Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Whatever Happened to that Weather Book?

75º ~ had to do a double-take before typing that temperature, highs topping out at 90/92, blessings

Longtime readers of the Kangaroo know that before I started on my fever journey, I had finished manuscript #2, the weather book.  The weather book has been a long, rambling journey without the direct focus of the narrative sequence of the fever.  The weather poems/elegies began in the long shadow of the publication of Blood Almanac and cover six or seven years.  The manuscript was once titled Glacial Elegies and then In a World Made of Such Weather as This.  Several great poet friends read the book in different incarnations and offered wise suggestions for strengthening, and the manuscript received several semi-finalist nods and a few finalist placements.  Still, no publication.

In the meantime, I also wrote a dozen prairie fairy tale poems, as well as a few autobiography/mapping poems.  These were just gathering dust on the desk once the sickly speaker took over and the fever poems became my focus.

So, yet another good poet-friend volunteered to take a look at the mss. and the tales/mapping poems and see if they belonged together.  I had a strong suspicion that they did, but since I was so focused on the sickly speaker, I hadn't sat down and reassessed.  Thanks to this poet-friend, the mss. has a new iteration and now includes the strongest of the tales/mapping poems and cut out just a few of the weaker weather poems. 

For the moment, I'm feeling positive about the changes.  Still, I need to sit with things for a bit and see what shakes out. I've also realized that with the new version, the weather title no longer really works, so I spent the morning brainstorming new possible titles.  One of the techniques I love to use for this is  On Wordle, you can input a text and the program creates a graphic based on frequency of word use.  Here is how the current version of the mss. looks.

Based on this, I was able to add four or five options to the title list I'd created by simply reading through the entire mss. and looking for lines that jumped out as titles.  I'll keep you all posted.

In the meantime, the fever book is "resting" until the weekend, when I hope to revise a few last poems and then give it a thorough going over, testing for weak spots.

This whole journey would not be possible without the strength & support I get from you all.  Ever thanks for reading! My poetry cup certainly does runneth over!


Tara Mae Mulroy said...

That word map totally seems like a psychological test! All the best to you and your book. Way to keep at it!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Oh completely. Doesn't it look like a shoe? :)

Kathleen said...

This is a cool development, with the book/s! Also, I love the wordle and how "wind" is aloft!

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, K. I agree on "wind."

drew said...

"Mother long dead" -- that'll reel me in -- and is surely one among many possibilities in that wordle mix-up. : )

Good to get the backstory on your poetic progress. I applaud your perseverance.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Drew, I hadn't seen that! :). Thanks.

Jessica Goodfellow said...

What a great too this word mapping is. Thanks for introducing me to wordle.

Sandy Longhorn said...

You're welcome, Jessica. I love Wordle!