Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oooh! Shiny! (A plea for someone to talk me back to reality)

So, my InAdWriMo counter hasn't budged, but I swear I'm working. Right now, I'm going through a case file that switches back and forth from Latin to vernacular. I'm getting about 80% of it on a quick read-through. But I discovered that what I thought was an 11-folio case is actually the tail end of a much longer case, 73 folia, which I also happen to have on hand, thanks to a dear friend of mine.

So, I'm going through the case, scratching out ideas for what direction to take this in. So far, the list is up to six. There's gender and litigation. There's history of emotions. There's poison and (attempted) murder. There are social networks (gendered, familial, and professional). And I'm only at folio 9. And I'm starting to think that there might be a book here. Not a monograph like the one I just finished, but a Return of Martin Guerre-type deep explication that might get assigned in courses and and be fun to research and write and actually make! me! some! money!

Of course, I'm sure that I'm not the first person to have thought of this. So what I'm asking for here is for those of you who have had similar fantasies to give me a dose of reality right now, before I get too carried away by the sheer shiny newness of it all.

10 comments:

Dr. S said...

No reality check here. This one sounds to me like a dream come true: you're at the end of one project, and another one may just have walked up and said hello. Take a deep breath and enjoy it: this is the fun part, no? (Hooray!)

Susan said...

I'm with Dr S. If you've got a case that can do these things, go for it. You might start with one of the pieces as an article, but why not think about doing the whole thing?

clio's disciple said...

I say start working with it and see where it goes!

AliceAcademic said...

I'm no help either. It sounds fabulous. Run, run with it while you have the momentum.

The Bittersweet Girl said...

Um, I'm sorry, did you want a group of nerdy academics who love obscure research projects that might lead to distant, dubious, and probably rather scant financial rewards to warn you off? I think you need to page some non-academics to intervene. Do you want me to have one of my "why don't you get a real job?" relatives drop by?

I'm excited just by the word "folio", so no help here.

Notorious Ph.D. said...

You guys are useless. ((grin))

Okay, I've written to Major Scholar who used to be working on an aspect of this project to confirm what he told me at Kalamazoo: that he's deeply enmeshed in something else for now, and won't be getting to this for some time. And I've written to my friend in Research City -- he knows the archives I'll need to use inside and out, and he knows the particular trial, so he'll be able to tell me if I'm charging off into a swamp.

And in the meantime, I'm glossing the case itself, mapping out possible chapters.

Last chance to discourage me, folks...

Michael said...

I'll take a feeble attempt at dissuasion (is that a word?): It does sound like a great move and if you'd enjoy it, it sounds even better. I don't know how it works there, but I know the research for your last/current book was fairly well-funded. Would this be the same or will you be writing it and researching it on top of maintaining all of your classes? I believe it's possible since people can manage careers and small children, just stockpile coffee now and take periodic breaks to avoid tears and homicide.

Good Enough Woman said...

I love the "Oooh! Shiny!" It's such a playful, childlike metaphor for such an advanced academic endeavor! If you can maintain that attitude, you'll be fine, for sure. And, if not, you'll still be fine.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

What everyone else said! It's a great sign for a project that you feel the "ooh, shiny" response. I've got one of those . . . in a holding pattern till I finish the current one . . . which used to be shiny.

tenthmedieval said...

Bloody well go for it, it sounds fascinating. After all, there's no such thing as too much to do, right? Oh, well, maybe. But this never seems to stop such as us, right?