Yesterday I finally finished the recalcitrant poem with enough time left over to catch up on some record keeping. I counted it a good day.
I’m sure I qualify as a dinosaur for continuing to keep some of my writing information in record books, but so be it. A record book never crashes. It never changes programs. And it’s always where I keep it in the second drawer over, second drawer down, to the right of where I work.
Actually this is my third record book. I started the first one in 1959. First entry was FROM DAY TO DAY, April, 1959. It was 3,600 words long and cost 16 cents to mail. After it was rejected by Atlantic Monthly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Arizona Quarterly, I retired the story. I have no recollection of what it was about. The final entry was made on August 20, 1988. It was a story called BILLY and was my 165th piece of writing. Like the first entry, BILLY didn’t sell either, but 60 other stories and poems had, including WAKE UP, SUN! (1986) which is now in its 77th printing and has earned more than $100,000.
Record Book #2 opened with THE BOOK OF WITCH STORIES and ended with a poem called THE SLUG, finished on November 29, 2017, my 1,704th entry.
My 3rd record book is larger than the first two and has more pages. I won’t live long enough to finish it, but so far so good. Yesterday I smugly entered work #1,803, the villanelle that required the better parts of four days to complete.
I’m caught up now. I know what #1,804 will be. I’ll spend the rest of today getting started on it.