Three weeks of the spring semester remain, and I'm hoping that Dr. C and I can finish our paper by then or shortly thereafter. We are so close, just a few finishing touches and a proof. We'll send it off for review, and as spring turns to summer, I'll start adding to it to make my dissertation.
I hope to write the vast majority of it this summer. I'm not going to teach, which leaves my days free to write on the dissertation and on my novels. I hope that by the time August gets here, I'll have the dissertation all but finished and I'll have my next novel ready for querying.
In the fall, I'll present at the Algebra seminar, kind of a warm-up for the main event. Since four of the attendees are on my dissertation committee, the idea is to introduce them to my work. That way, when I get into my defense, it will be more of a short talk than a grilling. Dr. C told me what I should expect, which made me feel so much better.
I know other PhDs that can spout research, names, and dates like second nature, but I really don't have a mind for that kind of thing. Also, it's quite up in the air who actually first proved many of the theorems in the branch of group theory I'm delving into, so saying "So-and-so gets credit for discovering this," may not be true. It's just that particular person got pissy enough to want his name on it and the other people were like, "Whatever dude. Have it if it means so much to you." No matter what game you're playing, there's always one, right? Sometimes, more than one. Well, I supposed if my teaching load, promotions, and so on were based on me publishing, I might get pissy too.
The only thing left to do, other than write the thing, is make sure all the paperwork is complete in enough time. Since I plan to defend in January or February of next year, I should have plenty of time to get it all done with enough time for "Oops, we forgot this." I don't want this to not happen because I forgot to file my admission to candidacy form.
I just...when I got my master's and started work, I never dreamed I'd come back to school and actually finish my PhD. Now, it looks like it might really happen. I might actually complete a major life goal. It's pretty big for me.