Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Boomerang/Zombie/Indefatigably Persistent Article


I finally heard back from the 4.5-month R&R journal on Monday (the second day of our lovely beach vacation). There was no mention of what the reviewers thought of my extensive revisions. HOWEVER, there is now a THIRD reviewer, who recommends R&R with a whole DIFFERENT set of concerns!

OK, that's worse than it sounds. It is an R&R. It is promised to be the final R&R. And the concerns are primarily about clarity. To which I say, fair enough--although I haven't looked at my article since I sent it off in early April, I've been really struggling with and working through the ideas that it's developing, so lack of clarity is a real possibility.

On the bright side, Reviewer 3 appreciated my mastery of the secondary literature, much of which is in a language that I'm not very comfortable with and that I spent all of the spring semester slogging through. So that's something. In fact, I'm pretty pleased about that.

Initially, though, I wasn't pleased. I had that sinking feeling of rejection all afternoon, despaired of earning tenure, etc. Why does an R&R feel so crummy?

In this case, I'm also just out of patience with this dumb article (which isn't really dumb, I don't think, and which is the exploration piece for my second book, so I need it to be acceptable--and accepted). Here's it's history:

  • Spring/summer 2011: Article drafted.
  • August 2011: Submitted to Big Journal 1.
  • September 2011: Summarily rejected by Big Journal (BJ) 1.
  • January 2012: MLA talk given on radically revised version of argument.
  • January 2012-May 2013: Article completely ignored (by me).
  • May 2013: Acknowledgement (by me) that article is total crap, but that MLA essay had something going for it.
  • July 2013: Dramatically revised article (arguing the opposite position of its previous incarnation) sent to BJ 2.
  • January 2014: Query sent to BJ 2. Editor had misplaced submission. Editor sends it to a colleague, who reports that it isn't "sharp enough." BJ 2 rejection.
  • November 2014: Radically revised/rewritten article submitted to BJ 3.
  • February 2015: BJ 3 rejects article--accompanied, this time, by a thoughtful, detailed reader's report. Progress! But reviewer doesn't buy the argument.
  • Fall 2015: Article is now taking a totally different approach. Maybe 5% of original draft is still in there, mostly in the footnotes. Sent to writing group, who offers helpful advice.
  • December 2015: Submitted to BJ 4.
  • January 2016: First R&R from BJ 4.
  • January-April 2016: Agony, struggles, rewriting, etc. Resubmitted.

And here we are. Problems solved: The argument is no longer alienating my readers, and I have accounted for the secondary literature. All of it (or so it seems).

Soooo, tomorrow, I will print my essay and start the new revisions. I HAVE TO FINISH THIS F^%#@*$ER.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How Long?

So I'm in this really annoying limbo right now with two journals, both of whom gave me revise-and-resubmit verdicts, and both of whom have now been looking at my revisions for some time.

OK, in one case, it's been about a month. But it's been four and a half months in the other, so the second journal is suffering (in my mind) from the sins of the first--I simply can't deal with not hearing about EITHER ONE for ONE MORE DAY (something that I've been saying to myself for weeks and weeks now, of course).

Anyway. No substance, no plot, no resolution. I'm just getting impatient. (And I did contact the 4.5-month journal a few weeks ago. The editor sent my email along to another editor. And I wait.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's Just My Ovary!

--by which I mean, not something in my ovary, but literally my ovary, which, for reasons that are not at all dangerous or pathology-related, is in a somewhat funny place (atop my somewhat funny-shaped uterus, whose funny shape is also neither dangerous nor the result of something pushing on it).

This was what the radiologist told me; I won't hear from the doctor until tomorrow, so it isn't official, but I'm pretty sure that I can sleep easily tonight.

So, well, sorry for the panic!

It's Probably Nothing

I just got back from the doctor's office for my annual exam.

I have a new doctor, of course, because I just moved here a year ago. I like her, and my impression is that she's very thorough.

So as she was feeling around on the outside of my stomach and abdomen, she thought that she felt something.

It could be food. It could be stool. It could be a cyst. And it could be worse.

Now I'm filling my bladder with water in preparation for an ultrasound. I should hear back from the doctor with the results tomorrow-ish.

It's probably nothing. I'd just eaten lunch an hour or so previously, and I've had cysts before, and I've had pap smears annually and they've always been normal.

But I'm still scared.