Long Time Coming

I’ve been meaning to update my blog for a while, and I know this has been a long time coming. I’ve been exhausted though, and somewht distracted. Exams finished almost a month ago, but they left me feeling drained. I had a whole entry I was going to write about the top things I learned after my first year at Durham, and all I can think to say is just don’t do it.

That’s not true, of course. Totally do it, it’s, I’m sure, worth it in the long run. But it’s just such a different experience than community college, or even American universities. It’s so intense. I’ll still write the entry, I think, but I’m still getting over the stress.

Since finishing the year, I’ve been trying to work on other things. I’ve been working on brandng for a pen name I have in mind in which I write according to certain tropes. It’s an experiment and also a means of me trying to figure out self publishing before I consider whether or not I want to put something out there I’m really proud of. Part of this pen name experiment is that I’m looking at a bunch of writer self-help books, taking their advice and trying to put it to use. This includes advice from groups like 20booksto50K, which encourages writers to publish a book every three months, and books like 5000 Words Per Hour by Chris Fox.

I’ve also finsihed revising my (hopefully) finally draft of my novel that I’ve been working on for the past four years. It’s in the hands of beta readers at the moment, and I have somewhere I’m looking to sumbit it to this month. I’ve also been working on a couple of short stories, one which I’ve submitted as well. I’m waiting to hear back on those. Last year my goal was to submit three things for publication, which I did. This year is to double that. Once I submit this novel, I’ll be four in, with two to go. We’ll see how it all goes.

And finally I’ve been doing things regarding my wrist, which is still causing me problems. Granted, they’re nowhere near as bad as they were, these problems, but I still have issues with it. I went to a musculo-skeletal doctor (however that’s spelled), who sent me to have an MRI done. I did that the other day, which was a very weird experience. Then next week I’ve got to have elctronic pulses or something along those lines sent through my nerves.

I do have to say, as I always do, kudos to the NHS. I wouldn’t be able to get any of this done in the States, nor, I’m sure, would a doctor recommend having these things done.

But that’s the brief catch up. That’s where I’m at.

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Wonderbox Publishing

The last week has been pretty productive, though I don’t want to share too much about the projects I hopefully have in the bag just yet–I don’t want to jinx anything.

However, one thing I will talk about is Wonderbox publishing.

I mentioned a while ago that my story was submitted and accepted in November. Things got a little delayed, and while I’ve been paid, the actual publication hasn’t come out yet. Well, it’s about to. But I need your support.

They’ve created a Kickstarter Campaign to raise some money to pay the contributing authors (that’s me!) more money as well as to create a hardback version of the anthology. Their goal isn’t particularly much (considering I saw another Kickstarter for an author who was asking for $10k for her second book), only £1,600. However, anything you can do to share, to donate, whatever, would be amazing.

Thanks guys!

Normal Deviation: 
The Completed Weird Fiction Anthology

Normal Deviation

The Wrist

Nope, hasn’t gone away, hasn’t gotten better. I’m still dealing with pain, though I’m taking Ibuprofen as needed rather than regularly. I don’t like the idea of having that much medication in me all the time.

However, I’ve had some success, or at least, updates.

I got my blood drawn because they wanted to test for thyroid function, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and diabetes. All of that came back normal. I actually didn’t know what the other stuff was and was more worried that I’d find out I was diabetic–and a little offended they asked for that test. Either way, I am relieved to say I’m not diabetic, and that all of the rest of it came back normal. Well, I say relieved, but it means that we’re not closer to knowing what’s wrong with me.

I went yesterday for an ultrasound on my wrist to see if there’s any fluid build-up around my tendons. There’s none. I also had an x-ray done yesterday, which I won’t hear the results of for at least a week (I’m not really sure why, since the ultrasound doctor told me straight away there was nothing).

So far, I’m still in the dark. I have another appointment in a month (amid exams) in the musculoskeletal clinic place. Hopefully I’ll learn something then!

