The major thing is final revisions on the book manuscript. There's work I need to get done on that in the next three weeks when I'm not teaching that I absolutely cannot put off until after the semester begins. I need solid time - time to explore big ideas and to flesh out difficult passages from one idea to the next. That's not the kind of work I can do easily in fits and starts. I know this about myself, and I accept it. I also know that over the past three spring breaks I've managed to force myself into that dedicated working time, with good results, and so I have faith that I can do so over the next three weeks as well. Well, or I'm trying to have faith that I can do that. So what do I need to do in the next three weeks for the book?
- Massive amounts of reading. I need to flesh out some sections of the manuscript and make connections to texts that I don't currently discuss. This sounds more gargantuan a task than it is, actually, but I don't want to underestimate the work that lies before me, so I'm erring on the side of overestimation.
- Once those massive amounts of reading are completed (with the taking of extensive notes as I go), I will complete revisions on the intro chapter, chapter two, chapter three, and the final chapter, weaving in bursts of new material and smoothing out the transitions from one idea to the other. These are the most substantive of the revisions that lie before me, and if I can get them done by the first week of classes, I will be GOLDEN.
- Talk to my editor about some logistical stuff related to the book.
- Complete revisions based on a reader's report for an essay I'm doing for a collection. These revisions are fairly (ok, totally) substantive. It's not that the reviewer hated my essay. It's that the reviewer sort of wanted me to write a totally different essay than the one that I wrote. And so now, well, I need to find a way to write a totally different essay from the one that I wrote while retaining the substance of the essay that I did write, while still maintaining a reasonable length. This, my friends, shall not be easy. I should add, however, that I think the essay will be better for all of this finagling.
- Complete syllabi. Now, I've got reassigned time (yet again, so thank you, talisman of my blog name), so I have but three classes to teach in the fall. Three preps. Three syllabi that are not yet ready. I want to die.
- Unpack my office. Remember how I had the office recarpeted and had to pack up the whole thing? Yeah, I never unpacked. I feel that this may be something that does not get done before the end of Fall semester.
But then there's the possibility that I'll send out some job stuff this year. If there's anything good, I certainly will. I'm not yet willing to commit to where I am, so if there's anything appetizing, I shall apply, in spite of the fact that I have no time and no energy for such ventures. Ah well. A girl only lives once. And I'm a girl who believes in pursuing possibilities, even if they don't pan out. One learns from the pursuit, if nothing else. (This philosophy of life is probably why I'm not married, it occurs to me.)
So yes, all of this is what shall produce angst in the coming weeks and months. I know you care terribly, but it does help to write it all out, and to write it all out for an audience as opposed to for myself in the journal, in which I have the pesky tendency to devolve into unadulterated whining (and if you think this here is whining, you have absolutely no idea.)
And now, since you have read through all of this ruminating, I shall reward you with a picture from my trip. This was taken in Wales, and tragically I don't think you really see the gorgeous shafts of light that were coming out of the sky onto the view below. That said, I am in love with Wales. Yes, in love with the whole place. In a way that I have never been in love with a place in my life, and no, not even in the way that I am in love with Italy. It is so beautiful and lovely that I don't know why we all don't live there. Seriously.