kethni: (Default)
 It's nearly midnight here and I've finally managed to get post.

I've had a pretty horrible year and I hope like hell that next year will be better. It wasn't all terrible, I got to spend a fantastic week with boudecia7 and leadaisy in Vegas along with my dad, and that's always going to be one of my happy memories :) I also had two short stories accepted for publishing in anthologies, although they haven't been published yet. 

But most of all I had the support of all my friends here through the worst year I've had in a long time. So thank you all and here's hoping that you all have a wonderful New Year. 

kethni: (Hmph!)
Last year as part of the brief insanity that was 'I'll Never Get Published Legimately But Maybe I Could Get Somewhere In Competitions', I entered an erotic story for an anthology.

I know, I'm not a good erotic writer and those things are all purple prose and giant spurting love meat bullshit. But I figured since I was making an idiot of myself trying to get somewhere writing I might at least do it comprehensively.

So, the date for submission was sometime in July. Last July. And I was told 'I'll be reading for the anthology over the next few weeks, and I hope to get back to  everyone by the middle of August.' Pretty clear, yes? I should hear by August.

In September having heard nothing I politely emailed saying that I figured they'd decided not to use my story but could they please confirm. They replied that they were still in the process of reading the submitted stories. Bit rude not to have told people that, I thought, but okay.

In October - three months after submission and two months after they initially said they'd get back to us - they emailed saying, guess what, they were still reading submissions.

It's now the end of January and I wandered over to the website out  of random vaguely masochistic curiosity and guess what?

They've extended the submission time for the anthology to March and are calling for more submissions.

Calling for more submissions. After stringing everyone along for months they're now taking more submissions. I do not even know what to say to that.

kethni: (Excited)
The picture of good old Darcy getting his lust on is especially apt as I'm reading 'Death Comes to Pemberley' at the moment :) I did start wondering how the notoriously finicking Austen community felt about a profic stab at a Murder Mystery sequel to Pride and Prejudice, and then decided they were probably busy recovering from the spasms over Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Anyway, I'm now finished for the Christmas hols. Yaaaay! Everyone in our office at work has taken tomorrow off with the exception of my boss who spent all day sulking that he's going to be in on his own all day. Should've saved a day's holiday, eh?

Not that I'm doing anything madly exciting tomorrow. I'm hoping to make some real inroads in my next assignment which is a radio play adaptation of the short story I did for my last assignment. It wasn't exactly groundbreaking the first time around although possibly I may be part of a select group of people to wonder what kind of noise a wet cheese sandwich makes when it's thrown at someone...

On Saturday we head off to Rome for a few days. Hopefully it'll be fun and we'll be able to find places open to eat! We have tickets for the Vatican on Tuesday so at least we should be able to get in there okay. I'm not sure how many people to expect there at Christmas. We went at Easter last time and that was completely insane. I have the camcorders charging, my passport with the itinerary, and pocket money. Tomorrow I need to get the new printer working and book in online. Oh and pack :P But that never takes long. I'm a sweatshirt and jeans girl who generally can't wear makeup so that helps reduce wardrobe anxiery.

I'll be sure and look out for any interestingly dirty art. In Rome you don't generally have to look far ;)

kethni: (Reindeer)
So I want to see some wishlists people ;) Don't be making me try to guess what you want for Christmas.

This goes twice for you, [ profile] leadaisy, since you've got a birthday too!

kethni: (Bullshit)
take a course and then bitch about the tutor :P

In addition the activities in the text book, the additional activities per week, AND the 'writing gym', my tutor has also added this as a tutorial:

1) I want you to stage ROMEO & JULIET in the round, on a proscemium stage, on a thrust stage as a promenade. How do you think it changes the play.

2) NOW, take a favourite film of yours and select a dramatic scene in which something important is revealed. Use a split stage technique in the round or promenade. How does it change the script? How does it effect the dialogue?

Is it me or do both of those sound far more complicated and time consuming than can be justified by the possible learning? Plus, this is a writing course, not a theatre course. (Bearing in mind this is the tutor who told me that drama is not a "genre". Plato would disagree).

