Saturday, May 14, 2011

Past and Future Scholars and a Plan for Summer

How strange to be unable to log into Blogger yesterday morning.  I tend to be a big believer in cloud computing, in letting others store my files--but I'm also paranoid, and so I back up.  Actually, that statement isn't exactly true, because I also worry about all my files that I've saved to "the cloud" being hijacked somehow, so I haven't done as much file storage there as I'd like.  I'd like paper copies of all my blogs to go with my paper journals that go back to the ones I was keeping when I was 12--especially since the main journals I keep now are my blogs.  But that's a lot of work, and just as I haven't transferred my paper journals to electronic storage, I haven't transformed my blogs to paper.

I think of grad school, of the sources that some of us would spend our scholarly lives studying:  the complete letters, all the various manuscripts, the journals, all the possessions.  At that time, studying most of those things required a trip to a distant library, and possibly proving your credentials before you got there.

And now?  What will young scholars of the future be expected to master?  Could someone spend a summer examining my blogs?  One of my summer assistantships required me to look at 2 versions of a manuscript and to try to determine the intentions of the author.  It was one of those valuable summer jobs because it showed me what I DO NOT want to spend my life doing--just as in undergraduate school, I spent two summers doing social service work (one of them when there was no money), and I realized that my life plan needed an adjustment.

All of this to say, for those of you who came to the blog yesterday hoping for part 2 of my interview with Justin Evans, I'll post it Monday.  I don't get as much blog traffic on the week-end, and it deserves to be read.

And for those of you thinking, drat, I forgot to buy Kristin's book, I'm pretty sure that sales throughout the week-end count towards the final total which determines the press run.  Go here to order.

It's been quite a few months.  I've been trying to promote my book and pre-publication book sales.  In addition, I've had some writing deadlines that I didn't anticipate:  I wrote prayers for one Augsburg Fortress book, I wrote meditations for a different Augsburg Fortress publication, I wrote two articles for The Lutheran, I wrote several blog posts for the Living Lutheran site, and I was the judge for a poetry contest.  In addition, I coordinated the Create in Me retreat, made a presentation at the College English Association, and went to the AWP and Synod Assembly.  Plus, in April, along with Dave Bonta, I read one volume of poems a week, wrote a review, and participated in an interview.

So, future graduate student, when you wonder why I didn't write quite as many poems or why I didn't my submission strategy fell to pieces a bit, look to that previous paragraph.

Time to think about summer.  I'd like to get back to writing one poem a week.  Maybe I'll blog about the process.  It seems to work for Sandy Longhorn, and I love reading about her process.  Yes, that's what I'll do.  I'll make the summer submissions that I usually do.  I need to think about festivals and other places where I'd like to read.

It's time to think about book length submissions again.  I've slacked off on that a bit, since I've had a book coming out, and I think it's unrealistic to expect people to buy several books of poems in a year (not that most publishing companies have that kind of turn-around time, but still).  I have one manuscript that I whittled down to 64 pages or so for a contest that only allowed 70 pages.  Perhaps that will be the version that I send out.  Or do I want to think about my spiritual poems manuscript?  Or both?

Stay tuned!

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