Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist

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Photo of the Week: Iron Gates

We went to Winchester on Saturday, and there I snapped a few photos of the interior of King Arthur’s Great Hall, including the wall of names and these #marriage gates’, beautifully intricate and leading to a beyond that once was. We also saw the supposed (but unlikely) ’round table’.


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The Lady in Grey

I recently came across an old poem of mine (circa 2011) and, this being a writing blog in heart, thought it worth posting here. Enjoy!

Ice-lady of the wood,

Smoke for hair and space for eyes,

Grown out of contradiction,

Taught not to love, only disguise.

She whispers words

Only witches can see,

Burning babies’ tears one by one,

In the hope of being set free.

For what blackness is compared

To that upon her heart?

In the darkness there passes

Wisdom enough to impart;

There are no princes on

White steeds. None wait

Under the towers of the mind.

Roses, only destiny creates,

Lest be left behind,

Like the woman in the wood.


Stock image found via Google


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The End Is Nigh

Good luck to all the finalists (I don’t know how the system works in other countries, so I guess this is tailored to the UK) who finish their degrees verrryy soon.

Me included. 5 exams down, 1 to go.


More revision pics. Because revision. Seems to be my life right now.

In my gorgeous vintage Bernie Dexter skirt and petticoat:)

I can’t promise that my blog schedule will get back on track. But you know me – I can but hope!


Photo of the Week: Moorchicks

Want more little fluffy things for this middle of Spring? I have you covered! These baby moorhens (and sadly some of the only photos I was able to take this week) are new to the campus lake and followed their mama. Look at that chick standing atop the rock!


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7 Quick Takes: Exam Confidence

7 Quick Takes Friday is hosted by This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Seven Quick Takes


Work at things until they’re rote. If revising a certain topic bores you, you’re probably at the stage where you understand it.


Use acronyms, aphorisms, ascriptions. Start associating the names you probably won’t remember by themselves with phrases that you’ll be able to roll off your tongue.


Talk to yourself. Stare out of the window. Just don’t read over what you’ve written time and time again. It does nothing to your long-term memory; there are very little significant or vibrant chemical associations that will occur from reading. Your short-term memory might be fine, but I assure you that tomorrow will have swept the knowledge from your head.


Instead, opt for writing essay plans or structuring sentences as arguments so that you’re contemplating what you will have to in the exam.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some things do need clarifying – some topics are tricky to get one’s head around. As such, you won’t always be able to go it alone. Ask, confirm, support. It’s the best way to understand a topic.




Relax. Actually, the worst thing one can do in an exam is overthink and spiral into anxiety. A clear mind is a successful mind, and through that, exam essays are simpler than you think.

Plus, God does not judge by one’s academic score, for He knows your true knowledge.


Pray. Not out of desperation, of course, but in an optimistic in-God-I-trust approach. Acknowledge that He is there for you; appreciate that He has guided you this far. He is on your side, and will continue to support you.

As funny as it sounds, God is my ultimately cheerleader. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now without his support.

Have a blessed weekend.


A Birthday Friday

It’s my birthday! My 21st, in fact. In some places that would mean something, but to me, in England, it means nothing.

At least my partner and I can celebrate with matching t-shirts😀 (Made by the cutest of t-shirt providers, TeeTurtle)


3 exams down, 3 to go. All next week.

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#MondayBlogs Confessions of a Slow Writer

Shannon A Thompson

I’m a slow writer. There. I said it. I’m a slow writer. (Just for extra measure.)

You see, I used to think I was a fast writer. “I can write a manuscript in two months,” “I wrote that novella in a few days,” “That short story took me an hour.”

Okay. So, I’ve never actually said the last two, but they sound similar to the first one…which I have said. And it isn’t a complete lie. My average speed for writing a manuscript is three months. Ish. But, what I don’t say, what I can’t deny to myself, is that manuscript is not truly written at all. It’s not even close to written. It’s a jargled mess of incomprehensible crap. (And I’m being nice when I say that.)


My first drafts might take me three months, but that’s exactly what they are: first drafts. I almost ALWAYS rewrite my novels…

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