Thursday, October 05, 2006

Updates, Odds and Ends, Orts and Leavings

a.) Fishing story: Took Rhys fishing again. Made some beautiful casts for her, at one point bouncing the lure off of a rock wall so that is rolled gently into the very edge of a deep hole. Not a nibble. So we go downstream to explore a still, muddy part of the river. Can hardly see the water for the weeds, but I find a trail to the edge of the mud. Cast a few times. She reels. Nothing bites. Then I see a gigantic rock on the bottom of the pool get up and move. It is a snapping turtle the size of a garbage can lid. "Well," I say, "that's probably scared away any fish it hasn't eaten." "That's ok," says Rhys. "I guess I have to get skunked once." "One more cast." She reels in and splash! there's water and flailing everywhere. The fish is jumping through weeds and leaping full out of the water shaking its tail. It is gigantic. She wrestles it to the shore and we lift it up. Her new fishing scale says it weighs around three pounds. It is 17.5 inches from lip to tail. It is the largest freshwater fish I have ever successfully landed (though she did the reeling in). Took me 38 years (and its not like my dad didn't take me fishing all the time). Took her 6. She is truly the luckiest fisherwoman in the world.

b.) Thanks for all the help and comments on the podcasting. I am slowly working my way through the suggestions and figuring out how I am going to do it. And for those who don't want the pod, I'll be selling the Beowulf aloud CD set as well -- the brilliant designer who did my book cover, Jennifer Schuman (if you want to hire her) is doing the CD design right this minute.

c.) If I have seemed unlike myself in taking a long time to return emails, etc., my excuse is that in addition to all the last-minute letters of recommendation, grading, making up a senior seminar as I go along, etc., I have been embroiled in the article that will not die. It is now just about 60 (yes, you read that right) pages without Works Cited, complete footnotes, page numbers, complete appendices, etc. So in the past three and half weeks, I've written 1/3 of a book. Unfortunately, it's not evolving into a book and I may not be able to get it published. Hell. Never set out with the goal of making a comprehensive discussion of all of a scholar's work. Really. Don't do this. I'm hopeful it will be done by the middle of next week.

d.) Due to a great deal of flux with timing, revisions, etc., it is quite possible that this volume of Tolkien Studies still has room in it. If you have a piece that is ready or close to ready, you may be able to squeeze in a very quick publication (submitted now, in hard-copy in hand at the beginning of May), but you need to move really fast at this late stage.

e.) I still hope to write something about the untimely death of a first-tier medievalist and a truly great person, Nicholas Howe, but I just can't yet drag it out of me. Maybe this weekend.

Beo∂ ge, leorneras and lareowas, halan.