Old Moon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Have a Look!

I'm an aspiring poet. I've just followed up on one of my favorite websites, How a Poem Happens. It's rare to find anyone who can be interviewed about his or her work who is so articulate about it. What Joel Brauer has to say about the creation of a poem is not only instructive for poets, but for any writer. This may be illegal--to rave about another blog--but darn it, when something is that good, people need to be told!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out of the Blue

I often take a few seconds to read my horoscope as I reach the final pages of the paper. Now comes the news that for believers in astrology the world is forever changed, thanks to the science of astronomy, among others. Three different horoscopes of late for Virgos have suggested unexpected sources for professional advancement. As always, I folded the newspaper and took it to the recycling bin.

Then I got a phone call. I'd received a very nice rejection to a query I'd sent a small publisher. As I'm wont to do, I had responded to it with some kind of thanks. There had been almost three months between the sending of my letter and sample and the rejection note. A phone call from that publisher was certainly nothing I was expecting. The conversation took place on speaker, presumably so other(s) in her office could hear the lady in question and me talking.

You know how occasionally you meet someone that you know is on the same wavelength, who seems to give off those "vibes" that promise you can understand each other. This auditory meeting was like that. Without going into the details, I'll just say that I hung up feeling as though I might have made the acquaintance of someone who could become a friend.

After I agreed to send the complete manuscript she asked for, I tried to pull together my scattered thoughts. I already knew from their website that they offer "services" of various kinds to writers, not just the possibility of publication. While I await a response to the whole novel from the editors who are reading it now, I have to decide how to receive any advice they may offer short of a total refusal. They know the book has already undergone a professional edit, but if they think it has possibilities for publication, they will ask me to pay for advice and instruction. Do they really think the book is worth the effort and expense of publication because it could be profitable to them? Or are they interested only in gaining the income writers can provide to their book doctors? Two editors who will presumably decide have already sent humorous and welcoming notes.

As the king of Siam kept repeating in the musical, "'Tis a puzzlement." So now I have to sit around while they presumably read my novel and either decide to forget the whole thing, or to offer me for a price something to salvage it--and of course, with no guarantees for either of us. Such a temptation.

I wonder whether my sign would now be Leo or Libra--and if it would make any difference anyway.

P.S.: I see the debunkers are now being debunked. The Zodiac is still in control as it has been for millennia--or is it?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Slow to Learn

I've never been much of a one to go in for New Year's resolutions. I guess that's because I realize how much I lack in the way of self-discipline. Like a superstitious ignoramus, I secretly feel that if I don't put intentions into words, no one (including me) will notice when I fail to bring them to fruition. This post is, therefore, a daunting thing. Maybe I'm just superstitious, but already the results are beginning to make themselves visible, and it's not a comfortable feeling.

For some time of late I've thought of trying to write ...a memoir...an autobiography...an extended journal...? Anyway, something to leave behind. For whom? Well, maybe for my children and grandchildren, probably not for strangers, but maybe that decision will have to wait until I've finished.

What is most difficult to manage, I find, is the gradually but rapidly increasing awareness of my lack of awareness. As I've begun what may turn out to be rather a lot of pages, every incident or period I recall and think to mention brings home to me how little I understood about it or about the people involved (again, including me) at the time, and I've only produced about 8 or 9 single-spaced pages of references for a skeleton.

It took me about 9 months to produce the first drafts of my novels. The more formative, important, interesting things I haven't got to yet, even as a list! Big question for 2011 is: will I be able to finish a project like this?