Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cleaning & Searching

I think about a month ago I posted something about all the journals I've collected in the last four years. Most of the room in the hall closet is taken up by those journals. And as I was going through them, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, online maybe is the way to go." Could we ever see Paris Review, Crazyhorse, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, etc. go strictly online? Both submissions and publication? I just don't have the room.

I'm going to call the local libraries and see if they'd be willing to take them to possibly sell in a book sale. They're all in mint or near-mint condition, and frankly, most I'm not going to read anymore. And I know that if I were new to the scene, with reading journals being an important first step (at least I thought it was and will always think it will be) in the possibly of ever trying to get my work out there in the few hands of folks who will actually read it, I would be picking up tons of these for a few bucks a piece or less. I don't want to see them in a landfill, but I can't justify keeping rows upon rows of journals on my bookshelves. So I hope they find good homes once I get the ball rolling.

Another scare today was almost not being able to locate my 25-page Philip Larkin A-paper that I wrote a few years ago at VCU. Most of the schools I'm applying to are asking for around a 20-page critical sample, and since my laptop all but blew up on me about a year and a half ago, the sometimes idiot I am came through: I didn't have it saved anywhere. So all I had was the original copy, and I made sure to have it with me during the movie in August 2008. Jess and I looked through boxes and boxes of papers, old rejections, old syllabi, etc. and couldn't find it.

Then I checked on the bookshelf, and low and behold, crumpled and crammed into David Perkins' ENGLISH ROMANTIC WRITERS, was my essay, and I could breathe easier again.

I did a massive 38-pager on Coleridge and Stevens about a year after the aforementioned essay was written, but it was a mess, and seriously needed to be revised. Since it's now officially November, and time's not slowing for the deadlines in a few months, it was imperative that I find the words of Mr. Larkin.

And even though I have to transcribe it again, I can improve it along the way, and my headache will not even make an appearance.

And these journals will finally get boxed up and into the hands of new aspiring writers who can hopefully find some flashes of inspiration within their pages.


As a little addendum, I wanted to point out posts by both Blake Butler and Shane Jones about the process of finding homes for their novels. Even though I'm not shopping out a novel myself, they're extremely honest and informative, so check it out if you have any kind of interest in such a thing.