halfway . . . there . . .

I don’t want to think about how many hours today I have spent wrestling with an unwieldy and oversized mass of information in order to produce the half of my ICFA paper I have so far. It’s funny to think that I once contemplated finishing it in time for the February 1st grad student award deadline, given that I wrote the first sentence today. (I was going gangbusters on the reading back in January, but when I realized I just wouldn’t have the time to write it, I stalled and got almost nothing done until today.)

So it goes.

The problem is, I really did bite off more than one ought to chew for a conference paper. In addition to about two dozen novels, I’m also looking at a good dozen or more gaming supplements from four different editions of D&D. Plus artwork, which I’m hardly mentioning at all. There are all kinds of nifty-keen subtleties that have happened along the way — well, okay, most of them aren’t actually nifty-keen, but some of them are — but they just won’t make it into the paper; I’ve got another six years of publishing history to get through before I start on the analytical part of the paper, and I’m already halfway to my page limit.

Certain sayings about ten pounds into five-pound containers come to mind.

But I’m brain-melty at this point, so I think it’s time to take a break, and maybe chew on it a bit more before bed tonight. (It would be nice to finish the historical part of the paper, so I can do the analysis tomorrow and Tuesday.) And then, someday well after ICFA, I shall ponder whether I want to go back and expand the paper with some of the finer details for the purposes of submitting it to Strange Horizons.

You know, the original tongue-in-cheek title for this paper was “Drow: The Black Hole of Otherness.” I think it is also “Drow: The Black Hole of My Sunday Before ICFA,” given how much time it’s eaten today.

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