Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Work continues, of course. I read the novel I will be writing up next: Jeffrey Archer's Cometh the Hour. I found it enjoyable, in part because I read its predecessor for freelance work last year, so I had already had the opportunity to invest in the characters and organizations depicted in the text. Entering a series late always presents difficulties; one of the marks of good authorship is that the writer is able to continue the narrative in such a way as to allow understanding of current events without demanding recourse to the earlier works--although a good author will also invite the additional reading. At some point, time permitting, I may well go back and read the earlier volumes in Archer's series, as well as earlier volumes in some other series I have encountered through doing the freelance write-ups. Maybe it will happen again--because it has happened before--that I will be asked to do so for the freelance work; that seems an ideal option.

The thought has occurred to me, of course, that I might do the kinds of write-ups I do for freelance orders independently of them. I would not repeat orders I have already done, certainly, but there are many other texts to address, many more than I am likely to be asked to treat, and a market for such things is evidently available, given how many such offerings are out in the world. Certain genres and authors suggest themselves as wanting attention, and some of them are even on my bookshelves. Perhaps I will turn to such writing in and among my other, more scholarly projects, or as a thing to do once I get a few of them done; there are many that yet need me to complete them, to which I mean to turn relatively soon. I just have to get a few other things done first; what I do for pay has to come before what I do for other than pay, at least for now. Sherwood Cottage and its indwellers need the money, but I do need to get my projects out of my head and onto the page. I am not Yggdrasil, and they collectively are not Níðhöggr, but they do gnaw at my roots, and I will fall if they eat their way through them all.

For now, though, I have ordered work to attend to. It pays decently enough, allowing me to make money doing something I enjoy doing. I do get to read mass-market books that are likely to be understood and appreciated by the broad public, allowing me some chance to talk to people outside the discipline--and that is a thing that is foregrounded as problematic in many of the narratives traded in and about academia. It allows me to put to use the skill sets I developed in my childhood and youth, offering me some explicit benefit to having had my nose in a book for so much of the time as I did. For the most part, I enjoy the work; I like being able to read things and say, even if only briefly, intelligent things about them. And if I am "over-trained" or "over-qualified" for such work, then it makes doing it all the easier.

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