Anyway, goodness knows how much time this man thinks people have. I HAVE plenty of time generally but there's no way I have enough to keep up with the tidal wave of activities, even the ones I can see the point of.

kethni: (Bitch)
From @bbcbreaking 'PM David Cameron threatens to withhold UK aid from countries that do not reform laws banning homosexuality'

I can see what he's trying to do and I applaud the attempt, but doesn't that just mean that gay people in those countries will be persecuted and have less aid? Isn't it a bit like all the well intentioned, but shortsighted, campaigns to boycott companies that use child labour? In those cases all that happened was the either the factories closed or the children got sacked. The children then either starved or went into prostitution. (Yes, I know that now there is a huge amount of pressure for child workers to receive a decent wage and get educated. This seems like a more pragmatic and sensible solution to me.)

I'm not suggesting I have a better idea. I don't. I'm just not sure this is a good idea.

And I'm also pleased to live in a country where this is on the agenda. I'm not a Tory by any means but I can't say I don't support Cameron's desire to do something about the issue. But lets not invade anywhere, 'kay? Pretty please?
kethni: (Bravo)

Today is World Mental Health Day. Less fun than Talk Like A Pirate Day but in its way covering a subject equally dominated by stereotypes albeit less fun ones than one legged men growling ‘argggh Jim Lad!’ Part of the reason for World Mental Health Day is to breakdown those stereotypes and to demystify the whole issue of mental ill health. For some reason when the topic of mental illness is raised the image of some poor soul in an asylum seems to be the automatic response.
Associating mental illness with insanity is rather like associating physical ill health with cancer. It happens. It’s a part of the story. But it’s by no means the whole of the story.
There are millions of mentally ill people all over the world. I guarantee that at some point in your life you WILL have known someone who was mentally ill. You may even have known someone who was severely mentally ill. You may have known it but you might not. They might not. Mental illness is one of the great taboos that still exists and while it is still stigmatised the people who need help the most will remain the least likely to seek it.
My family are quite fortunate in terms of physical illness. There’s no history of breast cancer, diabetes, or glaucoma and although both my grandfathers died relatively young they were both heavy drinkers and heavy smokers. Both my grandmothers are still alive and both physically hale and hearty.
However mental illness is extremely common in my family: chronic depression on the one side with delusional behaviour and dementia on the other side. My mother, my sister, and my stepfather all suffered nervous breakdowns during my childhood and adolescence. My mother has suffered from chronic depression her entire life. During my teenage years she suffered paranoid delusions that she was responsible for all the terrible things in the world.
I’m not going to lie and say that her mental illness, which ranges from moderate to severe, didn’t affect my sister and I. It did. But my mother did the very best she could in incredibly difficult circumstances and it was enough. She raised two children who are decent, caring, and responsible people.
My mother’s mental illness does not define her anymore than a physical disability would define her. She’s a strong, intelligent, loving person who simply happens to have an illness. So please the next time that the topic of mental illness is raised, whether its depression, dementia, schizophrenia or something else, remember that it’s just an illness. Please think of the people doing their very best to live regular lives and look after their loved ones.
Thank you.
kethni: (Oh my!)

I went to see 'As You Like It' at the Royal Exchange today. It's not one of my favourite Shakespeare's plays since it seems pretty flabby and also suffering a lot from random exposition of the 'I've just met a bloke nobody's heard of and he told me this massive plot point, so that's good' disease.

Anyways, this particular production decided to go with modern dress and set dressing while keeping the language the same. They set the scenes at Duke Frederick's palace in a Playboy Bunny Club which meant all the actors and actresses wearing bunny ears. That was bizarre enough but Peter Ellis, an actor I grew up watching on The Bill, was in the play. Wearing bunny ears during several scenes.

On the other hand the wrestling scene was done WWE style which was pretty funny. Additionally Charles the wrestler was wearing an extremely tight leotard that showed he was rather too excited about the upcoming wrestling match...
kethni: (Batman)
I send off my final assignment of my Children's Literature module today, yay! My next module doesn't start until October so I have some free time on my hands. (Oh the horror!)

So I'm looking for some recommendations for books, films, and TV shows you think I might like.

Also, boudecia7 and I are plotting a matt-a-thon/fic-a-thon for August/early Winter, to cover both our birthdays, so any suggestions or thoughts for that would be great.

