Constructing the Dissertation

The Dissertation:

(or, maybe, magnum opus)

A year’s – a life’s? – work

All my fears about my honours year dissertation in one handy haiku. I have been writing about the international law on rape during war, and what improvements can be made, since around July last year when I picked the topic. Some of the research was harrowing, but necessary. I am extremely proud of the work I’ve put in but I naturally feel that I could have done more. Fingers crossed now for a First! Lol.



So, 3 whole months since I last created and posted anything. During that time I’ve been:

busy, hopeful, sad,

heartbroken, lonely, nervous,

proud, happy, tired

That’s as much as I can manage for now. Poetry involves expressing feelings and emotions that it’s often difficult to allow to happen.

Outside In

A hothouse orchid

is ignorant to the plight

of the wildflower


I’m back! It’s been a while, but the must has returned and I am writing again. Deadlines be damned! Every time I have to write an assignment or bits of my dissertation I sit at my table in front of the window and I can see into some of the flats across the road. Watching the families come in and out, and now putting up their Christmas trees, reminded me that I live alone. It’s hard not to feel a bit left out sometimes!


So I’ve been thinking a lot recently about inspiration for creativity – I’ve written a bit about it here too. I am incredibly self-conscious in everything I do, and constantly second guess myself. Good for some things, not for others. Being creative requires a certain amount of flow – it has to be natural, sometimes spontaneous, to be really good and that can be difficult if you’re worried about being wrong/silly. So today I finally had a bit of a day off, and got home from the shops, broke out the notebook, and wrote this based on my observations and experiences in the last hour:


rain darkens the sky

bruised purple, night closes in

I head for shelter


I really, really enjoy reflecting on something as mundane as popping out to the shops and hoping to get back before the rain starts – I’m happy with that little haiku.

I kept the notebook out and wrote a silly wee sentence because I was just in the mood for writing, and realised that  I had written it in exactly 17 syllables, without trying. I fear it may be time to stop second guessing myself.


Damn. I just ran out of wine, but it’s raining outside. Dilemma. Hmm.


It’s still autumn? Ok, one more then

fiery sunset

train rumbles towards darkness

blue skies left behind


The sunset today was incredible, but the train was so full of people and yet so quiet that I couldn’t use my phone to get a pic of it for fear of being seen acting really weird (my phone takes the loudest pictures). You’d think I’d be ok with being branded as a bit strange after a whole lifetime of strangeness, but some days I’d rather just blend.

After a Long Break

the search for the muse

can lead to unknown places

or bring you back home


you remain silent,

so longed-for answers must wait

maybe forever


Just about every word of this post has at least a double meaning. Inspiration has finally struck. I generally don’t like to refer to an anonymous “you” in anything I write, but in this case I think it’s appropriate. “You” know who “you” are.

Exquisite Pain

Today does not feel like a haiku-ing kind of day, but there are things I want to say nonetheless.

The pictures below were taken today near my house, where the trees are really starting to shed their leaves. I live in a quiet area, and it’s a delight jst now to go for a walk round the block.

I realised that it’s now mid-October, yet the calm, mild weather is still holding.

16 years ago tomorrow, I lost a parent. I remember everything about that day, especially how dark it was when I finished school and how I got soaked waiting for someone to come and pick me up. I remember the rain dripping off my hair as I stepped through the front door of my house and was faced with all these people – you know, those family members that you only see during times of crisis – or weddings.

I remember how cold it was for months afterwards – biting winds and slate-grey skies. In reality it probably wasn’t much different to how it is just now, but the hazy sunshine, blue skies and burning autumnal colour passed me by that year.

I felt the same way last year, when that most precious of experiences, the Promising Relationship, ended. Not that I’m comparing getting dumped to a death in the family, but it’s still a loss. I don’t remember autumn last year either, which is a shame as it really is my favourite season.

I think part of me likes a bit of melancholy, and there’s something infinitely sad about nature’s last beautiful burst before winter. I’ve heard love described as an exquisite pain (or something), and I sort of think the same about autumn – the end is crushingly near. Inside me there will always be a hurt and confused 11 year old who understands nothing about the harshness of the world, but is about to learn fast.


I wrote this…


Please welcome guest blogger Suzie Blue

I recently bought a digital e-book reader (this didn’t involve a contract for my eternal soul, as some believe). I generally like my books like I like my music – in tangible format – but the digital age brings a convenient freedom, and there’s a huge range of free e-books available to the connected avid reader.  I’ve been working my way through some selected classics that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read, most recently Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror, Dracula.

I was first introduced to the vampire myth by Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Dracula, followed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV series, not the 80s film..) and the novels of Anne Rice. When I found the freebie digital version of the vampire tale that inspired them all, I had to read for myself about where it all began.

Most cultures have their own…

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