Saturday, November 21, 2009

Project Portfolio

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I finally got around to sifting through my story and poem files to make hard copies of anything I didn't yet have and anything that had been revised enough to warrant a new one. It is a task I've been putting off for months even though I'd been waiting for years for the opportunity before I finally had it as of July. I got my printer for my birthday last November but didn't even break it out of its box then, being busy with NaNo and plans to visit my Mom for a couple weeks before Xmas. I had planned to set it up right after Xmas. Then that visit was altered by her Mom's accident and instead of a couple weeks before Xmas it ended up being six months after Xmas.

But the printer has been set up since July and the excuses since then amount to massive procrastination on a majorly intimidating project. Actually I didn't completely blow it off. I have been doing the sifting part for months as a by-product of the work I was doing in working with my FOS story world and prepping for NaNo and doing NaNo. I had done the sifting for the poems while I was in Longview and they were just waiting to be tended to. For them I was intimidated by the formatting challenges.

On one of the shopping trips with my sister just before returning home last June, I picked up a box of 250 sheet protectors for three-ring binders. My mom gave me two very large--one is approximately 2 inches thick and the other 4--binders that once held the annual papers and reports for a couple of the agencies she used to volunteer for. I was intending to turn them into project files for my fiction--the smaller one for my sci-fi fantasy trilogy and the larger one for FOS. I also bought a 1 inch thick plastic three-ring binder to create a portfolio for my stories. So I could migrate them out of the current one they share with my poems.

The portfolio I created in the late nineties was a no-ring folder with 20 non-removable sheet protectors. The first 11 held poems--2 each, front and back--the rest held either whole stories or one sheet story seeds, again 2 each with the front page of the story facing out on one side and the story seed facing out on the other. I'd been wanting to move the stories out to make room for all the new poems created for Monday Poetry Train over the last two or three years. Many of them had been composed in Blogger and didn't exist even in files on my laptop let alone as hard copy. I did the work of hunting them down in my archives and copy/pasting them to my poetry WhizFolder while I was in Longview last spring. Was planning to print them off then but didn't get around to it. The biggest chore today was the formatting of each one individually. Since many of them had been composed in response to a photo or piece of art, I went ahead and included the graphic. The poem portfolio is now full with 40 poems. I have another dozen or so haiku but am waiting to do them.

One of the factors intimidating me about the fiction printing project was my plan to make clean copy or every single story and story fragment after doing a thorough edit. I decided to limit myself to only the fragments that did not yet exist in hard copy. There were less than a dozen pages that fit that criteria. The idea was to just get it all into one binder and see where things stood. And then replace each one as needed or as I get around to editing, revising or expanding them. I managed to stuff sixty-some sheet protectors into that binder. And all but a handful--five or six--are full with pages of stories or story fragments--full stories, partial stories, storyseeds, and random scenes from WIP.

After filling the portfolios I put labels on each that mimicked the look of titles: Poems by Joy Renee & Stories by Joy Renee. I was not prepared for how moved I was by the look and feel and heft of them as I held them, opened them and turned the plastic pages like the pages of a book.

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