A Hallowe’en Poem

Under the Stairs

In the space beneath the stairs,
in darkness,
lurk the demons of my life.
They feed on twisted dreams
and liquid sorrow.
Sometimes they escape
and ooze their way
into my heart
waiting for me to scream.

Here’s a wordcloud I made of the text using Wordle:

wordcloud
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EPUB success

To demonstrate the beauty of open-access, it was required we create a publication using either iBooks Author or Epub. Because my beautiful Macbook is over 6 years old, the software is not compatible with iBooks, and I would need to upgrade – no, thank you! So I tried Epub to see where it would get me. I used something I had written for a writing-group meeting earlier this year, so it’s not a long piece – just for demonstration purposes, to see if it would work. It did, and I’m posting the link to it here. Readers might let me know if it’s accessible to them?

Clearly Apple likes ‘walled gardens’. They require the most up-to-date systems to allow the user to run the programme – I’ve not been able to get a look at how it works, but presumably the reader would need to have an equally state-of-the-art operating system in order to read the published article?

Mission accomplished!

http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=K2W883TC

Zotero Blues

In an ideal world, I’d be doing the  MA in Creative Writing here at UCC, but as it’s not, and I’m not, I need to familiarize myself with Zotero – a reference management tool. Gone are the days, it would seem,  when you were responsible for your  own bibliography. The fact is though, that I don’t actuallly trust a piece of software to do this for me, and I’d feel far more at ease if I were to organise it myself. Does that sound totally bizzare?

Anyway, there’s no use in talking about it – I just have to get and do it. To this end, I’m posting the link from the website to the ‘getting started’ guide. Let’s hope it can actually get me started, eh?

https://www.zotero.org/support/quick_start_guide

 

Eureka

Don’t you just love days when the whole world is working with you, and sends wonderful people to help you along? Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time – I mean, one day a week would do me nicely, I wouldn’t want to be greedy. 🙂

Getting Started with Graduate Research and Generic Skills Workshops

Well, I really have to congratulate CACSSS Graduate School on the workshops they’ve offered for Postgrads and PhD students – what a great programme of events! I attended the first of these on Friday at 9am. The day began with a short introduction of what the 4-day workshop aimed to cover, and then at 9.30 we were treated, (I don’t use this term lightly), to a most illuminating talk by Prof. Graham Allen of the English Dept. on what exactly a thesis is, and how to narrow down the research we do to a point where we have a clear and concise topic on which to focus. Prof. Allen covered such topics as the various ways we may look at our research question, and the different methodologies we may use to do this. Suddenly it all became clear, light dawned, and I could almost hear the far-off strains of a heavenly choir!

Maria Dempsey spoke to us on the topic of Research Conduct and Ethics which is something I had completely forgotten about, thinking it never would apply to me and my research, but of course, conduct and ethics forms such a huge part of everything we do in relation to others.

Silvia Ross gave a really interesting talk on how we know our research is ‘original’ – a topic that must haunt every research student since the dawn of time. Ms Ross showed us that with the application of new methodology, any material worked on may become ‘new’ again.

The final part of the evening was a discussion on presentation skills by Mary McNulty. I do believe that my biggest fear, (apart from the cold), is public speaking. Ms McNulty offered some interesting and useful tips on how to control the ‘stage fright’, and while I don’t admit to coming away ‘cured’, I did leave armed with a number of different ways to handle the situation. I will never give a lecture to a class of 200 people, but maybe I can learn to speak without incurring a heart-attack in the process. 🙂

I’m not a complete idiot – some parts are missing!

I didn’t want my first post here to be a negative one, really I didn’t,  though I feel I should recount the hideous experience I’ve been having while trying to find my way around WordPress. I refuse to believe the fault is purely mine, (you knew I’d say that, right?), and I don’t like that a computer programme makes me feel stupid, it doesn’t sit well with me. I believe that technology exists to make life easier, (is this not the whole idea?), and when it results instead in frustration, extra grey hairs, weeping and grinding of teeth etc, then we must admit that there is a problem.

I had notions of this being a fairly simple process – there is a basic structure to be followed which should yield an end product. How difficult can that be, right?

I’m saving this post as a draft, so that I can publish it when I do eventually get this thing up and running, because as it is, I have a front page and a photo. I can’t even work out how to get menus to work.

I think I’m in the wrong class!  😦

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