Tag Archive | coursework

Question 99 (a), Question 99 (b) …

The assignment is complete – all six questions!! Whoo 🙂 Does imaginary dance around room. Well, not complete, complete but mostly complete. I still have a few questions to clarify marking niggles with my tutor face-to-face on 1st September. But hopefully he can clear up that slight concerns I have over whether I’m answering the question as intended. Then it will be ready to hand in! Of course my up coming tutorial is also covering the imminent exam so I’ll have plenty to keep me busy course work wise after this assignment is sent off.


NaNo August Camp

My writing has been going stupendously well. I’m now on 45,000 words for NaNoWriMo August Camp and 90,000 words overall. My characters are organizing themselves to all be in the same place at the same time so I feel a finale coming on. It looks like the novel will run to about 120,000 words after all. Though I am going to probably going to either have to add in some scenes or flesh out some current scenes. At the moment I see to be missing any external antagonists for my main characters so I am going to have beef up those elements. There is probably plenty of stuff that can be cut though so I imagine the word count will end up decreasing over all as the rewriting / editing process rolls out. I hoping to finish the first draft of the novel by the end of September. I’ll take October off to focus on my exam and recovering from my exam. Then come November and NaNoWriMo I shall tackle the rewrite and editing – oh, won’t that be fun!


In meantime my assignment might be resting but my sister needs her PhD proofread, all 80,000 words, by September 28th. So I shall be keeping busy!


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 7 hours in 1 sessions 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 4 😐
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😐
Brain Fog : 4.5 🙂

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? …

I’ve found a new cure for afternoon naps – zooming military aircraft. We had our local airshow yesterday. Surprising it is quite difficult to sleep through a fly by of a Vulcan bomber, not to mention the fighter jets and such. I just powered through. I did looked like a pile of wet noodles by the evening. Even my sister had mercy on me and let me off playing family board games with her. We indulged in Being Human – series 2 and Dexter – series 3 instead. A wonderful evening of tele.


Class of 2002 Reunion

Progress is finally occurring with my school reunion. We got some dates through so we can finally (!) being arranging a date and the specifics. I say ‘we’ I mean me. I’ve got loads of ideas but whether I can make them happen or not, humm. At least my sister is on board with all of them and has already promised to help sort out some of the paper side. I need lots of stuff printed for display and she is going to help out with ferrying my to a copiers etc.


I’ve realized organizing something like this event is actually quite complicated. I mean I knew it would be but we need helpers and I don’t where we are going to get them for free. I can’t be stewarding the parking, on the sign-in desk, on the yearbook desk, on the drinks table and mc-ing at the same time! I’ve only got three spare family members to ‘volunteer’ to the job as well. Well, we’ll figure something out. My sister suggested that we should just let everyone figure out there own parking and that they were probably capable of pouring their own drinks! True I’m sure, but I’m bound to spend the event popping over to check on everything. I’d really like to be able to spend the event circulating and such not being stressed over the organisation side. This is a fanciful dream on my part but I can hope!



I got my 3,000 words written yesterday so I’m on track to make my target word count if I can write 3,000 today. My characters were very co-operative yesterday for a change. I do wonder whether I will have to cut the chapter I wrote yesterday. I spent 3,000 words describing the arrival of my main character, Victoria’s, family members to a dinner. I wanted to show all the different relationships but it is probably too long. Anyway no editing until the novel is finished! I do seem to be building towards or at least foreshadowing an ending now so that is good news. My characters are arranging themselves to all be in the same place at the same time for the first time in the novel. I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say to each other.


So I’m off to write for a bit, until my sister comes downstairs to interrupt me. Yes, I know I should be doing some Open University work but my brain is a bit crunched today. I can’t seem to get it into gear at the moment. It surprises me I can still write but maybe I’ll look back with a clear brain and see that I have to scrap everything I’ve written in this state. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel less like my brain is stuck to an ice pole. If I tip my head back it feels like the forehead will rip off, right now it just feels like a brain deep burning sensation.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 4.5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5.5 😦
Brain Fog : 5.5 😦

Who let the mice in? Squeak, squeak …

Great day yesterday. I got 1,800 words written and then another 2,000 this morning, whoo!  I have to write 3,356 words over my daily amount of 1,667 to get back on track though. At least I’m back writing again 🙂 I was writing some scenes I skipped the first time so there is only two more back scenes to have work added in. All these back scenes were worship ceremonies which took me an age to write as they needed me to go and do a lot of research to get the tone of the prayers right. Now I have choice between tackling a whole new set of characters in a big family meeting or going to a back scene where bad news is given and fleshing it out. Humm, not sure I like either of those options!


