Happy fall! How's everybody doing? In no particular order, some thoughts:
- Twitter: There's a lot going on over there, including people leaving in droves, as Musk tries to charge $20/month for blue checks and bring back the most toxic man in America besides himself. I'm staying for now because of this logic: (1) Musk did this for attention and will get bored with it sooner rather than later; (2) he won't want to keep pouring money down a losing proposition; (3) he doesn't understand that the users are creating the content. Scalzi said it better than I just did.
- Covid. Despite my masking everywhere for the past few years & getting every vaccine & booster, Covid has finally caught up with me over some travel--and yes, I masked on the plane, etc. It's funny: when you tell people that you have it, they say things like "oh, I need to get my booster" or "oh, I should start wearing a mask again," which subtly implies to my feverish ears that I should have done those things--which I already did. It's a "just world" type of hypothesis, where if you do what you're supposed to do, a particular result will follow, except that sometimes it doesn't. But the masking, vaccines, etc. have made the experience far less severe than it could have been.
- Travel. No two airport systems are alike, and since airports are filled with funnel points of no return, it's possible to be very stressed out about where to go and what the process is. I feel no need ever to do a puzzle escape room; the process of figuring out how to rescue lost luggage, where and when to check in, etc. is plenty challenging enough. The European system of announcing a gate on a board only10 minutes before the flight closes and when the gate is 10 minutes away ensures that you get an aerobic workout as you race down the corridors.
- Students. I hired students to do a project, and it's exciting and fun to work with them and to see them learn things. The only downside is that the project involves documents with cursive handwriting, which is challenging for them.
- Writing. The writing is, or was, moving along pretty well on my new project.Is anyone doing NaNoWriMo? Do we do that any more?
Hope you all are well, and I really mean it.
How lovely to hear from you! But I am sorry to hear that you are (or have been) ill. I bet the "I need a booster" thing is just that people experience your news as a reminder, or as a guilt-trigger, the way "I just went to the doctor" makes me think "damn, I really need to find a new doc."
I'm glad to hear the writing is going well! NaNoWriMo is still going on, but my sense is that most academics are way too overwhelmed to tackle a novel or even pieces thereof right now. (I thought about doing a much smaller write-along on my own, and I can't face even that.) There used to be an academic equivalent, trying to push along a single project, but I haven't seen anybody attempting that. I was supposed to be done with something by now so I could exchange pieces with a friend who is writing for the same special issue, but she's running behind so I am too. We both do need to finish by the Monday after Thanksgiving, so I guess that's my academic project for the month.
Travel: I hear you on the European gate-announcement thing! The only thing more annoying is getting down there only to find that the flight has, after all, been delayed.
It's so good to see a post from you! I am sorry about Covid, but I'm glad it's mild.
I am trying (or trying to try) NaNoWriMo this year, for the first time with an actual novel. I have about 50k words of a first draft (all written in July and August) in a genre where 80k words or so is a full novel. I really hope to get it done and ready for critique partners by the end of the year, and then I start sending it out before spring semester starts, because I will be so fucked in the spring, and *not* in the fun way.
I'm always low-key writing short fiction, and I will try to do daily blogging in November, too. Too much, you say? Of course! If I am not going crazy with overwork, I am lazing about. Also, writing is kind of like sex -- the more you do it, the more you want to do it.
The converse is true, too: if you stop it, it's harder to get going again. So I am planning to bathe and drown myself in words this November. So far I am fired up. Let's see if it lasts.
Dame Eleanor--good to hear from you! I remember AcMoWriMo or whatever it was--the academic equivalent of NaNoWriMo--but haven't seen anyone doing it.
xykademiqz--good to hear from you, too, and congrats on your 50k words of a first draft. I have stopped for so long that I can't seem to get started again but will try again.
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