So here's what I'm thinking about this Valentine's Day weekend: first & most importantly, I took the girls to see The Lego Movie this afternoon. It was okay—despite what the reviewers might say, I thought it was no better than okay. General consensus between the girls was that you had to be a boy really into Lego to entirely enjoy it, but it was okay. Familial reaction to the message of be yourself, don't always build by the rules, etc.: great, girls, but the model soldiers are still off limits until I can trust you to paint horses for me.
I'm finishing up a conference paper—Louisville, in just a few days' time—on Ronald Johnson's ARK and science fiction. I guess this counts as part of my recent hurling of myself into the SF/fantasy field, tho it's also part of my longstanding investment in RJ. (One reader notes that Intricate Thicket seems to contain an entire "short monograph" on RJ.) Baby steps into SF/fantasy, really. I find myself running over genre-defining & genre-defending arguments that most of the more seasoned scholars in the field, alas, would consider painfully old hat.
But then I'm working on another paper, this one for ICFA—a real live SF/fantasy conference—on Michael Moorcock and how he's revised his work over the years. Which means I've been thinking a lot about the mechanics and motivations behind post-publication revision (think Auden, think Wordsworth, think Sir Walter Scott), but I've also been thinking about it in the context of the SF/fantasy field, where reworking one's earlier work, so far as I know, is a rather less common thing for a writer to do.
It's true, I've been feeling lumpish and stupid for a good long while now—that may in part explain why I've done so little towards maintaining this blog-thing—but at times I reflect that the moments when I feel lumpish and stupid are perhaps the moments when I'm most conscious of my ignorance, and am working hardest to allay it: the moments, that is, when I'm learning something.