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Crawling out from the non-blogging abyss. January 13, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, General rubbish, writing.
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Wow! Really? It’s been over six weeks since I last posted? Oops! Well, I hope everyone had a fab Christmas and new year then.

So, why haven’t I posted? Well, there’s been a couple of reasons. Before Christmas I was diligently working through the coursework for the kidlit course. Then I had a pre-Christmas panic searching everywhere for Coraline dolls for a pressie for Princi. Then Boxing Day arrived, complete with a yucky lurgy that knocked me out for two weeks, only to be joined by the snow and Princi’s school closing for a week. And over the last week I have been doing battle with TMA03 – and yes, I am currently in essay denial and avoidance while writing this. Saying that, I’ve only another 70 words or so to find (like Pokemon, gotta catch ’em all!) before the thing is done. I am sick of looking at it, so once it is at the magical word limit it is going. Don’t care, it’s a bunch of confused rubbish, but it’s the best I can do considering the circumstances. So, there is my last several weeks in a nutshell.

Anyhoos, my timely return is due to having watched Survivors tonight. Argh, that show does my nut in! When the first series started, I was in the throes of writing a story for TMA02 for the creative writing course. It was a disaster story based around a flu epidemic and its causes. Survivors, while it’s based on a TV show from the 70s devised by Terry Nation (him who created them there Daleks), bore a resemblance to the story line I was playing with. This was my first grrr. Then tonight, at the end of the episode, the camera shot rested upon a blue log book with ‘Nano assay’ written on the frontispiece. My second grrr! So, just for my own peace of mind, I am posting the A215 story up. Bear in mind that I need to do a little bit of editing on it, particularly the ending, just to clarify who is betraying who. But other than that, I hope that anyone reading it enjoys it. You can find the story here.

And now I’m off to finish this dastardly essay.

Results day: The aftermath. August 7, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in End of A215, Re-writing, reading, writing, Writing goals.

Well, I’m still feeling a little put out after yesterday. But it’s done and dusted now, ain’t no changing it. The timely arrival of the rejection letter added tenfold to my woes, but it has made me more determined to get something in print now.  So it’s time to pick myself up, dust myself down and get on with it. One thing I will say though, that science of happiness experiment must have done something for me (or maybe I’m fooling myself!). I would usually be down in the dumps (yep, just call me Stig!) for about a week after the kick in the teeth that yesterday served me, but instead I marked it all up to experience and got straight back onto the horse. I surprised myself with that!

This meant that I got myself sorted, and last night I e-mailed the Persephone/Cassandra/Yggdrasil poem sequence to First Edition magazine and sent Abyss, gazing to starshipsofa.com. Today I think I might get moving on sending Meat and Gambling on inheritance out somewhere, so poetry magazine research is on the cards later. Then, if I have time, I’ll get back to revising Rosie. Once that’s done, I’ll fix and retitle The Untimely Birthday. I think that story should go to the rebel publishing anthology instead of Rosie; I’ll find somewhere else to send her story.

As for preparations for the next course, well, I’m not reading Little Women now. As with Swallows and Amazons, I’m finding it difficult to get into the story. More’s the pity because I was looking forward to reading it, but I became bogged down in a quagmire of sticky words. Urgh. Only one thing for it, I decided to read Treasure Island instead. To tell the truth I hadn’t expected to enjoy it, so imagine my surprise when I became instantly immersed in the story. I’ve still got a way to go before I finish it, but I’m glad I’ve found a book that I can get my teeth into. Once I’m finished I’ll give one of the slow books another go. After all, they are both required reading for the course. Ho hum!

Day four. RESULTS ARE IN. August 6, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in End of A215.

So, no result yesterday. The servers went down around two-ish, probably due to the thousands of students constantly refreshing their student homepage to retrieve their mark.

As for today, I have only just picked up my result. My hopes were dashed. A grade 2 pass, as I was expecting. I still feel devasted, I thought I would have done better than that. I’m now wondering if I should continue with the children’s lit course, I’m not quite sure I’m ready for it.

Day three. August 5, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Battlestar Galactica, End of A215, reading, TV.

I’ve just checked my student home page and it looks like it’s going to be sometime today. Oh god! I feel sick! I don’t think I want to know anymore!

OK, deep breath. Why does results day impart so much flutterby belly? I mean, it’s just a couple of words (or letters, possibly followed by asterisks) on a screen/piece of paper, yet everything in the world seems to hang in the balance of what’s recorded there. I suppose in some cases it can be life changing – university is a bit of a shock in the first few weeks, then the drinking kicks in and you forget the rest of it – but mostly it’s just a way of measuring yourself against everyone else. When is that ever a good thing?

(Checking results page… Nope still not updated. Eeks!)

