Log in

Oops I Skipped a Couple of Months

In my defence, I was really focused on getting my dissertation finished and sparkly and beautiful.  While also doing part-time summer work in a busy clothes shop at manic sales time.

Still!  The job is over, the money is saved, and (after some furious struggle with the printing company, who ripped me off, the fuckers) the dissertation is handed in.  It's been weeks since I woke up in a cold sweat, following nightmares about incorrectly aligned page numbers.  I won't get my results until some time next year, probably January or February, and I won't get to graduate from my Master's until October next year, because my university can be pretty awkward sometimes.

I'm afraid my life has been pretty mundane since hand-in day.  Not in a boring way, but in a nice way.  I'm working on my novel, and editing my friend's novel; the sequel to Sons of Thestian.  (I didn't get to edit the first book, which is a shame because I'm enjoying working on the sequel immensely.)  I'm also volunteering at the library because, y'know, books'n'stuff.  Some of my saved-up money is gonna go towards driving lessons, since I'm nearly twenty-three and still can't drive anything bigger than a bicycle (to be honest, if you needed a license for a push-bike, I wouldn't be allowed on that, either).

It's very much autumn now and it feels weird not to be at university.  I'm trying not to get all gloomy about summer being over.  I bought an orange jumper and a matching checked scarf!  They're seasonal!  Also lots of pumpkin spiced lattes.

Sometime I'm probably going to do a melancholy list of things I miss about university.  After four years of longing for home, it's strange to be back and just miss uni instead.  I'm useless!

Last note: I'm doing nanowrimo next month.  Anyone else joining my insanity?

Oops I Skipped a Month

Something incredible happened in England last month: we had beautiful, sunny weather.  I topped it off with a holiday to Rhodes, Greece, where I got more vitamin D than if I'd chugged a bottle of supplement tablets.

Look how happy I am!  (It was windy on the beach, thus the shawl.)

Since I got home, it's been heads-down, focused on my dissertation.  I also got a new job, part-time in a clothing store I won't name, but that looks promising.  I start on Tuesady.

However, sometime over the period when I had my head down, nature decided that I'd had my share of sunshine.  In fact, all of England had had its share of sunshine.  It's been so cloudy and miserable for so long, I keep mistakenly thinking it's autumn.  After that, I mistakenly think I have to go back to university soon, when in fact, I never have to go back again.

Before I went away, I made this lovely long playlist full of upbeat, summertime songs, perfect for the hundreds of BBQs I expected to have.  I would do awful things to see enough sunshine for that playlist to be useable.  Maybe not murder, but I'd probably sacrfice a goat.

Have a Vine to describe my feelings on the matter (warning, bad language):

Sleep Paralysis, Part Deux

Probably due to a string of late nights, I got sleep paralysis again.

I woke up around 3AM, because I heard drumming.  It sounded like those beats you hear in horror films, when they're played in reverse so they steadily get louder and make a kind of ssssssssSSHHHHUMP noise.  I remember thinking 'heartbeat' at the time.  My eyes must have been partially open, because I could see my room, but then a kind of screen flashed over my vision with the next drumbeat.

It reminded me of a Youtube video screen.  White text on a black background said '26 CHILDREN DISAPPEARED THIS YEAR'.  Then it flashed through a bunch of photos of kids.  I only remember one: a girl, about thirteen, with shoulder-length hair, wearing a pale blue summer dress outdoors.  She had a watering can and was standing next to a tree stump, smiling but apparently caught candid.  Then the text came back: 'WHO KNOWS WHEN THEY WILL STRIKE AGAIN?'

I don't know how, but I got this strong, terrifying suggestion that the children were not victims.  The children were the 'THEY' the text was talking about.  Watering-Can-Girl and the Other Children were somehow ... evil?  Dangerous?  I don't know.

I remember trying to open my mouth and feeling pressure against my jaw, like something was pushing back, holding it closed.  That's pretty much what told me it was sleep paralysis.  I did the usual routine: close my eyes, breathe slowly, focus on just moving my hands and feet.  As my fingers started to move, I heard this high-pitched whining, something in between an old kettle whistling and a scream.  Again, I got that horrible gut-feeling -- that the sleep paralysis was angry.  It didn't want to let me go.

When I did wake up, it took two hours for me to fall asleep again  And that was with the assistance of my friend/uni housemate, Tob,* who calmed me down over the phone.  (He has insomnia, so I didn't feel too awful about bothering him at 3:30AM.)

But yeah.  That really, really sucked.

As a writer (and occassional painter), I get a lot of my ideas from nightmares/night terrors/sleep paralysis.  But I would gladly go somewhere else for inspiration if there was a guaranteed cure.

