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Friday, March 27, 2015

comparison/contrast

Oh, the difference between today and yesterday!

I got another late start today--long story which (unusually) I won't get into--but I realized that working on the socio-historical chapter was kicking up the "I'm stupid and I don't know what I'm doing" road blocks, so rather than trying to simply knock them down and continue, I decided to take a detour and spent today working on the glossary and pronunciation guide. And I'm finding it very difficult to make myself stop. I have errands I must run today (life maintenance that I've been putting off too long), so I really can't just keep going and going, but I'm happy as the proverbial clam. Happier, because, let's face it, clams are happy because they have no brains, and I'm happy because I'm having a blast using mine.

I'm also having a blast corresponding with Le Guin. I asked her if she minded that I reposted one of her blog entries on my Facebook page, and if she would mind if I gave the link to a different post to our Women's Studies coordinator. (The post on my FB page was about personal anger; the one for Women's Studies is about feminist anger.) We had a lovely little back and forth about that, about cats, about where Genly is from....

One of the things I particularly admire about her as an author is that she is so willing to let readers take over control of a book once it's published. She's got strong feelings about a few pronunciations--and she has very strong feelings about the fact that many of her characters are specifically described as not looking Anglo-Saxon, a description that is often ignored in cover art and film/TV adaptations--but she says that she figures readers should pretty much be allowed to pronounce things how they want. Also, when I checked in about where Genly is from (the novel says "Borland," which doesn't exist on Earth--at least not now), she said that her assumption had been like mine, that it was in southern Africa (Borland/Boerland), but some people assumed it was Portland--and that she really didn't care either way. All she cared about was, if I say he's from southern Africa, that he not talk with an Afrikaans accent. (No worry there: I assume he sounds like a younger, tenor-range Nelson Mandela.)

Oh, what a grand day. The only thing that I regret is, because I'm working at the library, I've been sitting in this chair, not moving, for almost four hours: not good for the body, but wandering about just to stretch out my legs isn't so easy here, with all my stuff spread out in the corner of the table that I've claimed. All the more reason to stop and get out to do those errands.

And I know that eventually, I'll have built my confidence up enough to head back into the socio-historical stuff and that I'll do fine with it when I do. I have to remember that I don't need to impress historians with what I know: I just need to provide enough to give students a handle on the '60s. (No mastodons. No chiseling runes into rocks.)

I have some life-maintenance stuff going on tomorrow morning into the early afternoon, too, so I don't know for sure when I'll get back to work, but now I really really want to get back to work. This is fun, dammit. I'm enjoying myself.


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