Friday, March 18, 2005

In June, our neighborhood pool opens, and I'm there between five and six p.m. every warm day until it closes just before Labor Day. I wrote the pool check today at my desk while looking out at the piles of snow. After this winter, I can't believe I'll ever be warm enough to don a bathing suit.

I have lived in the Boston area all my life, and until this year, people have not been able to ice fish on the ponds in mid-March, at least not in my lifetime.

The sun has laid the southern slopes bare, and I know the ticks are getting ready to hatch, and the winter hiking is over for another year. Everyday I think, can Sophie and I grab one more hike? With all the Lyme Disease among dogs in our area, I don't want her to get it.

I'm reading Kafka on the Shore (scroll down the link to get to the interview) by Murakami Haruki, and I'm bereft that I have to return it soon. There's a long list of people waiting for it, and I've got to make haste to a bookstore to buy it.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Yay! I'm wireless! I'm now sitting on the couch in the family room with
Sophie, who is disgusted with me that I have this laptop on my lap and fingers flying across the keyboard that are not stroking her fur. Sorry, Sophabug!

I had some terrific news: My book, Women During the Civil War: An Encyclopedia, was recently named a Choice (magazine) "Outstanding Academic Title of 2004." It's strange that I heard about this from an employer rather than my publisher, especially considering I spoke with my former editor there just two weeks ago. Anyway, I'm walking on air just now, which anyone who has spent five years laboring on a book can appreciate.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Where have I been? I've been asking myself the same question. Too many projects, taxes, and a very long fellowship application. Not a spare second to breathe.

I believe that no blogger should go on hiatus without an announcement to that effect. I have committed this gravest of sins, and I resolve to sin no more, so I am announcing that entries will be spotty at best until the last week in March.

There are scads of books to talk about, too. The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Deadly Plague of All Time by John Kelly is on my must-read list. I would buy it, but Jonathan Yardley's review says that it's a popular, rather than a scholarly history, a distinction that makes me nervous. (To get to Yardley's review, google "Great Mortality" and search for the washingtonpost URL. That way you won't have to complete a form.) How dumbed down is it? He gave it a good review, so maybe there's hope. I adore reading anything that connects history with epidemiology.