“Bikes in Den Haag” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)
Last week’s severe heatwave here in the North Country and now a problem with my foot, has kept me from biking for the last week.
This time of year, with daughters home from college, I am basically carless. Most days during the summer, I bike to and from work– a 13-14 mile round trip. It is good exercise and therapy, helping both my mood and energy level.
A week without biking now is beginning to take its toll, on body and on soul. I think the silence here at ClimbingSky can in part be blamed on this.
Most of the blame, and let’s face it “blame” is not the right word… most of the reason has been time spent editing, re-editing, and prepping my many, many poems to be sent out for publication consideration.
I have always been better at writing than at trying to figure out the publishing game. Mainly because I have always felt like it is the writing is the thing after all… and being satisfied with what you have written.
But now I am combing through notebooks and computer files, editing and rewriting, and just beginning to send things more formally into the world.
The fiction publishing world is much clearer. I write a Western short story. I edit it and rewrite it. And I send it off to the very few places that are clearly interested in publishing the kind of Western stories I like to write.
Not so with poetry. Poetry is after all the most subjective of arts. In poetry, beauty is in the ear of the hearer.
So matching a poem with a publisher or publication is a lot of work. More work than I have generally wanted to do in the past. What little energy and time I have seems better used in writing, or reading, or day-dreaming. So I put off the process, and put it off, and put it off.
The result is notebooks and file folders and computer files and computer file folders of poems and scraps of poems and lines of nearly “finished” and half-finished verse. Decades of verse. Sitting and waiting for me to rediscover them again.
And so my summer goes.