caitri: (Screw Subtext)
Where I am cranky and anxious for no reason. Or rather, I have reasons that overflow into one massive BLAH:

1) It's the end of the term, or rather, just past it, and yesterday I skyped with my advisor for our annual checklist/meeting I have to do to discuss my progress and whatnot. Which, I've had a good term; I've done a chapter and gotten a paper proposal accepted for a big conference next year which will fold into the next chapter. My advisor was happy and had good and useful thoughts on things, and I have a plan forward. And I also wrote several other essays this term for other forthcoming publications and sent in two sets of revisions. I am a good puppy. BUT I AM ALWAYS ANXIOUS because this is my default setting.

1a) A friend of mine has straight-up had two mini breakdowns in the last three days, the first about her diss because she has extreme burnout from writing and the other because she starts teaching two summer courses on Tuesday and the PTB raised the attendance cap without telling her. So while she has printouts and assignments and whatnot for a class of 35, she now has a class of 40, which doesn't seem like a big deal except it totally changes group assignments and the ability to read and return papers. And I'm kind of limited in helpful things I can say. Like, yeah, this sucks, but...welcome to academia? Where shit always gets piled on and fucked with?

2) I might have to deal with a IRL Troll tomorrow and am inwardly prepping. On the one hand, this person isn't as bad as others in the extended social circle, but they are still the kind of person who will go to a potluck without bringing anything or without helping in anyway, and who will purposefully try to redirect/distract conversations to themselves and their interests, and...I don't have the energy for mitigating that right now. So, wish me luck, I guess.

2a) I also tend to dislike holiday weekends, and today I braved the crowds to go grocery shopping, which was managable, but still. I just want to hunker down and do as little as possible, but I still have chores to do. *sigh*
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
So last week I went to ASECS, the big conference for Eighteenth-Century studies. It's not really my era or area, but I was giving a paper on women printers, and they let me in, which is more than can be said for, uh, a number of other places. >_> Anyway, a lot of papers I listened to was a bit like going to class without having done the reading, but I made notes for stuff to read that sounded interesting. Also, my roommate bailed on me so I was by myself, and had to go to extra effort to mix and mingle; I went to both the Grad Student Caucus and the Women's Caucus luncheons and tried to be amenable and knowledgable, and succeed-ish. My paper went well, and I got a number of encouraging comments, and I got invited to submit to a journal and may be getting invited to submit to an edited collection, so these are positives.

I've been super tired all week though, but pushing to be productive anyway: I drafted and sent in a book review, and hopefully will finish and send off another tomorrow, and I also sent off two sets of essay edits. Then next week I hope to revise and send off another essay. So: Ever forward.

With all this traveling, I did get a chance to do some leisure reading:

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor was awesome--a bit soggy in the middle but the first half of the book was perfect, and the ending was intense.

I'd really been looking forward to The Dead Ladies Project by Jessa Crispin because I've read Bookslut for years (and I'm sad that she's closed it down), but...it had its moments but I was just put off by Crispin's internalized misogyny. She came off as incredibly bitter and issue-ridden, and I wish to fuck that her editor had been like "No, dear, write about dead writers and exotic places, not your married lover and his wife or your other lover or that woman you're jealous of and blah blah blah. Yes you are a human but you also need to get over yourself." It was a short book but so fucking exhausting.

Anyway, as a treat I went to the bookstore and got an omnibus edition of Rice's Interview with a Vampire/Vampire Lestat/Queen of the Damned. After watching the film version of Interview at PCA for probably the first time in fifteen years, I really just wanted to reread the books, and assuming those grubby paperbacks are still extant they are somewhere in my Mom's house in Georgia and, tbh, probably saturated with cat piss by now or something. Anyway, I don't think I've reread them since at least my freshman year of high school, and these were some of my favorite books as a teenager. (I still remember the conversation I had with my sibs about whether or not Lestat and Louis were gay, and they were like 'LOL no.' Man, I'm so glad kids these days have Tumblr and so forth to talk about stuff these days, because it SUCKED back in the day.) Anyway I started rereading Interview yesterday and it's just interesting to revisit a book that used to mean so much to me, you know? (Yes, I know, I was totally the little goth kitten back in the day, always dressed in black, I knoooooooooow, but I was THIRTEEN, okay, geez!)

