While I've been hard at work on my Saruman chapter, I've also been reading The Instrumentalities of the Night by Glen Cook. Cook is, probably, my most favoritest hack writer, and I'd actually forgotten just how good he can be. I'm currently reading the fourth and final volume of the series. Interesting story about that. Two years ago, book IV earned the great distinction of being the only book I've ever "pre-ordered" -- and that includes the full hardcover price. Seriously, years went by with me on pins and needles as I waited for him to finish. Then . . .
. . . .then the book arrives, I get about 60 pages in, and . . . blah. I just put it down. It wasn't bad, but that was exactly the time when I'd begun studying for my Preliminary Exams. I was so excited to start that nothing off-list could entice me. So the book went to the shelf, and I let Cook simmer on the back-burner.***
Then, a few weeks ago, I found an out-of-the-way peer-reviewed fantasy journal, and I thought, "Huh. I still got an old conference paper on Cook, which I'd been holding on to until he finished the series. Now maybe I can re-vamp that paper, add some length, and get an easy publication out of it."
So that's what I plan to do: finish my Saruman chapter, then spend a week or two polishing up the Cook paper. In the meantime, I'm finishing up Book IV and wondering how I ever managed to put it down.
***See what I did there? Just a little academic blog humor -- "let Cook simmer on the . . . " Okay, well, maybe you had to be there.