Still Struggling

‘Well, I can’t give any more, So now I’m giving up. ‘Cause nothing’s ever good enough.’

These lyrics from Good Enough by Hoobstank might be taken out of content, but they really say what I am feeling right. However, the other side of my mind is fighting against that and trying to stay positive, but that’s a hard thing to do when you are feeling down and worthless. I don’t want this post to be an emotional out pouring of my issues, I’d rather do that in private, but I’ve not written in awhile and well, I’ve got things on my mind. So maybe my out pour will help people to think or find their own voices on these matters.
I’ve just completed my four weeks of work experience. I wrote a few weeks back to say I was starting it and I did want to write another post about my experiences there, but I’ve been really busy and tried. Plus trying to juggle everything was really hard. Now that’s it’s over I’ve gone back to having more time, but I already miss it because I had something physical to do and I was motive. I got on with the people and became a team member too. I liked having different stuff to do each day and though some of the tasks did get boring and I did repeat things, I still give it my all and worked to a high standard. At the end of the day it proved I could work in an office and that I do fit the role of receptionist/admin, which was what I really wanted out of it.

It can be easy to become stuck with certain skills and not be able to expend out. Thinking in terms of a writer this seems true, but actually I know we do a lot more then that. A writer has to take on all the roles in a business team generally; boss, receptionist, admin, PA, account, writer, editor, proof-reader, researcher, mentor, tea maker and drinker. They sometimes become publisher too. I guess we don’t realise that though, but it is true. Having a job like a plumber or electrician can bottle the skills and some people feel like they can’t gain anything different. That’s not true. There seems to be more courses and sessions then ever before now to expend skills and knowledge. I don’t believe that a person can say they know everything. They might know a lot, but that knowledge won’t be about everything in the world. However, I do think that people can reach a point where they don’t think they can gain any more skills or knowledge. Sort of like me. What I lack is the experience and right now I think that is something most people suffer from.

Yes, my work experience went well, but as of yet it hasn’t helped me into a job. I have no idea why and if I knew what the issue was I’d be trying to fix it. However, I know everything is fine at my end. The problem seems to be with the employers. So granted I won’t be suitable for every job I apply for, but I’ve not even been given the chance to prove I could do the job with some of the others I’ve applied for. I don’t know why I’m being so over looked and I don’t know how to change this. I know there are certain things to put in cover letters and in CVs to attract the eye and make mine standout, but even that seems to have got me no where. Knowing the reasoning behind that would make me feel better, but I guess employers don’t have the time for such things.
You know what else gets to me though? This reliance on technology. Grated it is easier to write and send off job applications and its easier to find jobs. But I hate these personality and other quizzes some companies make you take. I get the idea of it is to cut the number of applicants so that only the ones suitable for the job can go of interview, but the problem with these quizzes is that it can under value some people. Like me, because I suck at those quizzes. For example, today I did a quiz for a customer service job at a bank. Now you’d think that I’d be a good person to give an interview to because I’ve had experience and loved doing a customer service role. I’ve just proved I can work in an office and do admin duties. Okay, so I’ve not got an experience selling products to people, but I had to sell my uni to visitors and I was able to do that. I’m young, hard working, wanting to learn and meet new people. I’m good with computers and I’ve a good phone manner. I’m not so good with numbers, but I’ve learned how to cope with that over the years. I just don’t understand and once again I’m starting to think there’s a problem with myself and that’s the reason why I’m struggling.

