Earlier, I was trying to figure out which I hate more--my own rejections or the ones I have to dish out, particularly when it comes to the press, the chapbooks. I feel there's a bit greater weight to the seriousness of submitting a manuscript--not just a couple of poems--but something larger. While I've been known to make rather quick decisions with Wicked Alice based on whether the piece in question trips my trigger, this takes a little longer. I carry some manuscripts around for days when I'm on the fence. Reading and re-reading. I think it sort of calls for an even greater sense of seriousness in my task as an editor. And so much of what we get is completely competant and sound work, but unless I can hold it and say "Good god..WOW..we just have to publish this"--I have to say no. not enough time..not enough resources. Sometimes to people whose work, on a poem by poem basis, I love. It's frustrating, and I hope the things we turn down find a home elsewhere, and I know for a fact some do. But I hate to think I'm returning someone's baby to them, a little scuffed, and saying "sorry, we just can't keep her.."
Today a round of rejections, with still a half dozen or so that have made it to the next round. Which I will no doubt agonize over for another week or so. I hope to have the inbox cleared (at least everything up til the last month or so) somewhat by the time I leave for vacation on the 11th. Next year, I'm thinking maybe a shorter reading period may alleviate some of the deluge. Maybe April through June instead of October. I still have at least four slots left-more if I decide to double up on releases. And there are a couple of quasi-solicitations in the work (basically me badgering people into submitting). All of which will be fit in somehow around the others.
Tonight, I'm filling orders and printing Failed Stars . As soon as we get some line length issues fixed in Vestigial Portions, I'll be doing those as well. Look for both available soon.