A wordless speech

microphone pointing straight at camera

I have a cold.

It’s a bizarre sort of cold, all in my head and only half my nose. Thinking is harder with a cold. Moving, walking, making tea, doing housework on my day off, all requiring more energy than I can spare. It’s not helped by the fact I have poor circulation and a freezing house. Winter has come early this year.

I managed to read a book today. I really haven’t read enough books recently. Prose adds colour to my monochrome thoughts, shaped as they are by work emails, reports, grey literature and online news articles. My current literary diet is mostly (auto)biographies. Tales of real people straddle the divide between fiction and non-fiction–each person’s truth is their own.

Mr Rundle has reminded all of us that VALA2018 abstracts are closing soon. Yikes. I’ve had a reminder in my work calendar for months. This week has a big banner shouting ‘VALA ABSTRACTS CLOSE NEXT WEEK’. I was excited to learn that e-posters are a thing at this conference–it seems more manageable than a full paper and presentation.

I’m keen to write. The problem is that I’m not doing anything remotely interesting.

Conferences are for learning about all the cool things other people are doing. New developments in the field. Shiny toys from upstart companies. Vendors looking to sell you shit you don’t need at prices you can’t resist. Plus networking, which I expect will be easier at NLS8 than it was at NDF. Thanks to Twitter I feel like I know half the attendees already.

Despite being a mouthy LIS n00b I feel like I have nothing to say. I can’t talk about the interesting things going on at work and the non-interesting things are… just that. I can’t shake the feeling that I truly know nothing about linked data or digipres, and in any case I’m currently making no practical contribution to the field. I have nothing at all to contribute to VALA2018. It saddens me a little.

I’d have to get permission from my employer to submit anything, which I suspect would be difficult. I make no secret of my frustration with the political machinations of library work and it’s cost me opportunities in the past. My workplace needs all the promotion it can get, but who would trust me to deliver the message?

If, by some miracle, I come up with an idea before next Wednesday, then maybe I can pull something out of a hat. But I’m not optimistic. Oh well. There’s always next year.