Actually, despite the subject line, I am as organised for Christmas as I ever am. Which is not a lot, admittedly. I have bought all my presents (apart from an Amazon gift voucher for our son-in-law, which I can get tomorrow) and I went foraging in the Co-op, so we have food and wine and chocolates. We therefore won't starve for the next few days. Also the spare room is finally finished. I assembled the final piece of furniture. Son and his girlfriend will have a nice room to stay in when they arrive on Boxing Day.
We still have no Christmas tree or decorations and the Christmas cards are in a pile on the bookshelf. They may get put up tomorrow, assuming I finish marking the short stories before tea time. The marking, which is the reason for my LJ silence, should really have been all finished by today, but with A our daughter home last weekend, I was not going to spend it hiding away on the computer. Also I did do a little bit of revision on my own novel (9 more pages).
I really enjoy most of the fiction writing tutoring. The online stuff is just like being paid to do Usenet. I actually enjoy critiquing the stories too. Mostly. Except they all come in a lump and I feel I have to give a reasonable amount of feedback or they're not getting any benefit from the course. This a) takes considerably more time than I'm strictly speaking paid for and b) means that by the time I get to the eighteenth assignment, I am totally sick of stories told in the first person from the POV of a child. Especially when half (see below and count 'em!) are about bloody road traffic accidents. (The question asks the students to set the story in a "busy city street where something has just happened".)
Next presentation, I'm doing some build up activities on not going with the first idea that strikes you. The subjects of the stories are:
- Dad's girlfriend run over.
- Boy did something unspecified in a DVD shop.
- Princess Diana passed by.
- Fire broke out in the house across the street.
- Mother run over and killed.
- Estranged father killed in crash.
- Best friend run over and killed.
- Elephant escapes from circus.
- Girl collapsing drunk.
- Father Christmas run over and killed.
- Dog hit by car -- it survives.
- Dog is run over and killed.
- Child lets go of pram and gets lost.
- Child tries to help after motorbike crash.
- Child finds letter dropped in pub.
- Child tells friend about motorbike crash.
- Child leaves bag on bus, causes bomb scare.
- Christmas lights are switched on.
Happy Christmas to everyone who celebrates it and have a peaceful darkest time of the year to those who don't.