The other thing I also hate is how some companies want you to fill out a form that basically is your CV but just differently formatted. I don’t understand why they bother with this, because it means you have to spend more time sending them information that you are already sending to them in your CV and most of the time there’s no space for expending on things like the modules you took or else going into detail about your last job. So that seems pointless to me and gets me wondering why they just can’t be happy with a CV? I think that applying for jobs in some cases has become a lot more harder and complicated thanks to technology. You spend ages filling in stuff and then don’t get anywhere because you forgot to tick one box as it got lost under something else. Worse yet is when the website crashes or doesn’t save! I can think of lots of times I’ve just finished off an applications or part of one and it’s not saved or sent because of a problem on their website. Life was easier when you could go into these places and ask to speak to someone about the job. You could hand in a CV and talk to the people. You could leave feeling satisfied that they will call you back, whilst instead when you click that send button it just feels like a relieve to have completed all the forms.
I’ve not really put this into the actual context I meant to write it under. Basically, this whole thing has come about because my adviser at the jobcentre put me down this morning. I know that I am on her target list to get off jobseekers and into work. She thought it would be an easy enough thing to do and that I’d have got something a few months after signing on. It’s not been the case and I keep coming back. I hate going to the job centre and I hate having to sign on even more. It makes me feel so useless and like a bad child at school. I know its not true, because I’ve a good education and have proven I can do so many things. I’ve also proven I’m doing all I can to find work and I don’t think I could give any more. I feel like they should be offering more support to me and getting me to stay positive. Instead when I leave I feel so upset and depressed by the whole thing. Of course that then means I’m not in the mood to look for a job and like now I end up questioning myself and trying to figure out what’s wrong with me. Plus it also impacts on my whole day. I was at the jobcentre for half ten this morning and its now twenty to eight and its still all on my mind, worrying me and making me feel bad and emotional. At the end of the day, that shouldn’t be happening and that’s not how I should be feeling after speaking to them. Maybe next time I shall have to find my voice and tell her to stop putting me down.

Technically, I shouldn’t be there anyway and if I had it my way -job or no job – I wouldn’t go. My problem is the money and the hole that would create on my CV. I need the money, so that I can travel to interview places, so that I can have down time with my friends- though its been ages since I was last out drinking and mostly this time has now became dates with my boyfriend-so I can buy stuff and not feel like a teenager begging money off my family. I actually save my money too. I keep it and only spend it when I need to. I buy myself a small treat like a new book or cd or my favourite sweets once a month if that. I’d like more money to become independence, to learn how to drive and to save up to get my own place.

I need to end on a positive note or else I’m just going to go to bed tonight in this depressed mood. So, here is my one good piece of news today. When I got home of the job centre, they phoned me to tell me that a job had come up and that they had recommended me for it. I just needed to send my CV to the place and then hopefully I’d be called for an interview. Now the job is actually something I could do and would be very happy to be doing as its selling books. So, now I’m just waiting to hear back and I’m keeping fingers crossed for it.

For my next post I want to write about e-books and the changing reading habits of people because its been on my list to write for ages and I so need to do it. I also want to get that new review started on here and see how that goes. So, look out for those.

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Fifty Shades Of Grey Review: ‘Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks’

Well, I’ve done it. Done what I said I wasn’t going to do when the madness started this summer. I’ve officially read Fifty Shades of Grey. Why? I hear some people cry. Well, it’s for two reasons. Firstly, so I can now discuss the book knowing I’ve read it and have a complete opinion about it. Secondly, from a writer’s point of view I wanted to know why this book was so popular, why people were saying what they were about and if I could gain anything from writing in a same vein. As a writer, it’s important to read the ‘now’ popular books because the publishing industry often likes to publish similar styled books on the back of one that is currently very popular. Once they know that this is the kind of thing people are reading, they are eager to look for more. There’s nothing wrong with that and I should point out that I am happy for E L James. She has managed to do what published and unpublished writers can only dream of and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, and before people start thinking this is going to be a ‘good review’ of the book, I should point out that it’s not going to be. My inner reader and writer have a massive disliking for this novel and I want explain why I’ve so many issues with this book. (This may turn into a massive rant, but it shall be a very backed up rant!) I plan to try to keep my language suitable for all readers, but you should know right now that it’s not going to be possible with this genre of book. However, I shall try and use different words that mean the same thing, which Blogger.com and readers shouldn’t take offence to. Also the FS memes was an idea suggested by a friend and though I wanted this post to be serious the book makes it impossible to do so. Also some of the memes express my views really well.

