Saturday, October 30, 2010

Five copies of my manuscript are in the mail.
Now the waiting begins. Fingers crossed.
A request sent out to the universe.

It's a pricey proposition these days, the submission of book-length poetry manuscripts. Pretty much the only way to go about it is to enter manuscript contests, which charge a reading fee of, on average, $25. Non-contest publishers are rare, and many this past year have stopped accepting new work because of economic concerns. With the entry/reading fee, the copy-fee, and postage, the average single submission costs $34. Not so bad if one is so lucky to have one's manuscript picked up early, but a friend submitted his ms. eighty-something times before it was accepted, and now he's published three books.

This collection feels really good -- not the first one I've put together but I've not felt this way previously. And I'm long overdue for a book, honestly. But I'm a bad secretary and the rustling of papers sets my nerves afrazzle, so I've avoided this task for most of my adult life. Excuses? Maybe. Sometimes I'd rather clean out a dozen litter boxes than prep my manuscript. (I need more cats.)


Duck and white beans and thyme and onions and celery are simmering, steaming up the kitchen. A hint of cinnamon and allspice in the air. This is my favorite time of year to cook: soups, stews, pumpkin bread, gingerbread, roasted vegetables. Stuffed chickens and boeuf bourguignon and butternut squash and mashed potatoes: all things to sustain the soul as summer slips out amidst an autumn storm.


  1. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    As for the food; you're so right. Slow cooked is always best. Bisou, Cro.

  2. From a distance it seems a balanced life - worries about a manuscript, (you have my sympathy and understanding) and good food. Life's normality & stupidity in all its variety.
    Good luck with both

  3. Man that's brave - sending off MSS is unhinging. But all that gorgeous food will fill you up - and, hopefully, still the anxiety before you get back a definite YES. Fingers and toes crossed for you.

  4. congratulations!
    And I have something waiting here for you, that should occupy those otherwise frazzled nerves!

  5. Your kitchen smells wonderful...good luck with the book.

  6. Cro, as ever, thank-you!
    (And I really appreciate your frequent comments. Makes me believe that there is actually someone out there.)

  7. Harvey, your perspective is spot-on. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Mary, thanks for your support, from the other side of the planet! Cheers!

  9. Melinda, I'm tempted to drive over to Seattle this afternoon to pick it up, but I'll restrain myself and work on clearing out the spare room (for a studio space!) instead.

  10. Jacqueline, when we came home from seeing The Social Network (good movie) yesterday afternoon, the duck legs had been slow-cooking in the oven for three hours, and the scent put me in a swoon. I do declare.

  11. I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you. Half the battle is getting the manuscript ready and out into the world.