After crazy storms, tornado warnings, and reports of "debris falling from sky" in my town yesterday, today was blustery and cold -- and the first snow fell. Didn't stick, but it snowed and flurried much of the day. Tonight is clear and starry and and cold, cold (remind me in two months that I once thought a 22-degree night was "cold, cold"). My 15-year-old car has been a bit cranky about starting lately, which probably means something expensive. Great.
Afte getting a bit of disappointing career-related (not the writing "career" but the one that pays the bills) news last week, I was feeling a bit deflated. Decided to pass on the book contests with November 15 deadlines, of which there were several I'd been hoping to manage. Then decided maybe it really isn't time to work on a book yet after all, especially given that individual poem acceptances have been few & far between lately -- so decided to work on a chapbook ms. or two. After a day or so of that I decided to downscale further and just write poems. As of today I'm hiking it down one more notch, and writing ONE poem until I get that one right (the one I posted the beginnings of a draft of on this blog the other day, and promptly blinked right back out). I've been fiddling with line breaks, counting syllables, trying short lines and longer ones. I've got about a half-dozen different versions now, all shaped just a little differently; the funny thing is that the more I fiddle with the lines, the more clearly I can see where the poem's energy is concentrated & where it loses momentum. It's like I'm tipping it back and forth until the shiny parts sift up to the surface where I can see them. I will probably not end up counting syllables for the final draft, but it has been a useful exercise. I'll print out all the versions soon and then start with a blank page and write it again from scratch.
By "soon" I probably mean after Thanksgiving, at this point. This weekend must, alas, be given over to house cleaning, as right now it's not fit for the cat sitter to set foot in it (I'll be at my mom's for the holiday). Funny how writing starts to feel like something I want to do again, just when I'm not going to have much time for it for a couple of weeks.