In sum

As is my wont, I am copying Kelly.

My year in brief.

January. I visit Kelly in Texas, Sarah in New Mexico, and attend Danielle’s wedding in Kentucky. After briefly visiting Texas again, I return to Scotland.

February. Megan comes to visit, and I finish the negotiations that lead to the changing of my thesis topic. I begin editing Bede, a novel cowritten by Kelly and myself.

March. Work on the upgrade portfolio continues. Like Kelly, I can’t remember what I did for spring break, or even if I had one. My grandfather passes away, and I am sad. The highlight of this month was most definitely the release and the reading of Megan Whalen Turner’s A Conspiracy of Kings.

April. I attend two conferences: one in Ireland and the other at home. I acquaint myself with dictionaries in multiple languages in a quest for the etymology of fairy and elf.

May. To no one’s surprise but mine, and to my relief, I complete and turn in my upgrade portfolio. Toward the end of the month I climb King Arthur’s Seat and turn 25.

June. Sarah and David come to visit, and I read a lot (read: a lot) of Middle English.

July. A month of travelling: first to Leeds for the International Medieval Congress, where I endured a week-long migraine and insomnia; then to Oxford, which included jaunts to London and Coventry. Chris and I see Henry IV, both parts, in the Globe theatre. Also, I write a novel, The Knight of the Rose, the sequel to the previous year’s NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, the end of the month brings the advent of bed bugs.

August. I spend the month combating bed bugs and getting no sleep.

September. New house, new housemate, new drugs. I visit Laura in Massachusetts and wake up to Mountain Day at Smith College. We go apple picking and out for root beer floats. Highlight of the month was most definitely going to a Red Sox vs. Yankees game.

October. I visit Sarah in Ohio and Kelly and I present at a conference in Colorado. I drink more root beer. Back in Scotland, I dive headfirst into tutoring and find that I can teach after all. Hallowe’en comes, complete with carved pumpkins.

November. Intentions to do NaNoWriMo go awry, and I choose not to participate. Instead, I attempt to resume work on my thesis after taking a break to do teaching. Thanksgiving comes and goes, and I become homebound thanks to weather and a flare up of my arthritis.

December. More snow, and by mid-December I more or less return to physical health. Preparations for Christmas begin, and Christmas commences. Just before the end of the month, I head south to join Rebecca and her extended family for New Year.

Plenty of ups and downs, though more consistently down than up. Here’s to 2011, a Prime Year, and as all new years, a year of promise.

I don’t really do resolutions, but I am going to make a conscious effort to Be Creative again — writing and otherwise. Some serious reflection on how the PhD works, how I work best, and things that I want to do outside of academics has led to an alternate working schedule that I will experiment with upon my return from my holiday. With any luck, the experiment will work, and I will be happier for it.

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