In Awe of Twilight

I have a confession to make and I can’t write this post until it’s done; I never had any plans of reading Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Nothing against Ms. Meyer, I didn’t even know what they were about. My aversion stemmed from the over hyping of the serious, millions of screaming teenage girls etc. I got sucked in by the whole hype thing with Christopher Paolini’s Eragon, and decided there and then, NEVERMORE. I’d love to dedicate a whole post to how much I loath Paolini’s books, but I feel that the least said the better, let’s not add to the hype. So that is my I was unfairly prejudiced against Twilight and I hope all fans can forgive me.

Luckily for me Twilight got made into a film and for that I will be eternally grateful. When I saw the film at Christmas I was struck by the raw emotion of it and of course (as anyone who knows me would have guessed) I was near tears for the majority of it. I decided then that I would read the books, that I HAD TO read the books, however due to various other reading commitments (reading lists for uni, the huge pile of unread books in out living room) I never quite made it out to the shops to get the series. Then came May 2009 and I had mostly finished my writing course, handed in one of my essays for A210 and the pile of unread books was no more, so when I saw Twilight on one of my weekly shopping trips I picked it up to read after the weekend.

One chapter in and I was hooked! I started reading on Sunday and on Wednesday morning I had finished all four books (on Monday after finishing Twilight I went straight to the bookshop and bought the New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn). Inbetween reading I watched the film twice, first on the pirate copy we bought at Christmas, and then the proper copy as I went and bought the special edition because I just had to see the special features. And then of course I bought the soundtrack, which was perfect. So yeah I am now a Twilight fan, and proud of it.

Because the books were labled as YA fiction I did have my doubts, most if it would be insanely and unrealistically angsty as teen fiction tends to be. Well there is angst, no doubt about it, but good angst, the kind you can believe in. The raw emotion I felt in the film is even more evident in the books, and I cried, if possible, even more whilst reading. I was in awe of Stephanie Meyer’s ability to write in 1st person, it’s something I’ve experimented with myself on occasion, but I’ve never quite got it right. This story is perfect for it though, by seeing everything through Bella’s eyes the reader gets more invested in the tale meyer tells. And as Bella is without a doubt the character who changes the most through out the series the reader is given a more complete picture of why Bella changes the way she does and why she makes the decisions she makes. Without  Bella there is no story, without her Edward can just go on with his life as he has for the last 90 years, he won’t miss what he’s never had.

In any case, reading Twilight inspired me to dig out an old story I started about 8 years ago and now i have two pieces for my ECA. Both are the beginning chapters of a novel, the first one, the one I was originally planning on sending in is a Timetravelling-ish story where our heroine jumps from 2009 and right into 1815 and the Battle of Waterloo. It let me combine my love of sci-fi/fantasy and the Regency era and I’m quite please with it, even if the ending is a bit weak. But now of course I have a contender and this is more a urban fantasy/ supernatural drama kind of story. It started out 8 years ago as a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sequal, except there was no one there from Buffy, the similar things ware The Watcher council, slayer lore and Watchers. There isn’t a single vamp in sight, instead we have other things which go ‘bump in the night’. As the story developed and I stopped plagarising Joss Whedon, the Watchers Council became the  Assembly of Elders and consists of humans, ‘good’ demons, witches and other beings (this is still a bit sketchy), the slayer becomes an immortal warrior who can live for ever, but who is not indestructable. So she could easily live for several millenia without aging, but shot her in the head, plunge a knife in her heart she is as dead as the next person.  The watchers are called mentors or companions, and can be human, or not. They live their normal life spans, so are regularly replaced, once a warrior has lived a while and gone through a few mentors these are usually relegated to the post of research assistant because that’s really all the use they are. In any case the story begins with the current warrior, a girl who looks ot be in her 20s, having almost lost a fight. She survives but has completely lost her memory, the beginning of the story is really her quest to get her memory back and identify who her true allies are. It’s changed so much since I started writing it, and I think some more changes are waiting to happen as there are quite a few things I want to change, need to change, but these are more in the later story so the beginning chapters should be fine as they are.

To make things even harder for myself I do have a third story ready for the ECA, a pure Regency story with quite a bit of drama. I am reluctant to send it in though because while I am really happy with 90% of the novel, I am not happy with the beginning and that is the part i would have to submit. Well I still have a few days to decide and polish so at this point everything is possible.

I’m not entirely sure how I went from a post on how much I love Twilight (wanna-be teenie that I am) to talking up my own writing, but oh well. All I wanted to say was THANK YOU Stephenie Meyer for a brilliant books series.

