These long, unplanned days are such a delight. It always takes me a wile to get used to them again, but when I do, I revel. However, I still know myself well enough to know that I need to start the day at my desk or any writing/reading work will remain undone.
Today, I started by reading the manuscript of a poetry friend. She emailed last week, knowing I'd been struggling with mine, and suggested a swap. Woo Hoo! With Blood Almanac, I had my thesis comments, but the book grew and changed in the year or two after that, and I never thought to ask anyone else to read it. Now that I've grown to know more poets and have grown in my own confidence, it seems a natural thing to share.
So, this morning began immersed in someone else's writing. This manuscript is powerful and brave and will soon find a home so I can brag on it. The poet is a poet of place, so we have that in common; however, her place is vastly different than mine. It was amazing to sink into someone else's roots and now to have the chance to offer comments on strengthening the book. How lucky am I?
I was able to see several poems in ways I hadn't seen them before. I found new subtleties to exploit, new weaknesses to cull. I have to confess, Dear Reader, the last few visits with these drafts have been dreary. I've been afraid that they were all rotten to the core and had no hope of recovery. Today, while I could see the changes I wanted to make, I didn't feel so badly about the poems. That was a good feeling. I've learned, a bit, to simply close the folder when the negative voices encroach too far. I'm glad I was able to stifle them today.
And now, I'll wish you all a Happy Holiday! C. and I will be spending time with family and friends for the next bit of time. I hope you all are safe and sound and surrounded by love. As ever, thank you for reading.