Monday, 30 November 2009

Planning A Creative Christmas:

Well it’s back to being a busy bustling Librarian after a very tiring 3 day weekend thanks to a ‘training day’ last friday. Managed to become a fool in that time as I went home without packing pyjama’s and went to Scarborough shopping and somehow managed to forget my purse. Thankfully Mum was happy to bail me out over 2 presents. I’ll pay her back when she comes Christmas shopping my end this saturday. Hopefully with my new comfy desk chair which has evaded me again this past weekend.
I’m please to say I am making some improvements to the Library that my boss Terry is quite pleased with. Made some funky signs for the Fiction and Manga section as they didn’t really have any. Created and put into action some ‘Brand New to Catalogue’ signs and labels on books that we put on shelves showing off new books. Also initiated a ‘New to Library’ list that promotes a selection of books recently put on catalogue in a range of subjects and some ficiton and manga. These lists are put on tables, in Blackboard announcements and on our Library Blog (which hasn’t had student input yet but I am mentioning it to a few now.) Got the Library on Twitter @HuddnewcollLib and also begun developing our use of Delicious.com bookmarking site. Found some rather interesting sites I might just look into myself.
I’m hoping today is going to be a lot easier and possibly quieter than last Thursday which was the first real nightmatre I’ve had since working here. It was a day of endless rule breakers, trouble makers and micky takers in our students. Had to take a few names down and threaten them with banishment due to their misbehaviour and inept ability not to learn their lesson in discipline.
On a more happy and creative note after visiting the sweetest shop of handmade gifts ever in Scarborough and purchasing two lovely handmade note books for some old friends I’ve come away with inspiration on how to make a further addition to their gifts. It involves card, fabric, picture maker paste, a good photograph, thread, beads, glitter, fabric paint and any other embellishments I come across hehehe. I can’t wait to start making them!
Further encouraged when one of my friendlier and in fact friendliest students by the name of Samantha (who is in to modern vampire novels) who says she makes all her christmas cards each year and because last week she showed me her own vampire short story in progress, she came up with the most fantastic idea. Print and Bind our little stories and then give them to each other as presents! Which is kind of ironic in a way (although I’m always being corrected on the use of that word) as last year when I was away on holiday my boyfriend printed and bound my own little novel (a draft version so it wasn’t perfect) in a lovely purple paper cover. It was very sweet even though it wasn’t perfect. So I might get him to do it again for me hehehehe.
Oh what a busy term this is turning out to be, writing, playing WOW on awesome new PC quite regularly thank god I was beginning to loose £8.99 a month for nothing, being a busy Librarian bumblebee and now getting creative again. I might even take the first step in redesigning the back of my white work jacket with the Norse Raven idea I’ve been developing. All works of further creativity will be displayed here. You just have to give me a bit of time to get started.

Emerging Writer: Ever Tried Englynion?

Emerging Writer: Ever Tried Englynion?

At last something literary and poetic that involves our good old Anglo-Saxon and Viking ancestors! This will give me something to think about over lunch :P

Look out for possible failed attempts here.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

A Golden Dawn

Here is just a sample of the handful of beautiful pictures I managed to capture despite the gale force winds up at HNC college tryingt o blow me away from this lovely view of sunrise at 8:15pm over Castle Hill which you can see from where I work.
To see the rest of photographs of todays fantastic golden sunrise visit www.flickr.com/photos/valkyrie1008. Hope you enjoy these wonderful sights as much as I did except you have the luxury of not having chilly gale force winds trying to blow you away.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Children In Need @ HNC Library Photographs!

The moment you've all been waiting for and the question that's been bugging you for ages - what do Librarians do when given the chance to dress up or dress down? Well if it's for such a good cause as Children In Need look through these entertaining photographs to find out!
A Vampire and a Medieval Maiden aka (Terry and Rebecca)

A Vampire Cocktail Waitress complete with napkin and bar badges with the words 'staked not stirred' and 'Fangtasia Cocktail Bar'.

Now the due has been joined by a red devil aka Sue! There is definitly something paranormal and mystical happening in the Libray for Children In Need 2009!









