Friday, February 26, 2010

Planning for the Future You Want to Have

I've been thinking about making a book trailer (or 2 or 3) for books that I hope will be published. Even if I never use them, it might be an interesting exercise.

Of course, I guess I should figure out how to make the sound work. I haven't actually tried that, so it may not take much time.

I like the idea of making a trailer for a book that doesn't exist yet. I know this is an exercise that might drive some people to despair. But I like that idea of envisioning a future that isn't quite here yet.

I've been enjoying Sandra Beasley's posts over at She Writes in the Countdown to Publication series. In this week's post, she talks about author photos and cover art. Earlier, I talked about Kelli Russell Agodon's post about things you should be doing to get ready for your book, right now, even if you don't have a book.

I think there are several advantages to this approach. One, when the book is finally accepted, my life might be different. I might not have time to do this things. Now, before there's a book, I have the luxury of time, the gift of not feeling panic induced by deadline. Now I can try things, without anyone looking if I fail.

That's one reason why I want to keep experimenting with book trailers and visual poetry. I want to master this now, before I feel the pressure of a book release (please, God, let me be that lucky to some day feel the pressure of an impending book release!).

Maybe we need some time away. A writer's retreat. Leslie Pietrzyk has a great post on preparing for your stay at a writer's colony. They might be good tips for your every day writing life too. Buy yourself treats. Who wouldn't like a new towel? Upgrade your pillow. Stock your pantry with snacks that will see you through.

One last thought about visual poems and book trailers. Last night, I showed my students what I had been working on, along with some of the other animated poems that are out there (thank you Sandra Beasley for creating your 2 poems and for calling my attention to this form!). We had been having a low energy evening in the classroom. Nobody's fault, really. But we're on the other side of midterm, and I can see how tired my students are. No matter how energetic I was, they didn't perk up.

So, we took a break, and I fiddled with the computer--and I got it to work! I've had a week of technology triumphs that I usually don't get to enjoy. I cued up all the pages I wanted them to see. They returned.

They watched intensely. They talked about poetry in this form as opposed to poems on paper. They talked about animated poems as a new art form. We talked about who should get credit, when it's really a collaborative process. It was quite rollicking.

I think having a radical change in direction for part of the night helped reinvigorate us. I think that poems in animated art form are closer to the creative work they prefer and closer to the creative work they do.

I also wonder how much of this is generational. I showed my visual poem-in-progress to two of my colleagues earlier in the day. They said how much they preferred their poetry delivery system to be more traditional: words on paper, books.

I think animated poems and book trailers will be a way to get more readers. Diane Lockward has a great post where she proposes doing both--and she's absolutely right. In a twist I haven't anticipated, these new forms might be a way to attract the attention of younger readers/viewers. Will viewers/readers who fall in love with our animated poems love them as much in an old-fashioned book? Will we eventually create something in terms of a larger collection for readers/viewers who want animated poems? Intriguing.

1 comment:

Diane Lockward said...

Thanks for the mention. I think that preparing an advance book trailer might be a really good exercise that could help you organize the yet-uncreated book. In order for the trailer to make sense and give an overview of the collection, you have to think hard about the book's construction. I love that you're exposing your students to the visual poems. Just don't let them think the video is a substitute for the poem. It's supposed to be a lovely chocolate all by itself but one that makes you want all the others, ie, the whole box/book!