I'm Learnding!

Today brings me one poem closer to manuscript completion, which is, you know, a good thing. A couple of items of interest/concern, however:

1. Today I wrote some lines that actually scared me. A little. I don't want to be too dramatic about it, so maybe, instead, let's say that I was exceedingly uncomfortable with those lines. Now, I've been in enough writing classes to know that those kinds of lines are usually the ones where you're taking risks, and usually risk = good & praiseworthy & character-building if nothing else. Well, I'm not so sure that applies to me here -- in fact, I'm sure it doesn't. These lines could turn out to be perfect crap by the time I reread them tomorrow (or this evening, more likely, 'cause I'm kinda obsessive like that). And there's a good chance they are crap -- they won't just magically turn into it!

Anyway, my concern, or interest, is in the fear/uneasiness. I think that I was uneasy with what I was trying to say. (Whether or not I actually did say it is what I was debating above.) I haven't experienced this kind of reaction to my own writing before. I think. (My mushy mom-brain is quite good at erasing unpleasant experiences. I'm about three evolutionary steps from a goldfish.)

Anyway, again, I'm not sure I like the experience, to tell you the truth. Which may be a giant blinking sign from the cosmos indicating that I'm not cut out for this poetry thang.

2. What was number 2? Oh yeah -- so for a while I've been saving drafts of my poems into separate folders for each section of the manuscript, but I've also made a document where I've begun to layout or arrange the manuscript. The first section -- the sow poems -- is complete, more or less. Maybe some minor tweaking here or there. But pretty much done. The second section is reserved for the fairytale poem. The third section consists of, you guessed it, the myth poems (Wait, how could you guess? Have I mentioned the myth poems before?) and these are being added as I go along (against my better judgement, as they're all early drafts and will probably be revised intensely in the spring. Probably. I mean, it'd be nice to say they're perfect but that's most likely not the case, eh?).

So . . . right now, the document stands at 40 pages. There are about seven pages of frontmatter and section dividers, so we're really at 33 pages of poetry. That should be pretty satisfying, right? It is, for the most part. I mean, it's better than the 19 pages with which I began my sabbatical, right?

ANYWAY . . . 33 pages is good, but most book publishers require a minimum of 48 for a full-length collection. I'm a long way from 38 at this point, let alone 48. And even if I stop worrying about page requirements, which I should, because they have nothing to do with the actual content of the book, I look at the two partially-written later sections of my manuscript and know that I have a long way to go before the fairytale's narrative is complete and before I have an inkling of what I'm trying to say with these myth poems.

3. It's November. Where is my freaking play?

4. It's November. Why haven't I finished reading the blank verse book? Why haven't I read half of the things I said I was going to read? I know I've read a lot of stuff I didn't say I was going to read.

November is going to be a grueling month, I can tell. I have a slew of doctor's appointments lined up for myself and the children -- all routine, all of which could have been scheduled in September or October -- and apparently, our school district has decided it doesn't really wanna work in November, because Little Miss Talkalot's gonna be home for about half of the month between some bullshit Superintendent's Day (I soooooo wanted to write "Supernintendo Day"), Veterans' Day (totally NOT bullshit) and an equally bullshit run of THREE HALF DAYS OF PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES.


I am hereby resolving that, while September and October were indeed productive in various ways, November is going to kick those other months in the ass.

I'm going to finish this manuscript by November 30.

Crap. Did I really just write that?


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