This morning, after all the delight of yesterday's 11/11/11 Nerd New Year, I am pausing to take count of things in my writing life. (This, you will recognize immediately, is a delay tactic to avoid 1) dusting 2) laundry 3) a crucial cleaning-out of the giant purse, in which I hope to find that missing slim volume of poetry I am supposed to be reviewing...).
I am right on track in the 1 Year, 100 Rejections project begun on September 1. The aim is to send out enough work to earn 100 rejections, and here in the "first" quarter (Sept., Oct., Nov.) I have sent out 25 packets, and we are only halfway through November, a nice cushion in case of a later slump. I've had 11 rejections since September 1, 2 acceptances, and the rest are still pending. In the meantime, of course, there have been rejections, acceptances, and publication of work sent out earlier--including a couple nice surprises.
Also, as we approach year's end, I am tidying up by officially withdrawing poems from places that have exceeded their usual reporting time, or marking others as "presumed dead" if even the withdrawal process seems not to matter here. In the Accepted folder, awaiting publication, are 15 poems yet to appear in fall, winter, and spring publications. And I'm doing a pretty good job of sending more when a publication says, "Please send more."
Meanwhile, in the blog, hedgehogs still lead the pack, with 80,471 hits on "Hedgehog Hodgepodge." My origami brain still runs second and has no hope of catching up. Posts with picture of bananas and mousetraps are also very popular. And, alas, thanks to the earthquake in Oklahoma, there has been a surge of interest in Tim Hunt's poetry chapbook, Fault Lines.
And, thanks to genetics, my cholesterol count is still high, so I have to take one statin pill a day, at night, and can no longer eat grapefruit.
OK, the family will wake soon...so I am off to take care of what counts.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.