Friday, July 11, 2008

Glacial Progress, 2nd Installment

It's been about a month since I posted news of Glacial Elegies. When working on Blood Almanac, I kept all the poems in a simple file folder, which presented problems when I tried to look at the sequence and shuffled the poems unknowingly or when I knocked the folder off my desk every other day. Wednesday, I did the same with my folder for GE. Suddenly, it struck me...get a three-ringed binder. Not sure why I was so slow to think about using some kind of binder, but there you go. For me, going to any office supply store can be a dangerous outing. I've never been a fashion horse, but just set me loose in a room of paper, post-its, pens, binders, & etc., and I can quickly lose all sense of my budget.

In any case, I found a three-ringed binder with a colorful pattern of blues, purples, and greens. I'm usually quite practical about these things and just get the black or white binder; however, there's something earthy about this design, and it caught my eye. I spent yesterday printing up all of the poems I'd previously organized in my GE folder. (Last month, I laid out all the poems on the wonderful 8 ft. conference table my husband had the good sense to buy. I got down the basic order for the poems and some sense of the section breaks.) After printing the poems, I punched the holes and loaded them into the binder. It's much more organized than the folder; I can flip through the poems more easily, and I get a better "feel" for the book. It might seem new-agey/touchy-feely, but loose pages are harder for me to imagine as a book.

What surprised me is that I have more than met the minimum number of pages (usually 48) that most presses require. When I was working on the first book, it felt like pulling teeth to get to the minimum, and even then, Anhinga asked for more poems before publishing the book. In this go around, I guess I held back from envisioning the entire manuscript. Perhaps having the first book out there gave me some breathing room to just let the poems happen.

Now, I have the luxury of removing a few of the poems that might not fit and spending the next 6 weeks thinking about and crafting a few poems that I think need to be in the book. There are a couple of angles regarding death & mourning that I haven't covered yet that I'd like to explore. At the moment, I'm feeling really good about meeting my first deadlines for submission, which begin at the end of September. I'm sure the book will continue to evolve, but the basic structure is there, and that is satisfying enough for now.


Megan Chapman said...

Can't wait for the new book. See you sometime in July.

Megan Chapman said...

Oh, these comments are from SEAN!

Sandy Longhorn said...


Thanks for relaying the comments. Sean,

Let us know when you can get together.