Why I’m studying writing and publishing at OUA

I’d been thinking about studying something for several years on and off. I took a creative writing course but having done it before, and because of the lack of insight in the content, I quit. I had more fun the first time around, because the course included  grammar, and usage, and punctuation. This course offers two units which include grammar as a component. I just hope that I’m learning what I want to learn (as a writer), because my initial motivation for learning this time was to study English.

Although studying English would help me with my writing, this course is specifically tailored to writing, and the publishing processes. Writing and Publishing. Professional writing is somewhat different to creative writing, and it seems this course is designed for creative writing of non-fiction subjects. That’s a little bit of a bummer for me, as I would like to write fiction at the moment. Maybe my interests will change later on. None the less, it’s well known that journalism (which I’m not doing) helps with short story writing, so maybe there are similarities in creative professional writing to creative writing, and so forth.

None of these are a reason for me starting at Uni. No, it was a friends suggestion that I wasn’t doing anything with my life which motivated me to investigate courses at OUA. I was (once again) disappointed there weren’t any English specific courses, as I’d realised that I love English as a subject. I suppose that would have to include media, which I’m not very fond of. And so this brings me to the first course I enrolled into at OUA, BA Communications with majors in creative, and professional writing, and in journalism. I just signed up over the phone without knowing there were options closer to what I was looking for, on the suggestion/advice of the caller from OUA. It was later that I realised there would be a whole lot of media involved, and that I wouldn’t really like to be a journalist, that I decided to have another look through the available courses, and opted to change into writing and publishing.

My friend’s insistence on my doing something with myself forced me to consider possibilities for my future, and how/what I did with my present to affect changes to that future. Her words made me look back as well, to a time where things weren’t much different to how they are now, and realising that I hadn’t done anything with my life for some time, I realized that I needed to do something with my life, and it needed to be something I could be happy with. So I pursued my writing interests with a course in university. I thanked my friend who insists she didn’t do anything but I know her influence over me helped me make a start where I wouldn’t have for a long time. I had been procrastinating over it thinking ‘I’ll do it once I’ve saved some money’, or, ‘after I quit smoking. Then I’ll have money for the text books.’

I’ve written several things in my time, and have enjoyed writing throughout my life. Recently I lost everything I had saved on storage devices through a theft. This made it difficult to continue writing, because essentially I’d be starting all over again but I recently discovered a photocopied short story I’d had amongst the writing that was stolen, and did a little editing to it, then published it on wordpress, a blogging website. I’m not happy with the final product yet, but I feel elated that I have something I’d written from a time I was getting into writing fiction. I would like to pursue writing further, and believe this course will provide me with necessary credentials to get published. I suppose writer’s works are often published on their knowledge, experience, or credentials, and having a degree in writing and publishing would only help me become an author.

Becoming an author isn’t my main goal, however. My main goal is to improve my knowledge, and understanding of the use of English. If writing is my interest then I’m certainly interested in improving my abilities in writing, and so I’m interested in taking this course in writing and publishing. Publishing also interests me, to a lesser extent. I’ve researched self publishing for ebook, and paperback/hard cover, and have considered a job in publishing, or editing in the past, thinking it would suit me. Unfortunately, I doubt this course has much of a focus on editing. If it does, I will be very pleased, as I need to improve in this area, and editing is a necessity in all professional writing.

Why I’m studying writing and publishing at OUA

Champix nightmares possibly a good thing

So I’ve just reacquired my old copy of Microsoft Office Ultimate from a man I gave this copy to. I originally thought that this purchased disc of two discs was a backup copy, and years later, I found that it wasn’t. I had a copy of an expansion of some sort. I was fortunate to still have the man’s number, and that not only did he live at the same house, he also reproduced the cd for me. Luckily for me, he returned it, as I need Word and possibly Power Point in the course of my studies.

I’ve just begun the course of Champix quit smoking medication. It’s the end of day two on Champix once per day half doses. At around the third day of full doses twice per day, I’ll be able to stop smoking entirely, and this miracle drug will prevent serious withdrawal symptoms from the lack of nicotine in my system. Champix works by blocking the nicotine receptors in the brain. It does cause me insomnia and vivid dreams, and nightmares though.

I’m going to put as many of these nightmares, and even dreams to good use. I’ve decided to keep my computer running in sleep mode when I go to bed for the next twelve, to twenty four weeks of Champix use, in order to write everything down that’s still in my mind after dreaming it. I’m a writer see, and as a writer who would like to write horror fiction, this is a perfect opportunity to collect ideas, scenes, etc from scary experiences I have in nightmares, or dreams.

I’ve been drinking coffee all day, and done little of what I wanted to. I did however do some yard work that needed to be done, and a little cleaning in my bathroom, so I haven’t been unproductive entirely. There was some reading to do which doesn’t look viable tonight (as my reading chair, and lamp aren’t situated in a practical place since rearranging the lounge room for a house inspection), and a text book I downloaded has about 12 hours remaining to be read (as I borrowed it from an online library, and that’s when it expires), so I’d like to find some time for it later tonight.

