I have been making an effort to proceed slowly with The Lilac Years. It has not been easy—once I start a new book, my inclination is to get it out into the world before I change my mind—but I am staying the course, as they used to say.
Part of this I can attribute to my decision to submit a few of the poems to a couple of journals. With at least one of those journals, the current submission period ends November 30th; a reply is promised ‘within 30 days’ of that date. I have been tempted to withdraw these submissions so that I can include the poems without having to worry about someone else’s right of first publication, but have managed to talk myself back from that particular cliff.
So far, this self-imposed wait has been useful. Over the last couple of days, while taking my latest pass through the book, I have found myself making minor edits here and there—e.g., switching the order of stanzas to improve flow; changing the occasional word to something that makes more sense, or to avoid unnecessary repetition; or eliminating unnecessary bits. And, in the meantime, allowing myself a more leisurely pace has enabled me to catch a couple of typos I might otherwise have missed.
At present, I am considering a publication date of February or March—unless, of course, one of the poems I have submitted is accepted for publication, in which case I will either make the necessary adjustments to accommodate that journal’s publication date.
(25 November 2017)