Regrouping

Lest you think I’ve just been lounging around the past few days, I can with hand on heart swear that I’ve been so busy putting the final touches on the Peer Gynt-book that I’ve been too exhausted to post about the astoundingly tedious work I’ve been doing. By no measure am I a patient person, so these past few days have been excruciating. And up until the very last I kept finding more and more stuff that could be improved (a reference here, a note there, some more complete bibliographical information here, more consistent formatting throughout the whole danged manuscript…).

At the end of the day yesterday I just had to send the thing off. No book is perfectly formatted. What’s most important right now is that fabulous Norwegian word framdrift (forward motion). I have just so many other things that need to get done. If (and it’s a big “if”) this book gets published, it will be more than two years from now, and in the meantime I have many pressing deadlines:

  • peer review an article for a journal by 1 February. This shouldn’t take me more than a few hours, since I’ve already read it through once, and have quite specific things I want to say about it.
  • put together a job application for a position I don’t have much of a chance at by 6 February. This could really be a time sink, as it will take some rhetorical acrobatics to make my background fit the specialty they’re looking for. On the one hand I seriously wonder if it’s worth the effort, while on the other hand it looks like a really fabulous job that I could really, really get into. We’ll have to see.
  • get my The Lady from the Sea lecture cobbled together for 20 February. This is kind of terrifying me. It basically means writing the equivalent of an article, but geared for a non-specialist public. I’m worried.
  • get some real writing done on the crime section of the cabin book by the same time, since I’m going to be presenting on that topic the same week. This is what I really want to spend all my time on. Here I’m on solid ground.

Today I’m going to get going on the cabin book again, and my first plan of action is actually to read all the articles in the anthology on Norwegian cabin culture that I contributed to last year. No writing goals for the day, but this is really necessary reading to get me back into the project.

An odd thing happened this week in among all the manuscript revision. I got a request out of the blue to contribute an article on a really specific topic to an edited volume. The deadline was impossibly short (something like two weeks from now, if I recall), so it was out of the question. But on a whim I responded by saying that I had this article in progress on Byatt that might possibly be a good match for the theme of the volume. The editor said it sounded interesting and asked me to send it. I have no idea what he’ll think about it, but it seemed like too good of an opportunity not to at least try.

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