the_islander: (ladies)
... like: the list of new words (goal #22)  I wanted to post much earlier ^^
Here we go: ) I don't know when exactly I'm going to use those, but if I can't find an occasion, I'll create one ^^
the_islander: (ladies)
I'm not feeling very well just now (probably more to come) and so I decided I'd do something to cheer me up:

100 Books I want to read next year (in no particular order)     [14/100]

  1. Walter Scott - Waverley (Bonnie Prince Charlie, YAY ^^)
  2. Mary Shelley - Frankenstein (already had a go at that one for my ZP, but never finished. Shame on me.)
  3. Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
  4. Charles Dickens - Nicholas Nickleby
  5. John Cleland - Fanny Hill
  6. Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
  7. JRR Tolkien - Lord of the Rings (reread, obviously)
  8. Rebecca Gablé - Das zweite Königreich
  9. Rosemary Sutcliff - whichever I can lay my hands on (preferably Warrior Scarlet or Bonnie Dundee ^^)
  10. Philipp Pullman - Northern Lights (want to reread all of them)
  11. Philipp Pullman - The Subtle Knife
  12. Philipp Pullman - The Amber Spyglass
  13. RL Stevenson - The Black Arrow (never knew that book even existed before I saw it in a shop...)
  14. Joseph Eichendorff - Leben eines Taugenichts (also reread)
  15. Novalis - Heinrich von Ofterdingen
  16. Heinrich Böll - Irisches Tagebuch
  17. Schiller - Der Geisterseher
  18. Kleist - Michel Kohlhaas
  19. Büchner - Leonce und Lena & Woyzeck (because the two together are only 70 pages) 
  20. ETA Hoffmann - Lebensansichten des Katers Murr
  21. Marc Aurel - Selbstbetrachtungen
  22. Jostein Gaarder - Sopies Welt (reread, hopefully I will understand it now that I'm older and know more about philosophy)
  23. Umberto Eco - The Name of the Rose (finally finish....)
  24. CS Lewis he Magician's Nephew (and the other Narnia-Books)- T
  25. TA Barron - The Lost Years of Merlin (another reread)
  26. TA Barron - The Seven Songs of Merlin
  27. TA Barron - The Fires of Merlin
  28. TA Barron - The Mirror of Merlin
  29. TA Barron - The Wings of Merlin
  30. John Polidori - The Vampyre
  31. ETA Hoffmann - Die Elixire des Teufels
  32. Thomas Mann - Der Zauberberg
  33. Brian Jacques - Redwall (and its sequels ^^)
  34. Tad Williams - Otherland 1 - City of Golden Shadow (all reread, never finished the last one)
  35. Tad Williams - Otherland 2 - River of Blue Fire
  36. Tad Williams - Otherland 3 - Mountain of Black Glass
  37. Tad Williams - Otherland 4 - Sea of Silver Light
  38. Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre (started but never finished...)
  39. Jean Rhys - Wide Sargasso Sea
  40. John Bunyan - The Pilgrim's Progress (also never finished)
  41. Victor Hugo - Bug-Jargal
  42. Victor Hugo - Les Miserables
  43. Alexandre Dumas - Les Trois Musquetaires (probably won't try the French one, though...)
  44. Alexandre Dumas - Le Comte de Monte-Cristo
  45. something by George Eliott (to be decided)
  46. another Dickens (yet to be decided)
  47. Kate Fox - Watching the English
  48. Arthur Conan Doyle - The Complete Sherlock Holmes (exept Hound of the Baskervilles, reread that recently)
  49. John Toohey - Captain Bligh's Portable Nightmare
  50. Harald Haarmann - Weltgeschichte der Sprachen
  51. WM Thackeray - Vanity Fair
  52. Thomas Mann - Buddenbrooks
  53. Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary
  54. Heinrich Mann - Der Untertan
  55. Seth Grahame-Smith - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  56. Monica Ali - Brick Lane
  57. something by EM Forster (yet to be decided...)
  58. JJ Rousseau - Emile (Yes, you can call me crazy...)
  59. Michael Ende - Die unendliche Geschichte
  60. Rosemary Sutcliff - The Eagle of the Ninth (once again ^^)
  61. Michael Ende - Momo
  62. Astrid Lindgren - Mio mein Mio (once again)
  63. Astrid Lindgren - Ronja Räubertochter (also again)
  64. Henry Fielding - Tom Jones
  65. Patrick O'Brian - Mauritius Command (I'm already 60 pages in, but but seeing that the book has like 400 pages in total, I'll count it)
  66. Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark - How not to write a novel (only counts as half because I'm already 160 pages in)
  67. Reif Larsson - The selected works of TS Spivett
  68. unknown author - Beowulf (for my exam, but nevermind)
  69. Dan Price - How to make a journal of your life
  70. Daniel Kehlmann - Die Vermessung der Welt
  71.  


