Friday, January 05, 2007

Checking In

Hello dahlinks,
I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday season. Except all you lucky people who got to go to MLA and won't stop talking about how amazing it was. Enough, already! Way to turn a blah Philly MLA into something fabulous. Promise me this whole bloggers-at-the-big-convention thing won't burn out by next year when it's here in Chicago, okay?

Because I'm on the quarter system, my winter break started a few days before Thanksgiving and ended this week. On paper, that means six glorious weeks of sleeping in, writing at my leisure, reading, watching tv, and not talking to anyone between the ages of 18-22. In reality, I spent the first couple of weeks right where I had spent the preceding couple of months: in my office, at my desk, ticking through list after list of tasks. But I did end up getting a lot of writing done, including a tiny assigned piece on my author which led me to a really amazing discovery:

You know how I never write on this blog, but when I do it's to explain that, once again, I've revisioned my monograph? Well, mostly what I do is run away from the obvious book that I need to write, because if I don't, and someone else does, I'll never forgive myself. Well, writing the tiny piece on my author led me back into her ample bosom, made me remember what it feels like to really, really, really know a body of work, and helped me realize that I've let enough time pass so that I'm not sick to death of her very name. Which means that all the work I did this past year on an ambitious monograph about a whole genre of author (of which she is a part), all the semi-abstract theorizing I've done about this kind of author can fruitfully be applied specifically to The Author I Really, Really Need to Write a Book About Or I'll Never Forgive Myself and about whom I have written hundreds and hundreds of pages, all tucked away into Someday Files, which is to say:

I'm sitting on a draft of a goddamn, actual, bonafide manuscript. Right now. And it's not my dissertation, which is an impossible and unsaveable mess. It's a new book. But it's a mostly-written book, people. Which is handy, because at the last few conferences I went to, people kept asking me when my book on The Author I Really, Really Need to Write a Book About Or I'll Never Forgive Myself was coming out. So while last year my super-ambitous New Year's Resolution was to memorize "Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight" (still have two stanzas left to go), this year my resolution is to complete the revisions on this book, and get the damn thing on its way to the remainder bins.

Oh, and also, during this break, I discovered my new, very favorite vegetable: celeriac. The texture of a potato, the taste of celery. Amazing.

And also, (because I just slipped this into a list a few posts ago, and didn't let on how totally excited and blown away I am by this) that article I wrote this summer, in one frantic, feverish month? It got accepted. Oh yeah. It got accepted into a HUGELY fancy, hot shit journal, one which I NEVER in a million years would have expected to publish in.

Oh, and tv-wise, it's all about Dexter, my friends. I was cranky for the first five or so episodes, thinking "here's a fancy, cable version of CSI, big deal," and thinking that the show couldn't be that amazing if I could predict every plot twist before it happened. But then I realized they had just been slowly tightening the noose and by episode seven I was in way over my head. Good stuff.

Happy New Year, all my loved blog-friends. I promise to try to play better this year. It's just that I have such a hard time determining what is and isn't post-worthy, but even when you don't hear from me, know that I am faithfully lurking on your blogs and loving keeping up with you.


Anonymous What Now? said...

Goodness -- how extraordinary to find yourself suddenly sitting on top of an almost-finished book! Many, many congratulations to you, and hurrah for the article publication as well. Looks like 2006 wound up being a kick-ass year for you!

4:45 PM  
Blogger Flavia said...

So good to hear from you--and with such excellent news, too! Congratulations.

Oh, and a P.S.: this particular blogger with be in Chicago before next year's MLA. Like, next month. Will drop you an email once I have plane tix, etc.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

congrats on the article -- and yes, absolutely, get the mostly-written book out the door. (Not all dissertations should/need/to be books...especially when you've got another one you're more excited about)

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the article! That's wonderful news. I just came from the AHA, and it was as dreadful as usual. Will some MLA type please come to the AHA and give historians some fashion tips? We're a sad, poorly dressed lot.

The only blogging I've seen from said convention is on the Oxford don who got arrested for jay-walking as part of the Atlanta police department's zero tolerance policy, as in, they have zero tolerance for historians taking a short cut from one hotel to another. Whew, I'm glad those rogue wandering historians are being corralled and thrown to the ground before they get completely out of hand.


7:42 PM  

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