Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist


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Rain and Cherry Blossoms

I think it’s fair to say that it’s spring. Granted, the clocks don’t spring forward until the end of March, but the English days have been getting warmer (even if the nights haven’t), to the point that it’s awkward to where loads of layers. In fact, as I remarked recently, it’s almost cardigan weather again. Good for me, as I recently bought a new CollectIf clothing jumper in the sale. It arrived today, the cute little thing, gold and apt for Spring, though it was first in the AW/15 collection.

It’s been raining on and off. Mostly on, but there are days where the sun makes it unbearable to wear a coat – and days where one must travel with enough piece of wear to change if necessary. But speaking of which, the change of weather heralds the change of season.Even if it isn’t really Spring, I think it will be in my mind, because of the showers. That, and this:

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This shot I spotted on my walk into town. I go a variety of ways, but this is the crossroads of smaller roads. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to walk next to the main road. And then I come across this. Almost walked past it. But the blossoms called to me, with their lovely dappled heads. Against the sky, they were so vibrant and noticeable.

It’s not the best shot, but it’s something I rather like. Spring is on its way, with a flourish, and hopefully better spirits.


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s, Galentine’s, Blalentine’s, or whatever. However you’re spending your day, and with whomever, respect yourself. This should not be a day of comparisons, but a day of appreciation. We all have someone who is special to us, and we should all share a word with them together.❤ family.

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Go on, treat yourself, too.


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7 Quick Takes – Essays, Time-Management and God

Let’s pop over to This Ain’t the Lyceum to see how everybody’s been doing this week.

seven quick takes friday 2

~1~

Firstly, it is this little blog’s fourth birthday! I’ll admit that it’s been a less-impressive run than the last couple of years in terms of blogging, but on the other hand, I have got things done and my life has been rolling along as steadily as it is able.

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It almost matches my blog layout…

~2~

Unfortunately for the blog, this has meant that even the best well-meant of posts have got lost at the wayside. Nowadays, I have an idea, and it barely gets further than halfway before I have to transfer my efforts to another activity. I meant to post yesterday, I swear. I’ve even moved reblog Thursday to a Reblog Weds to accommodate my hectic Wednesday timetable this year. These things just haven’t happened, though.

~3~

It’s the weekend! And it truly has been a “thank goodness it’s Friday!” day for me. One of my research participants cancelled last minute yesterday for this afternoon, which meant I was able to actually get some of my – shock horror! – dissertation done in the time of their absence. The thing is that, with (so far) 600 words a day, I’m getting there, but I have more to do than I can afford to have a dissertation report and its progress on my back, too.

~4~

I was going to go to a dance class tomorrow, but that too has been cancelled. The good thing about Lindyhop is that it covers so many different styles of dance, and my group in Reading have recently become more interested in getting together a chorus line. The video below is a chorus girls group performing a piece they choreographed – Greece’s premiere chorus girl group, actually, A Bowl of Cherries.

~5~

Life is about balance. And there is no truer person who knows this than the [current] university student. At the moment, I’m pretty sure I’m out of balance – but that’s okay. I live with that. See my point #3 – I definitely have to make my time. Who-ever says that time has to found in a day? One has to dig it from the ruins of the hours.

Nevertheless, we must take heart – for God knows His plans and handles our plans. This Isaiah quote is encouraging for anyone in the midst of working and striving, those who feel as if their hopes and wills are fading. God has the strength. Do not be faint in His palm!

(Found on Nurse-buff)

~6~

I’m hoping to get to you some writing tomorrow, just something small I decided to do without giving it much thought. It’s set in the world of WTCB and features a couple of characters from LSOT, but apart from that, it was just me playing with dynamics.

~7~

She’d written three times in as many days.

Gabiee twisted the letter between her finger and thumb until it had rolled into a tube she’d easily hide up her sleeve.

As if on cue – and an ominous cue at that – the grandfather clock in the atrium struck. She unearthed the chain from around her neck – from it dangled a pocket-watch, battered but carefully strung. A gift from her husband, and from his father to him.

Seven. Home-coming, for the best of words.


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7 Quick Takes: In Which Research Takes over my Life

It’s time to pop over to This Ain’t the Lyceum for Quick Takes Friday.:)

seven quick takes friday 2

~1~

Well, my week dashed past. Anyone else feeling that? I have so many tasks to complete, including a presentation for next Weds for which I have a block load of reading anyway. *phew*

~2~

I have started my Psychological testing! It’s very exciting, because this is part of my third year work, and entails a great deal of my final mark.

