Just over a week ago I received my TMA02 back from my tutor marked with a grade I have to admit I wasn’t happy with then, and I still am not hugely happy with now. As is always the case when the subject you are studying is one that is close to your heart you tend to be more sensitive to the grades you receive, and possibly a little bit blind to the faults that went with what you see as an “amazing piece of prose” that couldn’t “get any better”. Unfortunately for me my tutor didn’t see the same potential in the piece as I did, and I can’t help wondering if he hadn’t purposefully found a few faults with just to say he found them (I know I am not perfect, but this lack of constructive criticism on my assignments is really starting to get to me). I don’t know what other people are getting or how they feel, in my tutorial group there may as well not be an online forum, they are so quiet, they don’t post anywhere other than in the specific ‘tutorial group forum’ but that is a rare occurrence and they are about as communicative as a pile of dead twigs. To say that this course is proving frustrating is a definite understatement.
The next assignment is the poetry (the one I have been whining about for the last month or more). I am still finding reading through the exercises about it a drag, and would rather do anything BUT write poetry-related paragraphs, sentences, pages; but needs must! I have currently written 31 lines, of what will make the 40 line whole, 3 poems that are about a range of depressing and draining emotions that I have felt while writing them. I am not sure what to think but as this classes as publication I am unable to actually post them until I have submitted and had the assignment marked. I have to be perfectly blunt and state here (for the record) that I believe our tutor will provide far more extensive feedback on this upcoming assignment than he has on anything thus far. I am going to go on record as stating that if this does prove to be the case then I am not going to be backward in making a comment (or two, or three) to someone higher up the OU ladder about how he is proving to be less than helpful when it comes to the elements of the course that are of less interest to him (such as prose). We’ll see what they have to say if he actually provides anyone with constructive criticism on this assignment when he has failed on the first two rather blatantly. I started this course for two reasons a) a treat to mark getting past the halfway point with the degree, and b) I wanted help to make my characters and story more rounded. I didn’t join this course to find out that ‘all writers have to like and use poetry’ and ‘poetry is more important than prose’ (mostly because I completely disagree).
The writer’s group I am setting up for work is moving along really well. We are meeting next Wednesday for the first time and the interest so far has been promising. I have set up a blog for the group and an email address that I will be using from now on. With any luck things will continue to progress and interest will continue to grow.
Holy Smokes (Aisling Grey 4) – Katie MacAlister (The final book in the Aisling Grey series finds Aisling and Drake on their way to a wedding that eventually happens after disaster visits them several times. To be honest this series lost something about halfway through book 2, had to finish it to finish the series, but I don’t think I will bother reading the spin off series about the other Wyverns).
The Corset Diaries – Katie MacAlister (A funny look at reality TV though not in the form of a straight forward expose, well written and a better modern chicklit without the supernatural elements better known by MacAlister)
A Hard Days Knight – Katie MacAlister (Another modern chicklit by MacAlister following the adventures of Pepper as she visits the ‘glamorous’ world of jousting tournaments in Canada, accompanied by a large cantankerous cat called Moth [short for Behemoth] and finds true love with a broken down and angry ex-jouster forced out of retirement)
Undead and Unwed (Betsy 1) – MaryJanice Davidson (The first in Davidson’s best known series, introducing us to Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Taylor and inviting her into her undead life, as she discovers on her 30th birthday that not only has she lost her job and turned 30, but life is about to get VERY interesting after getting run down by an Aztec [car] and discovering she is in fact the Queen of the Vampires, a responsibility she is as keen to take on as she is to take on her ‘consort by default’, Eric Sinclair).