Champix nightmares possibly a good thing

Buckley’s to None

I was driving along the road at night with an old shovel resting in the passenger side floor against the seat beside me. Its head in the floor space was rattled against by a large tin coffee container that was stuffed with odd receipts (since I emptied my wallet of receipts in the car regularly) rattled against the shovel head on the floor.

1 X Second hand shovel . . . $30.00
Unleaded petrol . . . $20.07

An Adventure-of-a-life-time; priceless!

The night sky was broken up by stringy patches of moonlight-whitened cloud. It held an eerie presence for me. There was nothing out here, besides me and the spirits I sought to find. The eerie feeling alone was enough persuasion, there was something to be found out here, and I was determined to find it.

I was given several eye witness accounts as testimony to the ghosts existence. It was one of these accounts, that I’d been privy to, which enthralled my imagination, and I had launched my departure with the haste. “The winds of those spirits are alive with howling”, I was told. “It’s brought about by their burning desire to live again. The screams of the damned howl with a strong desire to be heard, and in fulfilling this, they live upon the winds that are carrying their very souls.” I was hell bent. For nothing in this world appeals more to me than the proof of an afterlife; hell-bent, I was, on finding something.

I’d just put twenty dollars of fuel in the car, releasing the trigger on the gun a fraction too late. I overshot the mark. I had only a fifty dollar note on me. I had over-filled by seven cents so I wondered whether I would be able to make the journey at all. The female console operator stood looking at me from behind the counter as I searched my pockets for coins which pretended might have been there. “That’ll do ya!”, she said, and let me off with a smile. I simply said “thanks”, and left.

It was four and a half hour’s drive to where I’d run out of fuel. I was barely at the site I was intending to reach, nearly twenty minutes walking distance to the slope of the hill before me. I trudged up the hill, in the dark, with the old shovel, which I held out in slightly in front in case of unseen objects that might make me stumble. In my other hand, a two litre bottle of water which would hopefully see me through five hours of digging.

I dug in the moonlight all night, while I kept an eye out for ghosts. Neither did I see anything resembling a ghost, nor did I find a smooth flat stone to signify a burial plot. No old human remains of any sort, and it was nearing sunrise. My water bottle almost depleted; my thirst only partially quenched.

My situation wasn’t dire, to my knowledge, despite being out of fuel, and having no reception out here. Somebody would likely come past who I’d wave down, or my friends from the pub would hear I was missing, and come to get me. It might also be possible to call someone if the reception came in; although, my main concern wasn’t surviving without water during the wait, it was food at this time. I was hungry.

I decided to push my car into the middle of the road, to block any traffic while I wasn’t attending the roadside. I still wanted to find a spirit out here but didn’t want to miss potential help while digging up the hilltop. I’d have lit a fire on the hilltop, probably the best idea I’d had, only I had nothing to light one with. Ironically it was the same friend who had sent me here who had taught me there was plenty of water in the radiator, in case I was stuck for water in the middle of nowhere, and in the window wiper reservoir, if I were lucky enough to have it filled. Hell, it’s difficult to be choosey when you’re driven by thirst.

My situation was searching for a ghost while waiting for a lift. I kept reminding myself to stay calm as my water supply dwindled. I had to make my water last as long as possible, and stress wouldn’t help me achieve that end, while waiting for someone to turn up. But all this was incidental to my actual predicament. I couldn’t go anywhere!

I did have a pick between two spots, though, and it was an easy one: On the hill, in the shade. The breeze would blow a little nicer up there and allowed me to survey the grounds below, not only for the wake of track dust thrown up by would-be approaching vehicles but also for an apparition of the departed. In the car, in the middle of the road, in the hot sun without shade just didn’t cut it for me. Something strange had occurred to me while looking about from this vantage point on the hilltop. A severe disturbing of my senses was happening, as I looked on the object. What I saw was a depleting water-supply, my car.

I’d been giving up hope of a search effort, as the days swept past. If it wasn’t for the digging itself, or the water shortage crisis, the snickering of the voices inside my head could have consumed my me. I had been so gullible to their suggestions and acted far too impulsively. Thinking back on the so-called eye witness account, other minute details emerged within my memory’s eye of the sly, yet subtlety concealed smirks they exchanged while I listened so intently, and didn’t notice at the time. In the back of my mind, they were there laughing at me in a similar way as before. I was able to see them. My thoughts are probably distorted, yet I thought I could almost hear them laughing together.

