ink_splotch: (when i sleep i dream [run away])
So, I'm kind of madly happy. I'm not entirely sure why, either, particularly because I've had moments of extreme malaise and worry about exams and my future during today, but it sort of passed during Medieval Lit (though I still say a lecture at 5 till 6 is unreasonably late), stuck between Becca and Phil and making stupid comments and jokes about religion (University: if you can't make fun of it, it ain't worth studying). Which is awesome, since it means that now I'm here, sleepy and quite content. Mmmmm. Even though I am vaguely missing Gemma, who's gone home for two days. It's not too bad, though, sort of a comfortable ache.

I mean, I'm still worried about my grades (which I don't get until next week and, I just - I've never felt so badly after an exam, and it's not really a comfortable feeling) and my thesis (because it's soon, really soon now, and I'm still not entirely sure what I want to write about: Fairytales and the Creation of Identity in The Book of Lost Things, The Function of the Fictional in The Book of the Duchess or something completely different, maybe to do with gender. And it's the fact that I don't feel like there's anyone in the faculty I could really go to to get help with this that's annoying me most of all, I think) and I still don't feel like I'm keeping up as well as I should be - I kind of feel like everyone else has a lot more terminology than me, or at least, it comes easier to them than it does to me, which is frustrating, particularly because I could be doing more work and I'm sort of...not.

Still, fuck it, I'm happy. I've got friends and Critical Theory and will quite possibly be able to do gender studies for my second Restoration essay, which would just be plain awesome.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short story called 'The Storyteller', which I actually quite like. And now there's a creative writing competition at University and I am tempted. Very tempted. On the other hand, I am very awkward about showing something I like that isn't fandom related to anyone. Particularly this story, which is the first thing I've written since this summer and is , well, important to me. Also, I'm not sure it doesn't need editing, but I'm kind of sensitive about it - I don't really want someone to rip it apart. Dilemma.

Speaking of writing, I have about 1000 words of English Department fic, except it has completely departed the world of RPF and entered the world of original fiction (which is both exciting and odd) and also it is present tense. Which is...freaky. I'll probably end up changing it. Mostly I'm just kind of surprised I'm writing. It's both nice and frustrating because, well, as I was talking to Sofie about when she was here, I don't really think of myself as a writer. I think of myself as an academic writer (to a certain degree, anyway), but not a fiction writer. And yet, now it's as if something is working and I'm writing - not all the time, but sometimes. It's very strange.

It's also frustrating, because guess who hasn't started on her Restoration passage analysis yet? Oh, that would be me! (And it's due in in two weeks, why do I do this to myself?)

Oh! Finally, may I highly recommend Company of Liars? I got it from Gemma for our anniversary and it hooked me; it's about a band of travellers during the first year of the plague - a trader in sacred relics, a couple on the run, a deformed storyteller, a magician, two musicians, a healer and little girl who tells runes. It manages to be both a riveting, creepy story as well as interesting on a human level; the characters are compelling, the history well-researched and worked into the text (none of that exposition blather) and captures the sense of fear that the plague must have evoked believably. It's just really, really good and has an excellent narrative voice and a really awesome twist at the end. Very, very much recommended.

And now I should probably go to bed, so I am well-rested for tomorrow's day o'Torchwood. Mmm.
ink_splotch: (moves us all [life])
1. I've been with Gemma for a year as of yesterday. I realize this is a completely arbitrary way of telling time and all that, but it still seems like something of a mile-stone. Particularly since I still haven't got this relationship figured out - it's a huge, momentous thing and it means the world to me, and yet it's easy and simple and it's my everyday life.

A vaguely related tangent is, how fast has this year gone by?

2. I am completely and utterly behind on my Torchwood watching. Eek.

3. I am slightly behind on work still, due to having been out of town for three days (which was awesome, oh yes), which is not being made better by the fact that I have about six books I wanted to read - completely unrelated to my degree programme. Happiness!

3a. And my essay questions for restoration literature suck so bad.

