Blog 9 – Review

Blog 9 – Review

I started the English with Creative Writing Degree with great trepidation!

I was worried about my age, have I left it too late to change career direction?  All sorts of negatives constantly running through my head!

The first day was very nerve-racking but I met some nice people who were all in exactly the same position as me!

Unfortunately, there was a few complications with my Course, long story, and then I took poorly with a sever virus that hit me hard for over three months.

That was hard, when you miss just one lesson you miss sooooo much!

My friends and Tutors all have been a great support and helped me when the times got tough, in fact I wouldn’t have got his far without all of their understanding and help.

I’ve very nearly thrown the towel in a few times, life just kept seem to be getting in the way, my daughter was bullied and changed Schools!  She’s now experiencing it at her new School, which is soul destroying for me to watch!

In between all of this, my landlord wants to move back into the house I have just spent hundreds on decorating!  My mum got diagnosed as a diabetic and has been poorly.  I myself had a major health scare only a few months ago!  So, to think that I am actually still sat writing this, is nothing short of a miracle!

The Tutors on this course have been so unbelievably kind and understanding, I have been offered pastoral care as well as academic help, which I can’t express how grateful I am to have received such kindness.

With regards to the future and where do I see myself?

Well after all I have come through in my life, I am a born survivor, and the blips that have occurred since being on the course are minor hurdles I have had to endure!

Back in 2008 my relationship broke down, due to my ex being a lowdown, cheating snake in the grass!  But that’s another story entirely!

Overnight I became a single mum to a four-year-old daughter, I was working in Recruitment at the time and my job was very demanding, as it involved a lot of travelling as I was Field Sales Manager.

It was really tough as my time was so limited with my daughter but I had to do it to keep a roof over our heads, the lesser of two evils!

A couple of years later my daughter started suffering from health issues, which in turn caused there-own series of problems!

By 2011 my daughter was diagnosed as having ‘Precocious Puberty’, which meant her body was developing way faster than it should have been!

She started her periods aged 7!!!  Which was horrific to watch her go through, as she was acutely aware that she was experiencing something different to the rest of her friends.

I know it wasn’t life threatening, and I’m thankful for that, but it was traumatic in its own way, as she was constantly at the Hospital being pumped full of hormones and a cancer drug!

By December 2012 I had changed jobs, still in Recruitment but not as much travelling!  I’d only been in the job about 6 months, and I was constantly getting calls from the School to pick my daughter up as she was poorly!  It was a week before Christmas the Hospital told me they thought my daughter had a brain tumour in her pituitary gland as the hormones weren’t working on her!

Then…. The next day my boss called me in and said they would have to let me go, as I was taking too much time off work to be with my daughter!

By January 2013 I’d lost my car, by the April my home!  We were officially homeless!

And not long after that I lost my marbles!  LOL!

Thankfully my daughter didn’t have a brain tumour, she was the first child that the hormone injections had not worked on!  Bloody typical!!!

So, when my daughter was in better health and we were in a slightly better place in life I decided what I was going to do with my life!

I couldn’t go back into Sales, it was too demanding and I was not capable of holding down a job like that at this point!

The only skill I thought I had a modicum of raw talent for was writing!  Over the years I had wrote bits and bobs, I then started to send work off to various places, including the BBC!

I got to the last sift with a children’s script I’d wrote, which was very encouraging!

I’d never had anything published and seemed not to be getting anywhere when someone suggested a writing course might be useful!

I did some investigating on the net and came across Teesside Uni, I made a phone call, met a lovely lady and got offered a place at Uni!

So here I am, at the age of 46!!!  Hoping to change my whole life!

The Course does make you evaluate life from a whole new perspective, there’s times when I have felt so inadequate and quite stupid, there was some words I couldn’t even pronounce!!!  How embarrassed do I feel?

But…. When you open up and not be afraid to ask, you realise you’re not the only one in that position!  So that makes you feel more at ease, and the whole point about the course is to help you gain knowledge and learn!

I found it fascinating watch the young people on the course and admire them so much, I thought they would not accept an ‘Old Fart’ on the course, but the vast majority of them have been great, very warm and welcoming.

I’ve made a few good friends along the way and if it wasn’t for their words of encouragement and kindness, I definitely would not be here now sat typing this!

I have made plans for the future…..

