Sunday, May 2, 2010


NaPoWriMo ended yesterday. The month of writing a poem a day is done and Saturday, I felt like something was missing. And then it hit me - no poem prompt. No poem.

But ever the trooper, I started editing a few. You see, there's a journal I've been reading for many years that has a three month window for reading submissions. That window doesn't open until the fall. Except, as a fellow writer noticed, there is a special poetry contest with a deadline of May 31st. My friend basically said - though in her own words - "I will if you will." So we agreed to each pick three of our 2010 NaPoWriMo poems to edit and submit.

I started out with a selection of eleven. That was easy to weed down to nine. Not enough, I knew, but it was a start.

I went back to the journal's website to see what details I could pick up to help me narrow my choices even further. And there were a few clues I chose to use and went back to the nine and, after several read-throughs of the poems, I whittled it down to six.

I then put those six into one document and uploaded it to my writing group for feedback, opinions, advice. I haven't heard back from anyone, yet; but I know I will. Then I printed them out for a non-writer (but avid reader) friend to get her opinion. And while she liked them she was unable to offer advice on which to pick for further editing and submission.

In the process of discussing them with her, however, it became pretty clear. One of my favorites has been nixed; hard to do and. Okay, I'll be honest - it isn't totally nixed. I put a question mark on the top of the page. The structure of the poem doesn't fit with what I saw from previous winners. I wonder if I should be a rebel and submit it anyway; as I said, it's one of my favorites and it flows. But three of the others are fairly strong - a little editing needed, of course, but strong. And they are more the style I've seen in the publication.

It can be hard to eliminate the poems. Trying to see through someone else's eyes I've never met. And perhaps tossing aside one of my personal favorites in favor of something more in line with the publication.