First post of Sunday. I’m planning several more today – let’s see if the result lives up to the planning. (I’ll give you a clue – it’s not working well at the moment).
So, poetry news. I had an email from Butcher’s Dog this morning They have decided not to select my work for publication this time (as they put it), and have sent a very pleasant and upbeat email to tell me that. As you know, I have become slightly blase about rejection over the years, but even if you have become immune to it, it’s still nice to be rejected in a cheery manner, rather than the way some people do it.
It also makes commercial sense, as everyone needs to sell magazines, and one of your best markets is the people who want to write for you. I have twice stopped subscriptions to magazines on the basis of the quality of their rejections. There are always plenty of poetry magazines out there who need the money.There are no such worries for Butcher’s Dog, they are doing a good job and I will be there in the queue next time they have a submission window open.
The other one wasn’t actually a rejection. It was worse than that, it tells me that they like the prose but they think I should rewrite or drop the first haiku and that the title needs work. Some magazines accept or reject without alteration, some ask for, or suggest, small changes. Others always seem to ask for more work. In this case, they ask for the work to be done and the only commitment they make is to look at it again. Most editors either accept and suggest edits or tell you that they would be happy to accept if you make the changes.
I’ve actually been thinking about this for a day or two. In these circumstances it’s sometimes easier just to thank the editor and withdraw the poem. With this one I’m going to give it a go. The opening haiku will be cut. I can’t guarantee writing a better one in the next few weeks so I may as well take the easy way out. The title had been developed after extensive thinking. It wasn’t great, but it was better than the original, and it had several features which were obviously too subtle. The new one is much more in your face and I’ve added a couple of lines to the prose to connect it to the title.
And now it’s time to throw it back and see what happens. If it is accepted it’s just a number, if it’s rejected, it’s no big deal. Regardless of the decision, next time it goes out, it will have the first haiku restored.
Now I just need to decide on whether I add a footnote about the title or not. I hate them, but sometimes you just need to drive the point home.