Throughout my life as a student, I was lucky to have had some amazing teachers. A few weeks ago, I got to teach for the first time. It was super scary, and also really great. This is a blog post about what I did during my lesson, and how I got there. It comes to you in two parts: The Lesson (where I go through what we actually did during the 75 minutes), and The Plan (where I discuss how the lesson came to be).
Disclaimer: I am not a qualified teacher. The two exercises mentioned here were appropriated from two lessons I was taught during my MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Continue reading
This morning, I went for a run. I did some long division and paper calculations afterwards, and it turns out that I ran at an average speed of 3.4 mph, which my running app doesn’t even classify as running. “Are you sure you didn’t walk?” it winks. Yes, I am, thankyouverymuch.
A very misleading introduction. Obviously, in the spirit of Murakami, I am not actually talking about running. I want to talk about sprinting when you write.
I have trained myself to produce a lot of words in not a lot of time. My fingers know how to type quickly, pretty much of their own accord, with little input from my brain. With four NaNoWriMos under my belt, I’m a trained sprinter. It’s the only way I know how; throw down lots of words and then painstakingly sieve through them to find the good ones. Efficient? Not really. The first draft gets done in a hurry, but working for quantity rather than quality also means having to discard large chunks of the initial draft in editing mode. But sprinting gets the words out, and it works for me. Continue reading
Home is waking up knowing where I am, with a sore throat because I left the window open over night. I pull my heavy limbs together and into the kitchen to scavenge for food in the drawers that are neatly organised and never empty. I wave at my Gran through the window. My sister’s handiwork, pink raspberry syrup, poured into a glass and mixed with water. Dad‘s paper is on the table and I turn it over to read the opinion pieces, so I know what to think. After breakfast I play the piano because I know Mum will like it.
There are other things I remember, about other homes. Continue reading
I’m working on my dissertation for my MSc in Creative Writing. It’s a novella called “The Days of the Flood”, and it’s about a division of a company that gets flooded as a corporate disciplinary measure. Don’t worry, nobody’s died or anything.
There’s a dog in the office. His name is Sterlington. He’s a golden lab (those exist, right?) and he is afraid of the water.
Now, the problem is that I’ve never actually met a dog. Continue reading
Ideas happen at the most inconvenient of times. My first zine came into existence during a survey course on English literature, in October 2011. While my lecturer talked about Beowulf, I sat in the first row, drawing a poster in a notebook, creating the zine’s tumblr page on my laptop and tweeting out to my followers on twitter from my phone. Continue reading
Sometimes I find myself saying things like, “you know, it’s just a very physical process” or “my characters spoke to me”. Then I usually apologise to whoever I’m talking to. But in this case, it’s true. Continue reading
I’ve always secretly thought I’d make a good pop star. I toyed with making my name sound cool by chopping off the last vowel (“And now, the new single by CHRISTIN’!”), but it never really worked out. Not until I started singing other people’s songs and making music with my friends. Continue reading