Long story short, I’m doing really well in my courses.
I’m actually well ahead of my classmates with this old manuscript I’m studying for one thing. I’ve built a pretty solid case for the book’s provenance but I’ve also got a strong suspicion that the book is older than the 13th century date given.
The text appears to be in a sort of Carolingian script, or some transitional script between Carolingian and Gothic. In particular the lower-case letter “d” has an upright stem which you just don’t see in a typical 13th century Gothic hand; it’s a very Carolingian feature. But since the text itself was authored in the 12th century it can’t be any older than that.
Still, thoughts of past lives lurk beneath the surface. In particular I’m trying not to dwell so much on where I was a hundred years ago this month, spending much of my time trying to keep my head low and waiting for an attack, hoping we wouldn’t be the next ones to be gassed or shelled into oblivion.
Moreover, I seem to have been happy to put fiction writing to the side for a while too. My most recent novel is something I’m still very proud of and something I promote when I can, but until I can become a success with that I have to support myself somehow and it seems academic pursuits are about the only thing I’m good for so I’ll throw myself into it wholeheartedly. With any luck, my present life will begin to resemble my previous one less and begin to look a bit more like Tolkein with respect to a respectable academic record (though I don’t think I’ll be writing anything stylistically Tolkeinesque).
Still working on the problem of what to do to support myself over my gap year. All in good time, I suppose; in the worst case I have more antiques and collectibles to my name than I can readily remember having, so I have nothing to lose emotionally by selling them off. I bought them over the course of my life and always had a good nose for a bargain, so my collection’s worth many times what I actually spent on it.
But will it be enough? That remains to be seen.