The origins of books are often questioned. Authors sometimes say they have no clear idea where their books came from, others say they seeking answers to a certain question, exploring the possibilities of a person or event. FS came from Fan Fiction…Twilight Fan Fiction….Now I’ve nothing against FF, I’ve never felt the need to write any myself, though I’ve often wondered about characters in that frame of mind, but who hasn’t done that in some form? As far as I know, none of the characters I’ve written in my novels are based on characters from another piece of work. That’s not how my mind thinks when I write. Need I get into the whole Twilight thing?? I don’t want to, but I just know it’s going to have to pop up again. So, I best get this out of the way too. I hate Twilight with a passion. Good for Meyers for written a very popular book, but once again that’s where it ends. I feel like she has almost shamed vampires by what she’s written. Moving on!

James then rewrote FS after people started saying it was good and changed a few things….mmmmm..I’ve never read the original FF and you can’t actually get a hold of it anymore because she took it all down. Did she do this in a bid to get more books to sell or because she was worried about being found out that all she had done was changed the names from that of the Twilight cast? There’s a lot of stuff going around about all this background stuff and truthfully, I don’t care. The book was discovered and published…though I’m sure it only got published because of the increasing popularity on the Internet because honestly, I don’t know how it managed it….

50 shades of grey - blue

All through summer, the only thing I heard was people talking about this book. How good it was and how amazing the characters where, how it made them feel ‘free’ and more passionate. Well, good points to a book that makes people feel that way…but even before I’d read anything about it or picked it up, I knew it was terrible and just a passing fashion. I mean how is it possible for a book based on Twilight, from a first time writer, to take over the world? Well…having now read it I can explain my theory. Before I even get into reviewing it, I shall admit to a shocking thing; within the first few chapters I became addicted. Not because of how it was written, the plot, the characters, my connections to it or because it stirred some deep feelings inside of me, I like the rest of the world had to discover what made Christian Grey tick. And now I know the answer to that, I can’t believe I got so into this book!

First off this book smacks of Twilight so much. The main characters; Christian and Ana read just like Edward and Bella did. They are one dimensional, have a limited vocabulary, never fully develop and follow the stereotypes of innocent and evil characters. You’d think that James would have made some attempt to change her characters and allow then to develop when she rewrote it….but nope. The plot is also the same! Girl meets boy, but she can’t have boy and believes he doesn’t like her. She tries to convince him that he should like her and it turns out that he has liked her all along. Then girl can’t cope with his demands and ends it. There are probably a lot of books that also have this plot story at their core and they are probably a lot better! Okay, one thing at a time.

So, Ana. She’s 21, a new grad from college, wants to go into the publishing industry, she has a love of British Literature and Twinges English Breakfast Tea. Believable so far right? Okay….she’s also a virgin, never had thoughts about sex, never touched herself, never fancied a boy real or fictional. Still believable? Yeah, maybe in the 1800’s! But this is the twenty-first century and I don’t believe a single word of this! Maybe, if this could have been explained like with her being religious and it being within her faith to behaviour like that or if there had been some trauma relating to this. But no. We are made to believe that Ana is a complete innocent who has no interested in boys. We are also made to believe that she is like Tess from Tess of the d’urbervilles.I’ve not read it, but I can see some similarities because they are both young, innocent women who get used by ‘evil’ men. She also claims to be clumsy -remind you of anyone?-but that hardly comes across in the second half of the book. Why are all innocent girls made out to be clumsy? I don’t know, but she really didn’t need to be and it just didn’t work for the heroine she is trying to be. Ana then falls for the guy of her dreams completely out of the blue and I’ll get on to him in a few. But she’s never experience wanting or love before, so how does she know what this is? And why has it taken her so long? Then we get the whole cliché of her wanting something she can’t have and if she’d just stayed away like her instincts, friends, family, even the man himself had said, this book would have been so much shorter and better for it too! But no, she like any innocent girl has to go and get mixed up with a guy who’s past is dark and leads to his ‘odd behaviour.’ And she puts up with his demands, she agrees to things when she’s clearly not ready, she wants to impress and change him because she’s so in love with him! Then after everything, she is pushed too far and finally sees sense! Problem is she’s too involved and we know that in book two she’s going to go right back to him!