There are about forty trees atop this hill. Every now and then the rushing motion of something jettisoning swiftly through the air has me yanking my head about yet not enough for my vision to seize its identity. I would pull the shovel up from the ground before lurking amongst the trees guardedly. I looked long and hard but saw nothing. Every so often it would catch my attention in the corner of my eye, literally sending chills down up my spine with the sudden rush of wind that accompanied its motion. A strong presence rested on my conscience, for I must have walked over nearly every square foot of this ground by now. And desecrated at least some of the graves here. ‘They must guard themselves’, I thought ‘just as I would’. I had hoped I had been found by this time. In light of my next discovery, I wish I had been.

Under the circumstances I found it ironic having partaken in searching for a ghost that didn’t want to be found, while I myself wanted to be found but had no one looking for me. All I really wanted at this point was to be found. At the same time I decided that I could handle dying of de-hydration, as long as I could die with my ultimate accomplishment of finding a spirit. Proof that is a life after death.

I repeated the process of arriving there. Over and over, in my mind. The thirty for the shovel. The twenty for the fuel. Running out of petrol. All the digging. The trip was doomed from the start. If I budgeted for the trip, planned a little better; I could’ve stayed up here for weeks, maybe even months, and I wouldn’t be starving, or dying from thirst.

I had been infected with a sudden plague from the moment I arrived. It had slowly taken me in, with its natural comfort of harmonious and tranquil scenery, before hurling the hard truth my way like waking up in a nightmare that was reality. It jolted me to the core, and it was as simple an idea of a spirit being here all along. I always knew a spirits state of being had it roaming about aimlessly, like a broken record, repeating actions such as opening, and closing doors, or rocking in an abandoned rocking chair. While conversely it could still knowingly be aware of itself. I could relate to the mind of a spirit. I was in a state of roaming, knowing I was dead. I was the ghost I was acutely aware of.

Total . . . $50.07

You know I’m dead now, just as I know there’s no way out of this oblivion. The story I’ve written on the receipt from Buckleys will serve as my memory. Forever remaining fixed. Frozen in place and repetitive like my analogy of a spirit. My maturity about this has come too late in my predicament toward any kind of future. The odds are that I’m at the wrong hill, and nobody will know where to find me. I’m dead at the top of the hill which you see before my car. If it weren’t for a pen in the glove box, and the a4 sized receipt from ‘Buckley’s to None’, no one would know how my circumstances came about.

Copyright David Gleeson. All rights reserved.

Buckley’s to None

FreeMind program for free download at SourceForge.net.

I’ve been procrastinating for several weeks over a short story which I believed to be mostly edited, to edit once again in order to have a final draft – a completed story. However, I’d been looking at the editing process the wrong way. According to Grellier, and Goerke (2014), in their 3rd Edition of ‘Communications Toolkit’, an edit requires the writer to look at, and change the content of the material within the work in progress (WIP), as well as the sentence structure. This, they say, is paramount to checking the spelling, and correcting homophones. As I don’t have difficulty with these, I realised that my approach to editing the work was horribly misaligned with what is actually necessary. I’ll get to work on my short story, before my classes commence on the 1st of next month, and then I’ll post that work here (maybe both the draft I’m working with, and the edited, and proofed draft).

Screen shot pasted in Paint
A short mind map I made using the program FreeMind.
FreeMind program for free download at SourceForge.net.

Professional Writing and Publishing

Hi, I’m new to blogging so this is an interesting adventure. My course in writing, and publishing commences in 16 days time (the 1st of June). I’ll be studying Critical thinking, and Academic and professional communications, along with a pathway subject academic writing.

I’ve studied at university before with the Australian College of Applied Psychology, (ACAP), where I completed several modules before I withdrew on account of being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Since my general interest in psychology was motivated by self discovery, I lost most of my enthusiasm to pursue the course further.

I’d also undertaken a TAFE course in Professional Writing, and Editing, prior to this but as flexible delivery wasn’t an option, I had to withdraw from that course as well. Seeing how the subject of English, and writing have always been favourite areas of mine, I’m feeling good about undertaking this course, and giving it the time, and effort necessary to complete the course.

I hope that by having a blog to share my studies, and extracurricular activities, I’ll have opportunities to socialise with like-minded people of similar interests, and be able to learn, and grow as a human being. Also, having this blog will be something of a sound board, if not suited to social networking.

As I’ve said, I’m new to blogs/blogging, and don’t really know what I’m in for, yet!

Professional Writing and Publishing

My career in writing.

My online bachelors course in writing and publishing commences in just over 16 days. I’ve been reading through the text book that arrived the other day, and have decided to write a blog along side my study requirements. This might be helpful to reach other students, writers’, or publishers to talk about the issues in the market, ideas in writing, or anything which would interest us word smiths in our daily challenges at work, or study.

My hope is to be able to improve my understanding of the topics I’ll be faced with by having a place to write down my thoughts, in order to look at my personal biases, and with some luck, have others comment on my views so that I can learn, and grow with a more open, and intellectually honest outlook. Talking with others should provide the greatest growth of a personality, so post a comment, or send me a message, if you feel up for a good conversation.

My career in writing.