My intention, fingers crossed is to be my own boss!

I never want to work for an organisation again!!!

My ambition is to be a published writer!

I have some comedic poems/ditties (not sure what to call them really) that I am hopefully going to get out on YouTube soon!

I’m meeting a Producer and Camera person through Uni, we have got the meeting coming up soon, so they can help film and edit the poems.  I thought I’d put them on YouTube to see what reception they get, and if it’s positive I will start touting for a publisher!

Or, after this course it’s given me idea’s that you could self-publish on things like kindle!

I’m also helping my mum get a business off the ground a she’s into spooky things!

And…. Due to my daughters bullying, I am wanting to start a ‘Be Nice Campaign’ promoting this to teenagers through Schools.  I have a meeting with Simon Clarke MP soon, for him to assist me and work with me on the campaign, fingers crossed!

I have great ambitions for my future!  Whether they come into fruition, is another matter but I will go down fighting trying to achieve this!

Over my lifetime, I have had to over-come much adversity, and I am truly one of life’s survivors in more ways than one!  This year in particular has been a turbulent year, and I don’t want to give up on my dream of having a degree.  So far, so good!

I want to make my daughter proud and give her the best life and lifestyle that I possibly can.

If?  No!  When I pass my degree!  I want to show my daughter that anything is possible, even through adversity you can still achieve things as long as you are willing to work hard to gain them!

I’m hoping all these ambitions come true, the course is certainly making me view life from a very altered angle and teaching me so much.

And it just goes to show, that you’re never too old to keep learning new things every day!  Even when your an ‘OLD FART’ LOL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 7 – Review of Wattpad

Blog 7 – Review of Wattpad

WATTPAD!  What can I say?  It left me cold and totally unimpressed!

After reading Hazal Kirci’s article I expected great things!   Some of the stories I read were absolutely a pile of old poop!  Most of them, well virtually all of them were full of violence and sexual content.  The stories were hammy, predictable and an absolute load of old tosh!

Hazal is 17 years old and her sisters are 12 and 14, so I can see why some of it would appeal to a teenage audience, for some titillation!  There hormonal young teenage girls, looking for their first flush of love and sexual intrigue.  It made me laugh when there were warnings about the explicit content and under 13 year olds should not read it!

I for one was a mischievous 13-year-old, so I know for an absolute fact that I would have been straight in there reading the content!!!

There’s no moderation over content, that’s quite worrying in itself!  A pervert’s dream I would imagine!  The fact that you can communicate with others like a Facebook comment page, again no moderator, is a little concerning!  Anyone on the internet can pretend to be whoever they want to be, and frankly this site flags up too many warning signals for me!

I know I’m speaking as someone with ‘Old Fart Syndrome,’ and as a parent of a teenage girl!

So, am I just too old to appreciate Apps like these?  Or am I seeing it for what it actually appears to be, a load of old poop?

The young girl Hazal was flattered and excited at the prospect of her work being read and enjoyed by others, as would we all, I’m sure.

I can see the appeal to teenagers, and see why articles have so many views, as the kids will be trawling through to find a good read/titillation!

As a wannabe writer, would I consider it a tool to advertise my work?  Probably not!

Should I consider as a useful tool to promote one’s work?  Yes, I probably should!

Reading the article about an eighteen-year-old girl Beth Reekles, who got a three-book deal from Random House US, after her story The Kissing Booth reached 19m hits on Wattpad!

Should I get with the programme and try to understand modern technology and young people perceptions of Society nowadays?  Hell, yes!

Would I have got more from Wattpad, if I understood how to use the app properly?  Oh definitely!

If I want to get my work published in the future, do I have to understand and embrace the new digital media?  Without a doubt!

Should I stop the ‘Old Fart Syndrome’ and embrace the technological era?  YES!

 

 

 

 

Blog 7 – Review of Wattpad

 

WATTPAD!  What can I say?

It’s left me cold and totally unimpressed!

After reading Hazal Kirci’s article I expected great things!

Some of the stories I read were absolutely a pile of old poop!

Most of them, well virtually all of them were full of violence and sexual content.

The stories were hammy, predictable and an absolute load of old tosh!

 

Hazal is 17 years old and her sisters are 12 and 14, so I can see why some of it would appeal to a teenage audience, for some titillation!

