Well, I've just finished writing a book. Actually I know that I haven't really finished it, but I was supposed to finish it yesterday, and I have a ton of things which I scheduled for early October which I now need to get on with, and I've been working on it almost non-stop since ten this morning, so what has happened is that as I have progressed on it today my brain has turned slowly into cheese, and the ratio of x to y, where x is how finished the work is and y is how well my head is working, has increased until it reached z, which is the threshold at which I am prepared to send the work to the editor. So I have now pdfed it and e-mailed it off to him. Tomorrow I have to write an intellectually challenging e-mail to someone about it, which will probably result in more stuff to do. (I'm the one who will be challenged, by the way, not him, that's the problem.) It's a loose definition of finished, but then, I need to clutch at straws right now. The cheese my brain has turned in to is not edam, or even gouda, but stilton, crumbly and squidgy and on the borderline of vile.
I haven't entirely been helped by living on Pub Crawl Street. Every year at this time (and to a lesser extent in January, and then again in June) it becomes swamped with herds of well-brought up youths, bonding together through that heady combination, alcohol and desperation. They are whooping as I type. Many of the males have dressed across gender roles, but not in a lifestyle choice kind of way, rather in a sort of golly how hilarious, I'm wearing fishnet tights! sort of way. And it's no more use getting annoyed with them than with a puppy that peed on the carpet -- I can't even think about them for long without getting worried for them, in their extreme youth. I'm rather glad not to be involved with students this year -- for one thing it means I don't have to be fretful about the start of October (brain-cheesing deadlines aside), but mostly it's because I don't have to worry about them. I worry about the students more than is practical. It's a type of egotism really; I still can't quite believe I got through it all without quitting or spontaneously combusting. Probably they'll all be fine. Certainly they'll have unrivalled opportunities to learn interesting things.
Anyhoo I ought to go to bed to be fresh for tomorrow, when instead of ignoring the things I ought to be writing for the things I have to be writing while thinking wistfully of the things I want to be writing, I can do go straight to the things I ought to be writing, and maybe even things I want to be writing in the evening. Hurray! Life is OK, actually.