Monday, March 23, 2015

Snug

It's sleeting out. Dark gray skies, wet gray roads, the drum of ice on the roof.

I'm very happy to be home and alone this morning! Even if I do need to go read some Kristeva.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Condensing

I'm in the process of trying to take about 75 pages of written material and condense it down to roughly 20. (Twenty-two, if I'm really bold.)

And, of course, I find that there are things that I'll need to add.

I'm at about 30. The first 15 are okay, but the second 15 are a total mess--a 38-page-chapter that I've just hacked at until it's shorter, eliminating all of the obvious stuff. It's a disaster. I think that I need to print it again. (Or is that stalling? Doesn't matter; I'll do it. Double-sided. Sorry, trees.)

So condensing sort of sucks, because it's so hard to know what's really important, sometimes. And then, you take a bunch of stuff away, and what's left seems more or less fine on its own...so what was with the many many pages of apparently superfluous writing that's now gone? Should I get rid of it in all versions and drafts? (Answer, for now: NO. I can't face it. And I'm not convinced that my cuts are ultimately for the good. Also, surely there was a reason that I wrote all that other stuff?)

But it's a salutary exercise, too, one that I would consider adopting for the junior-level composition class. I'm forced to figure out what it is that I'm actually saying. On the macro level, this means that I'm cutting to the chase much more quickly (and also, of course, eliminating side arguments and some of the texture of the main argument--which is one reason that I'm not jettisoning anything that I'm cutting for this version). On the micro level, I'm streamlining my prose. How many "sort of"s and "it would seem that"s can I pack into 12,00 words? TOO MANY, that's how.

Back to it. I've got 10 pages to chop. (Twelve, really, because there are still a few paragraphs to be written....)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

So what's up, then?

Well!

I've been living in a degree of suspense, about which I cannot blog. The suspense is partly alleviated--which is to say that it continues. But, since I can't talk about it, I'll change the subject.

I'm writing on sabbatical, of course. A lot. And it...goes. I'm a process writer, I've decided, which means that I write a lot of garbage really quickly, then eventually figure out what I want to say, and revise heavily for a long time. I'm in the stage of having a lot of garbage. It is, at times, discouraging, but I think that there's a second book buried in there somewhere.

I'm knitting a second pair of convertible mittens/gloves ("glittens," a name I just can't get behind), this one for a Christmas present. Yes! I'm knitting a Christmas present in March! Because I need to knit something, and all I have is left-over yarn bits!

I try to practice the cello daily, but probably manage about 3/5 days. Hey, it's better than I did the last time I played the cello (which was in the early '90s).

I've taken up running, in a very small way--like 2 miles at a time, usually twice a week. If I really get my act together, I might do a 4-mile charity "race" in June, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Consider this a placeholder post, so that my pledge of a revival doesn't fall entirely by the wayside....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Revival?

So I'm thinking of awakening this blog from its long slumber.

Maybe even--gasp!--retooling the way it looks. I haven't redesigned the blog since 2008, I think. (To be honest, I read almost all of my blogs on The Old Reader, so I don't know what anyone else's blog looks like anymore.)

Why?

Not sure. Somehow, reading about New Kid's transition to The Desert Knitter got me thinking about how it would be fun to have a blog that reflects more of the sides of my life: academia, sure, but also knitting, and gardening, and yoga (to the extent that I have a semi-regular practice), and the cello lessons that I'm taking for the first time in 22 years (have I mentioned that I'm on sabbatical?), and raising a mostly sweet and silly little boy (3 in June!).

I don't know--I can't guarantee that I'll stay with it.

But let's give it a shot, shall we?