As you can see, I am nowhere near 100, so suggestions are welcome!
the_islander: (poet)
... and the Writer is even more so. But let me explain.

I read a lot of books on writing lately, and some of them were quite good, actually. The uni library seems pretty well stocked on that topic, perhaps because they need to encourage all these English Literature students who - except for becoming a writer - don't know how to get a job... Well, back to the topic.
Most books I laid my hands on where more or less writing manuals (How to construct plots, create credible characters, and all that stuff), and thus only partly interesting to me. I do know all the theory about writing, I've been studying literature - called reading when I was not yet at uni -  long enough. I am able to decide whether a plot is fascinating or whether all books by one author are - essentially - the same (good example: Hohlbein). 
What I am not able to do properly is to commit myself to a more or less regular writing pattern, and to keep up the same motivation and inspiration for a longer period of time. Yet.
Funny thing: Two of the books I read came up with very convincing (and very similar) explanations.

The theory is as follows: 
Each writer combines in him/herself two essentially different "personalities" (not quite the right word, though...), that of the creator and that of the editor. While the creator needs spontanity, sensitiveness and an almost childlike openness to old and new things alike in order to produce some sort of art, the editor is rational, selective and critical (and everything else that is craft-like in writing). It is obvious that those two parts are not only both essential for writing effectively, but also must be in constant conflict with each other. [I do see that in myself, by the way. Whenever I'm writing something I just stop somewhere in the middle and start criticising and correcting instead of just finishing the scene and do the editing part later on]. The point is then, to try and keep the two apart while writing - write first and edit afterwards -, and that is also what I'm trying to work on, recently.
I think simply knowing about this fact already helps (or so I feel), but I do think I should need more practice.

By the way: Another point of advice in one of the books was not to read too much while writing because the style of the author influences your own one - which you need to find first, before improving it by the right kind of influence. I can see that even in this post... language seems somewhat old-fashioned... Whyever. ^^


---------------
Just another point: I do wonder how there can be sooo much truth in a book of about 70 pages...(and I'm not talking about the book on writing ^^).

[EDIT] And yes, this was another procrastination entry (though I wanted to cover the topic for quite some time). Case paper: 500/2500 words. Bah.

the_islander: (poet)
I found a great little program lately: yWriter Great, if you try to write a longer text and have a lot of - yet unconnected - chapters and scenes. ^^

The program allows you to create a (unlimited?) number of chapters and scenes, the later of which you can move freely between the chapters and (re-)arrange within a chapter as you like. ;-) You can also tag chapters and scenes by the characters that appear, make notes about the setting, time covered, perspective, status of completion and much more which I don't know yet. Best of all, you can also export your "work" as rtf, and even print individual passages/chapters/scenes if you like.

I just hope this gives my writing new speed and determination (this sentence sounds weird...).

At the moment I'm still busy typing up all the TdM scenes I wrote on paper (which I wanted to do anyway) and importing those I already have as text. I also need to translate some, since I wrote a lot in English lately and want to have two different versions, one German and one English. I do like my English ones better, though, especially the dialogues. Hmmm, problem. Needs to be solved soon, though. I'll just try translating them as precisely as possible without losing the atmosphere of the scene till I can find another solution.



