Monday, 6 May 2013

Halfway to getting my life back

Yesterday I finished my Creative Writing course. Finishing my final assignment was an act of procrastination in itself, as it was a way of getting out of my Children's Lit work. These final two assignments are worth 50% of each course result - if I fail them, I fail the courses. 

For Children's Lit, I have to write about how the latest winner of the Carnegie Medal fits into the history and traditions of children's literature. Fortunately, it's an amazing book - A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness - and I know I can write loads about it. The book was unique in that the illustrations also won the Greenaway medal, and I am much more impressed with the illustrations than the story, I must admit. Fellow students said that the book left them in tears (it's about a boy who has to face his mother's death through cancer), and one woman couldn't face reading it, choosing the other option to answer instead. Perhaps I'm too cold-hearted, but it didn't have the same effect on me. The pictures, on the other hand, portrayed emotion and atmosphere so well that I'm glad the course had a section on picture books, as I really want to write about them. 

 Some of Jim Kay's illustrations for A Monster Calls

I have my notes. I kind of know what I want to say, I just need to get in the right mood to get on with it. It has to be in by the 23rd, which I know I'll do easily. I just need a kick up the backside. 

The Creative Writing assignment didn't have to be in until the 30th, so logically I should have done that last, but I wrote the first paragraph so I wouldn't forget it, and the next few thousand words begged to be written, so how could I refuse them? I ended up editing huge chunks to get down to the 2500 word requirement. I then had to write a 700 word commentary on how I'd done it. As 'It just came,' would not have sufficed, I lied and wrote about how I'd used particular chapters of the workbook I've not looked at for months, and had taken note of tutor feedback for previous assignments. All lies, but it was what they wanted, so I typed it with my fingers crossed (very tricky).

I know I won't get distinctions for either course, but I'm hoping for a pass 2, especially for Creative Writing. Getting that for both courses will mean I'm on target for a 2:1 for my degree, which will do me fine. 

Other news: well done to my Daughter, who has got into college for her first step towards training as a psychiatric nurse. I can't tell you how incredibly proud I am of her. Not just that she's happy to start a new career, but that she's willing to support herself through her training and then work in a sector which will undoubtedly be challenging. That she has a heart big enough to treat people with empathy and respect just makes me love her even more. I think she's amazing. 

Actually, her attitude's probably that kick up the backside I was needing...

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