Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Eve of the Big Writefest!

Well, as from tommorrow, I'll be spending the next month in a writing frenzy (I hope), and will be doing the best I can to write those 50,000 words.
I got an email this evening from the Nano organisers and, as of this evening, they have had 90,000 writers register with them to do the big writing-fest - not bad from such small beginnings, and it goes to show how many of us have the urge to write that novel! lol
I've got my plot and characters all sorted out, so it's a case of setting to and getting the story that's inside me onto virtual paper and, as I'm knocked back health-wise again, and writing this on my faithful lappie while sitting up in bed, at least I won't have far to go if I collapse during the month!
I had a letter from the O.U. this morning, confirming my cancellation of the U211 course that I had been hoping to start in February and, although I know I did the right thing in cancelling it, it felt strange to hold that confirmation in my hand - a little bit like giving in to my health problems, if you like. Although I know it's the most sensible thing to do, there's a little bit of me that hates having to give in to my health problems, yet again! Grrrrrrr
Anyhoo, I'd better get on and do some practice typing, so that my fingers get used to doing 1,600-odd words a day, in order to reach the target in a month. I'll be letting you know how I get on as the month progresses - talk to you soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Think I Need Locking Up!

I know it's only a few days since the exams, but I have to confess to being bored silly! I've got so used to studying all the time that ,even with my Bible study, I don't feel I've enough to do - and I guess that's why I did what I did . . .
I was looking through various writer's sites (as you do) and came across a link for something called and, intrigued, decided to see what it was about.
Apparently, in 2001, a group of 21 people decided to see if they could write a 50,000-word novel in the space of a month, and they chose November as that month, and went ahead. They had so much fun doing it that they did it again the following year, then every year since until, last year, there were 69,000 people around the world doing it - the name of the site is National Novel Writers Month.
This intrigued me, and I decided that, as I was bored out of my skull, that I would have a go - so I signed up for it, and am one of 223 people in Wales to do so - although there might be a few more since yesterday (grin)
Writing a novel is probably what everyone who's ever put pen to paper has dreamed about doing and, when my daughter was little, I often wrote stories for her that friends said were good enough to publish - unfortunately, the publishers didn't think so and, after the 30th rejection slip, I put away my novelist persona, and slipped on something more practical (although I've managed to have 5 poems published in international anthologies - albeit not been paid for them!).
So I guess that this escapade is the last knockings of my little dream of being a novelist, and it will either kill, or expand, my deams of writing 'that' book (smile) we'll see at the end of November how it goes, anyway! lol

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Well I can safetly say that the course is over.
I did the exam today and, while I don't think I did that well, I also don't think it will be the disaster I had feared!
It was only this evening, while looking at the questions I had done, that I realised I'd missed out on one whole aspect of question one, that of performance - but I'm hoping that there was enough casually mentioned details included that could be taken as the missing element.
I quite enjoyed doing the prose section, and found plenty to say, which means that, with the way things are working out for me nowadays, I've probably got the total wrong end of the stick.
The poetry section was completed with me totally winging it, as my brain was a pile of sludge by the time I reached the last question and, although I managed to remember the technical aspects of poetry, I couldn't for the life of me remember even one line of the poems - just the jist of the stories told - so I think I'll barely scrape through with this section, if I'm lucky!
It won't be until December that I'm put out of my misery as to whether I've passed or failed, but at least I know that I've done my best and, if I fail, I can always take the resits!
One thing about doing the exam today, it has convinced me to cancel the U211 course in February. I struggled to remember what I did manage today, so I don't think I would stand a chance at remembering all the detail expected of me for this one.
I've already booked a 10-pointer to replace it, A177: Shakespeare: an introduction, and this will occupy 12 weeks of my time in a pleasant, but not too onerus way, while I wait out the time needed before the A215 Creative Writing course starts in October.
In the meantime, if I get cravings for the OU study way of life, they have a great OpenLearn site that lets you dabble in the courses without having to do anything major, so that will keep me out of trouble until my course starts!
Talk to you again soon!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Oh Boy! Do I Need Help, Or What!

It's 4:07 in the morning, and I'm still wide awake! I've had over a week of this, with little or no sleep at all, and I'm supposed to be doing revision for my exam, which takes place on the 9th of October - am I ready? Heck, I'm not!
The plan was for me to do The Rover extract for question one, The Color Purple for prose, at question five, and six Lit & Gen poems for the poetry section, at question 8 - this is the real basic, pared down version of what you can pass the exam with. Well, I've sorted out the poems I want to do: Ain't I A Woman by Erlene Stetson, Wherever I Hang by Grace Nichols, Any Woman by Katherine Tynan, An Obstacle by Charlotte Gilman, The Bridge Poem by Katherine Rushin, and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning.
I had to choose Lit & Gen as, although there were many poems that I enjoyed in the Romantics section, none of them held me like this selection did - I was going to choose Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, as it blew my mind when I first read it, but it is just sooooo looonnnngggg, and my poor abused memory just can't cope with it :~((.
I was a good girl, and organised all that I needed for revision into a separate folder to my A210 course work, and I even organised it into the three sections of Prose, Play and Poetry . . . much good it's done me! I've found that since I started to revise, the moment I settle down to it, something happens. I either get a visitor, have a family crisis or, as it's been for the last week, my health has severely let me down - I so want it to be the 10th of October right now, so that I can face the morning with it all over bar the shouting!
As an aside, I'm having grave doubts about doing U211 in Feb. I've been reading the posts from the students who are currently revising for their exam, and they all seem to be saying that most of the exam involves remembering oodles of facts from the course - with my memory, I'm really worried that I won't stand a chance in the exam, and so I'm seriously considering changing my course for Feb., and maybe doing A215, the Creative Writing course. It's something that I was planning on doing after U211 anyway, and it involves an ECA at the end, instead of a formal exam - what I might do, is see how I cope with this exam first, and then see how i feel afterwards? I'll keep you posted as to my decision.