2015 - 2017 ... Catching Up
2015: While waiting for my viva, my sweet husband arrived to hold my hand, and since we were
playing the waiting game for the Day of the Viva or, as I remember it, Stand-and-Deliver-and-Try-Not-To-Die,
he took me on a lovely tour of the UK, including Gretna Green in Scotland (I love Jane Austen -a bagpiper
was playing for a wedding), the Giant’s Causway in North Ireland (always wanted to see this first hand),
The Shambles in York, Stone Henge, The Witch's Museum inCornwall, and so much more.
My viva had little to do with my 400+ page novel, Standing Stone, and everything to do with my 90 page Defense. I was prepared to talk about my novel, my ideas of where and how story is developed, and the brain’s interpretation of story, including the psychology behind story; unfortunately, my examiners wanted me to categorize my novel within the World of Literature. So back to the drawing board. Minor corrections to the novel took me only a day or so but categorizing took a few months of deeper research. Standing Stone is a Crossover novel (written for and read by many ages), which includes the framework of history, clothing an actual archaeological skeleton in flesh and breathing life into his remains, mystery, romance, murder, three time periods, three storylines, and a cast that would do Dickens or Rowling proud. Although frustrated with having to tackle my Defense from a new point-of-view, I wound up thanking the examiner because it made me dig deeper and better understand literature and my place within it. That and the fact that my husband whisked me away to stay in Killiane Castle in Ireland for three relaxing days and nights was a major plus. Below is: Cap and Gown, Crossing the Irish Sea, and the view from the top of Killiane Castle.
2016: I spent the first half of the year learning to walk after part of my hip was relocated to my foot to repair an old injury. The second half of the year... well, the pictures say it all. I was able to walk across the stage in the Great Hall at Aberystwyth and had my doctorate bestowed upon me in Welsh. The following week I used my new title for the first time when I visited the library in Exeter. The librarian, Ann Barwood, was kindness personified when she brought out the Book of Exeter and let me hold it. The experience of actually holding this manuscript, one of the oldest known British texts in existence, inspired a feeling of reverence. A student of calligraphy, I understood what it took for this missive to be transcribed from an oral tradition into the written word and handling it made me a part of the book's long history. This experience is now part of my work in progress, Lament.
the time being, the paint brushes have been put aside till next spring, and the
yard is tidy and ready for winter. We've finally finished adding to the poch and
now have working steps, which the grands enjoy going up and down. The
final touch-up paint will go on when the rain stops... sometime next spring!
Now I can get to work and blog a bit more often about the heres and whys
and wheretofores, and perhaps, add some pondering, musings, anecdotes,
and perhaps even some wisdom to the mix.