Spinning Plates

I meant to write this entry six months ago and it would have begun “Yesterday (Friday), I was sent the finalised version of a chapter with a request for proofreading by the end of the weekend. I was annoyed, because I wanted to work on a book proposal.”

I’m always spinning plates. At any one time I could be:

  1. having an idea for a piece
  2. putting in a proposal
  3. drafting a piece
  4. rewriting a piece
  5. proofreading a piece.

Let’s see, at the moment I have various ideas for pieces and …

  • a paper to write for the Sideways in Time conference
  • a keynote to write for the SF postgrad conference
  • a book to read for review
  • a book proposal to finish
  • a conference paper to convert to an article
  • a secondary bibliography to annotate
  • two chapters to write for companions
  • an overdue biographical piece to write
  • an overdue survey chapter
  • an article that’s been bounced from a special issue but has been taken up and needs another thousand words adding
  • a book manuscript to rescue
  • a  submitted chapter that I’ve heard nothing back on
  • several reference book entries that are missing in action
  • a submitted chapter that may well need a proofread.

Meanwhile, there’s an edited collection due out with a chapter in it.

And none of that includes my research on brewing and drinking, that I’ve spent more time talking about in relation to KE and Impact than actually researching. I need to go away and read some Habermas, which incidentally is the thing I need to do for the book proposal although it’s not the same Habermas.

Looking at the list, that’s not much spinning plates as watching them crash. I have three lectures to deliver this week, only one of which has material to hand. My research day is tomorrow, but I fear the morning may have to be writing lectures.

I also have a stealth book I’m planning to assemble, but I’m not sure I’ve written any of the chapters yet. As conferences come up, I should be giving papers that would fit into that or the book proposal mentioned above — but the one for Sideways in Time is 1970s and something I missed from Solar Flares. Having looked at a call for papers for werewolves, I was thinking about something from entirely the wrong period for that proposal — although it wouldn’t fit on the face of it — nor in the stealth book. But it is on film, which I should be writing on.

At this point, I should really be saying no to projects, but then it’s an interesting venue or a cool editor or a sufficient cheque… A collection recently came out that I don’t have a chapter in, and it is clearly “my” thing, but any annoyance is balanced by the realisation that I in no way had time to write for it. I’m still open for business, but don’t be upset if I say no.

ETA: If you think I’m writing something for you and it’s not listed here — I am deliberately coy about the actual projects here for reasons of plausible deniability — email me. I may have entirely forgotten I said yes… Send me a message?

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