I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Why I Love my Readers

A while back I asked if anyone would be interested in reading a chapter of my book on the Order of the Garter. I was overwhelmed by people's willingness to do this, and am now slowly working through these comments as I try to get my six chapters ready to send to the publisher (hopefully, within a week or two). I'm working backwards, so as to leave the hardest chapters (1 and 2) to last, and so that I have the fullest sense of the book as I revise those crucial opening chapters.

People's responses have been tremendously useful, and I'm amazed at the tact with which people have pointed out where the argument is hard to follow or doesn't make sense. I'm also thrilled at the deftness with which people have suggested clever readings of the primary material I look at. I feel the book is really starting to come together properly now, and it's absolutely due to these responses.

I'm just going through Chapter Three now and have Philip and David to thank, today, for helping me make sense of this chapter, which has to work through the many variants of the Garter myth. I hope Philip won't mind my sharing this comment, which makes me laugh out loud each time I read it.

Page 16: "Other versions and variants also circulated."

- Did you write this chapter in a linear way, from start to finish? At this precise point you're sounding a bit lethargic, as if the sheer quantity and variety of material was too much to bear. Which of course it is, but you may want to seem effortlessly clever...

No, my dear, I assembled it like the whole book, in bits and pieces and scraps, and occasional bursts of 5000 words at a time. And yes, of course, I want to seem effortlessly clever, though I suspect this blog may have blown my cover there. Anyway, I've deleted the offending sentence in an effort to appear effortless.

Hey ho: back to work!


Mindy said...

Thanks Phillip, way to raise the bar! I don't think I said anything at all pithy. But it was a great read anyway.

Anonymous said...

Seeming, appearances - my academic preoccupations! I'm very glad that you found the feedback productive, Stephanie.

And, Everyone, the chapter was (in a syllable) fab. Pre-order now?