I'm at Starbucks with G. She's journaling and I'm thinking about my manuscript and blogging. It's a nice day here in Denver, and I'm feeling more free than I have in decades!! It feels very good to not be under the stress I've been under for years. My initial social security claim was denied, but I have secured an attorney on contingency, which should help with the appeal. I'm feeling great peace and happiness, which I haven't felt in decades. Letting go of things has helped. I think the last time I felt this good, I was an undergraduate at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. I needed to work on myself and heal, and I have the opportunity to do so. Lots of good things are happening in my life.
My manuscript is coming along, slowly but surely. I think I'll send it back to the press this summer. I am hoping to speak with someone about it, but in the end I have to revise it to the best of my ability. I'm thinking of calling it "The Hunger of Forgetting" and getting rid of the Latin section titles. Then I'm thinking of going back to "Seven". I'm not sure if "Arc of the Sun" works. I am stewing about the manuscript, but it is time to let go of harsh thinking and critical self evaluation. I just want it to be a good book, and I'm kind of scared about what's in the manuscript as there are several poems about sexual abuse. I'm having to let go of academic pretenses that such poems aren't any good. Maybe what I write can help other women. Maybe it's just not a poet's poet kind of book. And that's okay, too.
I can't believe I'm still blogging when blogging is dead, but I am enjoying my life so much that I wish to share it with others.
I think I need to start writing a memoir, which will be very difficult, but I'm thinking it may be time to switch genres a bit. Yet the poems are here, staring at me, and I'm feeling awkward with them as they deal with a lot of personal pain, but I think such things are okay, so my uneasiness may be more about the content than weaknesses in the manuscript. Fact is, we have to have confidence in our work. It's been difficult to have confidence for me, but I am working on changing my way of thinking.
I do know that I won't be hurt as much as I was hurt when Pity the Drowned Horses came out in 2005. Fact is, it got some good reviews, and it holds forth in its strength. I was deeply hurt by the lack of publicity the book got, and I was foolish to believe others that they would support the publication of it, but I had been warned by others about that, so fact is, people aren't stupid. They know what's going on if they know anything about writing poems. Instead I watched others promote themselves to a point of hysteria, and their friends, and I know that the assumption is one must self promote, and I do with the blog and elsewhere, but in the end, I'm finding things work themselves out. But the book stands on its own. I think wildly hysterical self promotion can't replace good work habits of the artist/poet. One must, in the end, work on the poems, send them out and be persistent. And I am learning to let go some criticisms that are truly based on socio-economic class and the fact I am no longer working frees me up to do what needs to be done.
I was taken aback in 2005, when the person who said he'd promote the book spent an extraordinary amount of his time promoting his own book. It stung, but now I am recognizing that if one puts out quality work it holds forth, goes the distance without too much self-promotion. It surpasses the lackluster work and stands the test of time. It has endurance or longevity, and in the end, it doesn't disappoint. So, it's okay that I'm staying with the second manuscript for a while, letting it set and preserve in quality.
I'll still publish "Seven" or "The Hunger of Forgetting," or "Arc of the Sun," but I feel myself leaning towards memoir a bit. We'll see. But the key is to believe in yourself, even when others are self-promoting like crazy; it's more important to simply keep writing, which gets hard at times. But as my mama says, "what goes around, comes around."
Time for me to get back to work.
In any case, publish your work and be persistent in sending it out. In the end, one is respected for the work itself, and all the power-trading, tit for tat goes nowhere if the book is weak. I feel better, and I guess I'm trying to think aloud in order to problem solve and avoid disappointment over the second one. I most certainly won't be expecting anything from it. It is what it is. I want to be happy, and it's more important to just be and let go of wounds. Past wounds can fester years later, and we misplace our rage, or misdirect our anger. Hopefully the second book will be a kind of healing or cleansing of that past pain, which was and is wrapped up with the past traumas we have.
Well, I should just wrap this long thing up! All in all, I hope the improve the manuscript immensely in a few short months.