Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Note from Dr. Lit

I have discovered a new kind of reading related injury. Having never met another person who has suffered an injury of this kind, I have taken it upon myself to name the phenomena. I have called it: GoneWiththeWind-Arm. It is somewhat like Ulysses Strain Injury, but manifests itself in a somewhat less pretentious manner.

Symptoms include a soreness in the left arm (or less predominent arm/ both arms should one be ambidextrous), distinct lack of swelling or bruising and occassionaly random throbbing.

At first, one may mistake this injury for another kind of injury. One will think: now when exactly did I hit my arm? One may consider that this was done lifting boxes at work, but will then wait for the accompanying swelling and bruising. One will be disappointed in this regard. Then, seeing as it is one's left arm, the thought may cross one's mind that one may be about to have a heart attack. Subsequently, this will be dismissed as utter stupidity as heart attacks do not affect the wrist. At a loss, one will assume it has something to do with either blood loss from sleeping on the arm, or the fact that over the course of one's life, said wrist has been broken twice.

Then, one night, as one lies on her side in repose, with Gone with the Wind in one hand, held out attractively at arms length, one will realise that the muscles of the left forearm are feeling that lactic acid strain which accompanies exercise. What an alien feeling... one thinks.

With a laugh, one then realises that the injury to her arm has been procured reading Margaret Mitchell's weighty 1011 page tome. One realises that it is the largest book one has ever read, and that longer than four weeks of one's life have been spent holding this book up in such a way at various times.

After finishing the book, one is relieved to realise that the sensation of strain disappears from the arm.

Dr. Lit's diagnosis? GoneWiththeWind- Arm is totally harmless. If the pain bothers you, try sitting up whilst reading, or switching arms. A bearable side effect of reading such an amazing book.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Film Review: The Three Musketeers

I would just like to inform you all that I am taking up sword fighting and moving to sixteenth century France.

Yep. Those are my plans for the summer. Because, you see, I just got home from the preview of The Three Musketeers, and I don't know if I have told you this but I am incredibly susceptible to exciting films and books.


This movie has pretty much every ingredient for a good couple of hours of viewing pleasure. Beautiful scenery? Check. Witty/ Corny one liners? Check. Historical intrigue? Check. Big-ass flying ships? You bet. Okay, so there is a fair bit of the willing suspension of disbelief needed to watch this film. The integration of a femme fatale style double agent who abseils down the side of a palace in her underwear, whilst amusing, does perhaps induce an eyeroll. But Milla Jovovich as Milady is so good, I just didn't care. In fact, the entire cast was superb.

What the film makers have done is very cleverly brought a classic novel into a more fashionable context. The use of steampunk style elements makes it just exciting enough, and like all pieces about this particular period in history, it is highly stylised. (Don't even get me started on the sexualisation of the Tudors. Please.) There was also a hint of Pirates of the Caribbean in there, but that may just be because Orlando Blood + Eyeliner + Boats + swelling string music = Pirates sequel. But I wasn't alone in thinking that Orlando was channeling a bit of Captain Jack in his portrayal of Buckingham, was I Lauren???

It was funny because while the ads were on, the two of us girls were trying to cast a better Catwoman for the new Batman movie (because seriously Princess Mia = Andie Sachs = Jane Austen =/= catwoman. Just no.) and then Milla came on screen, and oh my gosh, why hadn't we thought of her before???

There is really very little in this film that I can find fault in... mostly because I was so entertained, I don't want to look for historical inaccuracies or deviations from the book. Besides, I haven't read the book. And seeing as I don't see Dr. Who dropping by later this evening in the TARDIS, maybe I should settle for planning to do that this summer, instead of learning to fence.

See this film. That is all.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

Dad comes home from work, so I know that my afternoon has been officially wasted. I stare at the cursor, that taunting, dancing cursor, and at the words I just wrote. "YOU SUCK, WHY DON'T YOU JUST GIVE UP NOW AND FLUNK OUT?" Encouraging, I think to myself. It's all uphill from here. Up-mountain. Up-vertical incline. There is a sick feeling in my stomach, like I need to throw up or eat something. Possibly at the same time. Yet another impossible feat to add to the list of things I must do.

When Dad knocks on the door, he doesn't wait, he just opens it. "Hello" he says, and I reply "I am going to fail uni." "Why?" he asks. "Because this essay is making me physically sick and I can't write it and I want to smash my head into the wall!" I say, forcing the words out violently and feeling the tightness of my own jaw. I hastily delete the swearwords that I have written on the page. "Oh," he says sarcastically. "That will help." He leaves the room then, and I hang my head. You win, I think, and delete the derogatory comments I have written about myself. I think of writing something encouraging instead, but that seems very sappy, and instead I write a loose theme for each remaining paragraph and click save. 834 words out of 2500 on that Nazi no one really cares about anyway. And where is that girl who outlined her argument off the top of her head in conversation last week? Why has she gone away and left me to write this alone!? Cow.

I know I have to leave this room. This room smells of discomfort. This room looks like poor lighting and frustration, and over-organisation to the point that I cannot move. I look longingly at the copy of Gone with the Wind I am partway through. What would Scarlett do? But that's not helpful, all she ever seems to do is steal other girls' beaux.

Tomorrow is another day, I think, and close the document.


It's that time of the year again. You know, the part of the year where I literally have to sit on my hands to stop myself from tearing all my hair out. Yep. It's the end of semester. But this time, it's a special end of semester. It's my last semester as an Undergraduate.

Unfortunately, that means the pressure is on, and I haven't been writing much lately. I have still been going to writing group meetings, however, and last week, Issue 2 of COMET all went online, and if you haven't checked it out, you should. You can do that at

Friday, 7 October 2011

Live an Inspired Life #2: Just Say Yes

Just say yes. Just say there's nothing holding you back.

The theme for this week is JUST SAY YES.

Stop putting off until tomorrow the things you could be doing today. If you say no too many times, maybe the opportunity will go away. Say yes to going out in the middle of the week. Say yes to going for a drink after class with people who make you smile. Say yes to a new kind of food, or a song, or a colour for your fingernails.

See how much more fun you will have. And let me know how it goes.