... I had to decline an acceptance for publication of a much earlier version of the chapbook manuscript that will be published by Dancing Girl Press this fall. As an editor myself, I feel sort of shabby about having to withdraw a manuscript after it was accepted, but I honestly believed that a year was the cutoff time to expect an answer one way or the other, since the maximum advertised wait time had been six months, and it's been over a year and a half.
I also feel shabby for complaining about wait periods, but it can be hard to wait sometimes, especially when it comes to "firsts." It was the same way while I was waiting for those first few journal publications, and this will be my first print chapbook. But sometimes with my own journal, I end up making people wait longer than the advertised time, and I feel shabby about that, too. It happens, and there are generally reasons -- the chief one being time and the lack thereof. The press in question is one I admire, and I know they are swamped with manuscripts.
But all's well, and I'm proud to be appearing with Dancing Girl Press, which to be honest was my first choice of publisher for this chap, although the version that DGP accepted wasn't the first one I submitted to them, and I have to be honest again and say that I'm really glad that's the case, because the revised lineup I have right now is the first one I feel really 100 percent confident about sending into the world. I tried to convince myself I felt that way about the previous versions, but it was more like 99 percent and falling with every re-reading.
That doesn't mean I think this iteration is perfect, or that any poem I'll ever write will be perfect, whatever that means, much less a book of 'em, but I feel good about it, and not afraid to see it in print. Let's be frank one more time: the thought of seeing one's work in book form for the first time is exciting, but that's a different matter than feeling OK about the work itself. I feel OK about this work. (And I'm fighting off with a stick the temptation to add a disclaimer, like "for the moment," durnit.)