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Sonnets and Heroes and Dragons? Oh, My.
anthonyjfuchs
You may have noticed that a couple of entries have mysteriously gone missing.

That's because I have amended, once more, my goals for `2012. I'm a Libra; I'm capricious; it's what we do. As it turns out, writing sonnets is not quite as easy for me now as it once was. I'm not sure if that's a comment on the quality of my sonnets then or my talent as a poet now, but in either case, I have decided to postpone The Year of the Sonnet again. I haven't decided whether I'll pick it up next year or wait for the next leap year or just put it off until I feel the Muse's gentle caress down the back of my neck, but that's mostly because I'm apt to change my mind about any "decision" I make on the matter.

I won't call this endeavor a total loss. I came out of January with 22 new sonnets. Some of them are rubbish. A few are good. One is truly great, and it's one worth sharing, so I offer, in lieu of 366 sonnets or 384 sonnets, just one really excellent sonnet:

         The sweetest breath of January air
         that ever sighed itself against my cheek
         could only dream of being half as fair
         as every single syllable you speak.
         The morning eye of everburning gold
         that blooms beyond the borders of the day
         is dimmed when it endeavors to behold
         the piercing iridescence you display.
         The everbending depths of winter skies
         expand unceasingly, and meditate
         on whether they could hope to memorize
         cerulean reflections you create.
            The beauty of the universe is true
            because it draws magnificence from you.

So with The Year of the Sonnet off the table, I am concentrating instead on editing the first draft of The Danger of Being Me into a presentable second draft. The first draft currently runs 121,139 words, which works out to 414 pages of Book Antiqua 14-point font on 5"-by-8" pages. At the moment, I'm looking toward a second draft of about 90,000 words, which means I get to cut roughly 30,000 words, or about a quarter of the manuscript.

The vast majority of those cuts will come out of the first 50,000 words of the book, which is the narrative hotchpotch that I wrote over the course of a dozen years going back to the late-1990s. Some of the passages written by that teenage kid who used to be me are positively painful to read, and I'm frankly looking forward to carving away some of that literary fat. Since those first 50,000 words essentially serve as Act One in the story in the first place, the editing and rewriting that I do there will really just amount to getting rid of everything that isn't necessary to set up the events that take place in the last 70,000 words.

In this case, the excess verbiage happens to be about half of the wordcount, and I won't be sorry to see it go.

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