*Not his real name, but what I really call him, so close enough.

Home is Strange

The worst thing about being at university was the sense of being constantly unsettled.  I've gone back forth between home and uni so much over semesters and weekends and bank holidays and summer breaks, it's been very difficult to feel comfortable in either place.  I've taken to calling 'home' whichever place I'm not.

But, yesterday, I packed everything up at uni and brought it all back here permanently.  I have a short weekend trip planned to go back up there, but otherwise ... that's it.  No more travelling.  Everything's put away in my bedroom, and that's where it's going to stay.

I usually feel enormously relieved to be 'home' (whichever home it is), but this time I still feel a bit weird.  Possibly because I'm never really going back; I keep noticing things that are different here than at uni.  Things like:

  • The water tastes different.  It's colder and more metallic down here than up at uni.

  • The house is so tidy.

  • If I start singing in the kitchen, nobody screeches along to try and put me out of key.

  • It's too quiet at night.  I spent ages adjusting to noise at night - my flatmates are mostly night-owls - and now it's actually hard to sleep without the explosions and soothing calls of, 'An enemy has been slain!' from League of Legends downstairs.

  • My curtains are really thin.  I had blackouts at uni; here, I get woken up with the sunrise.

I'm sure I'll get into the rythm of home before long.  My brother is supposed to be home from his uni next weekend, so I'm sure I'll have the League of Legends lullaby back then.  He also has a thing for metal-screaming along when I sing, so I'll look forward to that.

Saint George's Day

It's Saint George's Day here in the UK, the day that's given a quiet nod of English pride and then ignored, because we're not nearly as rowdy as those silly Irish with their Saint Patrick.  It feels strange - almost sacriledge - that the weather has been unseasonably bright and sunny most of the day.  We're usually all about the clouds and rain in England (touchwood, TOUCHWOOD).

I've finally managed to finish my coursework, at the price of setting off my RSI again and having to put my right hand in a support.  Wooorth.

I don't have much else to report, so have a silly and years outdated comic I drew for Saint George's Day before.  Because I do enjoy having such a ludicrously violent patron saint.


Four Years

I hope everyone had a good Easter!  For me, it's been mixed feelings.  On the one hand, I crave chocolate to the deepest depths of my soul, and being home in the sunshine by the beach is wonderful.  On the other hand, the Easter break marks the end of my classes at university.

I've still got a dissertation to write - due in September - and I can live in my rented place up by uni until the end of August, so I'll still be working and going back and forth but ... no more classes.  School is pretty much all I've done my whole life.  Uni was very different, sure, but still technically school.

Now watch me attempt to summarise four years of uni in a few brief bullet points.

Haha, brief ...Collapse )

Noli Temere Messorem

Sir Terry Pratchett is dead and I am heartbroken.

Those books got me through a lot of hard times.  I'm juggling a lot of difficulties in my life right now, too.  I always try to stay positive but this is a real blow, and I'm amazed at how hard I can cry over a man I never met.

Rest easy, Pterry.  I hope Death greeted you as a friend.

Wow today was draining, in part because I'm not very well and I knew that when I agreed to help out at work but I went anyway because my flatmates were being grumpy, and - now that I work at a bookshop instead of waitressing - I actually enjoy my job.  In part because I've got a lot of coursework to do, and that workload was pretty much doubled this week.  I've watched three episodes of Community and I still can't seem to claw my mood above 'sleep for twelve hours and maybe it will be fixed tomorrow'.

In the spirit of not dragging anyone else down into Sucksville, I'm going to (belatedly) talk about my 100% awesome Valentine's weekend and just forget about today.

Mike came up for a four-day weekend over Valentine's and, being the deeply romantic souls we are, we both agreed not to go out to dinner on Valentine's because everything would be booked to hell.  Instead, we went to dinner the night before and spent the 14th in Basingstoke, where Darren Shan was doing a book signing.  Nothing says romance like taking a picture of your boyfriend being strangled by a YA horror writer.

Sarcasm aside, it was great fun.  I'm not very well-read in Darren Shan's books, but I did finish the vampire series and thoroughly enjoyed them.  Cirque du Freak is not a good example of those books - the series massively improves around books three and four, when Mr Crepsley suddenly starts being awesome, and Darren (the character, not the author) gradually stops being a whiney little shit.

Basingstoke itself was lovely, although we didn't really leave the shopping centre because of the good ole English rain.  I did manage to get a copy of Majora's Mask for the 3DS, though!  I let Mike play it while he was over, planning to have my go when he went home but, typically, we were both airheads and he ended up taking it home by accident in his 3DS.  Oh well, I'll get it back when I next go home.

