Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sci-Fi Poetry III

This is the third and final Sci-Fi cut-up poem I have, and I think it is my most descriptive one. Have a read and tell me what you think.

They went in search of the new land
left behind jewelled heights
past empty
They were watched without ever being seen
They would meet with the discovery of a new landscape
A future.
Transparent indigo lakes advance over the beaches,
red pink skyline with a light white sun,
forests unfolding down dark stone mountains,
and birds sang of the hope
of those who came.

Read the other two as well: Sci-Fi Poetry I and Sci-Fi Poetry II

Friday, 25 January 2013

Sci-Fi Poetry II

Another Sci-Fi cut-up poem. Not my favourite but still worth a mention.

A zigzag trail across white roads
of an unknown city
a metallic shadow on the street
Cars standing on a pavement
outside of town
as though evacuation.
It came by day
and found the discovery of

Take another look at the first Sci-Fi cut-up poem.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sci-Fi Poetry I

In Sci-Fi and Fantasy we were given two poems by Jeremy Reed. I really don't like poetry but I thought I'd try it out again. But, instead of writing my own from scratch, I'd borrow some of Reed's lines.


Like I did back in first year for Oversized, and like David Bowie used to do for his songs. I cut up the two poems and then used the lines I liked best and made them into a brand new poem. Actually, I made three. But I'll post them separately. So here is the first one.

Two mannequins
caked in blood
scattered over the streets
of the deserted town
Almost expecting a last speech before absolute silence.
The signposted city
No one here.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Life on Mars

I started my Sci-Fi and Fantasy module last Thursday and the writing task we had to do involved crashing on Mars. There were three parts to it:

  1. Imagine your spaceship is failing and you are plummeting towards Mars.
  2. You're now on Mars, describe what it looks like.
  3. You find an object, what is it?
We were also given some pictures as inspiration.

We only had about ten minutes to do this task and this is what I came up with:


Sirens blaring. Red lights flashing. Sheer panic rising. The engines are destroyed. The meteors have hit. There’s nothing we can do now. I know I should be with my crew, but still, I run wildly to the escape pods. There were three. Two have been damaged. There’s only one left. I punch the button and barely wait for the door to open before leaping inside. My fingers, slick with sweat, fumble at the controls…

The impact tears through my body. I scramble for the door and heave it open. My oxygen mask is cloudy from my panicked breathing. For a second I am completely blind. I force myself to calm down. The screen of my mask clears. Eyes wide, I take in my new surroundings. Brilliant burnt orange sand stretches before me. Endlessly. The horizon is a dead straight line, with only a few bumps of rock to break the monotony. My crash has left a small dent in such a vast land. The atmosphere is a dull glow, neither day nor night. I see the end of the meteor shower. So far from here. The Titan is a flaming wreck across the sky. My stomach turns. I have to stop myself from being sick within my mask. Guilt overcomes me. Hopelessness follows. What I’ve done…I cannot undo. I raise my arm in a salute to my fallen comrades. I flick on my communicator. Static. Silence. I am truly alone now...

After walking for hours I finally see something other than rocks and craters. A small speck of bright light in the distance, unexpected in this bleak place. Another ship? A city? It is miles away, yet a small feeling of hope grows. I’ve been between fear, denial, and misery. I have been ignoring my oxygen levels since I crashed. I dread to think what is left. Could I run to this mysterious object? No. It would use up more oxygen that way. I must take it slow.
I’m exhausted by the time it is within reach. It is not a ship or city. The distance and atmosphere made the size difficult to judge. It is much smaller. And round. My heart slows as I approach it. My hope disappears entirely. The fear, denial, misery is back. It is the bloody oxygen mask of Axel. His head still inside.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

University Grades - The Final Semester

Creative Voice II: Critical Evaluation – 68%
Creative Voice II: Sketches - 67%

Year 2 Semester 1

Media Writing: 1500 Word Critique of Article – 67%
Textual Intervention: Rationale – 66%
Creating Short Screenplays: Film Script The German – 64%
Creating Short Screenplays: Essay Film Analysis of Valgaften: Election Night – 65%

Year 1 Semester 2

Creative Non-Fiction: Essay – 54%
Creative Voice I: Critical Evaluation – 60%
Creativity II: Evaluation – 63%
Poetry and Poetic Expression: Rationale – 68%

Year 1 Semester 1

Language – Writing – Reading: Essay – 62%
Fictional Writing: Rationale – 63%
Creativity I: Presentation Evaluation on A Written Affair – 63%
Creativity I: Research Essay on Oscar Wilde – 68%
Script Writing: Essay on Rob Reiner's Misery – 64%
Script Writing: Pitch Presentation – 72%

I recently received my grades for last semester and while they are good I am disappointed with the comments I got. None of them were particularly constructive. They were like 'Good story, but I would have written it with this person as the protagonist'. Well, I didn't, so please mark my work by what I've written not how you would have written it.
This was especially annoying for my Margaret Jones and the Weedy Dealer piece as the marker wrote: 'What occurred to me on reading it again was it could make a great teen (young) book if only Margaret was at home/base camp and Andrew (something I can't read) was the protagonist - doing his mother's bidding because she was (something else I can't read)'.
It's annoying because he's missed the point of my piece entirely! Margaret is this eccentric botanist on the run from a drug lord, it's weird and funny. Having a teenage boy do it is so mundane.
I always used to think I was better at the creative pieces but strangely it appears I am actually better at the essays. I only have one semester left and I am going to try my hardest to get a First again. Hopefully in my ECP.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Reading 2012

