Two steps forward…

…and one step back.

Isaac Bonewits’ big wall calendars take twice as long to scan as I thought they did. I thought an entire page could be scanned by my big scanner at once, but the images are chopped off at the top or bottom. I’ll have to rescan those calendar pages in the flipped orientation so I have the entire image in my computer.

Isaac had the strong sense of personal history to keep all his old calendars, but not enough predictive power to get smaller ones for easier archival storage. Please, old friend, in the next lifetime buy smaller wall calendars.

(Of course, in his next lifetime all the calendars will be computerized, password-protected, and inaccessible to biographers. Isaac foresaw this issue, and printed out copies of his computer calendars. I don’t how historians of the future will function when all the key information may be behind unbreakable encryption.)

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  1. Anonymous

    The story of writing this book will be a worthwhile book in itself someday.


    1. wgseligman

      It would be an interesting pair of books on one’s shelf:

      “Why Not Excellence: The Life and Times of Isaac Bonewits”
      “This is Why Not: A Klutzy Way to Write a Biography”

      1. sabrinamari


        Honey, this is how research and writing goes. At least it does in my experience.

  2. sabrinamari

    Things that come with qualitative research and writing (the eternal cycle):

    1. tears
    2. omg I’m losing my life
    3. omg I’m losing my mind
    4. my writing sucks and I am going to embarass myself utterly and permanently in print
    5. why do I think *anyone* will care about this?
    6. everyone I interviewed is going to hate me when the book is published
    7. No one will ever publish this
    8. I will finish this book in about 20 years when I’m almost dead
    9. it took me so long to write this book that it’s no longer relevant
    10. Appearing at regular intervals in the cycle: omg I made a HORRIBLE MISTAKE during my research and it is absolutely damning and undisguisable and I can’t go back and get the info that I foolishly failed to ask
    11. this sucks and I hate it and I hate myself and I can’t stop trying to finish it
    12. I feel totally paralyzed
    13. oh, ok. I don’t suck as much as I thought I did.
    14. hmmm, maybe this book will be ok…
    15. i like it.
    16. hey, this could be really good…


    I think every qualitative researcher/ethnographer/writer should have:

    a strong circle of support
    other writers with whom to share the misery
    a decent writing coach
    a good therapist
    a really good spiritual community

    1. wgseligman

      I think you forgot “OMG! Who is going to transcribe a hundred hours of interviews? Me? It will take forever!”

      1. sabrinamari

        Dragon speak? Throw money at it? Pimp the project at RUPagans?

        Don’t do what I did and ignore this question for a year or more. You know you have to solve it. You don’t have to solve it/get it right on the first, second or third attempt . Just get started by trying *something*, honey.

        Maybe you can map out an initial attempt at each strategy and figure out which options are dead failures. That woul really help to know sooner than later.

        1. wgseligman

          You already told me this… and I’ve already forgotten. How did you solve this problem for your own research?

        2. wgseligman

          From my blog post on research techniques, you know that ignoring the question for a year or two is exactly what I’m going to do. I have to hope that a computerized alternative will show up in that interval. The alternative is no transcriptions.

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