Monday, 23 March 2009

Excuse me, I have an announcement to make

I am now a published writer.

No, please, sit down. There is no need for applause.

*I would make a label called "arrogance" for this, but then I'd likely have to go through and label every one of my previous posts.

Notes:

1) The cover, which you have seen, came out quite "psychadelic," as the professor put it. The colours are interesting. In case you're wondering, it's what happens when the ice on the Lake here in Kingston shifts. The sheets along the shore get thrown up in big chunks on the bank. You'll see this pretty much everywhere that a body of water freezes over. It makes me think of plate tectonics.

2) My last name was misspelled in the table of contents. It is spelled correctly in the big letters at the beginning of my section, and it is spelled correctly in my bio. I had made the error of mentioning this in my Facebook status. The professor noticed and is now horrified. I assured her that I had only been upset for about five minutes before I laughed it off. It's just more of a disappointment or embarassment, really. People misspell my name all the time.

3) Looking at your own words on a page is a surreal feeling. This is especially true for prose. You're used to the line lengths of your poetry being where they are and all of my pieces are pretty much contained on a single page, so it looks pretty much the same. The line lengths aren't fixed in prose, though, and so moving it from a Word document to a novel-size page changes the appearance. The new font size and typeface also make a difference. In all, your prose piece looks different. To me it looks shorter: it's single spaced, and arranged on spreads, which means two pages would equal only one page on a photocopied courseware page.

Further, it looks professional. It looks concrete, real. It looks like I've sent it away now, it's no longer wholly my own. I now understand, to a small extent, what those Renaissance poets were talking about, sending their little bookes out. Maybe I'll understand even more when I get a book of my own. (I'll stick to the when; no need for an if.)

4) I now have had a second look at the content included. Most of us have written better things since then. Funny, isn't it? I somehow assumed that those newer, perhaps better pieces would end up in the anthology, or could be mystically infered from reading the anthology. This is untrue.

Anyway, I tried to get a sense of the book's flow, how it moved from one writer to another. I couldn't discern much, but perhaps I'm not removed enough (likely not). The authors all appear alphabetically (placing me second). There are some coincidental things I am not fond of, so far as placing is concerned--the very last words that appear in the book (minus the back page, which discusses the font) do not please me overmuch, but, well, that's out of my control and out of my worries.

5) I have signed, let's see, four copies now. I am not good at signing books. I looked in the three signed books that I own myself (Joseph Boyden's Through Black Spruce, Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals, and Carolyn Smart's Hooked) to learn how one does it. Still, I can never think what to put between "To _______" and my signature. Cait's housemate told me that I couldn't put "Keep writing" on hers because she doesn't write, and I said that I wouldn't do that anyway because it would make me sound arrogant, like I thought I was some sort of publishing guru. I still don't know what I ought to write. Alas, alack, woe is not really me.

6) That is enough about my publishing right now. I will likely inform you some more after the launch.

Adieu,

English Clergyman

4 comments:

Kay said...

You could always say, "To ______: thanks for believing in me."

Is the book mainly prose or poetry?

Christian H said...

Some of each; my section includes both, and some of the other sections also include both. Some sections have only one or the other. I'd say there are more poems than prose pieces, but also more prose than poetry by page count.

Kay said...

i only ask because i truly enjoy poetic prose much more than i do poetry. this could be a result of my inability to really grasp poetry the way it's meant to be understood, but that being said, i'd like a copy of the Anthology too. how much is it?

Christian H said...

Ah. Yes, I've heard many people make the same claims about poetry.

I've now been trained to deal with poetry, though (as Jon can attest) such poets as Moore and Stein and Bishop can still drive me bonkers. (I didn't mean to pick all female poets; there's a male poets who's similar, but I just can't remember his name right now...)

Most of the poetry in here is maybe more "graspable," but then again I say that from a unique perspective: I know all of the poets, I know their styles, and I've edited their work for, in at least one case, three years now. There's a great variety in the anthology.

The anthology is $15...access to more copies may be a bit of an issue (we mainly worked with pre-orders), but I'll let you know when I get my hands on another copy. It will happen shortly, I think, as they should be on sale during the launch.

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