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You are currently viewing archive for June 2011
Posted By Michelle Birbeck

Of course, when I say exams, what I mean is exam. I only did one this time around again, English Literature. However, I am so glad that it is over. The course has been interesting, despite my distinct lack of enthusiasm for the first half: all about World War One literature. I’m pretty sure that I’ve learned a few things this year, even if one of those things was that I disagree with almost everything anyone tells me about literature. We spent a good few hours discussing the fact that my tutor thinks that us writer types think about every single word that we write. I disagree. Most of what I write is written because that’s just how it comes out of my head. Sure, I change a few words here and there whilst I’m editing, and when I do that I do take great care to choose the right words, but for the most part it’s just how it happens to come out when I’m writing.

One of the main things I learned, however, is that rules have no place in creative writing. They might have their place when you’re creating a world or characters or working out the mythology of a mythical race you’re writing about, but that’s it. There might be rules that say a story is supposed to be planned, written, edited, etc., as well as rules for how long it should be, how many acts, who your main character should fall in love with. But here’s the thing about literature, if you read a lot then you’ll see that no one pays attention to the rules. Well, very few of them do, anyway. That’s the great thing about literature, though, the fact that it’s also known as ‘creative writing’ which of course means we can be as creative as we want. And you can’t really get anywhere by not thinking outside the box. We’d still be I caves if all we did was stick to what we know.

Anyway, now that the exam is over and done with all that is left to do is wait until August for the results. In the meantime there are a million and one things that need my attention, and though I am exaggerating that a little, it is only a little. My diary has never stopped being overfull and crammed all year, and it shows no sign of stopping now.

So good luck to everyone who’s had exams these last weeks and the weeks coming. I’m now off to tackle that mountain of work.


Posted By Michelle Birbeck

What a month! We’re only ten days in, and so far it is shaping up to be one of the busiest months of the year so far! Which when you consider how full my diary was for January and February, that’s saying something. I’m not sure I’ve stopped all week this week, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. But on the plus side, there are lots of exciting things happening.

One of the biggest things that’s happening this month is my exam for college. It’s my last one at A Level, and after this I’ll have both English Language and English Literature under my belt. I was considering doing psychology, but they stopped offering it at the college, so that’s not going to happen unfortunately. However, university is going well, now that I worked out how to submit my assignments and got the right one! It is going to take me a lot longer to complete my degree than I originally hoped, but when I started it I didn’t have any contracts for publishing, and things have changed now.

Another thing that’s happening this month is the Hartlepool Mail Health Care Awards. You may remember that some very kind soul nominated me for a Carer award for looking after my husband, well, I got a call the other day about the black tie event. It’s on the 22nd, and I have the dress, have booked myself in to get my hair, and will have my nails done for the first time since I got married some ten years ago. I have no idea who won what, but I have been invited to the event, so I have at least been shortlisted. Whatever happens on the night, I am going to enjoy myself immensely and take an obscene amount of photos.

Consequences is moving along nicely now, too. It is with the design department at the moment, so there should be a cover very soon! I shall be announcing that as soon as I have it, and it will be added to the trailer, which you can view here.

Lastly, but by no means least, I am having my first ever interview this weekend. I received a very nice DM on Twitter from the National Association of Writers in Education, Young Writer's Hub, and it was asking me if they could interview me about my upcoming book. So of course I said yes, jumped around the house for a few minutes, and then got all excited. I’ll be posting links and things on Twitter and Facebook once I have them, so keep an eye out!