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Monday, March 30, 2015

Late start, don't want to stop

I slept much later than I intended today, but as I'm still in my "I refuse to set an alarm unless absolutely necessary" frame of mind, I just sleep as long as I sleep--and that means that some days I don't get rolling as soon as I'd ideally like. I didn't much want to work at home either: I'm getting a sort of town-wide version of cabin fever: even going to the various coffee places or the library isn't giving me enough variety, and I'd planned to try to find a different location today, but with the late start, I decided not to take the time. So, I've been doing the timer routine. It annoys me no end that the damned thing goes off just when I'm in the middle of a sentence or thought (this is why, when I'm at the library, I don't move for hours on end: when am I not in the middle of a sentence or thought?)--but I know it is important to get up and move around as much as I can. Otherwise, I'll freeze in "sitting in chair at computer" position and be unable to move at all.

I was mostly working on the glossary and pronunciation guide, but there were a few moments when I thought, "Wait, didn't I say something about that somewhere else?" and when the answer was yes, I had to figure out which place made more sense as the primary spot, and where I could simply cross-reference (as in "see the chapter 'The Science of Science Fiction'").

I should note that I haven't actually started going through the book yet: I'm still working on the parts of the glossary that I had noodled around with in the past, as preparatory work in hope of this sabbatical. Today I finally got through that material: there wasn't really that much, but I keep changing my mind about how I want to do things, and once I make a decision, I have to comb back through everything I've done to make it consistent. But I finally got through all the material I'd already put down, and now I can start working through the book, carefully, chapter by chapter.

I'm on the fence about whether to continue that way now or whether to shift back to other parts of the book. I have one last (I think last) bit of critical material to read and add to the bibliography, and I really do have to face the socio-historical context again at some point. Maybe, since I've given myself a treat for a while (including the weekend off from work entirely), I should do at least a little of the more frustrating stuff, try to get it out from under my feet so I can sail off on the fun stuff again, free and clear (or as free and clear as it gets coming up with a first draft. Revision yet awaits--and I need another sabbatical or two just for that, if past practice is any guide.)

Right now, I have a stack of books at my feet: style manuals (Chicago and MLA), books of Le Guin's essays, one book of short stories that has helpful stuff in the introduction, the novel itself. I need to pile it all carefully on the living room table, in such a way that my daffy little calico cat doesn't feel compelled to put tooth marks in the covers. I'd wish for a study with a door I can close, or a studio space in the back yard, to keep my work free of cat participation--but I rather like having a cat in the room with me as I work. If the price I pay is the occasional chomped book cover, well, there are certainly worse things.

I wouldn't stop now, but I have an appointment this evening that I have to keep, and I need some time to get ready for it. This is a great feeling: the sense of wanting more work, more time at it, instead of that horrid feeling of "how much more of this do I have to endure before I can quit in good conscience?" I am so unbelievably, incredibly blessed to have this time to do this work this way. Thanks and praise, thanks and praise.

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