Saturday, May 28, 2016

Object Taxonomies

So I'm at the point in my dissertation where it would be most convenient if my page count were rapidly increasing, but my most recent meeting with my advisor (combined with stupid health stuff that's mostly at the annoyance level but might be kicking into bronchitis (see you Tuesday, doc) has pulled that all to a grinding halt. Instead, I've had to step back and go into a bit of an organizational fury, making spreadsheets until I keel over.

See, the thing about making a dissertation about objects and the role they play in fiction and how we interpret them means we have to talk about that very thing, and that means I'm making claims, and that means that I really ought to be making those claims consistently (assuming there is a consistent claim to be made) and that means that I need to organize the objects that are being used in my source texts into some sort of use-order, which means making groupings and deciding what those groupings mean (and along the way, what is an object -- any noun? Only those things which interacts with characters? Something else entirely?)

Therefore, I am currently halted in writing new page count as I categorize and taxonomize (yes I made that up) the object systems in the novels in my first chapter. This is not a small undertaking, but it'll make a baller set of appendices and likely basis for new work later on. I do not plan, despite the pic, to create a Linnaeus-style taxonomy, but that's what people think of so here we are. :) It's a bit like game design -- you have to figure out the elements and what they mean/what you think is important before you can build a system that does what you want. As long as I remember that, I think all will be well.

I am also working on (in my copious spare time between exhausted slumps) knitting, cleaning, making ice cream, planning my summer, buying plane tickets for my non-present child, and getting ready for summer trips. I am also planning to take part in Game Chef this year, along with Matt (who is now out for the summer -- Yay!), my stepdaughter Teagan, and my son Alisdair. This should be exciting. I'll try to remember to post about it here.