Winding things up

Today I came into campus to integrate what I’ve been writing at home into my existing materials. I find that I can compose new material really well on the iPad (using Pages), but that I am not able to do any serious editing on it. For that I need the full features of MSWord (ugh, I know) and the large screen of a desktop computer.

So I added the section on Når nettene blir lange and the conclusion to chapter five, and I reformatted the book introduction, and added a couple of paragraphs there (Foucault, the briefest of references to space/place theory). I also decided I needed to say something about my choice of “cabin” (and occasionally “cottage”) for “hytte” rather than “hut,” which-with apologies to my friends in the UK-is totally wrong in terms of its associative and emotional register.

For some reason I decided to see what a whole manuscript would look like, so I put together the intro and five chapters in one document. As I was doing so, the lack of a conclusion started to nag at me. I really want to leave a copy of the whole manuscript with my colleague before I take off for the Ibsen conference in Tromsø next week. I basically won’t be able to do anything with the book at all after this Friday, since I’ll be on vacation in the US for the whole month of July, and I so desperately want to get a full draft done. I know there’s going to be a ton of revision when I pick it up again, and from past experience I know that having a good long break where I don’t look at my work at all is really helpful.

So, long story short, I started drafting the conclusion. I did the same thing I did with the Peer Gynt book, which is to go through each of the chapter conclusions and cull the main points from them, and then expand on them and link them together in the book conclusion. It sort of started to come together, but I think I need some distance to be able to tell for sure.

I went ahead and printed out the whole document, thinking I could drop it off with my colleague today. But then I started reading the first page of the intro and found about three things I wanted to change, and I discovered that I had forgotten to insert page numbers in this new document, and so it seems pretty clear that the universe is telling me to take this copy home with me and read through it carefully. I can then do a run through of editing on Friday and leave it with him then, which is what we had originally agreed on any way. I don’t know why I get so anxious to get things out of my hair. I just need to take a deep breath and actually really read what I’ve written to see if it all holds together as a book.

So, basically, my decks are getting pretty clear right now. The only other tasks I have hanging over me are:

  • peer reviewing an article manuscript for a journal (deadline asap)
  • grading about 40 essays (deadline Monday 24 June)
  • revising and expanding a conference paper (deadline 31 July)
  • putting together an abstract for an article for a special issue of a journal (due 1 August)
  • putting together an abstract for an article for a special issue of another journal (due 15 September)

I think I’ll try to pull together the article review tomorrow, then spend the rest of the day reading the book manuscript. Thursday I have to attend an all-day event at my son’s school. Friday I need to finalize my conference paper and Keynote presentation, in addition to making whatever minor corrections to the book manuscript seem sensible before passing it on to my colleague.

I’ll be at the conference all next week, and will be taking the grading and the article revision along to work on. It’s always hard to work at conferences, but those are pretty portable projects (i.e. made up of small units that don’t require extended attention), so I should be able to get through them.

Words written: I didn’t count the additions to the introduction, but the conclusion came in at 1382 new words.

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