Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's absolutely glorious to be sleeping in my own bed again. This morning I woke up to pouring rain and cooler air. Unfortunately, I arrived home last night to find nothing but rejection in my mailbox, two book prizes and a regular rejection for the manuscript. Spent the evening unpacking and sullenly vowing to Cafe Press self-publish under the imprint Bad Kitty Books. (hmm...maybe I SHOULD be writing erotica). We'll see how I feel about this after the rest of those announcements come rolling in later this year. It's an option.

And then I start question WHY I want a book so bad, I mean, besides a fetish for glossy covers. I don't really NEED one, having absolutely lovely chapbooks. And the audience that typically finds its way to my work does so mostly online and through readings, not bookstores. Lately, my manuscripts fall toward the shorter length anyway. And I like that cheaper volumes sometimes attract more sales, that I can give them away on occasion. A book would be nice to have available at readings and such, but maybe it goes back to that old belief that real writers write books, plain and simple. And what's funny is, yes, I've written them, but no one wants to publish them, at least not in the contest system where they're clamoring for attention with a thousand equally competent manuscripts. And someone else wanting to publish them is integral, as well, not merely self-publishing. I think this myth sets in my head right next to the thought that I really should have published a book right about now, by this age(31), by this point in my career, by this whatever--and together they make me insane. And I'll be the first to jump to the defense of chapbooks, but somehow in the end, I also want something a bit more hefty, more solid, more permanent, not a booklet, but a book. There also some revisions I've done since the chapbooks came out, some more polished poems that might benefit from a final, more definitive version. There's a sweep, a scope to entire collection, a tying in. Maybe I need that validation, somehow, even though I regularly claim to need none whatsoever. Sometimes I just say fuck it--I'll just continue publishing chapbooks, maybe with other presses, maybe just myself, but then I look at the stack of books on the nightstand and my heart sinks. It's totally stupid, I know. But I'm not quite ready to give it up.


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rebecca said...

i know your need for books, i feel it, too. and your publishing me, that's the first of me out there and i treasure it.

but you, at 31....just wait till you're older. and i hope you aren't, older with this feeling of where are my books? where are all my books, my fucking glorious books?

anyhow, there's a "hurricane in my buttonhole." that's so glorious, so you and amazing. there it is.

marybid said...

I feel your pain, sister in being 31 and bookless. We'll get there eventually...won't we?

As much as I love being the oddball person who got a tenure-track cw job sans book, I want the damn book!


Dreaming of shiny covers,


PS--I don't even have a chapbook, so it doesn't get much more bookless than me.

Brandi said...

In the overall scheme of things, I think you both (K + Mary) are doing very well for yourselves! Everyone knows it's just a matter of time for both of you... 31 seems to be fairly young for most poets, anyhoo... Don't get discouraged! :)

Christine E. Hamm, Poet/Professor/Painter said...

Bad Kitty Books?

I've been toying with the idea of starting a press called "Lying Bitch Press" through Lulu.

Hee. Something about animals and books -- seems linked.