Sunday, 4 November 2012

Website and Blog Updates

New issue of Dark Metre online.

Recent blog posts you may have missed:

Row80 - Check in 6
ROW80 - Check in 5
ROW80 - Check in 4
ROW80 - Check in 3

Stitched Up on Tuesdays - Week 3

ROW80 - Check in 2

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

ROW80 - Check in 6

Progress, progress, why do you avoid me so.

I'm still hit and miss with my goals. Sunday was taken up by knitting class so was fairly tired when I got home in the evening. Poetry goals went out the window on Monday after I decided to do my knitting homework instead and started stitching up a journal cover.

Last night, I managed about 40 minutes of studying and think that this current section is going to hurt. I hit a rut with the research which I'm rolling back to Saturday as I'll be able to spend a good few hours online and digging through my reference books for comparison.

Also got about half way through the current exercise but the focus is on building character through dialogue and I hardly write dialogue normally. I'm also not entirely sure who these people are as I kind of plucked them out of thin air for a previous exercise. Decided to skip to the next exercise and that curled my toes even more.

Although I did start adding dividers to my course folder so I can refer to earlier sections more easily.

Reading has fallen by the wayside so I'll make that my lunch break activity for the next few days at least. It's only a short novel so I should get a good chunk of it read and then get back to reading some horror.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

ROW80 - Check in 5

I neglected to check in on Wednesday, made a little progress since then:

began first drafting a new poem and made some editing notes after it needed to change direction slightly. Even worked out how and why I would want to use the "comments" function in my word processor.

Sent another crit to my poetry group although I need to get this up to 2 a week but as a newbie I'm still in my grace period. It's forcing me to actively think about what I read which is a good thing, it's easy to get passive rather than active. And I'm discovering new poetic forms as well. The simpler ones I may try myself. I still shy away from attempting to write in syllabic metre or using a heavy rhyme scheme as it feels restrictive.

Studying hasn't come along as much as I would have liked, typed up some more notes and read another chapter of my recommended reading. I did sign up for the study day my college are holding at Cambridge which is later next month. That should prove inspiring.

Still fighting a lack of energy which I'm putting down to the recent greyness and have realised I need to get exercise back on to my goals as yoga counteracted winter last year.

Hope everyone is well

Sunday, 21 October 2012

ROW80 - Check in 4

Heehee, I'm starting to get somewhere. A quick flick through the current part of my course tells me I should be completing part 3 in around 3 weeks. At which point I'll sign up for an online course on English Literature as I honestly don't think my analytic skills and engagement with reading are high enough to tackle level 2 of my degree or at least not to a point to get decent grades. Also, as I need to choose my own subject at level 3 it might give me a better idea for my research paper  .

Goal: 1.5 hours studying on Thursday night.

Achievement: zilch on studying, I was a bit brain dead that night, my energy levels seem to be bouncing up and down all over the place this week. Although, I did send a critique through my poetry group and my poetry muse is starting to feel half starved to death due to lack of poeming. Which is a good sign, in a way.

Goal: Friday night off

Achievement: I met this one somewhat guiltily after skipping things on Thursday.

Goal: 3 hours of Studying on Saturday

Achievement: Around 2 - 2.5 hours studying. I created a new character to play with, typed up more notes, journalled and read a chapter of Muriel Sparks Loitering With Intent which I'm in two minds about. Also updated the learning log. Felt good to actually write something. So why so much difficulty staying on track?

Today's goals won't be met as I'm heading off to a suitably dark art exhibition. Perhaps study for an hour later depending on what time I get back and whether or not family are still visiting when I do get back.

Have fun.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

ROW80 - Check in 3

I'm still off schedule as far as my goals go although I am slowly moving forward:

Goal : 3 hours of studying on Sunday

Achieved: I spent an hour typing up old course work and trying to get my folder in order as well as updating my learning log.