There hormonal young teenage girls, looking for their first flush of love and sexual intrigue.  It made me laugh when there were warnings about the explicit content and under 13 year olds should not read it!

I for one was a mischievous 13-year-old, so I know for an absolute fact that I would have been straight in there reading the content!!!

 

There’s no moderation over content, that’s quite worrying in itself!

A pervert’s dream I would imagine!

The fact that you can communicate with others like a Facebook comment page, again no moderator, is a little concerning!

Anyone on the internet can pretend to be whoever they want to be, and frankly this site flags up too many warning signals for me!

 

I know I’m speaking as someone with ‘Old Fart Syndrome,’ and as a parent of a teenage girl!

So, am I just too old to appreciate Apps like these?  Or am I seeing it for what it actually appears to be, a load of old poop?

 

The young girl Hazal was flattered and excited at the prospect of her work being read and enjoyed by others, as would we all, I’m sure.

 

I can see the appeal to teenagers, and see why articles have so many views, as the kids will be trawling through to find a good read/titillation!

 

As a wannabe writer, would I consider it a tool to advertise my work?  Probably not!

Should I consider as a useful tool to promote one’s work?  Yes, I probably should!

Reading the article that an eighteen-year-old girl, Beth Reekles got a three-book deal from Random House US, after her story The Kissing Booth reached 19m hits!

Should I get with the programme and try to understand modern technology and young people perceptions of Society nowadays?  Hell, yes!

Would I have got more from Wattpad, if I understood how to use the app properly?  Oh definitely!

 

If I want to get my work published in the future, do I have to understand and embrace the new digital media?  Without a doubt!

 

Should I stop the ‘Old Fart Syndrome’ and embrace the technical era?  YES!

 

 

 

 

Blog 7 – Review of Wattpad

 

WATTPAD!  What can I say?

It’s left me cold and totally unimpressed!

After reading Hazal Kirci’s article I expected great things!

Some of the stories I read were absolutely a pile of old poop!

Most of them, well virtually all of them were full of violence and sexual content.

The stories were hammy, predictable and an absolute load of old tosh!

 

Hazal is 17 years old and her sisters are 12 and 14, so I can see why some of it would appeal to a teenage audience, for some titillation!

There hormonal young teenage girls, looking for their first flush of love and sexual intrigue.  It made me laugh when there were warnings about the explicit content and under 13 year olds should not read it!

I for one was a mischievous 13-year-old, so I know for an absolute fact that I would have been straight in there reading the content!!!

 

There’s no moderation over content, that’s quite worrying in itself!

A pervert’s dream I would imagine!

The fact that you can communicate with others like a Facebook comment page, again no moderator, is a little concerning!

Anyone on the internet can pretend to be whoever they want to be, and frankly this site flags up too many warning signals for me!

 

I know I’m speaking as someone with ‘Old Fart Syndrome,’ and as a parent of a teenage girl!

So, am I just too old to appreciate Apps like these?  Or am I seeing it for what it actually appears to be, a load of old poop?

 

The young girl Hazal was flattered and excited at the prospect of her work being read and enjoyed by others, as would we all, I’m sure.

 

I can see the appeal to teenagers, and see why articles have so many views, as the kids will be trawling through to find a good read/titillation!

 

As a wannabe writer, would I consider it a tool to advertise my work?  Probably not!

Should I consider as a useful tool to promote one’s work?  Yes, I probably should!

Reading the article that an eighteen-year-old girl, Beth Reekles got a three-book deal from Random House US, after her story The Kissing Booth reached 19m hits!

Should I get with the programme and try to understand modern technology and young people perceptions of Society nowadays?  Hell, yes!

Would I have got more from Wattpad, if I understood how to use the app properly?  Oh definitely!

 

If I want to get my work published in the future, do I have to understand and embrace the new digital media?  Without a doubt!

 

Should I stop the ‘Old Fart Syndrome’ and embrace the technical era?  YES!

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 6 – Synopsis of a Publisher

Blog 6 – Synopsis of a Publisher

Penguin Random House Publishers

Penguin Books is a British Publishing Power House, and was founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and his two brothers Richard and John.

Penguin revolutionised the publishing world in the 1930’s by offering books in an inexpensive form, now known as paperbacks.

Hardback books of yesteryear were cumbersome and expensive, Penguin offered an alternative and tried to make reading accessible to the masses.