Plus, as I was reminiscing with my lab partner earlier, it was a long two years ago that the tables were turned, and I sat in the cubicle room, working on computer tasks. Now, I’m here. Wow.

~3~

It does, however, feel like all I do is work, dance, and watch murder mysteries. Which is frustrating, to say the least. Not the murder mysteries part, just the whirlwind of readings, submissions, and swing responsibilities.

~4~

Speaking of Swing, you may have heard (or not) of Scott Cupit, a swing teacher who runs the London scene. Reading University are very excited (and blessed) to have him teach us tonight in a one-off guest workshop.

Scottie was the one who ran the World Record Charleston – for which I am an official holder now – and it’s fair to say that I am in awe of his skills, especially as he’s been taught by the legendary Frankie Manning.

Here’s a clip of him dancing.

~5~

I may not remember to talk to Christ every day, but I know that he is here beside me, guiding me. When I have a rough or busy day, like yesterday, with multiple things not going my way, it’s definitely comforting to know that His plan is leading me somewhere. I just don’t know where. Keep the faith, wanderers. Deus vobiscum.

~6~

Editing. I did a bit more this week, yippee! *insert jumping animal here*

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Thank you, Facebook stickers!😛

Granted, not much has been done, amount-wise, and most of my thoughts have been on structural edits/upping the tension.

~7~

Here’s a favourite new line of mine. It’s probably the most explicitly aggressive Rion has been to his family. I never thought he would actually pull a pistol on anyone, but – innuendos aside – considering the amount of warfare training he has, raising a weapon is actually a natural reaction.

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7 Quick Takes – Death, Work, and Lipstick

Look at that Oxford comma usage. Alex is happy. ^_^ I guess it’s time to formally resume my weekly posting, though my university work is a precedent. So maybe you’ll see me, maybe you won’t.😛

seven quick takes friday 2

~1~

It was a shocking week for culture this week as both David Bowie and Alan Rickman were defeated by cancer at the age of 69. Another legend to add to the list of those who have passed us. They are worthy of giving a thought to as I start this post.

~2~

I’m doing a lot, academically, and somehow, I don’t mind that. I am almost at the point where I start collecting data for my dissertation project, but that also means I am almost at the point of diving into my written report too. Boo.

~3~

My Psych work is yet again being useful for writing – this term, my module is Cognition of Nonverbal Behaviour. Today’s seminar, we concentrated on the basics of gestures – different types, such as beat gestures and indication gestures, how they aid communication, and ‘proxemics’ or use of space.

In WTCB, I have some really aggressive characters in terms of non-violence. What I mean is that the upper-class would never risk scandal by explicit murder, but they are still likely to lash out in a ‘socially acceptable way’, such as showing dominance by posture. Imagine a mob-boss who has his hench-lackies to do the dirty work for him.

~4~

So, apart from that, my week has been pretty usual. Swing dance, creative writing, choir. Lectures, seminars, and meetings…

~5~

I’m still raving about my vintage stuff. The three lipsticks I bought myself for Christmas… The petticoat-and-swing-dress combinations. Maybe I will get round to doing a couple of reviews one of these days.

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And my hair is doing something completely different today… (Using Beet it, the pink lipstick.)

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~6~

However, this has left new writing by the wayside. All of my new is academic or contemplative, but not fiction. If you follow me on Twitter, however, you’ll get the daily update/rant about how my editing is going.

~7~

A little thought for the coming week. Have a good weekend, all.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

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On the Death of a Genius

On Write, Edit, Repeat, Lara aptly talks about how not everybody finds success at an early age, even if, like Rickman, they become celebrated legends by their work. Keep going, keep the mind from making comparisons, and aim for your best contribution to the world, regardless of when that may be. Purpose will come.

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A writer friend texted me the news this morning.

Immediately I wished I was in a courtyard with wand-wielders. As a poor substitute, I watched a scene from Half-Blood Prince and made this.

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This afternoon I was swiping through old photos of me (which my aunt texted a few weeks ago).

I guess with Alan Rickman’s death, I’m getting all “I open at the close”—trying to decide how to live more truly to my child self. The silly, creative girl who didn’t limit herself, didn’t compare herself to others, didn’t fear failure:

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Rickman didn’t get his big break until his forties. He gave us almost thirty years of brilliance—of character immersion so great, people are mourning not only him, but also the various fictional characters he loaned his soul to.

On Tolkien’s birthday, I posted about how long it took him to find success. Earlier this week, I retweeted this from…

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