Christian is 27, multi-millionaire, owner of his own company, has everything a person could dream of, loves classic music, playing the piano and gliding. Somewhat believable….not believable is his dark and mysterious background, which is the real draw of the novel, as I pointed out before. He was adopted into what he says is a ‘perfect family’. He’s never seen with a woman, though he attracts them all the time. (He surrounds himself with blonds too.) He’s made out to be a Greek God and untouchable, like he’s the most sexist thing to walk the planet….seriously??? I felt nothing, no attraction, no sympathy, no connection. (Beside from my deep feelings of rage at badly written characters). We learn he was abused until he was four years old, though how much he remembers about this and his birth mother I would really question. When he was fifteen he got seduced by an older married woman, a ‘Mrs Robinson stereotype’ as it comes across. This is where he turned ‘bad’, though he says something along the lines of it saved him, because he got involved in BDSM. I’m going to get to that in a minute. He comes across as being very controlling, all ways wanting his own way, bipolar with his mood swings, aggressive and very set in his ways. A man to be avoided! What really, really bugs me about him though is that fact that he really steals Ana’s innocence. (If you suspend your disbelieve about that and god, you’ll have to do that for other things as well!) All the love/sex scenes they have echo rape and violence to women, he introduces her to BDSM when she clearly has no interest and is scared of it. He doesn’t take the time to get to know her personally, preferring to stalk her and he struggles to communicate. We know he’s not going to change, no matter what he says!

As for the other characters in the book? I could go on about them too, but we’ve a lot to get through, so briefly. They are all just as badly written! I couldn’t connect with any of them and they were all so boring. I had a major problem with all the single males who Ana knows because they all fancy her. Why do writers think it’s okay to do this? So Ana might believe she’s not pretty, but why have a bunch of guys we don’t carry about pop up throughout and try to date her? We know she wasn’t interested in the past, so why do they carry on when they must know this too? It’s really not needed. The whole thing of them being there to make Christian jealous? What’s the point?! He all ways gets what he wants and he’s so not going to let any of them stand in his way! Ana’s attitude towards her best friend and housemate is annoying. Understandable though because I got annoyed with Kate too! She’s perfect, someone Ana wants to be like, but she has more sense. Or does she? She stays away from Christian only to get with his adopted brother! We don’t know anything about this guy, why should we be bothered about their relationship? And why does Ana act like they’re having the perfect relationship when she can’t possibly know? Parents bug me in this book too. I giggled at the advice Ana’s mother give her because it sounded so unrealistic and didn’t suit the mum’s character. We learn a lot about Ana’s parents and hardly anything about Christian’s. These characters are just there being useless and trying to make other characters seem real. Oddly, I did manage to connect with one character and that’s Tyler. I really felt for him having to be at the call of a spoilt, control freak. Clearly, he gets paid well and has dedicated his life to his job. I was interested about how he was always in the background and could pop up without anyone noticing….Is he a ninja? What he says also interests me, it’s clear he likes Christian a lot and worries about him. He’s happy that Ana is on the scene and maybe he hopes Christian will settle down and become more calm? I’d like to find out more about his character.

Now, I’ve already pointed out the core plot of the novel, but I’ll look at it in more detail now. It starts off with Ana having to go and interview Christian for the student magazine, because Kate has the flu. It’s not really love at first sight, but they both feel an odd attraction to each other. Then the rest of the book is spent with them trying to have a relationship, whilst Ana gets Christian to talk about his past. And yeah, that’s about it…there’s no second or background plots and once you know Christian’s secrets, there’s no real reason to carry on reading. It’s written in a first person narrative, so we always have Ana’s point of view. Reasoning behind this? So, that female readers can connect with her and we can remain in the dark about the actions of the other characters. Maybe, if this book had been written in third person or we had a spilt narrative between Ana and Christian, it would have more depth than the cardboard it feels like. Ana’s voice bugs me; it’s too full of conflicting emotion, too full of her whining about things and repetitive statements. Also we get her thoughts all of the time! I can’t recall another first person narrative-there probably is one- where though technically we are in the character’s head all of the time, we get what the character is thinking in an italics. Why? To make her more expressive? To make her words stand out more and readers to take notice? To me it wasn’t needed and you could more or less pick it up from the actual narrative.

