For the past few days, I’ve been digging through my chapbook manuscript, Life as a Moving Target. I wrote it 5 years ago (??!) after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and intractable vertigo. Originally, it was just to cope with the changes in my life, but it grew beyond that. So I decided to try to write a chapbook. I ended up with about 40 pages.
Over time, I tried to get it published, but no luck so far. That’s why I’ve decided to renew my efforts. I want to educate people about fibro and intractable vertigo. I’ve been made fun of, judged, and treated unfairly because of my health. Most of it is simply ignorance. And that was understandable 6 years ago. Now, with medication out and commercials and stuff, people should be more aware. But I still encounter ignorance, and it stings.
I feel that the poems in the chapbook are some of my very best. They’re also a bit different from my other work. They are grittier, more in-your-face. I tell it like it is. I think that suits the subject matter, because fibro and vertigo aren’t exactly light subjects.
So I hope to find a publisher for it.
I wrote two poems late last year for the chapbook, and I noticed a difference in the feel. Like, I’d changed. And it’s true — I’ve made peace with it, am happier than I’ve ever been, and I’m almost pain-free. I’d made some changes in my life, all for the better, and it has really helped. I did include them, because they are pretty good. But it’s interesting to note the difference.
And I’ve found that I really can’t go back and find my voice from when I wrote the bulk of the manuscript. It’s like I’ve changed so much that my voice changed, too. And that’s okay.
I also noticed, when editing the manuscript, I used alot of the techniques I use with writing. Parts needed to be rewritten, and I found it tough to get back into the poetry mode. It’s been years, folks, years. I remember when I was younger, all I did was write poetry. Got alot published, too. But as fiction took hold of me, I began to write poetry less and less. I did write a good amount of poems around the time I broke up with my ex-spouse, again as a way to cope, but that’s the last “poetry binge” I’ve been on. Kind of sad, really, how life changes and your goals change.
I thought about trying to get back into it, and I think I will, gradually. I don’t want to put pressure on myself — I’m already a perfectionist — but I’d like to give it a shot. Like, devote a few hours a week to it or something. I have another chapbook, Love Letters, that I never did finish.
So, viva la poetry. It’s time.