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Happy, happy, joy, joy! December 4, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in Children's Literature, EA300, LGMD, Life writing, OU, TMA02.
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Just a quick post, as I’m off to do some more poetry study and read through some bumpf about One Fine Day (who knew there were so many variations of the poem).

The mark for TMA02 happily waited for me this morning. I was convinced I had only done enough to pass – that is get a mark of 40% or a little over – because I had panicked so much about the essay. But, oh, what joy! I opened the ZIP file to find a fantastic mark of 75%. So pleased!

(Yes, I know the mark is lower than what I usually would like to achieve, but yay! It’s better than what I had hoped for!)

Oh, and I’ve added a new page to the Scribbles section – a life writing piece about the trials and tribulations of walking and the battle to diagnose the Muscular Dystrophy. —> A mile in my shoes.

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Hard at work. April 21, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, ECA, Life writing, Poetry, TMA05, writing.
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Work in progress

Work in progress

Yep. That’s me. Not the computer, obviously, but working hard at getting TMA05 all sorted. The first draft is kind of there, but already I am making changes to it. I suppose that’s a good thing as it’s allowing me to reference the BRB some. And so much for the estimated ‘Oh, it’ll only take about an hour.’ Hah! Nope. I tippy-tapped at it while Princi was at school, and again now, while she is distracted watching TV with Nanny. (I’ve only got another twenty minutes, then Neighbours is on and Princi will return to cleave asunder any plan of working, yet here I am, blogging.)

As for other writing stuff, I’ve got stuff I need to add onto the prose life writing piece for the ECA, and I have begun editing Mecha Lexy. I think I’m all decided on the poems I want to use for the ECA, Mecha Lexy being one and At the feet of Rafa Nadal being the other. I like ML because it has some humour to it, and AtfoRN because it isn’t autobiographical – it’s just a poem about water bottles and OCD! I just need to work on them a little to make them all they can be. But at least I’m settled in what I’m using. That takes a big weight off.

Anyhoos, off to make use of the ten minutes I have left!

My brain is a very strange place. April 8, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Dreams, ECA, Life writing, Poetry, TMA04, TMA05, Writing goals.
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Yep. I had another weird dream last night, though the only part I can remember is an advert. It had a bloke in it, all happy and jolly, until all of a sudden he clutches his side and falls down. Next thing, his insides are spilling out and there is a huge writhing mass of something contorting in the open cavity. It turns out to be his liver, with the tagline – ‘If you don’t look after your body, your body wont look after you.’ Then the writhing mass devours him. I know. My subconscious is messed up!

Still, I had another patch of productivity yesterday. I fixed the problems with my TMA narrative, and completed the first draft of the commentary, then completed the first drafts of two poems that had been playing on my mind. During Princi’s distracted phases today I have tidied up the commentary, compiled the TMA so it’s ready to send, and sorted out the references. Now all I have to do is get all the relevant info for the biblio, and it’s more or less done. Yay! So now my checklist looks like this:

  1. TMA04 = Life writing. 1500 words + 500 words reflective commentary. (Apr 17)
  2. TMA05 = Publication research, themed sequence of poems (at least 3)  40 lines (max 42) + 500 words reflective commentary + reading final chapters of BRB. (May 15) *
  3. ECA = 1500 words prose (life writing) + 40-50 lines poetry**+ 700 words reflective commentary. (June 5)
  • *Revise drafts of Persephone, Cassandra, and Yggdrassil. Begin planning submissions commentary based around Iota magazine.
  • **Revise drafts of Mecha-Lexy, At the feet of Rafa Nadal, Meat, and the life writing narrative. Complete first draft of Foil and Gambling on inheritance. Choose which poems to use for ECA. Begin planning the commentary.

So that’s me for the next few weeks. And if other poems make themselves known, then I’ll scribble them too. Wow! I never thought I’d be so over-awed by writing. It’s giving me a strange adrenaline rush!

Well, time for a break. Possibly time for some phonics fun with Princi, if I can tear her away from the laptop. As for the teaching of letters writing, we’ve only managed a,b,c,d before she got bored and wanted to draw shapes. At least she can write her name.