I have these worries that maybe it’s in my head. But then I look at my thumb, and the joint isn’t the same as my other thumb, and it doesn’t rest the same way. It’s somewhat slightly slack, and it feels uncomfortable to try and move it inward. My wrist is sometimes swollen as well. While I will admit that perhaps the thumb joint could be down to wearing the brace at work and while driving and at uni, I don’t think that my wrist would swell if it was in my head. But then I go to the idea of phantom pregnancies where someone shows all the symptoms of being pregnant without actually being pregnant. Could I have fantom messed-up wrist?

I won’t know until I go through all the malarky, I suppose. Cross your fingers for me, anyway!

All Over But Nowhere

A couple of years ago, I changed the name of this blog to ‘Scribing English All Over the Place’ because of a philosophy teacher I had. He said that people would tell him his lectures were all over the place, and that the key part of the comment was ‘the place’. It’s still centered, despite being everywhere.

That’s the way I’ve been feeling while on break. I have opened WordPress and closed the tab so many times, initially with the idea of reading the blogs I follow and writing a bit while I’m at it. But then I thought that I should be making flashcards to study for exams next month (NEXT MONTH!!!!!!), or I should be working on editing my novel–or that oh wait, I have another novel I want to get done that I think I can pump out really fast if only I have a detailed enough outline, but then really I should be acquiring more editing work. Of course, all the while I should be sowing the seeds for our vegetable garden so we can eat next winter, but oh dear, the weather has been conveniently crap–and now the eggs are hatching and really I shouldn’t leave the chicks when they’re this young on their own…..

And so on and so forth.

All over the damn place. But, I’m still in the place. I’m still productive. While I’m working on a hundred things at a time, I’m still focussed on an overarching goal, still being productive, and still keeping things interesting.

So no, I haven’t actually written in my blogs for a while, nor have I been a good reader for the blogs that I follow. But I’ll get back in the swing of things. Recently I’ve just been enjoying the freedom to tool around over here, then over there, and then back over to the north side of the whatever, without demand of a schedule.

I will study.

I will edit my novel.

I will sow my garden (at least I freaking hope I will).

But for now, I’m happy doing a little bit here and there and just getting things nudging along slowly.


Please feel free to visit my website at www.authornjthompson.com and subscribe to my newsletter. I’m also accepting manuscript for proofreading and development editing.

Three Day Three Quote Challenge – Day 1

I think the last time I was nominated for one of these was probably when I first started the blog. I was jobless, waiting for school to start, and so all I had to do was obsessively sift through blogs. It was fun, though not as productive as I had hoped it might be.

However, I do remember these things as being quite fun! So here it goes:

Firstly, I want to thank Robin Leeann for the nomination. Her blog I actually came across as the result of one of the many writing-related Facebook groups I belong to. She is also one of the blogs that I try to make sure I read regularly (Common, we all have our favorites!).

I heartell there are some rules, so I’ll post these puppies:

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive Days (one quote each day)
  3. Nominate three bloggers each day

So, I’ve done the first part, now I’ll get on with the quote, shall I?

Quote

“What is an adult? A child blown up by age.”

Simone de Beauvoir

I won’t lie. I didn’t have that one ready at hand, so I don’t have anything to say about it. I just quite like Simone de Beauvoir, and thus thought that I would quote her. I’ll do better tomorrow.

The Nominations

Now for the fun part! I nominate:

  1. Life with Mrs. T.
  2. The Non-Alcoholic Student
  3. The EcoFeminist

Happy Quoting!


Don’t forget to visit my website and subscribe to my newsletter at www.AuthorNJThompson.com where you’ll find book reviews, updates, and flash fiction. You can also contact me there about my editorial services for your manuscript.

Exploring New Genres

There’s not really any reason for it, at least, not that I can tell. But it’s drawing me–no, dragging me across the floor as I claw desperately to stop it. I don’t know why my feeble nails are useless against it.

I have this strange interest developing in Science Fiction Westerns. I know, it’s weird, right? I write contemporary fiction these days, with the occasional splash of horror. Where does science fiction come into it? Or Westerns for that matter?

Though, let’s be clear: I’m not writing Space Westerns. Nope. I have no interest in producing something like Firefly (which I really just did not get into at all), but rather something involving technology advancing–not using steam (that would then alter the genre to steampunk)–in some odd way.

