Saturday, August 29, 2009

And it's getting nearer . . .

There was a knock at the door just before lunch today and, when I answered it, I found a deliveryman at the door. He handed me a parcel from the O.U., and I immediately brought it into my office to open.

Inside, there was a spiral-bound copy of my new A363 course book!

I've given it a brief look through so far, and I am impressed with the quality of the work. I will be very happy to be starting this course soon, and am determined to give the book a quick read-through before the course start date. I could see already that there were words and phrases being used that I'm not very familiar with, so this is the ideal opportunity to go through it, taking note of things I need to look up, and then I'm sure the course work will go a lot more smoothly for me!

It looks like I need to resupply myself with various coloured stick-it notes, and some more notepads to use as a writer's journal, especially as I'm almost out of it all now!

I am really looking forward to October!

In the meantime, I've just sent off another poem for a United Press competition - this one being the Local Poem Competition 2010. I've written a poem called Mouth of the Aeron, about the town just a mile or so away from my village, so I just hope the judges like it!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

I've heard back from the sci-fi mag . . .

I received an email from Neo-opsis, the magazine I had sent my first grown-up sci-fi story to and, as I had mostly expected, they didn't want it.

The reasons, to my relief, weren't that it was absolutely awful but, as the very kind editor explained, she:

'got the feeling that the story wasn't over, that And There is a Right Way was only a small part of a much larger story, and [she] felt somewhat cheated with the way the story ended. Other publishers may not feel the same way. They will love the story just as it is written.'

So, along with the disappointment, there was also much encouragement to persevere with this!

What I'm going to have to do, is decide whether to contact the list of publishers she, very kindly, gave me, or whether to work more at the story, and maybe develop it more fully than it is, especially after she indicated that it felt only part of a larger whole . . .

I guess this is something I should sleep on, and decide after I see if I'm capable of developing it further.

I see that tommorrow will find me looking at the various publishers I was given, to see if my work is suitable 'as is' and, if not, a thorough examination of my work so far seems the next step.

Ah well, I never expected the life of a writer to be easy so, 'on, on,' as they say! Lol

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Well, it's definitely a start, anyway . . . Lol

I got an envelope from the O.U. in the post yesterday, and I was quite excited opening it up, as I hoped it would tell me something about my new course.
It actually contained all the transcripts I'm going to need for the CD's and the DVD that will be part of my new A363 course.

I receive these, as my hearing isn't brilliant, so I can't hear the CD's as clearly as I need to, and I'm more grateful to the O.U. than I can say for this facility. It actually means that I can really go over what is said, and pinpoint words or phrases that have a significance for me during my course work, and it makes life so very much more easy for me.

It's this sort of thing that makes studying with the O.U. so very good for me, and for many more students with problems both physically or otherwise. The Disabled Students Association does a lot of work behind the scenes, organising things for every disabled student that asks for their help and, although there can be a few problems with communication, and the occasional hickup where applying for this help is concerned, on the whole it does a sterling job for us, the students.

I know for a fact that there would be no way I could have continued on doing my courses towards a degree, if they hadn't provided things for me that help me with my study, like the laptop I'm currently writing on, or the software called 'Dragon' that enables me to write my essays when my hands are too painful to type, and it's this sort of thing that the O.U. are renowned for, and that make such a difference between success and failure for me. They truly do try to make the playing field as level as they can for us students with problems, giving the restrictions of finance, and they should be proud of the advances they have made towards helping to make as many disabled students as possible to have access to higher learning.

I have just completed the third of six courses necessary for my degree, and I wouldn't have got this far without the practical help they offered, and it means I can continue on towards the next goal - my very first Level 3 course - with the confidence of knowing that I am supported whenever I need it!


Friday, August 07, 2009

The results are in!

I went online this morning, and got an email from a fellow student and friend, telling me that she had her results.
As soon as I read this, I immediately signed on to the O.U. site and looked for my results.

I was over the moon when I found I had a Grade 2 pass! I got an overall score of 82 - just 3 points short of a distinction! Lol

This has really made me even more determined to continue on with the Advanced Creative Writing course now. I know it won't be the same as this previously taken course, but I am looking forward to learning about the mysteries of scriptwriting, 'though I have to confess to being a bit more nervous, since I heard that one of the students who did the course with me has decided that she'd rather not continue with the advanced course.
I'm just hoping that I find some like-minded friends among the many students who have signed on to do A363!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

40th Anniversary of the Open University

I was looking on the BBCi Player for something to watch, and I came across a programme celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Open University.

Lenny Henry was fronting it as he had been a student at the O.U., and I found it fascinating how the whole conception of a University education for all had been envisioned and made possible all those years ago, when I was just a child of 7 - there, that tells you my age, doesn't it? {grin}

I remember all those late night-early morning programmes, normally on some obscure, to me, scientific topic, that I ended up watching when my daughter was a baby, and teething, or ill and, although I didn't understand a lot of it, it still fascinated me. Then, later on, as TV became a lot more sophisticated, how I enjoyed the many programmes made in conjunction with the BBC, especially all the earth sciences ones. They brought a taste of the world into my back-of-the-beyond home, which started up that thirst for learning once more, although I chose Literature and Humanities, rather than Science.

This programme has also made me think of how easily it might have been stopped at a few points in it's early years - and I wondered just how many people's lives would have been so different if it hadn't been continued. I will be forever thankful for all those early pioneers, both in government, and the course writers and tutors, for all their work that ensured that the O.U. became a leader in home learning.

It makes me shudder a little, to think of how easily I might not have been able to continue my education. An education that had been halted due to financial necessity, as I was needed to bring home a wage packet at the time I wanted to go on with my learning. It amazes me that I hadn't really heard of the O.U. at that time, at least, I wasn't aware that it might be an option for me, otherwise I would definitely have become a student then. I guess the people responsible for advising me of my options, as conservative as they were, didn't think it necessary to mention this wonderful choice - I guess I'll never know why. But I am eternally grateful, to my daughter initially, and then my husband, for encouraging me to "go for it," as my daughter said!

Because of all those dedicated people, 40 years ago, I am now half-way through my degree and, even now, I'm desperately trying to think of ways that I can finance going for an MA once my BA is under my belt!

That's the problem with this O.U. lark - it's so impossibly addictive! {grin}