Friday, 20 November 2009

Children In Need @ HNC Library

Currently enjoying my best day at work ever simply because I'md dressed up in my viking cloak and my medieval dress complete with all my amber jewellry. My boss Terry has become a Vampire Cocktail Waitress and Sue our Assistant is a She Devil hehehe. Getting quite a few curious guesses as to what I am dressed up as. One member of staff said I looked like Guinever *blush with flattery*, one student ask if its something victorian lol and another said am I Pochahontas LOL. I keep making a joke about getting a Guess Pot to see how much money we can raise with people guessing what I am. I'm taking photographs of us dressed up Librarians and all the students that come in with a game to play, selling cakes or even quirkier costumes. All to be put on here, on the Library Blog and possibly on Twitter Pics once I get it sorted out for our Library Twitter account.

Friday, 13 November 2009

As Old As Houses - Ghost Story - 5th Draft

Now many people or regular readers or those whom my blog pesters with post update emails might see it as strange or maybe slightly wrong that I put up drafts of my stories over and over again instead of putting up the final finished version. Well the truth is as a writer I need and prefer feedback from my work instead of trusting my own judgement on whether something is ready of submission. As is often the case I can not see my own mistakes (mainly in the department of grammar and punctuation) that is why I put my work up on my blogs in the hope of comments from readers, pester my former writing tutor at Uni still as well as quiz even my librarian work colleagues about it.

So yet again I will push upon you my 5th draft, edit and rewrite of my ghost story with a twist. And again I will appeal to all those who read this to be generous and give me feedback. Good or bad, all constructive comments will be noted down and acted upon. You can see the changes made in later drafts.

As Old as Houses -Ghost Story – Yorkshire Magazine

“I wonder how old this place is.”
“Who cares? It’s going to be gone after the weekend.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, there’s a notice about it in reception.”
“Oh. What a shame.”
“Why? It’s a dump.” Jenny muttered pointing at the mould covered and water soaked mattresses which lay scattered like decaying corpses amongst the trees concealing most of the old farm house walls. Staring at the tumbled pieces of brickwork, the roof with no tiles, not complete chimney stacks and the vandalism and graffiti all around, Sarah had to agree.
A wind blew down from the waving tree tops giving the girls intense shivers. Sarah paused to listen to it moan through the broken walls and empty doors.
“Come on, this place is boring.” Jenny complained.
Sarah cast one glance back at the house before racing after her friend who was already returning to the familiar lights of Storthes Hall student flats.

***

Sarah saw pure darkness yet within it something was moving. Silver edged waves lapped her feet sending shivers crawling up her bones. She could make out a faint white glow in the centre of her vision, weak but enough for a silhouette to evolve. Of a ship with a large square sail and a snarling beast head racing over the crests of black waves. Its sinister shape and swift movement made her feel like a seal hunted by a Killer Whale.
There was a flash of lightning. It illuminated an axe blade coming down upon her from above. Just before it could slice straight through her paralyzed body an unknown foreign male voice whispered into her ear.
“I am here.”
Sarah sat bolt upright in bed, freed from the nightmare at last. The image of a raven flag still lingered in the shadows of her mind.

