No, I did not become a slacker and neglect my posting promise! I had a headache that wouldn't stop and kept me in bed for a day...then that turned into feeling like I was coming down with something...so more time asleep. Anyway, I finally feel better, which I guess is a good thing, because I have to go back to work tomorrow. (See how jazzed I sound?)
Once the headache passed, I continued my Dickens reading. I am about halfway through Sketches by Boz, and I am loving it. It is so funny, and because I am relaxed and not under grad school pressure, rereading Dickens is a whole new experience. I mean, I loved him before, but having such a rich background (due to the work I did in grad school) and coming to him fresh makes me see so many new things.
Also, I am using the Penguin version of Sketches. I snatched it up when I found it, because I don't often find decent editions of the less popular works around here. The notes are fascinating, and it is really fun to read this alongside Judith Flanders's The Victorian City. I love how Dickens is actually writing about a pre-Victorian London, and it is fun to see glimpses into how things are evolving from the world of Jane Austen to the world of Dickens. It is truly a glimpse into a transitional period, and I am learning so much that I don't think I would have noticed when I was writing the dissertation.
I've been doing a lot of planning and thinking about my future. I have decided upon a few things--both major and not so major--but those conversations can wait for another time. One thing I will talk about is my 40th birthday. It isn't for another year, but I had planned to do something fun to celebrate--like a big trip to Europe or something like that. But I thought about it, and I realized that I wanted something I could do during the whole last year of my 30s--something that would count and contribute to what I love to do (research/writing/anything literature related). So, instead of a grand trip to Europe, I am making sure that every single month (though December will be really tricky) I go to a conference, class/workshop, or event that is related to writing, research, or literary studies. This idea struck me in the middle of the night, and I suddenly felt really excited and happy and free--more so than I have in a really long time. I knew it was the right thing to do. So, that is what I am going to do. AND...luck folks that you are, you will be hearing about it, because I plan to blog as I go along. I know I will learn a lot--not just about things I am interested in but also about myself. It will be a great way to close out my 30s.
So far, I already have September and October planned. I have an all-day writing/editing workshop next Saturday, and then, the first of October, I am going to a writer's conference. Both of these were booked before I made this decision, but it is a good thing because it gives me time to plan. I am also going to a genealogy conference in October, too, so I am excited about two events in the same month! In November, I have my writing group's annual reader's luncheon. This counts...but I would also like to do something else in November, if I can.
I am planning to make at least one big trip to a large conference...likely something in Victorian literature...but I can't decide which one yet! So, I'm just going to make a huge list of EVERYTHING I want to go to and then narrow down from there. My ultimate dream would be to go to the Dickens Universe conference...but I don't know if that can happen.
Anyway, that is part of what I have been doing over the last several days. I'm excited to be back in my happy literature place. :)