Tuesday, May 21, 2013

An Open Letter to My Brother

TW: talking about rape, and rape culture

OK Surfer,

I wanted to tell you why I didn’t like the last short film you pitched to me, and I’m doing it in writing because it’s easier to marshal my ideas when I can see the words and edit them if necessary.

Advance Warning: this is difficult to write, and will probably be difficult to read but please don’t give up.  This is isn’t a personal attack, just some things I think you should think about.  It can only improve your writing.

Next verse, same as first...

So I'm doing that thing I do periodically where I decide to blog more often.  The book project sort or died - The Looking Glass Wars was... not a very good book, and then half way through Villette I was given new books and, well, there went that.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Second of

Just a quick late night thing.  Long distance train ride.  Got dehydrated. As a consequence feel ill. The norm for long distance train ride.

Work tomorrow morning, and so bed so I will be functional.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome to Our Last Year On Earth

Begin as you mean to continue.  I will blog at least once a day this year.  Even if I'm tired.  Even if I think I have nothing to say.  I will blog every day this year, and, in doing, will learn how to do well.

I will consume more media this year.  By which I primarily mean movies and books, but also TV.  I will consume this media critically, and blog reactions and reviews.

I will, money permitting, see more plays.  One a month would be fantastic, but is unrealistic, so say three in the year.

I will get a novel written.  By the end of January, I will have a plan for the Whitethorn novel.  By the end of Feb, I will have twenty thousand words of draft.

I will get fit and/ or start regularly attending gym.

That's all, I think.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Word of the Week


Because it's a major theme in the Novel of Doom.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Reading A-Z: Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

It was impossible for her to say what she did not feel, however trivial the occasion; and upon Elinor therefore the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it, always fell.
-Chapter 21
I read bits of the introduction of this novel first, and was surprised to find that it is another contender for ‘Jane Austen’s worst novel’. I don’t really get why.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reading A-Z: Jane Austen's Mansfield Park

We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.
-Fanny Price, Chapter 42
I was about a third of the way through Mansfield Park when I first came across the idea that as a novel, it was not well liked. I have to say, I was a bit surprised, and even more so when I realised that the reason was Fanny Price!

I agree that Fanny is not Elizabeth Bennet, but I think she is different and not inherently inferior. In fact, as much as I’d like to be Lizzy, the reality is I am probably much more like Fanny (and lest you begin to think that my appreciation of the novel is purely narcissistic, let me say that my friend TH 11-Geek, is probably much more like Fanny than I am – I kept recognising bits of my friend in Fanny’s behaviour, particularly in her behaviour towards Mrs Norris and her cousins Maria and Julia).

I think Mansfield Park is novel much more about the interior than some of Jane Austen’s other novel. Fanny is much less active, obviously, but this is less important, because Fanny’s role is that of the observer, and the novel is, I think, more about Fanny’s inner life in response to the people around her than anything else.

I also think that Fanny is much stronger than people generally give her credit for – far from being the doormat she is painted, she is capable of standing up for what she believes in. True, she isn’t so good at standing up for herself, but is that any wonder, moulded as she has been by Mrs Norris, and forced into agonies of gratitude by her position as the poor relation? When it counts, when it is a moral ideal that needs defending, Fanny doesn’t falter, both with regards to the play, and, in my favourite section of the novel, when Sir Thomas is pushing her to accept Henry Crawford’s proposal.

Even though Fanny is used to yielding to other’s wishes, even though she longs never to be ungrateful, even as she driven to tears she stays her ground. Fanny’s triumph is a moral triumph. I must admit though, I did find Edmund quite foolish and insipid, and though I recognise it would have been quite impossible in Austen’s day, I think true happiness for Fanny could have been found alone.

The Reading A-Z

We just recently had a rental inspection, in which our landlord and The Ditz (aka the estate agent) visited out flat and made sure we hadn't demolished, burned or otherwise redecorated the place. The Flattie was absent, being employed full time. I got to watch these two illustrious personages tramp all over my home with those scariest of things - clipboards.

This meant I cleaned and tidied for most of the three days previous, and also meant that I shelved a lot of books, which were in piles... everywhere. In doing so I have made a shocking discovery: there are over fifty unread novels on my bookshelf. Some are novels I bought before my year abroad that I was obliged to leave unread, some are gifts that I (slackly) haven't cracked, but the vast majority are books I have bought when I was feeling blue, buying books being my chief method of cheering myself up.

And so, I have put a moratorium on myself, and decided that I will buy no more books til I have read the ones I own but haven't read. In alphabetical order (mostly) because I am anal like that. And in order to prove to myself that I am doing this, I will blog each book as I finish it. First up: Austen, Jane: Mansfield Park.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wardrobe Adventures

Alas, not Narnia.

I finally got a job. First shifts were over the weekend.

I don't want to talk about the job - it's waitressing, and why the hell did I decide to work in hospitality again?

I want to talk about my clothes.

On Saturday, I wore a tshirt/ bra combination I'd never worn before, and I kept on getting distracted. I'd look down, and go: wow cleavage! I mean, wow. There were boobs in my shirt. Having read a lot about slut shaming and the policing of women's bodies recently, I was kind of hoping to notice people treating me differently, but apparently my new!improved!boobage was noticeable only to me.

Sunday was much more embarrassing. I delivered a coffee to a little old lady, who stopped me to say "dear, you have a hole in your pants. I can see your undies". Luckily, I had safety pins in my bag, and disappeared into the loo to do surgery on my pants. I'm buying black jeans today.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I wish I had a pithy title

I have stuff. My furniture arrived, the big Ikea bookcase is up (incidentally, this has led me to realise the source of Ultimate Evil is, in fact, Ikea. Just watch, I bet all Ikea products are rigged to go off and trigger the doomsday scenario. You'll know I'm right when the Apocalypse hits). I did my wrist in, and the next day ached in places I didn't know I had places. But the flat looks a little more like a home (a little: there is still so much cardboard and plastic wrappings and moving detritus everywhere, it looks a lot like a disaster zone. Interestingly, The Flattie is the main culprit, even though she has had her stuff for longer).

I am getting back into the swing of things re: Uni. I am suffering, though, from not having the net (and wow, is my priviledge showing here or what?). The person shows up in mid-April, until then, I have to come to Uni to get online, and since most of my course is online, I am coming into Uni a LOT.

Also regards Uni: I had to buy eight novels (well, six, since I owned two) and one of them The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was only available at Abbey's. Since I am a half hour bus ride away from Uni, I started reading it on the bus home. When I read, I get very absorbed in the book, so the first I knew of the small boy who sat next to me was when he turned to ask his mother what a 'cock' was. Cue me snapping the book closed and shoving it into my backpack, but not before the entire bus glared at me.

Careers fair was today. Very depressing. Apparently the only people who want Arts Grads are Tax offices: and the reason I did Arts was so that I would never have to work in something as soul destrying as Tax! (No offence to tax people out there, if you enjoy it, more power to you.) The Careers Fair has, however, cemented my desire to get a PhD and work as an Academic. It's a goal, don't laugh at it.

And now, a meeting with my Tutor, justifying my choice to set Little Red Riding Hood in the abandoned tunnels at St James Station. Hurrah!