***

It was Sunday and Sarah was surprised to find she wasn’t the only one going to see the sad downfall of the old farm house. She stood amongst the student gathering kept behind the safety barriers now that the bulldozer was in position. It was just as the bulldozer driver was about to get in, alongside a big cheer and chatter from the small crowd, that someone pushed past her. The culprit ignored the barrier and ran towards the house, straight past the demolition team unnoticed. Only when Sarah glared after the rude person did she recognise who it was.
“Hey! Jenny? Jenny!” She yelled trying to stop her friend, Jenny turned around just as she reached the old farms coal shed which was now visible because the demolition team had cleared all the vegetation. When their eyes met Sarah became cold inside, silenced by the feeling as Jenny then disappeared into the farmhouse. “Jenny! Jenny! What are you doing?” Sarah couldn’t understand this, Jenny was meant to be at home in Doncaster. Why didn’t she tell me she was planning this kind of stunt? Sarah pondered anxious and confused.
People were starting to look at her with puzzlement and the demolition team were ignoring her shouting completely as the bulldozer driver turned on the engine. The rest of her cries were drowned out in a huge cruel cheer from the student crowd.
Sarah caught the attention of the nearest man in a yellow jacket. Her frightened eyes and nervous voice persuaded him that she was telling the truth. He halted the bulldozer and went to the house with Sarah, much to the disappointment of the crowd who began booing and jeering.
“She’s in here I swear. She went right past you all. Jenny? Jenny can you hear me?” Sarah called into the dusty derelict building as her and the demolition foreman stood at the doorway. “Jenny? Please come out, you’re going to get into trouble.”
“I am here.” Jenny answered.
Sarah took her first steps inside, immediately feeling the coldness of the shadows.
“Are you sure she’s in here?” The foreman grunted, not satisfied.
“Yes, yes she is. Where are you Jenny?”
“I am here.”
“She’s through there.” Sarah began to go towards the dusty and cobwebbed doorway to the cellar. “Are you in there Jenny?”
Again came the reply. “I am here.”
It sounded strongest and closest in the one room they had yet to enter. “She’s in the other room.”
“Come off it, there’s no one here. You’re just stopping us do our job.” The foreman made a move to turn around and head back to the front door.
“No, she is in there. Didn’t you hear her?” Sarah pushed past the foreman towards the room. It was dark inside with bricked up windows but Sarah could see a darker form that wasn’t her shadow from the foreman’s distant torch light. She walked towards it thinking of Jenny. On her third step the dirt and rubble covered floor groaned, something snapped causing a shudder and the floorboards collapsed inwards. Sarah lost her balance with a wail and went down to the unknown.
The foreman came closer at the sound and shone his torch into the collapsed floor and stepped back in shock. In the dust flickering light was Sarah, on all fours amongst broken timbers and dirt but right next to her was a skull, its fixed expression so serious it was almost glaring at them both. Beside its other bones was what looked like a well rusted axe head only giving the faintest shine and a large lump of wood that was not from the broken floor. The beast’s forked tongue, jagged teeth, and painted ruby red eyes still looked menacing despite its withered state. Its age and sorry condition did not stop Sarah trembling when she looked at it.
The foreman swore before he clicked open the channel on his radio. “Dan get the Police on the phone, the damned house is on top of a grave. Until then this house stays up.”
Sarah heard words echo out of the skull by her side, it wasn’t Jenny’s voice. “I am here! ”

The End

Monday, 9 November 2009

Ghost Story - 4th Draft

Ok this is my fourth re-write and draft version of a Ghost Story with a Viking twist that has a word budget of 1000 words. All for the Ghost Story competition run by the Yorkshire magazine. Thankfully the deadline isn't till July but still the sooner I get it in tip top condition the sooner I can send it in and the sooner it can be at the top of the reading pile and haunt the judges dreams to make me a winner muwahahahaha! Not really but better sooner than later. So again I beg for FEEDBACK of ANY KIND! Whether you're telling me what you like or what you don't like. All feedback is useful and feedback is what I need to improve this story to its best. So please read and comment generously.

As Old as Houses -Ghost Story

“I wonder how old this place is.”
“Who cares it’s going to be gone after the weekend.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, there’s a notice about it in reception.”
“Oh. What a shame.”
“Why? It’s a dump.” Jenny muttered pointing at the mould covered and water soaked mattresses which lay scattered like decaying corpses amongst the trees concealing most of the old farm house walls. Staring at the tumbled pieces of brickwork, the roof with no tiles, not complete chimney stacks and the vandalism and graffiti all around, Sarah had to agree.
A wind blew down from the waving tree tops giving the girls intense shivers. Both hugged themselves for warmth and security.
“Come on, this place is boring.” Jenny complained.
Sarah cast one glance back at the house before racing after her friend who was already returning to the familiar lights of Storthes Hall student flats.

***

Before her was darkness. A black nothingness yet within it something was moving. Some entity was making a bang like claps of thunder repeatedly. The sound got louder and as it did so she could make out a faint red glow in the centre of her vision, weak but enough for a silhouette to be seen. Of a ship with a large square sail and a snarling beast head racing over the crests of black waves. Yet she could not move, she could not run away from what she saw.
A flash of lightening created the glisten of an axe blade coming down upon her from above and just before it would slice straight through her paralyzed body words were whispered into her ear.
I am here.” A single male voice which gave her such a feeling of weakness Sarah sat bolt upright in bed, freed from the nightmare at last. The image of a black raven flag still lingering in the shadows of her mind.