3b. And I still haven't received my grades for last term's work yet. WHY WON'T YOU JUDGE ME? *cries*

4. I have this horrible feeling that I'm going to be writing fanfiction soon as a consequence of no one writing my Stardust pairing. And also because the Faculty Fandom continues to prey on my mind. Dammit, brain, I don't have time for all this!
ink_splotch: (blooming on the page [books])
Had proper university experience yesterday! Or at least, that's what I'm calling it in my head, because my-interest-in-queer-history-overwhelms-my-hatred-of-awkward-social-situations is a) very long and b) silly sounding! Anyway, Becs and I went to a special seminar yesterday (i.e. an open seminar which isn't related to a course) on masturbation and same-sex friendship in medieval literature, which, okay. First, let me say that the seminar itself was amazing. The title of it was Self-Abuse: Blurring/Defining Sexual Difference in Medieval Literature and it feature elements of queer theory, social history, gender deconstruction and probably a few theories that I didn't recognize, being an undergrad and all. Still, very exciting! However, the other people attending the seminar...well, first of all, we were about eight. Four of whom were from lecturers, two of whom were post-grads and, oh yeah. Becca and me. Felling slightly conspicuous, I might say. Particularly because the lecturer (who is our seminar tutor for Medieval lit this term) is, oh yeah, possibly the lecturer from the English Department fandom. He may or may not think we're lunatics.

Still. Awesome. And now I want to re-read Strangers. Curse you, lack of time!

On Thursday, I'm going to America for my Grandmother's 80th birthday. For some reason, I can't quite fathom that I'm going. And not only am I going, but I'm seeing Ann and Lee, which I'm probably more excited about than anything, since it feels like ages and I miss them. A lot. Particularly now I'm at university, because it was when I was living in America I first got really excited about university, so, yeah. Very much looking forward to going. Slightly less excited about dragging most of my brother's possessions with me (I am mule, hear me bray). Still, at least Heathrow have lifted their 'one piece of luggage' rule, which makes me very happy - I can bring my critical theory book! Granted, I probably won't have time to read, because of the birthday and Mardi Gras and all that, but hey. There's always the plane, right?

Currently reading The Yellow-Light Bookshop which is a really nice sort of memoir type book, all about bookshops and book-lust (which is an awesome term and one I will be employing muchly in future, I think) and it's kind of making me want to open my own bookstore.

Neil Gaiman mentioned Torchwood on his blog. I think that's kind of awesome. Particularly because the sequence was titled "Reasons Why The People in Season One of Torchwood Are Too Stupid To Live", which, okay. Yes. But 1x12 is still an amazing episode.
ink_splotch: (average it but never act it [age])
Guys, I'm beginning to believe that I am a) utterly predictable and b) quite a corrupting influence. Consider the following evidence:

1) Becca has written 22 pages of English department fic. It's worth noting that Becca is a good Christian and isn't even in fandom. I should probably be more ashamed of this than I am, really.

2) Yesterday, when Chris and Tom came back from their martial arts class, Tom was talking about these wrestling moves and using very suggestive language - but, and this is the important part, I didn't say anything at all, yet suddenly Chris goes, "No, Marie, there was nothing gay about it." And no one believed my protestations.

Have I mentioned that I love this year a whole lot?

Also, unrelated, but, if you scroll about half way down this page? Jon Stewart fanboying Bruce Springsteen on the Daily Show. It makes my heart happy.
ink_splotch: (she dreams in technicolor [vibrant])
1.
Would'st thou divert thyself from melancholy?
Would'st thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly?
Would'st though read riddles, and their explanation?
Or else be drowned in thy contemplation?
[...]
Would'st thou lose thyself, and catch no harm,
And find thyself again without a charm?
Would'st thou read thyself, and read thou know'st not what,
And yet know whether thou are blest or not,
By reading the same lines? O then come hither,
And lay my book, thy head, and heart together.
John Bunyan: The Author's Apology for his Book

2. I have 1971 words of an essay which started out ambitiously and ended up being utterly conventional. That is not the point, however. The point is it is a essay for Renaissance Literature which a) is reasonably good (i.e. I won't fail) and b) didn't result in my death or the death of others. This is a good RenLit essay.