The big event of yesterday was I took a shower. Not something I do often as it is a huge physical strain for me. But I am now squeaky clean and sore all over. I requested a nap afterwards but was required to join in family time. Somehow I managed to fool everyone as to my goal and win at Anhk-Morpork: Discworld Boardgame – on points rather than completing my goal but still.


I’m counting down the days until my assignment deadline (14). I have an estimated 7 days of work left to do on it so I thought I was safe to take today writing rather than studying. I’ll probably take Unit 11 in the care with me to read on the way to my acupuncture appointment so I’ll get in 20 minutes of work today. I’ll most likely be too tired to read on the way back but I might be awake it does vary week to week.


As I’m now on the countdown to leaving the house I best get into my scripted actions. First off breakfast!


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 8 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 3.5 😐
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 4 😐
Fatigue : 5 😐
Brain Fog : 4.5 😐

Hurrah for absent sisters …

I love her, really I do! But yesterday, in her absence, I stormed my way through a pile of work. Of course I probably should have taken some time out but that’s neither here nor there. So I managed to get Unit 10 and it’s questions done. I got in my 2 hours of writing and 2066 words written. I cleared my backlog of email replies. I also finished up some amendments to an article I’m working on. All in all, a very full day.


This morning I’ve managed to get Unit 11 and its questions done so now just Units 12, 13, and 14 to read. I’m not sure about Unit 12. It is a case study unit that is not directly assessed. I might leave reading it until later. Yesterday I also downloaded past papers for my exam so I’m ready to face revision post the September 5th assignment deadline.


Today is going to be a big day because we are out to dinner as a family. It is my parents 33rd Wedding Anniversary so we going out to celebrate them not killing each other or us children in all that time. We also have a present for them which will need immediate family time after dinner so I don’t expect to back to work before tomorrow.


If I’m sensible, for which I make no claims, I’ll take tomorrow off to recover. I might even be persuaded to go outside and enjoy the glorious sunshine.


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 sessions 😀
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 2 😀
Brain Fog : 3 😀

Another one bites the dust …

I made good progress on my Open University work today. Unit 10 is now read and questions answered. Just Units 11-14 to go. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. I hate questions with paragraph answers. Bring on the answers made up of code or diagrams. Word counts make me queasy. I just go a complete blank sometimes. I know the answer I just can’t articulate it, which is odd given my fiction writing but there you go. :-S


My sister is out today so hopefully I can spend the afternoon working on my novel. I have to write 500 words today to get back over the baseline needed to get to 50,000 words by the end of August. Hopefully I can make a big dent in the word count which will let me have tomorrow to focus on my OU work again. Obviously OU work trumps novel writing but it is hard to get my heart to agree and not swing towards my novel.


I’ve also got that article I was working on a whiles back to review and amend. My sister wants me to start proofreading her thesis chapters in the not too distant future. I still have to get that book I was proofreading finished up for comma usage. I’m not really sure I have my priorities worked out but I’m doing my best. 😐


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 sessions 😀
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 🙂
Fatigue : 3 😀
Brain Fog : 3.5 😀

Six OU units sitting on a wall …

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m actually back on the work wagon. I’m only about 6 weeks behind! I have an assignment due on the 5th of September and six units to read. I read my first required unit today and answered the accompanying questions. So only five more units and four questions to go. Unfortunately today’s unit was the easy one. Tomorrow’s is twice the size and complexity and it only gets worse from then on. The questions for the unit involve word counts – always a bad sign. 10 marks for 160 words is a lot of pressure per word to perform!



I should have more time to get work done now. The Olympics is finished so I have a couple of weeks without sport competing for my attention. My sister is also back to her normal self now and so is working for longer sessions. Still there are plenty of distractions. We have the last disc of Dexter Series 2 to watch, four new variants of The Seafarers of Catan to play for the first time, a new board game currently in hiding and my parents’ wedding anniversary on the 18th. I still have to get the final proof of the novel I was copy-editing finalized. I have my writing advice article in the works. And then there are the ever present NaNo emails and forums.


My sleep seems to have reverted back to a normal-ish pattern now and I’m feeling much more alert so hopefully I’ll be able to stay on track. I need to get over 80 in my assignment to have a chance at a first in this course so I need to work hard at really understanding what the question wants. Once the 5th of September passes it will be onwards to the exam 😦 I’ll need to start preparing and revising as soon as I can if I want to get over 80 on the exam!



