Friday, November 6, 2009

Gunpowder treason and plot

I follow quite a lot of UK natives on Twitter (*waves to most*) and I would be a terrible liar if I said I wasn't utterly jealous reading all the updates alluding to fireworks and bonfires and festivities. Yesterday was of course November 5th, Guy Fawkes night. I have some very fond memories of November 5th, usually involving the entire street gathering on our front lawn setting off fireworks, having a barbecue, roasting marshmallows and generally being more sociable than people were the rest of the year when everyone kept to themselves behind their high walls and snooty attitudes. Every year my school principal gave the same speech about how it was really not something we should be celebrating and the man was a terrorist and fireworks are dangerous and blah blah whatever. In Primary School it was pretty much the highlight of the year...well, just after Christmas, of course.

Last night as I was trying to manage the rest of the day's word count and so sat staring out at the pitch black night, I couldn't help but dwell on how much I missed celebrating it. It really was one of the defining aspects of my childhood. I don't understand why they don't even mention it here (really, the only time it's ever mentioned is in relation to V for Vendetta and even then hardly anyone acknowledges it on the day) since we are still technically a British colony. Yet in South Africa, with its long, torturous history with the motherland, we did celebrate it. Maybe it was just because they approved of Guy's sentiment. I don't know.

I think next year I'm going to properly celebrate all the holidays no one else really does any justice to. I can go all out for Halloween and do the house up, and then I can have a bonfire on the 5th...perhaps on the beach, so I avoid the risk of starting a ginormous bushfire that destroys half the city.

Anyway, you are hypothetically looking at someone who has handed in their Honours thesis four days before it's due and has therefore entrusted her fate entirely to UTS. As ill-advised as that may seem, I am completely free. I will probably get my results around the same time I receive a response from USYD about my Masters application. Good times.

My only other observation of the day was the sincere wish that the apprentice hairdresser would actually exert some pressure when washing the colour out. She's a lovely girl but the pseudo head massage is one of my favourite parts of getting my hair done and she is just not even trying. Her predecessor was a genius at it so in comparison I feel a little short-changed. Sigh. They've switched brands on my dye too, so it's more red than it was before. It's lovely but I'll have to see how it sticks before I deliver a final judgement.

Finally, though I have said it on many platforms already today, happy birthday Abs! Sam's serenading you at my, um, request *cough*


Now that I have sufficiently rambled, back to NaNoWriMo. Why did I decide to write in third-person? If someone can explain this to me, please do. I'm writing slower than I normally do and I think the p.o.v is the key reason for this. I find it a lot easier to write in first-person, especially since my creative piece (which I ended up naming From a balance beam just so by the by) was in first. In third, everything is constantly verging on going to hell - tense, perspective, everything. I know I am not supposed to worry about any of this stuff and I should just be writing and getting words on paper, but...ugh! It's hard. I've always edited as I went along, even knowing there would be re-drafting happening later on. The interesting bit is using a narrative voice that isn't a direct vechile for the character, so I haven't even tried to make it fit really. It's just there, slightly formal and omniscient, keeping everything together. I've also never attempted anything even vaguely in this genre, so it's...different.

But hey, that's what this is all about right, experimentation and practice.

Music: Lightspeed - Twin Atlantic
Mood: Thirsty


  1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is crumbling slightly under the pressure of trying to not edit and re-construct everything as I go. Writing Lots Quickly isn't normal! ... *self-pity* Mnngah.


  2. Mum said we used to celebrate November 5th but it probably died because of our outlawing of fireworks (try telling that to my neighbours) and the fact we often have total fire bans in November, so probably blame the bushfires.

    I find writing in third person hard too! But I find it hard to put in extra detail when I'm writing in first. I know a lot of people that refuse to read books set in first person

  3. Writing lots quickly really isn't normal, you're right. According to my writing supervisor, most writers can do on average only about 1,200 a day and even then it's considered a lot. NaNo requires another 500 on top of that. I'm constantly behind the recommended word count. Oh well.