Penguin also opened up Culture/Art/Politics and Science to large audiences across the UK.

The paperbacks were sold through the then major department store Woolworths, you find a Woolworths on most major high streets across the UK, Woolworths a longstanding department store only folded in 2009.

Woolworths sold the paperbacks back then for sixpence, which by todays money is about 12 new pence to you and I! But it was the 1930’s!

Penguin was first an imprint of The Bodley Head, a Publishers established 1887 and existed Independently until the 1970’s.

John Lane (Uncle to Allen Lane) and Elkin Matthews originally set up The Bodley Head to trade antiquarian books across London.

Bodley Head was bought by Ansbacher & Co and steered by Max Reinhardt.

Reinhardt’s parents were Austrians, they owned an import and export business, in which Reinhardt geniously decided to diversify into a Publishers, he bought HFL Publishing House a company that originally published Accounting Textbooks.

The first Author Reinhardt invested in was none other than George Bernard Shaw!

HFL Publishing was renamed Reinhardt Books and eventually bought out by Viking Press.

Random House was an American Publishing Company founded in 1925 by Bennet Cerf and Donald Klopfer, Cerf and Klopfer acquired the imprint from Publishers Horace Liveright, who dealt with Classic Literature.

Random House published the first authorised edition of James Joyce’s, Ulysses.

Penguin Group and Random House merged in 2013 with a conglomerate worth over a mind blowing £2.4 billion!

This makes them the world’s biggest publisher!

They are now a ‘Power House’ and force to be reckoned with when it comes to publishing, the 25% of the UK’s book market share and now not only have the power over hardback/paperback publishing they have the power to now invest heavily in digital publishing!

In the UK alone PRH have over 2000+ staff, they have ‘Award Winning’ Authors signed to them such as: Jane Smiley, Lawrence Wright.

They also have Lee Childs, Jojo Moyes, Ian McEwan, Zoella for the kids to E. L. James for the discerning ladies out there, these are our household name Authors.

They operate in a 122 Countries across the World, they constantly have Authors in the ‘Sunday Times’ Best Seller Lists.

What I found most surprising and I was very happy to read, their policy on ‘Modern Day Slavery Statement’.

This is a direct quote from their website:

“This statement is published in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and sets out the steps taken by Penguin Random House UK during the year ending December 31st 2017 to prevent Modern Slavery in our business and supply chain”.

I read the whole statement with regards to their policies and how they run their organisation.  If…. they are true to their word and do offer these ethical business policies and practises they preach about, then they have my vote of confidence.

A conglomerate who operates in an ethical, honest and fair fashion, putting staff and people’s welfare first is to be applauded.

I not only found it interesting but also a pleasant surprise, finding out the facts about this tremendous organisation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 4 – Biography of Neil Gaiman

Blog 4 – Biography of Neil Gaiman 

Wow, what have I found out about this incredible guy?

Neil Richard Gaiman was born in 1960 on the 10th of November, he is a Scorpio in Astrological terms!

In fact, his birth date and sign tells us that his personality is characterised by ‘Shyness, Will-power and Artistic Talent’!

I think Artistic Talent is an underestimation!

I feel so ignorant and a complete philistine, I am aware of Gaiman’s works, but did not know this chaps name or that it was he who wrote them!

Gaiman is of Polish-Jewish decent, his great-grandfather emigrated from Antwerp, Belgium to the UK in 1914.

His grandfather settled in Hampshire and established a successful chain of grocery stores, where his father David Bernard Gaiman worked and met his mother Sheila.

Gaiman has two younger sisters, one of whom works for the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles.

His family are Jewish-Scientologists, his parents studied Dianetics at the Scientology Centre.

Gaiman has quoted that this made him very confused as a youngster, in adulthood he is quoted as saying “Scientology is my family’s religion”, he appears not to be defined by his family’s belief system.

Quite bizarrely he was educated at Church of England Schools, not Jewish or Scientology Schools.

Gaiman like Will Self was a prolific reader, it is claimed that he could read by the age of four!

Many books influenced him as a youngster namely; C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to name but a few.

In the 1980’s Gaiman became a Journalist writing book reviews, his first short story was a fantasy called Featherquest published in Imagine Magazine in 1984.

