This is probably bad netiquette, but I'm just going to use an excerpt from an email I wrote this morning to recap the weekend. My excuse? My fingers are tired from having to write all my drafts in longhand. I may even have a little blister.
My weekend was wonderful...I don't generally produce anything worth keeping at workshops, (I need more solitude to write) but I do come away with a great deal of energy. When you think about it, writing poetry is a little (a lot!) insane. Not many people bang their head against a wall over articles: A door or The door? All that time and energy writing poems, full well knowing they'll have a limited readership and sealing that knowledge with a guarantee of no financial reward (most of the time anyway)...so, it was good to be around 150 other insane people for four days. *lol* I met a lot of very cool/interesting people and reconnected with some old friends. I definitely had a great time.
[end of excerpt]
What I came home to:
- A clean house.
- J. still on his schedule.
- J's new word: Eagles ("Go Eagles").
- T's acceptance letter to prep school!!! (600 applicants, 150 acceptances. This is a huge accomplishment on his part. Now our huge accomplishment will be figuring out a way to pay the tuition.)
- One of those sustaining rejections (an oxymoron to anyone who is not a writer) of a version of my manuscript. The kind that makes you think you're onto something even though it wasn't accepted, also the kind that encourages you to continue the submission process.
I say a version of the book because I've had so much conflicting advice on how to arrange a manuscript--some say load the front with the strongest poems, give a taste of what's to come, throw in some heavy hitters at the end. Others say it's best to have a polished and 'finished' theme. In light of all that, I’ve had three versions circulating since May--this recent rejection came after 7 months so it’s the first version I sent out. I lost the original (64 pages) in the Computer Crash of Fall '04. The second version circulating has the same arrangement, but it’s tighter (from 64 pages to 50 pages.) The most recent version is arranged thematically and heavily revised (about a dozen poems removed and replaced with others). I wonder if it will receive different comments? I do hope that if a publisher likes a collection of poems that may need (to their eye) help with the arrangment they would pick it up anyway, but there's no way of knowing, right? I'll just keep my fingers crossed.