This is courtesy of Devil Mood, who has picked up a meme, the instructions of which are:
You're supposed to pick up the book you're reading right now, go to page 123 (or the last page of the book if it doesn't get that far) and copy the 5th paragraph (or the last paragraph, in case there isn't one).
I considered using a passage from The Hypercomplex Society, but there were no paragraphs on page 123, just a section header. Then I pondered something from The Practice of Everyday Life, but it has long paragraphs, and I couldn't bring myself to enter all that text. But then I remembered a book that I have been periodically reading parts of for the whole process of creating Tristino, and which is a bit more accessible. Page 123 even addresses revision, the stage where I am at now (pretty much). Here it is, from Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day:
"Your zero draft can be described as the pure outpouring of prose that just comes. Revision involves making important rational choices: of what stance to take, of speaking voice, of words and sounds, of kinds of argument, and of what is to be included or excluded. As you reread your draft, you will make such choices at different levels, from the overall shape of your argument to where the commas go. In the earliest drafts of your chapters you probably wrote as if talking to yourself - how you felt about your subject; your own slant on it; your questions, concerns, and irritation with it; your attempts to wrestle it to the ground. At the revision stage of your thesis you will write much more explicitly for your audience."
This is not exactly how I write a draft...I like my drafts to resemble the final version as much as possible, though I have over time developed a system where all the talking to myself is in a different color so that I can ignore it when I don't need it. But that doesn't make the advice here any less useful. I am looking for that refinement of thought in my academic life, in opposition to other areas of my life, where I'm striving much more for the zero draft, that 'pure outpouring'.
So, that's the back with a meme part. As for the back with a passion, really, there is passion, but I can't quite get it all together in one post at the moment. Passion for my recent long road trip in the states, passion for all the future possibilities that may or may not be, passion for getting text on screen. It will happen soon enough.
As for the photo, Groucho Marx famously said, 'Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.' He may have had a point, but I claim that no book could be as photogenic as a rug-colored dog. (Photo courtesy of FourLegged).