This week I tried to organize my thoughts about manuscripts and proposals that are in some form of active state: either in preparation or in review or in revision. To make a bad analogy with juggling, there are always some balls (or flaming torches, depending on how you look at it) in the air and some in hand, and the proportion of things that are in the air vs. in hand can vary considerably from time to time depending on various factors, some of which I control and some of which I don't.
The part that is in my control -- sort of [insert herding cat analogy re. advising students and working with colleagues] -- is to keep the various research projects moving along. The part I can't control is how long a review will take once I send a manuscript off.
At the present time, I seem to have an unusual number of things in the air (= in review), some for an unusually long period of time. This is surely a random occurrence, and my fear is that everything will come back from review at the same time, no matter that I submitted some of them months before others. I would prefer a gentle trickle of manuscripts with constructive and positive reviews to appear throughout the summer, but that is a delusional academic fantasy.
Much more likely are reviews containing comments such as these recently received by one of my grad students:
Reviewer 1: "Unfortunately the manuscript is poorly written" and "unacceptable for publication".
Reviewer 2: "The data are clearly presented..and the results are superb .. It is well-written and I suggest that the paper be published with only very minor revision."
10 months ago