doctor who

Alienated Talking Bricks (in Bubbles …?)

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Had a good week. A very good week! My Genre coursework is AT LAST completed and submitted, now I can take a nice long break from unicorns and superheroes. Unfortunately I still have work to do–meh–but the big one’s done. Done! Hooray! I was beginning to think I’d never finish it.

And I’ve finished the second song to submit for Lyrics. Well, I think I have. I’m going to wait a while and have another look at the second verse, see if it does need another tweak, but I think it’s finished or at least virtually finished, which means I’m up to my quota on lyrics to submit for marking–just the critique to go, which while trickier than I anticipated is still looking to be much easier than the Genre critique was.

I also finished another song–not one I’m submitting, as it’s based on Shadow Charge and harder to appreciate without knowledge of the story. I had planned for it to be my second song for coursework, but wasn’t sure when it was finished and showed it to a third party with no knowledge of my novel, who agreed it didn’t really stand alone. But in the context of the story, I’m happy with it, so it wasn’t a waste.

Extract from ‘Leave Me Alone’:

Leave me alone! Let me go!
I can’t take the past’s torment
If bricks couldn’t talk I would be all right
But they can and they whisper through the night
Haunted by what I never wanted
I was only trying to make things right

Posting more would spoil the novel plot, so that’s all you get!

A while ago, one afternoon over coffee dregs, I drafted a couple of Trock songs, something I’d wanted to do for ages but didn’t actually plan on trying before I’d finished all my coursework. But my brain had given up on everything else and I thought, why not? Probably because my brain had given up on everything else, only one chorus is actually more than note form. I quite like it though I wish I had more than that. Still, one day …

On the subject of geeky writing, I surprised myself by making progress on two fan fictions in the last couple of afternoons that hadn’t changed a jot in months. Both Doctor Who, well, that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Still neither are at a point in which I’d feel comfortable making them public, alas, but still, progress is progress.

I know what you’re thinking, but fan fiction falls into the same category as fan songs, or anything fan-based really: only when my brain has exhausted everything else. Which is sadly why most afternoons you will find me watching the telly, too knackered to finish all the one-chapter wonders I started posting online prematurely over the last seven years (wow, has it been that long?). Which is why I’m being a lot more careful with the newer ideas, i.e. the Doctor Who ones.

I’ll stop talking geek now, not that I’m apologising for being one (never!), but just not to alienate (pun not intended) too much anyone just stumbled on this blog. I promise I don’t only write about geeky things.

I also write about … stars! I like stars. I’m still learning the constellations, I’m quite a newbie to astronomy, but loving it. And I write about other things too, can’t think of specifics off the top of my head but I do.

I’m coming close to leaving home. As in, for good as opposed to during term time. It’s a scary thought. Not in one go, I’m moving into a flat in a town near my parents, so the idea is over time I’ll gradually clear out my old bedroom so one of my brothers can have it. Might take a while, living in two places basically means having two of everything–or it does for me anyway. I’ve been lacking the energy for a real clear-out for years, but being closer to home is looking to be the time to do it.

I’m going to miss London, but I’ll still be going to Neo Writers and astronomy meets (not all of them every month). In the probably naive hope that one day I’ll be able to afford to move back there on a permanent basis. (Don’t burst my bubble, people.) And my friends had better visit or else …


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Well, I’ve almost finished my presentation. Just need to check one detail when I get home, then print it out. My laptop internet’s been playing up for about two weeks now, I have to find somewhere with The Cloud wifi (the only one that’s working) just to check my emails because my TARDIS phone is still being serviced. Ah, isn’t technology wonderful. And all this after switching from paper diary to online calendar. Great timing.

Still, I had a weekend off, sort of. Since it was Mother’s Day I went home to surprise my mum–although it turned out she’d guessed I was coming; you should never try and surprise your mum two years running–and just spent some time with the family, trying not to think too much about coursework or accommodation next year.

Tip for presents: Years ago, my mum got a pair of treble clef earrings for a present, which she loved, but the first time she wore them she dropped one, and we never ever found it. So I had the genius idea of getting her another pair, and she was delighted. Personally I love to give homemade gifts, but haven’t for a long time due to the energy needed to make them–but you can show the love with a bit of thought, much better than going for the old cliches.