In a couple of weeks I'm also going to be flying out to Chicago to take part in DePaul University's Celebration of Star Trek symposium, where I'm going to be speaking on two roundtables about Star Trek fandom. I am excited about this!! More anon, undoubtedly!
caitri: (Gamora)
I AM SO TIRED. Remember when I thought I was gonna have some down-time after those back-to-back conferences last month?

Ha.

Ha ha.

No.

I've gotten maybe 1800 words on my STBB/NaNo project? I'll probably have to drop out.

What I DO have are applications for a Bibliographic Society of America fellowship (which I can send off as soon as a second person confirms they are gonna do a rec letter for me) and an application for an Emerging Scholar Prize (which I can send off as soon as my diss chair says she likes it). I have a diss chapter my chair is pleased with, I have a set of essay edits due in January, and I have an outline with bits for a collaborative article. Also, I got some good feedback from my writing group on my fannish literary history project, so it's just to keep adding to that, bit by bit.

But in the meantime there's all of the attendant stress of holidays plus seasonal depression (it's dark! it's cold! DISLIKE!) plus getting roped into other things ongoing, and yeah. YEAH.

Did I mention I'm tired?
caitri: (printer)
I cast about 70 lbs of type and made a nice little broadside. Also, I dodged two accidents where know-it-all DUDES made mistakes with the machine and sprayed MOLTEN LEAD OUT and that was how I had some stress muscle tension for two days. >_> But it was all very fun and productive and I totally want to go back.

Right now I'm handling the obligatory cross-examination of my travel receipts by the Business Office. Like, I have three non-itemized receipts from a cafe, all time-stamped between 7:50 and 8:10 am, all for around $5. GEE I WONDER WHAT I COULD HAVE BEEN PURCHASING THEN. >_<

Oy. Such is life. Now I need to get my ass in gear with writing.
caitri: (Cait pony)
I haven't had time to do much more than organize my pressroom so far, and with this month being busy like it is (Tuesday I leave for a conference, followed by a week of vacation, followed by going to New York for a class on typecasting) it's going to be ages before I get to actually do some printing. Sigh.

I've made some progress on the diss--I have a few pages of chapter 1 that are going to be tooled into a talk for a conference in October and then retooled again for an article. I just need to sit down and do it.

Speaking of articles, my essay on Star Trek reboot fandom is FINALLY out after over four years in publishing delays. The citation is here, but I suggest requesting it through your local library than ponying up $18, that's just highway intellectual robbery.

I can't believe half of summer is already gone--time flies when it is sunny and warm. I'm planning on hitting two conferences in October before I have to settle down for winter.

I need to update here more often, but I always seem to be running around or flailing rather than getting writing--any writing, fic (I have so many scraps and bits of WIPs that I should give up and have a ridiculous fic amnesty multi-post), diss, etc. Reviews I am able to keep abreast of, and notes on papers and on my book, but oy. OY.
caitri: (Mochi rockets)
I'll be speaking at a small symposium called Publishing Feminisms in Banff, which is pretty exciting both because it will be a small group (about thirty people) and it'll be my first international conference. So shiny. I'm worried about overlap with what I'm talking about and what the others in my panel will be talking about, and generally about the cohesiveness of my paper, which probably means I'm going to end up rewriting parts of it tomorrow and Monday nights, and also flailing. Which is cool, I mean, I'm a good speaker, so I'm not worried too much, but I'm a spaz, so I still like to practice.

