Not too long ago, I decided to finally submit some poems, two sonnets I wrote, for publication. I submitted them to our literary publication at the college, The Wire Harp, so I didn't make a huge leap in risk taking. I figured if my colleagues and the student editors liked them, they they could be published. If not, well, nothing ventured nothing gained. Keep in mind, I have never fancied myself a poet, and I still won't be attaching any appellation of that sort to my name. Still, like any writer who submits work for publication, I was more than a little pleased to hear my two sonnets were going to be published as a sequence, a brief sequence nonetheless, but would I please rework a line in one of them. I quickly agreed to do that, but haven't got it done just yet.
I wrote the sonnets, partly because I had made some stabs at them months and years back, but also because I'm teaching a Shakespeare course right now and as part of reading and discussing some of the sonnets, I had students write sonnets as well. I didn't think I would be doing a good job, having students embarrass themselves, if I wasn't willing to embarrass myself as well, so I dredged up my languishing sonnets and got them into shape. It's quite enjoyable to work on a piece so small and compact. I'm not all that good at it, but if I can crank out 152 more of them, of publishable quality at some level or another, and then churn out a couple dozen Broadway worthy plays, and then pen a few longer poems, I just might rival Shakespeare.
Then again, maybe I'll just plod along and work on sonnets as I feel inspired to, rework my novel from National Novel Writing Month, and try to get that published. It's a long shot, but what piece of art or literature isn't? George Orwell says that every piece of writing is doomed to failure, and I feel the same way about most of what I write. For today, though, my writing is a little bit less of a failure. I'm wondering what my parents will think when I send them the publication, or what my siblings will think? They won't think I'm great, that much I know. Good thing I don't do it for them. Rachel, she expressed some joy for me when I told her. One of the sonnets is about her mother, the other about her grandfather, both about the death of each. Once they're published I'll either post a link or post them here, but I don't want to still the thunder of their actual publication later this spring.