Thanks <333
kethni: (Default)

As part of my Children's Literature course I just watched a very brief documentary on a kind of production-line writing of kid's books. A team of people brainstorm an idea for a series (no individual books here apparently) and eventually produce a summary of the plot, the characters, and the themes. The guidance they produce is generally around half the length of the book to be written. So for a 60,000 word book they're getting 30,000 words of guidelines.  Thirty thousand words! That must specify pretty much every character beat and description, every plot point, and probably most of the descriptors.They then have half a dozen writers on their list submit a couple of chapters based on the guidelines and pick one with an 'interesting voice' to write the book.

This is the point I started laughing because, really, now you want your book to have some kind of individual voice? They're written pretty much by committee and the poor writer has zero input into characters, names, plot, or anything other than the mechanics of which words to choose. The guy in charge even admitted that the 'author' of the books is the company, not the person actually writing the words.

Anyway, my course material asked if I was 'shocked' now I'd seen the film and if this would affect my purchasing decisions?

Well, I'm not shocked since children's serials are notoriously formulaic and I already knew of at least one serial where the so-called 'author' is actually a pen name for a dozen or more actual writers. I do find it a little depressing to think of those poor writers who are basically working on a kind of literary production line. Not that creative production lines aren't without precedent, I'm told that a lot of the Italian renaissance paintings had students and employees doing to the background while the master concentrated on the more important parts. But those paintings at least had a controlling mind, a genuinely gifted painter, guiding the work. These committee written books don't even have that.

Would it affect my purchasing decisions? I don't have any children but if I did I suspect I'd be much less likely to buy this kind of thing, purely because I'd snobbishly assume it wouldn't be as good as some book that a children's author has worked and slaved over to perfect.

But, honestly, I'd probably simply be happy to have my child reading SOMETHING. Not every book can be a classic and not every meal is cordon bleu. I'm sure I read masses and masses of trashy books when I was a kid. In fact I'm sure I did. I read all of the  Star Trek: Original Series and Star Trek: Next Generation novels (around 300 or so), as a kid and none of them is any kind of a work of genius I'm sure. Hell when I was a kid I practically inhaled books and particularly series; Discworld, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Chronicles of Narnia, The Chronicles of Prydain, Lloyd Alexander, and every TV novelisation I could findI wasn't remotely choosy about the quality of books I read and maybe that's where kids score over adults. I read anything that looked a) science fiction, b) fantasy, c) detetective fiction, and when I was a bit older d) a little bit naughty (or even better, a LOT naughty).

Now I don't read nearly as much as I like and I um and ah ridiculously over what I do read. Why? I have no idea. I'm certainly missing out on all sorts of great stuff because I'm finicky. I have a pile of novels to read and what have I been looking at this weekend? Faulkes on Fiction. A non-fiction book about all kinds of interesting fiction books and characters.

So while production line writing isn't likely to produce any classics, and makes me feel bad for children's authors generally, maybe it's not such a bad thing for the children. It's feeding their desire to read and if what they read isn't good quality then it isn't likely to hang around in their imaginations. Junk books win over junk food because they only bloat your bookshelves, not your waist line.


kethni: (sick)


Customer: I need to know the regulations about aerosols.
Me:           We can't provide regulations for you. :cough:
Customer: You can't?
Me:           No :cough: you need to ask your DGSA. :cough: 
Customer: Um?
Me:          If you're selling products :cough: that are hazardous for :cough: transport then you need a dangerous goods safety advisor. You could :cough:cough: ring the HSE hotline and ask them for :cough:cough:cough: help.
Customer: Do you have the number?
Me:           :cough: Sorry... :cough: no.
Customer: I'll look on the internet mybe. And you're the Health and Safety?
Me:          :Epic coughing fit lasting about 30 seconds: 
                Ironically, yes. I'm the Health and Safety Officer. 

kethni: (Default)
Manager: (Rushing around busily) Assistant, I need images 31 and 32 taking off this phone.
Assistant: (Looks at phone)
Manager: IT will do it for you. Just bob down there with it.
Assistant: Oh ok

Assistant leaves the room. Manager leaves the room.

Assistant returns.

Assistant: I didn't need to go to IT. It just a case of pressing delete.
Me: Manager deleted the images?
Assistant: No, I just did it now. She said to take them off the phone.
Me: Oh. I thought she meant upload them to a computer for printing out.
Assistant: Oh shit.
kethni: (Cat Cuddle)

I just posted off my assessment to the University for examining, so that's the hated Creative Writing course all over bar the actual score. I have four months now until I start my Children's Lit course. It's the first break I've had since I started studying. I'm planning on reading all the texts well in advance and doing a summer Matt-a-thon hopefully with [ profile] boudecia7 and as many other awesome people as want to join it.

