Writing

I’ve been writing a lot of poetry this month–inspired by Barbara Rollins’ Facebook publications of NaHaiWriMo poetry.

Some are haiku.

Some are quick, rhythm based songs.

Some are alliterative artistry.

Some are hints, unfermented in the casks of my mind.

Many of them are very good, but except for “Tumbleweed Wrangler” I have no idea where I would send any of them.

Relief… Satisfaction.

I had a chapter turned in this summer for a book which was turned down wholesale. I thought I had gotten it just right, but I missed the audience (1 of the 3), and so the time was potentially wasted. This caused me a bit of depression and frustration, since I did spend a lot of time on the work and it was very important to me.

So when I had another chapter due, I hemmed and hawed and didn’t get around to it. Then I realized it wasn’t due in two weeks, like I thought, but two days… So it ended up being late. However, they were very gracious about it being late and said I could take till when I thought it was due (the 15th) to finish.

I emailed it to the editors last night. I also sent a note saying, “Did I do this right? Was it supposed to be like this? Did you want something else? If this is not what you needed, let me know.”

Both the editors have already written back (less than 12 hours after I sent it) and said it is overall wonderful and that I did far more than they expected. Now, there still may be minor changes, and I hope that will be as painless as the answers to the questions indicated, but, WHOO HOO!

I am going to have a chapter in a major academic press.

Of course, it’s not in my field at all. It’s in my undergraduate major and my father’s hobby area (and part of one of mine- holiday history), but not in my field. I don’t care, though! I have a chapter in a major academic press. Or I will come Dec. 2012.

If you know the name of the book, it’s already out on Amazon in the UK.

Amazing.

It will also count towards tenure, which is very cool.

Thank you, God. Thank you, God. Thank you, God.

Song from God

In the shadow of the cross, I leave my fear and woe.
In the radiance of his love, I let my anger go.
He is my Savior. He rescues me. He is my lord for eternity.
He is my shepherd. He comforts me. He is my love for eternity.

In the shelter of his wings I come his love/my lord to know.
Even when I feel alone, I trust it isn’t so.

I’ve already lost the lines with XXXs. Hopefully the Holy Spirit will give them back. And he did.

He is my Savior. He rescues me. He is my lord for eternity.
He is my shepherd. He comforts me. He is my love for eternity.
I have his love for…
I am his love for eternity.

In the shadow of your cross, I leave my fear and woe.
In the radiance of your love, I let my anger go.
You are my savior. You rescue me. You are my lord for eternity.
You are my shepherd. You comfort me. You are my love for eternity.
In the shelter of your wings I come your love to know.
Even when I feel alone, I trust it isn’t so.
You are my savior. You rescue me. You are my lord for eternity.
You are my shepherd. You comfort me. You are my love for eternity.
You are my love for…
I know your love for…
I have your love for….
I am your love for eternity.

My Poem

I have been working for three or so hours each over the last two days to create audio and a video of a poem I wrote for National Poetry Month. TYCA is having a contest, which was supposed to be finished. But they did not get sufficient entries, so they solicited more. I hope that I get mine in before they have enough.

It looks amazing, even if it’s me who says it. I used iMovie to put the pictures together. It was different, trying to learn it. It didn’t take much time, but I don’t think it is really intuitive.

I am THRILLED with how my poem ended up looking and sounding. I bought pictures from istockphoto.com to make the video. I think that one or two more pictures would have made it better, but it is, in fact, amazing as it is.

Thanks to my wonderful techie husband who was so patient with me while I was learning to use it.

When is rape not rape?

When the rapist is your friend, I guess. But it’s still rape.

I don’t want to listen to this video of Whoopi Goldberg. I just want to put it somewhere I can find it.

Polanski pleaded guilty to sex with a minor. The charges were less than rape. But Polanski raped the girl. PERIOD.

Yes, I know WG may have been trying to avoid being sued for libel. In that case she should have been clear that she was saying he didn’t plead guilty to rape, not what she said.

