It’s Done, Sort of

I did it!  I finished the first complete draft of my cancer poetry book.

Well, maybe ‘finished’ is the wrong word.  How about, “decided I’d written enough and stopped writing.”  I’ve discovered this with both software engineering projects and writing – you don’t really finish, you just get to a point where you stop working, and ship it.

That’s where I’ve gotten to on the book.  I completed all the poems I had on my list to write and I’ve done a number of editing passes.  Heather has done a couple of editing passes on parts that were in progress and given me valuable input – corrections and suggestions to improve.  I’ve thought about adding more or rearranging the thing, but part of me just needs to be done with this project.

So, I am declaring “done.”

Well, with the first draft phase.  Now it is time for the real scary part of a writing project – sending out for editing, review and general public scorn.  Yes, I specialize in drama and self-criticism.  It’s very easy for me to get into the, “Well I knew it was crap, so I’ll just burn it now,” syndrome when I do get feedback.

I am getting better at it, but it is still work.

I’d very much like to see my manuscript turned into a book you can buy.  I think I know the basic steps, but still – you run into the problem of rejection.  If I send this book around to publishers, likely it will be rejected a lot before anyone would publish it (assuming a publisher exists who would publish it).  I was reading an article the other day that said JK Rowling was rejected something like 33 times before someone would publish Harry Potter. It’s a common theme for a number of very good books – ones much better than mine.

Not sure I am strong enough for that or if I want to take that much time out of my life to write all those query letters, send them, track them, follow-up, etc.  There isn’t much of a market for this kind of writing so what to do?

The other option is self-publishing.  Doable, easy, and just a few dollars out of my pocket and my book could be for sale on Amazon in just a few weeks.  Then my family, friends, fellow bloggers, etc could click and buy it (either the paperback or e-book or if I really had it together, the audio book).  I just might take that route since the purpose of this book was never to get famous, sell lots of books or validate my skill as a poet by getting a traditional publisher to agree to print it.  The point has been to finish it and write what I need to say.

Still, the book is now in that scary state where I have to start showing it to others before I can proceed down either path.  I am a good writer.  Good enough to know that my work can’t be put up for sale without some serious editing by people other than me.  I have family and friends who will edit and give me honest feed back, but at some point I’ll have to send it to professional editor – a thought that scares me.

But, I am not at that point yet.  I am still making a few decisions about where to go from here with the project.  I know many of you have been through this process yourself, if you’ve got any suggestions, please leave me a comment – I’d appreciate any input you have.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

I likely won’t be writing much this week as I’ve been at the keyboard a lot the last couple of weeks and need a bit of a break to recharge and think about my next writing project.  I’ve three different projects running through my head and will pick one to start on while the editing wheels turn on my poetry book.

Till next week,

Posted in Poems, Prostate Cancer, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

Wednesday Woodworking – the cross from both sides

Here it is, my progress on the cross this week. This is about all the woodworking I did this last week. I’ve been putting a lot of my creative time into writing.

I've started cutting on the right hand side.  Still saving the middle for last.

I’ve started cutting on the right hand side. Still saving the middle for last.

This is the back of the cross.  You start to see how the finished piece is going to look.

This is the back of the cross. You start to see how the finished piece is going to look.

Just a short post tonight as I want to get back to my poetry writing.  I am getting closer to finishing two projects – this cross and my book.

If you need me – I’ll be in the shop (or at the keyboard).


Posted in wood working | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Broken Glass

Sand in the furnace  
Molten glass on the pipe  
Carefully crafted  
into a bottle brown.  

Filled with wine
Sent to sea
far away shores
to see.

Storms rage
pushing the ship
to the rocks.

On the beach lies
the wreckage of lives
Bottles broken
wine merged with the sea.

Time and tide march slowly on
bottles break against the rock
water and sand grind against the sharp edge.

Slowly the edges soften
the glass rounds
and catches the sun.

Feet walk across the beach
hands reach down
and hold the prize to the sun
seeing the world reflected
in the broken bottle.


That’s the poem for this week.  I won’t be posting much this week to give me time to focus on my book.  I’ll have an update on the cross on Wednesday.

Till next week,


Posted in Poems | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wednesday Woodworking – lots-o-holes in that thing

Here is the progress on the cross for this week.  Not sure if I’ll get it done by Easter as it is really time-consuming.

Progress as of 3/3.  I am saving the middle for last.

Progress as of 3/3. I am saving the middle for last.

You might remember the storage unit I built a couple of months ago.  Well, it had a problem.  The thin sliding doors I cut started to warp so I had to make a frame for the doors.  Note two of the frames had to go on the inside so they’d slide by each other.

Had to put a frame on it to keep it from warping.

Had to put a frame on it to keep it from warping.

If you need me – I’ll be in the shop.


Posted in wood working | Tagged , , | 25 Comments