Thank whoever's listening, assignment 3 for the OCA is winging its way to my tutor. I had to write a 1000 word character sketch, which ended up more as a storyish scene. The fiction piece I had to write was 1500 words, and while I had a first draft easily, getting it to where it is now took ages! On the plus side, I'm using both courses to improve my writing. The really difficult bit was the 1000 word commentary I'm supposed to write. Having wrestled with only 300 words and a strict format for A215, I found it really difficult to reflect for 1000 words even though I had more material. My OCA tutor had previously commented on my addiction to adjectives, so I'm trying to show more than tell, but even in the final read through I found several I couldn't account for. I'm finally very happy with the short stories I'm writing though, which is good news as I have to do one for A215 in a couple of months. Now I'm just waiting for inspiration for a plot to hit me. I'm reading Karen Maitland at the moment I really enjoyed the Owl Killers, and she used many first person accounts but a linear approach to the time, so you see the whole story in fragments, from many points of view, some quite alien, like the views of religious people in a community, like nuns. I've just started Company of Liars, again set in the same time frame as the Chaucer project that the kids are doing. I've always been a bit cautious of first person, but it can be so intense, especially where your narrator has an unusual perspective (or is barking mad). Great stuff.
For other news, apart from having seventeen pots of sloppy jam that just won't set, chickens that won't stop laying and moult even though they are going bald, and two courses on the go, I am looking at next year. There is a masters in creative and critical writing in Winchester that looks right for me, although I like the Portsmouth MA in creative writing as well. The downside is, I live in Devon ... Two of the boys are looking at studying at Sparsholt college near Winchester next year, so if I can go down with them and all rent somewhere for a few months maybe we can all study together. It would be really good to spend more time with my brothers, my mother-in-law is ill and old and could do with more visits, and I can concentrate on writing for 9 months. Maybe even rewrite the novel, which got positive feedback from the publisher even though the ending was weak (their words, mine was crap!) I have a BSc and MSc, but in psychology, so they might want time to do the A363 first - but then I miss the window of opportunity of going down with the boys. And I think they do need me there, especially Isaac! That would leave the first mate at the helm though - maybe the jam will set and the chickens moult for him. It would be a big, fun adventure after the gloom of the accident, anyway. Possibilities, possibilities.