It’s not that I didn’t get stuff done over the break; I did, I swear. My revision process is 10-12 passes per story, and I’m at revision 5 on two flash pieces and managed a few passes on two other stories besides. I’m coming up on 1/4 of my research paper done, which is less than I’d hoped, but it’s painstakingly slow going. My adviser reads the whole thing aloud every time we meet while I take notes so that I can scrub imprecision and awkward transitions, and it’s already the best academic work I’ve ever done, but it’s slowed my usually speedy drafting process to a crawl as I second-guess every damn sentence. I finally get to close read a text now, though, (instead of long and dense historical context ‘graphs) which I’m hopeful will up the page count a bit. And I read a small pile of books: The Awakening, Todorov’s The Fantastic, Farah Mendlesohn’s History of Fantasy, Ballard’s Atrocity Exhibition, Anna Joy Springer’s Vicious Red Relic Love, Eggers’ short story collection, Kincaid’s Lucy. I also reread a small bunch of memoirs I plan to analyze for the exam paper. This seems terribly unproductive for a month’s worth of work. That’s what I should be reading in a week. But I’ve also sorted through a billion articles, which had to be done, and definitely killed reading time. Better luck this month.
What did I do instead of reading a book a day? Sewed and cooked, mostly. I’ve been trying out new recipes, which is a pleasure but also time consuming. I’ve been in love with carmelized onions for a few months now–they take forever to make, but once they’re done, they transform whatever you stick them in. And I’ve been teaching Jim to cook, which also slows down the cooking process (though it does make it much more fun…I love making things with other people, be it a tote bag or dinner). The other night we made an onion-date pizza with French onion soup, and it was carmelized onion heaven.
This is Jim, thrilled that we have successfully cooked two things. We even made whole wheat croutons for the soup.
I’m sure I could’ve lived on freezer pizza all break and I’d have many more books read, and more pages done on the paper besides. Maybe I’d even have new stories. But I’m pretty excited to be living with a boy who can cook me shishi meals now. Good times.