Daily Archives: June 9, 2003

Reviewing The Past

More articles have been posted and linked over at Owldaughter’s Read section, including the first chapter from Reconstructing the Past in the Academic Novel: The Concept of Nostalgia in Thatcher Britain. Yes, I know there are hordes of you out there who have been simply dying with impatience to read this magnum opus, and you’ve just been too shy to ask. Here’s your chance for a taste.

It’s hard to believe that I finished this just over three years ago. It’s even harder to believe that I defended it successfully and it was accepted with only three minor changes. t! and I were chatting earlier about successes and accomplishments in our lives, and I continually forget about my thesis, or value it at much less that I ought to. Damn it, I have a bound hardcover book on my shelf with publication data in it, and the title on the cover in gold. I had to sign a release form for Her Majesty the Queen (that’s Elizabeth, not my mother) granting her permission to store a copy in the National Library files. This is huge.

Plus I’ve written two novels, and have two more on the go. My writing accomplishments alone ought to reassure me that I’ve done some pretty impressive stuff in my first thirty-odd years.

Everyone has similar accomplishments under their belts – not necessarily theses or novels, but projects of significance that we would admire in anyone else except ourselves. So why don’t we feel fulfilled?

On Birthdays

When I was a child, I was thankful to have a summer birthday. I was shy, and didn’t have very many friends; the thought of being chased and given birthday bumps, or having a parent come in with cake and juice, the way others did, terrified me.

Now that I’m an adult (and I think I can safely use that word, since I’m past thirty), I have about a dozen close friends, and having a summer birthday is a pain. Why? Because my friends, being adults with jobs and families, now go on vacation on and around my birthday. My big thirtieth birthday picnic was cancelled because of this; last year fell apart and ended up being a smattering of people at the pub; and now, this year, the same problem is cropping up. Even though I deliberately decided to plan for an earlier date to avoid the problem, it doesn’t matter; over half the people I wanted to ask will be unavailable or elsewhere.

I give up.

We made Skippy choose another birthday, because his fell too close to a major holiday and was inevitably swallowed up or forgotten. I’m beginning to think I ought to do the same thing.

Bitter? No. I’m honestly pleased that I have so many close friends who mean this much to me. Frustrated? You’re damned right. I finally get to the point where I want to host a party for myself, and I’m thwarted.

I give up.