Saturday, October 29, 2011

Episode 1132: Putting Together A New Sequence

Earphones have been dispatched, so hopefully, I won't have to go the entirety of next week without being able to listen to my iPod. Anyway, I know I've said it before, but something happened today that's making me say it again. Sometimes, writers behave so unprofessionally to editors, it's baffling. Basically, I'm pretty sure that there's almost no chance another editor could have accepted the story in the 22 minutes it took me to read and reply to the submission (yes, I looked at the e-mail timestamps), which means it must have been a simultaneous submission to begin with. Except nowhere was that stated by the writer, despite my having made it very clear in my submission guidelines that anyone submitting has to tell me if the work is also being sent elsewhere. I suppose what I found less frustrating was the time wasted on formatting the piece for the site and more the writer's blithe response, which was to pretty much go, 'Oops! Another magazine wants this and I've said yes. I'll send you a replacement instead.' Seriously? Then why not just send me the 'replacement' in the first place?

In less frustrating news, I've undertaken to revise a substantial number of my poems. It's the first time I've actually gone through poems and pretty much rewritten them entirely, and it's because I'm trying to complete this unrhymed sonnet sequence that I started in 2008. It's about the seven deadly sins and the corresponding seven heavenly virtues. When I first wrote the sequence (which is technically still unfinished because I never wrote the last two sonnets), it was pretty flippant stuff. Looking at the poems now (one to three years later depending on where they are in the sequence), it's clear to me that more than half the time I was confecting lines just to finish the poem. Probably because the sequence was originally meant to be seven sonnets plus 14 half-sonnets, but I got tired of trying to write about being unadulteratedly good and decided 14 sonnets would have a better symmetry to them. In rewriting the sequence, I'm trying to give the two halves sort of their own overarching 'story'. It's worked out fairly well for the sins, and now I'm about to find out how the virtues fare.

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