I suppose I should update you all on what’s been going on.
- I’m still on medical leave. But there’s been a lot of improvement. I’m mostly physically mobile right now (bouts of chronic pain notwithstanding) but I have a foot drop in my left foot. I’m hobbling around with a quadruped walking stick which makes me feel twenty years older but I’m just grateful to be able to be walking again even if it’s imperfect. Small steps! Also, I’ve reduced to one type of painkiller on a reduced dosage plus no more muscle relaxant. This means that the cloud I’ve been under for three months has lifted and I feel more like my old self.
- Yes, I’m sticking to Anita J. Harris for my pen name. But I guess if friends are used to calling me Nin I’m not overly averse to it for private communications.
- I haven’t stopped working despite being on medical leave. I’m teaching three very exciting courses this semester. Research methodology is a course I understudied for last semester and am teaching it this semester. I won’t be teaching it every semester but for now I’m discovering I really love talking about the research process and about research methodology in general because I get to share my passion for research. Also our largest intake yet! Twenty PhD students! I am also teaching my Gothic course with also my largest intake and my Tolkien course is at max capacity. Added to this is a complete football team of PhD supervisees — so the past few weeks have been really busy. Which is a bit stressful because I’m also trying to meet my other academic requirements.
- I’ve had two academic publications so far. A review article in Marvels and Tales (my second publication in my bucket list academic journal!), and my Capitolocene/Plantationocene article on NK Jemisin, here.
- The Memory Studies In Literature and The Humanities I webinar is happening on the 16th of November 2022. We’re incredibly honoured and grateful that Prof. Dr Syed Farid Alatas has accepted the invitation to be a keynote and he’s already given us an AMAZING keynote topic. We’re looking forward to it. I’ll be providing a registration link when it’s ready. The committee of PhD students are busy working behind the scenes right now.
- I’m going to be presenting two papers within the space of a week (both on Memory Studies), wish me luck! Trying to meet at least ONE MORE of my academic requirements for the year.
- Watermyth? Yes. It’s happening. I decided to stick to the novel name I have been telling people about for over a decade. No cover reveal, no pre-orders. I don’t need such gizmos since I am quietly self-publishing. I do have a cover designer, two beta readers and someone awesome for blurbs. There’ll also be a copy-editor. Since some of these things involve money, I’m not going to rush the process. Once it is out I’m quite determined to bring out a Cantata of the Fourfold Realms book per year, or failing which, every 18 months. Possible?
- I’m submitting short stories regularly now. Back in the saddle again! We’ll see if any get accepted.
- Social Media: I still have a twitter presence although with the recent acquisition of twitter I’m loathe to be on it too much until we know what is going to happen. But it’s a nice place to catch up with writing friends. So you can add me on @mythopoetica there if you like (but no students or work people allowed!). Note, on IG that nick was taken by someone else when I nuked all my social media in 2020. I’ll set up a public IG at some point, probably when Watermyth is published.
So that’s basically my life right now. Recovery, getting used to living with (thank goodness, low-level) chronic pain, and being super busy on more than one front including regaining lost ground as a music student and trying to be better in terms of religious studies and observances because I promised myself during those harrowing weeks in hospital that I would work at being a better Muslim since my faith kept me strong in those dark days. No time to feel too sorry for myself, honestly. I’ve too much to be grateful for.