A few days ago, I spotted an unusually coloured green bee out of the window.  So, obviously, I went running out with my camera to try and snap a shot of it.  It seemed to be hovering round and round a certain tree so I tried to stand in one place and wait for it to come around again, but it was pretty hard since it was moving so abruptly and quickly.  This one came out quite well, though, I think.  I like the way the motion of the wings shows with the sunlight shining through them.

Yesterday, I finally submitted my article on translation to a journal in the UK!  It has been an intense few weeks.  My article was initially an extension of my Master’s dissertation topic, but when I received the style guidelines for the journal only a few days before the deadline I realised what I had written didn’t fit in with the journal’s target readership and content expectations.  So, I had to change my topic and start from scratch!  Luckily, I had an essay I had written (also for my Master’s!) and was able to build on that.  Anyway, it’s all over now!  I hope it is accepted for publication; that would be very exciting.

Of course, the work doesn’t stop coming just because you’ve been slaving over one project for a while and could do with a break!  Nonetheless, for the next couple of hours at least, I intend to just take some time to breathe!  And maybe finish reading I was born there, I was born here by Mourid Barghouti, which I seem to have been reading for an eternity!  I really like that title and the stories it tells.  Titles are my weakness when writing a story, but this is the kind of effect I always hope for!

I’ve been working quite intensely on my article for some time now and, while the main issue with freelance work might be considered to be self-discipline, I have found that another issue is being smart enough to give yourself a break now and again. I didn’t realise at first and was following the same work, work, work schedule every day (including weekends) for quite a while for fear of losing momentum and the collapse of self-discipline that was sure to follow. One day, I realised I hadn’t had a break or weekend (i.e. time off) for at least a month (probably two)! So, I finished any particularly urgent projects and dedicated a day to doing anything I wanted that wasn’t work and wasn’t on the computer. I ended up doing the weekly shopping for half the day, but that’s ok! Despite that moment of clarity, I found myself suddenly reaching that overworked stage again today. With three deadlines fast approaching, I couldn’t take a day off again, but sometimes all you need is an hour not thinking about anything and a satisfying treat. It worked for me, anyway!

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Photo taken using an iPhone 3GS, iOS 5.1.
A great chocolate sauce recipe can be found here: Homemade chocolate sauce

It has been a year and a half since I posted my last regular update on this blog and a lot has changed. When you’re studying for a postgraduate degree everything is exciting and inspiring, it’s hard to contemplate the ensuing not so inspiring unemployment prospects. I’m working as a freelance translator and editor though, and still find delight in translating, even if it’s predominantly unpaid and under-appreciated!

I’ve also updated on the photography front since my last post, I now own a dSLR camera and couldn’t imagine using anything else! It certainly took some time to get used to, but it’s certainly worth it. I’m looking forward to posting some of my photos here and hope to get some feedback.

I’m currently working on an article discussing the translation of a particular genre of humour and made an interesting discovery that hadn’t occurred to me before: translating from a multilingual source culture to a monolingual target culture introduces a fascinating new dimension to translation. Imagine the effect of the assumption of multilingualism in the source culture on a text. That in itself is food for thought, but when you consider transferring such a text to a monolingual culture, the implications are multiplied. That’s without going into the way the source audience approaches such a text.

I’m already enjoying having this blog back. It’s wonderful to be able to put my translation, photography and writing ideas and discoveries down in writing; it’s an efficient way to process and develop them too.

A Fresh Start

I’m considering returning to this blog. It’s nice to have somewhere to share little creative bits and bobs without any pressure. It’s also been nice to get the odd comment now and again on a blog I haven’t written on for so long! So, hopefully this is a new beginning for Qissas in Progress! Thanks to those who commented.

The final push for my dissertation is underway, hence the absence of new posts on this blog, apart from the previous post, which I’d like to point out, I wrote while falling asleep!  However, I’ll leave it since one of the aims of this blog is to practise, so I can’t expect every post to be quality work!

I haven’t abandoned my photography though, of course.  This moth seemed to take a liking to the washing hanging outside:

Deadline Pressure

My dissertation is awaitin’
Like a patient with inflammation.
I keep on writing, but it’s fighting.
What? Is it inciting
Me to give up? Call it quits?
Tear my piled up notes to bits?
Just because it’s throwing fits?
I won’t surrender to the calls
That fall on the walls
Of the library’s study halls.
Tempting me away from work,
Do they think that I’m a berk?
I can see them where they lurk,
And I’m not giving in.
I’ll see this through right to the end,
Around that final bend,
When I will send it off at last,
And relief will come,
Great and fast.
Oh, I’ll be glad when it has past!