MA stuff

One of the requisites of my postgrad is setting up a blog. Seeing as how I already have one, I have resurrected it. The posts go back a few years, but now I have a reason to update more regularly than once every six months or so 🙂

I’m adding a couple of new pages this evening, one for poetry (the bane of my bloody life) and one where I’ll dump excerpts of the stuff I’m doing for my portfolio.  I think that’s about all the sharing I can cope with right now!

Fellow Lincolnites, please leave me a comment with the url of your blog and I’ll drop you into the sidebar where you can find each other.

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New chapter

No pun intended, mind. But I’ve just enrolled at the University of Lincoln for an MA/postgrad in Creative Writing.

I feel a bit of a fraud, to be honest, sat here surrounded by all these beautiful young things with their whole lives ahead of them, but there’s a part of me that’s leaping up and down like a little kid. Learning stuff is ALWAYS awesome, and the fact I get to read and write, and talk about reading and writing with people who love the written word, is just too exciting to contemplate right now.

So I’m drinking coffee in this big Atrium and wondering what to do next. I might just go explore the library because there’s nothing like immersing oneself in one’s natural habitat.

Or I could just sit here and eavesdrop on the dozen fascinating conversations that are going on around me, right now. There’s so much material here, so much. People watching has got to be one of my favourite pastimes ever. 🙂


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Tropes and clichés

I’m getting the itch to write something new, as opposed to working on one of the ms I have lurking on my hard drive. For some reason, this has gotten me looking at the traditional romance novel tropes and clichés.

Most books contain at least one or two clichés, because by their very nature they exist in every day life. But the traditional Romance Novel (TM) is awash with them, simply because the very genre is based on a cliché. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, something comes along and threatens to keep them apart, everything is terrible and nothing will be right again, and then hurrah it’s all fixed and they live happily every after.

I want to include a couple of fun tropes in this story, so I’m working on my MC whilst keeping some in mind, and we’ll see which one attaches itself to her.

. fake/arranged marriage
. secret baby/unplanned pregnancy
. accidental matchmaker
. mistaken identity
. ugly duckling grown up
. midlife crisis
. rich guy & secretary/nanny/employee

So many of these are a little creepy though – I always found the poor girl falling for the rich guy trope just wrong. She only wants him for his money, right? And he can buy anything he wants.

So yeah, maybe I’ll do this one the other way around. Rich girl, employs a gardener/driver/secretary. See how he likes being the kept man!

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Updates, updates everywhere

I updated WordPress. I then updated half a dozen plugins. Installed and updated Jetpack. Updated iOS on phone and iPad. Updated Sage.

If only I could update my brain so easily. Gah.

I’m also still trying to track down my manuscript. It was submitted to Harper Impulse last May. I got an email in October saying it had been sent on to the acquiring editor, and that was the last I’ve heard of anything. I really need to know what’s happened to it – whether it’s been cast off onto the discard pile, passed on for further reading or lost to a spam folder or accidental delete button. Sounds stupid, but those are my words out there. The manuscript’s original name was that of its lead male character, Corin, and I still think of it as that. Corin is out there somewhere, lurking in an inbox or junk pile and I want him back.

Whether I get him back in order to tuck him away regretfully into the ‘I tried’ file, or to wave him around in delight at the much-awaited ‘yes’, remains to be seen.

I just need that update.

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Too many blogs?

I’ve recently realised I have too many blogs and don’t actually use any of them.

Thanks to that bleeding heart bug, I’m having to reset all of my passwords. I have a book reading blog, a day to day blog, a fandom one, this writing one, and god knows what else is out there that I’ve forgotten about. So, in the interest of expediency and transparency (and also to save my poor beleaguered brain), I shall condense everything onto this blog.

Also, it’s linked to my website and if I’m paying for hosting, I may as well use the version I’m paying for, right? 🙂

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Yay blog!

Studying is easing off, just one last big essay to do for the Level 3 module.  Am looking forward to it, because the book, A Monster Calls is stunning, even if it did leave me an ugly sobbing mess by the time I’d managed to finish it.

I’m not sure if it’s because it hit so close to the bone, or Patrick Ness’s writing is that good, or I happened to be hormonal that day – or even a combination of the three, but Conor’s situation is heart wrenching, and the way he deals with his mother being ill (note, nowhere in the book does Ness mention the words ‘cancer’ or ‘death/dying’) would make a stone cry.

Will upload pictures tomorrow, and maybe even start to ramble about the final essay. If I can stay off Twitter for long enough…

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Lost my password.  Actually, no, that’s not quite accurate.  More along the lines of changed computers, didn’t write down all the passwords required and forgot my user name for WordPress.

No, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed right now.  Doesn’t help that this new laptop has lost a shift key, which is hugely irritating and it WILL be going back to PCurryWorld to have that put right.

Not even going to begin to catch up with everything that’s been happening lately, as I think it’s all water best left under the bridge.  Let’s just say I feel completely cheated by Christmas and I have to get a better work/life/writing type balace before I go off my rocker completely.

Getting burgled just before Christmas didn’t help either – I have a list as long as my arm of stuff to do in order to get that sorted, as well as finish the last of the paperwork from when we sold the other house at the start of December.  One day, I too will catch up with all this sodding paperwork!

Now for more NCIS – I’ve developed a fondness for Gibbs, it appears.  Silver haired blue eyed Marine, anyone?

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Sporadic update

The woodburner is going full pelt, candles either side on the hearth adding a flicking light to the intense orange glow coming through the glazed doors of the cast iron monster.  On the aging rug which is pockmarked with a morse code of cinder burns lies the lurcher pup, nine months old and all sharp angles and wayward tufts of grey-black fur.  The room smells of wood smoke and cinnamon scented candles.

