Thursday, January 19, 2012

Forced Break

I am on a mini hiatus in my classroom.  The students i have now have already taken their final, and I have a strict policy of grading exams in front of students of the same or like subject class.  As all I have for grading is the same kind of test these kids have already taken, I am not grading right now.  With that in mind, I am taking a little time to work on my Springville project.  Here are the stats so far:

I have 22 poems written for the book.  This may sound like a lot, but every time I write a poem or two, I keep expanding my scope, realizing that if I am going to write the book I want written, I am going to be in the high 90+ page count before I am finished.  And with my need to over-write in order to have the strongest manuscript possible, I am looking at a lot more writing ahead of me.  The more I write and the wider my scope becomes, the more research I have to do.  Whenever I research, I widen my scope and write more.  A vicious circle.  

Another issue is I have envisioned a three part manuscript, and I have started to put new poems in their appropriate place, but the more I look at it, the more I keep thinking I am writing primarily for the first section, and none of what I want to come for the other sections is getting written.  That might be normal, but I suspect I am fighting for a non-sectioned book again, and all of the section two and three poems are meant to be a part of a different manuscript.  My evidence? 15 of the poems go in the first section, and almost all of the other poems can be a strong part of the manuscript if I went the way of having no sections.

I am here to tell you something you already know: Any writing is good writing, and any writing is better than no writing.  What remains to be learned is what one does with that writing.  Michael Meyerhofer's little essays on the matter are among my favorite.  He always puts writing in a great perspective.  I am using one of his latest essays in my Honor's course, as part of their semester final exam.  I want them to concentrate on the subject of revision and crafting their writing as opposed to simply doing it once and walking away.  I will be sure to let you know how I think they did answering to that question.

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I am waiting for my proofs for my latest chapbook, Friday in the Republic of Me.  I have a few edits to make, but I am really anxious to see what the cover looks like.  I have also decided to buy green pens to be shipped with the book as it sells.  I am going to sign the book with green ink and send a pen.  I think I will also be designing little cards to go with the book as ephemera.  It went over really well with my last book, and I want to make sure people buy books from Foothills.  They need the money. 

I am, for the publicity, considering doing a subversive giveaway, too.  I want to find people willing to sneakily give my book away to unsuspecting people.  Keep that in mind.  If you are willing to give away the book in a surreptitious way and write about it, let me know.

There are other things I want to do, but those ideas aren't as well formed, so you will have to wait to see any of those.

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The saga of my trying to give my hometown library a copy of my book is ongoing.  So far I have twice spoken to librarians about donating my book.  All I asked was that they notify me if the book was placed in the permanent collection or if they decided to sell it as part of their continual silent auction.  Never mind the librarian at my first meeting with her told me she would have to read it to make certain it was an "appropriate" addition.  Never mind that the book is about the very town for which the library serves.  At my second meeting all of the key people were on vacation, but it has been a month since that meeting and I still have heard nothing.  I will tell you this:  I will gladly match up the politics and dirty pool activities of any small town with any national election campaign.

More from the other side of the culture warp when I have time.

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