This is in many ways a housekeeping and updates post, but stay tuned. It might be interesting nonetheless.
First off, an update on what I like to call Operation ASNAC or, for those new to the blog, “a period of time in which Miriam attempts to pass her A-Levels”.
Today I completed my first A2 exam — the French exam I sat a few weeks back was an AS resit. This was English Literature, which at 2 hours and 45 minutes is the longest of my exams. As you know, I’ve got problems with my hands which prevent me from typing for that long, let alone handwriting, so I dictate my exams using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. And sometimes this goes wrong.
I call them ‘Dragonisms’, an homage to the NaNoWriMo forum thread entitled ‘NaNoisms’ which is home to the most hilarious typos I have seen in my life. None of mine were quite as entertaining today, although I had some odd ones — essays don’t quite lend themselves to oddity in the way that novels do. But I was entertained by the sudden change of Alec’s name from Alec d’Urberville to Allecto Urberville. Because yes, that’s totally what he’s called.
And honestly I am fascinated by the 20s frat house I seem to have invented: “The Association of Jazz and Liquor with Miss Behaviour.” It’s amazing how much some misplaced capitals and a single error will change a phrase: thank you for that one, Dragon, thank you. I got very weird looks from my invigilator when I started laughing, which was somewhat unhelpful.
So English is done and with any luck I’ll never be obliged to read Tess of the d’Urbervilles again in my life. Of course, it’s always possible I’ll decide to do so, but with any luck no one’s going to force it on me. A delightful prospect.
For those who missed it, I created a page with some ‘sample’ poems from my collections. At the moment there are two from each collection, with a brief note about when they were written and perhaps why or under what circumstances. So if you were interested in looking into my poetry but weren’t sure or didn’t know which collection to go for, you might like to check those out. You can find it under the “Books” tab, or by clicking here.
It’s possible I’ll put further poems on that page in the future; if you’ve read the collections, why not leave me a comment here or on that page voting for a poem that you think would most encourage readers to buy the collection, or just your personal favourite? Or don’t. You know. If you find exhortations like that patronising and stuff.
I realised it was pretty unfair of me to expect you to just trust me with your money when you’ve no idea if I’m any good at all, so I hope those will encourage you rather than put you off my work. :)
I now have a book blog! If you’re interested in reading the reviews I write for books I’m reading, whether they’re new releases, Classics, or things that have been out for twenty years but I didn’t get around to them until now, you might be interested in Miriam Joy Reads. Because, as you might have noticed, I like the idea of Miriam Joy [verbs]. There’s also a link sneakily hidden in the page tabs at the top of my blog.
At the moment, my primary focus is expanding and adapting reviews I’ve written for Goodreads etc and uploading those to create some blog content, though I’m also reviewing anything I’m reading. But, given the exams, that’s not a lot at the moment.
I don’t review books on this blog, though I’ll sometimes talk about them if there was something in particular that stood out, but you can expect semi-regular reviews over there, particularly in the near future when I’m uploading old material and not actually reading entire books to write about. :)
There was a wonderful programme about Dylan Thomas’s poetry on BBC4 on Sunday called Dylan Thomas: A Poet’s Guide. If you’ve got access to iPlayer, I urge you to check it out. It’s only up there for the next two days, so you’ll have to get on with it.
There’s something wonderful about hearing people talk about their interpretations of poetry and hearing it read aloud. I came halfway through to the subsequent programme (a performance of Under Milk Wood), and while I had no idea what was going on in the slightest, I just sat on the sofa and let the words rush through me. I was half asleep, since it was aired pretty late, and it was a weirdly magical experience.
So yes, if you’ve got an hour, check that out.
Okay, I think that’s it. You probably won’t see me around as much in the next two weeks, as it’s hardcore revision in preparation for the four exams I have between the 18th and the 20th June — not to mention the four Fame rehearsals I have next week alone. But after that I’m free as a bird (apart from, you know, the two shows I’m in), and I’ll be blogging like a maniac until I run out of ideas, so you’ve got that to look forward to.