The pace of the plot is actually very fast and you do get into the novel quickly. Problem is it lacks a constant flow to the different scenes and jumps the linear time frame all the time. Granted we don’t need to know what the characters are doing word for word all the time, no story does that, but the writing is very jaggy in the movement. Generally, this doesn’t impact on the reading, but to me I like the words to flow probably. Major thing that also bugged me was how Ana keeps referring to her ‘sub- conscious ‘ and her ‘inner-Goddess’. Yeah…have you ever talked to your sub-conscious and actually heard it whisper things to you? Seriously? It’s called a sub-conscious for a reason! Because most of the time we’re not aware of it! Why does James make us believe that Ana has such a deep connection with her inner self and mind? To be honest it’s really not needed, we can see through the narrative and her thoughts what’s going on, why make this inner-Goddess character act like Jimmy Cricket? Ana doesn’t even follow it’s advice anyway. I guess her turning into a donkey and becoming trapped inside a whale would have been an interesting plot development!

This book falls into the romance/erotica genre and has been classed by most as ‘mommy porn.’ Everyone knows that this book contains a lot of detailed sex scenes, nearly all involving BDMS in some way. Once Ana and Christian get together, it never ends and the plot gets lost. I’m fine with these kinds of scenes in books. It’s a normal fact of life and it’s what people do. Also it can tell a lot about the characters and link to their backgrounds without the use of words. From my own experience and reading a lot of supernatural romance books, I know that writing these scenes can be a hard task. You want to convey to the reader what’s going on and what the characters’ feelings/thoughts are in a very short space. However, you can go into too much needless detail and leave nothing up to the readers’ imaginations in the search for finding the perfect way to describe the scene. That’s what I really feel about these scenes in FS. It feels unrealistic and clumsy, there’s no real passion between the characters and the description of the ‘after effects’ are blown out of proportion.

Now the BDMS. James says she did a lot of research, but has she ever experienced anything to do with this? I’ve read a few reviews which contain people who take a part in this views on the book. Even without having done this though, I feel these scenes were wrong. In a way she seems to have got the wrong idea about what BDMS is. She uses some unsafe techniques, e.g. The cable ties that Christian uses to tie Ana’s hands together. Really unsafe as it can cut off blood flow and also feel really unpleasant. And Christian’s playroom is extreme and packed with everything, making it seem unrealistic. And what is up with that contract and not being able to tell anyone? James is really pushing this. Ana should be able to talk to someone about things, having never experienced anything she could do with some actual advice instead of just the internet! And we all know how crazy things can get on there! It just seems that Christian throws her into the deep end of all of this and Ana goes along with it because she’s in love with him. I didn’t get that thrilled by any of this, maybe because it was badly written or unrealistic. James said that she didn’t want to show violence to women, but once again it feels like this is the case. She’s using BDMS to symbolise the relationship between Ana and Christian. He’s in complete control of her life, she can’t escape and he can do whatever he wants to her. For me though, the worse part of this is that James uses Christian’s dark past to explain why he got into BDMS. So, do only bad, traumatised, dark, mysterious men and innocent virgin girls practise this? No! These people are completely normal! They just enjoy a wider experience. I could go on with my unhappiness about this, but I’m not going too. Go to Wiki read about this stuff and then make up your own mind.

The audience of the book is married, (housewives) women who lack sex lives or feel bored and want to fantasise. That’s how it’s managed to spread so much, because it looks at women’s fantasies and appeals to them. It’s spread to other women of all ages and even some men. Actually I think that the Kindle has helped make it more available to people who’d not want to be seen in public reading it. I read the book on the bus a few times though and didn’t notice anyone glaring or trying to speak to me. Then again I’m not embarrassed by what I read. There really has become some stigma about being seen or admitting to have read this book now. Frankly, I don’t think it matters, there has been banned books before and there’ll be banned books in the future. People have a wide range of tastes and there’s nothing wrong with that.

