Part of what I have done with my summer vacation is compile some FSP blog essays into a book-like object. I have long had requests to do something like this, but I have ignored all such requests and suggestions because I didn't think it would be interesting, as in not interesting for me to do and not interesting for anyone else to read. But then my fading short-term memory increasingly made me consult the FSP archives to see what I'd discussed before and what I hadn't, and I got interested in seeing what it would look like if I strung together posts on related topics; e.g. publishing, advising grad students, teaching, being an FSP.
So I started organizing old posts, discarding the ones that I didn't like or that were boring, and putting others together. It was sort of like doing a puzzle, but only sort of because if there were any pieces of the puzzle that didn't fit, I changed them. For example, I added text to make transitions between blog posts and included some entirely new material to help pull the main topics together.
I also made the essays more 'timeless'; e.g., I changed posts that were about something that happened 'today' to something that happened in an unspecified or more general time frame.
There are some posts that I would write in a somewhat different way if I were writing them now, so that's what I did -- I rewrote anything that I wanted to say in a new or different way. And somehow it all came together as a book-like object.
The book-like thing is organized into chapter-like parts. In fact, much of the challenge and fun of this endeavor was figuring out what the chapters would be and in what order they would go. Within the chapter-like things are a mixture of old and new text, but mostly the sub-sections are blog-like bits of text.
The order of the chapters and sub-sections has no relationship to any chronological order inherited from the blog. I reordered topics and posts to make the book-like thing as coherent as possible.
I am not sure if this blog-to-book conversion works, so that's why I refer to it as a book-like thing.
At the suggestion of a reader, I used the self-publishing, print-on-demand website lulu.com. If so inclined, you can order a print version of the book (trade paperback, black and white interior, graph paper glossy covers) or you can download it as a pdf. Both of these involve a modest fee (and the printed version involves paying shipping costs to lulu.com). Or you can just read the FSP blog for free.
This all took a lot of time, but the biggest challenge was finding a title. I never did find one I liked, and ended up going with unwieldy and somewhat pretentious (with a colon; something I try to avoid in titles of my scientific articles). I considered various titles involving FSP-type keywords, but only some of my posts are about women-in-science issues, so I decided to keep the title general:
Academeology: Random Musings, Strong Opinions & Somewhat Bizarre Anecdotes From An Academic Life.
For the 2 or 3 of you who actually read this thing, please let me know what you think. Did I leave out anything important? Are there errors? Is it readable in terms of content and format? Is it an evocative and beautifully rendered portrait of life as a Science Professor?
That last question is an unsubtle request for BOOK BLURBS. To be a real book, this thing needs some blurbs. At present, the book is blurbless, though I could add some to a Second Edition. I can also just make some up; e.g.:
If my cat could read, this is the one book I would want him to have!
A Kafkaesque groves-of-academe satirical work of non-fiction written by a gender-lens-wearing anonymous female person!
"Catch-22" meets Strunk & White's "Elements of Style"!
An academic life stranger than fiction! This book makes the goose scene in Russo's novel "Straight Man" believable!
2 years ago