Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slog, slog, slog

Why did no one tell me how much paper work gets in the way of writing? I've spent hours today tracking poem titles from the various computer files where they end up, in theory a system that lets me know what's been where. Hah! Then there's the list of poems still out there in the big, bad world, waiting for someone to notice them. Or someone to take them out from under the wonky corner of her/his desk and say, "Oh, we got this submission a year ago. Too bad" and replace them with some other frustrated writer's pages. I've just queried eight editors who have held work for six months or more without a response. It takes a lot of teeth gritting to be polite, to avoid deletable expletives and judgmental comments about their ancestry.

No doubt about it, online submissions make life easier, cost less, and often get a much quicker response, but inevitably the day comes when the submissions notebook looks like a badger's nest and just has to be cleared, notes scribbled on each page of guidelines, lists of places that it's safe to approach again, lots of tea, much movement back and forth from the desk to the counter where I can spread out the papers. I'm not done yet. There are 22 potential markets on the safe list and I probably, between short fiction and poems, have enough material to send something to each one. Tomorrow is another day, which means writing another four pages of fresh material for the novel, rewriting the weekly poem for my online group, and drinking another gallon of tea. The romance of writing!

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