Back in action, and some news

After a journey that began around 8am in the cool mountains of Jesus de Otoro and ended around 1am in a humid NYC cab, I have returned from Honduras.  Though I was only able to participate for the first two weeks of the project due to our impending move into a newly purchased apartment (squee!), I had an amazing time and was heartily sorry to go.  I already miss everyone and am deeply bummed not to be out at the site excavating with them this morning (though, a soft, bug-free bed and being able to flush my toilet paper are nice compensations).

While I was away, I got some great news.  My latest piece of archaeological research has finally been published!  The article, published under my maiden name (Miranda Stockett), and titled Sites of Memory in the Making: Political Strategizing in the Construction and Deconstruction of Place in Late to Terminal Classic Southeastern Mesoamerica (how’s THAT for a mouthful), is now out from the journal Ancient Mesoamerica.  The link is to the journal’s abstract page.  If you are interested in reading the entire article, please contact me via email (contact info is listed under Miranda’s Bio).

In any case, today is a ‘getting my ducks back in a row’ day.  First on the agenda: a reliably hot shower with water I don’t have to be careful not to swallow!

Adios, Honduras — see you next summer!

Adios, for now

Dear Readers,

As many of you are likely aware, I’m headed off to Honduras for a few weeks.  My day job as an archaeologist calls me away on my annual research expedition.  I’ll be living in the west-central town of Jesus de Otoro with my project co-director, our field director, and 9 undergraduates who we’ll be attempting to instruct in the ways of the archaeological world (and keep out of trouble).

We’ll be excavating and conducting research at the Lenca site of Sinsimbla, teaching the students how to excavate, analyzing artifacts, and eating a lot of beans and fried chicken.  I won’t be posting on this blog for the duration, but we’ll be recounting our adventures over on the PADO archaeology project blog (provided we’re able to get internet access, that is).

If you’re of a mind, check in over there from time to time.  You’ll be rewarded with the real story about what it means to be an archaeologist.  Sorry, Indy, it ain’t all Nazis and bull whips!  Well, not usually.

See you when I get back!

Hasta luego 🙂

Writer’s Workspace: 6/22

Good morning!  Welcome to this writer’s workspace.  Here’s what’s happening liiiiiiiiiiiiiive at Miranda’s desk:

What I’m working on:  with exactly a week to go before I leave for the field, I’m powering ahead in a last ditch effort to try and finish the first draft of ABSENT before heading south to Honduras.  I estimate I’ve got to write around 5K per day to meet this goal, and, in all likelihood, I will not make it.  Most probably, I will fail spectacularly.  Still, gotta try!

Snippet from the screen:

“Davis smiled at them genially enough, but his curiosity was clear.  His eyes lingered on their jeans and T-shirts.  “Where did you say you were from again?”

“We’re Americans,” Reid said.

“Ah.  Americans!”  Davis nodded as if this explained everything.”

On the iTunes:  at the moment, I’m listening to “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum.  But 3 minutes and 57 seconds from now, it’s anyone’s guess.

Keeping me company:  Well, my good-for-nothing cat is supposed to be lounging nearby, looking adorable, and occasionally allowing me to pet and feed him…BUT he’s opted instead to snooze on top of the refrigerator and utterly, completely ignore me.  Ungrateful cuss.  I’d include a photo, but since it’d just be of one of his ears barely visible above the cabinet edge, what’s the point?

Out the window:  it’s a beautiful, sunny day in Brooklyn and I’m enjoying the air conditioning while it lasts (it’s 96 degrees and 2,000% humidity in Honduras right now, and the village we live in while excavating is a 100% air conditioning-free zone).

In my mug:  Numi Chinese Breakfast tea

A little procrastination never hurt anyone:  first, you can head over to my archaeology blog and read up on my field project in Honduras.  Then, check out Chuck Wendig’s 25 things to know about writing a novel – funny and true.  And, if that ain’t enough for you, my dear, insatiable reader, mosey on over to Query Shark for a little truth smackdown.

Procrastination, deadlines, and other dilemmas

Update from the front, dear Readers!

I am getting close enough to finishing ABSENT that I can see the hoary light at the end of the tunnel!  I have decided, at virtually the last minute, to go do several weeks of archaeological field work in Honduras!  I am attempting to Beta-read two novels at once!  I have become overly fond of exclamation points (perhaps due to an excess of caffeine coursing through my veins!)

Yes, it is an exclamation point kind of week around the Suri household.  We have celebrated three years of lovely married life, have signed away our life savings on a new apartment, and have lined up so much travel for the month of July (all, of course, at the last minute) that I’m not sure it’s physically possible to accomplish it.  Most notable among our coming adventures is my decision to return to Honduras this summer to continue my archaeological research.

There will be more on this in future posts (and here’s a link to the project blog, for those of you who want to follow our adventures in the field), but in short: I co-direct an archaeological field school in Honduras.  The last time we were down doing work (2009), a coup d’etat happened.  It was not pleasant, and we haven’t been back since.  So, this is a big undertaking, and hopefully one that will go smoothly, as we’re taking 9 undergraduates with us.

On the writing front, I’ve been making happy-fun progress on the first draft of ABSENT, my archaeology time-travel novel.  With my new daily word count goal in place, I’ve cruised through about 8,000 words in the last week or so.  The climax is just a few chapters away, to be followed by another few chapters of denouement.  Is there a chance I could finish this bad boy before I leave for Honduras?  Probably not.  But what the hell, I’m gonna try anyway.  Wish me luck!

Complicating matters is that I’m now Beta-reading two novels at once.  Such is the danger of swapping novel critiques, in which the owed critique may arrive at an unspecified date in the future – you can end up with more than you can handle.  Both critiques are for writing buddies who’ve done me more than their share of favors and are due my best when it comes to payback.  So I’m going to power through.  Fortunately, I just bought an e-reader, the Nook Simple Touch (I’ll be sure to review this after I’ve given it a good work out), so I’m going to try to do one of the crits on the e-reader and see how that goes.

Clearly, I’ve got a busy week or so coming down the pike.  How about you all?

Oh, and this marks the 100th post since I started my blog last November. Nifty!