It’s been a while

My beloved blog, I have missed thee so much. Living without Internet is a real pain and not something I’d recommend. However it is a self-inflicted problem as ordering the Internet is something I could do instead of lazying about everyday.
Well enough of the self pity and loathing. This is just a quick update to say Hola, and to confirm that I am still among the living and enjoying Abu Dhabi and UAE VERY much.
The weather is great, quite cool at the moment, but summer is fast approaching. Apparently once we hit June leaving the air-conditioned comforts of your house is not an option, so we’ll have to enjoy it while it lasts.
Well that’s all for now, busy getting A210 stuff in order not to mention A215 so have enough to do but once internet is install I’ll be back with a vengence.

The Waiting Game

It’s been a month now since I last saw my hubbie, and at the moment I’m eagerly waiting for my visa to come through so I can join him in Abu Dhabi. How ridiculous is it to be married for 5 days before your brand new husband leaves the country? I’m just really fed up with it now.
At least my writing course keeps me busy, I’m really enjoying it despite the near disaster of not being able to submit the first eTMA. Luckily my tutor was very helpful, and I was able to submit it a few days later instead, crisis averted. I just hope it was worth reading, I’m so nervous about getting it back, what if I don’t have what it takes to be a writer? Apparently it’s due back on Friday, until then I will have to continue my fretting and sleepless nights. I have this heavy lump in my chest thinking she is going to hate it.
In other news Nanowrimo is going really well, yesterday I hit the 50,000 mark which means I’m more than half way to my target of 100,000 nifty spiffing words 😉 I love writing this story, it’s like 3 years of thinking coming together making it all fit nicely with each other.
Tomorrow is the last day of the working week in Abu Dhabi so if I have no visa news then it will be Sunday at the earliest that I will know. Fingers crossed everyone

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The End Is Where We Start From

Said by the ever wonderful Captain Jack Harkness of course and also the title of Shem’s new story which you can read at HG, remember you have to sign up to read stories there, but then the JA FanFic posted there is among the best there is.
But more of that later, the end I’m starting from is the end of A103. It’s been a long way coming, and I am so relieved to have it all done. Now I can consentrate on the creative writing which I’ve been harping on about for a while (oh had y9ou not noticed, sorry must aim to do more harping).
I bought the material for the course a while ago on eBay, and have looked at the different parts, but nothing in-dept. We haven’t got our materials yet, some problem at the printers or something, but I had access to the PDFs for a while so have had a look at the TMA etc, and they don’t look too intimidating 🙂
Being a bit bored today I thought I’d post my old HG drabbles, as not everyone will want to sign up there to read them.
Enjoy

The End Is Near

Well thank the gods and goddesses for that. I personally cannot wait for A103 to finish, and to start A215. I’ve ordered some books for the new course, The Chambers Dictionary 2008 ed. and The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary amongst others, coz let’s face it when it comes to poetry I need all the help I can get.
I think I spend more time on the A215 forums than A103, although I will really miss some of the people there, especially the Oxford Gang and the people I’ve met at Day Schools.
I’m not really in a typing mood today, I couldn’t sleep last night and then when I finally fell asleep I didn’t wake up till midday, and have been dreadfully tired all day.
Back to work tomorrow, more mindless tasks, working for people with less than half my intelligence. It’s my own fault of course, I can do something about it, quit, apply for new jobs etc.

I just need to get my ass into gear!

Still writing TMA07

Yupp, fraid I am. The deadline is of course midnight tonight (1st of August) and so far my word count is 22 words. So that’s just another 1478 left then, I have a great essay plan drawn up though and plenty of examples, but I just can’t seem to get started. For anyone interested here is the essay title:

With careful reference to two of the works studied in Block 5, show how attributes traditionally associated with masculinity and femininity are contrasted.

Of course as I already blogged I chose WSS and DJ for my two works, which I don’t regret at all because both are so full of examples. And herein lies my problem, where to start?
I have given each work 500 words, which I have a feeling will be way too little, but it just can’t be helped. I was originally going to look at them side by side, but I’m saving that for the conclusion now, I think. I’ve further broken it down so that each work will either have two paragraphs of 250 words, or three paragraphs of 175 words (stealing a few words from the introduction).

Well I suppose I’d better got on with it, but I’ll keep you posted on my progress, shall we say every two hours?

Eagerly anticipating my new course

A215 Creative Writing was the reason I found the Open University in the first place. I was just going to do that one course, no thoughts of a degree or anything, until I started looking around the site. Of course I was hooked in an instant (of course), and started A103 first to ease my way in. Along the way I decided that a BA (Hons) in Literature sounded nifty so that is now the ultimate goal, though the other courses to reach it change now and again.

