For the record, I haven’t disappeared. Nor have I quit doing all the stuff I like doing, such as reviewing books, writing, and so on. Rather, I’ve been doing worrying or thinking intensely about the following:
- My upcoming paper presentation for the English Graduate Organization Annual Conference (entitled ““Escaping Apartheid: The Speculative Renaissance in South Africa”). I’ve got a week. Yikes.
- My paper and abstract for the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, which is held in Orlando every year. China Mieville will be guest of honor, though he likely won’t attend any of my panels as I am not in his fields of interest. But you never know. The paper is on Kage Baker’s The House of the Stag (a rewrite of a previous paper).
- The class I am teaching next semester called “Writing About Postcolonialism and Genre Fiction,” in which I will be teaching students about the rise of genres like science fiction and fantasy (and their connection to the formations of empire) and how writers from the postcolony use such genres (including mystery, magical realism, etc.) to interrogate empire. I’m going to teach some Tobias S. Buckell, Nalo Hopkinson, Amos Tutuola, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Lauren Beukes, Nadine Gordimer, and many others. It should be fun.
- My oncology appointment on Monday. I’m turning into a hypochondriac right now. Every little change in my body makes me wonder whether I have some terrible new form of cancer, which is always a possibility for survivors of cancer. It’s stressing me out and all I want right now is for my cancer doctor to get some tests and tell me I’m a little overweight, have high natural cholesterol and asthma, but otherwise I’m a-OK. Because paying for chemo, surgery, etc. etc. etc. is not something I can manage right now. There’s no way…
- The 70 students I am currently teaching (two classes of “Intro to College Writing” and one class of “Professional Communication”). Over the next 8 weeks, I will be busy busy busy. But if I keep on top of things, I’ll do just fine.
- The two papers I have to write this semester (one a short conference-length thing, and the other a full 20ish-page monster). With all the work I’m doing, and all the personal stress, you can imagine what those papers look like on the other side of the hill: a giant, paper-filled, ink-spewing monster!
I’ve got lots of other worries too, such as finishing WISB and some stories I’ve still got to write for the WISB project. They’re coming. I’m drowning in work and having a hard time keeping it all together. But I’ll manage.
What’s got you stressed or busy these days?