Ys

Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

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...and a belated Happy Halloween to everyone.
Ys
ajodasso
I woke up on Friday with horrific pain in my neck and right shoulder, hardly able to move my upper body. A trip to the emergency room got me Cocodamol, Cuprofen, and advice to put heat on the affected areas as much as possible. After several days of painkillers and the judicious application of a heating pad, I'm feeling mostly back to normal. However, this means I missed out on a Halloween party on Saturday night. I wasn't very pleased. We did have people over last night for our yearly Samhain dinner, though, so I don't feel as if I totally missed out on the festivities of this weekend. About the only thing I still can't do is tilt my neck backwards, which is annoying (as I discovered on Saturday) if one needs to get the last tiny bit of Ubuntu Fair Trade Cola out of a can.

In other news, I'm working on a long poem that's based on a phenomenally strange dream I had on Saturday night after watching about several dozen paper lanterns glide through the sky over York. At first, I really had to wonder if I was seeing something that would end up billed as a UFO sighting the next day; it was stunningly surreal. But, as you know, codeine does weird things to my creative mind whether I'm awake or asleep, and Saturday night's vision is definitely proving good subject matter.

In Teaching Land, this week is Beowulf Week, that wondrously cracky time of term where I pull out such gems as Marillion's "Grendel" and play all seventeen minutes of it in class. With a lyrics hand-out. I heard that last year a student from another seminar group, not mine, found out I did this, looked up the song, and incorporated it in a paper she wrote. GENIUS. I can corrupt them even via hearsay! The Grapevine still has its uses.

10 November is my deadline for having a draft of the final bit of my Ph.D. thesis finished. I'd say I've got maybe a few thousand more words to write, if that. And it's amazing how the last few thousand words can be the most terrifying. I mean, everything else is done and polished. Everything else. It's just bloody Chapter 3 and its unbelievably high-stakes discussion of the Piers Plowman A/C MSS...

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Beowulf! Reading Beowulf gives meaning to so much. John Gardner's Grendel, for one thing.

Lines from Pterry: "Monsters are getting more uppity, too. I heard where this guy, he killed this monster in this lake... Its actual mum come right down to the hall next day and complained."

And my favorite:

Grendel's Dog by Beocat, aka Henry Beard

Brave Beocat, brood-kit of Ecgthmeow,
Hearth-pet of Hrothgar in whose high halls
He mauled without mercy many fat mice,
Night did not find napping nor snack-feasting.
The wary war-cat, whiskered paw-wielder,
Bearer of the burnished neck-belt, gold-braided collar band,
Feller of fleas fatal, too, to ticks;
The work of wonder-smiths, woven with witches' charms,
Sat on the throne-seat his ears like sword-points
Upraised, sharp-tipped, listening for peril-sounds,
When he heard from the moor-hill howls of the hell-hound,
Gruesome hunger-grunts of Grendel's Great Dane,
Deady doom-mutt, dread demon-dog.
Then boasted Beocat, noble battle-kitten,
Bane of barrow-bunnies, bold seeker of nest-booty:
"If hand of man unhasped the heavy hall-door
And freed me to frolic forth to fight the fang-bearing fiend,
I would lay the whelpling low with lethal claw-blows:
Fur would fly and the foe would taste death-food.
But resounding snooze-noise, stern slumber-thunder,
Nose-music of men snoring mead-hammered in the wine-hall,
Fills me with sorrow-feeling for Fate does not see fit
To send me some fingered folk to lift the firm-fastened latch
That I might go grapple with the grim ghoul-pooch."
Thus spoke the mouse-shredder, hunter of hall-pests,
Short-haired Hrodent-slayer, greatest of the pussy-Geats.

I've never heard that Terry Pratchett quote before. It's kind of hilarious!

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Half-baked mostly on account of all the painkillers in my system, then...

good luck with the last chapter! Just remember--the rest of it is polished and lovely and the last chapter will be too. You have a good track record with the rest of it.

I have to say, revising as I went along got pretty annoying and I felt sometimes that I'd never move on to new stuff, but man, it's paid off.

Can I just say I HATE you right now reading that you only have one chapter left, you started 2 years after me and you are nearly finished.....

I'm sorry you've met with so many hold-ups :(

Oh, Beowulf! *hearts* And Marillion. The memories... :)

And that poem idea sounds intriguing.

Good luck with the final thesis crunch! <3

Thanks. Starts in earnest tomorrow; today is occupied with errands and babysitting.

Ouch. I'm sorry you were in such pain and missed the festivities, but I'm glad to hear you're doing better! I hope that last bit goes away quickly! (At least you'll have gotten some writing out of it?)

Ooh, that sounds like too much fun! I'm seriously considering doing my doctorate abroad, merely because of the teaching aspect of it. I don't think that's required or even included here.

Good luck with the thesis draft!! Both you and it will be great--I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! (And of course they're brilliant!)

I do highly recommend the UK - you get it done in 3-4 years instead of 6-8...

Ooh, that sounds incredibly nice!! Thanks! :)

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It's improving, although there's one core spot in my neck that's still fairly painful.

I'm glad that the hospital helped you - I once woke up almost unable to move while at Durham and I was told off for malingering.

Good luck with the PHD deadline - nervewracking times, I'm sure.

Malingering? Yikes. I'd say not being able to move is pretty serious...

I was asked what I expected if I had fibromyalgia and I said well, not this, usually. This was the 'I did a medical degree and that's much harder than an English degree' incident, if you by any chance remember that.

Oh, I do remember that.

Owwww, that sounds incredibly unpleasant. I'm glad you're mostly unfrozen now!

And oh MY, Beowulf Week sounds wonderful!

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