There’s not a whole lot to report, actually.
The weather, while it has taken a turn the cold and flurrying since the weekend, hasn’t been the soul-crushing winter that the rest of February was. Then again, it also beggars belief that it’s the end of February already. It’s a shorter month, but not by that much. It’s still early days, but I may look back and remember it as the longest and shortest month of 2014.
At work, I handed over a book to production, and I don’t think I was quite prepared for the huge feeling of relief that would follow. But the handing-over itself? That was just a lot of paperwork and formatting and back-and-forth with authors. I’ll have two more books in quick succession that will need to go into production very soon, and I think the feeling of relief was only because they couldn’t be handed over immediately. (One manuscript has permission issues for which I’ve contracted a freelancer, and the other isn’t expected until Monday.) I had a little breathing room, in which I could focus on some other smaller projects — I have manuscripts out for review, I’m mentoring someone (and worried I’m just giving her busy work to do) — and finally typing up my notes from my campus trips a couple of weeks ago. I’ll be on campus again tomorrow, headed to Stony Brook University, unless illness or weather unravel those plans for a third time.
I finished reading Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. It’s an interesting book, one that I’ve actually attempted to read a couple of times in the past. I’m not sure exactly why those attempts fell apart on me like they did, since it’s actually a really good book and maybe one of Dick’s more accessible, less out-there books. (I’d actually started reading The Divine Invasion, then quit maybe a hundred pages in when I learned it was the middle book in the so-called “VALIS Trilogy.”) The book is an alternate history, of a world where Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II, and I think Dick makes a really smart move centering most of the action in Japanese-controlled San Francisco. The book is less about the mechanics of this world, the kind of thing you see in countless “what if the Nazis had won?” stories, and more about using that world to look at our own. If it had been set in Germany, or Nazi-controlled New York, it would have been a very different book.
And that’s about it, really. Just a handful of decent but uneventful days.