***

It was Sunday and Sarah was surprised to find she wasn’t the only one going along to see the sad downfall of the old farm house. She stood amongst the student mob kept behind the safety barriers now that the bulldozer was in position. It was just as the bulldozer driver was about to get in, alongside a big cheer and chatter from the small crowd, that someone pushed past her. The culprit ignored the barrier and ran towards the house, straight past the demolition team. Only when Sarah glared after them did she recognise the long jacket they wore.
“Hey! Jenny! Jenny!” She yelled trying to stop her friend, Jenny turned around just as she reached the old farms coal shed which was now visible due to the demolition team who had cleared all the vegetation. The friend’s eyes met, Jenny gave a wave, a big grin and then disappeared quickly inside the farmhouse. “Jenny! Jenny! What are you doing?” Sarah couldn’t understand this, Jenny was meant to be visiting at home in Doncaster. Why didn’t she tell me she was planning this kind of stunt? Sarah pondered anxious and confused.
People were starting to look at her with puzzlement and the demolition team were ignoring her shouting completely as the bulldozer driver turned on the engine. The rest of her cries were drowned out in a huge cruel cheer from the student crowd.
Sarah caught the attention of the nearest man in a yellow jacket and showed genuine fear as she explained how Jenny was inside. He halted the bulldozer and went to the house with Sarah much to the disappointment of the crowd who began booing and jeering.
“She’s in here I swear. She went right past you all. Jenny? Jenny can you hear me?” Sarah called into the dusty derelict building as her and the demolition foreman stood at the doorway. “Jenny? Please come out, you’re going to get into trouble.”
“I am here.” Jenny answered.
Sarah took her first steps inside, immediately feeling the coldness of the shadows.
“Are you sure she’s in here?” The foreman grunted, not satisfied.
“Yes, yes she is. Where are you Jenny?”
“I am here.”
“She’s through there.” Sarah began to go towards the dusty and cobwebbed doorway to the cellar believing her friend to be in there. “Are you in there Jenny?”
Again came the reply. “I am here.”
It sounded strongest and closest in the one room they had yet to enter. “She’s in the other room.”
“No she isn’t, there is no one there.” The foreman made a move to turn around and head back to the front door.
“No, I heard her, she is in there.” Sarah pushed past the Foreman, disbelieving him, claim towards the room. It was dark inside with bricked up windows but Sarah could see a darker form that wasn’t her subtle shadow, before a barren fireplace. She walked towards it thinking of Jenny. On her third step the wooden dirt and rubble covered floor groaned, something snapped underneath and the floorboards collapsed inwards. Sarah lost her balance with a wail and went down to the unknown.
The foreman came closer at the sound and shone his torch into the collapsed floor and stepped back in shock. In the dust flickering light was Sarah on all fours amongst broken timbers and dirt but right next to her was a skull, its fixed expression so serious it was almost glaring at them both. Beside its other bones was what looked like a well rusted axe head only giving the faintest shine as well as a large lump of wood that was not from the broken floor. Its lizards tongue, jagged teeth, and painted ruby red eyes still looked menacing after so many years at sea as well as spent in dark, damp conditions.
The foreman swore before he clicked open the channel on his radio. “Dan get the Police on the phone, the damned house is right on top of a grave. Until then this house stays up.”
Sarah heard those words again but no longer as Jenny. “I am here!”

The End

Friday, 6 November 2009

The Grist Anthology of New Writing - Launch Night @ Peacock Lounge

Well the monumental day has arrived for all those who have heard of Grist, entered Grist and even won the Grist Competition. Their poems or stories are about to be released into the writing and bookloving world along side some headliners such as Ian McMillan and Simon Armitage under the delightful name of 'The Grist Anthology of New Writing'. Which has a very artistic portrayal of letters and words appearing right out of an ink pot on the front cover.

It is the compilation of runners up and the three winners from both Poetry and Short Fiction which was judged by Simon Armitage and Joanne Harris in the Grist Competition run in May 2008. The idea of Grist itself is born from the inspirational mind of Michael Stewart, a Creative Writing tutor at Huddersfield University and also a key player in the 4th Huddersfield Literature Festival this year.
I myself was a student personally tutored by him in my English Studies with Creative Writing degree and as I was Book & Fiction Sub-editor at the Huddersfield Student Newspaper during my final year I worked closely with him not only to promote the Grist competition which he made free to the University's students but also advertising the many brilliant literature events he organised during the festival. See Huddersfield Student E-Archive links down the right hand side.

