Thursday 22 October 2009

Novel Talk

Well, I'm finding out more about the novel as I write it. I'm now doing a pov from Grandma's perspective. Her Granddaughter goes to visit Grandma often, and lets her talk about the old days.

I'm writing Grandma's memories in a kind of monologue at the moment, and I'm hoping that works. I say monologue because after an initial short para when Granddaughter goes round to Grandma's, the rest of it is Grandma talking about her memories.

The way I'm writing this novel now, with Grandma's monologues, I'm able to release information about things that might have played a part in making the MC behave the way she is. Of course, we can only rely on Grandma's memory of what took place, so that, in a sense, makes it unreliable, though still, hopefully, believable.

Friday 16 October 2009

Hmmmm, Time - for New Novel

I've written the first chapter! Or thereabouts. Now, because I'm submitting my novel extracts to the MA workshops, I have to have stuff in and ready, so I'm being MADE to write it.

This is good in some ways, yet I now find myself not knowing enough about the novel I now want to write. Or should I say enough about how the plot might evolve. So with that in mind, I plan to do a bit of planning over the weekend.

I'm going to miss out on subbing some work for next Thursday's workshop, which is fine to do every now and then. I do have something already subbed for next Tuesday's workshop, so while I think and plan I'm still going to get feedback on what I've already written. It'll just give me that bit of extra time to try to find meaning to what I'm writing, a shape or a form, might be a start. I also want to think a bit about story and character motivation.

Monday 12 October 2009

New Novel

I'm thinking about what to write in a new novel. Over the last few years I've had a few novel ideas, started them, and always, enthusiasm for the idea has either petered out, or it hasn't seemed like the novel I really want to write.

I don't know why this is. I think I need to really look at what I want to say, at the style, content, genre. I want to think hard about this over the next week or so, because I could write this novel as part of my Creative Writing M.A.

I love reading about families, how they function, or not in some cases. It's a good idea to write about what you like reading about, I think. So...thinking...thinking...

Sunday 11 October 2009

University Blogging

I've finally managed to open the elusive DOCx files. After spending far too many hours on trying all sorts of ways to open the documents, I finally downloaded File Format Converters.

It won't work with Internet Explorer, but it does work with Firefox. Now, I don't know if that's because of the UNI server, or what.

Anyway, I can finally open everyone's docs, which is good news. I didn't want to have to keep asking people to send me the old word doc files, or paste into the body of an e mail, which one kind student did for me.

I didn't want to have to go to the library either, not when I have my own pc and printer set up here in my flat. It really annoyed me, the thought of having to go to the library. I mean, I work three full days each week, too, so it's not as though I have all the time in the world.

Computer related stuff really does my head in sometimes, especially when I can't get things to work. But hey, I can now relax in the knowledge that I CAN OPEN ANY DOCUMENTS I LIKE!!!

Saturday 10 October 2009

University Blogging cont...

Had my second workshop on Thursday. Very good! I was a tad confused about which students were submitting work on which days. See, Tuesdays we have workshops with both full-time students and part-time students. Thursdays it's just for full-timers. Part-timers, plus one of the full-time students (to make up the numbers) were asked to submit their work on Wednesday.

I was under the impression that the full-timers didn't have to read and critique the part-timers' work, but we do. To add to that, the full-timers who have a workshop on Thursdays, have to submit their work on-line by lunchtime Friday, ready for the following week's Thursday workshop. I work Fridays, so had to get it in on Thursday evening at the latest. With me so far? No, I'm not surprised.

The worst bit is that I couldn't open quite a few of the docs that had been submitted, as they were in Docx format, apparently the latest in Word.

Anyway, I e-mailed to say I was having problems and some of the students have re-submitted to me in the 'old' Word doc format, but some haven't yet got back to me. I have to have six critiques ready for Tuesday morning. I work all day Monday, so that leaves, just Sunday. Sigh.

Tuesday 6 October 2009

University Blogging - First Workshop

I've had my first workshop! It went really well, and I'm going to love it! Even managed to write something and read it out. It was interesting to get a flavour of what the workshops will entail. We studied a photograph and wrote our own take on the pic, from either the person in the photo or the person taking the photo, or any other way you liked.

