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Chapbook and The Broken Path

I spent time today on two projects. One is a chapbook of poems written by my poetry course students. Some people haven’t mailed in their poems yet, but most have, and it’s now at almost 50 pages. I’m guessing 60-72 pages when it’s done. I’ll see what the costs are at the printshop, to get enough for three copies for each student, plus a few spares for me and for other profs in the department. (Plus mailing a few to friends.) Since I cannot do the layout for staple-bound texts, they’re going to have to be perfect-bound, and that costs a little more, but not much. I’m guessing a few bucks per student, plus a few more from me, ought to do it.

The other project is a tidy-up and edit of my short story “The Broken Path” (a.k.a. “The Spike”). I got some differing advice and I picked and chose what seemed right. Even though I’ve cut lots from it, the story is still kinda long — I failed challenges from a couple of friends to cut it to 7500 words or even 5000 words — but there’s more tension right from the start, and I cut prodigious amounts of the forest-wandering that slowed down the beginning so much. The magic is more apparent, a troublesome subplot is gone, but the story is still longish. The ending, though — the last scene or two — still need a little work. Everything else is pretty much good to go, save for a final proofread.

That means I should be able to get back to my other story, “Eight Days,” by sometime tomorrow or Wednesday.  The story’s really troubling me, and feedback from a very quick friend didn’t really ease my discomfort, though it was bang-on. (Though more crits are on the way, and who knows but they may clarify things for me in ways that aid me in vanquishing this ghostly monster of a story!)

In any case, I suspect “Eight Days” is gonna take some real time and work, and therefore I worry there won’t be enough for me to get it in by deadline. But if so, what can I do? I’ll have to accept it and find somewhere else that’ll consider the story. Ah well… the best thing to do now is to go to bed!

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