Monday, 29 November 2010

Ooh, this looks good though...

Just been checking out some stuff on various MAs in Creative Writing and/or English.  I'm still submitting an application for the MA at Lancaster University.  I have some work that I can show them, as they require a folder of writing (with potential for publication! Err, maybe not!).  I'm fairly confident that what I show them will be up to scratch - I think I know what they're looking for.  And having worked in the English Department at that particularly marvellous university, processing MA applications, I can remember what I thought of the standard of some of the writing, because I read a lot of it ;)  I remember thinking that I could probably write as well as most of the applicants (why, oh why, did I not extend that idea a little bit and start writing then?)  I'll put that application together as soon as I can - I now have my Creative Writing tutor to ask for a reference.  And I have my tutor from Aberystwyth to write me an academic one.  So that's fine.  Good job I did this little CW course, else I'd have no-one to write a reference on my writing!

But I've just been looking at the Open University website, and they do an MA in English.  It's not creative writing, obviously, but it would still be incredibly useful to me.  And it's more affordable.  It would be a tremendous amount of work, but what enjoyable work it would be :)  There are an awful lot of books to read in the first year, but I'm up to that.  I can apply myself a lot better these days.  The fees are not available yet, and I can't find out what last year's were.  But you can pay in installments with the OU, which you can't do with an ordinary uni.  It's not just about the money.  If it were I wouldn't even bother applying to Lancaster, because it's so expensive.  But I'm thinking of the OU as a back up really, incase Lancaster don't think I'm good enough.  It's entirely possible (I know, I know - which crazy institution wouldn't want to offer ME a place??!  Sheesh!), because Lancaster's standards are so very high.  Both start in October anyway, so I'll know whether or not I have a place at Lancaster in plenty of time to register for the OU.  You don't have to wait to be offered a place at the OU, you just register :)

The little Creative Writing course finishes tomorrow evening, last one.  It's been fun.  I might do it again after Christmas.  It has a different tutor in January.  But lots of people do the course several times.  It probably should be a continuous longer course, and be called a Certificate or something.  But the Adult College split it up into these silly little courses for some daft financial reason.  The people on the course are lovely, and I'd like to see them some more.  I'm hopefully going to see some of them for an hour this evening - a few are trying to get a writers' group going, and are meeting fortnightly in a pub on a Monday evening.  I can't stay for the whole session, because I have to pick Thomas up from aikido.  But I will drop him off, nip over to the pub for fifty minutes or so, and then collect him when I'm done.  I might not be able to participate quite as fully as I would like, but it's better than nothing.  Being around other writers is even more inspiring and wonderful than I expected.  It's just lovely to listen to other people talking about their work, even if it's not something I would read.  Writers all have such a lot in common with the ways they work, and the problems they have to work through.  It's nice to be less alone in the whole thing for a change.  I think they've set up this little group because there isn't anything else like it in Lancaster.  Maybe there is, I don't know.  But that's the impression I got from the group.  I'll have to print something off to share tonight.  I might not share it this week, or perhaps I'll just give it to someone to take away.  But I've not been to this group before, so I might just have a coffee and listen to how it works.  I'd quite like to read something that someone else has written.

Well, I'll be off now.  Didn't get my morning off this morning, as Matthew was poorly.  Of course, he could have gone to nursery and been just fine.  But he seemed very off at brekkie, having been up since 5am with a touch of croup.  But I'll still have time after Thomas's aikido to plough through some of my faerie notes.  Better to do an hour or work than none at all, right?!

aikido |ˌīkēˈdō; īˈkēdō|nouna Japanese form of self-defense and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent's own movements.ORIGIN 1950s: from Japanese aikidō, literally ‘way of adaptingthe spirit,’ from ai ‘together, unify’ ki ‘spirit’ dō ‘way.’

My grandad (on the left, quite obviously!) in his aikido gear :)  My grandad Stephen is the Chief Instructor at Lancaster Aikikwai.  Thomas loves aikido, and I think he will stay with the club for a very long time.

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