Has it really been a week since my last post? I wish I had more to show for it, but it has not been that kind of week. For one thing, I came down with a cold — not a bad one, but bad enough to sap my energy, disrupt my sleep, and generally make it harder to get through the demands of an ordinary day. Colds are such undignified ailments, aren’t they? And precisely because they are both minor and common, you can’t really justify taking any actual sick days.
Luckily for me, though, last week included not just Remembrance Day, which is a statutory holiday, but Dalhousie’s Study Day — plus, on the theory that attendance was likely to be terrible on the one day in between those two days off and the weekend, I had preemptively cancelled the Friday tutorials for my Intro class and replaced them with extra office hours. So I did get a break from the parts of the job that are hardest to manage when you can’t breathe very well: instead of lecturing or leading discussion, I marked quizzes and essays and reread the first half of Daniel Deronda.
It would be nice if the change in schedule had allowed me to concentrate on some good reading that I could then have blogged about. It didn’t work out that way, though. For one thing, I got very preoccupied with a work issue that took both a lot of emotional energy and a lot of actual time to deal with. On top of that, we had some serious technical problems on the larger Open Letters Monthly site, in which this blog is embedded, that literally blocked me from Novel Readings for some time. Also, the most interesting reading I’ve done recently is Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles, but I’m working on a formal review of that for OLM so I don’t want to go into detail about it here. Then on Friday the terrible events in Paris unfolded, and that made it hard to imagine writing about something else for a while.
So, here I am again, at the end of another week that has left Novel Readings a bit neglected. That’s how blogging goes, though, or at least how this blog has always gone for me: it ebbs and flows with the rhythms of my life, rather than being coerced into a regular schedule. I don’t feel guilty when I don’t blog better or more often: why would I? It wouldn’t make any sense, since I’m not answerable to anyone about it. I just feel disappointed, because I really like writing here, especially about books that have stimulated, moved, or provoked me, and when I’m not doing that kind of writing here, it’s often a sign that I’m not quite living the life I want. Well, to everything there is a season, right? And I’m feeling perkier and looking forward to next week in my classes: we’re wrapping up A Room of One’s Own in Intro and then starting Unless, and we’re starting Daniel Deronda in the George Eliot seminar.