Unfortunately, it'll be the first conference in a LONG time where I won't have at least one friend to hang out with, so I'm a bit anxious about the socializing part. Doesn't help that I'll be missing the opening reception tomorrow night either (that was my bad, because I overlooked how long it would take the airport shuttle to get there). They assigned me a roommate for cost-saving purposes, so hopefully we'll hit it off; plus it'll help a bit that they are providing most of the meals so it will be all of us in a room eating and chatting. The only thing about that is it sometimes means you have to sit there by yourself and watch everyone ELSE happily chatting away to one another, which is extra anxiety-inducing.

Anyways, fingers crossed, and wish me luck!! <3
caitri: (charles write)
So first off, I had a chat with my dissertation chair today that basically consisted of me going

"FLAILFLAILFLAIL IfeellikeIdon'tknowwhatI'mdoing but I have this VAGUE PLAN and here's THIS THING I've done and I'm waiting to hear on this conference and I'd like to apply to take these classes in the summer at these places FLAILFLAIL"

and her going

"LOL relax you're at the beginning, try to have some fun while you think about what directions for your research to take, those all sound like great ideas, you're fine"

and now I'm all

*^*.

It's funny, but you know how you're a little ball of stress and then you can relax a bit, and you go, MAN, I was a ball of stress, and now I don't feel it so much? 'Cause that's been me for the last two months, basically, stressing about applications and stuff. I mean, I'm STILL doing that, but I feel more positive about it. Basically my plan for the next couple weeks is to send in my applications to take a course on Digital Bibliography at Rare Book School and then get some funding from Liberal Arts for it. There's also a typecasting workshop at the Wells Center for Book I want to take, and I'm applying for both a scholarship and an internship out of optimism. It may be tough because those things are aimed at book arts students, but I want to make an argument about being a book historian who wants book arts experience so I can better understand how things are made. That makes sense, right? Anyway I need to collect letters for those. And I also want to apply for a fellowship to Chawton House, but I swear their online catalogs are nonsensical, so I've written the librarians a query hoping for some help.

All of this basically happens to happen before mid-February, btw.

I have some other writing deadlines, but that's a whole other kettle of fish I'm working on.

OH. Other good news! Todd's going to help move my press to CO this summer, so I can finally start working on some of my other art projects. I have two bookbinding projects I need to get onto, but I've been distracted thinking about how to actually DO them (one is for a friend's wedding album and I want to make it pretty and she basically gave me a box of photos and such, and it's like, um, actually preserving someone else's memories is fucking TERRIFYING when it comes down to it. Like what if I paste in a picture of Person Y when she actually much prefers Person X?! Oy. Oy oy oy.)

Anyway, that's me. That's all.
caitri: (Cait pony)
I had a too-brief trip to Texas last week to help prep for the symposium that was being run by my dissertation chair and Todd. I taught papermaking and gave a paper that was really well received--like, I got most of the questions after, and as my chair put it, everyone else got academic courtesy/pity questions. So, that was fun. I was really bummed to miss half the symposium, but I flew back to go to a wedding of friends, so, you know, still worth it. I was exhausted but it was lovely and fun. We had provided paper and art supplies on the tables so I can make them a memory book of the event as a present, so I have a box of pages waiting for me to bind them. I will likely go on a mission to get some boards and decorative papers this weekend.

My projects this week are to finish tweaking my prospectus to send to my chair, and then finish a book review I have due. On my docket after that is finish another book review, write two book chapters, do some article revisions, and put together an abstract for a conference. I also have two papers to write that have been accepted to conferences next year. And also, my, you know, dissertation.

And I really want to do NaNo this year but probably shouldn't because of all that stuff. Also, I'm still rather fried from my prelims. Which is apparently totally normal, but oy. 
caitri: (Charles mouse)
by watching Gilmore Girls and pretending it's all somehow an epic Guardians of the Galaxy AU because I am ridiculous.

