Monthly Archives: November 2008

I am sooo tardy it’s ridiculous!

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted on here!

So much has happened since the last time, that I’m almost lost for words – well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration?

Since my last post, I’ve done six weeks of my course, and passed my first eTMA with a comfortable 67% – not as good a pass as I’d hoped for but, unfortunately, with a creative writing course it’s all a bit subjective as to whether your tutor will really love the way you write or not.

My study-buddy group have discussed this, and we’ve decided that it’s purely the luck of the draw as to whether each of our tutor’s will love our style of writing or not – a little unfair maybe? Well, I guess there’s all the technical stuff that we’re learning to take into consideraion as well – let’s be fair, you can write the best story or poem in the world but, if it’s full of spelling mistakes, and the syntax and grammer are appalling, then you are bound to lose points!

As well as coping with all the various activities we’ve been set, and trying to remember to write in my notebook whenever I think of something, I have also made an epic journey (for me, anyway!) across country from the coast of west Wales, to Norfolk in East Anglia, in order to visit my family for the first time since I left there 24 years ago!

The visit was both emotionally and physically exhausting for me, but I’m so very glad I went – taking my daughter with me, who hadn’t met most of her relatives since she was five! I spent an awful lot of time crying, but they were catharctic tears, and I’m all the better for them – and I was so happy to see Mum & Dad again.

I was so saddened that I hadn’t managed to get there in time to say my goodbyes to my sister Caron, who died of cancer just a couple of weeks before I made it, but I visited her grave, and said a prayer for her, and was glad that she was out of her pain at last.

The unfortunate side-effect of my visit, was that it has taken me a couple of weeks to recover from it all physically. I didn’t realise what a strain it had all been on me, until I colapsed when I got home. That’s the trouble with having so many things wrong with me – there are times they all gang up on me and tell me ‘enough!’

But I’m almost back to what I call normal for me – still mostly bed-bound, but at least I’m able to think again, and I have just managed to catch up on my course work again – I absolutely hated being behind! Lol

At the moment we are learning how to develop characters and settings, and I’m having a lot of fun developing my own ‘voice’ in my writing – it’s become a real adventure for me, and great fun to discover just what my mind will dream up when I give it a scenario, or ask it a question.
This was my last activity from yesterday:

I was instructed to invent a character, and place him, or her, into a place of historic interest, or with an atmosphere, then I had to write 250 words in which my character feels ill and worries about the symptoms – this is what I came up with:
Feeling Unwell

Sarah stood silently while the guide expounded on the history of Grimes Graves. She wasn’t really listening, as she’d started to feel strange the moment she had reached the cramped floor of the pit thirty feet beneath the surface. The dimness of the place was oppressive to her, and she felt that, almost within range of hearing, there was the faint, echoing, tap-tap of antlers on stone coming out of the grated openings of the shafts.

It amazed her that anyone could have fitted into those small openings, and that brought it home to her how much humanity had physically grown in the thousands of years since these men had come in search of flint for tools.
Sarah felt a little giddy, and she leaned against the rough wall, hoping that the faint sickness she felt wasn’t anything serious. She started feeling hemmed in by the closeness of the people around her, and had a picture flash in her head of falling so ill she would need help back out of the pit.
She started to take slow, but deep, breaths, slowly in through the nose, and out of the mouth. The giddiness started to recede, and the roiling that had started up in her stomach settled quickly. Of course! It was a touch of agoraphobia – that hadn’t happened to her in years!

With the panic receding, Sarah tuned in once more to the story the guide was telling his rapt audience – thank heavens nobody had noticed her temporary affliction!

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