I feel I need to make myself work.  I’ve tried so hard to make myself work and get on with the work and get on with life, and sometimes I’m able but most often I’m not.  It’s not just the mourning. I haven’t really had time to mourn.  It’s not just the headaches involving Mom’s ex husband and the endless paperwork and looking out for my family’s (and Mom’s and my) interests with something new coming up every day before we could even take a breath.  I’ve gotten some non-Mom stuff done since her death.  I finished the revision of Kevin Reid’s chapbook and got his copies to him (albeit too late for his event). I created Kindle editions of two of last year’s CC Press titles.  I gave a reading last week in Delaware.  I made myself get back to posting a poem daily in the cyber litmag.  And I responded to a hundred submissions that had been sent to me between September and January.

[Of the submisssions I’ve made it through, I’ve only accepted one chapbook (because it was short, excellent and by a local writer).  I rejected dozens.  I set five aside for further review (I really like them and don’t wanna reject them, especially after holding on to them for so long, but feel I can’t accept any more manuscripts until I get caught up with the thirty books I’m already committed to publishing).  I found another publisher to take on one of the five.  I still need to respond to the other four.  And that’s just the book submissions.  The rest of the September through mid-January batch were cyber litmag submissions. Of those, I chose three poems by William Merricle and one by Sy Roth to publish and sat aside the work of three other authors for further review (I like their poems but couldn’t decide whether/which to accept).  Beyond all that, I still need to read chapbook and litmag submissions that were sent to me between mid-January and today.  I’ll make up my mind that I just can’t accept any more chapbooks till I get caught up.  But then I’ll read them and find something I love and change my mind.  I really shouldn’t have this problem because we’ve been closed to unsolicited chapbook submissions for some time.  But they keep coming and although I may not make the time to read them right away. I find I simply have to read them eventually.  How can I reject something I’ve never read? It could be the best thing I’ve ever seen, right? But my first obligation is to the authors I’ve already accepted.  Four of them have been waiting over a year and a half to see their books in print, and would’ve already been published if life (and death) hadn’t intervened.  I need to be patient with myself.  But I also fear making others lose patience with me.]

With Mom gone, I’ve undergone an unprecedented paradigm shift.  In many ways, especially in the past year (but always), she has been my life, or at least a huge, irreplaceable part of it. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces and move on. I can’t even find the pieces.  And where is there to move on to?  It’s not just that I’m not getting publishing done. I’m not writing either.  I’ve finished one aimless poem and three “haiku” since December. I don’t even feel like writing.  What can I say?  What good are my words?  There are more important things.  And it feels like the most important is gone.

But I will work again.  Later tonight or tomorrow or next week, my mood or energy level will shift and I’ll accomplish something.  I will keep my commitments. And I will help produce some great books by some great authors.  But today, at least at this moment, I can’t do it.  I don’t want to do it. I’m not ready yet.  I need time.  And this is not good for my ego or self esteem or even (I imagine) to the authors I’ve committed to.  But it’s the truth.  I’m sorry.

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