June/July Updates: University, TV/Reading & Hiatus!* Extended, back Jan 2021.

Hey everyone!

I’m posting this a week later than intended as I had another mini deadline on the 10th of July, for 2000 words of creative writing. Summer is full of these mini deadlines to make sure I’m on track with my 20000 word dissertation!

I was offline for most of June to focus on assignments. Given everything that’s happened in the month I’ve been away, I just want to say:

This is a safe space for all.

Black lives matter. Trans rights matter. Love is love.

My novels in progress have LGBTQIA+ characters, my best friend is trans, and there’s no room for homophobia or racism here.Β I’m here to share amazing, inclusive, representative stories. That’s what matters to me.

June July Updates Hiatus Extended

University:

I chose to study my MA part time as I knew I’d struggle with deadlines. Until now it’s been manageable. These last two modules though? They’re back-to-back with no break in between. I’ve gone straight from one assignment to the next, and my stress levels are at an all time high.

Expecting part time students to meet the same deadlines as full time students at the end of the course? Not cool. On top of that my partner’s work has been hell, food retail in lock-down isn’t fun, and even Merlin’s acting out!

My final assignment is due in September. I can extend the deadline if necessary, but at this point I just want the MA to be over with. Thankfully I get to choose my final project, a Beauty and the Beast M/M retelling, which makes the reading material more interesting!

The Beach:

I’ve been cycling more, as exercise improves my mood, but despite social distancing measures the beach gets so busy! The seafront is beautiful and quiet before 7am though:

Beach at 7am
The deserted beach, just before 7am. The sun is so bright!

There are still more people than I’d expect on the promenade, but I guess I’m not the only one trying to avoid the rush!

Stuff Read/Watched:

Leo Loves Aries: A simple, enjoyable, M/M romance with little angst.

Psych: I’ve re-watched 4 and a half seasons so far. The romantic relationships still annoy me, as there’s no chemistry between characters who get together and plenty of chemistry between those who don’t, but the rest of the show is still awesome.

Beauty and the Beast: Live action and animated films, for university. The animated version is much better than the live action, because the live action turned Prince Adam into a whiny spoiled child and the magic book is a plot hole.

Legends of Tomorrow: We’re midway through season 4. Unlike anything Disney, Legends has plenty of LGBTQIA+ representation and I love it.

To Read: Beauregard and the Beast. This M/M Beauty and the Beast inspired gem has been on my reading list since before it was released, when the author shared amazing quotes on Twitter, but the MA doesn’t leave much time to read for fun. Thankfully my dissertation choice means I can read it guilt free, as research!

Writing:

Everything’s on hold until I finish my dissertation, except the occasional fanfiction I’m writing to de-stress. I’ve written 250 words a day for my dissertation since the start of June, and I miss my other projects. I don’t think writing to strict deadlines suits me: I can’t wait until I graduate and can set my own, much more reasonable, deadlines, for my stories!

Merlin:

Merlin started attacking our wallpaper again, after a long time of not doing it. We decided to peel off the layer he’s destroyed, and the one underneath is much better. When we eventually redecorate we’ll be painting for sure!

Merlin hugging the sink
Merlin hugging the sink. The bathroom is one of his favourite places to relax!

It’s odd, but I think pets react to how we’re feeling. Hopefully once we’re both calmer Merlin’ll calm down too and start eating wet food again instead of demanding kibble!

Blogging:

I didn’t want to do this, as I love blogging, but I’m going to take an extended hiatus to focus on my dissertation and the final stretch of my MA. I’ll be visiting other blogs during my break, as I hate missing out and love reading them, especially the Author Toolbox Hop posts which often help me with my essays! I’ll also be on Twitter for #sunscribbles on Sundays πŸ™‚

I’ll return to regular blogging in October*, with details of my dissertation and a review of my MA, which I’m really on the fence about. Only a few more months until I’m no longer a student!

*I’ve extended my break until 5th January 2021, to give me time to finish my university assignment: It was originally due in September, but I struggled to focus over summer because of the Covid Pandemic. I applied for an extension and now have until December to finish it. Good luck with Nano for those participating, have a good festive period, and see you in the New Year!

scales divider copy

Thanks for Reading!

Watch anything awesome recently? Read anything cool? Got any recommendations for fairy-tale retellings I should read/watch for my dissertation? Chat in the comments!

23 comments

  1. That all sounds intense! I think it’s a good call to focus on finishing your MA for the moment. You can’t do everything, and you’ll go crazy trying. All the best with your assignments, and I’ll be here when you get back. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck!

    I would HATE writing to a deadline myself. I don’t think I could produce a reasonable story that way. I can do an essay on various subjects if it doesn’t have to be what I call good, but I don’t think I could write fiction worth reading that way.

    Again, good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Louise! That is super stressful. I don’t like how they expect you to meet the same deadlines as a full-time student. Definitely unreasonable. And I’m sorry to hear about how stressful things have been. You have all my support. And if you ever need to talk, feel free to email. I’m here for ya. Beautiful photo- and yeah, people need to do more social distancing (some people here in the states are not wearing masks too and the COVID-rates are spiking. It’s scary). But I’m glad exercising is helping πŸ™‚ (it definitely boosts the mood, no? Walking helps me :)). I love Legends of Tomorrow and am glad to hear you’re enjoying the season! And Beauregard and the Beast is by Evie Drae, correct? πŸ™‚
    Hope things get calmer. I wish you all the best! And I support you! I’m rooting for you too. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll definitely be mentioning how much pressure is put on part time students at the end of the course when they ask us for feedback!

