If you’ve been following my blog, then you will know that I have been working on a fairy tale retelling for my university dissertation. Blog posts have been used to document my research into ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ and connect my retelling of the story with the wider world.
Well, I handed that dissertation in just over a month ago. I forgot to post about it because a lot of other stuff has happened in the meantime, but after a year of planning, writing, research, editing, and multiple crying fits, I finally gave it in to my faculty office.
By the time the deadline arrived, I hated my story and I think it hated me, too. It simply was not ready to be told. Every time I opened the document to write, my characters would scream at me. The story wanted to be left alone, to breathe and grow in its own time. But I couldn’t give it that time, because of the deadline. I had to stick to my original plan and just slog through it. It was torture — especially as I’m one of those writers who likes to know everything that’s going on before I write! With this, I didn’t. Things kept needing to change, and I couldn’t keep up with all the edits as well as finishing the project.
Then there was the accompanying essay…
I finished that in the library at 2am the night before the deadline. Student life right there. So yes, basically when I collected my marks last week I was expecting a complete train wreck. But it turns out I didn’t need to worry. Somehow, against all the odds, I managed to get a first class mark. For both the story and the essay. Honestly, I still haven’t gotten over the shock. I’m half expecting the uni’s admin to email me and say there’s been a mistake, whilst the other part of me is like HELL YES I DID IT I GOT 2 FIRSTS FOR MY DISSERTATION!!!
So there you have it, all over. My degree is also over — just waiting until July for final grades. And despite my hatred, I will return to my story sometime. When it’s ready for me.
I want to thank all of you who have visited this blog, commented and chatted to me. And to all the other fairy tale bloggers I follow — thank you for posting such awesome stuff and inspiring me so much. You’re all amazing, and I love being part of this little fairy tale blogosphere with you!
You might be wondering what happens now. That’s an easy decision! I’m still having so much fun exploring folklore and fairy tales, and want to pursue this field of study. So I’m going to keep posting and generally throwing myself into everything fairy tale related. Now that I’m not a student anymore (*cries*) I will hopefully have more time to pursue my own interests instead of doing assignments. I hope you will all stay with me, and that we can share lots more folklore in the future!
Amelia Starling is a writer and folklorist. She graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Creative Writing, and is Senior Editor for Folklore Thursday. She loves travelling and collecting stories, and spent 15 months living in Japan doing this alongside teaching English. Amelia blogs about folklore and fairy tales at The Willow Web. You can follow her on Twitter @amyelize.