The last couple of weeks…

… in pictures.

 

This blog’s been very quiet for the past few weeks, and I just wanted to let you know why. I made this website back in February, as part of a uni module. The assignment was to create a platform for self promotion on the internet, and while the markers were marking it, I couldn’t update or post anything on here. But it’s all done now, and I got an A on it! 76 points, who’d’ve thought! Very happy and proud of that.

However, the last few months have been great, as you can see from the pictures. Ups and downs, of course, but I’ve made some food, been on some walks, seen lots of lovely flowers (and found lilacs on campus, which are my favourite flowers so that made me very happy) and I also went home for a week, completely unplanned but very much needed. I also got a B on my dissertation(68 points). You know, just throwing that out there, as I’m really proud of that one too.

So it’s been a bit quiet here, but I’m already working on lots of new posts! Stay tuned for more writing, another writer’s log, updates about the general living situation (getting dangerously close to the end of uni now, there are some decisions to be made and some coincidences to hope for) and more pictures.

Thanks for sticking around!

-Andrea

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“Mina”

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Yesterday, alumni and current students of the UoW’s Creative Writing programme gathered to celebrate the programme’s 10 year anniversary as an independent single-honours degree. It was a wonderful night, with speeches, music, quizzes about the lecturers, a “memory fireplace” (a fancy fireplace we stuck memories written down on post-it notes on) and lots and lots of readings. Stick about 50 writers together in a room, and you won’t believe how many great, weird, thought-provoking and heartbreaking pieces you can find. There was everything from poetry to short stories to song lyrics, and the red thread that wove itself through the night was just to celebrate this course and how much it gives its students, how much it shapes us as people. A feel-good night with wine and beautiful dresses, chill formal, with lots of applause and a warm atmosphere.

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At the same time, we also ” celebrated” the launch of the 2018 edition of Vortex. Vortex is the uni’s literary magazine, open to submissions from everyone (not just students). This year’s edition is a bit special, however, as it is the first issue that has been created by students, with third-year Creative and Professional Writing students forming the editorial board, marketing- and design team. I’ve wanted to submit work to Vortex since receiving a copy in the “welcome to uni”-pack in first-year, but it wasn’t until the end of second-year I managed to gather up the courage to actually send anything in. Now I’m so glad I did. The 2018 edition is an absolutely beautiful magazine, illustrated by Kat Beatson, and filled to the brim with great poems and short stories. It doesn’t have a specific theme, but to quote someone from the launch yesterday, it’s got a quiet vulnerability to it, at the same time as it’s fierce and weird. If you’re in Winchester, it’s definitely something to check out.

Andrea Wold Johansen, Vortex 1Andrea Wold Johansen, Vortex 3Andrea Wold Johansen, Vortex 2

I was also fortunate enough to be able to read the piece I submitted to the magazine at the launch, and if you want to read it, you can find it here!
It’s a piece I wrote in second-year, based on research done on children’s fiction as a platform to talk to children about difficult subjects. It’s also what started my dissertation, and it was weird to revisit and read it, now that it’s almost a year old.
I do like it and am quite proud of it, though.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 16.19.04The proper pictures in this post are by Ben Coleman, you can find his work here.

And if you want to listen to it while reading, here’s a video!

(And sorry for all the links here, but if you wanna check out some of the short stories I’ve been lucky enough to get published or any poetry performances I’ve been a part of, then just click here or go to the “Pieces and Performances” page in the header bar!)

-Andrea

Journal #3

“I can’t work in my room,” I say when people ask me why I’m always in the library, “too many distractions in there.” All throughout my degree, separating uni work and down time has been very important to me. I think one of the reasons for this is because I’ve been living on campus for the last three years, but maybe today was a bit different. I’m sat here now, by the desk in my little room, with my bookshelf full of adventures I’ve yet to go on and a phone that’s charging right next to me, and I’ve finished my dissertation without checking either. Or, I mean, I’ve finished the creative part of my dissertation at least. 8000 words, now finally edited, done and dusted. I’m sure I’ll go through and proofread a bit more, but from now on I’ll just be looking for spelling mistakes and stray commas, not any actual edits. It’s a weird feeling. And I did it all from the comfort of my room, here where I say I can never work. Guess I was wrong. I’ve got a proper mug of tea (not just a travel mug), a bowl of (almost completely) homemade pasta carbonara and I’m listening to soft music on speakers, not through headphones. I still think the library’s the place for me to sit down and properly get everything I need done actually done, but maybe I can be a bit more open to the idea of working in my own space too. This has been a surprisingly productive, but relaxed, day.
I can get used to this.

(Blog Andrea Wold Johansen) Desk 1
Have a very staged picture of how I’d love my writing nook to look like all the time. The norm is more pens everywhere and paper flying! (Also, I finished my tea just before taking this..)

-Andrea

Writer’s Log 2

WRITER’S LOG 2
26/02-2018

Mission Log:
A short (but important) rationale session

10:59 I need to write a 2000 word rationale about a 8000 word creative piece. It is due in nineteen days, 1 hour and 1 minute. Normally I really enjoy writing rationales for creative pieces, but I’m struggling with getting started with this one. Maybe it’s like a head space thing. I’ve got lots of research already done (I really love research) and a lot to talk about, but it’s a bit scary to write about such a “big” assignment. I can do this, though!

11:11 Not writing-related, but it’s actually, proper snowing today! A nice view from the library. Also, 11:11! Make a wish!

