...that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.
-Ray Bradbury October Country
The summer is more than half-over and I have somehow managed to make some progress on various fronts (with footnotes because that is my life at present):
I am perilously close to having two chapters written. I'm still very happy with where the dissertation is going, even if I've had my moments of sheer frustration. It is progressing, which is I think all I can ask of myself. I've got one article out to a journal, another one lined up to go once I get a chance to go to the post office. I've got one more to rework before sending it out. The course I'm teaching this Fall is the same course I taught in the Spring so I've got minor adjustments to the syllabus to make.
I've been working on a secondary-world fantasy story for a year or so (a long with many other unfinished works of great antiquity.) I don't write a lot of secondary-world stuff. Over that year it has ballooned from what I thought would about an average short story size of 4,000-5,000 words to a hefty 13,000. Which is a much harder length to get published. Still, I've finished a rough draft now and will begin the arduous process of revision. I'm pretty certain it needs to be cut down. If I can cut 2,000 words I think I'll be happier with it.
One of the biggest stresses is, of course, the impending job search. I'll be going on the market for the first time this year with the understanding that getting a job is relatively unlikely. If I somehow do miraculously have a job, I can pound out the dissertation and defend in the spring or summer. If not I've got another year of funding to go through the process once again. I've also got grants and fellowships to apply for that (if I get any of them) will hopefully beef up the job application. My desktop is currently filled with various versions of generic cover letters and writing samples and such, and all I can do is polish them until the MLA joblist goes live in September.
It is a weird, but not unwelcome, thought that in a year I could be finished with my doctorate and Erika and I could be moving (to gods-know-where). We're both pretty sick of Florida, despite its sometime advantages. We both want to move somewhere with four seasons and less sprawl.
 I really didn't think when I set out to write about the Victorians that I would delving into dual language editions of Plato trying to determine exactly what a particular translator has rendered χώρα as. For the record, I do not know Greek.
 I've had a secondary-world novel pretty much outlined with some fairly extensive notes for years. It will someday get written, certainly after I revise and finish what I've got of House of the Moon and maybe even after I've finished the Faust novel.
 Beaches, drinking outside on a February evening and not dying of cold, manatees
Why do students think that professors live in their offices? My students took their final on Saturday (yes, the university scheduled their finals for Saturday, the day after our last class) and I spent this past week marking exams and papers and finalizing their grades. I've emailed my students letting them know when I will be on campus so they can pick up their exams and papers. After letting them know this on Tuesday I immediately got several emails basically saying "can I come and get my paper on a day you have specifically said you will not be on campus?" I'm on campus now, so we'll see if anyone shows up.
Still, grades are in. Assessments are finished. This summer will be for writing the dissertation, prepping for the job market, and maybe finishing some short stories that have been hanging around my neck like an Albatross that proclaims "I used to write."