Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Good News Email Strikes Again

88 deg ~ full sun, almost no breeze at all

Last night saw the good news email striking again.  Glass: A Journal of Poetry accepted the poem "Flood Plain."  What's interesting is that this is the one poem that I attempted to write to fill a spot in my current manuscript.  I've written on this blog in the past about being in awe of people who can write toward a project or know that they need four more poems for this section and 2 for that.  In any case, this is a poem that I felt I needed to write for a section of my manuscript to be complete, but it has not come easily.  I've always loved the poem, but I kept fiddling with it over the last two years, knowing something wasn't quite right.  Luckily, Holly Burnside and Anthony Frame, the editors of Glass, put their fingers right on the problem and suggested a revision that does wonders for the poem.  Once again, I am indebted to the heroic actions of underpaid and underpraised editors who do what they do simply for the sake of poetry.

Way back in the day when I first started submitting, there were very few, if any, journals that did business by email.  Instead, everything was stuffing envelopes and paying postage and watching the mailbox.  Part of this pattern meant that acceptances and rejections arrived at a certain time of the day that was fairly reliable.  A poet could gird herself for the thin envelope of rejection and do a little dance of joy when a fat letter arrived with a contract inside.  Now, emails arrive at any time of day or night, and while I'm happy to have the news in a more timely fashion and without the payment of postage, a small part of me misses those expectation-filled walks to the mailbox as fewer and fewer journals send word by post any longer.

At this point, I have the fewest poems in the past three years out in circulation.  Luckily, this is because many of them were accepted, although few were sidelined along the way...benchwarmers waiting for me to take another look and see if I can get them fit enough for the first string.  This is all the incentive I need to head into my revision process on the drafts I completed just recently.

10 comments:

Suzanne said...

Yay!

Nancy Devine said...

the shift from mostly snail mail to email submissions has changed a lot for me. still, it seems that rejections often arrive in trios on Mondays. ;)

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Suzanne.

Nancy, yes cleaning out inboxes seems to be a Monday thing.

Jessie Carty said...

Congrats on the acceptance!

My publisher wanted me to put 16 more poems into my manuscript after it was accepted. Trying to figure out where I needed to put new poems in was so hard! I don't know how people tell exactly where the holes are :)

mariegauthier said...

Congratulations! Isn't it wonderful when editors truly edit?

Sandy Longhorn said...

Jessie, I hear you! I had to remove two (those were easily agreed on) and add six with Blood Almanac!

Marie, I love it when editors add their experience to the mix.

Anne said...

congrats!

SarahJane said...

Congrats, Sandy!
I was thinking about editor requests for revisions the other day (because I had one), but I've never had an editor actually suggest what to do! They've always pointed out the line or segment that bothers them and just asked for a new version. I usually give it a shot, only twice have I said no (and they took the poems anyway).

Quintilian B. Nasty said...

Congrats, Sandy.

In the end, you may find those benchwarmers are some of your best players, sort of like how Tyler Colvin should be starting every flippin' day.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Y'all.

Sarah, knock on wood, I have to say that I haven't had any bad experiences, either.

Q: I love Tyler Colvin!