1. We're moving out of New Jersey, and back to the Philly area.
S. got an internal transfer to her company's King of Prussia office, which is a huge relief: King of Prussia is much closer to Lehigh than Melville, NY. Her commute will be cut by like 95% -- no more George Washington Bridge, Cross-Bronx Expressway, or LIE -- and mine will be cut by about a quarter. That 15-20 minutes each way on my end might not sound like much, but 40 minutes a day does add up.
So we're moving in stages in the next few weeks. It's a huge amount of work, and this is a pretty bad time to have to do it. But the long-term benefits are myriad: more time to socialize, more time for exercise, the possibility of buying a house (ulp!), as well as an overall sense of normality that is lacking when you spend all your time in the car.
2. Book news. This actually happened about two months ago -- I got a contract for my academic book, Literary Secularism: Religion and Modernity in England, Ireland, and India. It's with a small British scholarly press whose name I won't give (bad luck), though I can say it's neither OUP nor CUP. The details of the print run and so on haven't been worked out yet -- I have to turn in the manuscript first -- but we'll probably have more news on that front next summer.
3. Blog posts --> essays? There are a few long blog posts I've put up in recent months that I'd like to try and convert into publishable essays, and I wonder if readers might have favorites or suggestions from among the following:
Language issues: some combination of H. Hatterr, and the Indian English posts, and maybe also the Balderdash post. That I need to write some kind of essay on this is really a no-brainer. The question is how to take it from the realm of language-play (where my blog posts are) to some kind of serious point about the function of Indian English (or slangs and dialects in general) in literature.
Orhan Pamuk, Turkish Secularism, Theater.... I really liked some of the ideas in this post, though it didn't get a lot of response from people at the time I posted it. There's so much going on in Pamuk's novel that this could easily be extended to 15-20 pages. But I don't know a lick of Turkish, and most academics avoid trying to publish on writing in translation when they don't know the original language, because any close attention to a writer's language is rendered pointless. But I wonder if that rule could be broken?
Rethinking Postcolonial Theory. This is almost an academic essay already, and I'm most definitely going to rework it. The question is whether it's my first priority.
So if you were me, which would you be most excited to pursue? Are there other posts you've seen me post here (or at Sepia Mutiny or the Valve) that seem like they could be starting points for longer essays? Philip Roth? Rumpelstiltskin? Others?
(Note: you obviously don't need to be an academic or a literature person to weigh in on this -- that's the beauty of the blog world. There's no such thing as "qualifications," only good ideas and arguments...)