In 1984 Gaiman wrote his first book, as biography of the then IT Band Duran Duran, he lefy Journalism in 1987 quoting “British Newspapers regularly publish untruths as fact”.

I particularly like this quote, it’s nice to know that there are some moral and ethical journalists out there.

Gaiman has collaborated with fellow English Author Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, they wrote the comic novel Good Omens together, which was published in 1990.

I as a literary philistine did not realise that is was Gaiman who wrote the book Stardust, it was adapted into a Hollywood Blockbuster with a dream cast including Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.

He also wrote Coraline, a dark children’s animated horror, I remember taking my daughter to the cinema to see it.  She was only about five or six at the time, I remember having to take a sharp exit out of the cinema as my daughter was terrified crying and looking at me hysterical!

I think it was when Coraline enters a World of doppelgangers with button-eyes that are her family, but not her family, that scared my daughter.

The one line I distinctly remember from the film was, “I’m your other mother”, my daughter kept staring at me for days if not weeks after this film!  I’m sure she thought I was a doppelganger for a while!

We laugh about it now, and I sometimes still use that line on her!

Gaiman has been a journalist, Critic, Voice Actor, he’s an award-winning Author, Screenwriter Radio/Television, Comic Book Creator is there no end to this man’s talents!!!

The amount of prestigious awards this man has won are way too many to list here!

Up to now, I have counted 60!

What a phenomenally talented man, I am sooooo jealous!

The one common denominator between these prolific writers I have noticed, is that they all have read vast quantities of books when they were young.

They all seem to be very well educated and well read.

I’m very embarrassed to actually admit this, but up until starting this course I was unaware of this gentleman’s name, I had indeed heard of a few of his works but being a complete philistine did not research this man’s credentials.

I’m hoping that through Education, knowledge and skills through my degree I may one day get an item published.

Reading these articles and information about these prolific writers, is such an eye opener and really quite jaw-droppingly awe inspiring.

All I can say in the words of the 1980’s Girl Power Band Salt-N-Pepa, “Whatta Man”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 8 – Bibliomemoir of Local Library

Blog 8 – Bibliomemoir of my Local Library

I visited my local library recently so I could write this article.

I do occasionally go to the library, but no where near as often as I used to when I was young, and my daughter was little.

In the 1980’s my local library in Redcar was a humongous place, it was set out over two floors, a cafe, and the kids section was amazing!

It even had a fish pond with giant goldfish in it, I remember being fascinated by them when I was a child.

The upstairs of the library was a comprehensive reference section, a lot of students and adults went to study and read in the peace and quiet.  There was lots of staff working at the library at that time and it was always filled with lots of people busying about, bringing books back, and taking books out.

Shelves and shelves that seemed to stretch forever of books.

Books, Books, Books, I loved our old library.

Sadly, that old building has now been demolished and made way for a bright shiny Council Leisure Centre.

The new library is now situated inside the Council offices, it is a fraction of the size of the old library.

You enter the building to a reception desk straight in front of you, to the left a small café, behind the cafe’ a small children’s area of books.

To the right you have a few computers and then a ‘teeny, weeny, small section’ they call a library.

No shelves of books now, going on and on and on and on…….!

The new library is quite pitiful in comparison to its predecessor.

I used to take my daughter regularly to the library when she was about 4-10 years old, as I could read her stories and there was an area we could do some colouring and art work, now she’s a teenager she wouldn’t dream of it!

I do know that they hold ‘Story Time Sessions’ for toddlers and young children at the library, so I do think there will always be a need for libraries, but the way in which people read and gather information has changed so much over the years.

With us as a Society  now stepping into the digital era, everything has changed!

The way we read, the way we search for information and how we read has changed!

My daughter reads Blogs of these young ‘YouTubers’, I wish she would pick up a book!  But at least she is till reading ‘ISH’.

I love to visit a nice library, do I actually use it that often?  Sadly, NO!

Would I be upset if they closed our library down?  Hell, YES!

So, this has given me ‘food for thought’ and put me in a bit of a debacle with regards to libraries!

Are they really cost effective?

Do we really NEED them?

Or is it just nostalgia and sentiment why we keep them open?

In actual fact, I am struggling to answer this debate with a firm conclusion!

Business Head on – CLOSE THEM!

