Delighted to learn I came second in the Writers Bureau short story competition with The Delivery Man. You can read it and the other winning stories here. Congratulations to Glenda Cooper, who came first, and also to V Mackenzie and Kim Fleet placed third and fourth respectively.
I had recently failed miserably at an exercise in demonstrating ‘voice’ when I started writing this story. So I set out to try and get the ‘voice’ right and keep it going for the whole piece. I was thrilled to receive this feedback via twitter:
Blog posts are like buses in rural Gloucestershire. Nothing for a month, then two come along on the same day and, meandering around several tiny hamlets on the way to the final destination, take three hours longer than necessary to get there.
I’m getting worried about spam. It used to be that it offered medication for body parts I don’t have and technical advice I don’t understand, so it didn’t bother me much. However, it seems that they’re on to the real me as I am now receiving how-to-get-a-flat-belly spam. Depressing. Like someone sits inside my computer screen and sees the ring doughnut round my middle.
Writing news. My aforementioned first-placed ghost story Playing Out is now available to read for free at writersonline.
And that thing I’d been working towards for a long time? Very excited – I have been offered a place on the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa Uni. Looking forward to September and spending time at the stunning Corsham Court where the course is based. I thought I’d taken a photo of the amazing architecture or gorgeous grounds or perhaps one of the peacocks that wander freely there. But, no. Turns out the only thing I photographed was the loo.
Still, toilet humour and writing for children, goes hand in sticky little hand, surely?
Less a whine, more a howl. Stolen girls, stolen lives, stolen education. Bring Back our Girls. No other words.
I’m disappointed, ashamed, by my inability to cast a vote. A century has not yet passed since people like me got the right to vote. Elsewhere in the world, girls can’t even go to school. People are fighting for their right to vote and for free and fair elections, but here democracy seems to have dwindled to taking your pick from posh boys in all their bland similarity; fine heads of hair and strangely wrinkle-free foreheads. They spin us spineless lines. Taunting one another with rhetoric worthy of the playground, they offer us nothing of substance. I still want Jed Bartlett to rule the world.
I know it’s natural for cats to kill, but it is heartbreaking when they take down a butterfly.
May’s amazing. Yesterday, everything was promise, and now it’s here -buzzing, vibrating, green, overwhelming life
Drinking Rosé with old friends, met when our first children started primary school. Joined together at that moment of severance. Now, we are mellower, wiser. We’ve left the playground.
Despite a disappointing showing in recent competitions, I am writing lots (so piss off internal critic). This, courtesy of another series of inspirational Writing Events Bath Workshops. Meeting some interesting folk too, including the curator of Still Points Moving World which is part of the Bath Fringe Festival.
Wading through life a bit at the moment what with one thing and another. Your basic shit happens type stuff. So, not quite as prolific as I would like to be. However, a few things are keeping me going.
I’ve been doing an online course: Writing for Children with Creative Writing Ink. It’s led by Oisin McGann, children’s author. I’ve found it to be very clear and to the point. A lot of writing books and courses go into such depth about the craft of writing that I find myself in anxious over-analysis mode. I’m then thinking about writing rather than doing it and, as you know by now, I spend enough time avoiding writing as it is. The course covers writing for different age groups/reading levels, sets exercises and gives constructive feedback, as well as offering practical advice about the publishing process and marketing oneself.
Talking of marketing oneself (what a smooth link) it’s time to blow my own – I was going to say trumpet, but, a) it’s a cliché, and a workshop I recently attended with Writing Events Bath was all about avoiding the cliché, and, b) it sounds a bit arrogant. So, I’m going to go with blow my own kazoo – (or does that sound rude?)
Back at the end of last year a very short story of mine was highly commended in the Inktears Flash Fiction Competition. Along with the other winning entries, you can read it and give feedback here: http://www.inktears.com/
January is not going to plan. Usually, it is a great writing month but this year I am in a heightened state of procrastination so epic that house cleaning has actually occurred. It’s not good. Not good at all.
Of course, there is still all the cat stuff going on, not to mention parenting through the teen angst, which is hard as I feel like a thirteen year old myself a lot of the time. I still cannot type the without typing teh. Why did I think 2014 was going to be any different? It’s not like all the crap wipes itself out on 31st December and life resets itself to a perfect state at 12.01 a.m. on January 1st.
My procrastinatory tendencies are driving me madder than usual because I have the perfect motivation to write. I have a load of half finished stuff courtesy of NaNoWriMo and Writing Events Bath workshops, plus I have been placed first in a short story competition! Details to follow.