Past and present. -- Early on in my academic life there was a time when my whole intellectual focus was always on one single (book) project. I rejected all invitations to give talks, or to contribute to anthologies or special issues, unless they were directly linked to my current research. I managed to write a book every three years or so, and to do so in a relatively stress-free manner. -- I sometimes wonder whether there is a way back to this idyllic state, now that I pant from one deadline to another.