I did have the brilliant idea that it could involve time travel, and then I realized that what I was thinking of was the plot to Back to the Future 3, which would then make that a no-go. Aliens could come from the sky, but I think there was a Harrison Ford movie about Cowboys and Aliens, or something along those lines. I never saw it.

So I guess what I’m wondering is if anyone reads science-fiction westerns that aren’t space westerns, that I could read and get a feel for the genre. I’d like to know if this is a passing I’m-on-break-for-a-month-and-can’t-get-my-brain-to-shut-up-so-I’ll-explore-something-completely-different-and-weird, or something I can truly get behind.

It’s on my to-do list to check out TVTropes.org and see if I can find anything interesting on there regarding the subject, but I’d much rather hear from actual people with their own experiences. Please feel free to share them with me!

Term 2 Done!

General

Right, well, I’m not quite done with my second term. Technically I still have a day left, and two essays to turn in. But the good news is that I’m completely finished with all of my five essays that were due in the space of two weeks. The more impressive part is that I finished them all early.

Well, Actually, two of them I pulled all-nighters to finish–but the other three I had done by yesterday morning and two of them are due today while one is due tomorrow. But I’m going to be that student and turn them in early. Ha!

Actually, as much as I hate to admit it because of the money spent on tuition, the strike has been really helpful. It’s allowed me time to work on my school work without having to stop to drive an hour to uni, go to lectures/tutorials, drive back while stopping at the grocery store on the way and to get gas, etc. So Instead of losing five hours for a lecture or a tutorial, I could just use that time to focus on my work.

The Strike

That being said, I did speak a little more with my academic advisor who was kind enough to give me a telephone meeting due to the strikes. He’s very involved in them, and was giving me a bit more information about it. I really do support the strikes, and I think that it’s important that educators are acknowledged and compensated for the insanely important job they have.

I’ve been trying to find out who to email and demand a tuition reimbursement from (as an act of solidarity with the teachers, which has also been encouraged), though I’m not quite sure where to go for that.

Planning

Any way, regarding my academic plan, he says I’m on the right track.

I emailed the language department about getting into French, took the placement test and they agreed that the most appropriate placement for me would be Level 2 French next year – which I am thrilled about.

Disability; RE: wrist

Ah yes, you might have forgotten about this, or thought it had all cleared up. It has not. Last summer I developed repetative strain working long hours in an ice cream shop six days a week. Since I adopted the ‘play through the pain’ mentality, thinking it was just developing muscle essentially, I screwed up my wrist even more. While I was still in Wales I saw a specialist who said I needed to get more tests done. However, this was literally the week that I moved to Yorkshire.

finally have been to the doctor to do something about it, though mostly for academic reasons. I still work with a wrist brace on, and regularly need my brace on for support while I’m driving. I no longer sleep with the brace, but sometimes need to wear it generally about my day. I can write with my hand, though not for long. I can’t take notes in class by hand, and I”ve been really struggling with trying to create flash cards for exams in May with my hand as it is.

It’s exams that have me going to the doctor finally. I needed a note to say that I wouldn’t be able to take the exams without the aid of a computer. There is no way in hell that I can sit there for 2-3 hours (depending on the class) and pump out 2-3 essays during that time by hand for the exams – and then repeat it five more times for each class.

I got my note, went to the disabilities office, which I was instructed to do. I was told that because I hadn’t had the injury for more than a year there wasn’t anything they could actually do about it, but rather that they could send a recommendation to the department head, and that I needed to contact them as well.

I emailed the English department and Philosophy department to ask if I needed to make an appointment with someone or if I could just come on in. The philosophy department told me I just needed to talk to the english department, and the English department told me I had to get ahold of my student support officer at my college. That to me makes no sense because my college has little to do with my degree or my exams.

Any way, I’m going around in this loop for the time being.

However, medically, regarding my wrist, I’ve had to have blood tests which I’m waiting for the results for, and have just had a referral to go in to get an ultrasound on my wrist. I’ll keep you all updated on that one, as I know you’re on the edge of your seats with anticipation.