Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Well, this is a blast from the past. Eldest child is working through her psychology essay's references, which I know how to do. I, on the other hand, have written a sequence of poems and prose about Greenham Common and have no idea whatsoever what to include or leave out of a bibliography. I've never even written a bibliography. So I'm trying to reference songs, newspaper archives, youtube, articles, books, poems, poets... I'm at a loss. Somehow I have to relate the work back to the theory it was sparked off by, a reading we were given about Helene Cixous, but we're not writing a commentary or rationale so how do we demonstrate the inky footprints back to the original theory? Worse, I've never written a prose-and-poem sequence of life writing before and I've got the Kafka piece to do as well. Lament over.

I'm about to head back to Winchester to start new modules on the MA. I have to fit in a critique of another student's writing in A363 which I have decided to do with my eyes shut, since it's 10% of the marks and my last assignment didn't score highly. I think my big end-of-module assignment will do well, and I have a short story to write for TMA05 so will enjoy getting on with that while I wait for university to start up again. I have also signed up for a poetry class, and that will be for fun, I can do all the reading and exercises (if I want) but can skip them if I'm busy which will leave me more time for the other stuff. I've also got all the children's books ready for Fantastic Fiction and am reading through bits of them, in preparation. I want to keep up with work so I can keep the assignment momentum up.

Reading through my psychology books, I have an interesting case study by 'The Troops of Truddi Chase', a strange phenomenon of a woman who dissociated into different persoanlities that excluded the original Truddi. While I'm not going to get into a debate about MPD (Multiple Personality disorder ICD10)  or DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder DSM-IV) I have long been fascinated by When Rabbit Howls, a rare book where the patient gets to explain their own experience. I would love to write a MPD character for a short story. She wrote very movingly about the agony of rediscovering the abuse that led to her dissociation (or delusion if you're sceptical) but either way, this was a disturbed and hurt character who found a way through trauma. So I'm taking it back to University for a bit of light reading when all the children's books get too spooky. I've just read Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan, which frankly, is a horror story. Written by Shan as if he were a child it follows the story of Darren Shan (confusing I know, try to keep up) as he is transformed into a vampire and has to leave his family to travel with a band of monsters. It's creepy and disturbing and one of my sons loved it, collected all 12 books. It's an astonishing work, and shows how diverse and creative children's writing has become. The Wasp Factory (Iain Banks) seems more likable and comfortable now. Varjak Paw (S. F. Said) was the same, gorgeous story but with a hard edge, not easy to make it realistic or believable when the narrator is a cat. Back to referencing... 


  1. I'm exhausted just reading this. Well done you, such interesting work.

  2. Hi Reb, tried to send you some bits re biblios etc last night and this morning but Winchester systems down. (GRRR) Will try again soon. Plan to read your chapters today - looking forward.


  3. Hi Carole, I'm loving it, it's the deadlines, they make you work, don't they? I think if I didn't haver assignments to put in I'd be twiddling my thumbs wondering where to start!

    And Downith, I've got your docs, thank you! It looks like I'm on the right track, anyway.

  4. Gosh, you are busy! Have fun in 2011.