needs to be done so I have a good current copy of each piece.
At 7:30 I finally finished putting all the poems into a document. When I printed it out I had 73 poems and a title page (with several possible titles and some notes to myself). I know that not all the poems will make it into the thesis but I am really happy with where I stand, even with the few poems I am using from my chapbooks that just themeatically work. I still have several problem pieces and by problems it is either 1-good but maybe not for this book 2-good idea but poor execution.
Don’t think I’m going to work on it more tonight. Plan for tomorrow will be to go through the thesis and mark which poems have been published and the ones that I feel are “done” (at least done until my advisor reads it!) and that will help me determine which ones still need revision. If a lot of poems still need revision then I won’t decide on an order for the thesis but instead I’ll let September focus on revision and revisit final order in October.
Also on a good note, I made a pretty wandering draft of my first poem since 8-19 so that felt pretty good as well!
Now time to relax with a book
Received two rejections slips in the mail. One was kind of annoying–my SASE looked like it had been doodled on by a child but there was nothing inside except the poems. No -sorry these didn’t work, don’t let the poetic door hit you in the ass– nothing. I had to go back to my list of where I sent poems to see who i had sent it to. A well known journal who has had the poems since April. I was unimpressed and don’t think I’ll bother to send to them again.
The other rejection was a typical one. Ah well. I am hoping to get another set of poems out. I have 3 poems in a drafted email to an online journal but I’m reading thru the rest of the revisions I typed up this week. I have actually retired quite a few. I think I’m getting a little poetry burn out. I want to start something new but I have so many projects that need to have their fair day finished. Maybe working on my thesis this weekend will give me that love (or at least like) of my own words again
Read thru my first set of comments from my workshop leader for this last session. More good info and more good book suggestions! Now if I didn’t have a nice big fat headache (I went off my anti-inflammation diet for a day and here is the result) and if I hadn’t had to sit in traffic just to pick up some particularly locally famous fried chicken for dinner I’d be even better.
But it is Friday. I have Price’s Chicken Cook Fried Chicken. Has to bode well for the weekend, doesn’t it?
Either this weekend or Monday the thesis is gonna get another review. This time I’m going to go through all my poems that are out to magazines, all my published pieces and the poems still pending (in that order of groups) and then list them as poems to consider for the thesis.
From there I plan to start looking, again, for connections and individual poem integrity. I hope to find a good solid group. I already know that the last teardown was good but not complete because I have at least two “topics” that I don’t think flesh well into the rest of the poems that could make up this collection. That, perhaps, will have a place in some other collection and/or chapbook.
I’m looking forward to revisiting all these poems I have out there submitted and to look at my published pieces again. I think I know the central “theme” of this collection but the question is now going to be whether or not there will be enough poems for a book length collection. So many publishers are looking for closer to 60 pages and I have a feeling I’ll be well closer to the 50 mark.
Wish me luck!
Here is where I babble through a blog because I was in a bit of a hurry and wish I was going to have more time by myself this weekend so it is a littler bit better. But oh well, it is still a fun question.
How do you know when you have found a book that you will go back to again and again?
Side note one of my chapbooks Fat Girl was a semifinalist in the Spring Black River Chapbook Competition. I’ll get you next year!
It has been raining all day here in Charlotte which made me a bum, but a busy bum as I helped my youngest sister look at a house she and her fiance might be buying (in my own neighborhood no less) and then still tried to fit in all my normal activities. Have a feeling this week is getting away from me since I also know I am volunteering tomorrow afternoon and then I have some other outside of the home things Thursday and through the weekend. Will I ever get caught up?
Still in the planning stages on the writing workshops. I have a lot of great ideas but I’m not hearing back from the most recent locations I contacted. The earliest date I can get at the Rec Center closest to me isn’t until the end of October and I have to go there and pay the amount before I can reserve it which means I could drive all the way there and then the room already be booked *sigh*.
I also did some more searching and applying for tutoring jobs. I might try putting my info up on Craig’s List again, although last time I didn’t get ANY response at all, but maybe I was too early for people in Charlotte discovering Craig’s List?
Need to get some stuff caught up and get to the post office to send out a lit mag submission, a chapbook contest and an entry into an anthology contest. And with all that my numbers grow but still NO rejection notices in at least a week!
Even after I went thru and reduced the amount of things I was doing online, and dropped working on fiction and non-fiction for the time being, I still feel overwhelmed!
Last week I didn’t even get a chance to finish all the housecleaning and I really haven’t started this week well for that either!
But I am getting some poetry submissions ready, I have picked poems to revise this week and at least I took out the garbage and did the laundry.
To try and help I’m even dropping another website I go to regularly and only checking in with my other sites once during the day after I’ve finished working on my other major items. Will that be enough?
On a side note, I got my first “ink” ever (email ink) on a short story I had submitted. That made me pretty happy especially since it was the last one I sent out back in February when I decided to stop working on non-fiction and fiction for a while. Well, I tried to work on non-fiction again in July but I found I had too much poetry to work on.
Oh well–on ward!