Explore Animation

Just started a fun course with FutureLearn — ‘Explore Animation’ — a free online course created by The National Film & Television School (NFTS). I calculate that there are about 1000 of us on the course — students of all ages from all over the world meeting up online for four weeks to discuss and experiment with simple animation techniques. Looks as if it’s going to be great fun, and I will probably be uploading some of my attempts in here so when that happens, feel free to take a look and keep up with my progress.

Read more about the course >>>

Creative writing exam

I find myself at that critical moment when I have written my couple of pieces of prose and have laid them before my peers for their considered critique. We are all more or less in the same boat, and probably at about the same level of writing ability. My prose has already been drafted, redrafted, edited and redrafted until it has begun to satisfy my own personal view of improvement. I am feeling all written out. Then along comes someone with a comment on the structure of one of my pieces — and if I may add — a very valid criticism — and I can feel myself falling to pieces. I still have the report/commentary to write and all of a sudden the steam has run out …

And the deadline is May 31st, and it no longer seems an age away …

Words of a Feather

Our new site is up and running. A fair amount of groundwork has been done and a fairly clear plan of operation is emerging.
Take a peek […]

There are areas of the site which will be open to the public in general, and then other areas which will be accessible according to the registered user level. Generally speaking registered users will need an invitation to take part. If they are registered as contributors this will mean that they can ‘hide’ areas of their written content on a temporary or permanent basis so that the public/registered users can read/comment/critique etc. or not. Registered users will be able to add their own events to the events’ calendar and have access to various resources which we will post on the site from time to time.

Most sites for writers offer competitions and other events occasionally so we will be looking further into the development of similar ideas.

Open University

booksThere seems to be a mad rush going on in the course forum for all to join up for the next course. The natural evolution of an OU Creative Writer would probably be to move on to the Advanced Creative Writing course — at least, that certainly seems to be how a lot of the students in the forums see it for the development of their writing careers. Their decision may also have something to do with how their degree course is structured, but as I am probably looking at an Open Degree which at this stage has just as much chance of becoming a Science Degree as an Arts one, I don’t feel as if I am harnessed by the more obvious choices.

So thinking about other options, and doing a few calculations on what I still have to do for the degree, I see that I have foolishly left myself another 10 credits to collect at Level 1 — another 10 credits to collect at Level 2, and finally 60 to collect at Level 3! Was I shortsighted or what? So I am thinking of doing another 30 credit course at Level 2 to make up for the credits missing in the first 2 levels, and then finally the 60 credit course at Level 3. Which would all be just perfect if it weren’t for the fact that I can’t really see anything with 30 credits which appeals to me.

Probably it would be a wise move to try for a 30 or 60 credits at Level 3? What do you think? Anyway, in actual fact I have been looking at a 60 credit course, Level 2 which would give me a handle on English used in various parts of the world. A deeper understanding of the development of the use of the language at various cultural levels, and in various international cultures. Sounds quite fascinating, so watch this space …

It’s called ‘Worlds of English’ [Read more … ]
Level 2 course, ‘Creative Writing’ [Read more … ]
Level 3 course, ‘Advanced Creative Writing’ [Read more … ]
Level 3 course, ‘Children’s Literature’ [Read more … ]
Level 3 course, ‘English Grammar in Context’ [Read more … ]
Level 3 course, ‘Religion in history’ [Read more … ]


The weatherman tells us that the weather is going to be truly rotten from this evening for 24 hours or so. He tells us that we should expect torrential rain and hail, bad storms and even the occasional ‘tromba d’aria’ here and there. And if you are uncertain about those, they are tornadoes. So we decided that today, before all this happens — would be as good a time as any to go out on the bike for a few hours. We didn’t actually go that far from home as we had some things to pick up in the hypermarkets out on the mainland, but if nothing else it meant that we were able to turn the bike engine over after 10 days of its inactivity sitting in the garage.

I experimented with my little digital recorder — I wanted to pick up some local noises and the bike was on my list. A bit disappointing since the wind almost smothered the engine noise, but I also managed to get the local boat transport noises, and a few inside the supermarket including the ‘beeping’ cash register. Hubby managed to set off the alarm in the men’s loos after pulling the alarm cord instead of pushing the thingie on top of the cistern!

We also picked up a couple of toys for daughter’s doggie, Tria, and I am now waiting for her to drop by so we can see the puppy’s reaction! Daughter is pretty peeved as her boyfriend has had to go off for some five days for work. He is a sailing instructor and occasionaly gets sent off to the French Riviera — or other places, to look at/arm/repair yachts. This time he was sent to Sardinia and should be back tomorrow. I think he is also supposed to be messing about with the America’s Cup next week. I only hope they have some decent weather, but the weatherman hasn’t given a terribly pormising forecast that’s for sure.

p.s. for anyone who might have gone to the trouble of reading the previous post regarding our bike, you may have noticed that the photos show two different bikes. Well spotted! That one was a Honda and this one is a Moto Guzzi — decided to buy local produce and move up to a bigger engine which will theoretically be better for all those long journeys we keep planning to do — and which up until now we have not really done. But don’t lose faith and come back often to see if we eventually manage to cross the Alps!

Haiku [the weary student]

Sleep closes my eyes
whilst weary limbs beg for rest
to restore my soul

Soon a bright new day
will bring me fresh energy
to live to the full

New tasks to perform
New challenges for my mind
I must feel refreshed

So away to bed
and I bid you all farewell
and a sweet repose

Haiku [a student’s day begins]

Here I am again
sharpened pencil in hand
and wits about me

A new day has dawned
My mind and body refreshed
ready to begin again

Open Big Red Book
to read the latest chapter
and activities

Stick my head in door
of all the student forums
Check the goings on

Get head down to work
and snap out of reverie
my worst enemy

Got too much to do
to allow my daydreaming
and waste precious time

The sun eats the hours
as they all say over here
so to work, dear lass

Show that you are strong
perfectly able to do
all that’s thrown at you