Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Manuscript Revelation

I've been thinking of myself as having three, distinct, book length manuscripts organized along the following themes:

--nuclear imagery and all the ways our technology fails us

--poems that cover spiritual ground
  • poems that use Biblical imagery or characters
  • poems that use monasticism
  • poems that imagine God and/or Jesus as a physical person in our current world
--poems that talk about work life, particularly work life as women experience it, particularly the ways that modern work life is so ridiculous.  I also have a subset of modern-life-as-ridiculous poems that don't revolve around work, but around family or other societal institutions.

Today I was putting together poetry packets for submissions to literary journals, and I thought, hmm, what if I combined them in new ways?

I've already done a bit of this in the third section of nuclear manuscript.  The first two sections talk about the way technology has failed us, and the third section offers a look at the things which can still console us.

I've also realized that a lot of the poems that deal with monasticism make an interesting juxtaposition to the work life/modern life poems.

This November, when I'm at my annual writer's retreat at Mepkin Abbey, I had planned to completely rework the manuscript of spirituality themed poems.  Now I've got a way in to that revision.  And hopefully, by writing it here, I'll have this idea captured in a place where I can access it.  I can't tell you how many times I've written ideas down on sticky notes or scraps of paper, a system with obvious limitations.  I've started many a manuscript notebook, thinking I'd have one place where these ideas are stored.  I've often forgotten that I had already started a notebook and a year or two later, started yet another one.

I love blogging, because my blog offers me a place to capture writing prompts and possible poetry ideas, a place to write down revision ideas, a place to document what I've done and what I hope to do.  And it's much more searchable than other systems.  I also hope that over the course of the years, it will be useful to other writers, the way that the blogs of others have been useful to me. 

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