So here we are again at the start of a new year. I hope if you are reading this that this year will be a better one for you all.
This year so far – Resolutions made and broken. No surprise there as I’m still in procrastination mode and chasing my latest shiny new idea.
It never ceases to amaze me just how easily distracted I can be. I’m beginning to wonder if I was a cat in a previous life.
Anyway, my current stack of projects includes:
- Learning Welsh
- Finishing Open University level 1 study
Learning Welsh – The move to online learning is certainly helping with my attendance at Welsh class. As someone who suffers from chronic illness, I have found attending face to face classes regularly to be problematic at best and at worst – downright impossible. So the move to online has been a positive one for me despite the problems with broadband in rural Wales.
I really do hope that learnwelsh.cymru will keep an online option for all levels of their courses once things return to some semblance of normal rather than restricting the opportunity to learn Welsh to those who can attend a physical classroom.
Art/Writing – I’m spending a lot of time sorting through my photography archive. I’m hoping that some of my older images will provide a suitable basis for my mixed media work. I’m also intending to use some of my photography/poetry in the creation of mixed media artists books.
Open University – Just finishing level 1 study this year. French this time. I have no idea why I am so obsessed with it as I was just supposed to be taking a couple of standalone courses, but what can you do.
So overall on paper 2021 looks like being a busy year on the study/ creative side if things go to plan. However I have found that very few things ever go exactly as planned. Life gets in the way and I can be extreme in guilt tripping myself when things go wrong.
So, for 2021 most of all I am hoping not to dwell on what goes wrong, especially things that are outside my control.
Haiku by Elaine Hillson
Publication credit: Blithe Spirit May 2012 (22:2)
Senryu by Elaine Hillson
in the space between
one medication and the next
Publication credit: Blithe Spirit May 2016 (26:2)
I love marginalia. I love the challenge of deciphering the notes left behind in manuscripts and books. I love the idea of connecting with an individual who learns as I do – by marking books.
I have always written in books. Nobody ever told me it was wrong to write in my own books. It was only inappropriate to do so in someone else’s books, and that of course made perfect sense. So I grew up writing in the meanings of words and commenting on what I had or had not understood. Of course I never wrote in library books or books I borrowed from friends.
For me reading and writing are linked and at this stage that is unlikely to ever change. Not even with the advent of digital markup. I think differently with a pen in my hand than when I markup a document on an iPad. The handwritten note stay with me longer and I am more confident in utilising the knowledge I have gained.
But It was only when I came to study marginalia as an academic subject that I learned differently. I learned that for some any marking of a book is horrifying disfigurement of a precious object. I’m just relieved that people wrote in the margins of medieval manuscripts as these marginalia allow us to explore how these documents were used and read.
At the moment I am working on a manuscript that has marginal notes on nearly every page. The majority of which can be assigned to two particular readers. I don’t know who they were but they do have distinct styles of writing and approaches to the text.
Once I have finished this chapter I will get back to you and share some of my findings or at least some of the problems that may arise in the course of working out just what these marginalia meaning within the context of the manuscript and medieval reading practise.
in a bus window
between shimmering reflections
a buzzard perched on a mole hill
the sun at my back
chasing my shadow
on the long journey home
Below is my entry for Lisa McCourt Hollar’s 55 Word Challenge Week 42. Check out all the stories here.
This is based on a picture of an oil refinery – these is more that intend to do with piece so check back later to see what I add.
Take a photograph, and the oil refinery is captured revealing thousands of lights shimmering and sparkling under a darkening blue sky.
A picture to fire the imagination with images of steampunk inventiveness, and charm.
But photographs lie.
Those living under the refinery’s shadow witness the truth as the monster belches flame and devours the stars.
Below is my entry for Lisa McCourt Hollar’s 55 Word Challenge Week 40. You can find Lisa @jezri1
This particular entry forms part of a larger work in progress. So here goes:
The raven cried, and a door between the worlds opened.
His second cry pierced the battle-slain corpses, and their warrior souls rose up; a rolling wave of mist weaving through the leafless branches, straining for the raven’s warmth and life.
He cried again, summoning a storm that swept them through.
The door slammed shut.
This is my entry for Lisa McCourt Hollar’s 55 Word Challenge Week 39. You can find Lisa @jezri1
For centuries he drifted, poised between sleeping and waking. The blast of the last shuttle take-off finally shattered his dreams.
Roaring, he ripped through the earth and once more a great dragon bathed the world in fire.
Firemen stood helpless as buildings collapsed beneath the dancing flames.
The world ended. Swept clean. Ashes to ashes…
55 words. ©EHillson
As part of the Radio Drama Writing course I have to de-construct a radio play, and as a horror fan I decided to listen to Dracula. As the play isn’t currently running on the radio I had to get it on CD.
The afternoon was gloomy. The house was silent except for the odd creaks any old building makes. Rain was lashing against the windows, and the cats were curled up beside me on the sofa as the play started. All very atmospheric, and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed the production
That was yesterday. Today the hard work begins as I now have to listen to the play over and over again while splitting it into it’s component parts; looking at things like:
- scene setting
- introducing character
- sound effects
There’s a 2500 essay due on this, and it might just help my own radio script, so I’d better get on with it.
Wish me luck.