fall always seems to be a productive time for me, at least in
terms of ideas. Accordingly, I have started a few more projects
when I should be finishing those that are nearing completion.
This list exists partially to motivate me, but is also meant to
explain how far I have to go.
of books I was working on has shifted somewhat with the cold weather
and other inspiring factors. I am nearly finished the annotated
version of The Island of Doctor Moreau which is
thrd book in the series
of research aids that I call Scholarly
Editions. They are meant to assist the scholar who wants
a more in-depth understanding of the primary texts. I have begun
the series with three H. G. Wells books, to start. Each book will
have a general introduction as well as a more in-depth evaluation
of the text which will include its publishing history and historical
antecedents, depending on the book. The original text will also
be heavily annotated, and will point the scholar to research in
the field that is relevant to the particular text as well as current
scientific research which can inform their reading of the text.
I began with Wells' World
Brain, and just completed The
A draft of
first book in the series using Tom Waits songs as an inspiration
is nearly done. In the meantime I will continue writing a short
story per day--the restriction I've given myself is around a thousand
words--which is meant to loosely capture something about Tom Waits'
songs as they were produced. I do not intend Music to Stories,
as I am calling it, to retell the songs, but rather use
them to riff on a larger story I see as struggling to free itself
from the shorter and possibly more limited form. My last project
using Tom Waits as an inspiration was Going
to Ground where I imagined him, or a character based
on his songs, traveling across the Canadian landscape in search
of a home. This latest project is going well and I can see the
narrative that is struggling to emerge from it.
I like the
thousand words a day format, since it gives me time to work on
other projects. That is how I wrote Programming for Life.
I have begun another project which is quite different
than either a novel or an academic critical work. I have begun
a book which allows me to describe the pedagogical insight I have
learned working with foreign students. I have tentatively titled
it The Challenges and Delights of Teaching English Literature
to Foreign Students, and I'll keep you posted on the project.
I have returned
to an older project, which is a novel about the First Colonist
on Mars. I had initially written that as a fictional journal
some ten years ago, but I am now rewriting the book and expect
a draft should be done in a few months.
I am nearly
finished a first draft of The Founding of Planeville
a magic realist novel which follows the settlers in a small village
in New Brunswick after the Miramichi fire of 1825. Work on this
has slowed, although I know how to write about the village's demise
fiction novel Programming for Life, about an Artificial
Intelligence tasked with the care of a child light years from
assistance and advice, is also in a relatively completed draft
form. That book is a bit larger than I thought it would be, but
I expect to get to the draft after it sits on the shelf long enough
for some fresh perspective.
and the Corrupted Archive: The Postmodern Text, Fact and Confabulation
is more of an academic work based on a talk that I gave, and undertakes
to investigate and metaphorically figure how history, or a story,
can be told when the archive has been deliberately corrupted or
neglected for political purpose. This will likely be a longer
project, and I am barely fifty pages into it. You can expect to
hear more about it in a year.
I am still
working on my book length explication of Jacques Lacan's enigmatic
and evocative theory about the writteness of the self in my Jacques
Lacan and Subjectivity, although the progress has slowed
to a molasses flood in January.
I have stalled
since the summer on Marred, my novel set on Mars
that details the exploits of colonists who have been abandoned
by Earth, but I hope to return to that when I have a moment. Like
my work on The Coffin Ships, I plan to get back
to the project as soon as some of these other books are finished.
I have also
started a guide to designing an off-grid solar power system. That
book is research and graphic heavy and will no doubt take longer
to put together.
I am hoping
to have a decent draft of the final book in the Blind
Fish Series soon, but I will have to keep you posted about