And now we finally get on to the language used within the book. (Prepare for another full blown rant.) This book is so badly written it’s laughable. Just try reading aloud a page or so to yourself or someone else if you like and listen to how the language sounds. Yeah, it might use an adult vocabulary, with a handful of random words that a few people wouldn’t know, a ton of swear words, technical terms and odd phrases. But it’s so repetitive and to prove this I’ll paste and copy some of a table that someone actually spent time doing and posted online;

Word Count:
“Oh My” – 79
“Jeez” – 82
“Murmur” – 68
“Murmurs” – 139
“Whisper” – 96
“Whispers” – 103
“Fifty” – 16
“Lip” – 71
“Subconscious” – 82

Now granted that all books repeat words throughout and most authors go and find similar or same meaning words to use. But that doesn’t happen here and what we’ve got is a very fix vocabulary. Okay so using the same words might make the reading faster, but it gets so boring. I got annoyed that Ana was always biting her lip and that they were constantly talking in low voices to each other. Also Ana’s favourite phrase is ‘Oh my.’ What is she? Straight out of the 1800’s again? The fact that she never seems to have anything else to say is tiresome.

Speaking of which the dialogue is so bad. I know that writing dialogue is mega hard. Making speech sound real in written words is near impossible. You can’t capture the true meanings, the feeling behind the words and what’s left unsaid, which actually happens in real speech. It’s possible to have good and close to speech dialogue though. Epic fail for this book! It’s so unrealistic and it’s trying too hard. I’ve no sense of the characters’ voices which I should get from their words. It feels bogged down with words that could easily be cut and its mega repetitive. Slightly good thing? The use of the emails and texts. At first I liked how James used this as she made the formatting of their communication very clear. But god, she dragged it out so much and over used it that I just become so bored and wanted to put Ana and Christian in an empty room and make them have a deep talk. I get that they can only truly expresses themselves though technology. It’s the way the world is now, people find it a lot easier to say things to people and connect. Fair enough, but a relationship can’t carry on with people only expressing themselves in this way!

About half way through the book, Ana suddenly comes up with this nickname for Christian ‘Fifty Shades.’ From then on this is used and parried up with different things. When I first read it I laughed and thought that James had suddenly came across the novel’s title and then wanted try out a few different ways of putting it. Highly possible, but it also has connects with Christian’s character being mysterious and Ana unable to fully classify him. It also makes the BDSM a ‘grey area’ though and I really disapproved of this.

My major issue with the language is that it has a lot of British idioms. Why when this book is set in the USA and has no connect with Britain, beside from Ana’s love of British Lit and tea? Well, James is British and as far as I know has never been to America. She used Google Earth to get the settings and backdrops. Okay, not that much of a problem as lots of writers do this and set their books or have scenes which involve different places where they might not have been. But not being able to describe things to the reader probably makes the settings unreal. At times I questioned if the setting was Britain or America and a reader should never have to do that. It also reflected on the characters as well and their dialogue. I don’t understand why she just couldn’t have set the book in Britain. Did she think she wouldn’t get as much of an audience? Did she believe that the American setting fitted more perfectly for her characters’ backgrounds, or was she really trying to write Twilight? Frankly, if this book had been set in Britain and honestly, I can see no real reason why it wouldn’t work, I think it might have been a bit better. At least we’d have lost of the confusing idioms!

There are two other books; FS Darker and FS Freed and I shall not be reading them. I’ve no urge to sit through another 500 odd pages (twice!) of this. Oh and they are making it a movie! Three movies actually! Please, I want to be spared from this…Twilight was bad enough! But I do sort of want to know how they are going to do it….make an X-rated version straight to DVD and have a 16+ version at the cinema? If I ever see it I’m going to laugh all the way through it which is what I did with the book.