I could not believe that three of us were late for the FIRST EVER WORKSHOP!! We were told Meeting Room One. I followed the signs to Seminar Room One. They're one and the same, right? WRONG! Three forlorn students stood outside this room for five minutes. One of the students then said something about engineering. I looked at the guy standing across from me. I'd seen him at the welcome meeting so knew he was part of my group. "Erm, aren't you in creative writing?" I asked the other guy. He said, "Nope, engineering."

We hot-footed it up the stairs, where we found yet another of our brood (also late) and found MEETING ROOM ONE, the class already underway. Luckily for us the tutor was very understanding. Still, I felt very silly and stupid. What's the motto? Research your venue!

Later, I'm going to my first lecture, 5 pm until 6 pm: The Writing as Practice Lectures (inc Plaigiarism) with George Green.

There's Friday lectures too, 12 until 1 pm. But sadly, it's a working day for me, so I'll miss them, unless I'm on annual leave or flexi day, then I'll try to catch the odd one.

But, it's underway folks. Uni life really has begun. Here. Right now.

Friday 2 October 2009

University Blogging - The Accommodation

Did I mention our accommodation at Uni? No? Okay, well, do you know, I'm pleasantly surprised. I thought it was going to be much scruffier, with ancient fixtures and fittings, but no, it's very clean and modern. Having said that, this particular flat and block, and the few blocks adjoining are just over a year old.

We struck lucky I think, because the part of the Uni I initially requested to be housed in, is quite a long way from where my workshops are held, and further away from the main body of the Uni, and the inner spine which seems to lead to everywhere once you get used to it.

We arrived on the Saturday, found the porter's lodge with the help of a nice young girl in a blue 'helper' tee shirt. We got the keys, went up a few flights, opened the door...there was a surprisingly large double bedroom, with wet room en suite. Another door...da da! The living space, which if I'm totally honest threw me for a minute. I was looking for another door that might lead to a larger is quite small, but it has a two seater settee, desk where the tv stands, and under-ped, another desk for pc and a kitchen area.

The flat has all mod cons, ya know, like toaster, microwave, iron, a cupboard out in the hallway that houses a mop and bucket, an ironing board (not used one of those for yonks) oven, hob.

Overall, once we'd got used to the small living area, it's a loveley flat. Do I detect a hint of optimism here in my scribblings? Am I almost saying I feel comfortable and fine with it all?

Not quite. Not yet. But I feel in my bones that day might come.

University Blogging

Well, Freshers' Week is coming to a close. Not that I've had an awful lot of involvement in it, just that it will be good to get into a routine, as I'm sure some of the other students would agree.

I'm also back to work next week, so it's work three days, workshops at Uni for two days, plus homework, peer critiques, reflective pieces, etc etc. Added to that, I have an interview for a new job next Thursday afternoon, which kind of interferes with one of the first-week workshops. Damn and blast! I will work around it somehow, as this new job would be better pay and a higher grade, so yes, I do want it. It's more my cup of tea, too. For the moment, Project Team Member sounds good to me, honey-pies.

I have my youngest daughter and Granddaughter coming to stay on Saturday night, so I'm looking forward to seeing them. I may take them for a Uni pizza, let Granddaughter see a different slice of life. Who knows, maybe she'll want some of this for herself, later on in life.

Thursday 1 October 2009

More University Blogging

Hey! I've now got my library card, my purple card, & a Uni parking permit is in the offing for hubby.

I can find my way to the Porter's lodge, the bank, the medical centre, the library, the security lodge, all cafes and restaurants (yum) and, ahem, all of the bars. Not that I frequent such places, la la la have no idea where my first workshop will be held next week! Oh yes I have, it's right across from my flat, so that is VERY good news.

I'm feeling much better about the whole move. Did I say how i really felt at the beginning? No? I think I was scared to...and SCARED is the operative word, because that's exactly how i've felt, really, about everything.

Honestly, slap my wrists please. It felt like the first day at, that's not true, because I actually can't remember the first day. What I do remember is the very large E I wrote on a piece of paper when it should have been a very small e. It covered the whole page, and I felt very scared.