It’s not so much life changing for me. Well, maybe it will be to my state of mind, proving that I am better than I give myself credit for, or maybe it will prove that I am what I think I am. Whichever, I need to get on with preparations for the next course to see if I can improve on my resluts there. After all, it’s important that I do get a distinction there as it weighs heavily in favour of achieving a first. I am hoping my poor brain is able to cope with that. That’s why I need to get a good result today, so it doesn’t destroy my meagre confidence. And there is the underlying  cause of my flutterby belly.

And as for BSG; finished. Watched the last, long-winded episode last night. Most of the episode was good, but it really dragged in the middle. I really liked the very end, though. Very well done. Overall, it was a very good series. I will sit down and watch it through again at some point. But for now – no more series on DVD, I’ve got to do some reading. So back to Little Women it is.

(Checking student homepage. Still nowt.)

Day two. August 4, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Dollhouse, TV.

It’s day two of the wait for results. ‘Sometime before 7th August’  is so unfair! They should give a day when the results are out, rather than a vague ‘you know, it should be before this date’ carrot on stick suggestion. Grrr. Yep, I think you’ve guessed. No result released into the cyberwilds yet.

To pass the time, and while Princi is otherwise distracted, I have snatched a few moments to watch ‘Epitaph One’, the unaired episode of Dollhouse. Yes, I know, it’s naughty to watch things webwise, but I couldn’t wait till the Dollhouse boxset is delivered next month. What can I say? Wow! It was a proper Whedon fix. It’s set in post-apocolyptic Los Angeles and it has all the elements you’d expect from Joss Whedon et al. It is most definitely worth a watch and it has made me hungry to watch the second series – but I was going to do that anyway. I’m looking forward to seeing how the story arc develops to take the characters to the point where this episode starts.

And so the angst begins… August 3, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Ebay, End of A215, The Principessa Files.
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EEKS! It’s results week! The obsessive compulsive checking, fifteen million clicks per day on the course page until I receive the result for A215. I don’t know why I’m so angsty about it, I don’t think I achieve anything better than a pass two, but I have a hope that maybe the ECA was good enough to pull the mark up, and that the four points I dropped throughout the course will be marked up in recognition of a good ECA. High hopes, but still there. I just hope that I don’t get lower than a pass two though. If that happens I’ll be totally devastated and completely demoralised. If you haven’t noticed – I’m living on a lot of hope!

I think I might revert to Princi ‘wah’-ing if my result sucks. Oh, the Princi ‘wah’-ing story…

Princi runs into the kitchen this morning:

Princ: I want a kit-kat and a drink.

Grandand: Later. I’m busy.

P: What about some Pringles?

G: Later. I’m busy!


Me: (Trundling down the stairs on Stannah209) Stop wahing! Only babies wah. Are you a baby?

P: No! I am a girl. I cry properly!

It stopped the ‘wah’. And the complaint about not getting a kit-kat. We went into the living room for Princi to pretend to be a squidgy cushion behind me, and then she danced – or rather, she ran around in circles on all fours – to some Red Hot Chili Peppers. All is good in the world.

So, I won’t complain today. At least, not right this minute.

After all the whinging and moaning and moaning and whinging… June 4, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, TMA05.

I have my TMA05 results back. Ecstatic is the word I’d use. 90%. (Now why couldn’t I have achieved that for TMA04?) There were some really good comments, too. Among them the askance to submit the poems for publishing. Yahooo! I shall do that forthwith! Well, after I finish doing my little dance!

Chuffed. To. Little. MINTBALLS!

OK, enough now. But after the arghness of TMA04 and the misery post, it’s only fair to include the ‘Yatta!’ post.

I am off now to find some food. Not had any breakfast as yet and me belly’s a-rumbling!

I’m in the mood for love. June 3, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Animals, French Open, tennis, TMA05.
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Well, not me, but the animals at the safari park. We finally made it today, after the plans for Monday had to be put aside when the gardening folks were able to come and clear the garden a couple of hours after we called them. (But yay! Clear garden – apart from the rubbish that is left to go. But there is no longer a miniatrure forest out back! Means I can get my Japanese cherry blossoms and maybe a plum tree, too.) Anyway, back to the animals. As we drove into the park there was a stag having a sniff around one of the does. Into the lion enclosure, and one of the lions was trying it on, while three young lions were trying to attack one of the lionesses. The big daddy lion wasn’t much pleased and chased them off, roaring loudly, before flopping and rolling about on the floor. When we finally got to the elephant enclosure – Princi hadn’t been interested until we got to the elephants, the only animals she wanted to see – there was a bit of heavy petting going on! Princi got out of the car with Aunty Kirst for a walk around, but we left before the ‘bow-wow-chicka-bow-wow’ music started playing.