Lesson learned: Don't sit down to a 3 hour session late in the day, split it into a morning session and an evening session.

Goal: Spend Monday night working on poetry related stuff.

Achieved: I joined a poetry critique group called Internet Writing Workshop. Still getting used to how it all works.

I've decided to work with Stephen Fry's An Ode Less Travelled. It seems to cover most of the mechanics and poetic terminology.

Goal: 1.5 hours studying on Tuesday Night

Achieved: Not a sausage and no excuse.

Goal: 1.5 hours studying on Wednesday night

Achieved: 1 hour of studying. Trying to keep everything typed up as I go along.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Stitched Up on Tuesdays Week 3

I'm still stitching away on my current project. Although I think I may put it aside for a bit to do some smaller projects but I'm reluctant to leave it alone.

20th september 2012
15 October 2012
Last weeks Stitched Up on Tuesdays

Sunday, 14 October 2012

ROW80 - Check in 2

This weeks been pretty much a wash out but there's always today and tomorrow.

I've fine tuned my goals a bit more:

Monday: Poetry Night
To join crit group
Sub 3 poems to market
Write one new poem
Read/work through a section of a poetry reference book (Either Stephen Fry's one or another one which I can't remember the title of)
Rewrite a poem
Read and analyse one poem for sound, structure and meaning.

If any of the above don't get done they'll roll forward to the following Monday

Study wise:

Tuesday: 1.5 hours of studying with 30 minutes reserved for supplementary actives such as journalling and freewriting.

Wednesday: As above

Thursday: As above

Friday: Night off

Saturday 3 hours studying with time for typing up work and updating learning log

Sunday: As above

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

ROW80 - Check in

Well, I don't have much to report. Something I was supposed to do today had to be done yesterday so I still haven't joined that crit group. Plus I was knackered on Tuesday night as I'd just come down with a cold and it was easier and less mentally challenging to flip through my knitting books and decide on all my hobbyist projects.

I'm still ironing out my goals, I think I'm going to make my studying goals time based. An hour and half from 8pm on week nights except Monday nights. With Friday night being my night off. I can't really base them on actual things to be done as each part is broken down into projects and exercises and some will take me twenty minutes to do and others could take me hours to do. But I want my degree before I hit 40.

At least 6 hours studying on weekends unless I'm out at an art/photography exhibition. Although this weekend is going to be hit and miss as I completely forgot we have friends staying.

I'm designating Monday nights my night for poetry activities so the first thing to do here is sub some poems out and decide whether I make time to write new poems or work with one of my reference books for a refresher course in the mechanics of poetry.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Rejoining ROW80

Way back in the floating mists of time I only meant to miss one round of ROW80 but there was an epic derailment. My focus and goals have changed since I last took part. Not entirely sure what my goals are at the moment but they'll be study related and poetry related for the immediate future.

 I did meet one goal though which was to rejoin the challenge today after Ryan King's prodding on twitter. :)

My goals for Wednesday's checkin: To join a poetry crit group and figure out the rest of my goals.

How's everyone getting on?

Website Updates and Blog Updates

It's been a while since I did one of these.

On the main website:
Writing prompts updated
New issue of Dark Metre available

Recent blog posts you may have missed:
Stitched Up on Tuesdays Week 2
Stitched Up on Tuesdays
3 Horror Lunes

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Stitched Up On Tuesdays Week 2

Every Tuesday I share my progress on my current cross stitch project.

I'm currently working on Dimensions Quiet Beach Moments. The design size is 14 by 10 inches on 14 count aida fabric. Which I think is around 25000 stitches in total.

It's deceptively tricky for a beginner like me, I'd only done one bookmark prior to starting this piece, lots of back-stitching where the lines run diagonally and lots of half stitch. Also, plenty of colour changing every few stitches. I actually got a bit fed up with changing colours so much and stitched the entire white line down the left hand side. It's the point where the sand starts to change to sea.

