Titles by Kij Johnson are available for purchase online

I have been a little busy, but in fact I did have time on Sunday to write an update, I just…forgot. Like you do sometimes. So, here are five things.

This is the eleventh week of my fourteen-week semester, and workshopping starts today. I redesigned this class, Fiction I, a couple of years ago, and then again more radically, this spring. In this version, we don’t workshop until toward the very end. I want to change it more once we are face to face again, with more small peer feedback earlier, but that is next year’s project. Meanwhile, I really like the stories I have seen; in general, they seem better written than 351s usually are. Am I correct in this? Who knows? I am taking the smug satisfaction for the win.

I also had a very labor-intensive departmental committee that more or less ended for the year last week. This frees up some energy for thinking again about the summer.

All this school stuff interfered with the book, but I did write a thousand words in a single glorious burst over the weekend. Sadly, it replaces about two thousand prior words, so: net loss. But the book will need to be trimmed in revision anyway, so perhaps it’s not so bad; perhaps just some of the revision happening ante facto? This is the twelfth chapter, second from the end; in most books I would be rushing forward in a happy end-game frenzy. This one proves more intractable. I still am missing one plot point, so I am writing all the scenes on either side of that gap, knowing that it will eventually fill itself, if only with silt.

I bought a sun tent that I am hoping to set up semipermanently for the summer on my front deck. It is no surprise, therefore, that the temperatures will be in the low 60s for the next two weeks, far too cold to want to be protected from the warmth of the sun. But after that…. I have a fantasy of sitting in the shade with a breeze blowing across my face (perhaps natural, perhaps caused by a fan), drinking iced tea, and reading…um, not sure what, since I am almost finished with the fifty thousand novels of Patricia Wentworth, and to be honest, I need a break from this steady diet of sweet rolls and chocolate. Something toothy and difficult….

Well, I do have toothy books awaiting me: a stack of OuLiPo works I bought earlier this spring in preparation for a binge; Bernd Heinrich on ravens; the Kalevela in a 19th century translation. But in spite of that, what I suspect will happen is that I will plunge into P. D. James again. Well, they are toothier and more difficult than Patricia Wentworth, anyway.

Today is a very busy teaching day, so I am going to leave it there for now. Take care of yourselves; be well.