I have things I need to do, like finish a paper for next week and also do a couple of book reviews. But nope, eating ice cream and watching Gilmore Girls.
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
Orals nearly kicked my ass but I survived and am now ABD!!
caitri: (Gamora)
I apparently did very well on my written exams and am proceeding to the orals on Tuesday. So, yay.
caitri: (charles write)
So I'm making my way through Harold Love's The Culture and Commerce of Texts, Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England, which goes something like this: BORING BORING BORING DUH KNEW THAT BORING FASCINATING ANALYSIS OF SHAKESPEARE THEN WOMEN'S WRITING BORING BORING. Um, yeah. And I'm only halfway through.
But!! That section on Shakespeare!

So it's from a chapter on reading and Love pulls out a discussion by John Thompson on the number of dialogues from Shakespeare where women are literally read/to be read by men. Eg. Leonato of Hero, "The story that is printed in her blood," Othello on Desdemona, "Was this fair paper / this most goodly book / made to write 'whore' upon?" There's a number of other examples, by Shakespeare and others, including Fuller's "Indeed the Press, at first a Virgin, then a Chast Wife, is since turned Common, as to prostitute her self to all Scurrilous Pamphlets." Basically there's a direct tie of women and sex, eg. women to be "read" (passive), and the sexualization of objects of production.

Even John Donne does this in his Latin Poem to Dr. Andrewes, the translation of which is typically obfuscated: "What presses give birth to with sodden pangs is acceptable, but manuscripts are more venerated. A book dyed with the blood of the press departs to an open shelf where it is exposed to moths and ashes,; but one written by the pen is held in reverence and flies to the privileged shelf reserved for the ancient fathers." This is of course fascinating too because women helped preserve scribal culture--for a number of reasons, including authorial control and "the stigma of print" women from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries circulated their writings among their small circles of friends. (Women who published during this time were open to attack not unlike women today.) So Donne is here feminizing a masculine culture of production, and masculinizing what was becoming feminine culture--which, fascinating.

For reference, couple weeks ago I posted briefly about how women and writing are also sexualized in our terminology--eg, a "hack" was a term for a prostitute that became the code word for a cheap/bad writer, and "streetwalker" which still exists as a term for prostitute now originally referenced women who published and sold pamphlets. In short, the second you leave those private spheres allocated to you, you are open to sexual attack real and metaphorical.

Anyways, back to "reading women." What this really makes me think of is how men like to assign identities and roles to women and women writers. There are actual narratives, eg. in movies/television you have the usual contrast of the predatory woman/femme fatale (maybe best articulated currently by Julian Fellowes in Downton Abbey with what Todd likes to call the "maid fatales"--because we all just *know* those poor men of rank were constantly being seduced by their women emplyees *coff*bullshit*coff*) and the damsel/saintly mother/what have you. (This is also why we always get excited about genuine strong women, because we've had to deal with SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS OF THE SAME ROLES.) And then you have the narratives of our culture, best discussed by Chimamanda Ngozi in "The Danger of the Single Story":



This also reminds me of the problems of when you're critiquing writing in class with friends and you can see so much internalized misogyny on the pages and you have to weigh between giving an honest opinion and saying "Can we take a break for some social justice and consciousness raising?" and just saying "Well this is technically well-written but everyone seems rather rather flat--what's going on here?" (I tended to say the latter because I am often that Awful Nice Person and I really wish I wasn't.)

Anyways, the point of this ramble is really just considering how odd/horrible it is that we've had five hundred years to work on this and not much has changed. Over the weekend, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about how she hates when she posts about her daughter or feminism and whatnot and then men have to comment about how she was "wrong"--so of course a bunch of men posted about how she was wrong. *snort* I of course just left this link.

Really I need to reread Joanna Russ's How to Suppress Women's Writing, because it doesn't matter if you write fanfic, romance novels, poetry, and anything else--we're still going to be sidelined, we're going to create our own communities of our own--and then be denigrated for those same activities.

