Monday, February 26, 2007


I love the snow! We got about a foot of snow this weekend, and I got a new pair of boots from the vegan store. My reward for my work this week will be to go snowshoeing, which I love dearly. Maybe I'll rent some shoes in the Cities and drive out to Wild River Falls.

Chapter 4 is still plugging along. I did a full read-through, and I just have a few things to research yet, the chapter conclusion to write, and still the notes to do. I have some sort of block on doing the notes, so I'm planning to do (or 'implement,' as the lifehack bloggers would say) the (10+2)*5 procrastination hack, aka force myself to work by building in little breaks.

The chapter is due on Wednesday, and I worked at the museum today, so tomorrow will be the big push day. Wish me luck!

Also, my reader four time zones away should start her own blog. Not this week, obviously, but do think about it.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Chapter 4 comes together

Hurrah! I'm making good progress on Ch 4 today. I finished the three sections I wanted to, and I added some more neat archival material. This may possibly be due to the fact that I couldn't sleep and got up ridiculously early; or more likely to the fact that I revised the intro first thing this morning, which helped me be more clear on what the chapter is about and is trying to argue. Note to self: for the next two chapters, revise the intro first!

I'm also excited about my word count. For my revised chapters, the tally is:
Ch 2: 10,600
Ch 3: 13,300
Ch 4: 10,100 (not done yet!)

total: 34,000 words=136 pages

I have two chapters, intro and conclusion, illustrations, and bibliography to go, so I think I'll hit 250. 200 is the unofficial minimum, so that's all I was going for.

And now, in honor of hitting 10,000 words on Chapter 4, I'm going to take a nap.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Ch 4 Update, 2/23

I'm still a bit downcast about my progress revising chapter 4, mostly due to my limited success in getting up early today since it was so grey and dreary. Tomorrow I'm going to go to the U and sequester myself and get a lot of writing done, since I'll have the library there. Also I have a built-in motivator since I'm going to go see the Apples in Stereo tomorrow night, and I'll feel crummy about going if I don't make some progress tomorrow (since I've only seen them three times, and Marbles twice).

What did I do today?
Worked on the intro a bit. Thought a lot about organization and where this chapter fits in the diss.

But also!--and let's not discount it--I did a lot of work on a job cover letter. And I fixed a weird problem with my computer. Also I bought a chair at Savers, drafted an entry for my professional blog (about timelines. Why am I always thinking about timelines?), and did a number of things on my actionable to-do list. So, not a totally wasted day.

Here's the skinny on Ch 4 in general:
I've finished four sections.
I need to revise five more, including the chapter intro and conclusion.
I need to polish the language and fix the notes.
It's due on Wednesday, and I want to go to a history of medicine talk at noon, so I'd like to have it done before then.

Tomorrow I will:

chapter intro
Dr. Ehrlich
Look at the stylesheet for my notes*
fix the Ch 2 and 3 notes, and 4 if I have time

*With archival materials, using Refworks and other citation managers is a huge pain.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Chapter 4

I've done a bit of organizing and work on Chapter 4 now, and it's actually really interesting. I'm starting to remember why I was so excited about this topic.

I've also learned that I need to write a section about blood--bad blood, blood poison, iv injection, serums. This had never occurred to me before--I really do learn by writing. I might just throw it into Chapter 5 and decide that it's about 'manly' blood.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dissertation Update, 2/20

Lots of news about my recent progress:

I finished Chapter 2 and sent it to my advisor on the 14th, the day it was due. It was missing a few things--some data on the AMA's Ethics Code, a few things about Dr. Cramp, and fixing the notes--but generally reads well and is pretty coherent. The point was that I sent it in on time. Six months ago I would have looked at it and been frustrated and disappointed and decided that it wasn't worth sending to my advisor. Things have changed. Though I've said for a while that 'it doesn't have to be good, it just has to be done,' I never internalized it till now. It helps that I have this robust schedule with actual deadlines, and that (it was this simple!) I wrote the phrase on a postit and stuck it on my mirror.

As a reward for finishing chapter 2, I went to a v-day party and ate chocolate and wowed everyone with my knowledge of vintage port (which I never thought would have come in handy in a gathering of arty young queers).

The next diss goal is Chapter 4. I was looking forward to writing it, but now it feels a bit drab. I'm revising it in small sections but I'm still feeling overwhelmed. I'll have to drop my goals to paragraphs.

Chapter 4 is due on the 28th, and I feel like I've wasted lots of the time I had to write it. I think I sat on my laurels a bit too much over Chapter 2, and did social things I really should have declined, or spent less time at. The other problem is that my sleep schedule had been disrupted by the enormous amount of coffee I had been drinking, so I decided to detox a bit, and spent a whole day sleeping and feeling crummy and reading The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, which gave me weird dreams.

So now it's the 20th, and I have a little more than a week to revise Chapter 4. I know that it's possible (I did most of the work on 3 in about 3 days) but my motivation is slipping. I'm going to read some motivation lifehacks and see if that helps.

Also, it's totally gorgeous outside. I'm glad I've had the chance to bike around, but good weather is no good for my motivation.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chapter 2 Update

Well, my personal deadline of 2/10 turned out to be inaccurate, but I'm still on track to finish Chapter 2 by Wednesday.

Chapter 2 has just hit 10,000 words. Someone should buy me a drink and ask me about the Ohio Medical Advertisers Association.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Dissertation Update, 2/5

Last week, I finished my revisions on Chapter 3 and sent it to my advisor.

I started on my revisions of Chapter 2. It has some organizational problems, so I spent a few days reorganizing it, which went more slowly than I would have liked. Now I have ten coherent sections. Today I've already finished revising one of them, and my goal is to finish at least one other.

The chapter is officially due to my advisor on Valentine's Day. My personal deadline is the 10th, 4 days earlier. I believe I can make it.

I like this chapter less than the other one. It's the first chapter I ever wrote, two years ago, and I've revisited it too many times. Hopefully this will be the last time!


Friday, February 02, 2007

More to read

The Locus recommended reading list is up.

I've read about a dozen of books on this enormous list, which is almost entirely due to my having read all the YAs. Many things I've wanted to read are on there, but it's totally impossible until I finish that diss thing.

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