Tag Archive | TMA

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 🙂


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 😀

An’ here I go again on my own …

An’ here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone
An’ I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time

… I shall read my books and write my novel and no more Catan !!! My sister has officially left the building. She is off to wow the academics in her field with her excellent research and presentation skills. She did a practice run in front of the whole family last night which went really well so I’m sure she’ll do great at the conference. I even managed to do more than just listen and read at the same time. I thought up some really tricky questions so hopefully one of them will get asked as she now has answers for them rather a different difficult question. We did practice some cunning sliding answers for if she doesn’t know what on earth the question was about.


I spent this morning on the computer completing various tasks. I am trying to complete the transcription of two interviews for my mum so that she can analyse the content for an assignment on the OU. My current rate is 5 – 10 minutes of interview in an hour !! Each interview is 40 minutes long, so I may be at this a while. 😦


I then took a couple of pleasurable / frustrating hours writing the beginning of Chapter 5. I’m having a bit of trouble with what to leave out event wise. My current choice is to write a Project Note containing what has happened between scenes so that I have at least got it written down even if I don’t include all the details in the novel. I’m struggling with this chapter because it is the first chapter where we meet the hero’s family. I want him to have a very complex relationship with his father (authoritarian), mother (nervous breakdown), and older brothers (patronizing / condescending). This, on top of a completely new palace to plan out,  fills me with trepidation when trying to write these scenes. I have got my hero to the door of the room but have yet to open it and confront his father. I think I feel as nervous as my hero at the thought of meeting him !! Hopefully if I get the rhythm of my writing right, the reader will feel this nervous too !


Last night I spent some time investigating what it takes to have a career in proofreading or as I learnt last night copy-editing. Proofreading is looking at the format and layout of typeset work, whereas copy-editing is the more traditional idea of checking for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. There is a very helpful website by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders which gives a lot of information about training and the skill levels needed. I would certainly consider doing training with them to improve my skills both for my personal writing and possible professional work.


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

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 !

Miracles can happen …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 1 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 1 😀
Fatigue : 2 🙂
Brain Fog : 3 🙂


Sorry I meant to nip on yesterday but dinner interrupted me and then I was dragged into playing The Settlers of Catan and then frogmarched to watch the newest episode of Grimm. After that it was my bedtime !!


The acupuncturist has managed a miracle !! 😀 I actually spent 5 hours yesterday working ! I know it’s shocking isn’t it. I’ve now completed most of the my coursework that was due in last week. I still have some polishing up to do like inserting the diagrams but for the most part I could send it in now and get reasonable marks. This is amazing given that just yesterday I couldn’t conceive that my brain would actually be capable of scanning a textbook and outputting new learned material. So here I am actually contemplating that I might actually complete this course after all !


I’m intending to crawl back into a hole and read my next book as a reward. I’ve been reading Karen Traviss and her Wass’har books. They are incredibly well written. Makes me very envious. I’ve been immersed in them the last couple of days and only have Ally and Judge left to read. I still have cravings to go and read Miles Vorkosigan so I think I might read his stories next. The old favourites never get lose their captivating charm.


Actually I’m thinking about trying to actually write something. I need to get my coursework out of the way first but my brain is actually working so maybe I’ll be able to write coherently for a change. I think I’ve got the ideas formulated enough to be able to write them. The first novel I ever wrote I just started writing and didn’t stop – I didn’t know what was going to happen until I wrote it. These days I want to have some idea where I’m going and need to spend a lot more time on world building before I can get to grips with putting words on paper.


At the moment I’m having difficulty with the plot (what happens) vs narrative (how the reader sees events). In particular I have events happening over a very long time which impact the culminating events of the novel. I don’t want to tell these events in a linear fashion which logically means either interweaving timelines or some type of flashback. I haven’t really resolved in my mind which is the best option. I think now I’ve worked out the logistics of just writing the scenes and then figuring out how to layer them together later. I think ultimately I might end up interweaving timelines simply because I am becoming more and more attached to the main characters of the early timeline section.


Well that’s a consideration for another day right now I have to get on with my coursework !!

Mountains high, Valley low …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 9 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 5 😦
Nausea level : 5 😦
Joint / muscle pain : 4 😦
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦


He spoke to me !! Christopher Anderson actually spoke to me ! Can you believe it ? Reading his comment made me as giddy as a 13 year old meeting her pop idol. I avoided all those teenagers crushes as an actual teenager but I’ve discovered I’m still vulnerable to a bit of blonde dizziness when it comes to celebrities. By the way I am totally aware that Christopher Anderson is a normal, if extremely talented, human being – this did not stop my heart and tummy fluttering with butterflies when I realised that he knew I existed. I hereby declare I shall celebrate my new found teenage-ness by devouring the rest of Christopher Anderson’s novels as fast as my eyes can scan.


So following my teenage moment I had another reason to be feeling my heart pump and stomach roll. I finally knuckled down and admitted that I would have to drop out of M248 – my mathematics Open University course. I had deferred the exam from Oct to June hoping my health would improve. Hah !! That was a waste of time. Anyway I finally admitted defeat and rang the Open University and cancelled my registration on the course. This made me feel incredibly headachy and nauseous – stress does not sit well in my system.


On top of that, with 1 day to go, I got in touch with my tutor on M363 (my computing course) and asked for an extension for my TMA (coursework). Hopefully I shall suddenly experience a miracle of health and be able to submit my TMA with a semblance of coherence in a weeks time. My levels of optimism are not great at this point. Still one has to hope since there’s not much else one can do.


Now that I’ve managed to rack up my guilt levels I shall drag my OU books out of their dusty hole and attempt to read them while sending longing sideways glances at my Kindle. If I make it an hour without having to medicate up to the eyeballs and crawl into a dark room I shall count myself as having won a success for the day.

Enter my time warp …

Hours Sleep in 24 hours :
Today so far : – 10 hours in 1 session 🙂
Headache intensity / pain level : 2 😀
Nausea level : 0 😀
Joint / muscle pain : 2 😀
Fatigue : 6 😦
Brain Fog : 6 😦

I can’t believe it’s been 3 days since my last post. I honestly feel like I’m asleep all the time at the moment even when I’m awake !! Due to a miscalculation of dates on my part I messed up my medication and ran out of the slow release beta blockers before my next prescription arrived. Entirely my fault for not keeping better track but going back onto the 10 mg tablets has led to a couple of days of really bad headaches and very poor sleep. Anyway hopefully now I’m back on my proper medication I will go back to being pain free at least.


Oh good news I don’t know if I told you about my TMA 01 for M363 but I got 82 out of 100. I am very, very pleased with that mark especially given how difficult I found it to get my brain to work for me as the deadline loomed. Now I’m counting down to the next deadline. Given that I haven’t managed to read any of my units for weeks now I’m not super hopeful of running to schedule !!


Right I’m off to crawl into bed to recover from my latest Amazon buying spree. I know I promised I wouldn’t. But in all fairness I had in fact read all the previous first book romances I’d bought and was just buying the rest of the books in the new authors’ series’. Still I know but I’m just not in the mood to read any of the fantasy and scfi going unread on my Kindle at the mo. I’m sure I’ll switch back into a more serious reading mood sometime. I always do eventually.