In short : AUGH.
caitri: (Charles mouse)
Had a meeting with my history advisor this am, which I'd been anxious about over the weekend (for no real reason, it's only I'm a total spaz). Anyway it went really well and I'll be sitting in on her early modern course in addition to her book history course in addition to my bid to try to understand things.

(** So much reading about Aristotle!! Is it wrong that at this point I've read more ABOUT Aristotle than OF Aristotle???? Should I read some Aristotle to not be totally ignorant??? THIS IS WHY I AM A SPAZ!)

She added more readings, not surprisingly, and I don't mind, because again, I want to understand things, but also-- HEY REMEMBER THAT MONTH OVER THE SUMMER WHERE MY WHOLE COMMITTEE SHARED MY LIST BACK AND FORTH AND I STILL ENDED UP WITH EIGHT MORE BOOKS THAN I'M TECHNICALLY SUPPOSED TO HAVE! So yeah, add to that!!

I want to be a good puppy, I just don't want to be an overworked puppy. Well, okay, I invented overworked puppy, but still.

HENCE THE FLAILING.

Augh.

In Christmas news we're staying in Colorado and will fly my Mom in to visit in January, because we just got the apartment properly moved into and I don't want to hunt for catsitters or leave the furbabies at a kennel because that would really freak them out. So we'll be lazy and then go visit Scott's family and I'll provide pudding and crackers because of my deepset desire to pretend to be British.

I had ambitions of making awesome Solstice cards to send out this year and then I remembered I have no artistic talent and I got over it. But I am going to be working on some journals for Certain People because bookbinding. Ideally I will Get Really Good at it and then I can give them to people besides those who will accept prezzies from me cos aw me.

(Seriously, this is why all I've ever done for years is writing, because that's the one thing I can do.)

Sideways, I've only been writing little bits of things--I got 11k on my NaNo project which is better than nothing. Kinda convinced everything is crap. I know I just need to get in the habit. I also think I just need to find the Perfect Writing Spot.

Like I said, pointless spazzy rambling. Thanks, folks, I'll be here all week.
caitri: (Charles mouse)
- I've signed up for NaNoWriMo.

- I was invited to be on a roundtable on Tolkien and adaptation and authenticity at PCA 2014; that's in addition the roundtable I organized on the Monstrous Feminine and my paper on Pacific Rim fandom.

- I ordered a finishing press, book press, cutting mat, and English backing hammer so I can also start some serious binding work. My goal is to get good enough that I can give people books as presents that are respectable.

- I'm doing well with my prelims reading plus my seminar reading, largely keeping on task, and also I have several ideas for papers.

In short I'm kind of getting back on track in life.
caitri: (Charles mouse)
So I'm finally starting to settle in, more or less. I've been developing a daily routine, and getting into the habit of it--right before I more or less take a week "off" to go to a wedding. I'm working on dividing up my day between reading and writing, and hopefully will have it down solidly by the end of the month. As it is, I've made fair game of my reading list so far, and feel pretty optimistic about the pace I've set myself.

Let's see. Our apartment is livable now. I'm on my search to find my perfect coffeeshop--so far there's the choice between the quiet one with mediocre coffee and the loud one with great coffee, but I'm pretty sure that I just have to find the exact right time to visit one or the other to be in a happy median.

I've been searching meetups.com looking for likely groups so I can meet people. I'm rather thwarted so far; there are several creative writing groups and for some reason they want to charge entrance--just to meet at coffeeshops and bars and such! If it was an academic style workshop, I might could see that, but just to inhabit the same space as others balks me. On the other hand, I'm suffering from a lack of human interaction, so I might break down. We'll see.

Left to my own so often I'm regressing a bit, feeling shyer. I need to work on that. Bah.

Anyways, I'm starting writing again (slowly). One of my friends just got her novel accepted, and so I'm promising myself that this is the year, and I'm going to have a serious go at finishing my own. Fingers crossed, eh?

