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Yeah, umm, kind of scary

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I remember a line from graduate school (Bataille, maybe?) that goes something like: the only thing worse than going completely unnoticed is to be noticed. I'm sure I have it wrong, but the gist is something to that effect.

And I recall it here because in a fairly short time, I've learned of three different courses that are using my little book, at Rowan, Central Florida, and Idaho. I'll add the other links when I can. Those are the ones I know of, anyhow.

I'm not sure what else to say, except that it's simultaneously exciting and terrifying to be a book. I asked my 601 students to read a chapter from it this semester, but mainly that was because I also gave them copies of the JAC article that the chapter used to be, as well as the dissertation chapter that was heavily revised into the JAC piece. That was the first time that I myself had read the three versions of that chapter in close proximity--it was an interesting exercise to be sure. Even more than a decade out, it's still difficult for me to read my own work. I'm hyperaware of my quirks as well as my limitations, and in the end, I find myself hoping that there's something of value to take away despite all that. I do think there is, but then I would, wouldn't I?

I've been meaning to add a quick link here to Jim Brown's comments about the book over at the Blogora, both because that was the first public mention of the book that I've seen, and because I appreciate the fact that Jim gets to the heart of one of the themes that still resonates for me, the move from object to interface.

Anyway, on the off-chance that anyone comes looking, I'm going to try to be a little extra accessible online while folks are reading LF, and if I can answer any questions, let me know. Drop me a note, FB comment, Twitter DM, etc.

Any APA gurus available?

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On a more serious note, I have a question for anyone who has better knowledge of APA style than I (this is a very large category of people, I suspect).

For reasons that will remain mysterious, my book was copyedited into APA style, and rather than have it turned back into MLA, I just went with it. But I'm coming across occasional issues in my MS, given my unfamiliarity with APA. For example, there are several points in the manuscript where I mention someone's reference of other work. For example, I might say that Scholar X builds on Scholar Y's idea of Z, where Z is a perspective or term that has been elaborated over a series of publications. I'm quoting Scholar X, and thus I need to include her in my bibliography and include the pub date in the text itself. I understand that.

But when it's a secondhand reference not to a specific text in the case of Scholar Y, but to one of their ideas that is being applied, adopted, transformed, or whatever in Scholar X's text, do I also need to include the inline parenthetical date for Scholar Y, and include their work in my bib as well?

I have to admit that this feels counter-intuitive to me, and yet, my copyeditor has entered the dreaded (xxxx) after each time I reference a proper name, without (it seems to me, at least) much sensitivity to the context of that proper name. But I'm hesitant to reject it out of hand, given the fact that I don't really know APA style at all, and my forays into the Publication Manual haven't yielded an answer.

Bottom line is that I can suck it up, and just track down the handful of citations that I'd need and include them in my bib--I may just do that anyway to reduce friction. But I am curious, because it's an element of my writing style that I don't think about often--I'm used to casually citing "common knowledge" sorts of ideas without imagining that I need to detail them formally.

Thanks ahead of time if you have an answer.

It says so right on the page

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page 1 of my MS

Say what you will about Hampton Press, or about my book when it finally comes out, but I'll have you know that the press has certified every single page of my book as Original.

Because, y'know, someone's gotta be.


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the page proofs for my book arrive

I have a couple of posts* brewing, but I'll let them simmer for a while longer. Today is a day of long awaited celebration:

My page proofs arrived today!

In the world of Collin, this is a VeryGoodSign™. The only cloud to this silver lining is that, of course, it adds a whole new section to my already over-burdened to-do list, as I will be indexing it myself (with some help from one of the grad students here) and of course, proofreading it.

But you'll allow me the requisite evening of relief and joy before reminding me of all the work that remains, I hope. And no jokes about how lucky I was that the Cubs infielders weren't responsible for catching or delivering it.

That is all.

(* Onesuch is in reply to StevenB over at ACRLog, who picked up last month's discussion about CCCC, and had some interesting things to say about the politics of that conversation...)


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Acknowledgments are one of those occluded genres in our writing. It's rare for us to have the opportunity to issue public expressions of gratitude, although if the general session at CCCC were more like the Oscars, maybe that would change. Not that I'm suggesting, mind you.

Anyhow, a couple of months ago, I contacted my press to see if they would mind if I changed my acknowledgments. The original was a fairly standard set of thank yous to friends, family, colleagues. With my dad's passing, I felt like I needed to spend a little more time thinking and writing about his influence on my life. My intention, once they agreed (which they did), was to spend that weekend drafting a new couple of pages to sub for the ones they currently had.

Well, that was two months ago. I've intended to work on those two pages every weekend since then, and every weekend, I put it off. And off. And off. Here's the thing: I don't really write from pain. I talk it through. It's partly why this space has been as silent as it has for the past six months. I want to write something, but nothing that I can imagine writing is really enough for what I want to say. I talked about this problem with a couple of different friends today--talking about it is easy. Writing? Not so much.

And the fact of the matter is that, if I hadn't written a draft the other night, I would have continued to not write about it some more. It's been an odd experience that way. I have things I want to write--there's a couple of articles in me itching to get out--but I haven't really wanted to write. The connection is obvious, of course, but there's a little more to it, because while I know my dad was proud of me and what I was doing, there wasn't that much of a direct connection between the me who was his son and the me who writes articles, chapters, or books for the discipline. Not blogging makes more sense, because I know that he read this site.

Ah well. Like I said. I have a draft, and an idea or two about revising it. My guess is that getting this done will make it more likely that I'll come round here a little more. And maybe I'll finally get around to giving myself permission to write again. Here's hoping.

That's all.

September 2009: Monthly Archives



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