I shall be an OU student in 1 week’s time…

The OU Start Writing Fiction course website went live on Wednesday (15 Oct).  I have spent today reading through it in detail.  Oh wow, am I going to get time to breathe once this course starts a week today?!  There seems sooo much to it.

There are five blocks to work through, each comprising several short exercises, plus the two eTMAs [electronic tutor marked assignments] on which my ultimate mark will be dependent.  Students are also encouraged to participate in online forums and conferencing.

I suppose when you embark on something like this there are always fears.  That you won’t cope with it, that everyone else will be cleverer than you, etc.  I feel like I’m starting school all over again.  It is all very daunting.

At the same time, though, I can’t help feeling excited and positive.  Some of the activities look fun, and should stimulate my far too latent creativity.  I have said before that I am very goal-driven and need tasks on which to focus.  When I have something to do, I do it.

2008 has been a washout year for me writing wise, so I sincerely hope the course will help me get 2009 off to a much more productive start.  If this won’t get me writing again, frankly nothing will.

On Thursday I saw the wonderful Queen + Paul Rodgers at the NIA in Brum.  They were, as Craig Revel Horwood might say on Strictly, “a-ma-ZING!!”

We heard Queen classics like We Will Rock You, A Kind of Magic, I Want It All, I’m In Love With My Car, new ones C-lebrity, Say It’s Not True and Cosmos Rockin’ and the Paul Rodgers (Free and Bad Company) hits All Right Now and Bad Company.

Paul, by the way, really is the perfect frontman.  He makes no attempts to ‘do a Freddie’ by being camp, but has brought his individual style to the mix, which for me really works.  He, Brian and Roger took turns on lead vocals, and were all fantastic in their own exceptional ways.

I was chuffed to bits when Brian’s guitar solo encompassed two of our wedding songs.  Brighton Rock segued into the beautiful Bijou, an album track from Innuendo, to which I walked tremulously down the aisle.  It comprises a long instrumental climaxing with a Freddie vocal which on Thursday was accompanied by footage of him – always poignant at these events.  This in turn flowed into Last Horizon, the gorgeous Brian instrumental which our friend Ben played as we signed our register.  It was a real ‘hug your husband and sway cheesily along at a gig’ moment.

The only downside to the night was that I HATE driving into the city, with a passion.  The concert traffic was monstrous, coupled with the fact most of the nearest car parks were full, so we endured a panicky journey and then a breathless sprint (oh, my little lungs) into the arena fearing we’d missed the first couple of numbers.  Luckily it started 20 minutes late and we missed nothing.

I slept barely a wink that night, partly due to general hyped-up post-concert feelings and partly due to being full of cold and snuffly.  I was consequently falling asleep at my desk on Friday.  Still, nights like that are well worth a touch of fatigue at work.

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