Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcome to Rush Week, and I Don't Belong to Any Sororities, My Friends

33º ~ coldest morning so far by my count, a high of only 45º on the horizon, then 50s for the rest of the week, still soggy from all the rain but only solid cloud cover today

The Arkansas River on a cloudy Thanksgiving in Little Rock

So, it is rush week for me and I'm not sure how much I'll be posting here, but I hope to be back on Friday with a draft.  We had my parents in town for Thanksgiving, which accounts for the absence of a draft this past week.  I've got an idea bubbling away about the sickly speaker.  Much of her story began with our cat, LouLou, and her incredibly difficult to diagnose disease, which involved fevers and lots of drawn blood.  So, while the sickly speaker is NOT LouLou, is in fact human and with a whole host of other issues, there's a particular procedure I'd like to use from LouLou's experience.  Shhhhhhh.  Don't jinx it.  Check back on Friday.

The rush of this week is that it is the last week of classes and next week = finals.  That means I'm about to be buried under a slew of papers, some already waiting for me to begin grading this morning.  There will also be one exam that needs to be written.  Unlike the end of the spring semester when the summer stretches out before me and I don't even think about the next semester's classes, at the end of the fall semester, I'm already preparing my January syllabi so that I can get a bit of my own personal work done over the "break."  That word is in quotes because there won't actually be a break.  I'll be working on classes, the reading series, and the journal throughout my time off.  I'm thankful to have a job doing something I enjoy doing and which I can often do in my pajamas in my home office.

As I rush off to work this morning, Dear Kangaroo Readers, I want to pass on this link from Tara Mae Mulroy's blog Poetry and Effrontery.  She offers some great advice about the submission process from not only the point of view of the writer but also the point of view of the editor, particularly the graduate student editor.  After over a decade of doing the business of submissions, I thought I had it all figured out.  Still, there is more to learn.  Two things that stuck out to me.  1) If you get a personal rejection that is unsigned, consider photocopying it and including it in your return submission, as most of the staff know each other's handwriting.  2) If you get a request to submit again, do so immediately.

I know I've heard that last one before but I guess I need to be hit over the head with a two by four to get there.  THANKS, TARA MAE!!!


Tawnysha Greene said...

Wow, what a great blog! Thanks for suggesting Tara Mae's site--she has excellent advice!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Tawnysha. Glad it helped.

Joannie said...

Thanks for posting! I like the idea of photocopying (when it's hard copy) a personalized rejection.

But I admit I still have a problem with the resubmit immediately advice--always wondering whether the editor means "in our next reading period." Yikes! Editors have so many poems to read already, I always try to (somewhat unsuccessfully) read between the lines for any specific timing guidance.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Joannie, I used to think 'resubmit' meant the next reading period as well. Of course, with grad student editors that doesn't guarantee a connection. Makes a bit more sense, maybe, to resubmit right away in that case.