3. I was talking to Freya yesterday and she asked me what was new here and I realized ho happy I am. Not right this moment - right this moment I'm a bit sleepy and kind of hungry and a little frustrated with RenLit in general - but overall. In general. I think this year is maybe the happiest I've been in 5 or 6 years. It's not that I've been depressed, but there's just always been something not quite right, and now there isn't. Or at least not as chronically; now, most mornings, I wake up happy, I have good days, I talk to people, I don't mind asking for help, I don't mind being on my own because I know it's my choice. It's weird how I didn't notice it sneaking up on me.

4.
Stories were different, though: they came alive in the telling. Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by torchlight beneath a blanket, they had no real existence in our world. They were like seeds in the beak of a bird, waiting to fall to earth, or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read, David's mother would whisper. They needed it. It was the reason they forced themselves from their world into ours. They wanted us to give them life.
- John Connolly: The Book of Lost Things

5. There's a really interesting comparison to be made between Anansi Boys and The Book of Lost Things, I can't help but feel.

6. This is an incredibly bad idea, because it means that when your lecturer decides that an interesting 15 minutes digression from the theme of women in Anglo-Saxon lit would be homosocial and homoerotic bonds in the same, you and Becca will spend the entire fifteen mintues stifling giggles and occasionally writing lewd notes on each other's notebooks.

7. It is desperately cold here. Is it cold where you are?
ink_splotch: (putting the -tp- in otp [oh so happy])
Today has been made from so much win, I can barely contain my glee. You know those days when you just feel good; your lectures are fun, one of your lecturers implies that you - by virtue of being gap-toothed - are lusty and lavicious and otherwise is basically Eddie Izzard teaching Chaucer, the other lecturer makes Milton funny and implies that God and Jesus created the Holy Spirit through MPreg, you suddenly seem to have acquired friends, you actually understand and are interested in what you're doing, there's a kitten in your final lecture, and you end the day with a twenty minute long chat with your very awesome Old English seminar tutor who is SUCH A KITTEN and has a mohawk and blushes when you say he's awesome?

Yeah. That would be my day. Becca and I induced giggling fits in each other twice, Gemma and I held hands through renaissance lit, my Old English tutor called me and Becca 'clever' and offered to be my honorary personal tutor and I may have had a brilliant flash of inspiration with regards to my renlit essay. And I bought Nicholas Royle and Andrew Bennett's introduction to criticism and theory in the 3rd edition, which is still the most amazing thing ever.

These are the days I live for.
ink_splotch: (look at the world amazed [fascination])
So, I may or may not have accidentally made the faculty of my university into a fandom. It's all the fault of Old English for being so dull - and Becca's fault, for asking me what I do when I'm bored. On the spur of the moment, I said, 'I picture [our lecturer] making out with [our seminar tutor]'. I don't even know why! And now I can't stop thinking about it! And the thing is, it works, 'cause our lecturer is all proper and seems arrogant, though it's kind of obvious that he's just shy and out to prove himself and he speaks really quietly and hardly ever smiles; on the other hand, our seminar tutor has a mohawk and wears skinny jeans stuffed into his Doc Martins and is all smiles all the time, cracking bad jokes and blushing when the students tease him and it could work! And it could be cute, because their teaching styles are completely different and *they* are completely different and the lecturer doesn't want to like the seminar tutor, but he can't *help* it, because the tutor doesn't stop talking to him and joking with him and asking him for advice and they run a course together, so they can't avoid each other and sometimes the woman the lecturer shares his office with teases him that the tutor's the only one who can really make him grin and that makes the lecturer blush and duck his head and he can't understand it because he's been so dedicated to his academic life that he's kind of forgotten how to interact with humans. And then one night, they're both working late, and the tutor's not had time to fix his hair that morning, so it's hidden under his hat and before he knows what he's doing, the lecturer asks what his hair looks like without product and the tutor takes his hat off and he looks silly and kind of idiotic and it's utterly endearing and the lecturer reaches out to touch it.

And then making out ensues.

See?! I have *really* thought about this too much, and it's not just because I had a five hour shift yesterday and thus had a lot of time to think. And I have this whole 'verse, which, like, involves colleagues and arguments about literary theory and academic papers. And it would be AWESOME. And now I want someone to write it.

Meanwhile, no break-throughs on the renaissance literature essay front. How unfair is that?

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