Tag Archives: Dissing

The Battlefield

This is it.

The place where all the dragonslaying takes place. Do you see the piles of books? I’m surrounded by piles of books. The multiply over night. They have book-pile sex and make book-pile babies and eventually they’ll pounce on me and devour me and there’ll be nothing left of me.

Moral: Do not write dissertations on dragons or other kinds of monsters. It only gives your pile of books unholy ideas.

Still alive …

… but buried in dragons.


Self-imposed deadline is approaching – and I’m completely freaking out. Still need to write two whole chapters (argh!), and some of the research has turned out to be very time-consuming (like counting different editions of one text on google books and abebooks, or trying to find out when specific textual variants were used for the very first time).

Please keep your fingers crossed that I’ll manage to finish the dratted diss in time!

Reading, Cake Experiments, & 16th-century Romance

Dratted diss update: Happily (or not so happily) scribbling away on 16th-century romance. Definitely racy reading. Sometimes also giggle-inducing reading. There’s love, monsters, ghosts, evil nechromancers, even eviller enchantresses, mystery, murder, and mayhem.

In the third chapter our worthy hero, St George, kills a pair of lions in a most unusual fashion: he first

rent the curled tresses from hys head, that was the colour of Amber [the hair, one supposes, not the head itself], the which hee wrapped about hys armes against the Assault of the Lyons, for he greatly suspected them to be the ministers of hys Tragedie, which indeede so fell out, for at that same instant they descended the dungeon, being brought thither by the Guards of Ianasaries, onely to make a ful period of the Champions life: But such was the inuincible fortitude of Saint George, and so polliticke hys defence, that when the starued Lyons came running on him with open Iawes, he valiantly thrust hys sinnewed Armes into their throats (being wrapped about with the haire of hys head) whereby they presently choaked, and so he pulled out their bloody harts.

Take that, you bad, bad Lyons, you!

Isn’t it charming? Of course, after you’ve read the whole book, your English will probably be ruined forever. So naturally, I had to take preventive steps. I wouldn’t want my English to be ruined forever, would I? No, of course not. So, ladies and gentlemen (and Lyons), here’s preventive measure No. 1:


Kerry Greenwood’s The Castlemaine Murders is my current fun read and my first Phryne Fisher mystery (bought it because the title and the cover are so intriguing). And so far, I’m loving it! It’s got an unusual setting (1930s Australia), an unusual heroine (upper class, likes sex, has taken a Chinese lover), and an unusual murder (mummified murder victim). Nice!

As far as the romance reading goes, I’m very partial to Wild Rose Press at the moment, which has quite a lot to do with how their website is set up. I like how they have divided their books into different categories according to theme, setting and time. This makes it very easy for the eager reader to find a whole bunch of, say, contemporary westerns. Very nice if you like cowboys. Very, very nice indeed. ’cause cowboys certainly count as preventive measure #2. 🙂

Last week I bought a couple of books by Cindy Spencer Pape, like this one:

The hero of Always a Cowboy isn’t just a cowboy of sorts (well, you probably wouldn’t call him a real cowboy as he doesn’t do much cow-related stuff in the course of the novel) (actually, I don’t think he does any cow-related stuff), but he’s also a really nice guy. And he’s got a bad leg. Poor thing. And the book is a from-friends-to-lovers story. What’s not to like?

And then, I also bought this book:

Crazy for the Cowboy. Who could’ve resisted this sweet cover? Not me. *g*

And now on to preventive measure #3: cake. By now you all know how much I love baking. And how much I love my new Nordic Ware pans. So yesterday I bought this little book:


It’s title translates “1 Dough – 50 Cakes.” It’s a rather neat concept: they give you one basic recipe and then present variants of the same recipe – which basically screams for experimentation. I love baking experiements! So this is what I’ve got planned for the next few weeks:

  1. Cake with egg liqueur (okay, that’s not much of an experiment, but it’s been a long time since I last made egg liqueur cake)
  2. Cake with coconut milk and white chocolate
  3. Cake with orange juice, cocoa powder and molten dark chocolate (the combination of cocoa powder and molten chocolate gives you fantastic results when you’re making ice cream; I hope the results for cake will be just as fantastic)

Writing the Dratted Diss: The True Story

I wanted to spare you this, I truly did. But it might serve the uninitiated as a dire warning what will happen to you when you’re doing a PhD. So, ladies and gentlemen, take a deep breath and brace yourselves for the awful horrors of academia.

