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End of a long journey

September 25, 2007

I spent this past weekend writing. Literally, I went in to the office and wrote for eight or nine hours Saturday and Sunday. The looming deadline for the London book was making me anxious, and I needed some uninterrupted time to work on the final chapter and the preface. I drank coffee and Pepsi, listened to sleazy jazz alternating with Flogging Molly and Bad Religion (with the occasional Elvis Costello) and typed.

The result? It’s finished. I have nothing else to write in the book. It all makes sense, seems fully fleshed out, and I hope strikes a stunning balance between scholarship and readability. I am extremely happy. When I did a final word count on Sunday afternoon and realized I had exceeded the publisher’s word count by quite a bit, I nearly danced.

Of course, the book isn’t quite ready to send off. I still have to organize the illustrations and make notes for captions. In one case I still have to secure the rights for reprinting one picture (and if the British Museum would reply to my email, that would be done). We also have to do the final maps–Gwyn will take care of those this week.

The main work, though, is done. I started working on this project in 2001, at the beginning of my Ph.D. program. In 2004 it was a completed dissertation, and I thought it was done at that point. The publishing contract resurrected it and forced me to expand it considerably, to the general improvement of the work and my arguments. And now, six years later, I’m done. I’m very proud of it, and very happy to work on something else.

And that something else beckons–I’ve already begun working on the Carmilla edition. It will not take as long. I promise.

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