Saturday, December 19, 2009

No Good Synonyms for "Blood"

44º and mostly sunny

After a shaky start to the day, I've had a great revision session this morning. I had a poem swap this past week that yielded wonderfully helpful comments, which is always exciting. However, today, I remembered the real work of revision. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Lots and lots of reading aloud. (The cats are no help here. They think I'm talking to them and that I actually want them to congregate on my desk. ~~ Printers are expensive cat toys!)

Several thoughts that occurred in the process:

1. I really, really wanted to "finish" these four poems. My friend provided such great insights into their strengths and weaknesses, surely I could figure out the "right" changes to make. No matter how much I believe that writing is a process, sometimes the idea of "product" takes over.

2. After tinkering and toying with each poem until it had been spun into something new (a true re-seeing of what I wanted each poem to be), I hit a wall. That's four walls this morning. I realized that at a certain point with each poem I couldn't go any farther. I had to put the poems down and let them rest/breathe/rise/age/whatever metaphor works for you. I didn't want to. I wanted to keep pushing each one, and yet, instinctively, I knew that to continue to mess with the poem would mean its downfall. (I am not a patient person...this pause in the process is hard for me.)

3. I did learn from the past (this last fall, when I ignored a good friend's comments and sent some ugly duckling poems out into the world), and I really opened myself to the criticism I wanted to resist.

4. There are no good synonyms for "blood," when you mean the bodily fluid that circulates in our veins.


SuziG said...

Sandy I don't know if you have any other languages, but that's where I go when I need a word and the English one doesn't feel right. Sangre is Spanish for blood btw.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Hey, Suzi! Thanks for posting this. It's a great idea. Hope you have a wonderful holiday break.

Sara said...

Sandy, it's nice to see how you do revisions. I'm in the middle of a pile of walls...I did a poem a day in September and have been doing a poem a week ever since, and now I've got a stack of drafts that just don't want to bend to my whims. It's nice to see someone else struggling this way. :)

Sandy Longhorn said...

Hi, Sara. Glad to know I'm not the only one. There's comfort in community. Good luck breaking down your walls!