The builder has finished. For the first time since March I have a bathroom floor without holes and a bath that can be used without fear of the floor collapsing. This is A Very Good Thing.

The dreaded work meeting went off yesterday with pretty much no hitches. Boss had his most stupid ideas flattened I'm glad to say.

Finally had word from the eBay seller who hasn't sent my stuff and has been ignoring my emails. Apparently she was sick but MAGICALLY got better just after she received notification from eBay that I'd opened two disputes with her.

It's a Bank Holiday! Whoo! But wait, I have a week off! I took the week out to finish off my assessment but it's already done. Guess I'll just have to spend the week chilling out, bugging [ profile] boudecia7 and writing fic :D

Tomorrow I'm taking my mum to the theatre to see Pygmalion. It was her birthday yesterday so the theatre trip is her main present. She's already had her Chocolat DVD :D 

Going Postal is on over the Bank Holiday Weekend! I am SO psyched! The only way I could be looking forward to it more would be if they were showing one of the Watch novels or Unseen Academicals instead.

Yays, good things happening.
kethni: (Default)
Hi All.

Thanks so much for all the ideas for my assessment. Some of them I'm thinking might work well as fic :D

This is my assessment for my Creative Writing course. It's the final assignment and worth 50% of my marks. (Next module I'd studying Children's Literature.) 

I'm marked on:

Language - Both clarity and precision of language and to it's creative use: adjectives, metaphors, stylistic flourishes and rhetorical devices. (Rhetorical devices is a catchall for all sorts of things like allusions, analogies, hyperbole, and understatement)

Voice - The creation and sustaining of author's style which might include tone, point of view, dialogue, and observation.

Structure (which I always have trouble with) - Effective organisation of the writing. Balance of showing and telling and appropriate development of the story arc or plot.

Ideas - The content of theme.

Presentation - (another weakness!) Correct spelling and grammar as well as sound editing.

If anyone could offer any thoughts, suggestions, point out typo's or anything else on the following I'd be very grateful!

(I don't have a name yet. I hate names. )


Read more... )
kethni: (Help)

(I finally got an icon for 'help!' since I ask for help so much)

I have my end of course assessment to do and it's 50% of my marks. I need to get started ASAP and for the life of me I cannot think of a single idea.

I only have 2500 words so I can't do anything particularly complicated or with lots of characters.

I'm thinking something about the relationship between a couple of people or possibly a day in the life type thing. But I can't think of any scenarios or themes. If anyone has any ideas for characters, themes, or scenarios I'd be very grateful. [ profile] boudecia7  suggested a clone story which I like the idea of but I'm not sure where to go with it.

Thanks <333


May. 9th, 2010 02:39 pm
kethni: (Default)
My tutor has just reminded us that our end of course assignment, which is due in June 4th, is FIFTY PERCENT of our overall score.

I hadn't realised this! I haven't done any work on it yet! ARGGGGGH!

Also it has to be hand written and sent in the post, which means being posted off around the 1st of June. SHIT!

I am so screwed.

Also, I thought the end of course assignment was 4000 words, but it's only 2500 :( I know it sounds like less is better but not when it comes to writing a complete story.

Waah! Woe is me!
kethni: (Butt)

This is my penultimate assignment for my evvvil Lit course. If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, typo alerts, or anything else I would be very grateful.



Read more... )


kethni: (Default)

So, one of my activities in my current module is keeping a diary for two weeks. I have to write an entry every day of 100 – 200 words.

But I’m not a diary person,my life if not exciting or clever or interesting. It’s not even especially funny. I can’t really write 100-200 words every day for two weeks on what I had for tea or what I watched on the telly.


Quite why writing a diary if some kind of a creative act I don’t know, especially since fibbing is strictly verboten. (For some reason spellchecker has no trouble with “verboten” despite it being a German word. At least I think it is.)

Can you guys help me out? Ask me about news or movies or SOMETHING. Because I’m all written out.

K <333


kethni: (Default)
Bwahah! I got paid 3.5 hours extra time for the conference last week. That's in addition to the day off in lieu I took on Friday :) Extra money, a day off, a 3 course dinner, a breakfast, and a 2 course lunch. And people wonder why I don't mind going to conferences :)

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