Friday, October 21st 2005

Yugoslavia: it’s as dead as Tito
posted @ 11:36 am in [ ]
Yup, finished Yugoslavia, on to Peru. I don’t have it in front of me right now, but I think it ended up being around 75 pages, which is waaaay too much. But hey, cutting is easier than constructing.

I’ve had a crazy week, and one thing I’ve observed is that I have 4 really terrific bosses right now, which will probably never happen again. I hope I’m not hoarding good boss wealth now, and then I won’t have ANY for the rest of my life. They’re all really supportive, and nice people.

I’m also contemplating the end of the term in a couple of the courses I’m teaching. One was a really rough class with a couple of folks who aren’t going to do so well (not for lack of prodding and encouragement), and the other was a delight. I’ll miss those mooks.

The new term that starts the week after next, I’ll be teaching political science, science fiction (whoo-hoo!) and probably debate, but that one conflicts with a lot of students’ schedules who would like to take the course, so I’m not sure if it’s going to go or not yet. It would be okay if it didn’t, of course–more writing time. I’m up for a full-time teaching position there, but I haven’t decided whether I really want it or not. It would be terrific in some ways, might create some tricky challenges in others. Ultimately, though, it’s more like a dilemma about dating a friend: our relationship is good the way it is, and if it escalates and doesn’t go so well… I might end up telling them, “Let’s just be friends.” I dunno, it’s worth talking about. My interview is this afternoon.

Finally, I’ve had requests for more sexual tension. It’s on the way.

Saturday, October 15th 2005

I am officially writing a book
posted @ 5:26 pm in [ ]
I cleared 50,000 words today. I have my first book. I finished with the Yugoslavia sources. All I’m doing now is filling in, editing, and polishing. over three times as long as I intended it to be, there will probably be some major cutting of the Yugoslavia chapter. I hope this is as long as it gets:

Yugoslavia: Pages, 65 (+13); Words, 16,830 (+3,485)
Document: Pages, 194; Words, 50,121!

Monday, October 10th 2005

The chapter that wouldn’t DIE!
posted @ 5:13 pm in [ ]
I had hoped to finish with my sources today, but I had one particularly rich one that just sucked up hours and hours. I still have a small stack left, then editing. Also, the chapter seems to be entertaining delusions of territoral conquest, not unlike some of its subjects. I did break my own record for daily pages and words, just trying to put this sucker to bed. Totals:

Yugoslavia: Pages, 52 (+14); Words, 13,550 (+3,521)
Document: Pages, 181; Words, 46,636.

Looks like I have some serious cutting and reformatting ahead of me if I’m going to make it under the 350-page limit…

Sunday, October 9th 2005

The dailies
posted @ 4:45 pm in [ ]
I’m hoping to finish off Yugoslavia this week (not in a NATO way, in a research narrative way). I’m discovering that all this desensitization to violence has darkened my sense of humor somewhat. For example, I found myself chuckling as I was adding an account of Ustasha atrocities. Not because the atrocities weren’t horrific, but because the witnesses and reporters were horrified members of the SS. Yes, the Ustasha was so alarming and terrible that they upset Nazis. I pictured some polished, Aryan SS officer collecting some of this evidence and pausing to puke on his shiny little jackboots. The report was filed under a title like, “What the Ustasha Did.” Interspliced with the account, you could almost hear, in clipped Germanic intonation, “Even WE wouldn’t to that–these f*ckers are SICK!”

I am fond of pointing out what a gross anomaly Hitler was. In political discussions, as far as I’m concerned, whoever plays the Hitler card, forfeits. But if there were a trump card of horror and atrocities, that would be the Ustasha. I wonder why they’re so obscure. Maybe it’s because the Ustasha did not enjoy the general support of the population, who would certainly have been more horrified than Nazis would have been.

Anyway, the totals:
Yugoslavia: Pages, 38 (+10); Words, 10,029 (+2,609)
Total diss: Pages, 169; Words, 43,115.
Current timeline on target.

Monday, October 3rd 2005

Daily report
posted @ 1:01 pm in [ ]
I have a deadline for the full first draft: January 10. So Part II by the end of November; Part III by the end of December. Toward that end, today:

Just Yugoslavia:
Pages, 28 (+8); Words, 7,420 (+2104)

Whole document:
Pages, 160; Words, 40,506.

Since Lisa tells me that a book is a book right around 50,000 words, my hope is to have not just Yugoslavia finished by this time next week, but to have the secure sensation that this really is a book. I suppose it is already, but discipline is really all about the treats…

Sunday, October 2nd 2005

Progress is progress
posted @ 6:21 pm in [ ]
So after what I think was probably too long spent with sources about the former Yugoslavia–mostly because it took a while to get comfortable with the facts of an unbelievably messy situation–the writing sprinting is, I hope, back on.

Quantiatively speaking…
Just Yugoslavia piece: Pages, 20; words, 5316
Whole diss: Pages, 153 (+4); words, 38,402 (+2,172)

…and qualitatively, my committee chair is encouraging, full of helpful advice and constructive comments, supportive of a March defense, and has even thoughtfully scheduled it for the week after my birthday.

It’s on.