Thursday, October 29, 2009

I am crazy!

I have just finished my last lecture today and celebrated by signing up to write a 50 000 word novel in the month of November. This is my busiest month of the year. I have an English exam; more children's presentation nights to attend than I can even think of; my husband and mom's birthday; my brother coming out for a week's holiday and Christmas to prepare for and I have just signed up to NaNoWriMo a group of crazy people who for the month of November attempt to write a 50 000 word novel.

That is just 1666.66666 words per day. I am asking everyone to help encourage me. Keep me going and who knows what I will produce at the end of the month. The idea is to just write, no editing, just as many words per day as possible. What is the result. No prize, except a certificate of completion and the amazing success of having written a novel.

One of my uni friends suggested I give it a go and guess what I am going to do it. So call me crazy, inspired or whatever, but from November 1st, I am a novelist.

I will keep you all updated. I don't even have a clue what I am going to write about yet, but I have 2 days to think of something. So any ideas would be most appreciated.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nearly finished

This is a really quick post just to share my good news.

I received my English essay on King Lear back yesterday. It was worth 30% of my mark and I got 97% for it. I am so excited and pleased that all my hard work and effort paid off.

The comment from my tutor was the following:

"This is a very well-written response. Your eloquence and engagement with the text both do you proud!
Your integraion of the critical reading into your argument is a good technique."

So far I have received 95%, 97% and 100% for attendance, so only have my exam to study for and I will have passed my first year English subject.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We have all the bases covered.

I have the most amazing and talented family. I am proud of each and everyone of them, just for themselves for the lovely children that they are. I am proud of their sense of honesty, decency, love of others and the pride that they take in themselves.

Today I am writing with a little more pride than usual. I ask you to check out my beautiful Sarah's blog 'Vesta Mini-Magic' she has written a wonderful poem called 'Circus' which she is going to enter into the school poetry/writing competition. Also the story called 'The Painting', both of these entries, she wrote yesterday. An amazing girl.

Then this morning I received a phone call from Matthew's mathematics's teacher. She said that she had Matthew in her class and he needed to tell me something. Of course I just panicked, what had gone wrong!
It wasn't that anything had gone wrong, but rather that he had received his results for his entry in the National Math competition that he sat last term. He competed against Grade 9 & 10 students (he is in grade 9) and received a DISTINCTION, placing him in the top 16% of the country's math students for his age group. I tell you I was completely blown away. Math has never, ever been my strong suit, and here is my son completely acing the exam.

So with my amazing Professor (Science) husband; Elizabeth our Ancient History expert; Me the writer and poet, Sarah - the musician, artist and writer and now Matthew both a school leader, amazing comedian and Math expert - We have it all covered!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Digital album

I thought I would share a couple of photos of my digital album of our trip to the USA.
I made a bit of a mess with the cover photo, not dropping it down low enough, with only one other tiny mistake, am blown away by the whole project.

I have used a combination of full photo backgrounds, black and even some fancy paper on other pages.

It is almost over

My world has been filled with university this year and now it is almost finished. I have just two weeks left of lectures and tutorials. All essays are handed in and only one still to be returned. I got back my Poetry essay last night and yes, I did it again. I got another '7'. I have realised at last that I can do this, I am really good at this stuff. Just waiting for my English essay results and then one exam and one Poetry portfolio.

Unfortunately, my single exam falls on the Wednesday of the week that my brother is visiting from South Africa, but it is only a 2 hour exam and I will be well prepared by the time he gets here, so that is all okay.

I am starting to plan for the 3 month break, wondering what I will fill my days with. I am going to continue writing poetry. Read as many of the books that I can for the English course I am planning to do next year and enjoy my scrapbooking hobby, cleaning house, preparing for Christmas and other things.

It has been an amazing year and I can't wait to continue next year.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Out of the darkness!

Tonight was my poetry lecture and workshop and I faced all the fears that I carry with me each and every time I have to present one of my poems for feedback. The poem that I chose to present this week, is very personal for me. I had no idea what sort of response it would receive. See Vesta-Poetry for the poem.

Anyway I took a deep breath and read my poem.
There was silence, a deep silence that lasted and lasted.
Then one of the girls whispered: "I felt like clapping."
The whole group then burst out clapping - for My Poem.

It created so many questions, so much comment and so much intrigue. Everyone loved the mystery, they wanted to know so much about it and one of the guys, said he was so glad that he knew the author, so he could find out just that little bit more. What an honour, I truly feel like I am now officially a Poet, not just someone who writes ditties, and little bits of poetry and prose on the sideline.

I am a POET!

So if you want to read all about it, check out Vesta-Poetry and read

"Our name is Ruth."

PS. I received my exercise portfolio back tonight as well. Worth 20% of my results and yes I did it. I got 18.5/20 another High Distinction. I am currently floating around the moon. I can see the stars and they are within my grasp. Fly high everyone, chase those rainbows and follow your dreams.

Fear of Failure!

It feels like a life-time ago that I filled in my application to return to University. At first I was not even sure I would be accepted and then my fears were that I would not be able to keep up with the work. I also feared that I would not fit in and here I am with only 4 weeks of lectures left in my first year. Where did the time go?

It is funny, I did get accepted, I have flourished and succeeded with good results and I do fit in (sort of), all my insecurities however, still exist. I worry about being older and standing out, making a fool of myself and not succeeding (even though my results say otherwise). Yet each week rolls by and I don't fail, I thrive. I love the learning, the joining in at tutorials and lectures and just being at university. There is still however, that little insecure child inside that keeps rearing her head and telling me otherwise.

Last week I received another little piece of reassurance to tell that little girl to quiet down.

I spoke to a lovely young lady at my local phone shop and she asked if I went to Uni, when I said yes, she said "I thought I recognised your voice, you are from my poetry lecture." I realised I must be making a positive noise/contribution. We had a good laugh and a connection, it was lovely.

Ivan then said how much he loved to stand outside my tutorial class on Monday nights and listen to my laughter and contributions as he waited to bring me home. I had not realised that he did this, and it gave me such a warm glow to hear that I wasn't making a fool of myself.

How often do we live with the fear that we will fail, so we don't even try? How often do we allow the little child inside to rule and tell us we can't do something, or that someone will laugh at us - so we don't even try.

I am glad I tried. I am glad that I am succeeding. I am determined everyday to keep trying and to tell 'my little child inside' that she is safe and I can look after her and Me.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Digital albums

Yesterday I received my USA trip, digital album back from Creative Memories. I had submitted it on Thursday last week and it arrived within one week - fantastic. I am so pleased with it. After years of traditional scrapbooking, I thought that I would try a large 12x12 digital album of our trip to the USA and UK in July. I had such fun creating it online and the end product is wonderful.

Ivan sat last night and read every single page - his comment "This is so professional and beautiful, I much prefer it to the other albums." That was really nice to hear. In the long run, I think it will be more cost effective, save heaps of time and take up so much less space on the book shelves.

I am in the middle of the UK one now and find that I can create a couple of pages at a time and walk away, so that is great. There is no mess or fuss and the end result is fantastic. After years of anti-digital album talk from me, I am convinced.