11:29 Had to do a bit of “paperwork”, send some emails (5 emails, to be precise) and figure out some dates for course related events. But now I’m really getting started.

11:36 This is going okay, have finished the introduction plus the first couple of paragraphs. Tips to anyone wondering whether to go to uni or not and/or wondering what kind of course they should do: creative writing. It lets you write about your favourite books into academic essays. There’s something special about being able to quote lines that gave you chills when you read them as a child, and as I’ve basically based my entire creative piece around the book Mio’s Kingdom, that means getting to use quotes like “If only the trees hadn’t grown so close together, […] if only the darkness wasn’t so black and we weren’t so small and alone.”

12:17 Got distracted by an article I’m writing for a  Student Life magazine at the uni. It’s a feature article with lots of pictures and 500 words, about wonderful places in and around Winchester. Not rationale working, but still writing!

12:34 Finished the piece for the article instead, now I can tick that off the list too.

13:12 Done with writing for today, am heading into town for coffees with Jeanette! It’s gonna be great to see her again and to catch up. But first, raiding the library for more books, research is absolutely the best part of essay-writing!

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Recap of the session:
Not the most productive session wordcount-wise, but great for research, decluttering the brain and for crossing things off the old to do list.

Mistake of the day: More typo of the day. “Thing” is now spelt “thign”. Every single time.

Word count of the day: 635 (plus 548 words on the article, to be fair)

Writing location: Library, top floor, computer 48. Not as ideal as computer 57, but it’ll do.

Phone breaks: Getting better!

Beverage of choice: None. I forgot my tea at home and can see it just waiting on my desk, slowly getting cold. It’s a tragic story, indeed.

Mood before writing: “I am stressed”
Mood during writing: “I am significantly less stressed now that I’ve started working” Mood after writing: “I may not have finished my rationale, but I got a lot of other things done”

Question of the day: Any tips for being productive when a thousand things are running around in your head at once?

-Andrea

 

 

Writer’s Log 1,

WRITER’S LOG 1
29/01-2018

Hello! I want to make a series on this blog called The Writer’s Log; a semi-frequent update on the creative process behind my writing and creative pieces, from floaty idea to finished product. However, as I’m currently in the last semester of my third year at uni (how on earth did that happen), I’m also working on my dissertation right now. So for the first log of the series (and for this blog in general), please join me in the editing process on my Extended Creative Project.

My story is a children’s story (9-12 years) about kids growing up in hospital. I love both reading and writing fiction for children, and I’m really fascinated about how books for children approach heavy subjects, like death, illness, anger and loneliness. This story began as a creative piece last year, but after the assignment was handed in, I didn’t feel like I was completely done, neither with the characters or the story. So, I’ve reworked it and am now using parts of it for my ECP.

Christmas this year blessed me with lots of inspiration (and a bit of justified terror as the deadline rapidly approaches) and so I finished the first draft over the holidays. I’ve spent the past weeks editing it on paper, and am now applying all my edits to a word document I’ve saved on three different memory sticks, two computers, and my google docs. Paranoid? Me? Naaaah.
The point is, I’ve got the first draft of my dissertation done, but that is 25 pages of unedited writing. Now, let’s try to make it good.

Andrea Wold Johansen 002

Mission Log:
Day 1:
First day of editing

12:06 I’m in the library, armed with pink pens and a caramel waffle. Also with a printed Google map over a very small part of London and Mio’s Kingdom in three different editions and two different languages. Let’s go.

12:15 Page 1 done, this is going great.

13:32 Editing your writing on paper is a lot of fun, but getting the changes into the word document isn’t as great. However, different coloured markers for different kinds of edits are very helpful and makes everything a bit more manageable!
Am going for a walk. Just around the library. Not a long one. Promise.

13:55 Okay, I might have gotten stuck in the fiction shelves. Found Philip Pullman’s Clockwork again, and I just can’t resist the whimsical but also kind of terrifying world. “Stories are just as hard as clocks to put together,” it says in there, and that is very true. But back to work now.

14:57 Page 13, right, this is going a bit slow. Have rewritten huge passages though, and spent fifteen minutes figuring out the difference between “scrubs” and “uniforms”. It’s all a process, right?

16:11 Very tired of my own handwriting. Scribbles doesn’t even cut it anymore, it’s more like a long, squiggly line. Have found some cool sentences I forgot I wrote, though. Only 5 pages left!

17:00 DONE! With the second draft at least.

Recap of the session:

Mistake of the day:
It took me seven tries to write the word receptionist. Wow.

Word count of the day:
9183. (Of course, I didn’t write those words today, if anything I tried to cut them out. Currently at 1000 words over the final word count…)

Writing location:
Library, top floor, computer 57. The best computer. Not entirely sure why, it’s just the best one.

Phone breaks:
Way. Too. Many.

Beverage of choice:
I thought it was Four red fruits, but turns out I got rooibos tea from the Food Hall. This makes me a little sad, but is still okay.

Mood before writing: “Got my tea, got my pens, let’s just get this editing over with now.” Mood during writing: “I need to get rid of a 1000 words. And all of this is awful. Can I even write? What am I doing?” Also “Hm, that’s a cool sentence. I love my characters, must nothing bad happen to them ever please and thank you. I’ve got this. Where did my pen go?”
Mood after writing: “I did a thing!

So I think that went okay!

 

Question of the day: -Done any kind of writing lately? What’s your mistake of the day?

-Andrea