As I'm sure you all know, I am the proud possessor of a Daily Kos quilt that the community funded to keep me warm in body and spirit after the death of my husband and partner for pretty much the entirety of my whole adult life on December 5. Regular visitors to Top Comments also probably remember the wonderful diary BeninSC wrote about the quilt the community made for him to help him through his recovery from a horrific bicycle accident. I planned to do some of the same things Ben did in his.
I still plan to, but unfortunately, I procrastinate, and I'm also suffering from the grief thing that makes me think I've lost a whole set of comments. The fact is that I have 34 of the 80 pictures of messages people wrote on my quilt in the comments, some of them linked to the main body of the diary, and it will take me until 10 or 11 PM PACIFIC to get them all done, especially if Photobucket doesn't cooperate the way it hasn't been cooperating.
I guess that makes the diary that explains how I write all the diaries I write in a way that passes for organization very appropriate for tonight, and that's what you're going to get. I'll publish the quilt diary in the middle of the night and republish it here so you all have it in your stream, but . . .
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So, the process. What helps me is that I write about half of my diaries for reqular series on a schedule. Beside the Top Comments diaries I write, there's Thursday Night Classical every other week, there's an occasional LGBT Literature diary, and there's my US since 1865 series, which will now be on Friday, publishing between 4 and 5 PM Pacific.
Those, actually, aren't complicated. For Thursday Classical, it starts with YouTube because if there aren't good renditions of the music I want to talk about. So this semester, since I'm teaching MTW, I'll start the YouTube work the previous Thursday so if I think I should look at the score (yes, I can follow musical scores) I can go to the Central Library on Friday or Saturday to take the score out for further perusal. Then I think about what I want to say about context. The writing happens in two parts -- the context generally Wednesday night, the musical stuff Thursday. Then there are special events like the vigil I wrote for commonmass, who I knew had a connection to Samuel Barber. I picked two elegiac vocal works (Dover Beach and Knoxville: Summer of 1915) and the two most historic recordings, and filled in.
The history diaries are even easier. I have really extensive lecture notes and PowerPoint slides. Most of the time, the diaries consist of my lecture notes, Kossified some in the area of snark, and the slides. This most recent diary, on the Dawes Act, took some research so I got the books Saturday and read them Sunday to get them into my lectures. Next week, probably about something in the Progressive Era, will come directly from my lecture notes, as will the following week's, on Woodrow Wilson. It really looks more difficult than it is.
I think you know how I come up with Top Comments stuff too. That art hoax? RIGHT out of my dissertation. Same with my introductory diary on Stanton MacDonald-Wright, the unknown American modern artist. If it interests me and I think it will interest you, voila. The music diaries work the same way Thursday Classical works, only they're less complicated; it's just a matter of curating.
My other diaries? This is where I should explain the "diary me" command I've been throwing around in comments for a while. My most recent "diary me" moment was in President Obama's second inaugural when he said "Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall" -- Steveningen will tell you my reaction was a "diary me" reaction, and, to be honestly egotistical, I'm really the most appropriate person at DKOs to write it especially after that long diary on women suffrage. All those diaries where I went after Erik Eckholm in the New York Times for talking to the radical right on stuff like reparative therapy? "Diary me." Paul Ryan, eviscerated by Charles Pierce? "Diary me." VERY rarely, unless it's Seneca Falls, etc. or some of my few meta-diaries like Coming Out and the "F" word: Discussing LGBT issues at Daily Kos, does a "diary me" diary take more than 30 minutes to write.
So it's not really organization. It's the fact that I have a lot of stuff already written that allows me to do the four major diaries in five days thing. Age does have some advantages.
And now for the stuff that makes this Top Comments:
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