70,000 words!! Woo 😀 I had a blinder yesterday and actually wrote over 3,000 words in one session. I’m now well ahead of my daily count for NaNo August Camp. I think I might end up cutting or reworking some of it in the editing stage though. I was struggling with how to show a particular event. Should I use flashback or real time? Which point of view character should I use, as three of my main characters are present? It took me a few attempts but I finally settled on real time and my usual point of view character, Joshua. I think the other participants reactions are easily understood from observation but his internal emotions are more complex in this particular incident.


I am a bit lost as to what happens next. I have a strong pull to write up all the details concerning this incident but I wonder whether that is overdoing it. I already think I may have written too much detail. It might be better to skip forward in time and just show the rest of events in summary. Anyway I’ll have to figure it out soon!


Hours Sleep Today so far : – 8 hours in 1 sessions 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 5 😀
Fatigue : 2.5 😀
Brain Fog : 2.5 😀

Well, erm, um, you know – its, erm …

What did I do today? Erm … um. Oh yes I remember – that blasted interview transcription that I am still (!) doing. I am now on 37 minutes. I have 10 minutes left to do, which if I’m lucky I can get done tomorrow. Unfortunately I have yet another interview to start which is also 40 plus minutes, arrhh!


I did a bit of work on my proof reading project. I’m on the final run though. I’ve left the comma usage for last and it is a ball buster. I really struggle with classifying clauses (adverbial, coordinate, dependent, independent) which means when I read the comma rules they are a bit too jargon laden. I’m sure the rule ‘use a comma to separate a adverbial clause from a main clause’ would be perfectly fine if I could work out if my clause is or is not an adverbial clause. Anyway I’m on page 23 of 219 so I expect I may be at this a while.


I then had a nap, after melting my brain with commas. Upon waking up fresh and alert (hah!), I decided that the computer was staying off if I wanted to retain my sanity. But given I was not feeling like any TV I took a chance on the new ebook I bought yesterday called The NORTAV Method for Writers: The Secret to Constructing Prose Like the Pros by A. J. Abbiati. I’ve read up to the middle of Chapter 3. It is a very interesting read. The writing style is very conversational. The jargon is well explained. The diagrams have come out beautifully on the Kindle version. The book comprises the author’s method for analyzing prose construction, basically how sentences can be classified into different types and how they are strung together – ish.


I’ve always struggled with my own writing trying to work out why it doesn’t sound or read the same way as my most admired authors. Jim Abbiati gives us a simple method for classifying types of prose e.g. narration, character observations, reactions, thoughts, actions, and vocalizations. By having a classification system then you can applied it to your favourite author’s work and to your own and compare the differences. It has already given me somethings to chew over to do with implied links between clauses and action and observation clause pairs. If you’re interested in how great authors construct their prose then this method will give you the skills to investigate for yourself.


You might be worried that deconstructing your own prose would harm your writing flow. This is something I’m always nervous about myself. But as the author assures us, studying the mechanics should allow your subconscious mind to pick up a few tricks, even if you don’t use them consciously, just like when you learnt about subjects and verbs back in primary school. Certainly it hasn’t affected my writing flow as I got on with writing Chapter 6 this evening. I’ve got the first scene written which took me quite a long time actually. I had a lot of technical details to work out as I was writing i.e. architecture, sunlight levels, type of music and dance involved in the scene. It’s amazing how much work has to go into even one sentence like ‘it was a vast space, filled with shadows untouched by the fading sunlight’. I keep a very handy reference to sunrise / sunset and moon rise / moon set times ready in my internet browser bookmarks. I have to refer to it almost daily to work out what the light levels would be at any given time in the day in my fictional world – I have picked a real historical date to work from.


If you think you haven’t heard about me doing any Open University studies recently, you would be correct. I know I have to get some work done but I just can’t summon up the enthusiasm. Maybe once I get this transcription stuff out of the way I can dedicate that hour of my day to my studies instead. My problem is given a choice between writing my novel and studying I’ll pick my novel every time !! This despite the fact there is no deadline on my novel but the 5th of September is looming as a fixed deadline for my last piece of coursework before the exam in October. So yes I will be making an effort to get enthusiastic about software development methods, but next week ok.


Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 11 hours in 2 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 3 🙂
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 5 🙂
Brain Fog : 4.5 🙂

Warning flying pink mammals …

Hours Sleep Today so far : – 5 hours in 1 session 😦
Headache intensity / pain level : 5.5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 3 😀
Fatigue : 5 🙂
Brain Fog : 4.5 🙂


I left the house for a social event. I know that really is pigs flying by. I enjoyed a wonderful Chinese meal out with my best friend V. (My fortune cookie was ‘the only determination that lasts is self-determination’). It is a very quiet restaurant, very low key so it keeps the additional stress from noise and light levels down. You might remember I said my best friend has been going a bit of a rough time but now things are really picking up for her. I was really pleased to hear about her good news. Since I’m currently back writing I warned her that I would be requiring her expert editing skills. She was the first, and I think only, person to read the first book I ever wrote. She returned it covered in red ink !! I will always remember how interested she was in what I’d imagined even though she didn’t really read scifi. That interest has kept me inspired to persevere with the dream of writing for publication rather than just for pleasure so that I can share my ideas with others.


I finally got the mark back on the coursework I submitted on the 22nd of June. I got 81 !! 😀 As long as I get over 80 in the next assignment and in the exam then I will get a 1:1 in this module. If so I would still be on track to get a 1:1 for the BSc in Computing. Yeah 🙂


I am once again wrestling with the need to overextend myself. My best friend V mentioned, and has mentioned on previous visits, that she would like to make a site up for her mum’s massage services. I could make one for her but it would take time and effort. Worse I really, really want to help but I have to keep reminding myself of the work I have already committed myself to and not take on even more projects !! If I could work 9-5 everyday then it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m still trying to restrict myself to 3-4 hours a day given I know it would be better if I could get down to 3-4 hours every other day just while I’m still recovering. I assure you I would happily keep working until I dropped but then I would be unlikely to be able to get up again.


As it is I’ve found myself trying to organize a 10 year reunion for my school class mates and myself. I’m really, really interested in having some kind of event because it has been a long time and I think a lot of us are out of touch with each other. Anyway it would be good to have on my non-existent resume!


Speaking of resumes I’ve been seriously considering whether proofreading is something I could make money at. I’ve considered it in the past because I read so much. However I excluded it as a possibility because I’m not a reliable worker so working for a publishing house is probably out of the question. However with the growth of self-publishing there is a new crop of authors who might be willing to pay a contract fee to have their ebook proofread. Obviously I have other commitments at the moment, the foremost being getting my degree finished, however it is certainly a career area that I will give some thought to pursuing. Of course I have no idea what kind of price would be reasonable to charge or affordable for that matter, nor anything about being self-employed, contracts, payment, taxes or anything involved with having an actual paying job. Seems like I would have a lot of research to do !

Back to school for the day …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 12 hours in 1 session 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 5 😦
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 5 😦
Fatigue : 7 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

So it turns out that going to a school reunion the day after trekking to a skydive is not a good idea when you have ME. Who could have guessed ?! I know it was a really bad idea but the timing just couldn’t be helped. I had a great time at the reunion as we got to wander around the school and see what had changed. Lots of things had changed but the smell was still the same !!

My sister and I got to speak to lots of our old teachers which was fantastic and a couple even remembered us !! Anyway I am now on my way to crawl back into my hole. I’ll try and resurrect myself tomorrow in order to get some work done on my coursework.

Sleeping the day away …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 12 hours in 1 session 😐
Headache intensity / pain level : 1 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 0 😀
Fatigue : 7 😦
Brain Fog : 7 😦


Well sleeping all through daylight hours does have it’s bonuses. I wasn’t awake when the call of duty went out and my dad got stuck being the one to hole punch 1000 pages of appeal paperwork to get posted today. My sister is still coughing her lungs out and the cat has been off terrorising the neighbourhood so she hasn’t been throwing up on the carpet today.


I did manage to finish off House MD Series 6 last night so the disks are all ready to go to the library on Wednesday. The library even has Series 7 unlike Tesco DVD or LoveFilm, so I’ve reserved a copy of the disc set.


I’ve been feeling so tired today. I could happily crawl into bed right now but medication time isn’t until 2 am. I might as well watch a DVD of New Tricks Series 4 which will get me to the right time. I haven’t felt like reading or working on my novels outlines or OU work. In fact even watching TV has been a bit of a strain. Hopefully in a couple weeks once the beta-blockers get up to the right level I’ll be able to up the antidepressants and be a bit brighter.