November 2nd, 2010

photography camera

Photo-a-day 300/365 Eldon Square

Eldon Square
Originally uploaded by Helen in Wales

A snatched photo of the town centre taken on the way to the Co-op. As winter approaches, the town stays in shadow for longer and longer each day, though the sun is shining on the hill in the distance.

And now there are only 65 more photos to go! I will be so glad when this project ends and I have no intention of doing it again next year.

As I've said before, it's not the taking of the photo each day that's the problem, though that can be hard if you're busy and it's grey and dreary outside. No, the real problem is finding the time to process the photo and post it to Flickr and organise it into a set and post it to the right groups and then remember to blog it here.

Having said that, I don't want to lost all sense of having a goal, so just as I did a half-NaNo last year and I'm doing a quarter NaNo this year, for next year, I'm going to set my own target of perhaps 3 photos a week. I'll decide on the final "rules" at Christmas.
View from study (sunny)

Photo-a-day 301/365 The scarf has grown!

The scarf has grown!
Originally uploaded by Helen in Wales

The first scarf is nearly finished now. I'm going to keep this one and knit the other ball of wool into a scarf for my daughter for part of her Christmas present.

In fact, since taking this photo, I have finished the bluey-green scarf. At least I've finished the knitting part. There's a fringe to go all round it, but I'll do that when I've knitted the other one and I can do the finishing touches to both of them at the same time.

A free creative writing course

Hello LJ friends, I don't normally advertise, but I am making my first tentative steps towards running my own creative writing courses, so I'm putting an announcement here.

Here is my new website, plus blog, and details of the course I plan to offer first.

There's also a bit about me and my qualifications and experience. (In case anyone's confused, though I use my middle name of Helen here and for writing fiction, my first name is Margaret and when I have my teaching hat on, I go by that name.)

I've been a creative writing tutor, both online and face-to-face for over 5 years and I want to develop my own courses that can be tailored to suit the needs of novice writers without having to jump through the bureaucratic hoops that FE colleges now require. If people want credits towards a degree, there are plenty of courses around, but my courses will be purely to teach writing skills and enable people to get feedback on their work. By offering the courses online, I hope that it will be more flexible for people who can't get to an ordinary face-to-face evening class.

So, that's the plan, but what I need right now are guinea pigs/beta testers call them what you will.

If I'm going to ask people to pay money for a course, I need to make sure that my website and forum are up to the demands that will be put on them. And that's where you come in.... :)

I am therefore offering (on a first come, first served basis, if there's a rush) a free course that would cost ££££s or $$$$s if you were to sign up next year. I hope that the course will be genuinely useful to you, but even if you think it's a bit basic for your needs, I'd still be grateful for your input if you have time to join in. All I'm asking in return is that you take part, try out the system and let me know if anything isn't working for you. A trial run will give me chance to change things if needs be before I start advertising seriously for paying customers.

If you want to be a guinea pig, all you have to do add comment to this post saying you would like to take part and include an email address where I can contact you to send further details, such as how to access the password protected forum. Comments to this message will be screened so email addresses won't be made public.

[Edited to add dates]

To fit around my other teaching commitments, I want to run the trial course from Monday 15 November 2010 to Sunday 30 January 2011. There will be a week off for Christmas/New Year.