Day 73ish: CELTA. WK 3

Most intense and stressful week so far. Most of us spent the week with huge bags under our eyes, necking coffee, groaning, being unable to cope with usual amounts of stress.

Didn’t fail 2 TPs. Wrote audio script for TP6 overnight during lesson planning time. Still managed a ‘to standard’. Had PANCAAAAKES! Wrote assignment 3. Didn’t fail assignment 2. Sleep deprived. Fell into hysterics FREQUENTLY. Harmer’s hand technique. Lol. Did some classroom dancing. Learnt how to draw a dragon. Co-created incredible literary gem about dragons and mermaids. Drew comic strip about the adventures of the Enigmatic Electric Eel man and his sidekick Mr. Crabs, the sworn enemies of evil Sponge Bob Square Pants. Copyright’s mine. Back off, kids.

Had nightmare that CELTA trainer was hiding under my bed and standing in my room JUDGING me. Had to get up, turn light on, check, lock door. Hilair. Slept until 9am twice this weekend. Stayed up working until 2am regularly throughout the week. Weekend jaunt to Fuckin’-Awesome C. Midweek trip to 7/11. Ate roti. Was amaze. Pool is algae-filled but no-one’s had much time to use it.

Only 1 week to go then we get shoved off the edge of the known world into whatever comes next. Bit scared. Feels weird that in a couple of weeks there’ll be other trainees here, taking our place, using our classrooms, messing up our resources room, swimming in our pool, writing on our whiteboards, learning from our trainers. Stressing. Getting hysterical. Bonding. Poor, lucky bastards – they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.

2 lessons and 1 assignment to go (plus possible revisions for assignment 3).

Wish me luck.

Dragon story pic


BREAKING NEWS: YA fiction author Lucy Christopher is living my dream

What do you mean you don’t know who YA fiction author Lucy Christopher is? She was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award! She won the Southern Schools Book Award! SHE WON A GOLDEN INKY!

For bookssake, what does a girl have to do to get noticed around here?

Yeah, I’m kidding obvs. I didn’t know who she was either until I decided that I wanted to branch out in my author stalking, clearly only because I dislike that the words ‘NEIL’ and ‘GAIMAN’ are so huge in my fancy tag cloud over on the right there. ————————->

So anyway I’ve started author stalking YA fiction author Lucy Christopher – in a FRIENDLY way, jeez! – of whose two published novels (Stolen and Freedom) I’ve read nil, nada, none und nichts. Yet. There is still time. So meanwhile, before I’ve perused her disgustingly well-received novels, I have found something else to entertain myself with. It turns out, quite coincidently, that YA fiction author Lucy Christopher is LIVING MY IMAGINARY LIFE!

Yes, that’s right folks: YA fiction author Lucy Christopher has somehow managed to break into my imagination, has STOLEN all my ideas for things I have imagined for my own life, and has made them a reality in her actual life! In other words, SHE HAS PRE-EMPTIVELY PLAGIARISED MY LIFE! I’m suing. I confess to not being particularly familiar with the fine print of copyright law but I have absolutely no doubt that this is covered somewhere in there. You remember the adverts: “Life plagiarism is a CRIME. DO NOT accept it. Demand an ORIGINAL life from your video store.” Or something.

YA fiction author Lucy Christopher’s List of Things She Has Stolen From My Imaginary Life

1. She has published THE DREAM plural well-received YA novels
2. She took THE DREAM Masters degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa** (AND got a Distinction for it)
3. She is doing THE DREAM creative PhD
4. She is doing THE DREAM lecturing-at-a-university-whilst-simultaneously-fitting-in-writing-more-novels.
5. She reckons she’s always wanted to go in a hot air balloon but, excuse me, that is my ACTUAL DREAM!
6. Finally, and to top it all off, she is represented by CHICKEN HOUSE. This of all things makes me fuge (pronounced ‘huge’). Chicken House is MY preferred publisher and has been for years, ever since that time I picked up a Chicken House book and saw that the editor had written a little note about the book in the front. I thought to myself “Oh, how lovely. What a wonderful personal touch – this editor must really care about this book, and this publishing house must really care about their authors and editors to let them do this. I can’t wait until I write my imaginary future award-winning YA novels because I’m going to send them to Chicken House and refuse to have them published by anyone else in the whole world EVER”. Why, YA fiction author Lucy Christopher? WHY? COULDN’T YOU LEAVE ME JUST THAT ONE SCRAP OF THE DREAM LIFE?

(** Actually, this isn’t a valid point: the ACTUAL dream MA is the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People, but it’s close enough.)

You know the worst thing? She sounds like she’s so damn NICE. Ugh. She says “Hi Guys” when she writes a blog entry. She takes her mum to book awards. She volunteers in South Africa.

Yeah, WHATEVER YA fiction author Lucy Christopher. I shake my fist at you. You may be a successful, prizewinning YA novelist who gets to travel all over the world living all the best elements of my dream life, but I’m in ADMIN.


She’s my hero.


Shit off NaNoWriMo. Nobody likes you anyway.

Except all of those millions (…hundreds of thousands? I’m not good with numbers) of people who are already cruising past 35K when I’m stuck back here in my halting, spluttering, rusting-around-the-outside, paint-flaking-off, crumpled-bonnet Skoda of a 15K wordfart.

Shitting heck. Just thinking about the atrocity exhibition that is my NaNoWriMo makes me feel all wrong, like being watched by a lone smug giant eye of Neil FRIGGIN’ Gaiman, gazing down on me from above like the I’m-so-cool Messiah of slightly kooky stories.


Skullduggery could take down Carabas, any day.

Did I really just write that?

Good. Shoot me now.

Some of all of the things.

One of the things about writing is that there’s never a good time.There’s always something else going on, something that needs you’re attention, something you are supposed to do or to have already done, something you need to worry about, something you need to think about.

One of the other things about writing is that it’s a nostalgic activity. It was always better in the past, always easier, quicker, funnier, better. What the hell is wrong with you, Writing? I thought we were friends. We used to have fun together, didn’t we? What about all those nights we spent together, up until dawn – they were good times, weren’t they? I’m sure I remember them as good times…

Another one of the things about writing is that you need to be in THAT MOOD to do it, and THAT MOOD isn’t always the most condusive mood for normal life.

Another one of the other things about writing is that when you lose your voice, it really does NOT sound sexy.

One of the another other things about writing is that it takes up so much energy: thinking energy, avoiding energy, doing energy, procrastinationing energy, guilt energy, snacking energy, taking two baths in a day energy. All the different energies.

There are so many bloody THINGS about writing…

PLUS other writers are all smug bastards (Neil Gaiman, I’m talking about YOU).

1800 words down, another 1600 tonight. 2000 would be better. Apparently my characters live in a small seaside town in a city that’s nowhere near the sea. And it’s seemingly aimed at kids in the 8-12 bracket, with the occasional chapter that’s more appropriate for some kind of non-fiction geological tome, and parts that even the imaginary cat that I don’t own wouldn’t piss on.

T’was brillig…