The Peacock Lounge in Huddersfield quickly became filled from 7pm with not just fans and followers of Grist but also the Winners and runners up author and poets who were soon take turns upon stage to read their work out. I myself was sat next to one of the runner up poets who had come all the way from Ireland to read her poem titled 'Flight of Swallows' which was inspired through her helpless feeling when her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. However Michael himself had to step up on stage to read quite a few extracts from the short stories as several authors couldn't attend. But all readers Michael included did a fantastic job of telling their story or poem, one in particular, Gareth Durasow (I think I've got his name right) did a very dramatic by heart performance of his poem 'Poem for the Love Lane Crow). Local poets David Gill and Gaia Holmes also turned up for the event as they too contributed some of their work to this Anthology.

On the whole the entire night was very enjoyable and became extremely entertaining at the end with a musical literary suprise in the form of JazzT (aka David Gill a local poet and Poetry tutor at the University of Huddersfield) singing a few songs of his own. He wasn't bad, he wasn't fantastic but he was very entertaining and ended the night on a high.

To learn more about Grist, the competition and other details please visit www.hud.ac.uk/grist .

Monday, 2 November 2009

Make: Online : Banner ads on flies

Make: Online : Banner ads on flies

Follow this link to see the best use of flies I have ever seen instead of having them batter themselves even dumber upon a bear lightbulb. Typical German crazyness mixed with book publishers. Click and watch video to see what wonder is created.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Home coming, spending money and Halloween Foxes!

Well where should I begin:
Justify Full

Let's start at the beginning, at the end of last week I went home as it was half term at college so I had a week of work! WOOO! Got to bond again with my saint of a mother and play with my two balls of fluff Gem and Bailey, our families two golden labradors. Also as I was back in good old north yorkshire country side I was able to photograph the country pheasants in the fields right opposite my home. You can see pictures of these fine english birds on my Flickr site or in my Deviantart Gallery.

Spent most of the week on outings with my mum and Auntie Kate and Jo, the latter has MS so it's good to get her out. Of course this was temptation for me to spend a lot of money as I had only been paid the week before so I felt slightly rich and carefree when I did buy quite a few things.

Yet something good did come out of my pennies as my Mum spotted in a local newspaper a local guy by the name of Simon Grey who has written and had published 2 books for the under fourteens based on the idea of Vikings living under the streets of modern day York!
At first I was gutted that yet again some lucky person has beaten it to fame with my own idea (as my valkyries stories are set in modern day york) but then I realised it showed how strong Vikings and their adventures are making a come back to the british public! So I bought the 2 books and I'm very nearly finished the first one which is called The Last Vikings. It really is a book for younger kids who are nearly teenagers but not quite. But on that ground it is still an enjoyable story even though very immature for my reading tastes. But hey I act like a 12 year old half the time anyway. So I do reccomend it for younger readers to put on their Christmas list this year.

Speaking of York I went there on Thursday to catch up with my best mate Tasha and just had to visit the Jorvik Centre shop and buy a vikingy treat for doing a degree (excuses but valid ones :P) and I bought a nice valkyrie pendant, the figure based on an engraving found in Sweden. Thought it quite clever as I'm writing about them and I also bought a nice blue t-shirt with a viking boat on depicted in an engraving and as it's mainly black and lacking great detail I thought 'perfect I can add stuff to it and make it my own hehehe'.

Now I returned back to Huddersfield and my boyfriend for the Halloween weekend. Sadly none of my mates were telling me of their Halloween plans so I wasn't able to get dressed up as Black Widow Spiderwoman this year but my boyfriend proposed we revisit our beloved woods for a halloween campfire. I went worried it might take ages for it to get going etc but he didn't dissapoint me. In half an hour we were toasty warm by the firelight eating our now lukewarm fish and chips. It was very nice though. I did have another brilliant idea on the way down to get him to record me in the firelight telling my vikingy ghost story 'As Old as Houses' but sadly it wasn't to be as I didn't bring my good camera as he said it would be too dark to photograph anything (we didn't think of filming then) and my mobile phone died on me just before....
AND at that critical moment of failure a fox started screaming in the woods.

Rotten luck. That's all I could put it down to. Plus it was a full moon.

However my boyfriend used his phone (which only records for 30 seconds before stopping which was annoying) but we managed to capture its calls once before it stopped. You must be instantly quiet when you click play as it is the first noise you hear and then my boyfriend spoils it with the noisy marshmallow packet.


video

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