But back to the much anticipated A215, this morning I received the course material which I bought off eBay. That thought is got get a bit of a head start on the course material, especially as one month into the course it is of course NaNo time. So my plan before September would be
1. Work through “The Ode Less Travelled” by Stephen Fry
2. Work through Part 1 of the A215 work book
I’ve bought myself a special notebook to use for the course, and have slowly started filling it with various ideas, though I’m having a hard time of quitting my old habit of just opening a Scrivener template and writing an idea down 🙂
I’ll let you know how if goes, as I think I’ve said before I’ll post anything I write as an exercise from The ode… on here, can’t vouch for how good it’ll be though.

It’s been a while

It’d been a busy month and a bit, with work, studies and writing. Feel really bad about neglecting my blog especially as I have so much to say :0)
So since last time I’ve had TMA06 back, not as good as 05, but a respectable 75%. Quite happy with that considering I re wrote the whole thing after realizing I hadn’t answered the question first time around.
Now we’re on to TMA07 of course, the long awaited literature part of A103. I decided early on to use Wide Sargasso Sea a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, telling the story of the so-called ‘Mad Woman in the Attic’. Personally I’m not a fan of either novel, though I am becoming a bigger fan of WSS than JE. I think it is because I can’t understand why JE goes back to Rochester in the end, she is independent at least, not obliged to listen to anyone, and still she goes back to a man who betrayed her and made a fool out of her. Now fair enough she did this for love (what other reason could there have been), but how can she trust him after knowing he locked his first wife away in the attic and pretended she didn’t exist. What in theory is to stop him from doing the same to her if he ever wanted, by marrying him she would be relinquishing her independence again. Of course if Rochester looked like Toby Stephens, I might come running back as well 🙂

But back to TMA07, my second work to use for the essay is Strauss’ Don Juan

I was really worried about doing the music piece at first, after all I’m not very musical in the academic sense of the word. But I’ve passed the course now and as long as I make the pass mark on the last three TMA’s I’ll be happy, so the time has come to experiment. What clinched it for me was the A103 study day in Manchester on the 12th, the lecturer on Don Juan, Graham Roberts, delivered an excellent lecture and made the whole process so much clearer and simplified. it was definitely a very helpful Day School.
I’m off work this week, so the plan is to get kicking with the essay, but knowing myself I’ll find a way of leaving it to the last minute. 1st of August is the deadline, I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

While I’ve been neglecting my blog Doctor Who has finished, as usual the finale had me crying my eyes out. Catherine Tate was amazing, she definitely proved that the Doc Who peeps had chosen the right person to be the Doctor’s companion. I’ll write more about it later though, as I think it deserves it own posting.

In other news I’ve been writing on a few new ideas, not really much meat on them yet, but they are coming along. One looks to be a fairytale, or rather the story of a fairytale, the other one is a contemporary story, though not quite sure of the angle yet. So far there are just a couple of characters on some unrevealing scenes, but I am putting Scrivener to good use, figuring it out. I’ve also been spending my time typing up my old hand written Forgotten Enemy story. But more on that some other time.

I suppose it’s time to sign off, more tomorrow if I’m good 🙂

The Queen of Blogs…

Though unfortunately not the Queen of blogging, you would actually have to remember to post more than once in a blue moon for that title. This is my new start, trying to get my act together before starting A215 Creative Writing with the Open University in September. I’m hoping this will be a nice outlet for blogging about my day, writing and everything else 🙂

I also have two other reasons for doing this blog:
Firstly I have a dreadful habit of scribbling things down everywhere, and then end up loosing them, never to be seen again. So my plan is to now post some here, at least the more complete scribbleries.

Secondly, I’m terrible at doing writing exercises, I’ll start them with the best of intentions, but not complete them. So with A215 in mind I’m gonna work my way through the writing exercises in Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled, as poetry is a definite weakness of mine.

I usually write Historical Romance, which I’m scared will be frowned upon by A215 tutors as people tend to look down on you when yo mention this as your area, just to put the final nail in my coffin it is specifically Regency romance I write. There, I am out

I also write fantasy, modern and more traditional. The modern tends to be very BtVS, Angel, Charmed, Hex etc influenced, whereas for the more traditional my inspiration comes from David Eddings (Belgariad and Mallorean especially), though nowhere near that at the moment, as well as Elizabeth Moon and Papa Tolkien (though that really goes without saying)

Currently I’m studying A103 An Introduction to the Humanities with the OU, and loving it 🙂 About half way through at the moment, so scarily getting towards the end. The ultimate goal is a BA (Hons) in Literature, which should take 3-4 years (I hope).

Well it’s the end of another bank holiday, and time for bed, so this should be enough for now.

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