Annika of Annika Perry’s Writing Blog nominated my for the 777 Challenge. The idea is to go to page 7 of your work in progress, the scroll to line 7 and share the next 7 lines on your blog.
Interesting. I’d be happy to share some my work in progress, but there is a problem. Well, more than one problem. Most of what I’ve been writing lately is about two pages long so no page 7s. My poetry book has 74 pages, but page 7 only has three lines, no line 7 to share. My novel is a mess and it’s difficult to find anything in that folder of notes that would even pass for work in progress writing. Seriously, most of it is research, random notes and a few pages of things I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote them. There is a written set of notes, but page 7 of that is just a list of character names. I do have a first chapter and a prolog going that I wrote maybe ten years ago and since I had to read through myself to remember what they said, I don’t consider that work in progress.
So what to do? First, I’d like to thank Annika for recognizing me with this challenge. I am honored that my blog writing made her think that I had some secret stash of interesting, yet undiscovered longer work somewhere on my computer. I’ve been checking and for reasons I can’t explain, I seem to avoid writing a page 7. I am sure that there is some numerological significance, but what it might be, escapes me at the moment.
Since 777 isn’t working for me, I’ve decided to go with a different challenge. I do want to share some fragment of a poem so I started checking other page combinations.
I rejected the idea of a 666 challenge as being too symbolically weird, and 222, 333, 444 and 555 of my poetry book were so short that they didn’t make sense, so I’ll skip those. Page 8 didn’t have any poetry, but page 9 did. Unfortunately, the poem doesn’t start until line 18 as I mix prose and poetry in the early section of the book.
Well, all is not lost. 18 is a multiple of 9, so that’s kind of okay, but poem is only 8 lines. Not okay. Turns out that line 17 kind of introduces the poem so that brings the line count back to 9. That makes the challenge a page 9, line 17 (9 x 2 -1), length of 9 or a 9-17-9 challenge. Are you ready for this? Here are 9 lines starting at page 9, line 17 of my yet to be named book of poetry about cancer:
My world started spinning differently that day; and now three years from that month:
I sing new songs.
I tell stories differently.
I cry for the loss.
I embrace the poetic.
As none but verse lets me tell either my or mother’s tale without
tears for the dead,
tears for the loss,
fear for the unknowable future.
The last part of the challenge is to nominate seven other bloggers for this challenge. We’d be here until November if I tried to do that. Who knows what kind of rules my mind would come up with for that selection. Instead, if you are intrigued by the idea of sharing some lines of your work in progress, please nominate yourself and post your challenge. Please leave a link in the comments to your work and I’ll ‘officially’ nominate you. I’ll mention the first 7 or 14 in a future blog post.
I’ve had a few folks asking about the progress of my poetry book project. For those who don’t know, the poetry collection I’ve written is in response to my prostate cancer and to my mother’s death due to pancreatic cancer in 2007. Currently I am in the editing phase. This is likely the most difficult part of the project. It’s where we writers get hit full force with self-doubt and lack of self-worth. This is the phase where many manuscripts get burnt, shredded, deleted or otherwise obliterated from the planet. To date, I’ve managed to avoid that and have been pressing on with the hope that one person might find it enlightening.
I’ve had three people read and edit the book. Heather has been through it twice for me, along with two trusted friends. I am thankful to have received detail edits, corrections and comments on the work. After incorporating much of this feedback into the manuscript, I’ve come to the place in my mind where the book is done.
It’s lost it’s energy for creation and now is telling me that it needs to leave my desk for the bigger world. Yes, my books talk to me.
Looking at my options for publishing this work, I’ve decided on self-publishing it through Amazon’s Create Space for a physical book and electronically on Kindle. Since I believe that poetry is often at its best when spoken, I’ve been looking into creating an audio book through Audible. Turns out there is a way for me to record myself reading the book and self-publishing it. I find the possibility of all three formats interesting.
I am under no delusions about sales. Poetry doesn’t sell, but this is a work I feel I need to have out there. The purpose of this work has never been sales, but rather it’s one way I can tell a story that is important to me.
I have no real idea how long all that is going to take. Likely, longer than I want.
Till next week,