Saturday, 4 October 2014

I blame Stephen King (amongst others...)

I've not made a good start on my new Open Uni course. I should be typing an introductory email to my tutor, printing out articles from the OU library and generally being a model student, but I have been massively side-tracked by Stephen King. I have several books on creative writing, most of which I bought during my OU course on the subject, and they've been flicked through and never looked at again. Stephen King's book On Writing, however, is something different. I originally downloaded it on my Kindle, but have since realised that books win, hands down, so have re-bought it in its original format. I think a copy should be given to all of our year 6s (along with instructions not to read it out loud in front of their mothers). Extracts from the book should be laminated and stuck around the classroom; 'The road to hell is paved with adverbs,' being one of my favourites. And it's good to know I'm not alone when I invent characters and they run with the story, completely changing it and making it their own. I cannot write the story plans we lecture the children about. I did try, but my characters sat down, sulked, and told me that wasn't how they saw the story going, and didn't I know them at all?

Anyway, On Writing gave me a shove and said, 'Oi, you've not written anything in ages. Get on with it.' And 'getting on with it' suddenly became far more interesting and important than printing out articles on Gandhi. I must remind myself of this when I fail the course. 

Other distractions: we have a book day coming up at school, for which we have been instructed to dress as our favourite story character. As my favourite character is Door, from Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, that means I would wear my normal stuff to school, so I had to think of something else. I put 'costumes, story characters' into Google. You'd have thought I'd typed something completely different, looking at some of the ideas that were suggested. Was that outfit for Little Red Riding Hood really suitable for traipsing through the woods? She'd have snagged those stockings on the brambles, surely? I could have been Rhiannon, from the Welsh legends in The Mabinogion, and after whom we named The Daughter, but that would take too much explaining to the school children. After ransacking the wardrobe, I've decided to be Queen Mab from Romeo and Juliet, and the Merlin stories. In the children's eyes, I'll just be a sort of fairy, so I won't have to bore them with explanations. Someone had the idea that all of the staff could dress the same and we could do a real life Where's Wally? but I'd already ordered my wings and someone else was determined to come as a character from Frozen. Anyway, it should be a fun day with infants getting over-excited and very little work being done. 

And now that's sorted, it's nearly time for lunch, so there's no point starting to study just yet. I'll have a coffee and go back to Stephen King. He says that 'Books are a uniquely portable magic,' now there's a quote to go on the school library wall. Hmmm... some quotes on books and reading from famous authors... I must go and Google some... 

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