Mike and I spent the rest of our Valentine's weekend relaxing in my room, eating take-away, playing various video games and watching anime.  We completed the story mode on Hyrule Warriors while he was here, and watched whole first season of Sword Art Online.  In spite of some uncomfortable upskirt angles, that anime was incredibly good - and since it's set in an inescapable RPG, part of me suspected the whole 'men wear armour, women wear miniskirts' aspect was an intentional jab at video games.  It is something that's irritatingly common in RPGs, so it made sense to be present in SAO, too, and there was at least one scene of a girl trying to pull her skirt down and complaining about it.  I couldn't tell if this was just SAO being weird and creepy because hey, anime, or SAO making a point about sexism in RPGs.  I choose to believe the latter because it makes the series that much more awesome, instead of less.

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's, and if not I hope everyone had a great Cheap Chocolate Day on the 15th.
Today's title is from Welcome to Night Vale and today's journal is copy-pasted from my forum post in Flight Rising (with some of the swearing repaired because, although not as bad as Neopets, FR's profanity filter is a pain in the arse).

Pre-Warning: I'm going to talk about nightmares and sleep paralysis so if that freaks you out, read with caution. Or leave if you like. I won't mind, honest. :3

So after an excellent day yesterday where I got lots of good news and basically strode through life walking on sunshine and rainbows and unicorn glitter, I went to bed and struggled to sleep. When I did get to sleep, I had nightmares. Luckily, I've learned to lucid dream so I just punched the monster in the nose and woke up, and that should've been the end of it.


ME: Oh I'm awake. And it's not morning yet. I guess I'll go back to sleep.

(My door moves.)

ME: Wait what?

(Ominous Shadowy Person shuffles into my room and stands next to the bed, but behind me as I'm sleeping on my side.)

ME: Is that [housemate]? What's he doing in here. I guess I'll ask.

ME: ...

OMINOUS SHADOW: (Stands ominously)

ME: ... ... ...

OMINOUS SHADOW: (Shifts around behind me ominously)

ME: ... ... ... !!!

ME: I don't appear to be able to move my mouth. Or any of my body. Interesting. And by interesting I mean:

Since I've heard of (and had) sleep paralysis before I sussed pretty quickly that the Ominous Shadowy Person was, in fact, not really there, and I managed to calm myself down and eventually move and turn my lamp on.

Then I went to sleep and had more nightmares and woke up again.

ME: Oh god, come on it's STILL not morning yet?

(Something moves at the foot of my bed.)


(The something is some kind of enormous, black eldritch snake creature slithering up my bed towards my face.)

ME: (Cannot move or yell.) Oh shit.

So ... yeah. I've had sleep paralysis before but never twice in one night, and it's been a long time (maybe two or three years?) since my last episode, where, incidentally, I thought a character I'd killed in my NaNoWriMo was standing outside my window after vengeance. xD

Hugs and funnies from around the internet would be much appreciated right now. :p

Rave of Thrones

Last year, I was resolved to try and post every month.  I'm not sure if I'm going to keep to that this year (my New Year's Resolution was more along the lines of 'get published you lazy fuck') but hey ho.  My other sort-of resolution was a collection of mini tasks to do while I'm still at uni, since this will be my last semester.  For instance, I'd like to have a go at busking, since I'm an okay musician and my uni's in one of the few towns in the UK where you don't need a license to busk.  I also want to get my sleep cycle to a more sensible rythm by getting up and going to bed earlier.

However, my other other task kind of fucked that last one up, at least for today: I wanted to go to a club, probably at my university's own little club since there are basically no others in this town.

As one would likely guess from me keeping a LiveJournal, I'm a massive fucking introvert.  I'm also claustrophobic and agoraphobic ('agoraphobic' here meaning 'a fear of having no escape', not of open spaces), so clubbing for me was never really going to be a thing.  Lots of loud, energetic crowds closing around me in a small dark room just seemed doomed to end badly.  But, after talking to so many friends about the uni's own events, I sort of felt like I was missing out.

Then Rave of Thrones was announced at uni, at which Kristian Nairn (aka Hodor from Game of Thrones) would be DJing, and I kind of yelled, 'Fuck the consequences!' and bought a ticket.  I went to pre-drinks and then to the venue fully expecting the nerves to kick at any moment, and they kind of ... never did.  I spent a full hour and a half dancing around in a crowd of very enthusiastic students, chanting 'HO-DOR, HO-DOR!' and I actually had a freaking whale of a time, even at 2AM when I was walking my plastered flatmate home.

I feel like there should be some grand moral at the end of this about growing as a person and coming out of your shell, but it's now tomorrow and I've spent all day curled at home playing video games and watching TV, sooo ...