Last year I read a grand total of 83 books. My goal had been 100, but after the summer I came to a reading block all because of stupid Wolf Hall and other boring books on my course's reading list. Now, however, I'm serious about getting to 100. It is a goal that my friend, The Student Housewife, and I both wanted to achieve. She managed 100, sadly I did not. But this year I'm gonna do it! Okay, so far I have only read two books in 15 days, and if I want to reach my goal I should be reading two a week. In my defence though, they were long books (Bag of Bones by Stephen King and The Two Towers by, you guessed it, J.R.R. Tolkien). I have nearly finished Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, a relatively interesting book for a core text. So that makes three!

But it got me thinking about how many books I read that were on my own personal reading list. I have had it since I was in year 12, so around 2008, and really, I haven't read as many as I would have liked. The books that are left, however, are all the long classic ones, like Dickens and Austin  Not really my cup of tea.

So, here are the books that I read in 2012 that were part of my personal reading list:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
Brave New World
I, Robot
The Notebook
The Secret Garden
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy (all five)

....Okay, really not very many. But I also started reading:

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Grapes of Wrath
Interview with the Vampire
Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Just The Return of the King left)
The Picture of Dorian Grey
A Room with a View
A Tale of Two Cities
The Time Machine
Treasure Island
The War of the Worlds

Clearly I get easily distracted. But I will have read at least two of these books before the end of the year for sure. The War of the Worlds is one of my core texts for my Sci-Fi and Fantasy module, and I really want to read The Return of the King. 

A great way to keep track of what you've read is by using Shelfari, it's that little bookcase at the top of my blog. It's really fun, if you're a book nerd like me at least. I definitely recommend you get one and keep on reading!

You can also find the full reading list here. And if you have any books you think I should read, please leave a comment!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Creative Writing: The Last Semester

I have been really bad at updating my blog lately. In fact, my last post was a whole month ago! But give me a break, it has been Christmas, and I've barely used my computer. I hardly did any writing which is actually pretty bad for an inspiring writer. Woops! (In my defence, I read a lot though).
But I'm back at University now for my final semester. This is really sad as I have enjoyed every minute and I'm not ready to become a fully-fledged adult. I don't even know what I want to do with my life. Woe. Growing up is hard. Anyway, that's not the point of this post. I have recently revived my new timetable and deadlines. And boy, is it scary.
This term I am doing Creative Voice III (Compulsory), Creative Visions, and Sci-fi and Fantasy.

So, Creative Voice III is all about what happens after the degree. We have to write CVs and letters to publishers and all sorts. There are 4 assignments, one every two weeks that I am already dreading. I didn't mind the last two modules, Creative Voice I and Creative Voice II, but I always freak out when I have a new class. Here is some work that I did for these previous modules: Creative Voice: Little Snippets and Delirium. It is one of those modules where you have to 'evaluate yourself as a writer', something I am not particularly interested in doing.

Creative Visions was a random choice (most of the other modules were script based, bleh!) and I didn't really know what it was about as the module handbook wasn't very clear either. Now, however, I know what it is about and think it wasn't a good choice to make. It's all about global change and society. Things like alternative energy, genetic engineering, population, crude oil etc. And you know who we will be discussing again? Gaia! Like I didn't see enough of her in Writing and the Environment last year. Though, I did enjoy writing stories about her: Gaia and Gaia's Final Revenge. As you can probably tell I am not a big environmentalist and this makes it hard to care about these kinds of modules; therefore I'm not inspired to write, which then leads to mediocre grades. But there is a book on the reading list that I have wanted to read for a while, Uglies. I remember seeing it ages ago in Waterstones and was intrigued, yet a little freaked out by the cover (I was only 13 and didn't like the idea of disembodied people). But now I'm older, and less influenced by creepy book covers, I'll finally get around to reading it! I'm also looking forward to the assignments. They are both creative pieces, so no more essays, hurray! That Writing History Fiction one last term really took it out of me. The first assignment is a creative piece entitled 'How We Live Today', the other is a piece imagining life beyond 2050. Now, this is quite similar to Sci-Fi and Fantasy...

This was the one module I was sure I wanted to do, and hopefully I'll still want to do it once I've started. But the assignment for this is a creative piece set in the near or distant future, maybe 2050? Sound familiar? I've basically  got the same assignment twice! I don't really mind too much, I'm still looking forward to it. It's just I would like to do something a little different; I'll have to write my Sci-Fi one waaaaaay into the future! I'm feeling something Doctor Who-ish coming on...! This module sounds like a relatively easy one, and the lecturer is laid back, too. So, while I'm stressing out about my ECP, Creative Voice III, and the numerous Frisbee tournaments I'll be going to this term, I can relax with a little Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Perfect.

My first lecture is tomorrow (Creative Voice III) and I'm feeling pretty nervous. I then have a ECP meeting with my supervisor to discuss the new beginning I wrote (I'll post it here in the next couple of days). Then, on Thursday I can pick up all my marked assignments from last term, eep!

So, bring on my final semester, it's going to be a tough but great one!