Struggling to Organize my Poetry Manuscript

I recently finished gathering together a lot of my poems to make a collection. To begin with I tried to put them in some categories based loosely on topic. Now, though, I need to go through and reorganize them.

Which poem should open the collection? Which should close it? How should they be arranged in between? Should they be in categories or just one after the other more randomly?

I have to answer these questions just about organizing the collection. Not to mention I have to consider if I’ll have notes about the poems, if I’ll include the date I wrote the poem on, if there will be illustrations in the book. Do I want just one poem for every two pages, or one for each page?

It was easier to write the poems to begin with than to figure out how I want to present them together!

Deleted Drafts “The Etaloniy Story”

Five years ago I began writing a story about a girl named Etaloniy Whitlock. The result was quite the disaster of a story. Because it is rather long, I have split what I have of her story into three parts.

1: CHANGES

I don’t know how to tell you this. I don’t think I can tell you this! My life is changing rapidly and I can’t do anything about it! Okay, okay, I’ll slow down and explain everything.

My name is Etaloniy Whitlock. I have one brother and three sisters. I also have two dogs (and a cat named Meecklow). My mom and dad are both in their thirties. Oh yeah, and I’m turning thirteen next month. In the dreaded month of the Ruby Rains!

So now I’ll explain how it all started….

Five years ago today I was soon to turn eight when my parents got divorced. I couldn’t handle the news, so, I went to my friend’s house and told my parents I wasn’t coming back. Two weeks into the arrangement I went crying back home — homesick. My mother welcomed me back joyfully. I wanted to see Dad, but Mom said he was on a business trip for about two and a half years.

Mom said Dad would be back in two and a half years, but we haven’t heard from him since. I’m starting to think he’s never coming back.

As if that’s not bad enough, that’s only the start of my troubles! I also have “friends” who are trying to make me sell my brother!!!! They told me that he was the cause of my troubles, so I should dispose of him as quickly as possible. I didn’t believe them of course, but I didn’t tell them that.

Meecklow is another story, but I might as well tell you of his wonders as a cat. Oddly enough he chases the dogs, and they are scared when he walks in the room with them. Meecklow doesn’t like my friends and after a fight with him they’re scared of him. So all-in-all he’s one exceptional cat.

Now for what happens daily to me….

2: DAILY

Ahh, breakfast my favorite part of every day. The reason is simple — the food is delicious (and it’s much quieter in the morning when everyone’s busy eating).

“Good morning sweetheart,” Mom says when I reach the kitchen.

“Good morning Mom.”

“Hey Bran,” I tell my brother.

“Hey.”

“Is Clamal up yet?” I ask Mom.

“Yes, she left for school already.”

“Did she take Preana to school?”

“Yes, sorry you missed them again. You just don’t get up early enough,” Mom told me.

“Well I’m not the only one,” I say as Maglina walks into the kitchen sleepily.

After the morning “glad you’re up” routine with her we all fall silent and concentrate on the food. This morning Mom made cinnamon toast rolls. Cinnamon toast rolls! Those are only for special occasions!

“Mom, what’s today?” I ask urgently.

“The day before the Ruby Rains,” she replies calmly.

“No! No! It can’t be!” I shout at no one in particular.

“Yes honey, just check the calendar,” she said back still calmly.

I get up and do just that. It’s true. Tomorrow the terror will begin as every year. My face pales and I go back to the table.

“The Ruby Rains. Why? Why!?” I shout.

The Ruby Rains are when it rains glistening rubies. That makes it dangerous, but it’s also a time of grieving for the people. This is because during this month a monster of a man took over the country. He’d parade through the streets in clothing decorated with rubies, mocking our pain. It was mockery because during the Ruby Rains over five hundred people die every week!

“Honey nobody knows why. It just is.”

I almost cry, but I can’t, not in front of my mom and Bran and Maglina. Instead I excused myself and went and got ready for school.

I dressed in my school uniform — a simple blue shirt and tan pants — then I don my socks and tennis shoes. I hurried, checked the clock, and rushed out the door. As soon as I was out the door I ran and waited for the bus.

I waited and waited and then it came! I was shocked to see the painted rubies glaring at me from the side of the bus. (This is normal, it happens every year the day before the Ruby Rains.) At the “monster of a man’s” orders the Ruby Rains are celebrated as a holiday, the only non-holiday-ness of this arrangement is that the children still have to go to school.

I jumped onto the bus as soon as the doors opened and went all the way to the back. I then waited for Bran and maglina to show up. They did knowing exactly why I left in a flurry. (They knew this because it happened every year the day before the Ruby Rains.)

The bus hurried to school so we wouldn’t be late. We arrived in about ten minutes with a busload of kids.

Past Poems (July)

All the poems I have here were written in July in previous years. Each is the first poem I wrote that July. I had wanted to share poems written on July 3 specifically but there were none.

[The last poem contains mentions of suicide.]

The Time Was Ripe

12 July 2015

The lack of inspiration that has brought me here today,

is reeling and pealing away my skin.

The time it has taken to come so far,

for half a month to pass,

seems far longer than what it was,

And yet too short for it to have been another year.

Nothing is making sense as it swirls through my brain

in a jumbled, hectic mess.

As my readers, you may have noticed, but if not

do not be alarmed,

I’m still writing, still plotting, still mentally involved.

Most of my best poetry

never reaches the paper,

A shame, really,

but true.

 

Shapeshifter

15 July 2016

I know not who I am

But who I make myself to be.

I know not where I hail,

‘Cept I lived among the sea.

I stay the same, but not in how they treat me,

My form shifts, and that is how they greet me.

Even thought I have not changed at all,

They do not realize ,and that will be their fall.

 

Long Awaited Meeting

18 July 2017

I wondered what she thought

as my life was on display.

Would it be for naught,

My suicide that day?

I longed for her to hear me,

so I joined her on that side.

Now that she is near me,

WIll my time, she bide?

The colors of this world we’re in

Were painted on for show,

But can you hear me o’er the din,

as the mem’ries around us flow?