This is the last Monday of working on my MLitt Dissertation, freeing me to give you more in-depth entries from next week onwards. But I’ve one more filler photo for you, and it’s the cover of said dissertation.
There is a creative part of up to 15,000 words, which can include prose and/or poetry, and 3,000-word part to discuss it further. Jennifer Goldman’s Electric Scream is set in 2027 and is written from the perspective of a 29-year-old poet who finds and transcribes a video diary she kept as a student in 2016.
You might notice the dissertation is ‘written by Gavin Cruickshank’, and that’s because I have to use my legal name. I would otherwise use my middle name Cameron.
Last week, I was speaking to a poet and I accidentally used this individual’s last name, which can also work as a first name. The poet accepted my apologies but described such mistakes as a ‘pet hate’.
I was furious with myself not only for doing it to someone whose work I admire, but because I feel the same way when someone spells Cruickshank incorrectly, especially when I’ve spelt it out or the other party has made an assumption. J K Rowling didn’t help by giving Hermione Granger a cat called Crookshanks.
I therefore use my middle name to avoid the spelling issue. Of course, this sometimes causes as much confusion as it saves. At a reading a couple of weeks ago, the organiser thought Gavin Cameron and Gavin Cruickshank were two different people and wasn’t sure which of us had agreed to participate.