Saturday, September 19, 2009

Promises, promises . . .

I had promised myself that I would start on the Big Blue Book (BBB), the course book for A363, which arrived last week but, as in all plans of mice and men, there seems to have been one thing after another stopping me this week!

Between illness and unexpected trips and visitors, I feel as if I've barely had a moment to think, let alone look in any depth at the book, but I'm determined to do better next week, as I feel I need to make a head start, just in case ill health puts me behind with the course which, if this last few weeks is an example, will probably happen.

I've managed a brief look-through and, from the small amount read, I really feel I'm going to enjoy this course, even if it is a giant step up from my usual studies so far. To prepare ahead of myself a little, I've already started an embryonic support group of friends and fellow-students who will be doing the same course, albeit in different tutor groups, and I think this will be of great help to all of us, especially as we're all feeling a little apprehensive over learning about script-writing for the first time.

But, whatever faces us once the course starts, I'm sure we'll be able to cope with anything thrown at us, with the support of each other!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Big Disappointment . . .

I guess you could call the following a warning - to any publishing virgins out there, be very careful how you go about having your work published . . .

When the postman knocked on my door this morning, and handed me a large envelope, I was fairly sure it contained the copies of the poetry anthology that my poem had been published in, so it was with great excitement that I opened it - to discover that's exactly what it held!

In a matter of moments, I'd looked through the index to find which page it was on, and then hurried to look at my pride and joy.

It was with horror, that I saw what was supposed to be my poem, and I sat there open-mouthed with shock at what I was reading. I could have cried, and couldn't believe that this had been done. I was on the phone within minutes to the publisher, to see what had happened.

Now, to explain all of this, I need to go back to when my final proof copy was sent to me. I had read, then, with horror, the hash that had been made of my poem, and had immediately tried to correct things before sending it back but, with very little space to do so, I found it impossible, as there were just too many things wrong for me to do it in the small space provided.
And so I decided that the only thing I could do, was to re-write the whole thing - the proof copy, and my poem, which I then did so.

I sent it all off assuming, in my printing innocence, that the proof reader would check this final proof against the one they had sent me.

And now, to my despair I saw that they, in fact, hadn't!

After speaking to a nice young lad at the main office, I was given the choice to send the copies back but, as I told him, it didn't stop the hundreds of copies already out there - and with my name attached!

I had resigned myself to returning the copies, powerless to change it all, and to the embarrassment of having this . . . thing with my name attached to it - and then, an hour or so later, I had a phone call from the managing director of the firm, who informed me that it was all my fault, as I hadn't sent a letter with the corrected copy telling of my changes - something that hadn't even occured to me was needed.

I acknowledged that I hadn't done this, as I had assumed that both the original copy they had sent me, and the final proof, would be checked against each other and, on saying this, was swiftly disabused of the idea, and told in no uncertain terms that they didn't do this, and it was all my fault, especially as I had sent a copy of the final proof, and not the original proof they had sent me which, as I told him, would have been impossisble after trying to fit every change in, and making an unreadable mess of it in the trying.

And so the conversation ended with an abrupt, 'Do you want to send the books back or not?', to which I replied a resounding 'Yes!' and then had the phone slammed down on me!

I sit here, totally baffled as to how a publishing firm doesn't even check it's final proofs against the originals. I acknowledge that my ignorance in how things are done contributed to this farce, but I'm also bl**dy angry at the way in which they dealt with both the issue, and with myself in my upset.

I will definitely not be using this firm again, and will be very wary as to how things are dealt with, if I ever have the chance of anything of mine being published again - not that I see it happening, especially with that abomination out there with my name on it!

I figured that I might as well show everyone the two different versions of my poem (which is a Villanelle, by the way). The one I had been proud to call my own, and the version it turned into - I leave it to you, the reader, to decide which one is best . . .

My Final Proof:

On The Trapeze

I fly up here, above the roaring crowd,
my thoughts so hard upon my high-strung deeds -
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

I never thought that I would be allowed
to do the one thing I would always need,
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.

I paused aloft and then, with grace, I bowed
to crowds who came, and let me take the lead -
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

At first it was so high that I felt cowed,
as though I were a lost and floating reed -
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.

I loved it so much, that I nearly howled,
and those who tried to stop me had to cede.
Soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

So now I spend my life as I had vowed -
above the people, who I have to heed,
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd -
soaring; my heart lifts with my utter glee.

And their version:

On The Trapeze
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd,
my thoughts so high on my high-strung deeds -
My heart never lifts with my utter glee.
I never thought that I could be allowed,
to do something that I would always need -
I fly up here, above the roaring crowd.
I soar above, and then with grace I bow
To crowds who watch, as I take the lead -
My heart lifts with utter glee.
At first it was so high, that I felt cowed,
as though I were a lost, floating reed -
I fly up here above the roaring crowd.
I love it so much, and I am so proud
Of soaring on my high-flying steeds,
My heart lifts with utter glee.
And now I spend my life as I had vowed -
above the people who I must heed,
I fly up here above the roaring crowd -
my heart lifts with my utter glee.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

It's getting nearer . . .

Just a few days after the spiral-bound version of my course book arrived, another parcel was delivered with the usual copy of the book, so I now have 2 - one I can underline, write notes in, and generally make a mess of, if needs be, and the other I can keep as clean as I would wish. I find this really helpful, as I really hate to deface a book in any way, so I can make use of the spiral-bound copy as a true work-horse while appeasing my conscience that the 'true' copy stays pristine.

I don't know where this need to keep a book as perfect as possible began. It may have been when I was very young as, with a large household, and not much money, my mother treated our possessions as treasures hard to replace. Whatever did it, I find it desperately hard to mar a book, unless it's made expressly for that, of course! :)

It's becoming a lot more real to me now, that the course will be starting in less than a month, and I am desperately trying to get myself well enough to be able to concentrate on the work involved. It will help that I've already got a small support group together - fellow students that have been with me on other courses, and who are doing this one with me as well. We may live in separate parts of the country but, thanks to the Internet, we are barely a second apart, figuratively. I've been involved with groups like this on my other courses, and it helps tremendously to be able to show others my work, and for them to show me theirs, so we can comment, and suggest anything that may need changing. The fact that we're in different tutorials helps as well, as different tutors give a different view on the work we do, so there's always some new way of looking at things! :)

I've not done as much writing as I would like this break - I've been concentrating more on the refining of work already done - practicing all I learnt on my last course and, although there's a different slant going on with the new course, I'm hoping the revising will help with the new things I'll be learning. I am so looking forward to learning how to write scripts! This is something that interested me when at school but, unfortunately, life got in the way of me pursuing it, so this is a chance for me I never thought I'd have again.

I've also sent another poem off. I'm getting used to waiting for a response to them, and any critique is always useful! Lol