Monday, 22 July 2013

Almost finished

I usually spend a few tinkering, but this analysis of the flash fiction 'Currents'  is pretty much finished. Thanks to the learning advisor, I think my argument is much crisper, whilst leading the reader through it gently. I was making the mistake before of just cramming in as many facts as possible, without realising that it was the structure of my writing which needed work. Well, at least I hope that's the case, but I don't understand how I got through a BA and most of the taught part of an MA without some tutor explaining this to me.

I concluded that its the way the writer blends the omniscient narration with the thoughts and speech of the characters which makes it a strong text. That the reverse order narration ends with relating the story to the reader by making them realise that any day could end badly. That the text is very racist in neglecting to explore the thoughts and emotions of the Filipino characters.

On Saturday we went to a National Theatre screening of Macbeth from the Manchester International Festival with Kenneth Branagh. Superb - I've never seen that many curtain calls before. Macduff was great too.

Friday, 19 July 2013

I seem to be improving

The learning advisor has seen my latest draft and likes it much better. In places, there are even comments like 'fab' and 'great'. What I think it boils down to is that for one of my old-style sentences or paragraphs, I need something before it to explain why I am doing it and something after it to say what it means. This bangs up the word count very quickly. I have been doing way too much analytical work!! But that's the bit I enjoy.

Why did no tutor ever explain this to me before? If I had know this at the start of the MA I might even have got a Distinction!

Thursday, 18 July 2013


So instead of structuring the essay around stylistic features (deviation, parallelism, point of view etc), I've decided to make it more interesting by defining all the technical terms at the start and then arranging it by location, characters and events. This makes more sense because a lot of the stylistic features occur together, emphasising the same point, so this way collects it together and stops a lot of repetition. Its quite a lot of work to rearrange it, but I think the end result will be worth it.

Its hot and uncomfortable here and its difficult to stay motivated, concentrate and get the work done but I want it done in the next few days so that the learning advisor can see it again before I submit.

Went to see Old Faithful yesterday, so my hair is nicely shaped and much cooler. TSH arranged my birthday present - we're going to see Leonard Cohen again. 'Like a bird on a wire ....'

Saturday, 13 July 2013

On with the assignment

Its very difficult to work because the weather is very hot for the UK, but I'm trying my best. I've got comments back from the learning advisor and I'm trying to incorporate them. Because she said my writing style was 'bleached of all personality', I've been trying out a different style - first person instead of third and much more chatty. But she thinks I've gone too far the other way, so I need to rein in a bit. This has been a big blow to my confidence, as I always though I wrote reasonably well. I had a dream that I wrote the essay in a new style and got 58, which is still a pass but a long way short of my normal average.

In previous essays, I think I've been too busy trying to cram in everything I know instead of linking it all in properly and I keep telling myself 'less is more'.

Friday, 5 July 2013

They're still here

Every night we fight the dirt but are just keeping it at bay.

Yesterday was a better day - we went to Chester, walked the wall and browsed the shops. TSH picked out an outfit for me in Chesca. Black and white busy print loose jacket and matching top. Great for a cruise night.

They finished soon after 16:00 so we cleaned our bedroom and moved back in. So we don't have the trek down the (dirty) landing to the en suite bathroom whilst we are sleeping in the spare room. Without permission or discussion, they have taken the family bathroom for storage. Even though TSH has told them to use the garage.

My MA work has stopped.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Its like an invasion

The decorators rubbed down all the woodwork on hall, stairs and landing, so there is now a fine layer of dust in every room of the house. Fortunately we covered up beds and electronics.

They have no concept that they are working in someone's house and space. They were an hour later than usual without telling us - we got up early to be ready. I asked them to put the landing blind in the kitchen and they took it into one of the upstairs rooms instead. One of the rooms I was trying to keep clean. When I pointed out what he had agreed, he just shrugged. 'Does it matter?' Well, yes, or I wouldn't have made an agreement with him. His sidekick put his grubby jacket on our kitchen towel rail on top of our towels, so they all went straight in the wash. Its the total arrogance of their behaviour. And this guy is one of the good ones.

I said to him 'you are very good at what you do. I am very good at what I do. We should respect each other. Its my job to keep this house clean. Please cooperate.'

We went out for the day. Browse round Trafford Centre. Didn't buy anything, as its all geared to the young. Went to see 'Behind the Candelabra' to pass the time. It seemed like the best of a bad bunch on offer. It was OK but not as much fun as I hoped. But I want Liberace's walk-in wardrobe, his cloaks and jackets. And the silver boots.

I don't think I'll get any work done this week if we can't get into our house. And when we do, its all about cleaning.