Heart on sleeve time – KEEP THEM OPEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 5 – Review Fallen London

Blog 5 – Review of Fallen London

Fallen London is an interactive narrative game created by Fairbetter Games, it’s original title was ‘Echo Bazaar’.

The PC game was an amateur project created by Alexis Kennedy and launched in June 2009.  Kennedy recruited friends to assist him on his project, one of whom was Paul Arendt, who was a professional illustrator.

Kennedy intended paying Ardent for his illustrations but Ardent opted for  a percentage of the Company profits, within a few years this paid great dividends.

Others also came to assist Kennedy with his project and help with the literary content, this won him The Escapist “Best Browser-Based Game” Award in 2009.

Fairbetter Games also released spin-off games ‘Sunless Sea’ and ‘Sunless Skies’.  ‘Sunless Sea’ was released in February 2015 and ‘Sunless Skies’ in 2017.

Following on from ‘Fallen London’, in October 2012 Fairbetter Games released a prequel, this was entitled ‘Tales of Fallen London’.

Although I’m not a gamer or any experience of gaming, I actually had a go at ‘TRYING’ to play ‘Fallen London’!

This game is set in the Victorian era and has a Gothic eerie charm to it, every choice you make in the story/game has a consequence.

It reminded me of the ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ books I used to read in the 1980’s, which I suppose now would be viewed as the stepping stone to gaming!

Unfortunately, due to me being an ‘Old Fart’ and the wrong end of 40!

I have not actually got into the whole World of gaming!

Having a much younger brother, 21 years my junior, when he was about 10 I used to try and play on his play-station with him, which was a total disaster!  I couldn’t fathom which buttons manoeuvred the car or person!  He was a very impatient child, let’s just say he didn’t ask me to play the game again with him!

So…. I dubiously started to play ‘Fallen London’.

I liked the eerie charm of the Gothic design the Illustrations and colours used to represent the programme.

This did indeed give it the Victorian Gothic Underworld feel, you could actually immerse yourself in the smog of smoky Victorian London.

I was actually feeling quite excited that I was ‘gaming’, I chose my player, a glamorous sassy and as stated in the game ‘a persuasive and dangerous’ character!

I thought great, love my character, “let’s get stuck in!”

I read the story, clicked the buttons and thought ‘Tally Ho!’, I’m off!

Off…. Well I don’t know where I went off?

I gained some ‘Map Scrap Book’ points????  What do you do with those?

I couldn’t fathom what to do next or work out the game?  Or how to play it properly, as it doesn’t come with instructions!

It popped up with a ‘Fate Card’ that you have to subscribe to and pay for every month!  “So, that’s how they make their money!”

So, alas I am no further forward!

I do think if I was shown how to play it properly I could have become quite immersed in the game, as I love the Victorian Gothic era and stories of ‘Jack the Ripper’ and it was eerily like a ‘Murder Mystery’ that I love.

Unfortunately, I failed miserably and I hate my teenage daughter coming along, and in a split second knows how to do things with the games/laptop and mobile!

I stubbornly carried on, instead of asking for help, and then gave it all up as a very bad job!

A gamer, I am NOT LOL!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 3 – Open letter to Will Self

 

Blog 3 – The Novel is Dead – Open letter to Will Self

I truly don’t know where to start!

This article has taken me hours to read, not because it is a particularly long article, alas no!

Mr Self decided to write the article in Hieroglyphics, I think Hieroglyphics would have been easier to decipher!

Self’s article has not only made me incandescent with rage with regards to his disparaging comments about University Tutors and Students!

The whole article has been written in such a pretentious and pompous manner!  I’m sooooo mad!!!!

I’m not actually sure who this guy thinks he is?

I spent most of my time when reading the article having to look-up what some of the words meant and who are the Authors and people in the article he is talking about.

Who besides Cambridge and Oxford Classic Fellows have studied Theological Articles and Quotations of the c. 340-397, Bishop Ambrose the Bishop of Milan?

Who knew…. that ‘Panglossian’ was a character in ‘Voltaire’s Candide’?

Who knew…. that ‘Sturm und Drang’ translated from German means ‘Storm and Stress’, and that this was the Proto-Romantic Movement in German Literature and Music?

Who knew…. that ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ is a painting by Pablo Picassso.

Why….. did he have to write this article in such a pretentious manner?