On Saturday morning, the world was still a lovely place. Sandy and teh Kitteh were happy.

So happy, in fact, that they were surrounded by butterflies and flowers. (When I took the picture, the butterflies flew away, ’cause they’re shy. This is why you get to see only the flowers.)

See how happy we were?


We laughed …


… and kissed …


… and played peek-a-boo …


… and had a really good time.


Yes, we had.


And then I sat down to work on the dratted diss.
Fast forward to 5:00 p.m. …


(See? I’ve told you it won’t be pretty!)


Need sugar.


Hatez all dragons.


It’s a mean, mean world. Full of prepositions and complicated English words. And I’ve just realised that apparently I don’t know the difference between “subtle” and “supple”.


Going through proofreads is torture. It’s like stripping neikkid and running through the streets while wearing your panties on your head.
I also don’t know the difference between “illicit” and “elicit”. Well, I do know, but then I sort of don’t. If you know what I mean. Stupid English language.

Fast forward to 9:00 p.m. …


Still at it.


Still terrible.
Tea doesn’t help.


I’m a fraud. Who can’t speak English.

It’s now after midnight …


What did I mean by “difficult interrelations of jurisdiction”?

I have no clue.


Dragonz have etz me brainz.
And that’s the truth.

Academia in Action – ‘Tis not Pretty

“I wrote WHAT?!?!? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!”


Realising that one has a problem with the stupid English tenses:


“I am a fraud!” *sob*


There is only one thing that can save us now. And you know what it is? This:


Hmmm ….


That’s what I’m going to do to the dragons:


Bite them! Where it hurts!!!

Tablescaping – U R Doing It Wrong

This is what my dining table looked like when I was working on the chapter on medieval dragons:

I had fled from the study because my desk was overflowing with my papers, books, more papers, cat hair, a dirty mug, and what not. In addition, working at the dining table provided me with a change of scenery! (When you spend your days shackled to your desk & ‘puter, you welcome even the smallest change of scenery! Why, you even come to regard birds sitting on your neighbours’ roof as major highlights of your day.)

I’m happy to report that last night, at 11 p.m. I finally managed to kill the last medieval/Renaissance dragon and can now move on to dragons in folk tales. Woohoo! And this is the place where the heroic battle between moi and the loose baggy monster (also known as “dratted diss”) took place:


As you can see, post-its are my friends. They are like those animals which help the hero to tear the dragon to pieces in the fairy tale. Yay, go, post-its! Bite the monster’s heads off!

In Proof-Reading Hell

I hate proof-reading. Hate, hate, hate, HATE it! It’s worse than marking papers, ’cause when you mark papers you’ve got at least the consolation that you’re reading other people’s crap. At the moment, though, I’m forced to read my own crap. Bah.

I had such a good start on this chapter: 64 pages of the odd red squiggle. Then – bam! – I hit the chapter on Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! and the pages start looking as if cut my pinkie off like the good sister in the fairy tale, and dribbled blood all over the page. (The good sister in the fairy tale doesn’t dribble blood since she’s a depthless character and thus lacks any kind of physical and psychological dimension.) It’s horrible. It’s a massacre. (Have I already mentioned that I hate proofreading???)

Kitteh-picture is from I Can Has Cheezburger. Of course.

Happy Diss-ing :-)

Isn’t it wonderful that just when I’m writing the chapter on emancipated virgin maidens, an encyclopedia on women in SF and fantasy should be published? And it’s a truly great reference book on top of that!! Yay! So I spent this day snuggled up on my couch with a big pot of tea, happily leaving through the two volumes and reading entries that might prove to be relevant for my dissertation. That’s what I call fun research! 🙂