And on to other idiots:

October 30, 2009
 Gore Vidal: Thirteen-year-old Roman Polanski rape victim was a ‘hooker’



Author Gore Vidal says he refuses to feel any sympathy for Roman Polanski’s rape victim, whom he dubs a “hooker.”
In an interview with The Atlantic, the controversial 83-year-old author of such books as “Myra Breckinridge” and “1876” says of the director’s sex scandal, “I really don’t give a [expletive]. Look am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she’s being taken advantage of?”
The young woman to whom he is referring is Samantha Geimer, who was a 13-year-old aspiring model in 1977 when she was drugged and raped by Polanski.

Vidal went on to say that the media pushed an inaccurate image of Geimer, painting her as an innocent victim as opposed to what he believes to be her true identity.


Editing

I wrote a piece for a journal. It was intended to be a rah-rah personal memoir. That’s what the journal seemed to me to be looking for.

I have rewritten it three times and it is still not what they want and I am not sure that I can fix it either. To some extent I don’t even know what he wants. In others the language seems foreign… in the rewriting he wants I feel as if I am being pushed aside, just as I sometimes am as an adjunct.

First choice of courses goes to full-time professors. Only those which are orphaned become available to the adjunct faculty.

The work is important but the equivalent of working on a factory assembly line. There is little intellectual stimulation involved.

Papers

I am not working on a paper this evening.

I finished the one that was due today and sent it off. Who knows if it will be accepted? God alone.

I am a little worried that it’s an “oh, duh” paper, especially after having read the reader reviews on the Chronicle forums tonight, but, you know, I looked. I didn’t find anything. I think it’s worth it. I did it. I sent it. It’s done.

Yeah!

On the other hand, I kind of want to send it in to CCTE because I think it might do well there. But I decided to send a rhetoric paper. I looked back over my rhetoric paper and found an error. Should I fix it now and send it again? I don’t know.

I start tomorrow on another paper, the premise of which I found in a source. So now I have to come up with something else or at least expand it significantly. This was mostly supposed to be an easy paper on a topic I enjoy. Oh well. We’ll see. At least it doesn’t have to be 20 (actually 22) pages long with 97 footnotes (some of which had ten citations in them).

I talked to my son M today about what my goals are. I have two reviews and one article published right this minute.

If everything that has been accepted actually gets published (the encyclopedia article won’t, the whole ency. was pulled), I will have five articles and chapters, two reviews, and one book.

I should also have a few more reviews soon. One is due in December and another is due whenever I get the book. I have no idea when that will be. I guess I should go make sure the book didn’t accidentally get sent to my college.

I did do a review of a book this weekend. But that was for money. I spent quite a while on it. Maybe more than I should have. I sent the review but didn’t send the W9 yet. I should fax that. I wonder if the machine will take a fax at night. I wonder if I should send a fax with my social security number on it at night. Maybe I should just mail it.

So five articles and a book. That’s not bad for a community college teacher. In fact, it’s great. It’s not great for an SLAC, although for one year’s output it is great.

I was talking to M and I said I would like to have 30 articles published. You know, I haven’t sent to high level journals, but… I really should. After a while, no one will publish me in the higher levels because I’ve only done lower stuff. I guess I need to work on that.

I’ll have to start thinking about what the good journals are.

AAGGHH

I have seven days from now to finish the Shakespeare paper.

I thought I had two weekends, this one which is shot because I am with my parents the whole time, and next one.

No. I have this one.

I have one week. I am getting in gear as fast as I can. (While surfing facebook and writing about my angst here.)

I missed two deadlines.

I was so focused on the two papers that are due next, I missed two deadlines for papers that I could have written in my sleep.

I am not too happy about that.

Both were vampire papers, which isn’t what I wanted to be my forte, but I could have done them easily and it would have been two more pop culture articles.

I’ve thought about sending in proposals anyway, but I don’t think that is good.

1. I wouldn’t want late proposals.
2. It makes me look unprofessional, which I was, for turning in stuff late.

Why might I send them anyway?

1. I could write them easily.
2. They would be published.
3. They can’t accept them if I don’t send them out.

Tomorrow will be two and three days late. Will I send them? Probably not. But I’m praying for a second call for papers from them, that they didn’t get enough of what they need.