As for the rest of the animals, Princi didn’t seem much interested. She wanted to read the guide (the guy in the booth asked, ‘Do you want a free guide?’ I said ‘Oh, go on then.’ And the bugger charged me for it!), turn the radio on and dance (she was stood in the footwell in front of me), or generally climb around the car. When we left she was a bit put out, started demanding food (which she never ate!) and kicking up a fuss. This continued when we got home. I think she was particularly irked that the wheelchair was taking up the hallway – I couldn’t get my legs to work enough to get me up the two small front steps, so Skidaddles set the chair up so he could get me back in the house – and it trapped her in the front room.  Oops! She did work out that she could push it out of the way a minute or so later!

As for other things… Still no TMA results. Grrr.

The tennis has been a good watch, even though Andy Murray was knocked out by Fernando Gonzalez yesterday. I think Roger Federer must be chuffed to little mintballs. No Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic. I’m hoping that Robin Soderling can keep up his form, I’d love to see him win it. I think I’d have said that even if Murray was still in the tournament though, because Soderling has played some blistering tennis over the last few days. It’s been really good to see. It’s just a pity that Sorana Cirstea dropped her form after her match against Jelena Jankovic. She was beaten by Samantha Stosur today, but at least Stosur is another name you don’t expect to see in a slam semi-final. I’m looking forward to seeing what happems next.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. May 23, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, End of A215, The Principessa Files.

And that is that. The ECA is winging its way to my fate. Three copies of the final piece of work for a course that has tested my resolve at times. And I am relieved, but glad that I tried and completed it. I’m not expecting a decent mark, as I am now at the point of ‘as long as I pass I’ll be happy.’ It kills me that I’m thinking like this. I really wanted to enjoy the course and get more out of it, but it has been a bit of a damp squib. At least I have found some peeps who want to continue critiquing after the course ends. This is a very good thing. So yay to that! I do still reserve the right to feel completely downhearted when I don’t get the pass 2! That’ll be a real kick in the teeth seeing as I already feel robbed of the distinction! Ah well. Subjectivity and all that. Is all fair in pen and words?

And the end of the course signals the beginning of Princi’s half term. She had a good start, behaving when she woke up at 8.20 am (yay! Somewhat of a sleep in) and then doing as she was told while I struggled to get myself out of bed. We had a tickle fight and watched ‘Big Cook, Little Cook’ before we went downstairs for breakfast. This is the point when I say what a strange child I have. She asked for carrots and cream cheese for breakfast! Well, I suppose it’s healthy.Hopefully she’ll enjoy the salmon salad that we’re having for tea tonight.

Well, I’m off to converse with the Princi, she does demand a conversation. Then I will install Neverwinter Nights on the computer in preparation for some online roleplaying with my brother and cousin. Wow! It’s been years since I have participated in a roleplaying game. Yay, I shall be capturing some of me back, and that feels good. Hopefully, once the extension is sorted, there might be some opportunity for a tabletop game: D&D perhaps, or Cthulhu. That would be muchos goodness!

And now the end is near… May 22, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, ECA, The Principessa Files.

And so I face the final preparations to ECA-dom. Princi breaks from school for two weeks later this morning, so I have a few hours to preen what is looking like my final submission. Eeks! I sent the completed thing off to a friend last night for a read through, and I am glad I did. He sent it back with a list of glaring errors, places where I’d forgotten to change words in light of sentence rearrangements. D’oh! I’m so sick of looking at this damn end-of-course-assessment-piece-of-rubbish that I’d have sent it off like that! Wouldn’t have been so good for the damaged mark, now, would it? So, (and there I go, overdoing the ‘so’ing again!) today I have to give the piece a quick proof-read – will have to have a quick refresher on line-by-line editing first – then print three copies out, fix the admin sheet to the copies, get huge envelope, and send damn thing off. And then I’m done. Done and dusted. Then I can breathe again, relieved that the course is over. And to think, three weeks ago I was almost at the point of quitting. Since then I’ve finished the final two pieces of work and critted various other stories/poems/life writing pieces. It’s been a busy few weeks.

As for Princi, Grandand is going to school with her this morning as her nursery class are going on a ‘locality walk’ for their final day of term. Yay! Princi has made it through another half-term period without a day off. She’ll be cuffed to get her party bag and certificate. She has, however, had her first ‘red card’ and was sent to sit outside the head teacher’s office (that happened last week). She would have been OK if she had sat quietly, but that is too easy. Princi screamed the reception down and the head teacher took her into the office. Eeks! She soon calmed down after the head spoke to her and let her draw a picture. She – Princi, that is – can be such a terror at times. Other than that, she’s been mostly good at school, and her reading is coming on great guns, as is her writing and spelling. Yay!

Well, time to have some breakfast, sort Princi out with a ponytail and a hug before sending her and Grandand off to school, and get moving on the final proofing. After today, I may return to being myself, if Princi allows it!