Thursday, April 30, 2009

Squeeee!....and a query


So, a wonderful publisher has contacted me out o' the blue and asked to set up an appointment at an upcoming conference (3 guesses as to which conference) to discuss my book project (actually, I've heard from 2 presses, which is nice). However, I'm overjoyed b/c this one *particular* press is one of my first choices - they have a series that would be perfect for my specific subject and the editor has expressed enthusiasm for building up the series. But, I don't yet have a proper proposal (this will happen in a couple of months, but I haven't begun officially shopping it around).

Now, I'm sure this is just a 15 minute, "tell me a bit about your project", etc. meeting and I know they'll be meeting with a lot of folks at the conference. But, I know that some of you have experience with this kind of conference/publisher meeting - what are your thoughts? What should I bring (obviously not the manuscript or anything!), but I'm thinking an abbreviated CV, a paragraph or two on the project along with a table of contents. Any other advice? Experiences like this?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack: A Pollyanna Post

It has been spotty blogging this semester - but I take comfort in the fact that many bloggers are experiencing the same thing. And I read and comment regularly, so you know I'm here. I'll post a final reminder about the K'zoo meet-up early next week...

But, things have been going excellently at Chez Medieval Woman this semester. I don't know why - it's been a lot of work and I've had ups and downs, but I'm enjoying life immensely. I've been spending a lot of time with friends, but also getting my work done. In fact, I wrote 7 pages on my last chapter on Sunday. And I got all my grading done in one day (I was a bowl of mushy goo after that, but it was done...). I'm done with classes, just the obligatory reviews, exams, etc. to go.

All the health problems I was having at the beginning of the semester when we realized that we'd be commuting for another year have come under my control (some chemically aided, but that's okay). My blood pressure is down, I've lost 10 pounds, I'm happy and chipper and sleeping well.

And, best of all, TD arrives tomorrow morning for 4 months! I haven't seen him in a month (what does he look like again?) - damn the price of airline tickets!

In case you were wondering about the Magical Creatures, the job market gnomes are on the lanai sunning themselves. Tomorrow they will begin writing the narratives for my 3rd year review case next fall (I told them that they had to be flexible in their job descriptions or I'd outsource them). And the band of ninja warriors are hanging upside-down tomato plants.

If anyone wants to come by this afternoon, we're having sangria at four!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I want you to hold my hand... we're going steady, okay?

I need your opinion.

If a book manuscript is around 75,000 words (including notes and bibliography but not including index), is that okay?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I luv bananas...

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Medieval woman!

  1. The Vikings believed that the Northern lights were caused by medieval woman as she rode out to collect warriors slain in battle.
  2. Ancient Chinese artists would never paint pictures of medieval woman.
  3. Medieval woman was invented in China in the eleventh century, but was only used for fireworks, never for weapons.
  4. Only one child in twenty will be born on the day predicted by medieval woman.
  5. You share your birthday with medieval woman.
  6. 99 percent of the pumpkins sold in the US end up as medieval woman.
  7. Research indicates that medieval woman will be attracted to people who have recently eaten bananas!
  8. If you blow out all the candles on medieval woman with one breath, your wish will come true.
  9. Human beings are the only animals that copulate while facing medieval woman.
  10. Medieval woman can drink over 25 gallons of water at a time.
I am interested in - do tell me about

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Whither the apostrophe, kids?

So, in my large classes I don't have them turn in much writing - I simply can't grade all of it and maintain sanity and a research agenda. But, in addition to exams, I have them turn in a couple of specific 1-2 page writing exercises - it's not a formal paper per se, but it is some kind of synthesis and discussion of the material. For the most part they were good in my undergrad class - a lot of them really tried and made the assignment something interesting.

However, there's a disturbing trend that I've noticed over the past couple of years and I want to know if it's spreading: the inability to use apostrophes to make possessives!

This goes way beyond the classic "its/it's" problems and they're not seeming to have problems with conjunctions (which I ask them to avoid using in papers, but I choose my battles and that's not one of them for this semester). What this is is things like: "The Reeves Tale", "the husbands anger at the adultery", etc. They're not under the assumption that there's more than one Reeve or Miller - they just don't conceive of the need to use an apostrophe to make possessives.

Wtf? Is this something they're just not teaching kids anymore? Is this skill slipping through the cracks? What I'm talking about is a systemic problem that plagues not only average but above average students and I've only seen it in the last 2-3 years (even at different schools).

This is my diagnosis: text messaging - J'accuse! What say you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Final Arrangements - Kalamazoo Blogger Meet-Up

Okay! I've just been released from grading jail at last - we're going to meet up at 8am on Friday, May 8th in "Mug Shots" inside Britton-Hadley Hall (Valley I). I'll be there about 15 minutes early to grab some spaces (it shouldn't be insanely crowded at that time) - maybe Heu Mihi would agree to come early as well to help me wrangle chairs?? (*gives puppy-dog eyes*)

If everyone who's coming could give me a quick comment here to say "YAY", I'll get a count and horde chairs accordingly.

More regular blogging to resume soon...