Tuesday, August 31, 2010


A poisoned rat from some gross neighbor's backyard cleaning project showed up on my driveway tonight spasming and staggering, and running aggressively at the Things. I freaked. I tried to run it over with the car, but lacked fortitude. Tried again, and just couldn't do it. I called animal control, who responded that they really deal more with "domesticated animals." (Shoulda told them it was my pet rat.) Got transferred to Division of Wildlife, who said that rats were a little small for their notice. Hysterical. Screamed at the rat to get the hell out from behind my growboxes. Kicked the growboxes, kicked the house, screamed unintelligibly at the rat. Screamed at the kids to stay inside, away from the crazy rabid rat. Stalked it with a flashlight, throwing down trashtalk I couldn't possibly have made good. Called my dad, who drove 20 minutes to chop it up with a shovel. I'm a weak, weak, nonselfsufficient homeowner and a shame to the title of mountain girl.

My self-imposed deadline for finishing the bookdraft was August 31. I went on a long camping trip, I got the Things back to school, I had other professional responsibilities, I lost my freaking camera, I got sick and can't shake it. I didn't make the deadline. I don't even care. I'm going to bed.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Is that the goal? I mean, of academic book titles? I'm within a couple of days of finishing the intro, and I'm starting to look down the line, past the fall of revisions, to the sending out of the proposals. And I'm wondering: do I choose a title that accurately reflects the main argument of the book? Or do I go for a title that reflects the larger implications of the book, which get covered mostly in the concluding chapter, and though they are set up and gestured toward in the body chapters are not, really, the main argument of the book? Specific and potentially too-narrow-sounding? Or broad-flailingly aspirational?

I guess I'm wondering how much of a gap there is, in the proposal stage, between selling THE PROJECT and SELLING the project.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I just wrote to my Nemesis to see whether he'd be willing to read the intro when it's done (10 pages left!). I suddenly feel strangely like an adult.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What I'm doing for the last week or so, and time to come:

Hanging in the American Tropics with Neruda and the Things. Poolside, or on the beach. Reading, slowly, a Swedish mystery. When I'm not swimming. Brought 4 books and my chapter to work. Haven't even opened that bag.