Frustration

I sent out a creative nonfiction piece yesterday. I am very happy with the piece overall, but after I sent it I realized I should have changed the dates to make them more recent… If I had just moved everything ten years forward it would still have been creative nonfiction. The “creative” part would just have applied to the dates.

I guess I can still hope that they will accept it.

Doesn’t it frustrate you when you think you’ve thought through what you are doing and then you realize, oh, I should have done this?

9/11

Eight years later.

I confess to having forgotten the devastation that day brought to the United States.

I am not sure I understood it that day.

I am not sure I understand it now.

God, please, bless the country that I love. God, bless America.

For remembrance.

Thoughts on wheelchair access

after talking with Jill.

Don’t want to sit in front because if you need to leave, everyone is watching you.

The back is preferable because you need a deeper space for the wheelchair.

A good idea to fix the problem of wheelchair people not being able to see the words is to hand out copies of the words to people who want them before the service.

Putting a sign where it would be clear that pushing the handicap button would open the “locked” doors would be useful. Especially because it is next to the visitor’s spot.

And I should read Joel Rosenberg’s books, starting with The Last Jihad.

Poetry Reading

R found a poetry reading, First Friday, for us to go to. I took poems and read one. I talked too fast, though.

He didn’t really enjoy the evening and I am not sure I did either.

But I do want to go back. Though I am not sure I want to read any more poetry.

Publications

Exactly what have I been doing to get my publications up, since I mentioned that I needed publications “desperately” in my last post?

I wrote and had published an online review of a book of poetry from a small press. The review had two grammar errors in it. (Oops.)

I wrote three articles on themes in Benjamin Franklin’s work. I heard they got them, but haven’t heard if they are going to use them. They may not be or they may be and just not have told me yet.

I wrote an article on Gulliver’s Travels. Though the proposal was accepted, they turned down the article, with no clear indication of why. I think I know, but I could be wrong.

I wrote an article on missionary women and their reproductive lives for an encyclopedia. That’s due at the end of the month, but I sent it off two weeks ago. (Hey, I was ahead on something!)

I wrote an article on the language of rape survivors. That’s due May 1. I sent it in in March. I haven’t heard from them on it, so I don’t know if the actual article was what they had in mind. Some of the sources were old; of course some of the sources were foundational, too.

I wrote a creative nonfiction piece on growing up in the south after desegregation. It turned out (though I didn’t know it) that I had been in a very significant area. We’ll see if the work is what they were looking for. (They wanted it asap but once they received it they said they’d read it in a few weeks and get back to me in a month or two. That was after offering editing help.)

I am writing the chapter on American history.

And I have a book contract for a book due October 1. I’ll be busy with that this summer.

I turned in a proposal for an essay on Jane Austen this summer. It was accepted, but I don’t know that the essay would be and I’m going to be very busy with the book. We’ll see. Sometimes having two things to get done helps get both of them done and sometimes it doesn’t.

That’s a lot of work to be doing/have done since Thanksgiving.

I wish I had more to show for it.

If I could get very efficient, there are about ten more places I might be able to get published. The problem is, of course, that you have to write the thing and then see if they want it.

I even found a place that will publish the book I want to write. However, I told R that I would finish up my commitments before I make any new ones.

That will take me a while.

Half way done

I have a chapter due next week and I am halfway done. I wish I were completely finished and just revising, but I am not.

I am hoping to write some more tomorrow and this weekend. I’ll be at my folks’ house, though, and that generally keeps me busy. But I’m going to try to finish three more sections by midnight on Sunday, which will leave me only one more section to finish after that.

I want to be able to revise the work, but I have to have some down time and the thing is due a week from tomorrow (or today, depending on where you are).

I’m learning a lot, but I have a lot more references than I was expecting because I have so many different subjects. I’m hoping I can write a short introduction that is fairly coherent about the whole thing and two section introductions that are very short along with a conclusion that is fairly short…. Maybe I only have three more sections and then those things.

I am enjoying the learning and even the writing, but the research process is slow and I’m not an expert in any of this. I’m so glad I’m not doing the “really important” sections in my chapter. I was going to touch on them anyway, but now I think I’ll just let it go. I’m going to be pushing it to get all I want to get done in the word limit.