With that I’m going to wrap things up. At the end of the day I really didn’t like this novel, it didn’t work on a whole number of levels, what with the writing being so bad and the characters being so unrealistic. The idea is a good one though, but I wish it had taken a different view or been constructed with more knowledge. I’m happy that James got somewhere and I’ve nothing against her, it just bugs me how such trash can be published and become popular! I know everyone’s got different tastes and are not all book critics, that’s fine, but please let’s just make this a phrase and get back to reading better novels.

Images from:

www.fanpop.com

http://www.webring.org/hub/altlibrarianwebr?

http://www.quickmeme.com/50-shades-of-grey—blue/?upcoming

http://whatcanilearntoday.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/did-50-shades-of-grey-start-out-as-twilight-fan-fiction/

http://memebase.cheezburger.com/tag/50-shades-of-grey

http://www.fanpop.com/spots/fifty-shades-trilogy/images/31680051/title/collection-50-shades-memes-fanart

http://chzscience.wordpress.com/tag/50-shades-of-grey/

http://failblog.cheezburger.com/tag/50-shades-of-grey

http://www.picstopin.com/600/50-shades-of-grey-dont-see-what-all-the-fuss-is-about/http:%7%7Cp*twimg*com%7CAxSdksVCQAEtAAk*jpg/

http://www.cheezburger.com/

Word count from: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340987215?

A Planned Out Week

Hey readers,

Today is the first day of a new week and whilst today has been calm, the rest of the week is looking a little crazy. Sunday should be a day of rest or a day for the wicked, as the sayings go! I’ve been tidying the kitchen this afternoon and discovering the ‘forgot’ biology experiments my mum loves to keep her cupboards and draws….very icky. I also helped cook Sunday tea, we had gammon which was pretty tasty and I made brownies too.

I’ve also been gathering photos for my scrapbook. Last year, I finished my first ever scrapbook. It was on my first year at uni and contained lots of fun photos as well as a lot of memories. My mum inspired me by creating a scrapbook about my life and giving it to me as an 18th birthday presents. They make really great presents, tho need a lot of time and creativity. There’s a cheat way though that involves designing your own scrapbook on line and having it bound and printed like a real book. I’ve done two of these now. One as a going away present for a uni friend and the other for myself. It really is a great way to display photos. However, creating your own does have a more satisfying pay off.

My next scrapbook is going to be about my other three years at uni and I’ve almost gathered all the photos. It was a difficult choice to decided which photos to put in though, because I’ve so many and not enough pages! I’m exciting to be starting another scrapbook though, it does help to pass the time and it can be so relaxing. plus all the photos bring back so many memories. I think that preserving photos in this way is mega good. Generations can look through them and have a much clearer understanding of the happenings and the people. Lastly, its another creative outlet!

Monday is going to be good. I’m handling in my diss and catching up with two friends, one I’ve not seen in ages too! I’m not worried about handing my diss in because I’m very proud of it. I worked hard and it turned out good. People still think I’m crazy when I tell them in May I scraped the 25,000 words I’d wrote and started it again. It only had to be 15,000. But I was very unhappy with the plot, the characters and the way it was written. I’d spend the two months before trying to fix all the problems, but had no luck. The only way I could sort it was to scrap it all and start again, which I’m happy to say worked and now after the last few months it’s finally over. Come December when I graduate my time as a student will also be over. I’m going to miss it a lot. I’m also going to the new museum in Liverpool too after handing in my diss. So that should be good.

Diss ready to hand in!

 On Tuesday evening I’m off for a job interview and to have tea with another friend I’ve not seen in ages. The job is an interesting one and not what I actually want to do. But, the money is good and well, everyone has to start some place and right now so many people want jobs that you have to take what is given to you. So, wish me look for that! Wednesday its D&D night! Time to fight some more monsters and carry on with the quest. Looking forward to that one. Thursday morning I’m off to a hospital appointment and then that’s it. Nothing else has been booked in, but no doubt something will turn up. It always does!

So for the rest of the night I plan to watch Indian Jones and The Temple of Doom and talk to my boyfriend. My life is going good at the moment.

