After the Flood...

Olive Branch--

I don't even know how long it's been since I've written, but if you were worried about me, my home, my family, the streets of this small town, the floods...we are all fine and dry. I was truly impressed how quickly the water receded once the rain stopped. The ark project has been temporarily halted.


What else I have I been up to? Ah, yes...two other poets and myself had a little "submission party" since we last spoke.

Basically, we each arrived with copies of our poems, SASEs, envelopes, postage, laptop, cover letters, and submission guidelines for six of our favorite journals or six places we'd like to be published in.

We sat on my friend's bamboo floor and chose poems. We tried not to get too over-involved in the choosing. This is something I do when on my own. I try to choose the poems I feel best represent the journal or what I think the editor will like. I might as well use a Magic 8-ball because one never really knows what another likes when it comes to poetry. Sometimes I guess right, but sometimes not. So, I tried to make it "fun."

Did I just use the term "fun" while referring to submitting my work? I did. Submitting is not fun to me. It brings out every insecurity I have as well as makes me become the crazy last-minute editor (i.e. "Oh, I don't want that comma in line 16, I'll have to revise this before I can send it out...weeks pass...) Poems that seemed finished, no longer have that sparkle and are returned back into the pile.

Submitting with friends makes it much easier and enjoyable, and while I still left with 8-11 poems I didn't submit because in the end I didn't feel they were strong enough, I still did 4 submissions, then came home and did two more online submissions. So six in a day, not bad. The other poet did seven submissions, and the owner of the bamboo floor poet did two. (15 in all for the math majors.)

It's quite lovely to submit while snacking on coffee cake, fresh cinnamon rolls, peppermint tea, and amidst poet friends. While we talked about poetry, we also talked about life and once and a while a white cat rolled across our poems. The time went quickly. We arrived at 9:30 a.m. and left at 1-ish. (I almost left all my submissions under a table, but they were found just before I left!)

I simultaneously submitted two poems where the guidelines said it was okay (I rarely do that), but all the rest are not sim-subs. Honestly, I don't like to do sim-subs because I worry about my record-keeping and having to track that. Also, I don't like having to contact editors to pull poems if they're accepted some place else. The other poet does all her poems sim-subs though and it works very well for her. (And she submitted the most and the quickest too.)

There is a part of me that wishes I could be much more casual that way, but I'm not. I'm not really a multi-tasker when it comes to submitting. My positive outlook would be that I'm the tortoise, slow and steady, but my negative outlook would be that I'm the nervous nelly whose afraid she's going to be mess something up with having submissions too many places. I guess we each have to find which way is best for us. Maybe one day, I will try to sim-sub more, but for now, I'm doing okay as is, one poem at time.


So, since the olive branch is my life staying dry and the dove is submitting my work, the ark must be my writing.

I'm in an online group with 8 other poets and we're trying to write a poem a day for 16 days in December.

So far my favorite title has been: Portrait of Younger Self with Witches’ Butter (and this may be my favorite poem so far). My worst title is "After". (Good one.)

So, my writing life is sailing along. Each day, a new poem. On the first day of Christmas my muse gave to me...


  1. I really like the idea of a submissions party. At least you can laugh about the process, which does seem to require a Magic 8-Ball to know what will work.

    As for simultaneous submissions, my philosophy is to cross that bridge when I come to it. The submission process favors the publishers not the content providers. I'm willing to bend the rules but not break them, I guess.

    Hope your poems find happy homes.


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