It’s quiet too, a rarity in this house.  The children are all upstairs, either doing homework or watching a video in the common room.  Yes, we have a video player and it’s used with much glee by the smalls – they think it’s the neatest thing ever which is amusing.  There are DVDs up there too, but at the moment, a Disney video of some description, snaffled from a charity shop at the seaside, is the favourite.

Down here, I have rice bubbling away in the rice cooker – a present to myself that might well be going back to the store as it has a tendency to burn the bottom half inch of rice into a solid, lightly browned mass before it switches itself off.  Not acceptable in this house, by any stretch of the imagination.  Rice is skyrocketing in price, and we eat too much of it to waste about a tenth of each panful.  Regular leftovers which are thrown to the chickens are one thing – inedible foodstuffs that we have no choice but to leave are absolutely not.  Eldest made curry at school today, so the kids will all eat that with the rice, and I’ll rustle up something of a vaguely Japanese flavour once himself gets in from work.  I feel the need to cook with mirin and sake and tofu and chillis and dashi and, oh hell I need a trip to London.  The Japan Centre isn’t all that far from Baker Street and I really want a day geeking out doing Sherlockian things.

Oh look, it took me not quite three whole paragraphs to get to Holmes.  That’s pretty good considering how all things ACD are currently taking over my life.  I have even purchased a sticker to grace the back end of my lil bus that reads “I believe in Sherlock Holmes”.  No doubt I will get a serious ribbing from Those Who Don’t Understand, but I believe and feel the need to proselytise to one and all.

This is my sticker: I believe in Sherlock Holmes

I believe in Sherlock Holmes

I love  🙂

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Happy New Year :)

Yay for January!  All the fuss and brouhaha is over, the last of the chocolate and turkey has been consumed and/or otherwise disposed of and everything calms down somewhat.  It’s more than a relief this year, that’s for sure.

My health is crappy right now, which is getting me down but I’m going to do my normal and ignore it and just get on with it.  Could do with not always feeling so tired, that’s for sure.  And my hips ache like nothing else.  Ho hum, welcome to nearly 40… LOL   It could be worse, so I’m not going to dwell on it.  It just means I’m spending more time in the house instead of tearing around the place running errands and burning obscene amounts of diesel.  Not being sociable either, but that’ll no doubt change once I feel a little better.  It’s quite nice to have some peace and quiet after the last six months of total insanity.  I may even pick up a book…

Am back knitting, which is always good.  My garden is coming on apace.  Probably should mention we moved in on 1st December, so it’s back to living out of boxes.  I’m used to that though, so it’s no hardship.  Best thing is though, when I empty one, I don’t have to keep it ready for the next move.  The kids have taken a great big stack of boxes up to the common room and made a huge den out of them, and I don’t care – they can trash them completely as far as I’m concerned.  Whatever’s left will be summarily torched when there’s enough to make a decent bonfire.

This is one of those posts where I ramble on for a while, say a great deal about not a lot, then wander off again.

Oh, resolutions?  I guess I should make a few, if only to be able to look back in a few months and laugh at myself and my unfounded optimism.

1. Lose that extra stone that’s probably adding to my hip/back troubles.

2. Stock check last few boxes of old stock and list on eBay/Ravelry.

3. Go back to menu planning and try to save some money.

Actually, I’m going to leave those there.  They aren’t wildly unrealistic – I’ve not mentioned the boxes full of books that need sorting and selling and freecycling etc – so we’ll see what happens.  🙂

I shall simply wish you all blwyddyn newydd dda.

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Wish list!

I have to face facts as there’s no escaping them.  It’s the middle of November, J’s birthday is at the weekend, I’m more than halfway through my Nano and there’s a nip in the air.  Ergo, the season of goodwill is upon us.

That and there have been Christmas foodstuffs in the local Co-op since the end of August.

My children have started writing wish lists, normally based on whatever they’ve seen during the most recent advert break and Tea (DD2) is planning her birthday party for the second week of December.  It primarily involves most of her class coming to our new house and therefore entails said house being completed on time.

*crosses fingers*

There have also been several discussions on adult wishlists, and I decided that I should make an effort to give my nearest and dearest some kind of idea of the things I’d like for Christmas.  So, in no particular order:

Fabric.  I’ve been playing with  my sewing machine a bit more lately and will be spending a great deal more time at it over the next couple of weeks as I finish off curtains and such for the house.  I want to get into making clothes and I have a fabulous dress pattern to do.  I also have a green quilt which I need to finish off, so what I’d really like are cotton fabrics with beautiful pattersn, fabrics in predominately red or green and any interesting little scraps of odds and sods that I can piece together or use with the kids.

Books.  See Amazon wishlist here.  🙂

Stuff for new kitchen.  At another wishlist, right here.

Apart from that, there’s very little I need.  I’d like a new laptop, but this one works fine, even if you have to be able to touchtype to use it as most of the letters have rubbed off.  Three Nanowrimos will do that to a lappy.  I’d like a diamond.  Don’t mind if it’s in a ring or a necklace, I’m not that fussy.

I love handmade things too.  Make me a cotton bag and you make me very happy.  Especially if it’s a smallish one that I can carry a knitting project around in.  I have two which are about 12″ square and they’re brilliant.  Larger ones are also fab for keeping yarn in, hanging off virtually every door handle in the house.  I like handmade dishcloths and houseplants and recipes for tasty things.

Cookbooks!  I love cookbooks and favourite recipes.  And old ones especially. World War Two stuff, home front and dig for victory and 1940’s knitting patterns.

Okay, will stop there because anyone who actually knows me will be rolling their eyes and going, ‘okay, okay we know all this’.

I’m easy to please.  If you put a little thought into it, instead of buying a Boots 3-for-2 box of smellies, I’ll be more than happy.  🙂



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