So it’s never easy to explain why you straight-up disappeared for nine months and stopped writing a long-time project. The complicated and ultimately rather human answer is that my life got very hectic and I found myself getting squeezed when it came to both free time to do writing and available emotional/intellectual energy to motivate me to keep going with these rather complicated essays. Over the summer and during the fall, a big part of this had to do with being assigned a new course at work on a subject that I thought was important enough for me to do a lot of research into in order to teach a high quality course. I was still writing, but I was writing about urban demographics and immigration rather than Westeros.
Over the winter, however, I started to experience a series of lung issues that landed me in the hospital a couple of times. This kind of health stuff can really have a certain shrinking effect, where your life turns inwards in trying to get your body under control, and during this period I have to admit that, while I was still answering ASOIAF asks on my Tumblr page, I had sort of “lost my place” when it came to where I was in A Storm of Swords.
HOWEVER! This is not a post that’s just woe-is-me, I-can’t-produce-content. Instead, I’ve decided to take advantage of the fact that I’m not teaching this semester to restart writing chapter-by-chapter essays. After all, I need to do something to keep my creative and intellectual life active for several months since I’m temporarily unemployed and otherwise have nothing going on.
The next chapter in ASOS is Jon VIII. We’ve just experienced the emotional climax of the battle for castle black with the death of Ygritte, but rather than proceeding to the falling action/denouement, things unexpectedly accelerate because the assault from the south was just one of Mance Rayder’s shaping actions – it’s now time for the main assault to begin, and pretty soon Jon Snow is going to be the only thing holding the Night’s Watch together.
This should be fun.