Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chapbook, First Draft Complete

89º ~ some huge puffy clouds, but not enough to dim the sun or the heat, restless breezes, lung smothering humidity

For those keeping track of our cat crisis, Lou-Lou has shown a positive response to treatment and we are breathing a bit easier here at the house of the kangaroo.  This has allowed me to think more about poetry.  Whew.

This morning, I've spent several hours going over all the poems I thought might make it into the chapbook I'm working on and then establishing an order to the poems that made it in.  The main set of poems are the fairy / cautionary tales I've been writing about an unnamed Midwestern girl, with a big emphasis on coming-of-age themes and the threats that those from outside the Midwest might not think about when picturing a pastoral landscape.

That was a mouthful.

I've added to those poems to flesh out the book and to provide some changes of pace between tales.  I added the three haibun that I wrote in May and June.  While these do not fall directly into the tale trope, I think that they provide interesting texture and background.  I also included one older poem that I hadn't seen as a direct member of the tales, but on hindsight might just be the sparking moment of the whole series, "Requiem for the Girl with Sparrow Wings for a Heart."  This poems is in the current issue of diode if you'd like to take a look.  (Here's the original blog entry on the process of writing the poem, although this one is one of my most heavily revised poems to date.)

For now, the collection is called Midwestern Nursery Tales.  I've fooled around with six or seven different titles and may or may not keep this one.

Thanks to for the image
Once I got everything in order in the Word file and had typed up the front matter, the real fun began.  For the life of me, I could not figure out how to get the page numbers to stop showing up on the front matter.  After agonizing hours (well, probably 20 minutes), I remembered that I'd printed the instructions out some time in the past.  I found those instructions and they didn't work!  I've upgraded to Word 2008, and things are different.  Microsoft gets negative points for me in the "Help" category.  It took me far too long to abandon the "Help" function within the program and actually switch to the web.  Duh.  I found the new procedure in a snap and, finally, finally, I got the pages sorted out.  These are the things we forget to mention when we talk about needing writing time.  

All told, I'm at 20 poems and 21 pages, which means I can start sending the manuscript out soon.  I want to let it rest a bit and check the ordering of the poems again.  I also need to research chapbook publishers more thoroughly.

Pudding House
Main Street Rag
Dancing Girl Press
Finishing Line Press
Black Lawrence Press
Poetry Society of America
Seven Kitchens Press
Dream Horse Press

Anywhere else I should look?


Kathleen said...

So exciting--the chapbook. So glad--the cat! List looks good. I can't figure out that page number thing I will try your method of checking the web for help!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Kathleen.

Here's the link:

fourth one down on the list

Karen J. Weyant said...

Caketrain (does a contest -- but wants longer works)

Cooper Dillon (Deadline coming soon?)

Concrete Wolf

Good luck1 (And glad to hear that Lou-Lou is doing better)

Supervillainess said...

You should also check out Concrete Wolf. They do beautiful work! fl

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Karen and Jeannine.

Nancy Devine said...

so glad Lou-Lou is improving.

Tawnysha Greene said...

So glad the kitty is doing better! And congrats on the chapbook! It sounds like an amazing collection!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Nancy & Tawnysha!

Kristin said...

Hurrah for a chapbook! I can hardly wait to read it!!!

I enter the Concrete Wolf Press contest most years, partly because I like their books and entrants get a winning copy.

If your chapbook is still available next spring/summer, qarrtsiluni, one of my favorite online journals, has done a chapbook contest for the past several years--reasonable entrance fee and copy of the winning book (although this year, it's a free download, not a paper copy, alas).

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Kristin. All of these leads are most welcome!