March Updates: University, Camp Nano, Reading Goals, & Covid-19.

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re all safe and healthy. I had a few goals for February, which I don’t think I met, and I skipped an update post, so I’ll start over here.

March updates

Covid-19: Aka Coronapocalypse:

When the UK went on lock-down on the 23rd of March little changed for us. My partner works in food retail, so he went to work as normal, and my MA in Writing is via distance learning. This time of year, when it usually rains, we prefer to stay in, and whilst the weather has been beautiful since lock-down began, I’m sure the rain will return as usual.

Things were okay, all things considered, until yesterday. My partner got feverish at work, and now our household has to isolate for two weeks. I always have plenty of food in the house in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and I’m an introvert, so staying in isn’t an issue. We’re not deathly ill, just feverish, tired, and I had a bit of vertigo. Hopefully it doesn’t get worse.

Given my partner’s job it was a matter of when, not if, we got sick. We’re both usually healthy, and hopefully if it’s Covid-19 it’ll be mild like the majority of cases are: Our government is only testing NHS workers, so we have to assume we’ve been affected. I’m trying to be optimistic, but scrolling BBC live news every hour wasn’t helping, so I’ve limited myself to once a day.

Anyway, onto happier things!

Reading Goals:

I have a huge backlog of books to read, as during term time I don’t have time to read for fun. My goal is to read 4 books in April to start clearing my backlog. The good news is I’m in a Netflix slump. The bad news is I keep downloading more books, and now my ‘too many books, not enough time’ problem is significantly worse 😀

books-752657_640
Stacks of books: A visual representation of my Kindle Library!

University:

I got my grade back: 68. My average is under 70 now, and it’ll be harder to get a distinction. Given I hated the last module, and the only way to improve would’ve been to write in more depth about my self (which I didn’t want to do) I’m okay with it.

I summarised my assignment, on using life experiences to improve fantasy stories, in a blog post. The final modules will (hopefully) be better. I won’t have to use first person or memories I’m not comfortable writing about, and I think I get more freedom for the essay topic.

3 ways life experiences enhance fantasy stories

The next assignments are back to back, so from May to September I’ll be crazy busy. I’m not convinced the MA is worth it. I’m still a perfectionist with impostor syndrome, I’ve learned little about writing, and assignments are stressful. Some days I feel like quitting, but I’ll see how the next module goes. I aim to write a story I can use for my next assignment by the end of April.

Writing:

I posted the story I wrote for my last university assignment in two parts, On the Horizon 1 and 2. Writing it made me realise I’d rather have lots of scrapped outlines over lots of finished drafts, so I’m editing my plan for Second Chance again. I think I need to write from Merlin and Arthur’s POV, not a single POV, and I’ll only start writing when I’m sure the plan is right.

I aim to write 6000 words for Camp Nanowrimo: 4000 on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, based on a fanfic I wrote years ago (I want to write my next essay on fanfiction), and 2000 on Merlin Second Chance, if I finish the plan! So far I’ve written 1463 words and written daily.

Merlin:

Merlin’s obsessed with climbing on the clothes airer and putting cat hair all over our clean clothes. I could stop him, but he looks so hilarious doing it so I leave him to it.

He was on Metacam for a urine infection, but he seems to have recovered. He’s going to go crazy with both of us here all the time as he’s not used to it!

Gaming:

We’d been playing a lot of games before our isolation. Now my partner’s here all the time I expect us to play a lot more, as even though we’re drained gaming is mindless fun and it’s one of the only things we can do! We’re currently trying to complete Ark: Survival Evolved (dinosaur survival), and I’ve bought Halo on PC because I used to love playing PVP on Xbox.

Dungeons and Dragons:

Before the lock-down we had our first D&D session. My character, Seth, took a crossbow bolt to the left shoulder, missed twice with his fireballs, stole a bottle of wine from the cellar of the guy we were helping, and asked quest-givers for more money as his charisma is through the roof!

D&D character sheet and dice
My D&D character sheet. I borrowed the dice as I forgot mine. Probably why I rolled so badly!

My character’s based on Seth from my past stories Brothers Through Fire and Shelter from the Storm. Our game’s on hold until lock-down ends, but I might write up our first adventure for a future Sunday Scribbles!

scales divider copy

Thanks for Reading!

I’ll be taking it easy in April as university doesn’t start until the end of the month. My priority is to stay sane and recover from whatever it is I have, so reading, gaming and writing are my focus.

How are you coping with lock-down? Do you have any goals for April? Chat in the comments!

9 comments

  1. Sorry to hear you’re not getting as much as you’d hoped from the MA experience. I’ve always wondered about those. Perhaps the next modules will be more useful.

    I’ll be hoping your fevers are behind you soon and don’t turn into anything worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your partner feeling under the weather. Hope he feels better soon and I too hope the symptoms will be mild. All the best – and I recommend taking breaks from the news. You have my support and if you need to talk, I’m here for you. Best wishes and have fun with getting through the books. My TBR is long and keeps growing, so I feel you lol. And wow, that is quite intense (RE: university assignments). You have my support and I’m here for you. And I believe in you. I love On the Horizon and I think it’s cool that you will have multiple POVs. Best wishes w/Camp NaNo, you’ll do wonderful!
    Glad Merlin’s better. Hope you have a nice month. I support you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Alex 🙂
      The UK had a bad culture regarding workplace sickness before the pandemic, in that employers used to expect you to go in unless you were bed-bound. If one good thing comes out of this pandemic it’ll hopefully be a change in attitudes towards taking time off work for sickness and better sick pay to allow people time to recover.
      Have a great month too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Louise! Yeah, some employers here are like that too. In some places, the amount of leave they offer is limited. Is there protected sick leave in the UK? I too hope for the change in attitudes both here and in the UK.
        Thank you – wishing you a wonderful month. Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Here you only get paid after being off sick for 7 days, and it’s less than a third of a full time minimum wage. You can be on sick leave for up to 28 weeks, but it’s nowhere near enough to cover living expenses. Some companies (usually government/council/schools) get better sick pay. When I worked as a teacher’s assistant sick days were paid the same as working days, but for many people it’s a struggle.
          Thanks, have a wonderful month too 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you’re both feeling better, Louise. Keep up the good isolation and self-care. And I’m glad you’re writing and filling your time with gaming and other fun. Merlin is adorable and I’ve been covered with cat hair for years, so I can relate. Lol. Wishing you both a speedy and complete recovery! Happy Easter. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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