That's all that comes to mind at the moment; like everything else, hopefully I can post more regularly. I have missed my online friends!
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
Thursday we move into the new apartment--sooooo happy about that. Residency hotels are nice and all, but I look forward to not living out of a suitcase. And having all of my stuff again. (I have felt super homeless without my books. Dude. Seriously.)

Anyways, I've been studying for my language exam in two weeks. I think I'll be fine, it's just been stressful and frustrating. Basically because my AS prof decided to give me a B instead of an A, I've spent the last two months working on my Italian rather than my reading list or any number of other things. I suppose it's kept me busy and less depressed about moving than I could be, but still--augh!

Completely unrelated, I am madly in love with Pacific Rim, the fandom for which seems to be only on Tumblr and AO3. Where's the LJ love? Sheesh. My latest find is this really great article on Raleigh and Emotional Intelligence. I'm promising myself that when I have an address again I am getting all of the PR books that are out there--which, not many, but I neeeed them. The bits I've seen online make the novelization look both really interesting and well-written. And the comics seem to not suck!!

Hmm, what else. Oh, I decided to skip Worldcon because money and because I AM homesick and just want/need to spend less time in Texas--ripping the band-aid off, basically. See, when I was coming back from Virginia after going to RBS with Todd, I basically started crying pathetically and couldn't stop, and he was very patient and sweet about it, but I also need to not completely emotionally breakdown on people because of choices I made. I need to get my real life started again.

Which, sideways of that, advice for finding like-minded people in new areas? I've been surfing Craigslist and such like looking for things to do, but I need to find my own clutch of people (Scott has his whole community here, but I need people who do things besides hiking and skiing and such).

ETA: This made me laugh until I cried, for real.
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
Sending it by my committee again but I think this is The One!

Sharing because I'm inordinately pleased.

Read more... )
caitri: (The World is a Mess)
Mostly. Every step forward on my big project at work is an epic battle for no real reason--just other people's egos who want in on what they see as the glory (where was "the glory" when I was quietly trundling away for five years?). It's absolutely exhausting and emotionally draining and physically debilitating. Thursday afternoon Todd took me aside to show me some stretch exercises to help, which may have saved my life.

School is good. I really love all my classes this term, including the one I'm auditing through skype at another Uni--a prof is kind of reviewing me to see how I do as a student before she agrees to be my outside reader. It's a history course in book history that meets for discussion irregularly, and it's pretty great because it's all of the stuff I've learned but from the other side of things. In literary courses you can examine texts that have been censored, how the text varies and what that means, but in history, you're looking at the specific statutes and economics of censorhip and privilege etc etc. Yes I know I'm a unique and special snowflake, but I still think it's neat.

In adult news, we have four wedding invitations on the fridge (guess it's time to pick what family members we like best) plus two sets of our other friends just had babies. Adulthood is weird, man.

So, hi, Internet. I've missed you.
caitri: (charles write)
I've been throttling myself to get the Martin catalog finished and this weekend my brain just went full stop. I've slept a lot and watched Downton Abbey and written some stuff I hate and made a chibi. Cait chibi I had brunch with the creative writing gang yesterday and met my writing prof for next semester. Having no idea who I was he made some snark to Amber about "not bringing in any of that SF&F stuff to class." When one of my other friends asked how the Martin thing was going he wanted to know who GRRM was. This is going to be a long semester, isn't it? I've decided I'll just fight fire with fire: every time someone says something bitchy about genre I'll channel my best Sherlock and go "what fun little brains you mundanes DO have." Today's the first sunny day I've seen in weeks, which makes my black mood worse. At least if it was gray and rainy I could settle myself in my favorite chair with something to read. Instead I want to sit down with my laptop and wrangle with something I know would appall my fellow students. ...I wish I didn't love appalling people so much.

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