Is it, that he thought us mere mortals who were ‘Comprehensive School Educated’ wouldn’t have the capacity or tenacity to understand this article?

I fairness I didn’t understand the article at first….. but… I did have the tenacity to research and decipher the article in full!

In part of the article Self blathered on saying that University Tutors are failed Authors, and that they couldn’t get any paid work as a writer, so they opted to become University Tutors!

How dare he!!!  Does his ego really think that out of all the wonderful Universities across the United Kingdom who offer these fantastic Creative Writing Degree’s, that there is no NEW emerging Literary Talent?

Is Self the only Uni Grad to be the last of the remaining Novelists?

NO, I don’t think so!

He stated that “– it acts, it essence, as a therapy group for the creatively misunderstood”.

Another comment “The course has no Human or Spiritual Value”.

These comments were about Students attending a Creative Writing Course!

Of course, they have Human and Spiritual Value, these courses delve right into your very own Psyche and bring out your own innate talents and skills that most of us never knew we had.

Writing is a talent, but you also need to learn your craft, I for one have gained so many skills and knowledge from my Creative Writing Course.

These comments are absolutely outrageous and if he wanted us, the reader to feel inadequate, he certainly achieved his goal.

Self appears to be self-obsessed egotist, maybe there was a reason he got HIS family name (SELF), as it’s all about ME, ME, ME.

He started talking about his own son, the article then quickly reverted back to him (SELF) and yet again….  about him and his own ‘Creative Anxieties’!

I, being a mere mortal not a ‘Tin God’ such as he, would have thought your child’s anxieties come well before your own?

Well, any decent parent would!

I finished reading the article after spending hours researching who all these people are, in a way I am glad I did, as some of the people he wrote about were fascinating and now I hope to answer more questions on ‘The Chase’ lol.

I then wanted to find out more about the man, SELF.

This leads me onto Self’s self-absorption, he is a pretend, ‘Commoner’.

Self, is actually an over privileged man-child, who for some reason is behaving in an anarchic manner.

His grandfather was none other than Sir Henry Self, President of the Modern Churchmen’s Union, his father was a Professor of Public Administration at the London School of Economics.  His mother was from Queens, New York, who was a publisher’s assistant.

Brought up in Westminster, London, privately educated and attended Oxford University.

Yet when he was a little boy, who appeared to have had everything delivered to him on a ‘Silver Platter’, wasn’t happy.

Smoking marijuana aged 12, graduating through every drug possible until he injected Heroin aged 18!

SELF then took to self-harming his own body by burning and cutting himself with cigarettes and knives, he also spent time in Hospital as a Psychiatric outpatient due to his Mental Health Issues.

He has had a fruitful career as a writer of Fiction and won many accolades to his name, for this of course, I absolutely admire him.

Anyone who excels at their chosen career and gets awarded for it, deserves our admiration.

But….. having been born into a very privileged life, one expects that you would make good use of your good fortune!

Self, actually rebelled against it!  Why?  We don’t yet know, only he alone can answer that!

It made me laugh when in 2015 it states that he endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign in the Labour Party leadership election?

So, Why?  Why?  Why?  Would this over-bearing, pompous, pretentious man, who likes to make his reader feel inadequate, un-educated and an absolute pleb, really be voting to help the ‘COMMON MAN’?

I’m truly not sure?  There are so many facets to this man’s character that I can’t explain!

Perhaps, he’s is just another over indulged, spoilt toff?  Or maybe he’s ever so slightly in-sane?

Or is it, that I am just a little bit envious of his wonderful education, and frustrated at my own inadequacies?

After reading this article I am not sure of the above, all I know is that I am very proud at my age to be given the opportunity to study for a Degree in English with Creative Writing.

I intend to keep this article, as when I’m a published Author I may just send  this letter to him.

To be continued………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection

This is the module that I was looking forward to the least but reflecting back on my journey through it I realised that it’s the one that taught me the most. The group discussions in the seminars were a great way to allow me to express my views freely, some of the discussions turned into arguments but I still enjoyed them regardless. The different subjects we covered were new and refreshing, I never thought about whether video games could be classed as literature and now it’s something that is on my mind every time I turn on my xbox.

The part about publishing was very interesting due to the fact that I am an aspiring writer with the hopes of publishing my work one day. Ben gave us a lot of insight on the different types of publishing companies and how they help the writer.