      Very few people wear masks here either, although our rates are lowering nicely, with the exception of one city. Sorry to hear rates are spiking where you are 😦

      Yes, Evie is awesome, I’ve been meaning to read her book for so long πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the support and I hope the COVID rate starts lowering in the US soon πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good idea. I hope they listen to the feedback. Are they pretty receptive of feedback?
        Oh wow. Is there a reason why people are not wearing masks in your area? It got pretty bad in the U.S. My governor just locked down again (not allowing indoor dining, closing movie theaters, not allowing indoor worship, etc). It saddens me a bit because I’m worried for small business owners, but I think it was inevitable, given how many people were not taking the virus seriously, especially by not wearing masks and gathering in large groups.
        On a brighter note, I agree, Evie rocks! She is awesome. And I hope COVID lowers in both the US and UK. All the best! πŸ™‚ I support ya :).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, the tutors usually reply to the feedback and say how they’re going to improve the course in future, so it’s pretty good πŸ™‚

          I think with masks it’s laziness, and news reports saying masks don’t help unless they’re medical grade were circulated widely at the start of the pandemic. Our government is making masks compulsory in shops from the 24th of July though, with hefty fines if you don’t. I’m really concerned about the attitude of some people towards those with disabilities though. People are already being terrible to those with asthma or autism who can’t wear masks. Hopefully that won’t escalate too much.

          That’s sad 😦 Our government had the one lockdown and that was that, but I think for the most part, despite the lack of masks, people took the virus pretty seriously. Hope the situation over there starts to improve soon and when your new lockdown eases people take it seriously this time! πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s great! I’m glad that they’re receptive to feedback and try to do better. πŸ™‚ All the best with your assignments!
            Yeah I think the mixed message definitely plays a role. Are there medical exemptions to the mask rule? I know that here, they do have exemptions for those who are unable to wear masks because of health reasons. I too hope it won’t escalate mask. In the U.S. there has been much opposition to wearing masks. People have called it oppressive to require them to wear mask. In Michigan, there was one person who stabbed an elderly person who told them to wear a mask (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michigan-man-refused-service-not-wearing-mask-stabs-customer-fatally-n1233810). It is scary…

            I’m glad people in the UK are taking the virus seriously. Better than here where people haven’t and some think the virus is a hoax. But yes, like you, I hope things improve soon and that people will take it seriously so that we don’t have to have a lockdown again :). All the best to you, my friend!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks πŸ™‚

              Yeah, there are medical exemptions (asthma and autism being two) but I was horrified by the hatred on twitter being directed at those who were exempt, telling them to suck it up and wear one anyway 😦
              That’s so scary things have escalated to violence 😦 Hopefully it won’t end up that way here too. Some retail staff are being downright rude about enforcing restrictions. It doesn’t take much to ask nice and polite for people to follow guidelines, especially if that person is new to the store and unsure what restrictions are in place!

              Wow people really think the virus is a hoax? I guess our PM being hospitalised probably made it real here. Take care πŸ™‚

              Like

              • YW, my friend! Go Louise! I have confidence in you.

                I didn’t see that, but that horrifies me too. People should understand that there are medical exemptions and shouldn’t judge. 😦 But yeah, in the U.S., there have been several instances where it has escalated to violence. It’s why I would be too scared to speak out if I saw someone not wearing a mask, not social distancing, etc. I wonder if the retail staff are rude because some people have responded rudely to being asked to wear a mask? Of course that does NOT excuse rudeness, but I wonder if the negative reactions is leading to staff lashing out. Either way, I hope they stop being rude and hope that people will wear masks (and not react so angrily and violently).

                Yeah, there was a game show host who tweeted that everyone was lying about the virus – and then later on revealed that his son had the virus (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/chuck-woolery-says-everyone-lying-about-coronavirus-then-reveals-son-n1234072)
                Take care, my friend.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Masks have been compulsory for over a week now and most people are complying, despite the police being too overstretched to enforce it and retail staff being too scared (understandably) to. In Scotland it has helped significantly, so hopefully soon it will here too πŸ™‚

                  It’s a high stress time for everyone, so I’ve decided to excuse more rudeness than I normally would! Hopefully things are improving in your area?

                  Liked by 2 people

                  • THat’s great that most people are complying. And yeah I agree, it is understandable why retail staff are scared. But like you, I hope it will help soon (mask mandate) πŸ™‚

                    The cases continue to go up, sadly. But I’m hoping more people will wear masks. It’s a scary time and federal leaders are giving mixed messages at best (as are some governors). But I can only hope that people will take it seriously.

                    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck on your dissertation! This is the home stretch. You’ve got it!

    I love the idea of your dissertation. I never got to do anything so fun. Maybe you’ll even be able to share when you’re done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You too Jacqui πŸ™‚
      I’m taking a break from the AuthorToolbox until my university project’s done, but I hope to get back to it in October (maybe January, given I caved in and applied for a deadline extension!)
      Hope you’re doing well!

      Like

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