Reflection

Hey, been ages since I last wrote. I’ve been super busy, mainly writing and doing my Masters in Creative Writing. There’s a few other exciting things that have happened too. Now that I’ve got some more time on my hands I plan to get back to writing this blog. I don’t plan to do a whole load of ‘catch up posts’ because far too much has happened, though there are somethings that could do with being talked about.

I’m due to hand in my dissertation for my masters in two weeks. I’ve done it just need the cover page when I find my booklet. It’s been a really hard task for the last 6 months, but finally my 17,000 words is done and I’m happy that it’s finally over. It’ll be even better when I hand it in! Of course then there’s the whole what happens now issue. My plan is to have some down time, enjoy life for a bit and read/write things I want to. This also means that I can have time to now think about what I want to do.

I think the second major piece of recent news is my new boyfriend. He has an awesome web show about wecomics and movie reviews. Though it’s still newish it’s gaining an audience. So here’s the link; http://blip.tv/tyas I’ll be writing a bit more about him later, I think.

Actually, there is another reason why I decided to start writing this blog again and that is the sad news that my brother’s girlfriend’s dog has died. It was a sudden passing and it has got me reflecting on the loss of my Sandy. My own dog for 12 years, who was with me at the lowest point of my life and saw me through some bad and difficult times. I was thinking about how difficult it was to replace and fill the hole that dogs leave behind. They become like an actually person member of the family and losing them is just as hard. It’s a part of life though and something that has to happen to everything.

On a different and more happier note, I’ve be come addicted to Minecraft. I blame the boyfriend for this! But also my nerd side which has been growing lately. I’m really liking building and crafting things, exploring the area and chasing the animals. Though losing my house has become the frustration of the game. Though, we’ve now got a pathway of lights which is proving the solution to this problem. However, the creepers are now starting to bug me….

Writing Mode

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So much for writing every day! Yeah, had a feeling that wasn’t going to last long, I’m just too busy putting my writing energy into writing essays and novels! I had to take a break anyway after those essays, but the good news is I passed the ones I handed in before Xmas and one of the others I handed in on Monday. So, things are going well there! I got back into writing mode with a new novel idea. These things just have a habit of popping up and sometimes they stick and my head and refuse to get out. So my idea started on a train going to uni, after I’d just finished drawing. That’s a rare thing for me since the only thing I draw are graveyard scenes often with churches, angels or the Grim Reaper as centre pieces. I was wondering what I could do with it and then these story just rolled into my head!

I started writing it after my lecture and then typed it up yesterday. I realised that it was really influenced by Japan. I guess that’s because I’ve been reading and watching Vampire Knight lately and I also want to watch the 3rd series of Bleach. As normal though I’m keeping my story idea under wraps, but let’s just say that it’s about a group of people who collect souls. Very typical with my writing though is the fact I don’t have a clue what the story plot is going to be! So, hopefully I’ll find out as I write some more.

Today though I’ve had to redraft the first chapter of a novel I hope to use for my dissatation. I know that word fills people with dread, but I’m looking forward to it because I just have to write a few chapters of my novel and then its done. Problem is I’m having trouble writing the novel! With this new idea so stuck in my head I’ve been more drawn to write that then do the actual piece I need! I got about halfway through today and now with it being so late, I thought a little more writing on my novel would be good. So yeah that’s my plan after a snack to do that and see if getting more of it out of my head helps! Sure is a problem having all these different ideas when in writing mode. I’ve kept them separate and there’s been no crossing over of things (yet). I’ve discovered that this is how writers work though, they have a number of projects on the go at the same time. Meaning that they have lots of work to do, just like me!

I’m on book 6 of Vampire Knight now, though the addiction is wearing off again. I want to finish reading them this time though and see what happens! I blame my brother for getting me to manga with Dragonball, but its something I’ve now become very interested in. It’s different from the American comics and the art work is so amazing! I started reading a novel called Ascension by Sable Grace too. My best friend made me buy it from Waterstones the other day. It’s okay, very action-packed. She said it was my kind of novel, but I still don’t think it is! Anyway I’ve to finish it so I can read another book for my course, but until then I guess I’ll just read some more Vampire Knight!