Tag Archives: rewriting

Day 210

Last night I spent several hours improving a tanka prose poem with a restructure and a new tanka. I then unedited a small part where the original was better than the re-write. All in all, it felt good.

Finally I decided on a destination and started to get it ready to send. For some reason, alarm bells started to ring. I checked the last submission I had made to the intended magazine and found I’d submitted the old version last time. I’m never sure of the advisability of sending new versions to old editors (if you see what I mean).

Then I had a look at the magazine. I hadn’t just submitted the old version, I’d had it accepted.

My Orange Parker Pen

Coming so soon after the incident where I seem to have bought from eBay in my sleep I really feel I need to get a grip. A new filing system is called for, and that should be achievable. Apart from the problem with filing, I have the additional problem that some haibun have multiple versions and several different titles. A new brain would be good too, but I think that might be beyond me. I must eat more fish.

I’m thinking that with just four submissions this month I may call it a day and not try any of the other seven I have listed. It’s a poor result when compared to the plan, but it’s still four submissions, which is a reasonable amount.

I just spent the last two hours looking at odds and ends – there really is nothing that I feel like sending. I am going to spend August organising things (not many submissions planned) and in September I’m hoping I will be ahead of myself once more.

I always used to plan things so that I could submit at the beginning of the window rather than the end. I always think, rightly or wrongly, that if I get in first the next submission has to be better than mine to replace me in the editor’s mental shortlist. If I submit at the end, I have to be better than the others. And there is always the chance, as has happened several times, that there will be a  last minute email glitch.

A colourful shed

Love Token or Convict Token?

Saturday morning, 8.11 and just time to squeeze in a blog between breakfast and work. That way I can’t fall asleep before posting. Even I don’t nap at this time in the morning.

One of the lots I put on yesterday already has a bid. It’s a beautifully engraved coin, but a little difficult to place. It’s engraved in the style of the late 18th and early 19th Century and it’s almost certainly on a 1797 penny, judging from the dimensions. The problem is the subject matter. It has hearts and birds and a funerary urn, which might be bad news for someone’s true love. Or it might be mourning the loss of love as the donor is shipped off to the end of the Earth.

Love tokens often have more in the way of initials than we have here, plus some sentiment.

Convict tokens often have names and dates and other things written on them.

Engraved coin 1797

Engraved coin 1797

There’s even a possibility that the counter stamped wolf’s head which obliterates the crown is some sort of secret Jacobin sign. If it is, it is very secret because internet searches have turned nothing up.

Although some of the work on these tokens is crude, some, like this is very good, to the point of justifying terms like excellent and superb. Some people, with money, could afford to have a professional engrave a token for them, and we also know that forgers, engravers and jewellers all ended up in Australia, so anything is possible.

That’s enough culture before work.  I just wish, as I’ve often said before, that I had realised you could have an academic career linked to coins. There aren’t many jobs I’d rather have. Cake taster at Mr Kipling perhaps . . . the man who does quality control for the afternoon teas at the Ritz . . .

Sorry, I drifted off there.  But

think how different things could have been – a thesis on convict tokens and civil unrest in the 19th Century (including local lads Ned Ludd and Jeremiah Brandreth) followed by a research trip to see the convict tokens in the Australian Museum. All it needs to be perfect would be a superior sort of afternoon tea in an Australian Hotel.

And with that thought I will now trudge off to pack parcels in the windowless back room of  coin shop.


Just a Quick Post

Time for another swift post I think.

Having been distracted by TV and the internet I’m starting a little later than planned and have to take Number Two Son to work in an hour.

I also have a haiku to re-write, which is more difficult than it sounds, considering that it only has three lines. I’m told that two of the lines say almost the same thing, which makes for a weak haiku. My plan was to rewrite one line. It seemed logical. It seemed a quick and easy fix.

It’s taken me 24 hours now and it’s not going well. Fortunately I told the editor it would take me a couple  of days, so I’m safe for now. It will be another 24 hours before he finds out he’s dealing with an idiot.

Sorry, I drifted off into haikuland there and spent 20 minutes rewriting, checked my emails, read some posts by other people and then realised I was meant to be posting.

I’ll do better tomorrow…



Looking Back, and a False Start

I’m not having a good time at the moment, having just wiped out an entire post just as I was giving it a final edit. WordPress has been refusing to save on a regular basis recently, so there was no previous version to reinstate. It’s been a minor irritant in the last month or so, but after this I’m going to have to sort it out.

Has anybody else noticed this problem?

It isn’t just the annoyance of losing 350 words, which took some writing, as I’m not particularly swift today. It’s also that I feel posterity has been robbed, because the second version never seems as good. The second version, I always feel, should be more polished, but it never seems to be the case; I never seem to be able to recreate a post to my satisfaction.

That is why I’m not going to write about my adventures with Scotch Bonnets, compressors and boiling water just now. I will get back to it later but now isn’t the time.

I may as well just look back on the week – a walk round the duck pond, a damp day in Derbyshire, some new words, birds at Rufford Abbey, some weather and 12 hours bottling jerk seasoning. It’s been, to say the least, an up and down sort of week.

I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s been a case of two steps forward and one step back, as I don’t seem to be achieving much. The exercise is just making me ache and feel old instead of making me fitter and, at the same time, I’m slipping back to eating carbs. Time for a hard look at my life again.

Having reviewed my week, albeit briefly, I’m now going to add a selection of photos from last week and call it a retrospective.