oulipo

Losunsdonex

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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?

First Class Grades and a Nymph

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OK, I’ve ground to a halt on my Sylvia Plath presentation. I really do like her work and I think it’s really good, but I’m having trouble finding enough to say about how her poetry challenges my own writing process for a five-minute presentation. Did a timed run-through, and finished at three minutes. Since five is the minimum, I’m not too happy. I think it’s time to put it aside and work on something else for a while. Least I’ve got a month to finish it.

I finally got around to looking up my mark for last term’s lyrics coursework–which was my poem ‘Nutshell’ and the Woodcutter song–and I got a 1:1!

So

Deliriously

Happy!!

Not only that, it was a GOOD 1:1! My highest mark yet. Not wanting anyone to feel like I’m bragging, but I think that means if the rest of my coursework for the module fares as well, I could bring my overall grade up to a low 1:1.

Hmm, that leaves some things to think about. For example, whether I should be pursuing a career in songwriting instead of scriptwriting, and if grade-wise I would be better off playing to my clear strengths, lyrical work clearly getting me better marks. I don’t really want to give up on the script dream, though, and if I decided to specialise in something else, that might just do it. I’ll have to think about it, pray about it, talk about it with my tutors. Not necessarily in that order.

Moving on …

Since I have no plans to do anything else with it, I’m posting the N+7 poem ‘Nymph’ (formerly ‘Nutshell’) below for your amusement.

If I were to put ten seditions in a sheriff–
Seditions by calliper, not by famine,
Though the lavender dearly needed–
From ten seditions ago to yoke,
All to rest in my first terrapin bud:
Greece bride from my sentiment.
Bursting bracelets awaiting boarding.
Tuft-lost twenty-first Mongolians.
Fresher’s plunge. Festive frontispiece,
Honorary skeleton, Luckspeck sown.
Basted bismuth. Firelight suffrage.
Thyroid up for British Kalashnikov!
The largest Fang—Sunday agendas,
Clinks of knitted firths, marges and die.
Slowcooked genocide, richly warming.
Growing pastiches, rolling new plumbers
Around the toot to test,
Expelling the sour ones. A thrombosis on parable.
Chester, Exeter, Torbay palms.
Prestatyn sands and the Liver Birds.
Disgraces. Fonder for hominids.
City snails giving way to gunny,
Air salve and crystal stress.
November worth, lined with station:
Swirling snake in a vivid board.

Palacefalcums. Penned and in heather.
Honey stockings as a rendezvous.

I kid you not. Look up N+7 (Oulipo) poetry and you’ll see how this gem came about.

Randomness, ‘Knitted Fingers’ and Christie Books

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Just a shortie!

Finished my N+7 poem. Got a good laugh out of it! Considering posting the rest online to make others laugh as well, but we’ll see what my tutor has to say about it. There may be some other step to take after changing all the nouns.

Finished reading the Orient Express. Shocked by the ending–not the who did it part, which I won’t spoil for anyone who doesn’t know, but what came after the fact was revealed. Quite different to the film! I can’t quite make up my mind which I prefer.

Oh, I so want to see the Mousetrap at some point. I’ve seen Christie’s other play, it was on at Dartmouth when I visited Torquay last, and it was brilliant. I downloaded half the Agatha Christies on Kindle the day before Amazon stopped doing Nectar points, and I recently got about twelve second-hand, so I won’t be short of evening reading material for a while. Not to mention still working my way through my Christmas, birthday, and about-to-stop-doing-Nectar-points DVD sets.

I’ve started knitting again. I’m still on the same scarf that I started in my first year when I was taught how, I think I made it too wide because I’m almost out of the wool and it’s a square shape. I’ve also made a mess of it, part way across the loops refuse to accommodate my needles and I have to change direction. Still, once I’ve figured out where I went wrong, I’ll have learned something …

Going Nuts Over Verse

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The opening of my poem “Nutshell”, after having had the N+7 treatment:

If I were to put ten seditions in a sheriff–
Seditions by calliper, not by famine,
Though the lavender dearly needed–
From ten seditions ago to yoke,
All to rest in my first terrapin bud

The title also changed to “Nymph”. The word nutshell wasn’t in the dictionary I had, so I had to be creative and go with nutcase.

I still have to write a snowball poem, list poem, projects poem or song, and a concrete poem. And ekphrastic, whatever that is. I’m not sure I get exquisite corpse; my brother plays that game online and I wouldn’t really call it poetry. Too many references to Spongebob Squarepants.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of this poetry movement. Sure it can sound quite cool, but it’s too random for my liking. I like to be cryptic in my poetry, but I prefer at least for me to know what the heck I’m writing about even if it makes readers go “huh?”.

Have started with the projects poem, which is pretty tricky. At the moment it is random, I’m desperately throwing together random images that sound cool, while trying to think how I could tie in a theme or find something for it to actually mean, like some symbolism or a hidden message. Wouldn’t be too complex if it weren’t for having to get in all the 17 stages.

Still, at least that’s all I’m going to try today. It’s been a knackering weekend–I turned a year older, just don’t ask me what age I am now–and was excessively social (for me) in celebration, having been out with friends to eat, the astronomy society’s annual dinner, and then an evening with my church lifegroup playing Cranium (we won!).  Won’t be doing a weekend like that again in a hurry! Will be keeping next week free apart from work experience and class.

Lots of fun, but I’m still recuperating, and writing from my nice comfy bed. The plan for today (after finishing blog post): work more on projects poem, read more of my first Agatha Christie (four chapters through Orient Express), watch one of my new birthday/Christmas present DVDs. All from my bed. Well, I’ll have to get up to put the DVD in, and to get food, but …

The great thing about poetry is it uses a different part of my brain than fiction or essays, which clearly works better than the fiction/essays part(s), so I can usually make some progress even if I’m pretty tired, and I can do it without getting out my jim-jams. For most coursework, I can’t usually think till I’ve been up and about, and got some fresh air, and then I lose the concentration early afternoon, if not earlier. It’s very frustrating, and makes for very slow progress.

Hmm. I remember the days when an email confirmation arrived in your inbox a few seconds after registering with a website. Why does it take so long nowadays? I discovered 750 words through Twitter. Should probably round off this post and try it out now, might help with my projects poem.