PS: And yes, I do have a knack for alliterations in headings lately... ;-) 

[EDIT, 0.45] Finished typing up the scenes from my notebook just now, have to go on with the trillions of paperslips, single leaves and other notes tomorrow.

Word count: 

 
6805 / 220000 words. 3% done!

220000 words should be approximately 500 A4 pages, a good guess given that I think I will need at least 50 chapters a ~ 10 pages... Hm... I've got about another 1000 words in notes on paper somewhere. That's more than I thought, actually ;-)
the_islander: (magritte)
And majorly so.

Why? Several reasons.

First of all, the amount of books you can borrow is limited, to 15 if you're an Undergraduate Student, like I am (Yeah, technically not, I know, but all Erasmus people are...). Should not be a big deal since I tend to borrow too many books anyway. HAH. Well. 

It turns into a problem when

~ there are almost no non-circular books (only very few, and mostly dictionaries or very old or very heavy ones) and
~ you basically have to borrow any book you need, for when a book's gone, it's gone, and there's no chance of laying a hand on it except for placing a hold (it takes about one week for the book to arrive, mostly too late for the seminar)
~ there's often only one copy of a book in the library; there's five copies of Darwin's "Origin of Species" in the whole library (for a seminar of 20 people); and I'm not gonna buy all those books!
~ there's no subject-specific libraries
~ there's almost no copying allowed, due to copyright laws (one article for a magazine, approx. 1/3 of a book), and the copy machines are terribly slow
~ the sorting is awful... books are somehow sorted by floor (three of them, should resemble topics, but I doubt this), and zones (orange, blue, red, yellow), but I already had books that were in a different zone than where they were supposed to be - library staff apparently also don't know where to put the books, seen the number of books that were not on shelf when they should have been
~ once a book is on loan, the opac/library catalogue does no longer give you the book's full place on the shelve. Which means, you've got to look that up time and again whenever you need that book again. What a waste of time.
~ if there's a hold on a book, you can only borrow it for one week
~ you can take out books at the self-issue machines (no staff needed here), and you can return them the same way, that's good. You can even renew your loans via internet, but you can not print out a new reciepe stating the new due date. Hä? 
~ you can also not print out your holds, which means that you have to note down the number of the book (not the floor and zone) to pick that up at the short-loan area... books there are sorted by number, not by user... And the system doesn't tell you the book number when it tells you that the book you placed a hold on has arrived. Weird...

Ah, well, there's these few express-loan books, that you can borrow for four hours, four. Can you read a book in four hours? You have to, because you're not allowed to copy it ;-)


And now imagine having only three weeks (one of which you're ill) for writing an essay and being supposed to use secondary literature too... Not to mention the reading for the other seminars....

Who the hell thought of this? When am I supposed to actually read these books?


[EDIT] Oh, I forgot something important, yet weird and complicated.... Told you about the way books are "sorted" in the library, remember? 
What I didn't tell you, is this: When you look up a book in the library catalogue, you - if you're lucky and the book's not on loan - get a floor, a zone and a number and letter-code that looks approx. like this: 
Floor 3/Orange Zone 821.042 MAR (or something similar).
The numbers tell you which shelve the book's supposed to be on (which bookcase, not which individual shelve, obviously), and MAR is short for the author; in my case I was searching for Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, for my history class. This number and abbreviation, however, is by no means individual! There are about four or five shelves of books, all indicated 821.042 MAR, apparently in no special order at all. If you don't know the title of the book you're searching for, you're f***ed, and even if you do, it takes quite some time till you actually find that book. Again: What a waste of time! [EDIT]

Ha-hmm.

Feb. 6th, 2009 05:31 pm
the_islander: (poet)
Yes, the Hornblower-sound.
Does it whenever he's embarrassed or otherwise doesn't want to talk (though not in the movies, I'm afraid ^^).
Should start doing it myself.

Truth is, I found my sock. It was rolled up in my bedsheet. Hm. That's what I thought of first yesterday as well, and - I'm quite sure I searched it thoroughly at least twice.
Well. At least I got it back.