And so the panic starts. April 6, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Andy Murray wins Masters, ECA, Life writing, Poetry, tennis, TMA04, TMA05, writing.
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Two weeks for the Easter holiday. Just less than two weeks before I need to submit the next TMA. Struggling to write the 500 words commentary. Argh! Also struggling to polish the poems for TMA05, and starting to worry that they might be too repetitive, even though I was kind of aiming for that within the sequence. Feeling really frustrated that I can’t seem to get one line right in the Cassandra poem, seriously need the blinkers taken off! And then I need to prune the ECA prose piece and work on two poems (at least) and a 700 words commentary for that! Argh! Two months to get it all done. Here’s the rundown:

  1. TMA04 = Life writing. 1500 words + 500 words reflective commentary. (Apr 17)
  2. TMA05 = Publication research, themed sequence of poems (at least 3)  40 lines (max 42) + 500 words reflective commentary + reading final chapters of BRB. (May 15)
  3. ECA = 1500 words prose (life writing) + 40-50 lines poetry + 700 words reflective commentary. (June 5)

Argh! Argh! Argh! Seems so much to do in such a short time! And to add to that, Princi’s half term holiday starts on May 25, so there’s two weeks gone of the ECA prep. So I suppose I best get down to some work now while Princi is distracted – watching Pingu on the laptop inbetween finding games on the CBBC website and playing Muzzy interactive. When she gets bored, we’ll do some more reading of her phonics books and learning about rhyming.

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Andy Murray wins in Miami.

Andy Murray wins in Miami. (Picture from The Independant)

As for tennis, yay! for Andy Murray. He beat Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-5 in the Miami Masters final yesterday. The first set was all Murray, as he raced to a 4-0 lead. The second set was looking to go the same way as Murray broke Djokovic in the first game. But then Djokovic called for the trainer, and that really got into Murray’s head. Djokovic won the next four games before Murray mounted a comeback.

Some of Murray’s passing shots were fantastic. He outplayed Djokovic something chronic! It was a fabulous game to watch, even when Murray was 4-1 down in the second set. Looking forward to seeing if he has improved on clay now.

Take me out. March 30, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Conversations with Principessa, Life writing, Principessa in hospital again, Procrastinating, Still feeling yucky, TMA04, writing.
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Yesterday afternoon, Princi began complaining that she had hit her head and that it was hurting. After making sure she had found hugs from everyone possible, she ran off and continued doing whatever it was she had been doing. Then she cried again saying that her head still hurt and started asking for her new favourite comfort – to rest your hand on the injured area. So we did, and she once again felt better. Then she fell asleep in Nanny’s bed, but unsure if she had really hit her head, Nanny woke her up and Princi once again began crying. I was worried to begin with, Princi doesn’t really make too much of a fuss if she hurts herself, she’ll cry, I’ll hug and kiss better, she’ll run off and play. However, the continual return to crying and complaining each time that her head hurt really had me worried. I asked her ifit hurt when her head was touched, and she said no. I asked her if it hurt inside, and she said yes. That was it, off to the walk-in centre with Grandand.

When she got back home, she was her normal self. Grandand said that the doctor who examined her said there was nothing wrong, and I joked to Grandand that she did it just to go out before bedtime. When I got upstairs to put her into bed, she was talking to Nanny. I stopped to listen.

Nanny: Are you ok?

Princi: Yes.

Nanny: Does your head hurt now?

Princi: No.

Nanny: Did you just want to go out?

Princi: Yes, I just wanted a ride in Betsy car.

And there we have it. Two hours of worry while she was at the walk-in centre because she wanted to go for a ride in the car! Little pain. She’s her normal headstrong self today: refusing to eat her dinner and to stay out of the kitchen, and demanding that we read books no matter what books they are (it was Tom’s Midnight Garden before school), so all’s well that ends well.

As for me? Still got the sore throat. Have woken up the past two mornings with my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth. I don’t know why my mouth is so dry recently. Maybe I should stop stressing about the next TMA. Got to get that done by the end of the week, and tomorrow is a write-off as Princi has a day off school because it’s parent’s day. Bugger. Just leaves the last three days of the week to get it done. I seriously need to crack the whip of Getting Things Done. It must be time to take the computer to bed with me. At least the evenings (once Princi’s asleep) can be made of productive time.

Wonder what time Andy Murray is playing tonight…

Slacker? That’s me!

Need sleep! March 24, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, bedtime, Going into Cybernation, Life writing, writing.
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Sooo tired! I could not, for the life of me, get to sleep last night. I wouldn’t mind if I had actually had something on my mind, or if I was actively thinking, but no. It was plain out and out sabotage of my subconscious! So today, I feel as if my eyeballs are dragging along the floor. Bugger! Princi didn’t help much either, she completed a successful ambush of my bed, nearly pushing me out of it not long after she had taken up residence. Grrr!

Off to the hospital later. Thankfully, the weather isn’t as windy as yesterday, so no possibility of being blown to Oz. *Phew* It is time for the fifteen month check-up to make sure I don’t develop sleep aponea. That means either sleeping with a little finger-clip that measures PO2 and pulse rate, or being completely wired up to a portable machine that measures other things besides PO2 and pulse rate. I’m hoping for the finger-clip, even though it bruised my finger last time. Hmph! Still, it’s less trouble than the wires.

