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Year One. May 15, 2014

Posted by phoenixaeon in Essay written, MA, reading.
Laser Loops.

Laser Loops.

[Apology for absence] Oops, sorry. Six months since I last posted. I am a blog neglecter. Please accept my apology in the form of little Loops with laser-beam eyes. [/Apology for absence]


As of yesterday, the first year of my MA came to an end. Holy cramola, that was hard work! I think I need to invest in rubber walls for next year, as my head bounced from one theoretical perspective to another with only the vaguest understanding of what was going on! Saying that, I was so glad to have at least have done the linguistics course with the OU, as that really helped at the beginning of the year. My critic crush on Bakhtin also came in useful, so I have decided that I will take the time to thoroughly read more Bakhtin stuff over the summer. And I will also get to grips with Marxism too.


These last few weeks have been taken up with the two big end of year essays – and I don’t quite know how I managed to write them. The first essay looked at the construction of identity in Almond and McKean’s Mouse Bird Snake Wolf (yes, I have taken my Dave McKean obsession into the MA too!) through the theoretical perspectives of carnivalesque and mythic archetypes. The second essay looked at death and morality and their combined effects on femininity and female values in Little Women, Seven Little Australians, and Peter Pan. I shocked myself with my choice of texts here because I hate Little Women and I’m not overly keen on Peter Pan, either. But Jo, Beth, Wendy, and Tinkerbell make for good essay fodder. I am hoping it’s good essay fodder, as now I have the month-long wait before the results come back. If I happened to be a nail biter, then I’d probably say something like, “I’ll probably not have any nails left by results day.” As it is, I’ll most likely just have a frazzled brain and a fractured mind instead!


So now Year One is done with, and as long as I pass, it’s now time to prepare for Year Two. That means a module of creative writing and a module of picture books. I am both looking forward to and feeling angsty about this. Looking forward to the picture books because I can easily lose myself in interpretations of the artwork; angsty about the creative writing because it’s so subjective and because my brain is on holiday from all things creative at the moment. I am trying to kickstart the muse with some Wreck This Journal-ing and maybe attempting to make a cuddly penguin for Princi out of some of her old clothes. I’m secretly hoping for some crazy spam comments – they sometimes lead to some fun creative play too (really wish I’d have kept the one about snow beasts and winter festivities, that might have given me something to run with!). *Fingers crossed* it nudges some life into my creative spark. If not, I will have to hope the summer reading list helps (of which this is just a little taster):

  • Tinder by Sally Gardner
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw by SF Said.
  • A whole bunch of creative writing books that will be used for the module.

And that is that. I will try to blog a little more regularly. And I’ll try to make it more interesting too.



Doin’ a l’il dance… May 30, 2013

Posted by phoenixaeon in Degrees, E301, EMA, Essay written, OU, The end of E301.

I have done it! Done, done, done it! I have completed and submitted the last 3,000 word essay for my degree. I’ve probably put on a stone in chocolate, but hell yeah! I’ve done it!

So, the stupidity thing didn’t go well. I was stupid to think it could work. 1,500 words into the demon essay, and the evil cur Writer’s Block attacked. I sank into linguistic despair. The more I struggled to write, the more the quicksand sucked me down. So I ditched the dead weight, and began writing an analysis on my second choice texts: a Facebook conversation written in the pseudo-voice of William Wordsworth and ‘The Tyger’ by William Blake. The quicksand spat me out quick-sharpish.


It has still taken almost a week to write the bugger, but once I made the switch I could breathe again. It was hard going for a while, but the last 1,000-1,500 words seemed to fly by. Okay, it was more than that as I had to go back and cut stuff out because I went over the word count. But today I finally reached the ‘yippee ki yay’ status of the essay. Yippee ki yay!


So that is my degree completed. Five and a half long years of toil. *Fingers crossed* that I pass the course now. The only problem now is, I feel like I’m dangling over the edge of an abyss, wondering where I am going next…

Words and pictures. April 9, 2010

Posted by phoenixaeon in Bog Child, books, Charles Vess, Children's Literature, EA300, ECA, Essay written, Instructions, Neil Gaiman, OU, TMA06.

Well, this has made me even more excited for the release of ‘Instructions’ by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess. I can’t wait, I tells ya!


And for a second squee, I have finished the dastardly essay. Woohoo! I am going to leave it over the weekend, maybe even the whole of next week, before going back for a final read through and tidy up, then it’s gone and outta here! All I have to do before the course finishes is write a 4,000 word essay on how Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd fits into the history and tradition of children’s literature. So, I have decided on the critical essays that I need to read through again to write the essay I think I should be writing, and I shall put this plan into action next week. Still, it’s a ‘Yikes’ moment knowing that the course is nearly done. I’ve really enjoyed (so far) the challenge it presented and I really want it to carry on. Once the degree is done (another three years. Bah!) then I feel an MA in Children’s Lit might be worth pursuing. And I never, ever thought I’d say that!

Woohoo! Finally started on essay. January 14, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Essay written, LRRH, Stuck on short stories, tennis, The Principessa Files.
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Okay, so it’s only a 500 word essay, but at least I have the first draft done. I think it sounds all right, but we shall see. (When I think about it, I can easily talk myself out of believing it actually answers the question.) Kirst is popping round today, and we are going to read over each others essays, and hopefully they will both be okay. Then we will go all techno and work out how to submit the damn things!

Principessa has become so mouthy of late. I really don’t know what has gotten into her. Mouthy and stubborn. Not great character traits… Well, stubborn can be in certain situations, but not in the situations Principessa is stubborn in. She is driving me up the wall! And the MD makes it that much harder to sort out when she is in a difficult mood.

I’ve now read the first two books of The Black Orchid series. I must have been distracted when reading them, I don’t actually remember what happened. I will have to start over. Poo! I didn’t even get to Jane Eyre. I have picked up Pygmalion instead. I’m about half way through, so I’ll finish the first read of that today. Then maybe I’ll do Jane Eyre, or I might just go straight to Wide Sargasso Sea. I’ll see how I’m feeling.

Over the past week I have been trying to work around a prequel to the LRRH (Little Red Riding Hood) story. I am having trouble working out which point of view (POV) to use, and whose POV to use. Sometimes I think Rosie’s POV would work, but then I get stuck on how to twist the story. Then I think maybe I should use the Wolf’s POV, but then it’s not about Rosie. Struggling, I am.

On tennis news, there is no further British interest in the Aussie Open. Andy Murray was almost comprehensively beaten (his third set was good, he won the set 6-0, but he had his butt whooped in the other three sets) by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I thought he might get beaten, there is something about the way Tsonga plays, like he is possessed. The other Brit (Scot really) was Jamie Baker, but he stood no chance against Ivo Karlovic. Both are out in the first round. Ho hum.

(Principessa is whinging upstairs because Nanny has kicked her off the computer. All I can hear is “It’s my computer,” “No, it’s my computer!” “Do as you’re told” “But I am not naughty” drifting down the stairs. Bolshy Principessa.)