November 29, 2022

From Gerald R. Lucas
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This morning, I installed Kutt, a URL shortener on I had been shortening URLs manually, but I figured a software solution would be better. And guess what: it is! Kutt is pretty simple and does exactly what I need it to do. I also installed on Ghost and started to add content. I have much more to do, but I’ll get to it in time. Likewise, I intend to put the Norman Mailer Society’s web site on Ghost; I think it’s a better solution than Mediawiki—especially with the subscription option. This will likely have to wait until the break.

Also, confirmed yesterday by a phone call from Mike, the Mailer estate has signed the contract with SUNY Press for Lipton’s. W00t! I must say: I had pretty much come to terms with it not happening, but I guess the month-long contract negotiations finally panned out. I’m very pleased, but maybe I should wait for confirmation from SUNY Press before celebrating. Similarly, I purchased an ISBN for Reflections and applied for its LOC numbers. This volume should be just about ready for the printer.

I finished Iain M. Banks’ Look to Windward this morning at about 04:00. With this one read, I have exactly two more Culture novels left to go. That’s pretty sad. I have to say, too, that this one is probably my least favorite of the Culture novels so far. In general, it’s a meditation on PTSD and loss for two important characters in the novel. Since “look to windward” precedes “Consider Phlebas” in The Waste Land, Banks seems to suggest that this novel is a lose sequel to the first Culture novel that dealt with the Culture/Idiran war—and was much better. Still, I have Matter and The Hydrogen Sonata left to go. I might delay them a bit longer. I think I might read Peter Watts’ Blindsight next.

Finally, I’m pretty sure I decided to go with “20th-Century Short Fiction” as my topic for ENGL 4430 this spring. Since the course is fully online, I need to make it as simple for me and the students as I can. Assigning short fiction gives everyone—including myself—solid and manageable literary bits each week to work on. With short fiction, I at least have a chance of not being overwhelmed with this brand new, fourth prep. I’m also going to make my other courses more manageable. With course caps so high and four preps, I have to enter survival mode if I’m to do anything other than teaching. Notably, this is the first time since I’ve been a professor that the department chair has refused to work with me on my schedule.

OK, off to grade. I gotta stay ahead of all the work coming in.