Maybe once this is done I might be able to think about writing again? Oh, which reminds me…

*Toddles off to type up another idea for life writing.*

Aww, crap! Now I’ve got the hiccups.

On the conveyor belt… March 20, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Life writing, Poetry.
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Of productivity.

I hit what can only be described as a rut of productivity yesterday. 1600 words and a brand new piece for possible use for the life-writing TMA (pruned down to 1524 currently) and the Yggdrassil poem. I have no idea how it happened, or where the sudden spurt of inspiration came from. And to add to the tally – two  useable ideas for short stories. Woohoo!

In the words of Rimmer from Red Dwarf – Smoke me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast!

I have waited for this day! March 18, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Life writing, Poetry, The Principessa Files, TMA04, writing.
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The day when I could share one of my favourite books with Princi.

This morning, before school, Princi picked up one of my books.

Princi: Ooo. Ted hug-hehz, the laron man.’

Me: (smiling) No, babes. Ted Hughes, The Iron Man.’

But I was chuffed that she was showing interest in one of my books. Yes, my book. I had tried to get a copy from Amazon about six months ago or so, but it was one of those ‘delivered in 1-3 weeks’ situations, which usually means ‘order it, and you’ll be waiting forever.’ (I’m still waiting for  The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia, a book I ordered about a year ago.) So I forgot about The Iron Man for a while. But with the prospect of the children’s lit course on the OU, it came to the forefront again. It was, after all, the book I most remember from my childhood. I can see all the kids sat around on the story mat while Mrs Fox read a chapter a day, just before the end of the school day. That is why The Iron Man makes me smile. And the mere fact that my little girl was interested in it made it even better. Especially when she sat on my knee and we started reading it. Together. That was just one of the best moments. And she wants to carry on with the story when she gets home from school. Yay!

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Poetry. Well. Persephone is breathing (yay!). But now Hephaestus is refusing to be written. Might just go onto Yggdrassil today, and leave Hephaestus to mature.

Prose. I have revised the life writing piece. As I am not allowed to use a poem as a diary entry, I have worked around it and added in a short piece of prose written in 2001. I think it works better than it did with the poem, but it took a lot of work. The word allowance is 1500 words, but when I took out the poem and put the extra prose in the words shot up to 1600. Yipes! I spent a couple of hours working around what I had already written, taking out the excess words, but I feel it reads better now. I’ll soon find out.

So, off now to continue the writing.

I want my Grandand! March 17, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Life writing, Poetry, The Principessa Files, writing.
2 comments

Was the cry that escaped at ten to six this morning. Struggling up from the bed and turning to Princi (who  had, once again, mounted a successful invasion on my bed) to find out what was wrong, the sobbing turned to full blown tears as she screamed, ‘My ear is hurting!’ Oh crap! I thought. I remember how bad ear infections were when I was a kid, and I was worried that Princi had developed an ear infection. She went downstairs for some medicine, then back upstairs into my bed, so I put the TV on to distract her from the pain while the painkillers set to work. Half an hour later she was snoring.

I don’t think she has an ear infection now, as she was back to normal when I shook her awake just before 8 am. I think she must have slept on her ear wrong, poor babe!

After the tizzyfits the other day, Princi has now started a smily face/frowny face wall chart. I am hoping this will engage her enough to persuade her to behave. She was quite happy to get her smily face for being good this morning by eating her breakfast and being quick getting ready for school. Fingers crossed!

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As for the poetry. Well. Still going nowhere with Persephone. But I have travelled to galaxies far, far away in a poem called ‘In the religious year of the Jedi’. I’m still tinkering with it, but it’s close to being done. I will ponder on it a little longer to make sure it’s as good as it gets, but I’m quite happy with it.

And as I sit here, thoughts of Persephone are starting to reach perfect percolation…

Up the wall! March 16, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in A215, Life writing, Mythology, The Principessa Files.
4 comments

I don’t know what flipped the switch yesterday, but Princi was a complete terror. Hitting, kicking, screaming for most of the afternoon. And she has this thing… if she hurts you and you say ‘Ow,’ she laughs. She thinks it is highly hilarious. It’s driving me crazy. I have been trying to tell her that when someone is hurt, you stop what you’re doing and make sure the person is OK. I asked her if she would like it if someone laughed when she gets hurt. She said ‘No.’ So she understands that when you get hurt it’s not funny. But she still thinks that if she is the inflictor of the hurt then it is funny. Argh! Pain, quite literally!

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The Persephone poem is proving harder than first thought. I’m now thinking of doing a small sequence of poems taking in different mythologies. That means I need to start sifting through further ideas. I am still deciding whether or not to use male mythological characters, after all, I’m not male and the poems are autobiographical. But one character – Hephaestus – would really work with what I’m planning. Hmm. Will have to think.

Anyways, back to work.