Tuesday 22 September 2009

All happening at once

Blimey what a week and its only Tuesday!
The Level 1 students start next week so we’ve been busy getting information packs ready and course notes printed. Everyone else is back the week after so we’re busy getting returner packs ready too. I am quickly running out of space!

Then there are the veg beds at home which ‘im outdoors has finally secured together and meant a trip to the landscape centre early Saturday morning for soil to start filling them. I think you’d all be impressed with my shovelling.

Also out this week is Guildford Book Festival agenda. I’ve only had a quick flick through, but I’m not that impressed. There are a couple of sessions I might go to, as they would enhance my OU course, but the things that looked most interesting are the sessions taking place in schools. Disappointing.

On top of all this I’m getting more information about A363 which start scarily soon. I now know that my tutor is called Carmen – I expect you’ll be hearing more about her in the next 9 months, and I’ve got at least 2 day schools in Southampton at the University. Makes a change from Corydon.

Monday 14 September 2009

Chris Brookmyre and some other guy

On Saturday evening I drove to Reading for the Reading Crime Writing Festival and Mark Billingham and Chris Brookmyre's talk.
I ending up sitting right at the back due to a very poor map and missed some of Marks jokes - he used to be a stand up comic, but I didn't miss any of Chris' taking, although the acoustics of the room and his strong Scottish accent didn't make listening easy.
It was a good session. They talked a bit about what they do and read a little from new books then answered questions about where they got their titles from and what they think of TV/film adaptations etc. What made this different from some of the other events that I've attended was that the people here were obviously readers not writers. The questions were about the guys on the stage not how can 'I' improve my writing. This was very refreshing, after all I came to see a favourite author so I want to hear from him.
Then to top it all off Chris signed my copy of The Sacred Art of Stealing, which is a fab book. What a nice man.
So all in all a good evening, even if getting there was hard work.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

The Return of the Writers Group

Yesterday saw the return of the writers group. Yay!
I nearly missed it, but luckily Outlook knows what I should be doing and gave me a poke.
I wasn't the only one with nothing to read out - phew! But that doesn't feel good for the up and coming A363.
If you could travel back in time to any historical event, what would it be? Now describe it. What are you doing there? Are you one of the participants? Or just watching it? What do you see? What do you hear? What time of day is it? Are there any particular smells?
Which is interesting as I've an idea for a story which starts in WW1.
Anne also says; 'Doesn't have to be accurate either - don't worry too much about the actual facts. Just enjoy being in someone else's viewpoint in a time not our own!
If you need any help thinking about history, there's the World Wars, the Battle of Hastings, the English Civil War, the Fire of London, Columbus, the US War of Independence, Joan of Arc, suffragettes and plagues - as a starter.' In many ways there is just too much choice!

Thursday 3 September 2009

A363 Advanced Creative Writing

Yesterday when I got home there was a brown cardboard box waiting at the top of our stairs for me. You know the thing – the sort of carton that Amazon send their books out in. Only this one had ‘Urgent course materials’ written in large letters on one side and ‘The Open University’ written on the other.

Yep, that’s right; my books have arrived for A363 Advanced Creative Writing.
I am scared and excited in equal measures.
Just flicking through the thick text book is exciting, seeing all these new things I hope to learn. But looking at the study calendar is very scary. This is an A3 sheet with the section of the book you should be reading, any audio or DVD sections you should be listening/watching against the date, with each TMA (tutor marked assignment) marked nicely on the right so its easy to see all your deadlines. It’s the section of independent study over Easter next year that really scares me!
So there I am. All set for October 10th when this all kicks off. All I need now is my tutor’s details and the name of my online forum and I can get started.
I just wish I’d found more time for writing over the summer…

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Thrive Landscapes - LIVE!

Did you all have a lovely bank holiday?
I know it rained but I didn’t mind so much as it made it easier for me to finally finish the website for ‘im outdoors. Now instead of 2 pages of nothing much, he has 7 pages and a flickr page which I hope enhance his business.

Check out the new Thrive Landscapes pages and tell me what you think. If something doesn’t work on your browser let me know what it was and the browser and I’ll try and fix it. If something isn’t simple or you can’t work out how to do something tell me. I’ve tried to make it as user friendly as possible, but it’s easy to get too close to things. I hope this is the start of something good.