Yesterday, I spent several intense hours with my weather manuscript, the title of which is now in shortened form: Such Weather as This. Here is a brief outline of those hours.
~ take current manuscript out of binder and toss on the futon
~ print any fairy tale poems I might consider including & toss on the futon
~ check on any random poems that don't fit the sickly speaker series that have not been included in the weather book previously, print a couple & toss on the futon
~ mix well (this was harder than I thought as papers like to stick together, esp. those that have been grouped in a binder for six months)
~ reform (hah! re-form?) poems into stacks of like-minded work
~ remember that all of the folks who have seen the manuscript have advocated a non-linear approach to themes and arcs, go for some "random" element to order
~ pause to take care of some laundry
~ get out the card table and begin re-grouping the poems, giving no thought to previous order (this was last part was easier than I thought, as I was able to ignore the page numbers already printed on certain poems more than I thought I would be able to)
~ become greatly frustrated with self for wanting to tell a linear story
~ weave in a few fairy tale poems but keep noticing how different they are in texture and tone, being that they are solidly narrative and the rest of the book is lyric
~ finally gather up the new order
~ pause to return to the laundry
~ return to desk and do a "save as" on the last version of the mss., creating the next version and inputting the results of my manual labor
~ copy, cut, & paste; copy, cut, & paste; repeat, repeat, repeat, & etc.
~ notice again how the fairy tale poems don't fit, except one -- "Midwest Nursery Tales," which is the most lyric of them all and the least reliant on the "Once upon a time" opening
~ abandon new version of file and go back to the one before
~ make toast with butter & peanut butter because that's how I like it and "gluttony" is my middle name
~ remove three poems that didn't make the cut during the "new order"
~ add "Midwest Nursery Tales"
~ move three existing poems around given what was learned from the "new order"
~ revise table of contents (something I always do by hand b/c it helps me see the order of the poems in the big picture)
~ print out new version of the version before the big shuffle and call it a day
~ reward self by going to neighborhood frou-frou salad & pizza restaurant & get a "Santa Fe" with extra dressing
|19th c. weather balloon, click for link|
So, today, I will prepare my packets for five publishers and send this chunk of poems out into the weather once again. Hopeful & pragmatic at the same time.