On a less positive note, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just can’t continue living in London next year. Thanks to government cuts and all that. I really don’t want to move away from the little social life I have, but needs must. My parents have been telling me this for months, I think they’re relieved I’ve finally accepted it. Still, I’ll be coming to London a lot, so once I’ve moved I’ll change my ‘location’ on Twitter and the like to ‘Losunsdonex’ (London and Sussex). Well, why not?

Well, I could just be boring and put ‘London & Sussex’. Then people would actually know what I mean. Hmm …

Finally finished my ‘projects’ poem yesterday (couldn’t find a link to the prompt, it’s in a book my tutor uses). Well I say finished, just got to add in a quote or something, then I’ll have a complete first draft. The poem is called “The Gift of Soup” and is my third attempt to write something with the prompt (and the first success at it). Unfortunately since it was hard enough making it into a poem, I still need to write a prompted song. So I’m going back to the ekphrastic idea. Just have to find some inspiring art. Well, what’s the internet for?

Why Do I Always Type ‘Questino’?

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Been mega-busy this morning and yesterday morning with coursework, need a break. I’ve been looking at a computer screen so much, and telly when my brain’s left the building, I’ve been looking into radio programmes–well obviously not literally looking into them, there’d be nothing to see–to listen to when my eyes are strained.

I would download all the Milton Jones series from Audible, only one series being available on CD which I already have in my posessino (yes the spelling is intentional), were it not for my trying to conserve money. Until I feel financially prepared to bring something new to my ears I will make do with the one MJ CD I have, Yes (Prime) Minister with my eyes closed, and continue to struggle to find radio stations on my television. Because one cannot lie down comfortably in my headphones. Unless I get speakers … hmm …

Was researching for a presentation today–enjoyed it much more when my internet gave out yesterday and I was forced to write lyrics instead. And afterwards I began some Twitter poetry (Twittetry?).

I seem to be developing a habit of looking to my fiction characters for inspiration, whether from my original work or even, for one song, a fan fiction plot. Still, I made the plot up and it’s not like I mention any names or anything in the lyrics. I got a good song out of a plot that could, with character replacement and plot tweaks, potentially be an original novel. I think I just find it easier to write a song for a deadline from a perspective I already know; so far I have written none (since I was twelve, anyway) from personal experience. Okay, a half-draft sitting on my hard drive. But unlike my poetry, which draws mainly from personal experience, my songs are about other personas.

My fairy-tale themed “I’m Not the Woodcutter” came, strangely, from my novel in progress Crossfire, though you wouldn’t believe it to look at them both together–one image I put in the song then took it over. “Restore My Reflection” feels more obvious, comparing with the fanfic plot, but I don’t believe it is infringing any copyright. Besides, if  Chameleon Circuit and the like can actually sell their CDs, then I’m sure a much vaguer connectino (and again) isn’t going to cause any trouble.

To explain the spelling, when I type I often seem to end up with “tino” instead of “tion”. Sometimes I just go along with it.

Very Bad, Then Very Good

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Well, it’s been an interesting day. Delays on both the Tube and National Rail mean I never made it to the charity event I was supposed to be helping to run. I left Waterloo feeling pretty stressed, but after an hour’s nap and a couple of hours listening to a CD of piano hymms, I feel nice and soothed. Plus the PJs and plum tea help.

Also, strangely, after the awful morning I had I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it, but I decided to take a quick look at my ekphrastic poem notes before settling down to watch Hustle all afternoon, just in case there was any spark left in my brain that could do something. My brain surprised me enormously by not only being able to cope with putting the notes into a first draft, but came up with, and started writing, two song ideas as well! Now that is one heck of an achievement for me. Maybe my brain is improving, or maybe it’s a fluke, but at least I’m nearly settled for my tutorial next week now. Thank goodness. Now all I need to do is schedule my glasses appointment and pack for the NSPKU conference, which crept up on me!

I’m not going to think about the rest of my coursework. That’s Saturday’s problem.

300px-Rosette_nebula_LanoueOh look, it’s February 14th. I did know that, I just kind of forgot in the hassle of the day. My take on Valentine’s Day? Like Christmas, a good thing that’s been smothered by consumerism. Not saying I don’t mind roses and hearts–I am a romantic at heart–but would rather receive something more personal for Valentine’s Day than the same as what everyone else gets. I read a very good Doctor Who fanfiction a few months ago where the Doctor takes Rose to see the Rosette Nebula for Valentine’s Day. That’s a tough standard to beat. But I’m sure someone who knows me very well will be able to come up with something.