I was not a fan of working in groups and the whole blog structure but entering the blogs has grew on me since the start of the module. I still do not enjoy working in groups but now I am aware of that and I can improve my team working abilities.

Overall I wish I attended more of this module, perhaps my attendance issues put a strain on my group and created an environment that I did not want to work in.

The Novel is Dead

Will Self has composed an article for The Guardian regarding the modern novel. According to him the art of the novel is dead. He claims that digitised text is taking over and the hard copies that people once loved are no longer as popular. According to him interest in books has fallen and its destined to become an art-form of the past like classical music or painting on an easel.

The quality of storytelling has undoubtedly took a beating; ‘’serious’’ books are not as popular as they used to be, the public no longer hungers for well-written fiction. The popular form of the modern times are auto-biographies from celebrities, novels are becoming difficult to read for today’s generation.

The lack of interest in novels will eventually eradicate novel writers due to the market no longer being profitable. People will continue writing stories but only the people that do it for the love of the art. 50 Shades of Grey was probably the last novel that managed to build a craze and grew massively in popularity although that was not due to how well written it was it was due to its taboo content.

I think that the novel will stay alive as long as its presented in a new, fresh way that will appeal to the modern generation. The fact that the novel is a literary form that has been around for centuries makes it less interesting for an age group that disregards the things of the past.

Video Games = Literature?

Can video games be studied and appreciated the same way that literature is? Can we class them as pieces of art and not mere programs that we interact with to kill time? The debate raises a lot of interesting questions, on one hand we have games without any serious substance that can be picked up and played at any time and then on the other hand we have games that are filled with depth, intricate character development and elaborate story telling. Can video games compete against the works of Dickens? Can they capture the player as much as the books capture a reader?

Video games offer an experience that no other form of media managed to offer (to my knowledge), they allow you to interact with the story and control the actions of the protagonist. They allow you to be the centre of the story and let you watch it unfold as you are playing through the game. There are many different types of video games, titles such as FIFA (sports game) allow you to play as some of your favourite sport teams and win matches; however, lack of story means you can pick the game up at any time and play it to kill time. There is no deeper philosophy to it, you turn on your console and indulge in a game or two against other players. There is a level of emotional investment that comes with these types of games, but none of them compare to what you feel while playing the more story based titles. Video games such as The Last of Us offer immersive realms that put the player in vast, complicated worlds that are very story driven. Without a doubt the latter type of game is the only type that can be considered as literature.

There are also games that give the player freedom to shape their own story in a lore-rich world. Skyrim allows you to create your own character and set off on a Lord of the Rings-esque adventure completing quests, improving your character and choosing the role you would like to play. You wish to save the world from the dragon abomination? Go for it. You want to live in the shadows of Tamriel and join up with the Thieves Guild or the Dark Brotherhood? The choice is all yours. The game’s lore also gives the player a sense of time, it makes the player feel as if this world has existed before he started playing. There are readable books within the game that can be found all around Skyrim; if video games are literature then would literature within literature make it a… literature-ception?

Games that have next to no story are also very interesting. Minecraft is a game that randomly generates a world, spawns you in it and then you have until night time to gather resources and build shelter so the monsters of the night do not eat you alive. Sounds pretty simple right? It gets much deeper due to the player-made servers that you can access and play on. I and a friend of mine once played on a Role-Play server where it is required to write a backstory to your character, create traits and a personality type and then act accordingly to that. We created proud knights that travelled the world and recruited people to the Brotherhood of Templars. Everyone was telling their own story, but the players without any real sense of purpose decided to join us and followed our movement. We built a kingdom and managed to run a village full of real players that worked for us. Eventually we stopped playing for a while and when we returned a couple months later they took it upon themselves to create statues that looked exactly the same as our characters and they carried on the story that we started. It felt strange because I personally did not take it that seriously, but looking back at it all these people on the server were authors adding to a game that lacked any story/plot at all.

None of the games I mentioned above can be held at the same standard as some of the most influential pieces of literature, they are not impactful enough; however, the plots of these games are beginning to pose philosophical questions that analyse our human ethics and beliefs. I think it’s only a matter of time before a game can be studied the same way we study Homer’s Odyssey or  Nietczhe’s Beyond Good and Evil.