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[personal profile] gillpolack
I have slept and slept and slept and slept. Turns out this is what happens when the pain goes from screaming-size to "ouch, that hurts." I keep discovering how much pain I was in and being astonished. For instance, I have pain circles under my eyes still and my muscles are still stiff enough so that I can't turn my head. Whenever I lie down, I can feel the hurt that belongs with this. I think "I need to take pain killers." But I"m too tired and besides, it's not so acute I can't lie down anymore, so instead, I sleep.

I didn't realise I had reached a level of pain that meant I was actually obliterating the pain. I also didn't realise that I had learned how to tolerate quite bad pain all the rest of the time, simply because those three days a month were impossible. All I knew was that I was grumpy and couldn't see straight and couldn't think straight.

If I hadn't been driven out of my place by the chemical sensitivities, I possibly would not have been to the doctor yet. I knew I had to go, but doing anything that took me away from my desk was tough. It's still tough, which means I'm not where I need to be yet. But I will be. On Monday I will get the bloodwork done, for instance.

The amusing side of this is my astonishment. I came online just now and thought "I guess that's why I've been a bit less productive than I want to be."

Speaking of productivity, the details have been released of the volume that contains my Lanagan essay: http://salempress.com/Store/samples/critical_insights/speculative_fiction.htm

This is one of the things that's been bubbling away for months. Soon I hope to have news of the others. And now that the pain's subsiding, I can maybe make more progress on my writers and their history book. More and more I see a need for that book to be out there. The lack of progress at my end, though, means that I haven't sent off the proposal I meant to, three weeks ago. I've put in more work on it, but shaping the work into two sample chapters required a brain that was just that much clearer. So it has progressed, but not enough and not in quite the right direction.

It's an interesting balancing act, this book. I want writers to be able to use it, but I also want to use all the wonderful ground-breaking stuff I've been researching and to situate fictional historical writing in contexts that are not normally considered.

I nearly dumped my research and wrote it as a manual, which would be much easier, but which would leave the field without the stuff I feel is missing from it. By doing my balancing act I get to talk about historiography and historical method and to talk about writing techniques and the needs of readers and about the cultural contexts of genre. So many writers take their history seriously and yet are sent to high school level background texts for theory. And so much of the understanding of the relationship between history and fiction rests on how writers go about their job. The needs are meshed. It's quite tough to write because meshed needs don't always mean meshed approaches, but it's going to be a useful book, I think.

I need to get past this pain, do all the essentials for the weekend, maybe watch more Fringe, and then get to work on those two draft chapters.

May 2013

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