All Change

Well hello!

I’m Marianne and I shall be your SGSAH blogger for the next 6 months. To begin with, I thought it might be a good idea to tell you a bit more about myself so you can hopefully relate to the person behind the typeset. As such, I have prepared an informal statement:

My name is Marianne MacRae. I’m 29 years old. I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

There is an idea of a Marianne MacRae, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping you and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.

Just kidding, that’s a quote from American Psycho. In actuality, I’m a Creative Writing PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and as yet there are no plans for a film adaption of my life starring Christian Bale. I live in Edinburgh but grew up in Yorkshire. I’m not really that into tea or rugby, but yes, my father is a whippet, my mother is a flat cap. Kidding again, they’re both Scottish and arguably human.

I’m in the 2nd year of my PhD and my task, should I choose to accept it (I did accept it, I wrote the proposal and took up the place) is to write a collection of poetry with complementary research. My central topic is how/why poets use talking animals in their work, though now that I’m really getting into the research my parameters are expanding slightly to consider animal imagery and the sympathetic imagination – between you and me, there actually aren’t as many talking animal poems as you might think…but hnnnnnngh, let’s not talk about that right now.

Besides being a PhD student, I identify as a “big fan of dogs”, particularly my own wee canine pal, Chumbo, who likes to help me with my research by whining to go for a walk at the very moment I settle down to analyse a particularly difficult poem – he’s just really obsessed with Pokémon Go right now. Luckily he’s very cute so he gets away with it.

I’ll be up front about it right now, he’s probably going to feature in quite a lot of my blogs…

I’m also WELL into musicals. Like, to a really sad (cool) degree whereby I could probably do a one-woman version of The Sound of Music right here, right now. Srsly, I went to see Wicked at the weekend and have since been looking into techniques for dyeing myself green, so that I too may one day defy gravity. (I believe there was some talk a while back about writing PhD: The Musical – interested parties should contact me forthwith.)

I think that’s probably enough from me for now – we’ll get into the real fun, PhD/SGSAH stuff in the blogs that follow. If you’re interested in submitting a guest post or have any topics you’d like me to cover then feel free to get in touch – comment below or drop an email to Alternatively, you can say my name three times into a mirror and I’ll appear behind you, notebook in hand, ready to take your suggestions.

Finally, Katelynn has done such an amazing job of setting all this up, so want to say a major thank you for making my job a little easier! I’ll do my utmost to continue the good work.

Over and out.

5 thoughts on “All Change

  1. Michael Richardson says:

    PhD The Musical? Count me in. I like the idea of creating a musical about the PhD process as an action research project as the basis of a PhD…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katelynn Carver says:

    All good luck to you, Marianne! (And if you require assistance writing PhD: The Musical, please just give a shout—I’ve already been collaborating on an informal satire of the PhD experience 😉 )


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