Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The intro is dead. Long live the intro.

Revision:  done, yo.  Definitely better, more persuasive, 25% longer, more articulate, and clearer framing of my book's argument than the earlier draft.  Thanks, dismissive reviewer!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cool things.

1)  Out for a run tonight, getting overtaken by a massive hailstorm, with thunder and all. 

2)  Yo-Yo Ma's recent project with Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer (Goat Rodeo Sessions).  So good it makes me want to, I dunno, throw over this literature horseshit and make some music.

3)  Eating meals with smart, interesting, former-students-now-friends.

4)  _Luther_ on Netflix.  (Thanks, Blue Cheese.)

5)  The library!  My institution has faculty delivery, so I don't spend a lot of time in the stacks, I confess.  I usually just request a call number and the book shows up magically in my office.  But today I went over to get a couple of books and remembered how, when you head to the actual place where books are kept, you make sweet discoveries.  The shelves next to the book you want....those shelves usually have relevant stuff that you may not have found otherwise, armed merely with your disembodied LOC number.  It's like using the actual OED or 1934 Websters rather than settling for some website.  Serendipity! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Big plans

So I'm taking the Things on a major road trip/camping adventure for a couple of weeks this summer.   We're going a long way, through very cool territory, a few states and a couple of countries.  I've been planning it all out this evening, figuring out reasonable driving portions, maximizing cool adventuring in the places we set up camp.  I'm so, so excited.  But also a little anxious.  One of the things about being a single parent is that on a trip like this all the planning falls to oneself.  If something falls through, one must recalibrate on one's own.  If catastrophe strikes (and I'm talking here about, say, car catastrophes), then one must deal with both catastrophe and kids capably.  There's no off position on the parenting switch, no opportunity to let the other guy take over for a while. 

Before we depart, I must finish my work on the big anthology thing, as it's due to the publisher July 1.  I really have only a 12-page intro to write, but seem not to be able to, you know, write it.  Why?  Because my mind is wholly occupied with re-conceiving my scholarly book's intro chapter.  I'm reminded, as I re-engage with that chapter, what a lousy reviser I am.  Lousy.  It takes me so freaking long to write it the first time.  And when I write it the first time, I've really stretched to my capacity trying to get the argument down.  I'm almost incapable of returning to the scene of the crime, as it were, to shift things around.  Indeed, after two days of trying to do just that, I've resigned myself this evening to the probability that I just have to rewrite the intro chapter from scratch.  I'll actually have an easier time incorporating my big plans for this chapter if I start over than I will if I try to shoehorn them in.  That's dispiriting.  Especially since the big trip is looming right around the corner, and will virtually shut down my sustained thinking about any project for a couple of weeks.  July is looking grim indeed. 

At least I'll go into it fueled by s'mores.