Preparing for Readercon

Status report: Today, the revised abstract was approved by my first and second readers. So that’s done. Next it goes to the Director of Graduate Studies and Department Chair for signatures, and then up to the Dean for final approval. All that should happen in August. In the meantime, I will be completing revisions to the dissertation. Today I revised Chapter 3, although I still have to add a footnote. Also correct some citations, but I may not have time for that until Thursday. By the end of the week, I should have Chapters 1 and 3 completely revised, in preparation for the final set of revisions when I put the entire dissertation together.

Are these statue reports incredibly boring? They probably are, but you know what? They’re helping me. So I’m going to keep doing them, as a way of reminding myself where I am, what I need to do next. Also, to be honest, the dissertation is the most important thing in my life right now, and this blog reflects what’s going on in my life, so I can’t help writing about it. I have a series of piles on my desk now: completed abstract, revised Chapter 1, two copies of Chapter 2 with comments from my two readers, revised Chapter 3, and the bibliography. If I can get Chapters 1 and 3 completely revised by Readercon, I can focus on Chapter 2 and the introduction for two weeks and put everything together by the end of the month.

August will be for final revisions, once my readers take one last look at the dissertation. And then by the end of the month it will go to the committee. I was originally hoping to defend in September, but this schedule pushes it back to October. Still, that’s not bad, is it? It means that finally, finally, the dissertation will be done. This is the hardest thing I’ve done my whole life. I don’t think anything I do after this will be as hard.  Certainly writing novels won’t be.

But I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about it, so why don’t I write about Readercon? Here is my final schedule (which has changed from the previous version):


11:00 a.m. Rudyard Kipling, Fantasist and Modernist
Dozois, Feeley, Goss, Schweitzer, Taaffe

12:00 Classic Fiction: Howl’s Moving Castle
Cooney, Files, Goss, Link, Taaffe

1:30 p.m. My Reading!
(I’ll tell you what I’m going to read in the next few days.)

4:00 p.m. Mythic Delirium/Goblin Fruit Reading
(I’ll be reading a poem, not sure which yet.)

I will, of course, be at the Meet the Prose party on Friday night.


3:00 p.m. Rhysling Award Poetry Slan
(I’ll be reading “Ravens,” which is nominated for a Rhysling.)

7:00 p.m. Wold Newton Reading Extravaganza
(I’ll be reading to the music of Brain Slattery. Still deciding on the story!)

9:00 p.m. There’s No Homelike Place
Doyle, Goss, Janssen, Purdom, Warren


I have nothing actually scheduled for Sunday, but I’ll probably be there for the Interstitial Arts Foundation Town Meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Today, I drove to the library to pick up two volumes of the science fiction and fantasy of Rudyard Kipling, just to make sure I was ready for the Kipling panel. And I have to reread Howl’s Moving Castle for that panel. So I have my bedtime reading cut out for me, for the next few days. I also have two stories and a poem to choose.

In other words, I’m in the process of preparing for Readercon.

I’m going to do my best this year, and you probably won’t see much difference between me at Readercon this year and other years. But I’ll be tired and distracted. Just bear with me, all right? I’m in the middle of the most difficult part of the most difficult year. I keep telling myself that it will end, and that once it does, things will be better. I hope I’m right.

In the meantime, if you’re coming to Readercon, I look forward to seeing you there. And come to my reading! I don’t know what I’ll be reading yet, but it will be something forthcoming – meaning something that no one has heard before. So you’ll be the first to hear it.

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6 Responses to Preparing for Readercon

  1. I know he’s not popular for a number of reasons, but I’m a fan of Kipling. Esp. love A Pict Song.

  2. Sofia says:

    The reports are *so* not boring, They are an inspiration to those of us who can’t quite (yet) see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I’m sad I won’t be at Readercon–I’ve never been to one and would love to go–but maybe next year!

  3. Jeff P. says:

    I won’t be there until Saturday, but if I see you I’ll say hi and not take up your time. Cons are difficult enough even when you’re not exhausted.

  4. Terri says:

    Am also hoping to submit end of Sept and am inspired by your updates, you seem to be progressing faster than me *looks around at the piles of chapters on her desk*!

  5. Margaret Fisher Squires says:

    By all means keep up the progress reports! Anything that helps one get through a dissertation is worth doing! (Well, not stuff like sacrificing small children in the dark of the moon. But I can’t really see how that would forward a dissertation.)

    As a psychotherapist, I sometimes work with clients who are bogged down in or at least suffering through their dissertations. Seeing your planful and systematic approach is kinda inspiring!

  6. Thank you all so much! I’m back from Readercon and back to work. I’ve definitely suffered and gotten bogged down in the past. But at this point I can see what needs to get done, so it’s just a matter of doing it. Back to status updates this evening . . .

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