I decided to add the back stitching in as I go along, there's not much definition in the picture without it.

In other news, I signed up for a beginners course in knitting with Citylit starting end of next month and am considering one of their novel workshops but assessing the extra workload on top of my existing degree as I'll be preparing for assessment for my current module around the same time.

What are you all up to?

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Stitched Up on Tuesdays

Oh wow, I've been gone for ages. Before I introduce a new feature I'll bring you up to speed, went on holiday to Norfolk recently, lovely weather, lovely coastline and whilst there I received the happy news that I'd passed my poetry module. So, I'm still studying and halfway through my second module.

I'm sure someone's hit the fast forward button on time.

As writing has been designated as serious I needed a new hobby and while away in Norfolk I decided to make my own bookmarks using a cross stitch kit by textile heritage. The lack of internet access meant there were a few cock ups as I had no access to reference sites or hints and tips but it came out ok.

I started a new kit depicting 2 deck chairs on a beach and it is slow going, loads of colour changes and all the detail on the design is brought out by back stitch so I felt like I was getting no where for ages but thankfully there are no fractionals or french knots. I took a photo and then took another photo a week later for a visual chart of progress (if only writing were so easy to track):

Last Tuesday night
Tonights progress

My stitching tip for today:

Pincushions are essential for not losing needles every time you need to put one down.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

3 Horror Lunes

To make up for the lack of activity on this blog as of late I'm reprinting 3 of my short horror poems here. They originally appeared on Microcosms, June 2011.

River of Life

Flowing Southwards, intestines
meander through a decaying earth
mourning the sea.

The Tree

Wriggling roots seek
the cow barn. Hot bodies
quench its thirst.


Blue eyes reflect
the red spillage. Laughter freezes
his victims mind.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Website updates and Blog updates

Apologies for the lack of activity on this blog, I had to shift my focus over to my learning blog and studies as I'm getting ready for my end of module assessment.

Website updates:
Issue 13 of Dark Metre now live
Writing prompts updated

Recent blog posts:
Book Review - Broadmoor Revealed by Mark Stevens
Book Review - Virgina Woolf, A Writer's Diary

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book Review - Broadmoor Revealed by Mark Stevens

Book Review - Broadmoor Revealed Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum by Mark Stevens

This was a fun book to read, it's not comprehensive and I would have liked to see more in the way of case notes or journal entries of the patients themselves. It's a good overview of the history and the life inside Broadmoor. Chapters look at 4 individual patients, escapees and babies born inside the asylum.

Rating 3/5
Challenges read for Goodreads and The 2012 Ebook Challenge.

See amazon link below for more details:

Monday, 6 February 2012

Book Review - Virginia Woolf, A Writer's Diary

Purely on a pleasure level, I found this really slow going and tedious. It was hard to keep up with the style of writing the way one thought bled into another unrelated thought. Hard to really know who all the people Virginia writes about are as they were so personal to her daily life that they meant nothing to me as a reader.

Also I never got a sense of change in Virginia's personality as the diaries moved through the years.

From a writer's interest, I found it inspiring to keep going with my own diaries, having all that personal history documented for myself even if it is meaningless to someone else. It's also comforting to know that as writers we will always keep producing work, writing new novels as the years continue to pass.

Rating: 2/5

For further info use the amazon link below:

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (April 2003)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027915
Other Books you may be interested in:

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A quick heads up - New web host

Just a quick heads up that there may be disruption to the main website over the next few days as I'm transferring to a new hosting provider. The address will remain the same.

Take care


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Website Updates and Blog Updates

The following have been updated at the website:

Dark Metre issue 12 is now live.
Horror poets updated.
Writing prompts updated.

Recent blog posts you may have missed:
Book Review - Write Good or Die edited by Scott Nicholson.
My Top 5 Favourite Horror Books of 2011.
Merry Christmas

I've also added my Goodreads reading challenge widget to the right hand side of the blog.

Happy New Year