For example, I can have 5,000 words in the primary sources. I’ve culled and culled and I have 20,000. Obviously I will be cutting tremendously from that. Right now I am pulling out of that 20K only the work that I cite exactly. So I will probably be able to limit it to 5,000 without any problem. The works won’t be quoted in as great a detail, but I think that is okay, too, since the point was to support the arguments made in the chapter itself.

I was crazy to take this on, but I hope I get done, get the chapter done well, and get published. I need publications. Desperately. If I am going to get a teaching job at a four year school.

Too much to say, too few words to say it in.

I am working on a paper which is supposed to be published next year. The stated length was 3,000 to 5,000 words. Presently I have 6,300 words. In addition, there is at least one other section that I want to add (though I think I should add two). I could make it a bit shorter by leaving out two of the sections I have already written, but those are the two shortest sections. Three of the others must remain and one I want to remain because I think I add something new to the conversation in it.

I have tried to reorganize. I have shortened it already by more than a thousand words. So I have done some things well.

Of course, the paper is due in six days. That limits how much work I can put into it. That’s probably good. No matter how well written something is, I always think it can be improved.

Right now I have
truth
nature of man
beauty
change
reality versus perception
science

I think that a more coherent/comprehensive work would have examined
truth
learning
reason

However, I haven’t written those other two sections. And I am not sure I want to throw away 4100 words and start again. Especially six days before it is due.

In case you think I have been lazy and putting this off, I did not receive the assignment until the day after Thanksgiving. Since then I have graded 15 sets of papers, including final exams, written another paper (2,500 words), and written a review (850 words).

I had, before yesterday, only read one book for pleasure in that month. Now I have read two. Usually in a month I read between 30 and 120 books.

I guess I will remove the two shorter sections. That will get me to almost the limit. But I won’t be able to add anything. Neither learning nor reason.

Those do give me another paper to write on the topic though.

Goals for this year:

I know you think this is about 2009, but it isn’t. It’s about 2008. There are eleven more days in the year.

I want to do well at salsa class Monday night and have fun.

I want to finish a first draft of my paper by Wednesday. Then do a rewrite by Saturday. Then send it to my dad for editing. I’m probably making it harder than it has to be, but I want the article with my name on it to be a significant piece. So I am working hard to make it that.

It would be cool if next year, we could use a book with my work in it as a supplemental text. That would probably mean changing the plan for the class, but I’m doing that anyway as I go along, so that wouldn’t be a problem.

Oh, and I want to do something fun/cool/exciting with my husband without spending too much money next week. Something to mark 20 Christmases.

I think you can probably tell which of these is causing the most angst.

But I am getting closer. I have 5000 words written in a partial first draft. It’s supposed to be 5000 words total, but I did one part in a way that I don’t like, so that needs to be redone and it is a significant word count (maybe 1500 words). I have another three sections to put in too.

So we’ll see how it goes. I took yesterday off and then today I was incredibly efficient at writing. But I’m not sure I want to plan on that idea (day off/day on). I’d really rather get it done before Wednesday and have extra time to rewrite. But I’m aiming for a reasonable goal.

You are probably wondering why I waited till now to write it, aren’t you? Well, I got the job Nov. 26. And I got another writing project that week too. So I did the writing project I thought would be harder first. At the tail end of that project I was taking notes for this one. But it took way longer to take notes than I thought. (Seven days of three to six hours a day.)

And then I didn’t have enough secondary sources to suit myself. So I went back to find those. That slows the whole project down.

I think instead of writing this blog post, I should work on my paper again. Night, night.

Poem a Day: The Wedding

The Wedding of Angela and Jonathan
November 22, 2008 Solvang, California

Green grass spread wide for a wedding.
Angels rained confetti seeds on the garden.
White calla lilies bunched with heirloom carnations
and a single white rose
held together with white silk ribbon
heralded the matron of honor and the bride.
The bride, in high heels which sank into the dirt,
danced in the arms of the groom,
dashing in Italian silk.

The minister held the rings out flat on his palm
and spoke of precious metals;
giggles suppressed over stainless steel
died into sparkling tears sniffed back
over vows exchanged.
The mothers let theirs drift down their faces
and onto their gowns of burgundy and navy.