August292014
I know the arguments against them, and I don’t care.  You just don’t understand our love.

I know the arguments against them, and I don’t care.  You just don’t understand our love.

August222014
When you have multiple bookshelves devoted to library books, it’s a big question, especially if you are not hiring professionals to do all that lifting.
On the other hand, it’s a great way to rid yourself of all the books you’re actually done with and have been renewing endlessly for no real purpose.

When you have multiple bookshelves devoted to library books, it’s a big question, especially if you are not hiring professionals to do all that lifting.

On the other hand, it’s a great way to rid yourself of all the books you’re actually done with and have been renewing endlessly for no real purpose.

August152014

DOUBLE WHAMMY.  I didn’t want to split this set up.

The whole time I was researching for this chapter, I kept telling people, “I hate the researching stage; I never feel like I’m making progress.  I’m really looking forward to writing.”  Now that I’ve got my outline and I’m writing, all I can think is, “Life was so much easier when starting work for the day meant pulling out my Post-it flags and cracking a book, when all I had to do was absorb and process.  Now I have to actually produce stuff?!”  The thing is, I have a fantastic outline for this chapter, so it’s not even like I’m starting from scratch.  It’s all in my head; it just needs to be moved onto the screen.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing when I’m in the middle of it and have a good flow going.  It’s the STARTING to write that’s really a problem.

August82014
Still intending to get a lot done, but somewhere along the line this summer, my August became full of short trips.

Still intending to get a lot done, but somewhere along the line this summer, my August became full of short trips.

August12014
A friend asked me what, as an Anglo-Saxonist, I thought of Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake, which I hadn’t previously heard of, but is set in 1066 and written in a “shadow tongue” of Old English (i.e. modified somewhat to be more readable for a modern audience with no training in OE, while still feeling difficult and exotic to the untrained reader).  I thought, “I’m generally skeptical of language gimicks, but sounds potentially interesting; I’ll check it out.”  I read the first few pages on Amazon.  It’s 100% possible that the story and characters and culture are compelling and well-researched; I really only read enough to get a feel for the language.  And the language grated on me like crazy.  There are phrases that read like Old English, but a lot of it feels very sloppy and phony, both grammatically and semantically*.  It seems to be written by someone not very immersed in the language who is using the language to evoke an exotic-yet-quaint world and who doesn’t expect his audience to be able to tell how sloppy his handling of the language is.  And you know what, most of his readers won’t be able to, and maybe that should be fine and I should just be happy that people are taking an interest in a culture that I study.  That would probably be the generous and healthy attitude to take.  But instead, right now, I’m mostly feeling grumpy.
*I say this realizing that some things (mostly spellings and words) must be changed for comprehension by an audience that doesn’t read OE.  I think it’s pretty clear where and how that kind of updating is happening, if you do know OE.  I think I could deal with that, although part of me still would find it more gimmicky than interesting or fruitful.  What I’m complaining about here is a whole different issue, where grammar neither resembles OE nor modern usage and words are thrown around carelessly.

A friend asked me what, as an Anglo-Saxonist, I thought of Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake, which I hadn’t previously heard of, but is set in 1066 and written in a “shadow tongue” of Old English (i.e. modified somewhat to be more readable for a modern audience with no training in OE, while still feeling difficult and exotic to the untrained reader).  I thought, “I’m generally skeptical of language gimicks, but sounds potentially interesting; I’ll check it out.”  I read the first few pages on Amazon.  It’s 100% possible that the story and characters and culture are compelling and well-researched; I really only read enough to get a feel for the language.  And the language grated on me like crazy.  There are phrases that read like Old English, but a lot of it feels very sloppy and phony, both grammatically and semantically*.  It seems to be written by someone not very immersed in the language who is using the language to evoke an exotic-yet-quaint world and who doesn’t expect his audience to be able to tell how sloppy his handling of the language is.  And you know what, most of his readers won’t be able to, and maybe that should be fine and I should just be happy that people are taking an interest in a culture that I study.  That would probably be the generous and healthy attitude to take.  But instead, right now, I’m mostly feeling grumpy.

*I say this realizing that some things (mostly spellings and words) must be changed for comprehension by an audience that doesn’t read OE.  I think it’s pretty clear where and how that kind of updating is happening, if you do know OE.  I think I could deal with that, although part of me still would find it more gimmicky than interesting or fruitful.  What I’m complaining about here is a whole different issue, where grammar neither resembles OE nor modern usage and words are thrown around carelessly.

July252014
It’s so easy to go from “I have energy and am excited to write!” to “When will they invent a machine that can just suck the words out of my brain while I’m watching TV?”

It’s so easy to go from “I have energy and am excited to write!” to “When will they invent a machine that can just suck the words out of my brain while I’m watching TV?”

July182014
Mine is usually pretty on top of things, but summer slows everyone down.  The hardest part is that the longer I wait, the less I feel like continuing to work while waiting.

Mine is usually pretty on top of things, but summer slows everyone down.  The hardest part is that the longer I wait, the less I feel like continuing to work while waiting.

July112014
All in the culmination of months that happened to wrap up this morning a day’s work.  I’m pretty sure I’ve earned the right to play video games and don’t actually need to start on the next stage of the project until tomorrow.

All in the culmination of months that happened to wrap up this morning a day’s work.  I’m pretty sure I’ve earned the right to play video games and don’t actually need to start on the next stage of the project until tomorrow.

July42014
An extra hour to sleep, an extra hour for household chores, two extra hours for recreation, and two for work.  It would be perfect!

An extra hour to sleep, an extra hour for household chores, two extra hours for recreation, and two for work.  It would be perfect!

July22014

erikkwakkel:

Up close and personal

I made these images today and they are quite special. The expressive medieval faces - and a pair of hands - are part of the stained-glass “Great East Windows” at York Minster and they date from 1408. Not many people have seen these details from this close, for the simple reason that they are normally positioned twenty meters or so above ground level. Except for now. They are presently being restored and thus taken down, one segment at the time, to be treated by experts. Visiting the cathedral gets you face to face - literally if you want - with these 700-year-old individuals. It is sensational to see them the way the artisans did when they made them, especially knowing they will soon be out of reach again, perhaps for centuries to come.

Pics (my own): York Cathedral, restoration exhibition.

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