Sunday, January 1, 2012

Making Up with the Old Manuscript

54º ~ sun fighting through overcast skies now and then, keeping the faith, a slight breeze, bright orange-red berries on the bush outside the window

Two weeks ago, you all saw me through the messy mess of the manuscript blues, as I detailed here.  THANK YOU!  After days of eating, napping, & watching Law & Order, and after hearing about my dad's improvements post-surgery, I was feeling more in the mood today to take a look at the book again, with all that wonderful advice simmering beneath the surface.  Oh Happy Day, the book and I made up!  I did take out two poems that I had stuck in there the last go 'round, but other than that, I didn't mess with it.  I actually read it through and remembered why I loved the poems before.  Yay!

Some thoughts, especially for those who left comments and sent emails.

In the past, I have sent the manuscript out to several trusted readers, and they made great suggestions about re-ordering things (you know who you are and you know that I am deeply grateful!).  The book went through a major re-ordering for the 2010 - 2011 season of submissions.  That's when it got great responses after an initial tepid year. 

In the late summer of 2011, I tinkered with the ordering again and began sending out what I call version 7 in August of 2011.  What strikes me about this is that I've only heard back from three of the 15 publishers to whom it was submitted (yes, I'm submitting more widely this year, as I'm either terrible at market research or this book is not a niche fit).  So, my frustration and whining from two weeks ago may have been a bit, ahem, premature to say the least.  One should at least give the folks some time before leaping to the conclusion that the book sucks, right?  Impatience has been one of my personal gremlins from day one...just ask my mom!  In any case, I'm laughing at myself a bit for throwing my fit in December. 

Switching tracks, one of the suggestions that came up was changing the title.  As some of you know, I've been firmly attached to In a World Made of Such Weather as This for quite some time.  Several knowledgeable folks have suggested tightening it or changing it.  Today, I'm fooling around with Worlds Made of Such Weather as This, which only lops off two syllables, but it's a start.  I do worry that the same readers might get the book this year who read it last year under the same title and chuck it aside b/c they rejected it last year.  This would mean, they wouldn't see the re-ordering and the addition of a few new poems and the subtraction of a few older ones.  (I know the odds of this may be a bit low, but it's still something that worries me.)

In the end, I'm feeling much better about the book and so, so grateful to have such a wonderful support system out there to prop me up when I start to falter.  You all are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.  I send you endless thanks and a photo of a channel along the Arkansas River.  Rivers are the epitome of revision and patience, and they make me happy in all their various forms.


Tawnysha Greene said...

I like the new name for the manuscript! I think the more concise title does a lot. Crossing my fingers for you that 2012 is your best year yet for writing!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Tawnysha. I appreciate the input.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the update and the calm river channel.

As for title, how about:

Such Weather
Such Weather as This

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Kathleen. I've been mulling over that second suggestion, too. I'll mark you down for that one. :)