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Writing projects: update and non-update

So. Instead of being Insanely Productive Writing Month, November has turned into a cage match between my NoNaShoStoWriMo story and my embryonic Material Cultures paper project. The latter has been winning; the former is stalled out and sitting forlornly on my hard drive, waiting for a month when I can give it my undivided attention. […]

NoNaShoStoWriMo update the first

As day 4 of NoNaShoStoWriMo (explanation here for those of you just tuning in) draws to a close, my as-yet-untitled story stands at a commanding…1101 words! At this rate, the end product may turn out to be more of a short-short than a short story. My mantra, for the time being, is “You just have […]

On trying to get some research done, or, Revenge of the zombies

Every research project I’ve ever undertaken (of the kind intended to lead to something publishable, anyway) has tended to fall into a distinct series of stages. It goes more or less like this: 1) Initial idea, followed by exhilaration as several┬áinteresting data points and/or previous ideas and/or previous research investigations dovetail in an unexpected way. […]

Introducing NoNaShoStoWriMo

I have a longstanding track record of intending to participate in NaNoWriMo and then never actually participating. Every year, usually in spring or summer, I tell myself that this year I’ll do it; and then November rolls around and I haven’t a single idea that could turn into a novel. But this year I have […]

Ideal cities, ghostly cities

A team of computer scientists at the University of Washington is creating 3-D virtual models of cities (Rome, Venice, and Dubrovnik, for starters) using nothing but downloaded images from Flickr. As they explain: In this project, we consider the problem of reconstructing entire cities from images harvested from the web. Our aim is to build […]

Readings to bring back the muse

I was on the phone with my mother last weekend and she asked if I’d written any poems lately. Um, no, I had to reply, and it bothered me more than a little. Not only am I not writing anything creative, I’m not even in the kind of state where language feels inherently interesting. I […]

In which an extracurricular project coalesces

Remember that idea I had for a project dealing with Dracula and information technology some months back? I think it may turn into an actual article, or at least the makings of one. I’d been thinking, over the winter break, about which of my various research ideas (some library-related, some more literary, some, like this […]

The joy of titling

Ever since I first heard it used, I’ve loved the term “dark archive,” which means an archive that’s off-limits to the public. Like a lot of intriguing phrases I’ve come across, “dark archive” has a spot on my list of Titles I Intend to Use Someday if I Ever Write That Book of Poems.* I […]

Article idea: scholarly social network mapping

Several days ago I had an idea for an article: a study of humanities scholars' social and professional networks, using names mentioned in the acknowledgments sections of scholarly monographs. If you assembled enough data, I bet you could build a network graph, and if you had some way of representing people's areas of specialization, you […]

Department of own-horn tooting

Today I found out that the book of essays on Shakespeare’s sonnets to which I contributed last year has been reviewed in September’s issue of Choice, and my chapter was named as one of the "highlights." W00t! Someone read it and liked it! I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like to lately. Thinking […]