Weekend Wonderfulness

After a few weeks of complete madness – just tooooo much to do – this weekend it’s been nice to chill. Not that I’ve really chilled in the typical sense, but I’ve felt chilled because there aren’t deadlines breathing down my neck. I got the latest OU assignment in on time on Thursday, despite spending more time at work than I expected to, completed the most urgent paperwork for work, and sent off my submission for the ‘100 Stories for Queensland’ book (albeit a little late).

On Saturday I had a really enjoyable OU tutorial in Cambridge. Once again, considering there are about 24 people on this course in what must be around a 25 mile radius, there weren’t that many of us, but it was great to see familiar faces and a couple of new ones. Caron Freeborn is not only a good tutor, she’s also an interesting person with a great sense of humour. Must remember to buy her novels and have a read 🙂

We had a lot of fun with one of the exercises – we voted on a setting (I was quite chuffed because it ended up being an opera house which was my suggestion!), did some descriptive work, and then Caron made each of us pick a Secret Slip of Paper…this was the character we had to be in the monologue she asked us to write. And of course, the challenge was for everyone else to listen to it afterwards and guess who you were meant to be!

A really interesting exercise, but I was a bit unnerved, as I found it disturbingly easy to write as my character – ‘a 40-year-old alcoholic woman in need of a drink’! Lovely to spend a few hours with fellow writers though.

And today was pretty great too, because thanks to a tweet from Simon Whaley, I found there’s a longlist (well, more of a shortlist!) up for ‘100 Stories’. And – yay! I’m on it. Very chuffed.

In Which I Am An Ungrateful Whinger

I’ve not blogged for ages. This is naughty. Life has been busy. And talking of things not done –

I’ve not really been into the competition-entering Thang this past year.  2010, as some of you  know, was very busy and stressful.

I did try. I abandoned a few stories that ran out of time (one soooo near to completion that I’ll send it elsewhere, soon). But then, almost on a whim, I entered a poetry competition.  Again. Even though I am Not A Poet – as I have explained to my OU tutor, the witty and wonderful Caron Freeborn. (Particularly wonderful today as she has granted me an extension for my assignment – backache has me doing the Womble Walk if I sit for more than a few minutes).


The competition? Writers’ News, August. The brief? The theme: Generation Gap.

So I played for a bit with words, which is how I approach poetry. (To be honest, approach is too strong a word. I go for what sounds good. It’s about as technical as spreading jam.)

And lo and behold, today February’s WN catapaults through my door (yes, catapaults – my postie is very enthuisiastic – hello Phil), and I flick through the pages to discover that…
once again…
I have been shortlisted.

Now I know what you’re thinking. I should be doing the Happy Dance.
Can’t. Bad Back, you know.
But seriously, I am partly doing the Happy Dance, yet there’s a little part of me that’s whispering…

shortlisted Again…I should be delighted…but wouldn’t it be nice to, ahem…win?
Or even be runner-up?
Wouldn’t one win be more heartening, more impressive to editors, agents & the literati in general, than four shortlistings?

So tell me – d’you see my point, or am I just an ungrateful whinger?

Oh – and just to make up for no posts for ages, straight after I post this one, I shall dip into my drafts and drag out one that needs to see the light of day.
Need to stand up. Maximum sit-down exceeded. Womble walk, here we come.