As a point of interest, that fic was what started me Google imaging nebulas, which gave life to my then-vague interest in astronomy. I fell in love with the beauty of the universe.

Random Things I Learned in Nov

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– What a red letter day is (and now I keep hearing the phrase everywhere …)

– Organising a Secret Santa is confusing if you’re brought in near the end and not told who hasn’t been given a name yet.

– What a fatigue life is in engineering. But I’ve forgotten now.

– Just because a laptop is brand new doesn’t necessarily mean it will always connect to the internet without problems.

– My mum was probably right in not letting me have a Furby when I was a kid. (Though if they ever bring out a version WITH an ‘Off’ switch, I am so getting one!)

– Pret a Manger is pretty nice. Probably good that I don’t live nearer one.

– How to connect a laptop to my TARDIS*.

*a.k.a my smartphone. If you saw it, you would know why I call it that.

Wrestling With Hoovers

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My fruits of today are a nice clean carpet, my Kindle samples transferred over from my old, broken one to my new Fire, and a significant increase in wi-fi usage minutes by looking up all the links in “Astronomy for Dummies”. Well, okay, not all. Just the UK-relevant ones.

I’ve had stars on the brain since I’m planning on joining an astronomy club, first meeting in a couple of days. I can’t wait. I’ve been planning a visit home to see my family, I’m hoping that when I’m there and away from city lights, they’ll let me sit up on the roof for a bit with my mum’s binoculars, my first evening stargazing. I think I’ll probably miss the Leonids meteor shower, but maybe I’ll catch the Geminids next month.

Straying away from astronomy now, my Nutshell poem was workshopped yesterday, and it went pretty well. I also think my tutor liked it, if her expression when she read it was anything to go by! It still needs some work, but I’m pretty confident I’ll be submitting it as one of my marked pieces.

It’s the song that’s going to be harder. I never did finish the elegy, I’ll go back to it at some point but I’d rather work on something else for submitting. The thing is, I’ve only ever written three songs in my life, and all of them when I was about twelve so they weren’t great and I have no idea where the lyrics are now. Unless you count The Rhyme that I wrote for my Doctor Who fan fiction, though I’m not sure if it counts as I never gave it a tune.

Hmm, this post ended up nothing to do with hoovers at all. Thought I should mention them again so the title doesn’t seem irrelevant. Hoooovers …

PS: I promise I’m not drunk. Just tired and rambling.

Crazy Week

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OK, it’s been a weird week.

I learned a valuable lesson from the Expo. If I want to be included in anything that begins “First 100 people …”, I need to get there far, far earlier. I went wanting to do three things, and in the end could only do one, and spent three times the amount of time I spent having fun, queuing. Disaster.

I feel the need to point out that I practically never have two days (well, half-days) out in one week, especially not following a conference weekend, in fact I rarely have any days out at all unless you count writing in coffee shops. Which don’t really count. My brain wouldn’t function when I was working at home–I’m never trying that again–and now I’m laid up in bed with aching legs from all the queuing. Finishing my ‘God Save the Queen’ song for class is going to have to wait till Monday.

National Novel-Writing Month is growing nearer and I fear I’ll have to give participation a miss this year. Next year should be no trouble as it will be part of my coursework project, but this year, barring a miracle happening in the next few days whereby I unexpectedly finish my outstanding coursework before November starts, it looks like I’ll be taking a back seat. Think I’ll still go to a couple of the write-ins for the social, and use them to work on my coursework or, failing that, some half-dead fanfiction. Should also help me not to feel so left out.

I really wish the OLL hadn’t scrapped Script Frenzy, that was amazing and actually what spurred me into wanting to write television scripts. I have no idea what I’ll be doing for my independent project next year, it could be a novel or a script, either way NaNo will help, even if it ends up changing completely from the November draft. Like Crossfire did, that one was pretty much improvised and has changed a lot in the last few months. I still haven’t had the time to go back and go over my scripts though, or my first novel draft—all of those are probably going to have to wait till I’ve graduated, sadly. Still, one day I’ll be able to spruce them up.