Oh, and by the by, I finished reading my crime novel, the reason I stayed up late the last couple of days (ah, and 'cause of Facebook, LJ, ...)^^

Grrrrr....

Feb. 5th, 2009 09:34 pm
the_islander: (Default)
The washing machine just ate one of my socks.

One that I actually liked! One of the knee-high, warm ones that I need in this snowy, cold, wet weather... damn.


I mean, I know that this happens from time to time, but it never happened to me before.... despite all these comparativly bad washing machines I've used since leaving my parents house.... Well... I did all the best I could do, searching the washing machines, the driers and all the way to and from the laundry room at least twice... I even asked the person who used the machine after me... and I searched my room... Nothing. Sock remains lost. ;-)

Well, if you see it like this - one thing less to carry home, and I can keep the one that has been left over till one of the other pair (I had two pairs that looked the same) gets lost too - or gets a hole. Or I can make one of these funny dolls that you make from old socks... didn't do that for quite some time....


.... and the bathroom's occupied too, so I can't have the loooong, hot bath I was looking forward to all day long... at least, not at a decent time. :-(

Snow

Feb. 2nd, 2009 05:18 pm
the_islander: (Default)
No, not much. 

In Leicester we got about 5 to 10 cm. Almost nothing compared to Germany where up to 1m is possible and, actually, happens quite regularly (at least once a year, that is). But still - it's snowIn Britain. In February. And it apparently causes complete chaos.

If you want to read up on "the coldest winter for about 15 years" (!!): try this.

Thinking that I walked about one hour in what  - here - must have looked like a blizzard (which it definitely wasn't) to go fencing yesterday ....
So much fun. ;-)

Fencing actually was fun too, though I might need some time till I get both feet and hands right. Short summary: Nice sport, nice people, nice time. And I finally found out where all the - reputedly - good-looking British boys went to ^^ For I couldn't find any of them in my seminars so far... (English seems to be as much a girls' subject as at home) ;-)

I'm still not finished with my reading for History of English, but had both seminar and lecture today. I got up at 6.30 to take a shower and finish my homework, and it was worth it. I needed to get some sleep this afternoon, but the seminar went quite well. When you're used to having three articles that each change with Number and Case respectively (the same holds true for nouns and adjectives), it's not exactly a shock if Old English does the same... not to speak about sentence structure and spelling which - ignoring "th" - sometimes more resemble German conventions than English ones. This is the first time at uni here that I think it might actually be an advantage not to be a native speaker of English. And I'm definitely going to do my passage analysis on Old English, even though I might be interested in the later stages of development as well (we'll be covering the evolvement of E. up to about the 18th century). It's soooo much easier ;-)
the_islander: (Default)
Hmmm... I don't like being in a state of shock that "early" in the morning, at least not right after getting up. Which happened to be much too late again.
I knew something like this would happen when I still lay awake at about 4 am yesterday evening, after having phoned my boyfriend till about two. DAMN. Getting up at nine after only having five hours of sleep, simply to do sports, is not exactly myself. It didn't work out anyway. I turned out my alarmclock, still half asleep, and kept sleeping till 11.15.
Problem is, I thought fencing lessons would take place at 12, in a sportshall somewhere near the catered halls of residence, some 40 mins walk away (no busses on Sundays). And my trainers still muddy. So I did what I almost always do after getting up: turned on my laptop.
Internet took its time till it decided to work - they're changing something about the connection right now (2GB per week per person seems too be not enough in an accomodation with mostly foreign students phoning their girl/boyfriends via Skype...) - and luckily I also read my uni email.
Fencing starts at 2 pm, at least the email from the Fencing Society says so. ;-) Which means, I can easily get there in time, even if I've got to walk. Which also means that I can't go to the museum to hear a talk about Victorian Underwear. I might just survive without, I think.

Still, it is interesting how sometimes, sometimes luck wins over laziness. More often than not it's exactly the other way round I might say....

Anyway, I need to clean my trainers... ;-)

the_islander: (Default)
Good question.

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